Sunday Notes May 17th 2015

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This Editorial appeared in the Lowell Sun on Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Lavallee deserves a three-year deal

This one appeared this pass Tuesday May 12 2015
Superintendent deserves contract

It seems sometimes the Sun Likes contracts, depending on whose getting them.

Supt. Dust storm will continue

The dust hasn’t settled over the selection of the School Supt. and it’s in all likelihood going to get dustier over whether or not the new Supt. will get a contract. We know the Mayor will not support one. Jim Leary and Kim Scott seems willing to consider not giving one.

What are the ramifications for the Deputy and Asst. Superintendents future if their boss doesn’t get or want a contract. Jay Lang , Jeannine Durkin and M. Claire Abrams all have contracts that run through July 1 2016. Do they want or will demand new contracts?

It has also been noted that at least two of Dr Salah Khelfaoui Supporters (Mayor Elliott and Dave Conway) will be off the board after December and that the other two are perceived to be in danger of not getting re-elected. Not a whole lot of support to build a career path with! Why wouldn’t Khelfaoui want some security?

2016 Budget Questions..

Since the proposed 2016 City Budget isn’t included in the on-line Council Packet nor posted yet on-line there are a lot of questions that need to be addressed. In a letter to the City Council in March of this year CFO Connor Baldwin stated that a “level service” budget is looking at appox. a $10 Million dollar shortfall for 2016. So what changed in the last eight weeks? A week later in a Sun story we were told Among other challenges, the school district has forecasted a fiscal 2016 budget deficit of potentially $3 million. That would be over and above the money the City contributed this year including the $2,000,000.00 of Chapt. 17 funds the city gave the schools.

Does the budget include funds set aside for a salary increase for Union 1705 contract which expires in June? Is there money included for a raise for teachers? is 1.5% enough or will the State mandate a higher increase in December AFTER the City Elections are over?

Right to Bear arms not right to harass.

On Tuesday night City Councilors will face a full house of Law abiding citizens who are frustrated with the slow process of the Police Supt. reviewing the permit to carry a concealed weapon process. They appeared before the Council many weeks ago and received some Councilors support to have this process looked at. City Councilor Rita Mercier has a motion on the Agenda asking the Manager to get an update from the police Supt. and will he a large crowd present to support her.

Hopefully these citizens realize that they can have a majority of Council support but the Police Supt. ha the final say and calling the City Clerk’s – Mayor’s or Managers office might be bothersome and irritating the people who answer the phone have no ability to speed up the process. You are making all responsible gun owners look bad if you needlessly harass people.

Irresponsible Suggestion or Drastic Times call for Drastic Measures?

If I were a Dracut resident with children in the Dracut schools I would rally parents to attend the June 1st Town Meeting and get up and offer an amendment to reduce the line item for Greater Lowell Tech by $150,000 and the Town side budget by $150,000 and transfer to the Dracut School budget. It may not stop all the cuts proposed but will help stave off some until the current Selectman and Town Manager figure out how to help the schools since they don’t want to institute a trash fee and haven’t proposed any assistance to the schools for Fiscal 2016.

I’d also call out the Selectman wannabe’s like Teddy K and Phil T. along with the current Selectman to either offer usable alternatives to raise funds for the school this year or support this motion. The schools can’t take he hit again this year. Besides cuts in the Schools over the past few years what has been cut on the town side?

It is time for the current and wannabe Selectman to either step up for the schools or step aside to let others take action.

In the meantime it is time for Dracut parents to try to find candidates who care about the schools and the town not just their own pocket or political career.