Here are the most essential links that explain why my family will be voting No to the Override which translates to Yes for our Community! Melrose used to be a place we were proud of. Let's make it so again!
September 8 School Committee meeting
If anyone wants to know why they should not vote for the override or for any incumbent supporting it, this video says it all. The blatant ignorance combined with the audacity of the untrue statements is quite remarkable, even for Melrose which has become so divided thanks to these folks. Then add to it the nastiness from the Yes camp (not even possible to have a reasonable discussion with those so far who've tried to "convince" my family, using contrived and wrong data and a lot of very strident (bullying) means of conveying their message).
School Committee meeting September 15, starting around 2:15 with Mr. Kenney, then Mr. Kaynor and Mr. Mroz.
Sep 18, 2015 - 10:23PM
Re: OCR x 2
School Comm June 9
The situation surrounding the 2nd [& 3rd apparently] OCR cases
Free Press stories
Sep 16, 2015 - 7:14PM
OCR x 2
SC Chair Thorpe back to bullying again
More nastiness from the queen of anti-transparency and bullying at the school committee meeting on September 15th. Once again, Ms. Thorpe takes to bullying a fellow Melrosian who oddly enough, was requesting of the the school committee to stop bullying and be polite! Apparently, this did not sit well with Ms. Thorpe who believes she can now even instruct members of the public where they can gaze their eyes during public comment. Honestly, I'm not kidding! Go to 7:00 into the meeting on MMTV to see the insanity. Good riddance Ms. Thorpe!
4 lawsuits against Taymore. Words directly from her mouth. One for sexual harassment of an employee. Lots of grievances within the school and complaints from within and out. This ones a beaut. Then she'll move on and leave Melrose with the mess just like Casey.
Lots of real information here!
Lots of contrived and misinformation here
If you want to read between the lines and understand just how many lines have been crossed, look carefully here:
Aug 7, 2015 - 7:45AM
ALeibowitz/MFPress: Taymore won't provide documents unless Kourkoumelis pays $7,638.75
"Taymore wrote that the district would begin gathering those documents if and when Kourkoumelis paid the district a fee of $7,638.75"
By Aaron Leibowitz
August 06. 2015 2:41PM
Superintendent Taymore clarifies why records are 'protected'
The Melrose Public Schools responded last Wednesday to an order by the Mass. Supervisor of Public Records to either release records requested by School Committee member Carrie Kourkoumelis or explain why a legal exemption applies to each record.
In a letter addressed to Kourkoumelis and copied to Supervisor of Public Records Shawn Williams, Superintendent of Schools Cyndy Taymore clarified in detail why the records in question – surrounding an Office of Civil Rights investigation into the district – could not be provided due to attorney-client privilege.
The letter does note, however, that the district would be willing to a conduct a search of all of its written communications with its attorneys that resulted in billable hours between January 2014 and March 16, 2015 (per Kourkoumelis’ request), “for any records to which the attorney-client privilege does not apply.”
Taymore wrote that the district would begin gathering those documents if and when Kourkoumelis paid the district a fee of $7,638.75 to cover the estimated labor costs “associated with searching, redacting, segregating, and refiling such written communications.”
In March, Kourkoumelis first submitted a citizen’s public records request to Taymore seeking a variety of communications between the district, its attorneys and the School Committee regarding an OCR investigation into the district that began Nov. 2014.
The district did provide Kourkoumelis the OCR Notice of Investigation, with the date redacted. In that letter, Civil Rights Attorney Allen Kropp explained that the OCR was opening an investigation into a complaint that the Melrose Public Schools are “discriminating on the basis of race.”
That investigation, which is ongoing, has to do specifically with an incident in the 2013-14 school year in which a middle school teacher allegedly made derogatory remarks to one of her assigned students, directed at the student’s race.
Kourkoumelis’ three other records requests were denied, with the district citing attorney-client privilege and the deliberative process exemption under Mass. General Law. Kourkoumelis appealed that decision to Williams, who ruled that the district had not sufficiently explained why the records could legally be withheld.
The district attempted to remedy that in its most recent letter.
“Upon notification of the investigation, the Superintendent and legal counsel subsequently engaged in confidential written communications regarding the District’s response to the OCR investigation for the purpose of seeking of seeking legal advice in responding to that investigation,” the letter reads. “Additionally, the District has not waived this privilege. Because the communications you seek between the Superintendent and legal counsel are covered by the attorney-client privilege those documents are exempted from public records law.”
Williams initially gave the district 10 days to reply to his ruling dated July 8, but the district did not become aware of the appeal decision until July 13. The Public Records Division granted the district an extension and the district submitted its response July 29.
The Public Records Division has not yet responded to the district’s letter. Kourkoumelis has the option to appeal the decision in writing within 90 days.
Glad to see that most of the aldermen candidates were planning to vote No to the Override: J.D. LaRock, Monica Medeiros, Don Conn and ward challengers. This group that openly stated its opposition to the override had many decent replies to all of the questions, though in general last night's fake debate was actually an unprofessional circus act of the local League.
Predictably those incumbents in RD's pocket will vote Yes: MBMM, GI, FW, JT and at-large MZ.
Predictably, every single one of the 4 School Committee candidates (3 newcomers and one incumbent, MD) are full-fledged sycophants, saluting the flag and the Yes camp as if this boondoggle came down from On High. At least a couple of them (EOC and LDS) were willing to say something decent about the indecent Office of Civil Rights matters and disgusting lack of transparency from the current SC and superintendent. But overall what a disaster for the school district that this is all the city could produce for candidates. When it comes to "vote for up to 3 candidates for School Committee" it looks like it'll have to be Donald Duck (not Trump!), Oscar the Grouch, and Arthur the Aardvark.
As a lifelong Melrose resident I do want to take back Melrose and for that reason I am voting YES!
Yes, let's put more money into the hands of those who squander it on legal fees to defend themselves from civil rights violations, to attack our friends and neighbors who have filed complaints and/or have been victims of the school administration's intimidation-retaliatory machine and to pay settlements to those who have been victims of this bunch. Honestly, Mr. Vote Yes... You would foolishly give more money to these folks? Are you kidding?? Lets concentrate on building an ethical, law abiding school committee and school administration first...then lets talk about overrides.
I have recently become friends with a teacher in the city of Melrose, and it has given me a new perspective on this override. I am frequently astounded by the stories of the inept leadership at the school and district level. Honestly, some of the stories are shocking. I have worked in education for over 25 years, and I have worked in some difficult places, but I have never heard of such a consistent lack of leadership. According to this teacher (and I admit that this is her perspective and what she believes is the feeling among her colleagues), the override is unnecessary. The teachers want to teach. They want leadership that uses the resources well. They want to be supported professionally. The override will not help in these areas. The administration has shown no ability to lead and manage what they have. How does giving them more money help this problem?
You may choose to throw more money at the problem, but that has never been the answer when a system is so broken. I hear Taymore speak at these School Committee meetings, and I cannot believe she is the face and voice of the school system. She barely makes sense, and the constant "ahhs" and "umms" as she tries to give a coherent answer (if she deems an answer is even necessary) are almost unbelievable and unbearable. If she is even partly in charge of disseminating this extra money and making choices about how it is used, I definitely do not want to hand it over. I have no faith that any of them know what they are doing.
This is a Clown Patrol alert. "Perspective" is a big red nose, rubber footed, suspenders wearing Bozo. What a load of crap. "Perspective, who has been posting under various names spewing out the "Melrose Sucks" dialogue in a manner of different ways is now trying to sell the miraculous coincidence that he/she has recently "become friends" with a Melrose teacher who is opposed to the override because the teacher is a beacon of fiscal responsibility and accountability.
Priceless. The bozo's are a pack of mewling, whining cowards and liars...all 6 of you.
Thanks, Clown. That you chimed in convinces me the poster is truthful.
BTW, "bozo's" is possessive, not plural. Go to MHS did you?
Clown Patrol doesn't think Melrose teachers could be "beacons of fiscal responsibility and accountability"? I thought she was so pro-school. Why the teacher bashing? I think most of the teachers are great. I know several of them, but have recently become close with an elementary teacher whose stories would make your head spin in disbelief. Clown Patrol likes to keep her head in the sand, because it helps her sleep at night, and gives her more time to come up with her clown references. Her consistent claim that there are 6 people on this board is another example of how much she likes to delude herself. The truth is very simple. The administration stinks, and even the teachers know it. Their behavior would not be tolerated in the great majority of towns. This override will not help the teachers. It will not help the schools improve. Lack of money is not the problem. The override will only serve to give the inept people in charge more of our money to waste.
.........and line their own pockets with.
Honestly Clown Patrol; None of us want Melrose to have sucky schools, we are trying to prevent that, (no help from the current super's office) but with you and the administration with your heads so deep in the sand, constantly suppressing the facts from the public, denying problems exist and doing nothing about it but glossing it over with the newest buzz words (a Margaret Driscoll favorite tactic) rather than addressing the problems, it's hard for the school district to move forward.
Priceless. 5 of the 6 Bozo's had their panties in knot and responded to the "Bozo Alert" post between 8 and 10 PM on a Friday night. What a pack of losers. Where was Clown #6? Stop trying to justify yourselves with the BS. You are bunch of Melrose Haters. Your kids must have been chewing on the lead paint windows if they are not getting a good education at MHS. Plenty of real smart kids doing great there. In the immortal words of Judge Smails "the world needs ditch diggers to". Get them a shovel for Christmas and they will be fine.
Note to the Clown:
"Bozo's" is possessive. "Bozos" is plural.
"Too" is an adverb and means additionally. "To" is a preposition and is used to indicate motion or direction.
The content of your posts clearly demonstrates your ignorance. Your poor use of grammar confirms it.
Only the Bozos worry about being grammatically correct on the haters blog...particularly when they have nothing else to say. Honk your nose 3 times, pat yourself on the back and tell yourself how smart you are.
On a beautiful Friday night in the fall most of the people that really like Melrose were enjoying the girls fantastic volleyball team, taking in the Melrose/Stoneham football game, enjoying the HS Band/color guard/cheerleaders half time show, working out at Y, or eating at one of our great downtown restaurants. ...or a combination. The angry clowns spent Friday night banging away on the keyboard hating on Melrose. Classic. Tell me, is it because you are a small handful of angry social misfits whose kids spend all weekend on the computer, or are you scrounging your nickels together eating spam from the can and drinking cheap wine from a box so you can scrape together $15K to send your kids to a second rate parochial school.
That $244 will come in handy.
Poor Mr./Ms. Clown Patrol!! All your wishin and a hopin that 7 people including you post on this site will never make it so. There was actually a story on the front page of the Melrose Free Press about Melrose Messages this week. Dolan must be having a coronary! LMAO! Mr. Leibowitz even interviewed Jhana Wallace from the Melrose Community Facebook page. She will no doubt be going apoplectic now that I’ve mentioned her here! Apparently according to her if I mention her name in a post I’m being a “bully”.
Poor clown! You’ve got your work cut out for you. You’ll need to troll another new site on facebook the “Melrose UNSENSORED” page too. Better hurry up now! That page was started last week as a result of Jhana Wallace removing posts that didn’t comport with the admins nebulous “rules”. But order has been restored thankfully. Thanks to Melrose UNSENSORED we now have another social media site to vent on. Now run along and check it out! Have a great day!
Love your reply to Clown Patrol, Patty - as well as the other one.
This is priceless. In an effort to convince the masses the clowns don't amount to more than 6 people the serial blogger/melrose hater PW comes to the rescue and her play gets backed by the king bozo MFD. Its official. With miss piggy and Humpty Dumpty in the house I am declaring an official clown convention. The parade starts at 5.
Poor poor clownie! I'm thrilled that there is another site now in Melrose! Fun Fun fun! Kermie and I are going to take a stroll in the parade at 5:00pm sharp!
I'll be looking for your clown car packed with Dolan, Driscoll, Margolis, Casatelli, Taymore, Constantine, Duggan, Thorp, Wright(no relation)Tramontozzi, Infurna, the YES crowd, the Melrose Community Facebook crowd and last but not least you at the wheel![:))]
I would, if I could find the page she was talking about to see who actually misspelled or misused it. Anyone have a link?
I've found Clown #6, She and her article "Evaluations of superintendent were lacking" were hiding on page B4 of this week's Free Press. Honk Honk.
Actually, there is a real article in this week's Free Press, on page B4, about the Superintendent evaluation process that no one seems to have seen.
Gotta love the clowns. Patting themselves on the back for their posts. PW, if you are going to try to be funny at least try to come up with your own material. Stick with familiar topics, like fat jokes and jokes about broads who drink too much. That stuff is right up your alley.
You want to talk about fat drunks? Let's start with the Mayor.
Good one!!! LMAO!
Seriously, you are boasting that a string gets 13,500 hits in 3 months? Do you realize that is 150 hits per day? For a town of 27,000 people, that is absolutely nothing.
Wow. Talk about living in an alternate universe. This site unfairly targets a lot of people who have done a lot of good? This site is racist? They heard about this site through the FB group? But you've never even heard of it until this person told you about it? Let me take a wild guess - the person who told you all this was either a SC member or one of the MEF mommies, or some member of the administration, right?
Tell you what - I'll be charitable and take you at your word, although common sense is telling me not to, but do yourself a favor and try real hard not to let other people tell you what to think, because whoever your talking about is either a complete liar, or totally delusional, and you're being played for a fool.
Non-residents who no longer even live here? Are you actually playing the Bob Snow card? Unbelievable!
Can't quite believe any of that myself. I think Ms Jhana Wallace or one of her compatriots has made an appearance.
Yup, the Bob Snow card - right out of the mouth of the Mayor in that Melrose Matters snow (no pun intended) job.
Nowhere ever do I hear any city administrator even mention teachers violating students' civil rights, or administrators who rather than take appropriate action, attempt to cover those violations up, and even worse, promote or reward those guilty of said violations. Nowhere do I see anyone explaining the vicious and most probably illegal retaliation against parents who have the gumption to actually complain about bad conduct by teachers an/or principals. Nowhere do I see anyone mentioning the intimidation tactics of the city attorney in threatening parent who make those complaints.
Here it is, Mr. Mayor - I've had it with that. Fix it, then talk to me about an override. Same old same old doesn't cut it anymore.
MD in this week's pretend "free and balanced" newspaper when asked, "Question: Do you feel the Melrose Public Schools provides a welcoming environment for students of all backgrounds, and what can the district do to further embrace a growing diverse student population?":
"I witnessed students and teachers behave with incredible support and compassion toward children who had no idea how an American school system works, experienced physical and emotional disabilities, suffered economic hardship, spent long days traveling to and from Boston as part of the METCO program, and spoke little English."
This is from the incumbent who can't say enough about how great this super is, even when confronted with flagrant violations of student civil rights! This is from the woman who has chattered in the community gab sessions about saving money by considering getting rid of the METCO program, apparently either not realizing (even as a "now certified as a school business administrator" and the chair of Finance and Facilities) that the last two superintendents have wrongly scooped a quarter of a million dollars directly out of the METCO grant to fund the district's general budget, MAKING money on the program (wrongly)! Nice too how she lumps the METCO students next to those who "spoke little English" and suffered "physical and emotional disabilities" as if she actually even understands anything about what it means to welcome those who might be different. The hypocrisy of this incumbent is astonishing.
Would be comical if it weren't so disturbing:
"Margaret Driscoll: The Committee is very transparent and consistently improving. An online rolling agenda is continually updated so citizens can review issues to be discussed. Agenda documents and packets are published online on the Friday before Tuesday meetings. Meetings are broadcast on MMTV with replays, and also Vimeo’d on the MMTV website. Exhaustive Policy Manual and Budget information is provided on separate web pages. Staff presentations and more substantial documents are posted on the Documents page. Archived information is available on the web site for the prior two years. The Committee has a Facebook page. As an individual, I publish a blog entitled TakingNotesInMelrose that reports on Melrose and outside education. We’re always looking for new ways to be transparent though; for example, we recently initiated reporting of grants, revolving accounts, and student activity accounts, explaining how those monies are collected and spent. We’re as transparent as possible but always open to suggestions."
"transparent"! And is she claiming credit for the MMTV broadcasts, too?! We all know about that silly Facebook page--you know, the one that told us that we weren't to discuss the override except there. Who does this woman think she's kidding?
"rolling agenda"--oh you mean that one that said they'd be approving "a pot of money for the superintendent to give administrative raises" this past summer?!
"we recently initiated reporting of grants, revolving accounts, and student activity accounts"
Sorry, but basic good school finance rules require this. If they only "recently initiated" this and MD has been on the committee for all these years, she's responsible for NOT being transparent and reporting on everything the law requires. What unmitigated and offensive rubbish!
So Metco students, English Language Learners & those with physical and emotional disabilities are essentially the same child????
Or did she mean that the Metco students are all of the above? Difficult to tell the way she worded it.
If you are comfortable publishing a statement like that then it is no surprise that there are civil rights violations in the Melrose Public Schools.
The children who had "no idea how an American school system worked" ??? Does she mean in comparison to their home countries where there are real academic standards? Uniforms? Seriousness of purpose? Respect for the teachers? The children's surprise at the loosey goosey way of doing things here? What???
She should keep her mouth shut. It does her no favors to speak.
PTO, yes. "we recently initiated reporting of grants, revolving accounts, and student activity accounts"
Sorry, but basic good school finance rules require this. If they only "recently initiated" this and MD has been on the committee for all these years, she's responsible for NOT being transparent and reporting on everything the law requires."
No kidding. Why wasn't this done before? I wouldn't be bragging that you started doing this yesterday.
Just looked at MBTD's post on the pretend "community" FB page:
"A question to noodle over if you are considering voting against the override: Are you also against the city using the one-time fund ($750K) for the school department’s budget? Currently, we use that $750K so that we have a “whole” budget for the school department. So, I would imagine that if you are against raising taxes for the override, you are also against the financial irresponsibility of using a one-time fund yearly for the school budget. If you are against using the fund in this manner (and I don’t need an answer, but think about it), consider HOW the school department should make up this money. The one-time fund of $750K is there for one-time financial concerns….like a new roof on the library. Because it is not being held for this purpose, the city currently does not have the money to fund one-time problems. Just a thought for the day."
This is the kind of thing that passes for "reasoning" by the "yes" cabal. That fake $750 structural deficit is what was defined as such by RD's money man. It is a contrived and artificial construct. They use it as a bargaining/bludgeoning stick to go back and forth between mayor's and superintendent's offices during budgeting season. It isn't real. It could have been absorbed (and was actually) long ago, but it's convenient for making a point. And these gullible people just drink it up. Financial "irresponsibility" is rampant in this administration, but the "yes" cabal chooses to look the other way. They think the opposition is "negative" but don't even realize the silliness of their flawed rationale. It is "negative" and in fact deeply cynical of the administration to be putting forth these flimsy arguments that can so easily be countered with actual facts. That is the real "negativity"!
I agree that Margaret Driscoll must go FIRST in order to bring ethics, transparency, and accountability back to the school committee and superintendent's office. Thankfully, Thorp and Constantine saw the writing on the wall and realized that Melrose residents will not stand for the bullying, and anti-transparency antics which have been on full display for the world to see on MMTV, Boston Globe, WBZ as well as other local news outlets. The Melrose citizens' complaints of alleged unlawful behavior by the superintendent's office, select school administrators and principals, the school committee chair and finance chair have been heard by the Federal Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights, The Secretary of State's Office and Attorney General's Office and they have responded accordingly. Perhaps some day Carrie Kourkoumelis will finally have the support she needs on SC to save the sinking ship.
I suppose I'm willing to hold my nose and vote for Ed the convicted felon. My only hope is that the man's colossal hubris will be channeled in such a way that he will follow Ms. Kourkoumelis and support her many initiatives for transparency, fiscal responsibility and change.
Ed…your potential election to the school committee is a position of trust and we all know what you did with that opportunity over 10 years ago. You squandered it. And your "debt" will never be repaid. Your theft cost many people their precious savings. Let’s see if you can muster an ounce of courage and humility. This is NOT a position from whence you believe you may “lead”. It is a chance for you to show our community that with your ONE vote on the committee you will be part of something much greater than yourself.
Such a sad day in Melrose that our choices amount to a vote for an embezzler. I always believed we needed a lawyer on the school committee. Too bad we still don’t have one. [:-?]
The easiest and least expensive way for the City of Melrose to raise needed or even needed money is to allow local businesses that already have a lottery license to include Keno. A few tables already in existence at the establishment or which can be added and a few extra chairs is not that much of an expense for a local business that wants Keno to acquire. Keno will ad money to the City and we all benefit.
Why should I have to drive to Malden or any other close by city or town to play Keno when I can just walk down the street to a local convenience store and obtain the same benefit as well as add lottery money to that establishment and to the City.
I'm voting NO for the override.[8-)]
I give those with a "no" sign in their front yard a lot of credit. If you don't think they'll be a list made of those addresses, you're quite naïve.
This says it all for my family:
School Comm Oct 27 on Vimeo
45:00 CKK vs MD re: Budget Process for next year
Left to Margaret, public participation is just an afterthought, a nuisance, actually. For starters, her idea of the "public" is the "audience," not the public she's supposed to serve. She thinks this is all just a big show, where she can bang the mallet and rule. This is contempt exemplified. This harmful attitude pervades everything that committee (and administration) does.
Voting No on override (and on MD's reelection) in order to support my community and get it back on a more positive track.
Thanks again to Ms. Kourkoumelis for advocating on behalf of the citizens of Melrose to restore public participation to SC and Budget meetings which has been all but decimated by Ms. Driscoll and Ms. Thorp over the last few years via the McCarthyist Norms and various other methods such as Thorp shouting down members of our community and preventing other citizens who speak during public comment period from gazing at the the school committee members...I'm not kidding. Ms. Thorp recently chastised a member of the public for gazing at various SC members and told him it was not permitted. Crazy-a$$ stuff happening here in Melrose at SC meetings.
I know that i was at that meeting.Thank you for your suppet.It is something that was not good on september 15 2015.But it is what it is.Thank you.
You shouldn't have eaten all that chocolate you collected at one time.
Lets take a look where your hard earned money will be going with a YES vote on Tuesday:
$750,000 Stabilization Fund (Basically, uncommitted funds)
$285,000 Employee Benefits costs
$50,000 Special Ed Stabilization Fund
$50,000 Teacher professional development
$150,000 Curriculum Resources
$150,000 Hardware/software-digital learning
$220,000 Instructional support for staff
$75,000 Elementary Library Media Specialist
$50,000 Elementary Licensed Social Worker
$150,000 2 new Police Officers to add to the 44 current staff
Oh, and as an after thought, $310,000 for hands-on teachers spread out district wide.
It is and was all here in these links, for those who just can't get their heads wrapped around the comprehensive sickness that defines this place now.