I’ve said since June that the School Committee had a say in the location of a school site, I said that the BOND Law Firm letter confirmed that and I also correctly said that the MSBA would kick it back to the City to get our act TOGETHER!!!
A joint vote if everything stays the same and Gignac doesn’t again pull an abstain is 8 for the Downtown and 7 for Cawley and we are back in the same boat with infighting citywide.
A drawn out lawsuit by the School Committee versus the City doesn’t resolve anything, it just creates resentment and continues the divide.
If BOTH side are so sure they are correct and can make a case based on actual numbers and NOT scare tactics, especially about the present site which still has to stay open for at least 5 years even if the HS moves, then why not let the citizens of Lowell decide?
It is now time for the City Council AND School Committee to get TOGETHER and agree on Language that would ask voters two distinct and clearly defined questions about supporting a new Lowell High School. BOTH sides have to agree to the wording before the School Committee agrees top drop any potential lawsuit.
The City Manager also has to agree to put aside his loyalty as a politician to the 4 Councilors who were his base support to become the City Manager (Elliott – Mercier – Rourke – Belanger) and instead put the interest of the City first and provide real, un-compromised data.
Including traffic mitigation and busing is the cost for a Cawley Site an 8% or a 12% tax increase? Will the City need eminent domain for street widening?
Is keeping LHS where it is and going with OPTION 2 without any need for Eminent domain and no need for additional busing the most fiscal responsible option for the taxpayers of Lowell?
Keep the facts.. the facts, we don’t automatically go up on property tax 2.5% like we could because we know the residents cannot afford it. We know we have other Capital needs like firehouses, DPW center and a police station.
We know we “borrowed” two million dollars of reserves to fund the operational budget this year and we know we owe the School dept. another $250,000.00
We know the School Budget because of raises goes up minimally $3,000,000 next year before the additional busing or health cost are even figured in and there is still unsettled contracts and an unfair labor practise charge. We know several city contracts are up and we will have to fund those and next year we will need at least a 3% -4% tax increase just to fund the operational budgets.
Work out the Language so BOTH bodies agree to it and supply a REAL or as close to what you can get without the hyperboles or political BS, the estimated tax increase of both options and then put BOTH questions with that information to the people of this city to vote on.
EXAMPLE: Do you support a total renovation and addition to the current Lowell High School in Downtown Lowell at an estimated tax increase of 6.5%
Do you support building a NEW Lowell High School at Cawley Stadium at an estimated tax increase of 8.5%
You will all agree by doing so that the vote is binding and that whether it’s 70%/30% – 60 %/40% or 51% / 49% result that BOTH the School Committee and City Council will follow the will of the people and 100% support to fund and approve the site of a new High School based on what the people vote for.
It will be the only way to unite the City!