“What should have been a great positive thing for Lowell students and families has turned this city against each other and a binding question on location or debt exclusion will increase that divide!!” G Nutter 3/27/2017
I do NOT support at this late date submitting this location question or funding question to to the voters of Lowell. This City Council needs to vote and this Administration has shown we can pay for it in the budget!
If you haven’t read today’s SUN story please do so. City Councilor Elliott is suggesting a binding city wide referendum question for the location and funding of Lowell High.
A new Lowell High whether renovated with an addition downtown or a brand new state of the art High School at Cawley is a HUGE WIN for the City. Lowell went through the process and beat out a number of other communities to get on the MSBA list and then get selected and approved so far up to the feasibility stage.
Councilor Belanger at the December 13th 2016 Council meeting BEFORE the city had chosen a final 4 asked about a possible non-binding referendum. The rest of the Council and administration stated it wasn’t necessary.
Along the way, led by the very vocal Monday – Friday WCAP talk show host Ted Panos, the Citizens for Cawley emerged and began lobbying for the Cawley site. Aside from Teddy it really was a grass roots effort led by concerned parents /citizens who were quickly joined by City Councilor Rourke then others.
Head of School Brian Martin, a majority of the present Lowell School Committee and some other concerned parents/citizens started lobbying for the downtown and a new group emerged to keep the High School Downtown. Again in my view this was another grass roots effort but they started later and lagged behind the Cawley group whose membership seemed to grow rapidly.
Unfortunately for the future students things quickly dissolved to a campaign of us versus them with name calling, half facts, dire predictions and political moves to block sites and delay votes or put this in the lap of non-elected people and make a 20 year volunteer in the city the scapegoat.
Now when we are down to the final four the newest political move is to lead the charge to “Let the People be heard and Vote!” Why now?
Maybe if we all stopped beating the heck out of the opposite side with every fear and concern, real and imagined that we could find, this wouldn’t have happened. Maybe had the proper due diligence been done on the article 97 restrictions at the early stages this wouldn’t have happened. Maybe if we had a Superintendent who would actually lead , the way George Tsapatsaris did when Lowell build new schools this wouldn’t have happened. Maybe if the radio guy wasn’t pushing for a whole new group to run for office because its time to replace the “old political ways” this wouldn’t have happened. Was I the only one who heard the truck backing up this morning on WCAP? We can maybe this forever but the bottom line is we are at a spot that could be the beginning of the end of any type of “New” LHS.
A 20 year Councilor who was Mayor when this project first took shape and who recently has been a vocal supporter of the Cawley location is now ‘concerned that the citizens need to be heard?” Coincidence it is being done at a time when the radio rabble rouser is pushing for new candidates?
If the LHS Downtown and Citizens for Cawley people are so intent of getting their preferred location selected if they have to run a campaign to do that, how will they find the time to run for Council? or School Committee? Myself included.
We need a new LHS and if this motion gets passed and we go to a referendum then I’ll start a new group “Citizens for a New Lowell High” and fight nonstop to get this funded regardless where the citizens vote to put it. This opportunity to get state money for a new High School doesn’t come along often, we cannot allow the bitterness and political infighting that has already occurred to ruin this opportunity for future Lowell students and families.
Maybe it’s just an election year stunt, the self proclaimed Fiscal Watchdog again being the man of the taxpayer watching out for their pockets.
Whatever the reason it appears to me it could be the beginning of the end. If that motion goes on next week, Why not a motion to take eminent domain off the table? Why not a vote tonight to NOT seek an exception of the Article 97 restrictions? Why not a motion to scrub this whole idea and raise taxes so that Lowell will at least repair and fix up the existing site. $50 million is cheaper than $130,000,000!
This issue has already divided the city, now asking the citizens to vote will only increase the divide as each side makes the other location sound like Chernobyl.
Then what happens next? I think at this point the divide is so great among the people on both sides and among the elected officials and political players in the city that any public vote kills this project!
Sadly I could see this coming and the students and families of Lowell are the ones who will suffer for this if this motion is presented and put up for a vote.
It’s The Beginning of the END of any type of “NEW” LHS!