If you didn't see last night's meeting, don't go by the T&G report; give Worcester Magazine a read for interplay and what actually happened during the recess; you might also read Nicole on the questions this raises on open government..There's also a follow-up just now on the T&G site around the comments Councilors made on the possible school audit.
There are a few things that need clarifying:
In the several calls for an audit last night, the city auditor was cited as being an "independent third party." The City Auditor is "independent" specifically of the City Manager. He is hired (as was evidenced last week in his contract renewal) by the City Council; he thus is independent of the executive branch, but answerable to the Legislative branch. This does not make him a "third party" in any meaningful sense of the word.
There seems to be a notion being bandied about that somehow this "operational audit" is going to answer once and for all the question of if the schools are being properly funded. This is not actually an open question. There is an agency tasked with just this question, and they answered that question (again) yesterday. Under Chapter 70 of the Massachusetts General Laws, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has found that the City of Worcester for FY13 is $945,650 under required local contribution. After last night's votes, that number is now $417,123.
more to come...