Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Council on School Committee

O'Brien cedes the chair to Lukes
"I'd like to start by..proposing an advisory question...having discussion in the community first"
don't use advisory questions enough
"clearly what the intent of this item is...putting an advisory question on the ballot"
apologize for not doing a better job of communicating with my colleagues
"how do we start a conversation in this community"
have abysmal voter turnout
"we have remarkably dedicated on the School Committee...care passionately about the city"

district system "has served this body well"
served as an intern in high school...more people into the process
"gets a lot more people to run for office"
large numbers is "good for democracy"
"we know that running for public office is very expensive"
opportunity to" touch every hand in district"
(and do you have any idea how much time that takes? And how are you going to get time off to do that?)
"to begin that discussion"
"the idea somehow that district councilors don't represent anyone other than their own"
Clancy, sidewalks making sure every district has "their fair share" (whether they need it or not)

"the idea that we can't ask for advice from the voters...a little stretch"
"you're elected..."
"if there's horse trading going on, it's going on at large, it's going on in district"
"if they really want to remove politics from the process, they should be standing up and asking for an advisory question on an appointed school committee" (except they're appointed by an elected mayor...)
"not every decision is a citywide decision"
North High School took thirty years to build (by the Council)

Clancy: advisory question on if they would like to consider the question
Legislature won't take the convince
The question is "do we want to generate more interest in the neighborhood arena" by serving as a local school committee member
"let's put the numbers out there"
"it does generate far more interest on a localized level"
"revisionism...there were those hacklers prior to 1977...end of Worcester politics as we know it..."
busiest and most vital subcommittees on this Council
district councilor...building of new Voke
lowest residential tax rate somehow comes from district councilors...
"that's not my decision..it's for the people of this city to decide..to move forward..if that's something they want to consider"

Haller: improvements in district 4
very hopeful that if we can move to district school committee

Germain: I did not know that the School Committee did not know: I apologize
"we don't have any control over that"
"letting the voters tell us if they want to change the composition of the School Committee"
he thinks the Council is too large
"guess what: they aren't going to be made...if they say no, you won't hear from me again about it"

Toomey: difficulties in running at large
"I was on the PTG, then I was on the site council, then I was on the CPPAC"
That is a great way to grow future School Committee members: "you grow up from within"
"when I found out that your colleagues had not been consulted, I felt they deserved an opportunity to speak"
not against discussions, against how this came to be
"the issue is that these are all all of our children"
"Frankly I wouldn't compare our school system to the city of Boston: they're not doing so hot"
should this go forward, should this go to charter discussion
"you include people along the way"
"I think that money would be better spent in the classroom, on the ground, in front of those children"
"it's not just about me"
"why did it have to come to this so close to the election? discussion with the people that this would impact?"
quadrant representation for non-voting membership, is her suggestion
colleagues not being part of the discussion

O'Brien: It's my responsibility to communicate with my colleagues, and I apologize for doing that

Eddy: Rushton said that Franklin and Jefferson were not on the charter commission
"No, they were not. Eleven elected members were on that charter commission, represented by the collective will of voters"
not the way to change government
"if you're going to have a discussion about charter, you can't be just a little bit pregnant"
"that's a great method of electing a mayor" (of having people withdraw)
"this charter is flawed in many ways... change happens from a groundswell of citizens"
will vote no on process
interesting dialogue to have

Lukes: Palmieri waiting to respond to her
"came out of the blue..."
district people living up to representing their districts, back to 70 and 80s
"an easier route to get elected to public office in this city"
should be directed to the governance in this school
"has to be some deficit" if we're going to change
"is this the way that we create new jobs at good wages?" add politicians?
politicians trying to correct
she cites O'Brien's inaugural speech on collaboration, shining stars
"just starting at the top...that is not what you do when you deal with a charter change"
You are sending a message to the city as a body that this is a legitimate question that ought to be take seriously.
repeats the mistakes that we have made in the past and we have not learned from them
"I have not heard anyone say that there is something wrong with the way that the School Committee does business, then this has no business being on the ballot"

Palmieri says he spoke to "several School Committee members"
(he spoke to me after it was on the agenda, when I asked him to)
"best city manager in the United States" so he wouldn't reopen the charter
and I'm running out of battery here, so I may disappear
"extraordinary stands in the past years...city has moved..progressively forward"
PTOs would play an enormous role: stronger role with district representation
and somehow we just got on the Asian Longhorned Beetle...
all the parks we've had to deal with over time
"And I really do applaud the mayor having the onions to do this"
"I don't see the reason to wait...hopeful that this will be a broadbased discussion..."
"Does anyone think that North would have been built without district councilors?"
and a district councilor was "brought in to sooth the egos" of those that opposed the building of the new vocational school
asks when they're going to replace the chicken wire over windows at Lakeview (well, when are you going replace them, Councilor? That's a capital expense, and thus a council vote.)

Petty: hopes that we'll get 25,000 voters in the fall
"no matter what you do, you have to go back to the voters"
see where it goes...have no problem with this, making this advisory

Toomey: nobody's talking to them
suggest that we send this to committee, have a joint meeting with the parents who are the stakeholders
"Let's include the School Committee"
MOTION TO REFER to subcommittee

refer: fails (3-8)
file: fails (1-10)
Clancy makes a motion to reconsider (so it can't come back): fails (2-9)
to put it on the ballot: (8-3)

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