Mayor and Supt. try slipping in clauses that weaken School Committee Powers

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From Today’s Lowell Sun:

Kennedy took on the negotiations with Khelfaoui, and both he and the superintendent were satisfied with the contract proposal submitted last week to the entire school board.

Khelfaoui declined to comment. Kennedy said negotiations have gone back and forth and there’s been several proposed contracts. Kennedy said the language pertaining to criticisms and complaints has “has been removed and it will not come back.”

When pressed on who pushed for the language, Kennedy declined to elaborate. He did offer this, however: “The Law Department had concerns about that.”

As if the fiasco that was the January 4th meeting wasn’t bad enough, judging from the Sun’s story and rewatching the meeting again, you realize that this contract was being forced fed by the Mayor and Supt. and had Kennedy succeeded the powers, duties and responsibility of this and the future school committee’s would have been greatly weakened.

It also makes you ask , if the Law Dept. was so concerned about the Language has the Mayor states in today’s newspaper, why was it allowed to be presented and why did the Mayor ask for a vote on it? Watch the meeting Kennedy also claims that this contract ” I believe has the approval of a majority of the School Committee” if that was the case why did it fail?

It appears Mayor Kennedy apparently not only wanted to force a term defined contract on the School Committee and City but at the same time take away freedom of speech by subordinates,parents,other elected officials and big mouth bloggers to criticize the Superintendent to any Lowell School Committee member and at the same time take away the Committee’s powers to make policies the Superintendent doesn’t like or assign duties he feels aren’t the traditional role of the Superintendent of Schools.

Thank goodness this Committee showed some common sense and refused but my question is how did the City Law Dept. allow this language?? and why did Mayor Kennedy state I believe it has approval of a Majority of the School Committee?

Is Kennedy looking out for the interest of the City? of Khelfaoui? or just his own political vendetta against the Manager and former mayor Elliott?

If you look at the Superintendents contract, on its face aside from the term defined dates and the built in salary increases, it appears to be a basic boiler plate contract.

superintendents_contract_1-3-2017

You have to look at the attached addendum (Exhibit A) to find listed under RESPONSIBILITIES/DUTIES what I will now refer to as the “Nutter Clause” (Bold mine)

exhibit-a

D.Criticisms, complaints, and suggestions called to the attention of the Committee or individual committee members by any source shall be promptly referred to the Superintendent in writing for study, disposition, or recommendation as appropriate to facilitate the orderly administration of the District,ensure responsiveness to the public and fairness to the Superintendent. The Superintendent shall advise the Committee of the disposition of such matters

Imagine a teacher ,parent or blogger complaining to Bob Gignac about a policy and about the Superintendent and Gignac being required to write up his version of the conversation for the Supt. to then read and act on?

Bobby here’s the first one to write up and demand an answer on..Nutter criticized the Supt. for LYING on the Radio stating it was a Massachusetts State Law that School Superintendents were required to have a contract when in fact the Mass. Dept. of Elementary and Secondary Education says NO SUCH LAW EXIST! Please explain why you stated such erroneous information?

In addition to make sure free speech and criticism is muted from rank and file members or members of their families, City Councilor’s, Business people, radio talk show host and big mouth bloggers to any School Committee member the question is how do you enforce that? If Hoey is on with us on a Saturday (he’s turned down many opportunities but keeps promising to one day accept) and I am critical of the Supt. Hoey would be required to write a report and submit it to the Supt.

Who works for who??

Oh wait it gets better, the Superintendent is so arrogant he wants to make sure HE and only HE is in charge and wants these items included in the contract.

F. The Superintendent is assured that Committee rules, regulations, or policies, are not in conflict with this Agreement and State Law. Where such conflict exists, this Agreement or State Law shall supersede such policy.
(Like the banner above straight from the School Committee Policy Manual)

G. The Committee shall not, without the Superintendent’s written consent, adopt any policy, by-law or regulation which impairs or reduces the duties and authority specified above; and provided, further, that all additional duties and responsibilities prescribed by the Committee are consistent with those normally associated with the position of Superintendents of School in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The committee agrees that all members shall be trained in roles and responsibilities as required by M GL,c.71, sec_ This provision shall continue in full force and effect during any period of employment.

That last line is to cover his backside when later this year some candidates who think this Supt. ISN’T WHAT LOWELL NEEDS announce they are running for School Committee and his present rubber stamp members hopefully get bumped for people who realize his financial and overall inexperience, along with that of his hand selected CFO are going to get this district in trouble with the City, State and Auditors.

For any Mayor or School Committee member to even think about approving that language shows either a lack of understanding of their duties and role or shows they want to either get political payback or assure no other serious candidates run because if new committee people criticized this Supt. with a motion brought forth from a parents complaint or if they assign his duties related to the building of the new school which is NOT normally associated with the position of Superintendents of School in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts this Supt. wants to be in position to state that the contract (exhibit A) language has been violated.

Never have I seen such a blatant attempt at weakening the power and responsibilities of a School Committee and the sad part is the Mayor stated at the beginning of the meeting I believe it has approval of a Majority of the School Committee?

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