New Bedford city councilors are not “complementary” potted plants

City politics in Boston are still pretty quiet, but there's plenty of bad blood in New Bedford, according to SouthCoastToday's Jack Spillane:

Mayor [Scott] Lang recently described the council as existing primarily to "complement" his agenda, and five councilors returned the insult by writing a letter calling him incompetent to craft a city budget.

The mayor is certainly right that the New Bedford council doesn't have the immense, budget-setting powers of Congress or a state legislature. But he is wrong to describe the council as existing simply to complement his government. And he would be ill-advised to approach the council that way.

From the simple standpoint of accomplishing his own agenda, it's dangerous for a mayor to go to war with a council that retains significant power.

Spillane has more to say on his All Politics Is Local blog.