Once again, Carrie Kourkoumelis eloquently attempted to restore the people's right to be heard at School Committee meetings in Melrose on March 17th. What has been a disastrous couple of years for transparency, open and public deliberation, and civility for the school committee just got even worse, as Carrie K. attempted again to talk some sense into the school committee members, reminding them that they serve the people, and not their insular little club (of which Carrie K. is not a member). But alas, the entire school committee, except Carrie K. voted against your right to be heard at a relevant time (instead of at the end of the meeting)in what used to be a public forum to discuss your school matters.
Those voting NO to your voice being heard:
Mayor Robert Dolan
Thanks Carrie for speaking for up for the people of Melrose.
I love it when CK makes the rest of the school committee look like a foolish bunch of idiots. Watch it all unfold on MMTV March 17th, part II about 8 minutes and thirty seconds into the meeting. It is very sad to see Jessica Dugan sliding over to the dark side.
If people wanted to hear GM talk, they would have voted him onto the SC when they had a chance, but he came in last place. Perhaps if he didn't berate the SC on a biweekly basis, they wouldn't have made the change.
It must not be that important if these folks are not willing to participate during the allotted time.
Also, why do these CK followers feel that they need to lie by saying "votes against your voice being heard"? That is a lie. Nobody voted against anyone being heard!
Just out of curiosity, Well.....are you an idiot or just plain dumb? I hate to be so blunt but sometimes when people come to earth after being in outer space, you just need to call out their idioacy! Giving the public a voice AFTER an issue is talked about and then voted on...is not the same as giving the public the ability to impact the decision! Do you get that? Do you really understand that? Get out of your spaceship and learn what the issues are and understand the facts. Of course you actually may be the spouse of one of the school committee members in which case - stop trying to defend an indefensible position!
You know you've struck a nerve when MFD starts the "name calling".
"Well" is correct. There are only a handful of people with the conviction or guts to show up in person to a meeting. There should be overflow crowds if people really cared.
You want to explain to me why I would want to go in person, when I can watch the entire meeting from home, and there's no possibility of being able to even comment until the meeting is over? While you're at it, convince me that that is not exactly why they did it in the first place?
It is so wrong that the public comment period at the beginning of the meeting has been eliminated. By the time you get to the end of the meeting they are already shut down not listening and packing up. they may not want to listen to Jerry any more but this is so wrong.
And therein lies the motivation of certain school administrators, school committee members and their legal counsel to intimidate citizens into standing down. Periodically, Mikey, aka,Clowns, Vuvu (or whatever pen name he is using today) will dare the "haters" to stand up and be counted at school committee meetings or to expose themselves by filing formal grievances. And that is exactly what they want; so they can identify these people and start attacking them. Just ask Carrie or Gerry what has happened to them.
"Boy of boy"?
Mikey, you really don't know how to express yourself!
Brigid, you should be reining in your boys there!
Boy oh Boy. Why is it that anytime one of you Myronites gets embarrassed on this board, you immediately assume it has to have come from City Hall and then the name guessing game begins?
Mr. Observer: Paranoia is defined as an UNWARRANTED tendency to interpret the actions of a person as deliberately threatening or demeaning. However, in this, case, people have good reason to be concerned about retaliation by this administration, as this activity has been well documented.
Now, be a good foot soldier and go report back to RD that this topic has now exceeded of 1000 views in less than two weeks and that you are quite certain that MFD and his two friends are responsible for all these views.
Tuesday the 28th is the pretend Budget "Hearing" at which one informed voice will come forward about the proposed "growth budget." He will be predictably shut down in contemptuous fashion by Driscoll (sooner than 5 minutes typically). Maybe a few of the MEF shrews will come stridently whining about the urgent need for elementary Library Media Specialists (reading off the talking points given to her by Driscoll, Dugan, gagliono, grover, et al), though the "growth budget" already includes their wish for at least one of these positions. Possibly there will be a roomful of anxious kindergarten parents reading their Dugan talking points about the "emergency" in kindergarten enrollment and the need for a 2nd added classroom. Maybe some naive SPED parents will ramble unwisely about their own children's special needs and tie this to why more "inclusion" and other kinds of specialists must be hired. Then there will be some fake "discussion" and the mayor will bloviate for as long and as many times as he thinks he can get away with in order to have the first, middle, and last words on why Taymore's budget is $1,700,000 too much because of the "historic" snow, the "incredible" audacity of the governor to cut education funds, contrasted with his "extraordinary" prowess at managing the city ("through the worst financial times since the Great Depression") for the last dozen years.... Then a vote with a preordained deal will occur.
This is an opportunity for Melrose taxpayers to weigh in, whether Driscoll or her gang likes it or not. In neighboring communities there would be a lineup for the entire evening of people coming to have their say. How about it Melrose? At a minimum showing up could provide some balance to contrast all those sycophants.
and how many names do you have?
Sadly, KT has made it quite clear by her abuse of G Mroz on local cable, and the ever more restrictive open comment period (now relegated to the final minutes of the meetings, rendering it useless) that the tapayer's attendance or comments are not appreciated. Mission accomplished KT.
"Then a vote with a preordained deal will occur"
People need to show up and throw some wrenches in the works! Even if they have already decided how they're voting, public pressure speaks loudly.
Not when it is AFTER the vote. Probably the only School Committee in the State of Massachusetts where comment period is at the END of the meeting, after SC deliberations and after votes taken, making the people's voice irrelevant, just the way they want it. Thanks Kristin, Rob, Margaret, Don, Christine and Jessica, for stuffing a sock in the mouth of the citizens of Melrose.
Nothing getting done on MM as usual. Same clowns, same message. Maybe you guys can petition to have a smart board installed in the SC chamber and every week an anonymous person covered from head to toe can go to a meeting, pull up Melrose Messages, and read all of these insightful comments to the committee...or you could grow a pair and actually go to a meeting. Big election coming up. Here is your chance.
Shut up Vuvu.
Its hit all time rock bottom for the Melrose Messages Clown patrol when they start quoting Nelson Mandela...the guy gave up everything for what he believed in...you clowns can't even go to a public meeting. Gimme a break.
Whose the clown?. Going to SC "public" meetings (I use the term loosely) that are no longer for the public anymore is now a useless exercise in Melrose, just the way KT and RD wanted it. You appear to be quite happy with that.
Clown 2, you're a legend in your own mind. Don't fool yourself, The Dolan Administration needs no help. Dolan is firmly in control of this community and your crowd doesn't have the stones to challenge him, or any member of the school committee or board of alderman publicly. The only people getting wound up are the whiners. This websites sole purpose if for the cowards to anonymously attack City employees, alderman, SC members and the school system. Its used by those too weak to take a public stand at a meeting, never mind an election. You and your crowd are a pack of mewling cowards.
Mewling Cowards, all of you.
Name calling doesn't bother me, only adds to my enjoyment.
So what about the new business of Public Comment at the end of meetings instead of beginning, with the requirement to write in questions to the superintendent? This is discriminatory for anyone with a disability who might not be able to write in or who can't wait until 10:00 p.m. to come before the committee. A citizen should be able to walk into THEIR public meeting and be treated with courtesy and have their chance to speak BEFORE deliberation occurs and votes are taken.
Email the entire committee at firstname.lastname@example.org .
casatelli-pic Christine Casatelli
ADDRESS: 18 Linden Road
LENGTH OF RESIDENCY: Since 1995
PROFESSION: Manager of The Boston Globe’s News in Education program
TERM INFORMATION: First elected in November 2001. Elected Chairwoman of the Melrose School Committee in January 2006 and January 2009. Vice Chairwoman of the Melrose School Committee in 2004. Chairwoman of the Finance and Facilities Subcommittee in 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2010. Chairwoman of the Educational Programs and Personnel Subcommittee in 2012.
PERSONAL GOAL AS A MEMBER OF THE SCHOOL COMMITTEE: By improving the way we use technology, we can address many challenges in our school system. Technology can help us automate some of our labor-intensive processes. Technology can help the Melrose School Committee and school administrators communicate better with families. Finally, curriculum that makes use of instructional technology is essential to prepare Melrose graduates for college and beyond. I will continue to work with technology experts in our community as well as the superintendent, the city’s chief information officer and the mayor to find more ways to integrate technology into our public schools so that our students will be well prepared for the world’s digital economy.
MAIN INTERESTS: I love spending time with my children, who are enrolled at Melrose High School, Melrose Veterans Memorial Middle School and the Roosevelt School. Watching them grow is what motivates me to make Melrose Public Schools the best they can be.
ADDRESS: 63 Malvern Street
LENGTH OF RESIDENCY: 44 years
PROFESSION: Continuous Process Improvement Expert at the Raytheon Company.
TERM INFORMATION: Fourth term on the School Committee. Served as Chair of the School Committee in 2004. Also have served as School Committee Vice-Chair and Chair of the Educational Programs & Personnel Subcommittee
PERSONAL GOAL AS A MEMBER OF THE SCHOOL COMMITTEE: 1. Help to unlock the full potential of our city, staff, and students to keep Melrose a great place to learn, work, and live. 2. Ensure no one feels excluded from the management and oversight of the Melrose Public Schools.
OTHER INTERESTS: The study of particle board physics, fractal proliferation, and imaginary number applications in reality TV.
Mayor Robert Dolan
ADDRESS: 14 Heywood Ave
LENGTH OF RESIDENCY: 37 years
TERM INFORMATION: Term ends January 2012
PERSONAL GOAL AS A MEMBER OF THE SCHOOL COMMITTEE: To work in partnership with parents, students, educators, administrators and the entire community to help develop our children to reach all of their educational goals and become well rounded and responsible adults. Educate all residents about the importance of supporting our public schools.
OTHER INTERESTS: Do I have time? First and foremost to be a good dad and husband.
ADDRESS: 49 Boston Rock Road
LENGTH OF RESIDENCY: Since 1993
PROFESSION: School advocate and former manager in the computer industry.
TERM INFORMATION: First Term started January, 2008; Elected Chairman of the Melrose School Committee in January 2010.
PERSONAL GOAL AS A MEMBER OF THE SCHOOL COMMITTEE: To make educating our students to the very best of our ability the beacon which guides every decision I make as a member of the Melrose School Committee.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO ADVOCATE FOR HIGH-QUALITY EDUCATION IN MELROSE?: It is a privilege and a responsibility for each of us, whether or not we currently have children in school, to help our students reach the highest educational standards that their personal gifts and talents allow. They are our future – not only will they govern us, but they’ll be designing our roads and bridges, delivering our healthcare, and protecting our environment. By supporting education (whether it’s volunteering time, talent, or treasure; asking the hard questions about local school finance and policy; or advocating for quality education at the state or federal level that will ultimately trickle down to us) we support a community that encourages thoughtful dialogue, meaningful effort, and quantifiable results, for the benefit of every citizen.
ADDRESS: 28 Cargill Street
LENGTH OF RESIDENCY: Since 2002
PROFESSION: Concert harpist, Teacher, Publications Consultant, Community Arts Advocate
TERM INFORMATION: January 2010 – January 2014
PERSONAL GOAL AS A MEMBER OF THE SCHOOL COMMITTEE: I believe that Melrose needs a comprehensive vision so that it can deliver quality education to all students, encompassing the curriculum that students and families in Melrose have the right to expect. Melrose can effectively tailor a quality education to the needs of all students using the excellent resources it already has. To achieve this with measurable gains in student achievement, district administration must reframe its budget priorities to concentrate resources on students and teachers. Remaining mindful of fiscal responsibility, creative solutions are key to improving quality without driving up costs. I believe we can address what’s wrong and celebrate what’s right by putting the public on our team and communicating more effectively with them and by honoring my campaign pledge to insist on transparency. I see this as a necessary first step in building better bridges with parents, teachers, and our community so that a deep and trusting collaboration will lead to top-level student achievement across the district and help the system weather the extreme budget crisis while aiming for quality throughout.
My vision for the Melrose Schools centers on helping our future citizens to be literate, independent, inquisitive, responsible, hard-working, well-rounded, and competent contributors to a global society.
OTHER INTERESTS: MHS Cross Country and Track, Melrose Symphony, MHS GAAProgram, MHS–Anshan partnership, patient/elder advocacy, arts advocacy, New England Conservatory, Boston Ballet, The American Harp Foundation
ADDRESS: 77 Wentworth Road
LENGTH OF RESIDENCY: Since 1991
PROFESSION: Software Development
TERM INFORMATION: Appointed Dec 2004.
PERSONAL GOAL AS A MEMBER OF THE SCHOOL COMMITTEE: My goal on the committee is to continue to increase the effectiveness of our communication. This takes many forms, such as better online information, more timely information, and better response time to questions. It is, and will continue to be, an ongoing process.
ADDRESS: 164 East Foster Street
LENGTH OF RESIDENCY: Since 2002
PROFESSION: Program Director at Crossroads for Kids, a nonprofit youth development organization
TERM INFORMATION: January 2014 to January 2018
PERSONAL GOAL AS A MEMBER OF THE SCHOOL COMMITTEE: My goal as a member of the Melrose School Committee is to engage our community in a shared vision of success for our school district and to ensure policies and resources are structured and available to realize it.
OTHER INTERESTS: Spending time with my family and friends. Cheering on my kids in school, sports, and life. Reading children’s books. Sitting around a campfire.
Melrose School Committee Overarching Goals
Meet the Committee
Agendas, Minutes And Current Documents
District Policy Manual
IQM2 Meeting Portal
To previous poster: Okay, we get it, you know how to cut and paste. Now it's time to stop. This isn't helping. We know there are lots of bad things happening and there are people in power trying to hide lots of things so that they can manipulate residents into doing and voting the way they want. But this kind of cutting and pasting activity is what got you shut down from that ridiculous many-page posting where you did this for years and then used up the server space, annoying the owner of the site until he finally had the page eliminated because it was costing him money and all of us a lot of pointless aggravation. Please don't do that again. Post what you have to say, but please no more of this cutting and pasting of basic information that any of us can find. Fine to cut and paste something small if it's relevant to what you want to say, but this kind of posting isn't helpful.
I concur. Thank you.
So what about the new business of Public Comment at the end of meetings instead of beginning, with the requirement to write in questions to the superintendent? This is discriminatory for anyone with a disability who might not be able to write in or who can't wait until 10:00 p.m. to come before the committee. A citizen should be able to walk into THEIR public meeting and be treated with courtesy and have their chance to speak BEFORE deliberation occurs and votes are taken. This whole thing smells, and the stink goes right back to that contemptuous committee. They'd rather spend a few teachers' salaries (or more--how would anyone know?) in paying attorneys to give them the atrociously bad advice they've obviously been given that everything they do is hunky-dory, only to have it all come flying back eventually that they were dead wrong, but instead of changing their ways, they only find worse ways of dissing the public.
That was their whole idea. Make it almost impossible for you to speak at "public comment" period. They know you will be dealing with getting kids ready for bed. They also know that your comments are irrelevant at the end of the meeting. Its nice to complain and all, but it may be time to get a School committee who understand the word transparency, that they serve for the citizens of Melrose and that it shouldn't take repeated Open Meeting Law complaints to the Attorney General's office to find out what they are required to disclose to us in the first place. It is just not right to be sneaking around hiding major issues that affect the taxpayer's pocket book.
Interesting that K Thorpe as SC chair waived Public Comment rules for Ms. Grover, permitting her to make personal attacks against a school committee member as well as our fellow Melrose neighbors. No sirree, we don't have ethics issues here in Melrose City government....
This is all about manipulating the public perception of the budget process and those engineering it, not only for the Override, but for their general glorification.
"Interesting that the public comment was "allowed" at the beginning of the meeting for Martha. Is this now permanent? Or will it be put back until the end of the meeting once the propaganda machine manipulates the lauded "budget" process?"
That was scheduled at the beginning for that one designated Budget meeting as the "Public Hearing" and then curiously, Margaret Driscoll announced at the end of the meeting that this Tuesday's Public comment will also be moved to the beginning, before the committee deliberates and casts its final votes. What a concept: allowing the public to weigh in BEFORE votes are taken! But when CK made motions to open Public Participation before deliberation and votes in these past few "budget" meetings, none of them even had the simple politeness or decency to second the motion, even for purposes of discussion (because common civility is apparently too much to ask of them!!!!!). DISGUSTING!
This is all willy-nilly capriciously being done by Thorp and Driscoll, manipulating when the public can say a thing or two and when the Enforcers definitely want to keep the public completely at bay. The rest of them (especially RD but except CK) are fully complicit and rubber-stamp anything KT and MD want. Why MD was allowed to move public comment to the end of ANY Budget meeting should have been protested right from the start of this "exemplary" process, if any of them actually intended to honor the public's rights to be involved in their own view and management of tax dollars, that is. Don't forget how CC and MD snarled and whined last winter when CK as Finance Chair allowed members of the public to speak and even interact with the whole committee in Real Time during budget presentations and deliberations (without some prescreening/censoring by the chair and super). They all wanted to make sure no such travesty occurred again this year because of course they felt it did such great damage to the community's fibers to have random members of the public able to interact directly with the committee and keep it in the chamber an extra ten minutes per meeting.
This is about OUR MONEY. Gerry is right. They have "slush funds"--Revolving/Sped/Transportation/Wages (or at least they did, since maybe this is about them using up those piles of tax dollars on their politically expedient causes and now running scared). They are not telling us what they have or what they're spending, except in the purposeful and incompetent ways we can see (like those amateur-hour budget documents). It's not surprising that they don't want uncontrolled, unmanaged, unscripted questions or comments from the public. If they didn't have anything to hide and if they actually cared about representing us, we would and should have free access. That they spend so much time and energy keeping us at bay tells it all. They will call forth their pitbulls to unleash on anyone who challenges them. They will call forth every naive parent who wants to do the right thing but doesn't know anything about the hidden agenda and therefore can be easily manipulated. And the rest of us be da**ed.
I finally read all of these threads and I have to say, you are all being much meaner than anything that MG said during public comments. Re-read what you wrote and realize that it is all overboard. The personal insults added to the crazy backlash are very mean girl (and boy). If you want to talk about policy that is one thing, but the personal insults are another.
Dear "Just Read All of This"....please return to your basement room in your monm's house and let the grown-ups have their conversations!The "real" world seems to be too much for you!