In 2016 according to the City Outside Auditors Powers and Sullivan:
“The School Department transferred approximately $1.0 million from the Milk and Lunch revolving fund to account for indirect charges originally charged to the general fund budget. Normally any indirect charge transfers anticipated are incorporated as part of the formal budget process. This gives the City Council all necessary information to make an informed decision regarding the approval of appropriations.
Powers and Sullivan- We have concluded that School management intentionally withheld food service and general fund invoices during 2018 with the intent to charge the expenditures to the 2019 budget.
While Educationally Dr. K had some great visions and did accomplish some good things like enrolling in CEP that provides free breakfast and lunch to all students and getting a day school open, like his time in Winchendon he had no financial understanding nor ability to control finances in the school dept.
His defenders like Bob Hoey, Dominick Lay, Andy Decouteaux, Paul Georges, Ed Kennedy, Bob Gignac, Dave Conway and others should be more concerned than me. I’ll voluntarily give up my phone and email , I’ve got nothing to hide ! There is no conspiracy on my part ! Will they want to answer questions about Cheer-leading coaches and ignored messages about fiscal concerns, HR hires, contract items, interfering in negotiating a buyout after the Supt. was placed on Admin. leave, calls to people after Executive sessions…. Do they want to answer?
If this rattling was intended to cause an election issue…bring it forward..We just went through a terrible fiscal year because of the fiscal mismanagement… we owe the state $2,000,000 for misuse of Food Service funds and I am in position of a DESE Opinion that solidifies my statement about the former Supt. submitting a budget without a School Committee vote.
When you add in the fact that this Supt. did not inform the last School Committee that they could not submit a budget higher than what the City Council has approved but in fact on June 21st 2017,the Superintendents office submitted a budget without a vote of the School Committee to match what the City Council had approved without ever informing the past or present school committee. It’s clear there is Insubordination !
If Ben Opara and Jim Peters want to defend that fiscal mismanagement and insubordination to the school committee let them. They both spoke on his behalf without reaching out to a school committee person to gain facts and real information…we don’t need another committee member willing to do that…1 in Mr. Lay is enough! Ask any privater sector employee what happens when we willingly provide false information to our boss has Supt. K did when he gave myself and Mr. Lay a copy of the budget the school committee approved at $600,000 higher than the Council approved even after DR. K submitted a budget for $600,000 less…apparently Mr. Lay is fine with being given false information, I am not.
I disagree 85% of the time with Bob Hoey and the amount of misinformation he spews for his on political jollies but for a change I hope Bob Hoey was correct back in July when we placed the Superintendent on administrative leave.
When Hoey shamelessly pandered to the UTL Leadership and a few parents, stating there’s an election coming up and “they’ll be changes made” “People will remember next November” …I was thinking “What a Fool he is and sounds like”. (Since that night it’s been a reoccurring thought when listening to him on occasion)
Today I pray for the sake of the City and Lowell School System and especially for our students and staff that for once in his political life this mighty mouth of misinformation is correct! I hope the voters see the Irony of Conway and Scott contributing to getting rid of Jean Franco and Jay Lang while supporting an administration that has gutted the financial budget this year and for the next few years
I hope voters took note on every vote against Jeannie Durkin’s administration and attempts to fix the fiscal mess by Bob Hoey and sadly to my great disappointment Dominic Lay who instead of choosing what’s best for our current students and staff choose to blindly support the past , telling the present staff and students “our loyalty is with the past administration”
During this unfortunate process there has been the very very small handful of the former Superintendents supporters waging a misinformation campaign including the UTL Leadership along with Hoey and Dominic Lay who inexplicably seem to care more about one man than 14,000 plus students who suffered and will continue to suffer because of this financial mess
The Sun has been proven correct about the UTL LEADERSHIP (not the rank and file members) it’s Not and Never has been about the students, for the Union Leadership it’s about the money and the man who gave it! To hell with the kids!
I’ve also seen City Council political interference. . one inexperienced Councilor wanting to draft a letter in support of the Superintendent falsely claiming a majority of Councilors supported the Superintendent which is a total fabrication and worse of all according to political insiders , a City Councilor more interested in getting a friend a principal-ship than looking at the truth. Even inviting the former Superintendent to a joint meeting for show. The frequent joint subcommittee meetings chaired by a person who hired the former superintendent and has tried to place the financial situation on a UTL contract rather than the actual facts that accounts were improperly charged. The ugly side of Lowell Politics to be sure.
I stated my concerns about the finances when I ran for this office and since being elected an issue that Bob Hoey kept reminding me about during the election season. Hoey repeatedly told me that
the Superintendent and Gary don’t want you on the committee, you ask to many questions
The night we voted to place the Superintendent on Administrative leave, I explained in details my reasons and showed evidence supporting my stance here on this blog. In my opinion what had happened in Winchendon was happening here in Lowell and my vote was to stop that.
My hope is the voters of Lowell do remember ..remember who hired that Superintendent Dave Conway – Kim Scott- Rodney Elliot and Kristen Ross Sitawich.
I hope they remember Ed Kennedy – Bob Hoey – Andy Decouteaux – Bob Gignac and Steve Gendron who not only gave him a contract but who didn’t do their jobs by voting on a budget and didn’t follow up Powers and Sullivan’s warning about a million dollars in questionable transfers and allowed the Food Service issue to get to where it is.
I want to recognize and Thank the LSAA and Clerical Union Presidents and members, the OVERWHELMING MAJORITY of the School Dept. Staff, especially the UTL members (Teachers and Para’s), Principals, Asst. Principals, Guidance Counselors, Social Workers , Dept. Heads, Food Service workers, Library Aides, Custodial, Security and Clerical staff, who stayed home July 18th , showing in my view their support for the right of the Lowell School Committee to do their job, the job they were elected to do by the voters of Lowell, the job the Education Reform Act clearly spells out belongs to them when it comes to dealing with the Superintendent and who have since that night shown more concern over the financial mess and the negative effects on students than concern about the Superintendents status unlike the UTL leadership who continue to show an unexplainable concern and support for one man than any concern for the thousands of students or their own union members who have been negatively affected by the fiscal chaos
According to the Dept. of Education – City of Lowell District Profile we had 14,436 Students in the system during the 2017/2018 school year translating to somewhere between 6,000 -7,000 families.
Based on those numbers less than 1% of registered families came out to speak to support the former Superintendent .
So my view on this threat is simple…I tried to handle the situation with some form of respect for Dr. K, voting to NOT release the letter because in my view since no additional payment was made, just like when other employees are dismissed it should be handled as a personal matter.
If he wants a fight..and all facts to come out..I’ll vote to release the letter this week and respond to any newspaper and television questions..let’s go to trial!
WE have the “just cause” I was crystal clear about July 18th! Only it turned out the finances were 100% worse than even I imagined!