A few weeks ago School Committee member Bob Hoey brought forward this motion
03/27/20 By Bob Hoey: Superintendent To Review With Solicitor The School Committee’s Authority To Vote On Paying Transportation Providers And Other Venders When Services Could Not Be Performed Because Of COVID-19 Closure Of Schools.
The response to that inquiry was pretty clear in my view –
We have received legal guidance on whether the Governor’s emergency orders to municipalities granted any flexibility to the School Committee to make payments when services where not rendered due to the COVID-19 closure of school.
The School Committee’s authority continues to be limited by the Lowell Code of Ordinances, Sec 28-7; supporting case law; and the Contracts themselves. The City Auditor’s approval is also needed for any payment and such must be made “in accordance with the terms of the contract” (Lowell Code of Ordinances, 28-7).
This issue has come up in many communities and the answers that I’ve read are always the same, you cannot pay for services that have not been performed and given the financial state of the city and state why would you want to unless you’re going to try to spin it that your intentions are helping an ”important” or “small business” in this city or a friend? The City Manager was clear on WCAP yesterday per the City Ordinance you cannot pay for services that have not been performed
What set me off on this rant? A motion that’s on this week’s agenda, that’s not even in anyway presented in an attempt to cover up the fact that this councilor seems to be trying to help one specific local businessman.
C. Conway – Req. City Mgr. Meet With Law Department For The Purpose Of Exploring And Resolving The Outstanding Contractual Issues Regarding Van/Mini-Bus Transportation Of Special Education Students For The Lowell Public Schools.
To be clear I think the company that is performing special Ed transportation and using vans is doing an excellent job ..my last year in office we heard almost no complaints about this company. I feel badly that this along with many other companies are being negatively affected during this crisis. I can relate , the company that I work for has lost 60 to 65% of our business because of this virus, not any training or marketing shows going on, sadly in Marlboro I don’t have a city councilor trying to bail me out.
There is no Outstanding Contractual Issue…the law and city ordinance are very clear! you cannot pay for services that have not been performed
What part of that does a City Councilor with easy access to a few lawyers that he often talks about not understand?
misc observation and thoughts….
So far only Lisa Arnold and Vanna Howard are confirmed by the states OCPF website as registered challengers to State Rep. Dave Nangle.
I can’t help but wonder what long term political grudges will result from the addition of Howard with the seemingly support of the Tsongas / Martin teams?
My personal view is this is just the next phrase of the changing landscape of Lowell Politics !
I have no doubt that most of the teachers and paras who work directly with the students of Lowell are doing their best under extraordinary conditions that no one foresaw. They are doing the BEST they Can and for THEM it’s about the students.
IF and right now it’s unknown and uncertain but If the state’s finances are as grim has predicted would the rank and file agree to leaving the contract frozen for 1 year, which would give up step increases that in Lowell accounts for almost a five million dollar increase to avoid layoffs of teachers and Para’s?
I have Zero belief that Paul Georges and his other Union leaders would! It’s hardly ever ABOUT the KIDS for UNION LEADERSHIP! It’s ALWAYS About the MONEY!