The return of MD as chair has rendered school committee meetings far more toxic and dangerous than they were under KT, hard as that is to fathom. She uses the norms, the policies, the rolling agenda, anything she can twist to serve her bizarre personal agenda, completely dishonoring the public she was elected to serve. She has plenty of help from the likes of Jessica, Chris, Liz, Ed (!) and naturally Rob (except for when he disappears from the chamber before any potentially controversial vote or discussion). It is sickening and frightening to see this abuse of power unfold once again, this time many times worse with a superintendent who is more than glad to abuse power and who has cost this district untold harm, with much more to come. This committee chair cost the district in out and out violations of the law the last time she was chair (as did KT), and the public will never know how much she cost in legal bills during her last reign of abuse. Now with new rules and norms sanctified by the monkey trial team of attorneys on September 8, this committee is marching ahead while the public good is being trampled even more wantonly.
The treatment of Mr. Mroz the last two meetings in particular were most notably ugly and maddening to watch. This committee has effectively sealed off any but the most narrow of opportunities to engage, all of those remaining being mostly in private or highly scripted by Jessica's and Liz' band of MEF mothers who march in with their talking points, gushing about the greatness of Margaret's process. There really now is no point where this body engages as a whole in open, unscripted dialogue with the public. It is shameful and counter to everything that a democratic process is supposed to be. The focus on "business meetings" held in the public is just a sham put forward to keep power centralized and the process closed. Between this chair, this superintendent, and this mayor, our school district is in far worse trouble than we the public are even aware. What is viewable is disturbing, embarrassing, maddening, sickening, and really has to be a call for action.
The school district has been found guilty by the United States Office of Civil Rights of egregious violations against students. How does anyone not understand what this means, starting with those in that chamber who should be so outraged (those who are new, at least) and righteously pursuing redress for the severe injustices that have been caused and the grievous harm to our community? Those individuals sitting there pretending to serve us and our children are making a mockery of this community and of the laws and oaths they swore to uphold.
Oh, that's right, five minutes are up, get out of here, shut up, go away, we want you gone and will do anything just to protect our power and our processes. Sickening.
Great posting and one I totally agree with - anyone watching that meeting and seeing the total disrespect shown to the only public speaker that evening should be appalled that any elected official would act that way.
I have been present when some public speakers have been given much more than 5 minutes to discuss topics of interest to the committee while other speakers are given the "hook" at just 5 minutes, myself included. This 5 minute speaking rule seems capricious and arbitrary depending on who is speaking.
Also, to hide behind majority votes, as she claims for defending the 5 minute rule, puts the minority at a great disadvantage and again makes the "process" very undemocratic - and because of this I believe that Ms. Driscoll needs to do some introspective analysis as to what her real purpose is as chair of the school committee - whether it is truly and honestly to encourage public involvement with public education policy or to quench public discourse at meetings. She have great responsibility as chair and I truly wish to see her use this power in a wise and meaningful way - at this moment - she has failed a significant number of us in the exercise of that power. I can only hope that she comes to the realization that power is only useful when it is used in a judicious and productive ways for the public good.
Exactly. And, I seem to vividly recall a female city official that was welcomed by the committee and permitted to speak much longer than 5 minutes while also violating the "norms" or meeting rules or whatever they want to call it today. In my opinion anyway.[/quote]
I have been having a back and forth with Ms. Driscoll on this topic lately and she hides behind the fact that the "norms" were voted by the majority - therefore, that makes her in the "right". The woman is totally delusional - as if "might" makes "right". Does she even realize that those voting for her on the norms are just sycophants to her ideology?
In addition she told me that people have come up to her to tell her she is right and they support her actions - I guess when you have your family members and very close personal friends agree with you - that trumps public opinion!
Dear Ms. Driscoll - you need to get out and meet and seek the public and stop hiding behind delusional thoughts and opinions.
As one person recently told me about this matter, "I wonder when she intends to provide an opportunity for the "27,000+ residents of the City of Melrose" to engage in unfettered dialogue with the whole School Committee in public, rather than in their private "liaison" meetings. In the private meetings, there is no opportunity for the public to witness the basis (valid or otherwise) on which the School Committee's decisions are actually made."
Besides, should citizens and parents of school children have to drive down to Jitters coffee shop to have a conversation with their elected school committee representative? (this assumes you don't run into a quorum of the school committee there, in which case you'll only get your 4 minutes and 59 seconds worth of her time, unless of course you are one of the city hall or MEF "insiders".
If the time limit was ten mimutes, it wouldn't make a difference when someone has trouble editng their
remarks. It is not like testifying at a legislative hearing.
Definition of cyber bullying:
Definition of cyberbullying
1: the electronic posting of mean-spirited messages about a person...often done anonymously
Yah, well, how about the unchecked bullies who are running this gawd-forsaken school district (into the ground)....
And how exactly does "Cyber" define "mean-spirited"? The posters here who refer to the school administration/committee in a negative light are, IMHO, just telling the truth, no need for "mean-spirited." But to the culturally and intellectually limited hypocrites like "Cyber" anything "negative" constitutes "mean-spirited." That is at the core of what is wrong in this provincial snotty suburb that used to have a much kinder and inclusive culture and needs desperately to again. The truth under the abusive regime currently in power is absolutely unwelcome unless it is full of gushy prettitudes and platitudes. That theme seems to run through most every aspect of Melrose existence today, except of course, if you happen to be in the trenches and live the truth--as a parent of a district student, as a teacher having to suffer the indignities and abuse of those in charge, as a community member who cares about what's really happening but can't get access to unspun facts, as a taxpayer whose taxes are being squandered on willfully misrepresented line items.
"to the culturally and intellectually limited hypocrites like "Cyber" anything "negative" constitutes "mean-spirited." That is at the core of what is wrong in this provincial snotty suburb that used to have a much kinder and inclusive culture and needs desperately to again. The truth under the abusive regime currently in power is absolutely unwelcome unless it is full of"
or rather, INSTEAD OF
"gushy prettitudes and platitudes. That theme seems to run through most every aspect of Melrose existence today, except of course, if you happen to be in the trenches and live the truth--as a parent of a district student, as a teacher having to suffer the indignities and abuse of those in charge, as a community member who cares about what's really happening but can't get access to unspun facts, as a taxpayer whose taxes are being squandered on willfully misrepresented line items."
Thank you to Melrose Messages posters who continue to care enough to communicate honestly about what's actually happening! Maybe the School Committee and administration should check here when it wants to know something. It sure as he!! is a more reliable source than the district website or the crapa$$ things that masquerade as "communication" from the school committee and administration! Maybe that could put that into their voluminous policy gibberish. "Best Practices" indeed!!!
Martha, you might be "angry" about the failed override (Grow up!), but plenty of us are pretty fed up and outraged at your offensive and unethical conduct as a city employee and treasurer of the district's supposed nonprofit educational foundation.
It doesn't even have to be "negative" or "critical". All it has to do is fail to agree in some fashion with the propaganda put out by the administration and it's lemmings. And make no mistake - it is propaganda.
They subscribe to Joseph Goebbels school of communication - “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”
Their conduct is reprehensible.
And yet tax payers continue to put up with these a-holes.
That woman who spoke (the only one in Public Participation for that ridiculous 8 a.m. Saturday school committee meeting) is truly offensive, a poster child for all that is the worst about the current administration. And for the amount of time she spends lollygagging around town during work hours (on our dime), she should face scrutiny by her employer, though of course that won't happen because she is one of his most rabid attack dogs.
When Melrose is finally free of this awful administration, rules should be passed to end the grotesque political patronage that now characterizes this city government. Political hack suck-up mommies should not be granted city and schools jobs. There are so many of them now, all of whom started out as un- or barely qualified elementary mothers looking for an easy job with mother-friendly hours. Look around and they are everywhere--superintendent's right-hand pitbull, front desk receptionist pitbull, both of whom started as Winthrop PTO wannabes, have zero skills in dealing with the public, and their general incompetence is accompanied by a boatload of bad attitude they are only too happy to share with the public they view with such generalized contempt. The so-named "energy expert" was just a bullying Hoover mom who sucked up and got her own patronage position that by her own admission she had no actual qualifications for (let alone for an educational foundation board that one would think might require some actual knowledge about education). Then there's the "grant-writer" who is another Ed Foundation pitbull and busybody, and it goes on and on.
There are so many actually qualified individuals who could and should be doing these jobs, and it's high time that "best practices" begin to be used by the school and city HR staff. Of course that will mean that the political hacks currently running those departments will need to go first. And then there's the issue of the rotten reputation that Melrose now has that prevents the most qualified employees even from applying here. That one will take time and a major effort to win back credibility before Melrose has a ghost's chance of improving its human resources culture (or culture in general).
Paul Ryan could take lessons from Melrose's SC chair in maniacal use of the gavel to suppress the rights and voice of the People. Ryan is Congress's Morty, a fool who has no business in any position of power.
Funny to see Melrose's own Kathy sitting on the Floor, mimicking her idol's every aspect, right down to the haircut. Of course she was not so long ago Melrose SC Chair, too, equally ineffective and uninterested in the Public's basic rights, which she did absolutely zero to protect during her local tenure. She has groveled her way to today's Floor with lots of silly no-brainer no-heavy-lifting-necessary issues. This one isn't a silly issue (finally), but she still looks like the pathetic climber that she is. Now she has her idol so she doesn't need a gavel anymore, just that Liz hairdo and imitated gestures....
Maybe Pauli needs a new hairdo instead of that silly pretentious hat so that he can be on the Floor, too! Oh that's right, he wants to be Mayor now.... Gawd help us! From one self-interested bought-and-sold pipsqueak to another.... What a mess this city and this country is in!
Just like Ryan, MD and other local fools (elected ones) think that calling the police to threaten citizens exercising their basic rights is perfectly in order! Fortunately, MPD doesn't generally go along with this outrageous abuse of power and sends the abusers (like CT and MD) packing.... Too bad it has played ball in the past with a couple of City Hall and MPS administrative bullies, but hopefully it has ceased this illegal conduct since it now understands the Game Plan and who's pulling the strings.
This House of Cards may appear to be standing, but in fact it is imploding, in slow motion, way too slowly for the local dolts to see or understand, but imploding nonetheless. With each new press release there are fresh abuses of power by those increasingly desperate to maintain control, looking ever more foolish and getting more brazen in what they are willing to risk. Public faith and trust in elected officials are at record lows, and in Melrose they are almost nonexistent. Great job, RD, SC and BOA! Maybe the gavel itself will be auctioned off in the Going Out of Business Sale soon in the Aldermanic Chamber.
I've actually taken the time to explain to Driscoll that she is too overbearing in her attitude towards public speakers she does not favor - while lenient to others she favors. Also I informed her that her practice of cutting off pubic speakers as they are ending their speech - is uncivil and and demeaning. She could not understand this and totally disagrees with my analysis. She is totally delusional but she is revered and admired by those who have influence and the power elite in the city - and she knows this. Nothing will change on the SC until she leaves!
No one is invulnerable, no matter how delusional and carried away with their sense of power. Many of "the Mighty" have fallen, and it's past time for some of Melrose's own abusers of power to face consequences. Laws have been and are being broken. Sooner or later, there will be a Reckoning. The more arrogance these abusive officials display, the more vulnerable they make themselves (though they will never recognize it, just like RD and his Dolanites refused to believe that their precious override would go down in a crushing defeat). It is outrageous that any of these Third World despots would actually call the police to harass those using their First Amendment rights for speaking out about the schools, their own children who are being mistreated and/or endangered, in defense of staff members being threatened or conversely doing the threatening/menacing, water/sewer rates & rights, the failed actions of the local bodies of governance, or whatever flimsy pretext these abusive officials are using....
Where is Aaron L on this story? Where is Laidler/the Globe (or one of the real journalists there), the Herald (which is actually doing more heavy-hitting reporting these days)? This issue far more telling and critically important than the silly fluff pieces they are printing (or reprinting/framing from the bilge that Guilfoil is paid by the school officials to propagate).
Who called the police on what speaker?
I think the poster is talking about the school, super or whomever, calling the police on parent who complain. not sure if this is even true- as no proof has ever been given. if, in fact the news media follows this pages I would think they would have picked up on it by now- as it seems to be posted about constantly, with no detail ever given. Could be true- just don't know
In a public hearing like that..five minutes should be plenty of time to express one's views. A longer written statement could be distributed to members and the media. Lincoln's Gettysburg address took 3 minutes. The other main speaker took 2 hours and nobody remembered what he said. Brevity is the soul of communication.
What if Aaron Leiberman could file a records request with Melrose Police requesting all school related police reports taken by the school resource officer?
The 5 minute public speaking limit was imposed because GM had up until that point shown up at every meeting and spoke endlessly about the same minutia that the public ignored him on in the school committee election and the SC had tuned out months if not years before. No one in their right mind would believe that GM hasn't had an opportunity to express his opinions to the SC. On the subject of being in your right mind GM's obsession with Melrose Public Schools is frightening. He has no kids in the system nor will he ever. This OCD behavior is unhealthy for he and his family and his time would be better spent on the PTO of his children's actual schools. The tired argument of "my taxpayer dollars go to the schools so I can have an opinion" may have worked for the first 50 meetings, and his failed run at the SC, but at this point its clear evidence of an unhealthy mind. It's actually creepy stalking behavior.
Lets be honest folks is an obvious idiot! His statements make no sense and are not even relevant to free speech we have in this country. The person is a fool! Most times, GM is the only speaker and if this poster had an once of sense, which he/she does not, the information GM provides is right on target and relevant. We are all greateful that we have someone in the community as well educated in this area - it is just a shame that we have self-serving people on the school committee who do not know enough to take his invaluable advice.
"This fiasco is NOT the result of GM. It IS THE DIRECT RESULT OF THE SC's actions and failures to act. "
It's also the result of the idiots in this community who've sat by and allowed two absolutely horrible superintendents and couple of not-great ones before that free reign via the mayor and school committee, who should have been shown the door a very long time ago. This totally unnecessary awfulness and chaos that the students, faculty, and community now have to endure never had to happen.
Look in the mirror. When did you step up and say or do something to challenge these altogether rotten officials (elected and paid)? Or did you just play nice at the many social functions, and write another check when they asked for one (or many)? When did you write to the paper or show up to express your views at a meeting? (Don't give the inexcusable answer that you couldn't do this because it would have jeopardized "rocking the boat" because that is exactly how this mess has grown so enormous.) Sure, it's a small town, these are neighbors, fellow parents, coaches, etc., but that really is no excuse. These malicious and venal officials have had a 48 million-dollar school budget (cityside and schoolside combined with benefits thereabouts) of our money, and they have had our children's schooling and futures in their hands. If it matters and if you care, you had a responsibility to do something. Now is too late. Now your responsibility, if you care and are willing to see how bad things really are, is to rise up and throw these bums out of their positions and dismantle the local Dolan Machine top to bottom. That means finding candidates of integrity, also, because sooner (if stuff really hits the fan as it truly could, legally and otherwise) to step up, perhaps on little or no notice even. That also means the hard work of supporting candidates of integrity, something this community has also failed miserably at doing. Instead it has played suck-up with some of the worst excuses for human beings (let alone elected representatives) this community could have put forward.
Listen - the problem is - there are not enough people running for SC. The only people running seem to be parents who don't have the courage to make needed changes and confront school admin staff to make these changes. In other words we need more CKK type people to run. Even when we have some of these people run, the click in the city makes sure that their candidate gets voted in and not the reformer.