New VAN but No Production Studio Staff ? Supt./Manager have communication issues.

In April of this year the City Council approved the following vote.

Transfer $156,435 from the PEG Cable Access Fund to the City Manager’s Cable Access Budget. The funds will be utilized to complete a project that began in 2015 when the City purchased a large, special purpose van.

The van is intended to be used as completely outfitted mobile production studio as a part of the curriculum of the Colleen Creegan Media Studio Program at Lowell High School

In May the School Committee was given the following Information:

Mayor Samaras then asked the Superintendent to address the Committee about the recent meeting that was held between the Superintendent and the City Manager. The Superintendent stated that the City Manager has agreed to eliminate the water and sewerage charge to the School Department and that will result in approximately $250,000 being return to the school department.The City Manager also agreed to transfer the Comcast (PEG) funding to the school department and that will amount to $250,000

Based on that information the School Committee approved the positions budgeted for the Television studio.

Later in May the City Council passed the budget that featured the following line item:

So there seems to be some confusion regarding how much money the School Dept. was going to be receiving from the Comcast PEG Account. The Mayor and Superintendent thought is was $250,00…the City claims in the budget the request was only for $216,813 but they still only funded $108,145.00

The end results is as of Thursday June 21st, 2 of the 3 staff members including a 25 year employee were told they were being laid off effective June 30th because the City didn’t provide the money to fund their positions.

This isn’t a good sign of communication between the Superintendent and City Manager being any better than the communication was between Manager Murphy and the Superintendent. Someone is being less than forthright and because of that 2 employees have been told they have no jobs after watching the School Committee supposedly vote to save their jobs.

It will be nice to have that van but unfortunate to not have anyone to run it or produce CH. 22 education TV.

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