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Did you hear during the January 6th school committee meeting that Chairman Thorp has not re-appointed Ms. Kourkoumelis as chair of the Facilities/Finance Committee? Ms. Kourkoumelis was commended by members for her accomplishments on the committee that evening and even by Ms. Taymore for implementing a more open process for discussing budget processes during her subcommittee meetings. For the first time ever, Ms. Kourkoumelis allowed a more open and free exchange of ideas in her committee and even opened it up to public input and participation. Of course, for the controlling Ms. Thorp, this was too much to tolerate and she has removed Ms. Kourkoumelis as chair of this critical and important position. This goes to show that until new competent leadership is brought into the school committee no one should be voting for a proposition 2½ override!
Ms. Thorp should be the poster child for The Override "Vote No" group. She is rude and very unprofessional. Does she have to run again this fall? Hopefully, other candidates will put themselves forward and Thorp, Driscoll and Constantine will lose their seats.
Thorp may be fine with openness and fed up with the Gerry Mroz/CKK show every school committee meeting.
The MFD crowd and Mroz, CKK supporters operate on the premise that both Mroz and CKK are better qualified to run and administrate the public school system than the current administration...Mroz and CKK certainly believe they are. They know better and they are going to continue telling you they know better for as long as it takes.
Personally, I think MFD is a fire starter who has no clue on how to operate anything, Mroz has some serious OCD issues and as sincere as CKK is she has no idea how to play well with others in a manner that allows her to forward her agenda. There is a skill to political change and CKK doesn't have the goods...regardless of whether or not her ideas make sense (I think she bats 500)
As a parent in the system for 10+ years and 3 kids through or in the process of finishing their education my belief is Mroz and CKK have become an obstacle in running a smooth and efficient school committee meeting. Their efforts run somewhere between useless timewasters and counter productiveness.
[/quote]As a parent in the system for 10+ years and 3 kids through or in the process of finishing their education my belief is Mroz and CKK have become an obstacle in running a smooth and efficient school committee meeting. Their efforts run somewhere between useless timewasters and counter productiveness.[/quote]
Given that any input from Gerry Mroz at each meeting takes up 5 minutes of a 2-3 hour meeting; therefore, for this poster to claim that Mroz is an obstacle in running a smooth and efficient meeting certainly demostrates a bias and a warped mind.
Concering Ms. Kourkoumelis, any "objective" person watching school committee meetings would have to admit that she represents the only mental sanity in the room and her logical, well-thoughtout, calmly epxressed and articulated positions seemed to be beyond the grasp or willingness of the other school committee members to comprehend.
Obviously the poster has no idea as to what is going on "behind the scenes" and he can thank Ms. Thorp for that lack of transparency!
Maybe we should have CKK file another Open Meeting Law complaint like they did so successfully in the past.
Notice how the retort to my posting is nonsensical! Typical of that mind set!
It is absolutely shameful that KT is keeping CKK off all subcommittees. Very telling. The minute things improve slightly for students and the community, KT and the crazies force things back to the status quo. CKK and Mroz are the only ones there at the meetings who are not in it for themselves. The rest of them are all about how they appear, re-election and favors. For anyone to actually believe the above "another viewpoint," you have to be totally uninformed and oblivious to reality. Well, "another viewpoint" and those like you deserve KT and MD and the rest of the bobbing mayor heads since you cannot tell the difference between decency and idiocy. But for CKK, the students in this community would be in a much worse place than they are now. The scores of Melrose students are horrific, the teachers are miserable, the best teacher at the high school is leaving, and now there will be again no transparency or open discussions allowed by KT for budget and other issues. If you think KT and gang are so great, why are we in such a disastrous condition?
Thorpe is a spurious, dominating DICKtator who abuses her power, the public and an equally elected peer.
It's a know fact thaqt the AG prefers not to get involved in alot of these "local issues" so in most every instance, they rule against the litigants!
To demonstrate the lack if transparentcy in this school committee, let's see how many open-to-the-public budget subcommittee meetings the new chair of Facilities/Finance, Margaret Driscoll will have when she becomes the new chair of this committee. Let me guess now - NONE!
And why? Because she takes her marching orders from Chairwoman Thorp! And why not, after all, Ms. Drsicoll is looking for a plumb job with the city as soon as she finishes her additional educational credits. You heard it here first!
Looks like Myron is confusing his opinion, with facts.... again.
Martha was best buds with Kathie, may still be. Kathie best buds with CC and now the darling of the Foundation & Wine-Tasting Club. It's all connected. Martha was also a do-nothing when it came to the big things, OML being a source of much criticism of her tenure throughout the legal world. Worse than useless. Bought and sold. Made sure never to be involved directly if there was anything that could harm her campaign contributors. Figure it out. It's pretty simple. Look at cases that have bypassed her and gone to Superior Court, and they are slam dunks, with findings for those bringing OML charges and lots of judges statements of disgust about failure of AG to act appropriately. Glad that AG is now history.
They may think they will win this round, but in fact they are just hanging themselves more quickly. Mrs. K will prevail in the important things. She is way too busy trying to make a difference for others to be stopped by these petty and stupid politics. It's Melrose's fault for allowing these monsters unchecked power and making it most unattractive to step up and serve in public office. But instead of hanging back, it needs to step it up big time if there is any hope in rescuing what's left of any quality in the school district.
SC members whose term expires: Dolan, Driscoll, Thorp, Constantine.
Papers can be pulled usually around end of May.
The Mayor must run again this election cycle. The last election was in 2011 and the Mayoral term is 4 years.
The election for Mayor is this year... November of 2015 with the term beginning Janurary 2016. So, Dolan and anyone who wants to challenge him must run in 2015.
The last 5 or 6 posts might be the most delusional ever on MM. Put down the crack pipes.
Here is a simple explanation.
The SC committee (rightly or wrongly)disagrees with CKK and Gerry Mroz opinions on changes in the system. They are tired of listening to the same points week in and week out...so they tune them out, are rude and don't want CKK on the chairing a sub-committee anymore. Its political life. Look what Baker did with all of Duvall Patrick's appt's. The winners call the shots. Period.
The AG actually doesn't think any Open Meeting laws were violated.
One point was made that counts. You want it your way, there are 4 open seats on the SC and one in the big office. Put your money where your mouths are for once, STFU, and do something about it. Try to convince the community your way is the right way.
Mr. Crack Pipe: Thanks for clarifying that Dolan, Thorpe and their lemmings completely disagree with the tax payers, parents, CKK, and GMroz's wishes for an open, transparent, civil and non-political school committee with student outcomes as it's first priority. But everyone already knew that.
Your Welcome, but lets clarify something else....
Other than Gerry Mroz, CKK, MFD and the anonymous posters (who don't count) on this site no other taxpayers and parents are complaining that Melrose does not have an open, transparent, civil School Committee, and the only un-civil behavior that anyone has witnessed is directed at a Gerry Mroz and CKK...and from the SC's position...for good reason.
You are taking gigantic liberties by making a point and throwing in the general category of tax payers and parents...when there is zero evidence to support it. This crowd has yet to fill the first row, never mind the room, at a SC meeting.
The school committee is political by its very definition. In all political debates and elections there are winners and losers. The winners make the rules because they were elected by the "tax payers & parents" to make them. The losers don't get there way. Some losers accept and either move on or change their approach. Some whine and complain. Its obvious what is going on here, so either STFU, or do something about it.
[/quote]The school committee is political by its very definition. In all political debates and elections there are winners and losers. The winners make the rules because they were elected by the "tax payers & parents" to make them. The losers don't get there way. Some losers accept and either move on or change their approach. Some whine and complain. Its obvious what is going on here, so either STFU, or do something about it. [/quote]
Hey Delusional Paranoia...great name and well suited for you! So you think that school committee members are political positions? Delusional you are - keep that name in all your posting so that we can identify your delusional postings!
School committee members are elected by the public but this should NOT indicate that these are political positions...like the AG or governor! If you think this then basically we should all dismiss your postings and comments as being - yes - delusional!
Who the heck would vote for these members as politicians setting school policy? Their main emphasis and focus is setting school policy for the educational advancement of our children. If you took the time to read their policy manual and any information out in the public domain about school committees, this literature stresses the need NOT to insert politics into these meetings or in policies created. This is not a game where when you are elected to a school committee position that automatically makes you the boss and everyone else subservient! Quite the contrary, the onus is on committee members to listen to all view points, both pros and cons, and based on feedback from all inputs, make a decision which should be based solely on what's best for the educational advancement of our children in the district!
It is disappointing to know that there are people out there like yourself who feel that winning entitles you to push your agenda without listening to others and to dismiss the viewpoints of others - because you won the vote!
Obviously you know nothing of the experience and backgrounds of both CKK and Gerry Mroz because if you did, you would think differently that these people should shut up, keep quiet, and go along and subject themselves to the will of the committee.
Do some reading, learn more about the people who you are criticizing and educate yourself in the school issues by discussing them with a wide variety of people in the school system.
Mr. Crack Pipe; you've been inhaling too deep. You obviously don't get out much and speak to parents with school age kids. People are talking about the incivility demonstrated by the Chair and Superintendent. Whether it be swearing in front of the student reps or rudely snapping at civilians during public discussion, the word is out and people are talking. Thorpe's treatment of GM at each and every school committee meeting is clearly by design; to deter others from wanting to speak during public comment. Regarding your quip about attendance, School Committee is not Fenway Park. Why go when it is more pleasant to watch from the comfort of your own living room or computer via MMTV on line? Believe me, several years ago nobody ever thought school committee meetings would devolve to this degree. [:-|]
MFD - Pull your head out of your behind. Are you really obtuse enough to state that the Governor and the AG are not political positions? You must have been in La La land in October and November this year. In answer to yor question, the voters of the City of Melrose voted these people in and Gerry Mroz got the lowest vote total in recent memory.
The last refuge for you is the typical "voters are stupid, and MFD is the smartest guy in Melrose" along with CKK and Gerry Mroz. That's as delusional as it gets. You guys are rigth and everyone else is ignorant and wrong. So as I have stated before. STFU and do something about it. If you are correct and not delusional the entire voting base in Melrose is ready to sweep your candidates into victory at the next election....so do it already.
Right now you have you, Mr. inhale, CKK, Mroz...off to a great start. Here is a challenge for you. Put 12 people in the first two rows of the next school committee meeting that think like you guys do. BET YOU CAN'T DO IT.
Mr. Delusional is at it again - he has awaken from his pipe-smoking stuper to make another posting. He seems to believe that most of the work is done at school committee meetings - what a farce. Little does he realize that the real work is done outside the 'hallow chambers" when Thorp and her minions get together in secret meetings to decide policies and action plans. Why do you think that she replaced CKK from chairmanship of the Facilities & Finance subcommittee? Because CKK made these meetings open to the public and also allowed the public to speak on these issues without a time limit of 5 minutes! This is something that Thorp could not allow to continue - so she ousted CKK from the committee this year.
But Mr. Delusional is in another "state-of-mind" and should be forgiven for his lack of knowledge in this area. Little does he realize that most of the people in Melrose do not have children in the school system and that it is difficult to get these people motivated to vote and understand the school issues since they have other priorities. And of course those who have children in the school system are afraid of retribution on their children if they don't show support to the school establishment. And then we have the powerful "in crowd" which dominates and control school issues and policies in the district and which includes our powerful Mayor and his city hall supporters.
But the tide will turn against these powerful groups eventually as the luster begins to fade as serious issues are ignored, corrective steps not implemented, and as people finally awakened to a broken school system. You heard here first and, when watching each school committee meeting during the public session.
"broken school system"
Those powerful words are resonating throughout our community. It is a broken system, and there is real suffering as a result. Students are getting a subpar education and will be paying for this the rest of their lives. Teachers/staff are being treated with open contempt by administration and any who can leave (who haven't already) are planning their exit strategies; there is even the possibility of no-confidence votes in multiple faculties (which would be appropriate and should happen). The taxpayers are paying for this mess in multiple ways, with a general degradation in the quality of the community as the most obvious collateral damage. It's really not possible to have a conversation here without the subject of the broken school system coming up inevitably. Even the diehard cheerleaders are having a harder time because the spillage from the mess is getting harder to hide.
The entry point for the community is the polling place, where far too few in Melrose go. That needs to change and could, but the public has lost interest and concern, which requires those who are more aware to help educate and motivate the apathetic to understand their lost privilege and responsibilities. Having never missed an election, it's impossible to understand how so many have forfeited this right and responsibility here, regardless of weather, convenience, etc. Around the world people are still dying in order to have the right to cast a vote. Here there are too many who will find a way, even in a blizzard, to get their fancy coffee but not go to the voting booth. That makes no sense and it's up to all of us to talk to our neighbors and do what we can to motivate/inspire (even with shame, if necessary) our fellow citizens to vote.
If only the politically motivated and connected parents (those with political/personal agendas and not those who care about all students/the community) are the only ones running for office, the result is what Melrose has now. Predictably, it is Mr. Mroz and Mrs. K, whose actions are always about ALL of the students and community, even to their own detriment, are the object of the vitriol here because the status quo types are threatened by the questions we should all be asking.
Look around that School Committee and it's clear as day that the rest all have personal/political agendas and have taken actions that are contrary to the general good (look at their votes if their conduct is not enough to convince you). Imagine what could happen if a diverse body of citizens sat in that chamber--senior citizens who understand why all need and deserve the best education possible, individuals from other races/cultures/backgrounds who could improve the hostile and ignorant atmosphere just by virtue of their presence, individuals from the business community who may or may not have children in the system but understand why a good education is essential to a highly functioning community, young adults who are still recently connected to the school system (as other communities see on their school boards), newer residents of the city (who can bring fresh perspectives and alternatives from other places).
It really is on us to change this.
MFD & Co, I'm going to try to do you incompetent fools a favor.
Instead of continuing on with illusory points from the nameless silent majority of Melrose try using your right to public assembly and organize 1 school committee meeting that you can get 12 other people to attend. The best place to start would simply be the next school committee meeting. Have 1 individual tell the school committee that the 12 people sitting in the audience have real concerns about the State of Education in Melrose, and have them stand up. If you can do that I'll retract every statement I have made and will not criticize your efforts again.
Mroz started the first (and real) Melrose Education Coalition with his Panera meetings, before it was coopted by that pretentious bunch now acting as the mayor's lobbying group, Mel Ed Foundation (they are the bunch he's counting on to get his Override on the ballot and voted in so that he can keep mismanaging resources with a way bigger checkbook). Mroz has mobilized many over many years (when they're not at City Hall, they are at other city/school things doing their part in their way), and got a thousand votes without even trying or opening a campaign account. He obviously has never put time or energy into advocating for himself because he's so busy fighting for everyone's kids, for fixing the water/sewer rate mess, for addressing a wide variety of problems caused by the mistakes of politicians and city officials. Just ask around and you'll find out about all the millions of things he's done to help so many. Just ask the UU Church what he's done without ever seeking even an acknowledgment or thank you, let alone any other kind of payback. If you look even a little bit, you'll find all kinds of people he's helped quietly--people suffering from abuse, health issues, homelessness, and of course abuse at the hands of the school system. If you need help, he's one of the people on the front line helping, all the time and entirely selflessly. In fact, he epitomizes the word selfless. Those who relish in taking pot shots at him just reflect their own ignorance and pettiness.
"Put up" seems to enjoy taking pot shots but apparently has no institutional memory of those who have filled City Hall in the quest to make things better, even at their own personal peril.
CKK did this when she led the charge over the Physics Debacle, with literally dozens of families in City Hall successfully forcing the removal of a very bad teacher and revealing the creepy machinations of the superintendent and school committee (most of whom are still sitting there hurting the education system). She's another who gets nothing for her efforts except the satisfaction of knowing she's tried to make things better and actually has in a lot of ways. She's also filled that chamber when there were attempts to hurt the arts/music program. She's brought many there (members of my family have been among them) for a number of other occasions when support was needed--either for good things (like getting a new arts director) or to bear witness when bad things were taking place.
Apparently "Put up" just has a short memory or chooses to ignore anything that doesn't fit. Certainly it's valid to say "put up or shut up" (though impolite) in general here, where so many are content to look the other way, not rock the boat, not contribute anything but just sit back and criticize all the time, but it's not valid to say that in this context where there are genuinely exceptional and selfless individuals working very hard for everyone else's benefit. There are some others in this category, too, though these two are the ones taking the most heat over a number of years and who haven't given up (most of the rest of them did eventually).
It's ironic because the Mayor, Alderman and School Committee in particular actually created the need for information people were no longer able to get from City Hall, SC's constant violations of Open Meeting Laws and complete shutdown of public comment period or open dialogue between school committee members at SC meetings. From the surprised look on CKK's face before votes taken without discussion, it is apparent that School Committee business and deliberation is routinely taking place elsewhere before SC meetings in violation of OML in the local coffee shops (Jitters) or secretly online between the "SC clique", sans,the only SC member who knows what the hell she is doing
At some point the real issues will continue to bubble up no matter how hard they are suppressed. Meanwhile a lot of Melrose kids are suffering the consequences of the perennial neglect.
They have encased themselves in arrogance and new rules ("norms" I guess they call them) and new anti-democratic, anti-public practices (like moving Public Comment to the end, after votes have been taken). Their conduct is more outrageous than ever, really hard to believe.
Whoever is back to cutting and pasting previous entries (badly) should stop, please. It doesn't help anything.
By the way, it is way too early in the morning for you to be exhaling so deeply on your thoughts.