From today’s Sun
I was elected to advocate for all students and parents. Long before I decided to run for School Committee I was pointing out my concerns with the way the past Administration and School Committee were handling the Finances. I was opposed to giving Supt. Khelfoui a term defined contract based on his fiscal performance or lack of.
Why anyone would be surprised by the former Supt’s lack of fiscal leadership after what transpired in Winchendon and his selection of a Asst. Supt. for Finance who had no Massachusetts Municipal experience is beyond me.
The former Superintendent and his handpicked Finance guy, Didn’t Order 4 buses required for the split time at the STEM Academy to begin this school year and didn’t notify our Facilities Director of the need for a custodian at the “New Day School”
It is the Asst. Supt. of Finance and the Supt. who were paid handsomely to be responsible to know the regulations of what can and cannot be charged as direct and indirect cost for the revolving food service account Not Aramark and it was their responsibility to check with DESE if they are unsure. They DID NOT! Yet his supporters still try to place blame on anyone but the real people responsible.
Instead the former Administration decided on what would and would not be charged knowing Hoey – Decouteaux – Kennedy and Gendron would not ask anything and apparently hoped no audit would take place.
We have put procedures in place to ensure the Fiscal Malfeasance allowed by the former Mayor, Hoey and the other members who supported and hired Dr. K. and spoke on his behalf does not occur again and have come together as a School Committee to hire a new leader. We have confidence that the School System will get back on solid financial footing and moving in a positive educational direction under this new leadership.
The City Council and Manager have to play a cooperative role in this. The Manager has shown a willingness to do that with the submission of the Repair projects and working with both Jeanine Durkin, Billy Jo Turner and the new Supt. Boyd. Hopefully the Council will continue to approve the MSBA request without trying to overstate their commitment in funding. They are limited by their hesitation to raise taxes, That is understandable but frustrating when they try to mislead the actual dollars the school receives from the City.
If the Council doesn’t want criticism then don’t dish it out and don’t overstate financial truth.
The State not city pays for the education of Lowell students and many of the current council including former mayor Milinazzo have let buildings decay requiring the need for state assistance and remember Milinazzo contributed to driving out a good Superintendent when he was Mayor.
He should recall his his fellow Council members Elliott- Conway and Kennedy’s role in hiring and their support for a Superintendent who ruined this school system financially.