Taking the idea of a 'roundtable discussion' and adapting it to a new morning segment every Tuesday at 9:30 am, a lively chat took place called "The Morning Mayor and The Kitchen Cabinet," last week.

The origin of the political term goes back to President Andrew Jackson's advisers. Kitchen Cabinet was a mocking term for an official circle of advisers to President Jackson. The term has endured through well over 190 years, and now generally refers to a politician's informal group of advisers. Every week, we'll chew the fat on any and every issue, whether it's local, state, national or global. Nothing is banned.

The group includes Lynne Sears, Mike Hardman, Peter Barney and Jay Gomes.

Right out of the shoot, the first show went right for jugular issues like South Coast Rail's probability, truck freight leaving New Bedford's port instead of Woods Hole, state and local taxes, the Fairhaven Bridge, the "John Bullard" sewage plant to lighter banter like seeing Bill Belichick actually sporting a broad smile after the AFC Championship game. I noticed almost immediately that the ‘chemistry’ worked. It had the feel of a local diner counter filled with the morning regulars, sipping on their coffee and sounding off.

In the second show Tuesday, the "Kitchen Cabinet" talked about bringing a Wampanoag casino to New Bedford and the potential of overloading the area. with too many casinos.

Before Professor Clyde W. Barrow left UMass Dartmouth, I recall him saying if a local casino failed after a few years, it would have a negative impact on attracting other industries to the South Coast. On the other hand, New Bedford is luring more artisans to open boutique galleries along its historic streets, turning empty storefronts into a diversified community of artists. The kitchen cabinet discussed how landing a $500,000 art grant would help continue this local momentum.

Make sure you tune in every Tuesday to listen to the "Morning Mayor" and his "kitchen cabinet" at 9:30 a.m.

Editor's Note: Phil Paleologos is the morning host on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6-10 a.m. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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