Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Council comments on transfer

O'Brien, thanks the Mayor, the Manager, Councilor Eddy "real support for public education"
First time "in four years, it may be five"
"important moment for me as we're making a real strong commitment to public education"
this is operational but "important investments in technology and school facilities, in partnership with our friends in state government...very important investments"

Eddy, echo O'Brien "this doesn't happen...happy to make this motion..working together with the superintendent"
"certainly not where we want to end"
talking to people "on the west side and on the southwest side of the city...safety, service, and schools"
middle class

Economou thanks Mayor, Manager
"the number one thing I hear going door to door"
strong education base "everything else will follow"
look forward to working further in the years to come

Rushton "this is the starting point to increase the funding of our schools"
national award winning schools
"over 500 new children came in...people are opting in not opting out of our school system"

Palmieri: "echoing my colleagues is one thing; the results are another"
"what a great education means to each  child...not only for better students, but...prime mover for economic development"
continue to help and assist schools, school department, teachers, and students
"can't think of a better place to invest at this time"

Lukes: "wonder what kind of a message we are sending...only so many dollars to go around...are we robbing Peter to pay Paul?"
free cash "very low this year"
runs numbers which appear to miss that Chapter 70 funds come through the city from the state...
"how much had you originally set aside in your plan to pay for these fixed costs?"
CM O'Brien "I'm not sure I understand the question..."thanks Mayor and Superintendent
NSS "a goal, symbolic"
move money from the contingency "one time money" to school salaries to lower class sizes
$40,000 delta that we had to achieve to get to net school spending
"stuck to that commitment to get to $172,000 'though the need was $40,000"
"we are going to have to begin to make some difficult decisions"
lists schools then public safety, parks
"a step, a symbolic step...we've got work ahead"
"I'm not being optimistic"
"had planned to put $5 million aside for OPEB..and we didn't get to a conclusion on the schools contribution and if it would count towards net school spending"
"defying the statistics across the country"
"long term strategic move now instead of in ten years"
deposits into OPEB
Lukes "likely that we're going in the same direction as other cities and not funding our OPEB and our pension liabilities, then?"
O'Brien: "just the opposite"
Lukes "when we keep taking money out and there's only so much money to go around"

Toomey "incredibly important in a community like ours to fund education"
"came from the bright side over there, in the Worcester Public Schools"
leadership, careful accounting
"incredibly important that folks don't look at this in a negative way, but as an economic vehicle"

O'Brien (for a second time): "it's a good thing (not a bad thing) that we've worked together to close that deficit"
"making smart investments in school infrastructure"

Petty: report on for Thursday night for exactly how the money is being expended

Roll call: unanimously passes

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