UPDATE: RECEIVED THIS MESSAGE AFTER TODAY’S POST…HAD I NOT POSTED HOW WOULD THE PUBLIC KNOW TO WATCH CH. 22 WHEN SCHOOL COMMITTEE MEETINGS ARE USUALLY ON CH. 99?
According to School Committeeman Bob Gignac the Lowell School Dept. can now broadcast live from anywhere and will televise tomorrow’s Budget meeting at the Butler LIVE on CH. 22 beginning at 6:30 pm
Once again this School Committee steps aside and allows the Supt. to “not allow School Committees to interfere with my work,”
If you recall the Supt. had released a budget schedule that called for it to be presented during April School Vacation with very little discussions to be held in view of the television cameras and public.
The School Committee led by Bob Gignac requested it to be changed so more meetings could be televised and viewed by the taxpayers. The Committee voted 6-0 in favor with Steve Gendron absent.
However the School Administration did not have the budget completed per that agreed to schedule and the Budget was presented at last week’s regular school committee meeting May 3rd.
No revised schedule was produced and shared with the public and once again it appears the School Committee ignores votes they take, they agree to hold meetings that are televised and available for the public but then allows the administration to do has they wish, to not have the budget completed in time and to NOT have these meetings televised for the public to be able to watch.
If you don’t check the School Dept. website and their calendar you would not know that tomorrow night is the final public meeting because the agenda calls for the adoption of the budget.
Tomorrow’s meeting isn’t televised and isn’t schedule for the Rogers School where meetings are usually held instead this is scheduled at the Butler School Auditorium.
The School Administration and Committee will allow a Connect ED call home about a Friends of Lowell High meeting but doesn’t do one to inform people about budget meetings and locations? Why not?
Possibly because like last year, this administration wants to keep their plans out of the public view.
Can you imagine what City Councilor’s, the Lowell Sun or Ted Panos would do to the City Manager if he did this type of schedule with the City budget? Yet no School Committee people or media other than this candidate is asking why the Administration is allowed to do this? Someone has make sure there is Taxpayer Accountability and budget/ operational transparency, that is the main reason I am running.
Last night there was a NON – televised Finance Sub-Committee meeting in City Hall held in the Mayor’s Reception Room on the agenda was the Transportation Bid and Review of the FY18 Budget. Since it wasn’t televised or reported on who knows what was discussed?
Tomorrow night since it is posted as a Public Session, there are 4 few questions I have that I’d like to see answered.
1) $2,421,220 has been added for a new Special Education Day School including rental cost ($152,000), equipment and staff: The $152,000 seems like a very specific number, so is the location already known to the Administration? Has an RFP been issued? Is it in Lowell? Does the “equipment” include, desk, chairs, Smart boards, etc? Are there lunch / recess facilities available? Are Transportation cost already added in?
2) Has the City agreed to the changes in Resources Officers and maintenance personal being paid by the city instead of the school dept? If not, are layoff notices being prepared? How is the administration planning to deal with the possible loss of 3 school Resource Officers and what schools would be affected?
3) Has the Administration reached a deal with the UTL and Local 888 to insure there will be no grievances filed against the School Administration after the Supt. and Asst. Supt. of finance admitted Local 888 was performing work outside of their specified contract?
4) With the real possibility of Chapt. 70 aid being reduced in the final budget, does the administration have a plan B and C in place to present to the School Committee to deal with potential reductions?