Would love to know how the editors of the NotFree $2 Press think they are justified in giving one candidate (MBMM) the kind of free advertisement they provided to her with that disgusting gush piece in this week's paper, and then giving an official endorsement of the override. Shame on this publication! Withdrawing my subscription. That's it. Too many years of supporting this rag when it so clearly is in the bag, just a shilling piece for the 2nd Floor of City Hall and the realtors.
Supporting the other candidates for At Large: Monica Medeiros (write-in, also for mayor!), J.D. LaRock, Donald Conn
Would also like to know why it didn't run Ms. Kourkoumelis' excellent letter when the Weekly News had the good sense to place it as Letter 1: Here it is:
As a twice-elected member of the Melrose School committee with two years remaining on my term, it has been the greatest honor to serve our community and learn about the issues we must all confront together. In my humble opinion the proposed override is based on claims by an administration that has seriously damaged its own credibility and fails to hold itself accountable for the troubled state of our school system. This administration continuously rewards itself with extravagant raises not tied to improved student outcomes across the board, in the same breath as it claims it has insufficient resources to provide basic needs to children. This administration has spent many thousands of dollars on legal bills that I believe should not have been necessary had there been competent management. This administration has not demonstrated an iota of humility even when the district has been found by the federal Office of Civil Rights to have violated the basic civil rights of students. This administration stubbornly brags about its accomplishments even when the evidence paints a troubling picture: when some of our finest teachers have left the district not because they wanted to but because they felt that the environment had become untenable and toxic or were pushed out by administration; when our high school students have seen a significant decline in college matriculation rates to 2- and 4-year colleges (from 95.9% in 2005–6 to 88.3% in 2013–14); when the Horace Mann Elementary School descended to Level 3 status where in years past it had consistently held a strong academic position; when 37% of 5th-graders and 52% of 8th-graders have scored Needs Improvement/Warning in MCAS Science; when national standardized tests such as the SAT and ACT reveal that MHS students are continuing to test at or below the state level. Instead of straightforward honesty, this administration chooses to arm itself with more and more attorneys and costly legal battles. Instead of transparency and open communication this administration chooses belligerence, even going to the lengths of challenging the Secretary of State's Public Records Office and trying to charge this school committee member $7,638.75 for documents indicating who is accessing legal services and why. We are not even talking about "public records" here, but documents necessary for the execution of my responsibility as a public official and bound by all laws of confidentiality and privacy that those who work in the school district are required to honor. None of the above-listed areas of concerns are addressed by the monies sought through the override, so I have no confidence that the override will result in anything other than a more expensive debacle of the same failed policies.
This override plays on the continued goodwill and generosity of Melrose citizens while it presumes a level of trust that this administration has, in my opinion, squandered. There is simply no reason to trust that the requested additional tax dollars are needed or would be used for the benefit of improved student outcomes. This administration has already received several million dollars more in the recent budget cycles, even before counting the bonds for textbooks or the many millions approved for various school building projects at Melrose High School and elsewhere in the district. Melrosians have demonstrated over and over again that they want the best for their students. This override unfairly asks for more tax dollars when there is no reason to trust that resources are being managed well. More importantly our trust has been demanded when it has not been earned. Lastly, I wholehearted believe there are ways to achieve vast improvements in our district education without greater cost, but this would require a willingness to consider alternative points of view and to limit the amount we spend trying to make things look good. More money will make it even less likely that alternatives will be heard or considered. It empowers those who have failed to deliver their obligations and reduces our ability to enact changes for the better. Thank you for your consideration of these important matters.
Monica for Mayor
At large: Monica, J.D. Larock, Don Conn
No on override and yes for my community!
Shame on Free Press!
If that letter was submitted to the Free Press & the Free Press chose not to print it, there are no words. None. Except for disgusting & disgraceful.
And ugly. Very ugly.
The Free Press is trying to influence the outcome of the override.
To the old joke about the free press not being free, I'd always say, it's freedom of the press. Not now.
Letters to the editor were kind of the last man standing. Slim reporting. Mostly press releases but there was some hope in the letters to the editor. The paper sure published those letters from all those MEF friends.
MBMM's husband served in Vietnam. He should be thanked and honored for doing his duty. His service should not be used as a political ploy by his wife. I had not planned to vote for MBMM because she never seems sincere. And I will not vote for any BOA candidate who uses/used taxpayer money to pay for personal health insurance. But playing her husband's military card is so disgusting, I hope she loses in a landslide!