I want to again Thank the voters of Lowell and especially those who worked hard for the LHS Downtown movement. I was fortunate to meet many outstanding people like Penny Williams, Lynne Daily, The Potwins,the McAnespis, the Sheehy family, Patricia Noreau, Michelle Raymond, Tim Otis and reconnect with Jen Ryan, Corey Erickson and many others.
The work will begin in earnest for me in January, I hope to develop a working relationship with my fellow committee members and the Administration in order to make sure we have the best educational programs and safest, best building process possible.
I Thank Mr. Gendron and the other School Committee members for inviting Dominik Lay and myself to attend the remaining meetings, sitting in chambers alongside them so we are aware of what is currently going on (we still cannot vote until January) and look forward to beginning that next meeting November 15th.
BLOG / Facebook / WCAP
I’ve been asked What happens to your Blog? Facebook Page? and are you all done on Saturday Mornings?
I plan on keeping the blog but using it as a means to keep everyone informed on School related issues. Not just my motions but other motions and other items school related that I can share. Probably just on a weekly basis (Sunday’s) more if an issue or event breaks that requires addressing. I will create a new FB page tied to the Blog site in January.
I am in the process of deactivating / deleting my Facebook election page. I have a personal FB account for family and friends and will use the blog for outreach. My email is always available firstname.lastname@example.org
I can and will stay on Saturday Morning Live as long as Warren does and will have me. I’d only need to be off air 30 days before the next election. Sorry Asa – Marty – Sabrina and Leslie , you can all take turns filling in for me, but the full-time “regular contributor” seat remains mine until Warren or WCAP management boot me!
School Committee Meeting Review
Maybe having a meeting the week of the election was to stressful, especially after this election. Thursday’s meeting was disappointing.
One highlight was meeting the new Phys. Ed /Athletic Director Mr.David Lezenski and hearing about the impressive number of hours the athletic students give to community service.
The other highlight was hearing from Larry Finn representing the Lowell Firefighters and the great program they have providing winter coats to our students in need. Coats from Ann Above is the name of this 501C and gently worn or New coat donations to the group can be left at any fire station in Lowell. Financial contributions should be made to Coats from Ann Above, and can be delivered to any city fire station, the Lowell Firefighters’ Credit Union, or Enterprise Bank.
The call for Executive Session on the Spec. Ed busing should have in my opinion been challenged by a committee member. It wasn’t posted on the Agenda and if my reading of the 10 reasons allowed for Executive sessions is correct, this did not meet those guidelines. Nor was the reason clearly stated before entering into it.
Listening to someone character assassinate a former employee who was in my view an outstanding contributor to this school dept. was disheartening. The man had a heart wrenching story to share but it could have been done without the personal attack. I would have objected and ask the Mayor to request this man continue without attacking someone who was no longer employed with the School nor there to defend himself. Not 1 member did that including a family member.
That aside listening to the PrideStar presentation and the ability to offer parents, the individual Schools and the Administration the technology to track in real-time the location of the “bus / van” and when it will arrive to pick up or drop off, along with the ability to run the analytics to track on-time and route improvements seems like a no brainer.
Knowing a parent of a very Special needs student, they have shared their concern about on-time pickup and drop offs and the medical needs of their child and the ability of the drivers to deal with those. That wasn’t even a Lowell parent. The parent who spoke on Thursday spoke of these exact concerns.
If we as a school system can assist in any way to lower stress and worry even a little we should do so. The technology presented at Thursday’s meeting to me, was a huge plus and even at a slightly higher price than a larger more proven entity, this technology piece sold me on this company.
Not knowing why the City Solicitor wanted to “investigate” especially since she nor a representative of her office attended to provide clarity and why it appeared only the Mayor and Committeeman Descoteaux knew of something was troubling.
Communication MUST be the same to all members, whether that’s by the Mayor, Solicitor or School Superintendent.
What’s next for High School Project?
Since it was the MSBA that sent the issue back to the city, I believe the next step is for the City Manager or a vote of the Council to direct the Manager to contact the MSBA to find out the proper procedure to re-submit the PSR (Preferred Schematic Report). Since it is a 3,000 page document, it will take time to revise.
Dan Shanahan is not only a great person and candidate (with the best hair) but a class act. I had the good fortune to spend a few hours at the polls with Dan and his lovely wife and they were nothing but positive. Dan was the Only unsuccessful School Committee challenger to reach out to congratulate me and wish me well as I begin my time on the School Committee. Hopefully he and Lisa stay involved and he runs again.
Loss for the City
I said before I went off air for my election sabbatical that personally I hoped that Dan Rourke and Jim Leary would continue to serve Lowell. Even though we disagreed on the location of LHS, both of these gentlemen are great public servants and I was saddened to see them get defeated.
Jimmy and I did an hour the Saturday before the election trying to show you can disagree without being disagreeable. Jim and Danny care deeply for the city, served us well (both were great and helpful to Centralville where I live) and I hope both after unwinding from this long and difficult election, will come back and serve us again in 2 years.
While I am very happy for those who made it, in my view it is a loss to the city that Jim and Danny did not.