Left In Lowell

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October 22, 2009

Do NOT Reelect Mike Hayden!

by at 2:36 pm.

I’ve been gathering my thoughts for some time about this post. But one thing is for sure - this is an anti-endorsement for Michael Hayden for Greater Lowell Tech. School Committee. I seriously recommend NOT ticking off his name come November 3rd. In fact, I beg you, do not let this man get reelected.

For those who have not followed this race much, there are two seats open for the Tech School Committee. There is only one challenger - Fred Bahou - and the two incumbents, Hayden, and George O’Hare, running for these seats. I have issues with O’Hare as well…but have many more with Hayden.

I will start you off with this website (Michael Hayden’s). Go ahead, read at least the first page of it, then come back. I suspect you will see instantly why I think this man should be no where near our kids’ educational institutions of any kind. (If you haven’t seen the site before, you aren’t alone - it is virtually invisible to Google due to the poor way in which it was built. I only found it recently.)

Anyone who is that obsessed with “illegal immigration” is bad news in my book. This is a man who is willing to punish innocent children for choices they didn’t make, not to mention the tone and tenor of racism in general in his angry rhetoric. This is a man to whom diversity is a curse not a benefit to our city, and with all the children of immigrants in our city, he is a very poor choice indeed to represent them, or us, in administering the tech high school.

I can’t tell you just how much that website chills me. It alone would warrant an anti-endorsement.

Further evidence of racism, perhaps even more direct, is that while a Committee member, Hayden wanted to take down all the safety signs that are in Spanish at the school. You know, the ones that direct kids where to go in case of fire, exits, etc. Apparently his attitude is that you should speak English, or maybe die in a fire. I don’t know. All I know is, every finger points to racism. This is illegal and was not done, but is very illustrative.

However, there is another major issue in the tech school committee race, one which the Lowell Sun has written about but I think it needs to be reiterated: the issue of the apparent Good Ol’ Boyism in microcosm that is the Voke’s governing body. This is an issue I have with both O’Hare and Hayden. Did you know that neither O’Hare nor Hayden can vote on the teacher contracts of the school for which they are supposed to be on the Committee? They both have relatives working at the Voke. That in and of itself isn’t enough to damn, of course, but here’s the kicker: the 2005 contract negotiated for the Superintendent, James Cassin, gave him - this is insane - an automatic 5.25% raise per year, with and additional merit raise per year bringing him up to a possible 9.5% raise a year, plus a $10,000 annuity. He started at $112,000 in 2005, and this year reached the dizzying height of $181,835. Here is the Google cashed Sun article on the issue.

To compare, Superintendent Chris Scott, who oversees the entire Lowell school system including the city’s high school, gets $170,000, and did not take her raise this year. Cassin, of course, did.

Not only that, but I have talked with some people at the school, and there is deep unhappiness with the direction, tone, and results from Cassin’s administration. I heard the terms “bad work environment” more than once. Cassin went from being a teacher to being a superintendent, with no school administration experience whatsoever.

So here’s where the speculation comes in…Cassin gets a choice contract. Cassin then hires or has hired family members of several Committee members. Said Committee members can no longer vote on the teachers contracts, but can still vote to give Cassin his merit raise. Sounds like a situation rife for GOB behavior. There is a serious appearance of impropriety.

The good news is that there is a challenger in this race, and one whom we’ve had the pleasure of endorsing in the past. I happily endorse Fred Bahou for the Greater Lowell Vocational School Committee (you can listen to my Bahou interview here) and I will also vote for George O’Hare.

Because, as it was pointed out to me, a bullet vote for Bahou might mean Hayden gets the second seat, and that is absolutely unacceptable.

37 Responses to “Do NOT Reelect Mike Hayden!”

  1. log cabin club Says:

    Lynne, I know Mike Hayden, Mike Hayden is a friend of mine. He is a fine gay, we attended the Mass. Republcian state convention together. Mike was a strong Brad Bailley guy as well as Gov. Bill Weld. Mike stands up to the far left and you folks just can not accept a a well articulated conservitive position. Get a life.

    log cabin

  2. Lynne Says:

    So, that’s not his website that I linked to, he didn’t try to get the Spanish signs taken out of the school, and he wasn’t on the Committee back when they gave the most absolutely ridiculous contract ever to the superintendent?

    It’s not me that needs a life, kiddo.

  3. Lynne Says:

    By the way, wasting the taxpayer money giving money away in that contract…that’s a real conservative position, there.

  4. Mr. Lynne Says:

    “well articulated conservitive position.”

    Really? Conflicts of interest and outrageous salaries for friends? Conservative? Really?

    Taking down the Spanish safety signs? Really? Conservative? Safety not necessary for Spanish speakers? I mean we’re not talking about a position of ‘not putting them up’ in the first place, but rather ‘taking them down’ once they are already up. They’re already up! You want to spend maintenance money to take them down once their already up? Conservative? Really?

  5. Corey Says:

    The Lynne’s,
    Not voting for him, but your labeling of his positions as “racism”, are as usual over-reaching and reactionary. The Conservative position is of course financing the education of Americans that PAY taxes. Hayden isn’t sitting on that pot alone.

    I personally don’t see how it’s at all fair to someone who has worked, live, raise kids and pay taxes here should have their children omitted from a trade school opportunity because someone is manipulating the system. I mean being here illegally is still illegal isn’t it?

    “The reforms that I am proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally…” Sound familiar?

    If Obama claims it shouldn’t apply for access to health care, why should our local school systems be required to provide entirely equal access to education?

    And don’t bother with that weak argument you offered… “Stop eating vegetables… “because undocumented workers keep food prices down”.

    If you have spent any real time here in Lowell you’ve seen the waves of illegal immigrants who use the resources we offer… western union their under-the-table paychecks home and leave.

    It’s the land of opportunity all right.

  6. Jack Mitchell Says:

    Corey,
    I have friends that are illegals. You’ve hit all the right parrot points. The scapegoat “illegal” is such a demon. The fear mongering is thick enough to cut with a knife.

    Many illegals get paid by check with witholdings taken out. Where do those go, I wonder? Maybe they stay with the employer? Hmmm.

    Many illegals are here to stay, living in the shadows hoping that one day that the land that they have come to love will love them back.

    Corey, who will you scapegoat next?

    Hayden is using the fact that there are more applicants than space available at the GLT to wave his flag for “real America.” It’s a disgrace.

  7. Lynne Says:

    I still wonder who’s going to explain away Hayden’s wanting to make our schools more dangerous to kids with English as a second language, regardless of status.

    Corey, you mistake this entire damned post. I am not arguing about undocumented workers. I have a VERY different perspective than you, and frankly, yours is the one which is pretty heartless. I still wonder what YOU would do if you were born in a country in poverty and how YOU might decide to take pretty desperate measures.

    But this post is about one particular, OBSESSED person seeking to return to an office he has no business being in. Punishing children who had nothing to do with those decisions. Sorry, but he’s doing our schools NO good between that view, and what appears to be some pretty blatant conflicts of interest in spending OUR taxpayer money. End of story.

  8. Kim Says:

    “A 1982 Supreme Court case prohibits states from denying a free public education to undocumented immigrant children regardless of their immigrant status, but Hayden said the school is on firm legal footing because Greater Lowell Technical High School is a selective secondary school.
    “I contend that each student in the Greater Lowell regional school district is afforded a free public school education from their own sending schools” he said.”

    Why is it ok for Mr. Hayden to suck money from the public schools and overpay their super? I do not get Mr. Hayden’s mentality that even though they are funded with our tax dollars that he differentiates himself from the “public” schools. This is not the Jean D’arc this is the “public” Lowell Tech! If he wants to debate immigration then he can do it on a state/federal level and not just be a “one” man show here in Lowell and act like the tech is some elite school and children that apply there are better then children that attend Lowell Public schools. To hell with selective secondary schools! Public is public and they are funded with my $$$. I am not even debating whether immigrants should be allowed in our school systems (work to change the law if you want), but I would really like to know who this guy thinks he is. Illegal is illegal, but children are children. Sorry Corey but these children have commited no CRIME!

  9. Corey Says:

    I completely understood the post. I began the reply with i don’t like mike. I got it, your not the only one’s paying attention ya know. I just felt it was a little manipulated with the racism remark.

    Jack I’m not scapegoating. It is a situation of competitive limited seats. If it’s your opinion one should be made available to an immigrant kid living at his aunts house in Lowell, so be it. I disagree and don’t think its fair a local kid should lose out. Being so ready to suggest residents and taxpayers forgo their opportunities for the greater good, shows you and Lynne are in neither position.

    Jack, This is not your father’s immigrant city. Introduce me to 5 of your “illegal” friends and I’ll show you hundreds of deported/re-entered (nationality purposefully omitted) immigrants dealing drugs in the city, completely abusing the housing market, selling homes they don’t even own, committing devastating identity fraud and temp agencies funneling hundreds of thousands back home, gee wonder how much of that $ is fully reported? I say this because you offered me a capsule of your contacts; trust me what’s listed is only a snapshot of mine.

    Lynne again with the drama, Here’s a point of reference. I wasn’t born in a country, in poverty. I was however born in Lowell in poverty so my opportunities were as limited as you’ll see in this city. Because of my impoverished upbringing and the trying family life at times was associated… Let’s just say regardless of my job, I’m just a kid from Lowell who will FOREVER been able to see people in this city in an understanding, heartfelt & un-jaded prospective. I have on many occasions, because I meet them every day, seen and recognized the real fear in the eyes of immigrants, say… a Mexican pretending to be Puerto Rican. I’ve spoken at great length to these people and know the insane difficulties they faced making their way here, leaving friends and family abroad to return a decent wage.

    But you know what. Should my friend’s kid not be able to attend the VOKE because that guy happened to have kids here too?

    Sorry, no.

  10. Tech Voter Says:

    I haven’t read one positive thing about Mr.Hayden. I listen to the three canadates messages and Mr.Hayden has a very negative message. I read the minutes of the last nine meetings that are posted on the techs website and Mr. Hayden nor Mr.O’Hare have made one new motion under new busines all year. Why do we need them there again? I went to the tech and it was a very positive place. Not the place I envision when I read about Mr.Hayden. Family members on the pay-roll while the person at the top gets a 70k raise over the last six years and now this. The tech needs someone who will represent the best interest of the children. Not shead negative light on the school. If the signs were already there what was the point of removing them and is removing them in the best interest of the children? On the radio Mr.Hayden said the amount the Superintendent gets is a small fraction of the budget. He still doesn’t get it. 191k is to much for that position and the money could be used somewhere else. As a former tech student I will no longer vote for Mr.Hayden. We need someone who will look at a dollars as a dollar not as a percentage to a budget. The teachers are the ones who truly made the MCAS scores go up not the Superintendent who hired Mr.Hayden’s family members while receiving the raises. I believe it is a conflict of interest also. The teacher touch the childrens life every day when I went to the tech I didn’t even know the Superintendents name (Mrs.Herbert) but I did know my teachers names and still do. Well, the point is no motions under new business over the last nine months, family members getting jobs while giving the Superintendent a 70k raise over the last six years, and try to say the raise is ok because it is a fraction of the budget. Does Mr.Hayden believe the voters of this City are that nieve.

  11. Lynne Says:

    Born in Lowell in poverty…you had a lot more opportunities than most of the rest of the world. I can’t believe you don’t understand that. I wasn’t rich either, but because I lived in the US I got free public school and was eligible for loans which got me my college education.

    And to say there’s no drug dealers or criminals who are born-citizens is just laughable. Please show me the statistics which say that it’s more likely these things are run by immigrants than by citizens. Please.

    Immigrants are some of the hardest working people I know, undocumented or “legal.” They contribute a HUGE amount to our economy and society. A good portion of the small businesses are run by immigrants; they are willing to take risks average Americans sometimes aren’t.

    Second, punishing CHILDren for whatever the parents chose to do is wrong, even if you don’t like illegal immigration. I don’t like the situation with undocumented workers either; I think it means that a lot of them are getting taken advantage of because they are afraid to report any violation, crime, what have you, done to them by employers or others. They aren’t protected from getting less pay or bad working conditions. In many cases they PAY for those services but can’t get them.

    But again, you’re drawing me and others into rearguing the immigration debate which is NOT what this post is about. Suffice to say that that website of Hayden’s makes me sick.

    If you have a guy who is *obsessed* with driving out kids out of our schools, no matter who they are, this is not the person I want representing a school district which is full of diversity, and it’s pretty much shown that Mr. Hayden is quite beyond disliking undocumented workers, anyway.

  12. Jack Mitchell Says:

    Corey,
    I’ll say right now, people are not angels. Their green card status isn’t much of an indicator of what they will do to get by. I think “working class” people bear the brunt on these economic times, so instead of fighting each other, maybe we should figure out who is REALLY screwing us.

    On one point, The “immigrant kid living at his aunts house in Lowell,.” I’m not sure how this deligitimizes the student. Are they comptetative? Do they work while they attend the school? Is this kid a “better” or “worse” student than his/hers peers? Does their host family pay taxes like everyone else?

    I have heard of families faking addresses to get their kids OUT of Lowell schools. How does this balance the equation.

    Bottom line is, this isn’t about the GLT. This is about xenophobia dressed up as conservative politics. Politics of hate that have NO business hijacking our educational systems.

  13. Mr. Lynne Says:

    I think that when the elected position is about the school and the candidate’s burning issue is a tangent, what we have is a need for more candidates. It shows that the tangent is more important to the candidate than the core mission of the position. A vote for him isn’t actually a vote for putting someone effective in the position rather a vote of sympathy for his pet tangent issue.

    I don’t think the majority of voters realize what/who he is (website nice and hidden and all). I’m glad its coming out to the wider community now.

  14. Corey Says:

    Lynne. LOL, YES white people commit crime, NO, it isn’t just immigrants. But, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… you and others are in serious need of a “ride along” OFF the cobblestone road.

    It’s Lowell… not Dafur. I don’t live my life or raise my kids in constant evaluation to the retched conditions of the world. I make sure they’re mindful of it, but don’t guilt them into finishing their plate because people are starving.

    Kim, no one’s saying public education shouldn’t be provided however the reality as it stands now is that it IS a selective process because of available seats. You can also bet your fanny if SJA (Goooo… Chargers!) began a raising tuitions or refusing kids to admit undocumented immigrants. I’d be pissed… couldn’t do anything about it of course, because I know my place amongst educational nuns.

    Jack I agree, my example was incomplete. I’ve seen a great number of school kids whose families live outside the area, using the addresses of their aunts and grandmothers to attend our schools. Who would blame them, I worked at Lowell High for 7 years, it’s an awesome school and my kids will attend. I also agree the conservative position is extreme, as is the liberal one. I wasn’t looking to have an “illegal” argument. I’m not advocating ousting or denying.

    There has to be middle ground, if your aim is inclusiveness across the board- which I think is a little dreamy. The solution is gonna require more than cuts to a superintendent’s pay, likely increased taxes. Shall we begin there? My guess is that’s not gonna fly right now.

  15. Jack Mitchell Says:

    Corey,
    Amen.. Go Chargers!

    The escapades of Hayden have already fallen flat, as they should. As should he on Nov. 3rd!

    From what I could gather, 4 years ago Mike Hayden and DJ Deeb from Dracut, who was thrown off the committee by Dracut voters in their last election, orchestrated a vote of the committee to prohibit undocumented students from attending their school. They voted to force students to produce documents so they could check their immigration status. Mike Lenzi also voted to kick out the undocumented students. ONLY George O’Hare, on that entire committee, would not vote for this horrible motion and he vigorously stood up for the rights of the children.

    The state Department of Education found out and sent them a letter saying that either they rescind their motion or all of their state funding would be cut, because their motion was illegal.

    The GLTHS was then forced to either keep their vote and take the issue to court or rescind their motion. Mike Hayden actually wanted to put the entire school into jeopardy because of his hatred towards “illegals” (even children). However, except for Deeb, the rest of the committee was not willing to go that far and they rescinded the motion.

  16. Smooth Says:

    Thanks for the post. I usually don’t vote in the GLTHS race because I don’t have any vested interest, but I think it is worth a vote this time.

  17. Elisha Bartlett Says:

    So the GLTHS is managed by a cook who is “From Lowell, For Lowell” but with a business in Dracut, a committee member who is a “counselor” with anger management issues, and a superintendent who was manager of Tavern at the Bridge (not exactly the most reputable establishment in our fair city) before he sold it to CVS and forced the small music shop in the same building as the tavern out of business.

  18. waittilnextyr Says:

    It is clear from Hayden’s web site where his “educational” priorities are. Maybe Corey didn’t want to have an argument over “illegals”, but that sure seems to be the primary basis for Hayden’s candidacy.

  19. Jack Mitchell Says:

    You should post this on BMG. Just a thought.

  20. log cabin club Says:

    If only you folks could have a coffee with the guy, he really is not that offensive. He is off the sauce and helping others with Ins. coverage and DWI charges. He is a nice guy, we had a grea time at the state GOP convention as Brad Bailey delegates. He may be math challenged though.

  21. Mr. Lynne Says:

    I’m sure he is affable. Problem is, he’s in a policy position and his priorities relative to the position’s duties are way out of whack. His is the campaign of a zealot on issue B running for a seat mainly dealing with issues A, C, D, E and F.

    I’m sure I’d disagree with him on many issues, of course, but the point is if you take a look at his campaign (and apparent self-appointed ‘mission’ in public life), he’s just wrong for the job on several levels.

    If he’s a nice guy, then great for him. But knowing what I know, I wouldn’t put the guy in office if he gave my brother a kidney - forget about being friendly.

  22. Christopher Says:

    Wow! It’s not often you encounter such blatant xenophobes in your own backyard. I have two questions: How did this guy get elected the FIRST time in a city like Lowell? What’s he really running for? Also, does he realize two things: It’s not for a school district to determine immigration policy - that’s federal; and that any child born here is a citizen per the Constitution regardless of parents’ legal status. I emphatically second this anti-endorsement.

  23. grizzled veteran Says:

    Lynne, you deserve credit for your moral sense of outrage. What makes people think they can run for office just to benefit their friends and pocket books? It’s been a mentality that few were outraged over in Lowell. That Mike Hayden would exploit a meaningful idea – technical education – to reward friends and family members is very much disgusting. So much for public servi ce and Jeffersonian democracy. Between this, pension abuse, sewer tie-ins, and sleeping on the job; where is the line drawn? Keep up the good work and make the Mike Hayden’s defend themselves. It’s such a long embedded mentality in Lowell, just ask Kendall. So many friends to help and so many enemies to punish. Oh, did I mention the five year rolling contract for his own son? There are great people in Lowell, but too few of them serve on these boards or are willing to speak out.

  24. outsider Says:

    GV

    Great point on the 5 year contract of his son who has 3 oui convictions. And also has a daughter (and son inlaw) who are on the public payroll
    You will not hear Lynne talk about that —- her and the prince have been spotted “chatting” having coffee together talking about the problems of lowell. A blow in (like me) and a blow hard.

  25. Mimi Says:

    Outsider:

    If it is a crime to speak to the people at the Sun, and have coffee with them, then I plead guilty also. The easiest thing is to attack the messengers when we do not like the message. The simple fact is that the contract given to the GLTS Superintendent is outrageous and those who voted for it should be held accountable. That money comes from me and you. You can try to divert the discussion to Kendall or anyone else at the Sun but it does not change that fact.

  26. Eleanor Rigby Says:

    So for the folks that throw “illegal” around let me ask you. How many generations must pass before the decendants of “illegals” are in fact legal?

    Then look back at your own heritage and I’ll be many of you would find yourselves “illegals” by your own definition!

    As for assuming Spanish speakers are non-taxpayers and non-Americans the last time I looked Puerto Rico was part of the United States of America and the predominant language spoken was Spanish.

    This is the first time I have looked at Hayden’s site and I quite frankly couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I even went so far as to look up who registered the site thinking that some opponent of Hayden’s was trying to sabotage him. Nope, it’s owned by Haden!

    Proudly stating that Greater Lowell’s policy is not in compliance with DOE policies is unbelievable! It reminds me of the statement Richard Nixon made to David Frost…It’s not illegal if the president does it! Same logic.

    For someone that proports to be a mediator and give advice on anger issues it seems to me that he’s got a lot of anger and hatred pent up!

  27. Lynne Says:

    Right, me ‘n Kendall are best buds now. *lmfao*

    Look, when someone is on the right side of an issue you’d be a fool not to engage with them. Whatever other complaints people have about Kendall (and I know there are enough of them), he really does like having an ethical city manager in charge. And, what Mimi said, anyway. It’s obvious you have no real defense of these GOBs because you never DEFEND them. You attack us! It’s hilarious and pretty pathetic.

    ER: isn’t it ironic? I didn’t bother to go into how funny it is that someone so obviously angry runs an anger management company…maybe it takes one to know one…but yeesh.

  28. Robby Says:

    Im a little late to this discussion, but I want to put my opinion out there for anyone who sees it anyway. While I agree whole heartedly with Lynne in regards to the contract for Mr. Cassin, I do disagree to a level in regards to the Spanish signs. Im not sure where the “illegal immigration” argument came in, as Im not sure how it has anything to do with Spanish signs in the classroom.

    When I was in middle school about 10 years ago, they had a bilingual program in place, where all of the Spanish students stayed together all day and were taught in Spanish. They were isolated from everybody else, and never became friendly with any of the other students. This has no benefit for the kids, in actually hurts them long-term. Whether people want to face it or not, the language of this nation is English. I actually know some people who are friends with several of these Spanish students, and several of them have yet to find a stable job because they understand zero English. Our educational system should have been teaching them in English, it would have set them up for a better future. Just like I was forced to take Spanish class, they should have been learning English.

    Im not exactly sure what Hayden said in regards to illegal immigration. A lot of people out there are opposed to even letting “illegals” stay in this country, let alone give them an education. But the Spanish signs in schools I do agree with should be taken down. I dont see how the issue of Spanish signs has anything to do with illegal immigration.

    Finally, Mr. Cassin is TAKING way too much of OUR money, not earning it. Anyone who votes for his raises will not be getting my support, period. Just my two cents.

  29. Eleanor Rigby Says:

    Robby, while I agree that bilingual education as it was presented in your day failed…teaching kids in their native language without also teaching in English puts them at a disadvantage…Taking down signs that could save their lives in an emegency is just plan stupid, irresponsible and borders on criminal if god forbid something does happen!

  30. JackFrom01854 Says:

    Why is there even a superintendent of the Voke with 2 or 3 assistants. Doesn’t the school have a headmaster? I can’t even imagine what this guys does all day. He is in charge of one school. Isn’t that the definition of a principal?

  31. Frenchy Says:

    I just had to click on “Education” on his page, because I was certain it would be blank. Imagine my horror to see that he has a degree in Social Work and has practiced as a counselor!!!!!

  32. Gerry Nutter Says:

    I have sat and talked with Mike Hayden and he is basically a nice man with a strong moral beleif that English should be taught and read in school and that taxpaying people should be able to send their kids to school over someone here illegally. He may come across as a bigot to some but reminds me of my father and people of that generation who belwive you take care of your own 1st…I may not agree with his exact verbage but support the guys right to say it…why is it incorrect and wrong to state your opinion even if it is different than most??

    Jim Cassin owned the Tavern (I worked there and I worked at the Voke) and is another good guy. I do agree that his salary is out of line for the school size he manages but if your bosses are willing to pay you what you ask are you going to decline? It is up to the 4 communities and Lowell is the largest (Dracut,Tyngsboro & Dunstable) and has 4 Reps..they need to work with the Manager and Council and reduce the Salary and Lowell’s contibution.

  33. Jack Mitchell Says:

    Hayden is tone deaf, if he is anything.

    I don’t expect small time, community oriented public servants to hire big money image consultants, but this one is a no brainer. Ya would have to live in a cave, not to have seen the “Teabagger Uprising” this summer. It was “Don’t Tread On Me”, let’s stick to the “Constitution”, Cherry picking the slant of particular Amendments, plus plenty of “health care for ILLEGAL aliens.”

    Like Hayden missed this? Bet he was trying to tap into it?

    Let me now click on his webpage to see if it has been altered.

    Looks like it has a little. There was some stuff on there about our Governor. I don’t see that now.

    Hayden knows what he is saying, how he is saying it and how he is saying it to.

  34. Mr. Lynne Says:

    He’s perfectly entitled to his opinions. Anyone who runs for office should expect those opinions to be examined and possibly criticized. Nobody here is saying “…s it incorrect and wrong to state your opinion even if it is different than most??”. Nobody has disputed “…the guys right to say it.” Indeed, we can be grateful that he wears his opinion on his sleeve. The fact that this issue seems to be the entire focus of his campaign and his self-appointed mission on the Committee should be known and I for one am glad he let us know.

    “…if your bosses are willing to pay you what you ask are you going to decline?” That’s a reasonable statement. The problem is, of course, that the salary is a symptom that something is broken in the governing body. If the mechanism that allowed this was based on a conflict of interest that he took advantage of, then there is an ethical problem too, but now it isn’t just limited to the governing body but is also a problem for the Superintendent himself.

  35. Eleanor Rigby Says:

    Gerry…no one certainly no I is saying that Hayden shouldn’t be allowed to express his views. I am actually very glad he did. What I am questioning is do I want someone with those particular views sitting in a position to influence the policy of educating students? My answer to that is no.

    As for the Voke having a Superientendent and principal I believe that when the vocational education system was established in its present form (as opposed to trade schools) the legislature required the post. I think it should be one or the other not both. The Voke is also the only school to have it’s own school committee!

  36. Lynne Says:

    Having its own school committee actually makes sense. As it’s a regional school, input and representation from all the town, proportionate to the amount of kids from each, is a good way to handle it. You could, I suppose, create the committee from members of each town’s existing school committee, rather like a subcommittee but made up of SC members from the towns. But I rather think the school committee has enough on its hands in a good year, nevermind this year of fiscal crisis…

  37. Felicia Sullivan Says:

    As far as I’m concerned, we need people on the school committee who are dedicated to creating great learning environments for Lowell’s children and can do it in a way that uses public resources in the most efficient and effective way possible. Given Mr. Hayden’s efforts on the Greater Voke, I don’t have confidence that he will try to create the best learning opportunities for ALL of the young people in our community. And given his history of supporting his friends in hiring practices, I’m not sure he will use our scare resources well either.

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