I’m hearing that one of the most well respected companies and Bond Counsels used by the city and many municipalities when issuing bonds, may have given an opinion or expressed some concern regarding MA. State Law Chapt. 43, Section 34 (Bold Mine)
Did they say that in their view the first line of that Chapter “No site for a school building shall be acquired by the city unless the approval of the site by the school committee is first obtained” doesn’t apply because the City already owns the Stadium location so there is nothing being acquired that would need the School Committee’s approval?
Some may take it to mean that the City owns the site so it’s up to the Council but you can read it and interpret it depending on your choice for the new High School.
However in their view the following does apply:
No plans for the construction of or alterations in a school building shall be accepted, and no work shall be begun on the construction or alteration of a school building,unless with the approval of the school committee and the mayor under Plan A, B, C or F or the approval of the school committee and the city manager under Plan D or E
They seem to be saying the School Committee needs to vote on authorizing the Construction of a School Building BEFORE they can or would issue bonds to fund it?
To me Authorization the Construction would include the location since if they don’t authorize the construction that would void the location. According to this well respected Law Firm / Bond Counsels the School Committee needs to vote on this.
In my view this strengthens the argument that the School Committee needs to seek a judgement to get a definite answer. The cost is minimal and under the law the School Committee has the right to hire there own lawyer but people don’t seem to care what the law allows if they disagree with the people seeking the answer.
Perhaps we will find out in the next few days or at the next City Council meeting exactly what this well respected legal firm and bonding counsel stated in their letter regardless of who asked for the opinion but in my view it adds to my belief that the School Committee needs to have their rights and responsibilities clearly defined.