When the School Committee does go to Court against the City, then they should do what the Spinners, Dentist and the Dorm developers did and hire an attorney with a municipal background and experience.
Atty. Bill Martin and Steve Panagiotakos both come to mind, Brian Leahey or Brian Akashian who both have municipal experience would be great representatives. Mirick O’Connell are a well respected law firm with plenty of municipal experience so is Atty. Richard Long. George Ramierez would be an interesting choice based on his municipal and state experience but he doesn’t have a history of municipal work so I’m not sure if he would be willing to take this but I’d least ask!
If you are going to go for it, go with the attitude you need to win and in this case you do. Hire the experienced people who understand the work that is required of a School Committee and an attorney who understands municipal government and how the city has lawyers who will tell them what they want to hear but may lose when faced with a knowledgable opponent like the once I mentioned above. Since Mike Gallagher is involved with the Save Lowell High project I purposely left him off the list otherwise he would be included. I don’t think he would take this on at this point because of his existing involvement.
If this School Committee doesn’t want to stand up for themselves, what about for the memory and service of those that have gone before them?
Clemmy McDonough – Kathryn Stoklosa – George Kouloheras – Dan Kane are names that come to mind for outstanding service as Lowell School Committee members. Service to the point that these people all have portions of schools or schools named in their honor.
Kay Martin – Jim McMahon- Joe Abrams – Wayne Peters -Gerry Durkin -George O’Hare – Billy Kirwin – Dr. Mary Anna Sullivan – Steven C. Panagiotakos – Tim Golden -Ray Riddick Jr. – Regina Faticanti -Michael Gallagher -Joe Mendonca and Bill Taupier are more members who served the students and families of Lowell over the years with great distinction and who fought for what they believed in.
They stood up for the rights and responsibilities of the School Committee and a School Committee member and so should this current School Committee. This isn’t the time to abstain or refuse to support your elected position or not take a position at all.
Jackie Doherty’s and Connie Martin’s motion should be passed and passed unanimously.
What about those who are willing to serve now and in the future? They need a clear understanding of what the duties and responsibilities are. They have become very questionable and unclear over the last few years.
It is about time this Committee takes a stand and gets a clear ruling on their rights and responsibilities not just on the school location but on declaring an open school surplus or a councilor trying to dictate busing policy.
The next committee needs to know exactly what their roles involve and since the City and Manager have infringed on it without much resistance, it is time to now take a stand and defend your elected position.
Are you content to be elected to yes everything and everyone and take your raise to sit on your hands?
I won’t be!