Mayor holding up SC motions and budget for Supt. contract and members don’t fight it!

If you make a motion that gets approved, shouldn’t you care enough to follow it through and find out why it is being ignored after you received the support of your colleagues?

Is Mayor Kennedy looking out for the interest of the School Committee? or just Supt. Khelfaoui? or his own political vendetta against the Manager and former mayor Elliott?

If you look at the following votes passed by the School Committee, you will see that neither of the 2 approved motions requiring City Council action have ever been brought forward to the Council by the Mayor which is how this is supposed to work. The Mayor since he chairs both the Council and School Committee is the person who is responsible to bring forth these type of motions but he has not.

The Mayor and/or Supt. also ignored the vote by the committee to have the budget meeting on April 12th scheduled at City Hall.

The School Committee meeting notes confirm this:

SPED reserve fund the School Committee would have to approve establishing it by a majority vote and City Council would also have to approve it by a majority vote. Currently, our Circuit Breaker account has a cap of 1 years’ worth of revenues.
Mr. Gignac made a motion to establish the SPED Reserve Fund; seconded by
Ms. Doherty. 6 yeas, 1 absent APPROVED

screen-shot-2017-01-16-at-12-46-57-pmscreen-shot-2017-01-16-at-12-47-30-pm

I believe the Mayor is more concerned about getting the Supt. a contract than he is on following through on School Committee approved motions. Maybe he’s holding out until he gets the Superintendent a contract.

In January when it appeared the Supt. was about to get a very favorable contract I posted the following.

As if the fiasco that was the January 4th meeting wasn’t bad enough, judging from the Sun’s story and re-watching 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 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?”

If you look at the language in the exhibit A attachment that was part of the contract the language is very pro Superintendent! at the expense of the School Committee.

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

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.

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.

Given the above information, it appears to me that the Mayor isn’t willing to bring forth items or schedule items like the Budget meeting even if the School Committee votes for it.

Is he waiting until they give this Superintendent the contract the Mayor and the Supt. want? One which takes away the little authority School Committee members have left after Education reform. It sure looks like that might be the case.

What’s even more frustrating to watch is the lack of response and reaction from the individual members of the School Committee. Bob Gignac made all 3 motions (4 if you include increasing the suspense account which also has NOT been done) yet NONE of them have been acted on and I can find no other motions or request from Gignac to find out why not.

If you care enough to make a motion shouldn’t you care enough to find out why it is being ignored? Especially after you received the support of your colleagues?

If you voted to support a colleagues motion, why are you asking that member or the Mayor/Supt. what the status is? Especially if the need for City Council support was needed. No other Committee member is asking follow-up questions either.

It appears from a story in this mornings Sun that again the Mayor is pushing a contract this time at the expense of the 2016/2017 School Budget. There was a meeting voted for 6-0 to have the budget presented on April 12th in the City Council chambers but the story infers the Mayor canceled it because the contract wasn’t ready. It should also be noted he scheduled the meeting at the Rogers School instead of the voted on City Council Chambers.

So no approved School Committee motions get brought to the Council and no 2016/2017 budget gets released until the Superintendent gets his contract and this Committee seems willing to go along with that and continue to say nothing!

It’s time to elect committee members who not only will ask and get things voted for but will follow up and demand the Mayor do his job and remind the Supt. that under Ed Reform HE works for the School Committee, they don’t work for him and get responses to these type motions.

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