You can view the video of this meeting at: https://vimeo.com/170310856. I encourage everyone to take the time to view the video of the meeting to learn more about this matter - we all have a stake in the outcome whether you have students in the system or not.
Based on what I saw and heard - it appears that the option of using portable classrooms seems to be favored - by the Mayor and the Permanent School Building Committee, although this committee has not formally endorsed it. Both the Mayor and John McLaughlin - key members of the building committee - think that this option makes best educational and financial viable option., The next best option appears moving the 5th and 8th grades to the next level schools.
The major advantages of portable classrooms are: (1) purchase of them can be bonded and therefore not impact the current budget, (2) the extra space can be used during the summer months for recreational and educational purposes, (2) will allow the city more time to come up with more permanent fixes, along with more funding, in the next 10 years, and (3) allows the city to maintain its neighborhood elementary school concept.
The school committee will most likely make their decision on which option they will recommend at their next meeting on Tuesday, June 14th - please make an effort to attend.
I attended the meeting yesterday and am extremely disappointed in entire process. The turnout was indicative of the importance of the issue but the residents of Melrose are being treated like children. The mayor said a number of times they have been wrestling with the issue for a good while. Why then was the first public involvement held 3 days before the vote is to be taken? Margaret Driscoll said a number of times the school committee wanted to continue the conversation. What conversation? As usual there was no true dialogue. There was no opportunity for public input. During the meeting the only chance for the public to interact was through written questions. On one of the most important issued affecting our children, Melrose residents are not allowed to talk directly with our elected officials. Driscoll spent more time staring at the index cards than dealing with the people who took the time to come to the meeting. The only conversations she hears are the ones inside her head. This is not the way local government should be run. This is just a continuation of the controlling environment of the school committee meetings. Like most mediocre people, Dolan, Taymore and Driscoll can’t handle with true back and forth. It is time we get in their faces in and outside of meetings or they will continue their inept and unilateral decision making.
Also there. The planning commissioner spent most of her time talking about what happened 20 years ago. What has she been doing to justify her salary recently? Obviously not much.
The mayor's little lapdog John McLaughlin just spoke in in lock step with him. The most vociferous proponent of the mayor's pay raise gets to sit on the city planning board. Surprised? I guess it's interesting if you sell insurance for a living.
When asked about the providing the costs of the various proposals the mayor said they weren't finalized yet. Code for "We're not going to give it to you schmucks." Hey Rob, if there isn't even enough information to pass on to the public on Saturday how are you making an informed vote on Tuesday?
Anything to keep the public from having a say. Funny watching the school committee members scurry around like mice looking for cheese as they collected question cards from people without saying a word. I guess that's what they are good for. Of course the convicted felon couldn't move his lazy ass and left it up to the women.
Melrose is so progressive.
Margaret Driscoll said a number of times the school committee wanted to continue the conversation. What conversation.
How can a vote be taken on Tuesday without any type of budget or cost for the various options? How can a vote be taken without another community forum that more residents can actually attend? Every single SC member has received dozens of emails and phone calls. When are they getting together to discuss before a vote?
The SC should refuse to vote. A vote on this on Tuesday with the information in hand is outrageous and cause for every resident to ask for their immediate resignation.
Of course, a no-brainer.
So, it seems that a decision was made. Seems to me where the mayor stands on this whole issue, so if they move these children, the 8th grade to the highschool and the fifth graders to the middle school, where does that really put us? The question becomes, what is the cost of all this? The question becomes, what is the impact of moving the fifth graders to the middle school? Seems to me the form that they are using right now, is they're afraid of the public asking serious questions and getting answers. So basically in very simple language, they don't want any parent to have a say in this whole thing. This is not only about moving children around, how about the impact on families when this happens. As we all know, there are different issues at the middle school, and the same at the highschool. I think that if the school committee, our superintendent and our mayor should not vote on this, until they have a few more meetings and the public can weigh in on this and have questions answered. Why does this have to be done so quickly? All of a sudden, we need to move students around? Here's the irony of this whole thing; we don't have a hell of a lot of money. Look at how the budget process has gone. Let me break this down so all of you can understand. How in the hell can we do all of these changes that they are thinking about doing when money is so tight? I think that we have trouble coming our way. The one thing that I will say, thank god my children have all graduated from the melrose high school system. I'm surprised our superintendent hasn't looked at what they do in Bedford. Where she was employed at. I have some serious doubts about what she would like to do. As we all know, I believe she lives in Salem. I don't think she's well connected to Melrose. I think the Mayor is hiding on this one, from basically what I read on the board on regards to how he is going to vote. There was is if the vote goes the other way it's not his fault. But it will be his fault. Because he seems that he does not want to give up his numbers, theyre big numbers. No matter what model they use. So heres the butt of my message to you. All of you should be on the phone calling the mayor, the superintendent and the school committee and send them all emails on how you feel about this. If we are going to do this right, there should be atleast 3 or 4 public hearings where people can speak. and get there questions answered. But maybe we have a bunch of cowards here, that don't want us to hear the truth. The truth of the whole matter, this didn't happen over night, this has happened over time due to all the buildings going up. I'm talking about condominiums, and all those zoning changes that have happened so this can happen. Im getting a little off track so lets get back. Our city is growing, and we don't seem to have enough space for the students, the bigger question becomes, how much room do we actually have in the highschool? Not alot. But how about the middle school? How much room do we have there? I think what's going on here, they're not going to tell us. But anybody whos been in the highschool, middle school, and all the grammar schools we know the answer. Our politicians are trying to pull a quick one on us. So folks, if you care, about what's going on here, for your children, this is a time for you to use your position, to force these folks to have a few more meetings before the vote is done. That's how it's done here, when the pressure is put on the elected officials, to do what has to be done right, just look at whats going to happen, this coming week. The board of alderman has to vote on a water thing. They have to vote one way or the other to hopefully get the water rates controlled and manageable for the citizens. Make sure your voices are all heard. This is not about you, this is about your children, attending grammar school, middle school and highschool. The impact will be on you too, not just your children. That's all.
To poster "great" above, you have posted this same stuff all over the threads. You mean well, but your long rambling posts are really pointless. Enough. Get to the point fast and end it.
yes, mayor said nothing has been decided, but the vote is this Tuesday? When asked about costs, he said the numbers are very preliminary so they didn't have any slides with those costs disclosed. Yet, the vote is still this Tuesday. So they are voting without knowing real cost or do they really know but won't give us the numbers?
When I try to talk to other people in Melrose about how corrupt the mayor's office is, and how underhanded the SC is, and how pointless the entire BOA is, they will say, "oh, it's like this everywhere." But, the thing is, it's not like this everywhere. I don't know anyone else in this state who has local government stories like we have here. What is the deal?
Whats the deal? The deal is retaliation. People have given up trying to question the corruption within city hall and the school administration because every time they make an inquiry or file a complaint, they end up being retaliated against. The word is out and people don't want to get involved for this reason, so the corruption continues. It will now be up to the Office of Civil Rights and the local media to help expose and solve the corruption problems here in Melrose where filing a complaint with the schools or city hall is a surefire ticket to a false harassment charge and court summons, or your very own false police report filed against you, courtesy of your local school administrator in collusion with the school resource officer who will gladly lie on a secret police report that you confessed to harassment and/or disturbing school assembly but will never do you the favor of telling you that the police report even exists. You'll have to find that out by yourself. The simple truth is, residents who want a decent school system for their kids (regardless of whether they have no needs, special needs or are being bullied by teachers or other students) are considered trouble makers and outcasts by Team Corruption: the Mayor, Cyndy Taymore and her administrators, city solicitor and SC chair Margaret Driscoll queen of anti-public participation. The residents are simply burned out by the last several years of this behavior and have given up.
There is one thing that I don't think has been tried yet. Go to the Atty Gen's office and OCR PRIOR to filing an initial complaint. Advise them of the situation and explain to them that should you file a complaint, you fully expect to be retaliated against, and you want them to monitor the process as it happens, since the administration has a track record of filing false reports and taking retaliatory actions. They may then have you wear a wire to record any and all conversations. They can do that - you can't.
According to Massachusetts statute chapter 272, section 99, “the secret use of such devices by private individuals must be prohibited.” The intercepting devices referred to in the statute are anything “capable of transmitting, receiving, amplifying or recording a wire or oral communication.” In order to record it yourself, you must first inform them that you are recording, which sort of defeats the purpose, unless you feel that having them know it might prevent them from doing it, but my intent would be to catch them doing it, and then take them to task over it legally. All it would take is one documented case and the cat would be out of the bag. The resulting $hitstorm would absolutely be worth watching.
It's obvious you are on the corrupt side of this conversation. This is not paranoia. Illegal retaliation and intimidation are still alive and well in Melrose, particularly against those who complain about teacher or administrator misconduct or IEPs not being followed. Get your head out of the sand. There are 2 Office of civil rights cases in just one year and they haven't even touched on the rampant civil rights violations against children with learning or emotional disabilities. The 2 OCR cases are the tip of the iceberg. The retaliatory tactics crafted by city solicitor for administrators to use against complainants are still in place. False harassment charges filed against complainants including children, false police reports filed against complainants, threatening letters from city solicitor implying criminal charges against complainants if they continue to pursue their complaints, parent's loss of rights to volunteer at school events. This is to name a few tactics actively employed here in Melrose and these are just the tactics I am aware of just from talking amongst Horace Mann Parents.