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January 14, 2012

Accountability Demanded from GLTHS

by at 10:04 am.

It has been a busy week in Lowell politics and the happenings at the Greater Lowell Technical High School have not yet reached the level of public discussion it deserves.


Evan Lips, Lowell Sun reporter, has the story in today’s edition of the paper.

To recap, newly-elected GLTHS Committeeman Eric Gitschier had asked the Superintendent Mary Jo Santoro about funds either missing or mismanaged at the School. When she did not provide an answer, he submitted a motion.

At Thursday night’s meeting, committee member Erik Gitschier’s motions launched public discussion of the allegations. An attorney representing the school stressed there was no money currently missing from any of the district’s accounts.

The motion to order Santoro to produce a report about the incident carried by a 6-2 vote, with Chairman Michael Lenzi and Secretary George O’Hare casting the two votes against.

According to the Sun, the individual who is at the center of this controversy is related to the Superintendent.
I am shocked that two School Committeemen, both representing Lowell, would oppose bringing a report forward. I cannot believe they would vote against a public report. Imagine if this was the Lowell School Committee? How about if it was the City Council and the City Manager?

If this kind of situation had occurred at City Hall during his tenure on the Lowell City Council, would GLTHS Committee Chair Lenzi have said “I don’t want to know about it and I don’t think the committee needs to know about it.” Really?

In the past, the GLTHS Committee has had issues with transparency and accountability. The 6 - 2 vote affirms that the majority wants that perception and reality changed. Now we need to have the other two understand that.

Although the GLTHS Committee broadcast its meeting live via webcam, the recording of this meeting has not yet available through local access television. As soon as that occurs, I post the on-demand link.

4 Responses to “Accountability Demanded from GLTHS”

  1. Eleanor Rigby Says:

    No crime was committed because the money was returned? Really? And these people are teaching our children?

    I also object to ANY public agency or institution covering up things like this under the heading of “Personnel issues”…BS! A crime is a crime and it should be treated like any other crime, publicly and in the open!

  2. mackie Says:

    I watched the meeting and was truly in horror at the re-marks of the two members who did vote against it. Missing funds that are paid back may not be criminal, but it certainly isn’t proper today. The Lawyer for the School stated that an investigation was done and it was determined that nothing criminal occurred it was “unaccounted for money”. Why pay it back if it was misplaced or unaccounted for? Who did the investigation? The Chairman of the Board knew this occurred but decided the other members of the Board didn’t need to know? Mr. O’Hare admitted that he heard about it months ago and felt this should be discussed in Executive Session but did not equest this. You can state that it isn’t taxpayers money,but it certainly isn’t employees money either and a report was and is definitely warranted. I believe we need more new School Committee Member after the show I witnessed on 1/12/12.

  3. Right In Lowell Says:

    Why is this not a suprise with these two? Big question is when are their terms up and who can we get to run against them?

  4. Magnolia Says:

    The whole Voke thing is a mess. It is obvious that Ms Santoro did not want the information to become public because of her relationship to the secretary. If we had known about this before the election, Lenzi would have definitely been replaced and I most certainly will not vote for O’Hare when he comes up for re-election. It appears that the failure to bring the issue public before the election was deliberate. I belive that the secretary’s actions were criminal and should be treated that way.

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