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So here it is folks. The pièce de résistance. Official Left in Lowell candidate questionnaire answers! They are on their own web page, which you can find here.
On a side note, I really REALLY like this format. Comparing lots of apples to lots of other apples, and a few places for candidates to show off their knowledge. This could be the format going forward. Also, lots and lots of props to my wonderful husband who whipped the submitted answers into a format that I could literally copy and paste into the page for the data table. Love you hon!!!
Thanks also to our amazing readers for a very large chunk of the questions. Crowd sourcing works!
I am considering reopening up for submissions after the preliminary, since my timeframe was crushed a bit leading up to next Tuesday’s election. The unfair part is that anyone submitting answers after publication is getting an advantage of seeing what everyone else said; but if I were to notate who passed answers in after the prelim, would you want to see more answers from more candidates? Honest question. I’m good either way.
Despite the crappiness that appears to be the Lowell Sun’s new website (the sidebar ads are covering half the content, they have the worst, most pixelized photo of Gitschier imaginable…they must have pulled it off Google…and the layout of Santoro’s picture is whacked and the photo overly ginormous) we finally find out the results of the internal investigation of the claim by former Superintendent and current golden parachute retiree Mary Jo Santoro, that School Committee member Eric Gitschier “harassed” her by making too many motions asking for accountability.
That result? No there there. Move along folks.
Update: Feedback is coming in on my observation of O’Hare indicating the option to run for the 2 year seat. Note the similarity of handwriting for the O’Hare and Bahou entries. Did the same person jot “GLTHS School Comm” down in the book?
Could this be a clerical error and I only made it worse by running it up the flagpole?
Update 2: I’m told that there was a miscommunication and that George O’Hare has made it understood that he intends to run for the full, four year term that he currently holds. So, read the rest of this diary with an awkward eye.
I’ll toss my crystal ball and take out the handy dandy ‘Magic 8 Ball.’
It would not strike me as odd, should you click away from ANOTHER one of my ‘Blog of Record’ rants. But here goes, and I think this one is a keeper.
Part I: Sabotage
Kim Scott wants to stop the gravy train of family hiring in the Lowell Public School System, especially for administrative staff.
She says there’s an epidemic of nepotism when it comes to hiring decisions in the schools. Job candidates should be treated equally, says Scott, and no one should get a leg up because of political or school connections.
On the face of it, it’s a well-intentioned idea from the Lowell School Committee member.
The way Scott sees it — and we do, too — there is a growing concentration of power among a few people who are charged with making important hiring decisions affecting the education of the city’s 14,800 students.
Suffice to say, The Sun editorial has hijacked Kim Scott’s effort and intent with the developing motion to place procedural safeguards to diminish the practice and /or perception of the practice of nepotism and other facsimiles, thereof. The words blockquoted above, ALL belong to the ghost writer. They try to frame Kim’s mindset to appear simpatico with their breathy, hyperventilating panics. But, Kim doesn’t need to sell newspapers. Campi does.
To read more of Kim’s direct comments on this matter, and the speculation whirling around it, please check out these links:
This episode, around the Lowell Public School District, is one of The Sun’s most reprehensible.
But, WHY has the Sun descended so low? Let’s dig in a little deeper. Please, hold your nose.
Sometimes I feel like Edith Bunker, bewildered and confused…at how the blindingly obvious problems in our city are a shock, a SHOCK! to everyone.
The appearance of nepotism - no matter the circumstances, or whether there real nepotism exists, whether or not qualified candidates have been passed over for family members of people in power - must be addressed, especially when taxpayer dollars are at stake…don’t you agree? Apparently, this is controversial, if you listen to the always-angling Lowell Sun’s “blog” page (I use that term very loosely) or certain other bloggers.
In case you don’t care to donate a pity click to either the Lowell Sun or to that other blogger (and in either case, who can blame you? we do the dirty work so you don’t have to…), School Committee member Kim Scott (and yes, a friend of ours) is raising the issue as a future motion, after a second close relative of a person in power in the Lowell School system managed, somehow, to be the best candidate for supervisory roles above up to 40 other candidates. (Specifically, in this case, the sister of Jay Lang, Deputy Superintendent, became the high school’s Director of the Freshman Academy. This after wife Lori Lang became the Assistant Principal at Pyne Arts last year.)
If this is not the definition of “appearance of impropriety”, I don’t know what could possibly qualify. (Of course, the same people lamenting that this is somehow not at least appearing improper also complain about one of a gazillion non-related campaign workers of the Governor’s becoming a part of his administration. Funny that.)
Gerry’s absolutely immature take is that “Lowellians need not apply.” Like Scott’s motion is somehow to ban Lowell residents from becoming staff members at the school. I won’t even *facepalm* that one, it’s so bad.
Here’s what the Sun managed not to report on their “blog,” which I got from Kim, both from her comments on the BTSNBN’ed (points for working out that acronym), and from her directly tonight, when we both attended Fred Bahou’s fundraiser for GLTHSC (another management clusterfuck if there ever was one): Kim Scott is not aiming at any particular member of the leadership of the school department. She is addressing an issue which is so blindingly obvious, Edith Bunker herself would be able to see it. If certain people in the administration see this as aiming at them…well, maybe said persons are defensive for a reason. Perhaps they have actions that require defending?
Runon sentences and parentheticals aside, the ridiculousness of the Sun’s “reporting” (that this is directed at Jay Lang) and the jumping to redonkulous conclusions from that other link, defy all reality. Honestly, it’s enough to make this very busy girl start blogging regularly again.
Where are the freaking adults? Do they still exist? Since when do we let our taxpayer dollars go unwatched? Suddenly, this kind of stuff is all right? I’m flabbergasted.
I’m sick and flippin’ tired of the whole “hire Lowellians” phraseology, which is simply a euphemism for “hire my friends and relatives.” But when someone hires someone else’s friends and relatives, oh, ho! All of a sudden, that’s bad!
Um, no. It’s always bad. This is why I support people like Kim, who operate under rules of fairness, not what they can get out of it for them and theirs. It’s how I pick my friends…by their honesty and above board behavior. I know I won’t be embarrassed by my friends. I know that when we disagree, it’s on the merits, and when we support each other, it’s also on the merits. And when hiring practices look sketchy - whether they are actually sketchy or not - I am glad that they are there to ask the right questions.
And you thought the School Committee race was gonna be boring this summer…
So, as the cliché goes, ‘the emperor has no clothes.”
Now those in favor of Paul Schlichtman have switched their votes to Dr. Bouquillon #glths— Sarah Favot (@sarahfavot) June 18, 2013
The deadlocked didn’t break.
Boutin makes motion to appoint Bob Lussier interim superintendent for month of july contingent on successful negotiations. Passes.— Sarah Favot (@sarahfavot) June 18, 2013
The political stunt by the Boutin faction of the GLTHS school committee lays bare the shallowness of the Gitschier cabal.
My apologizes to soon to be former Supt. Santoro, for drumming up her name with my old mantra. But, it is clear, Cassin style politics is not being forced out of that school. Same shit. Different spoon.
And, to top it off, Mike Hayden pulled papers to run for a seat. Is he running for one of the 4 year seats, occupied by O’Hare & Bahou? Or, is he going to try and snipe Boutin off of the balance of Lenzi’s term?
I’ve been hoping that Erik Gitschier & Ray Boutin could lead the dysfunctional GLTHS School Committee through the troubled waters of selecting their next Supt.
It seems I’m a bit of a naïve optimist:
(h/t Julia Malakie)
Note: Boutin loses his cool, no argument. But, please keep in mind, Gitschier has a way of getting under your skin. He takes pride in it.
Maybe, it is supposed to be about the kids? That is, at least, a cute campaign slogan. But, it is also about the admin, staff & teachers that live out there for 20+ years. They matter, in my mind, as much as the kids. Also, it is about the school committee. But, in a different way.
Maybe, it is my military background? I spent about 3 years in Arlington National Cemetery, performing honor duty for fallen soldiers. I say that to say, I believe in the sanctity of institutions, oaths & ceremony. I believe that the School Committee is a body that deserves respect by earning respect.
To be blunt, I favour Paul Schlictman in this kerfuffle. Though, after reading the slimy hit jobs that the Lowell Sun has slammed Dave Norkiewicz with, I’ve lost my appetite to pull for Paul. He’s got some friends that are the worst kind to have. They are not above pulling the same kind of stunts that Chris Scott wants to assign to Gitschier & Fallon. When we get to the point of kettles finger pointing at each other’s blackness, it is time for me to step back.
We are dealing with damaged goods, all around. But, none are more damaged than the reputation of the GLTHS SC. After a fairly decent approach to culling through candidates, one that was noted favourably by those watching; this silly, petty, ego driven clan members have pissed their good names away.
Unfortunately, they are the best we are gonna get out there. Who really cares what the hell happens out there in the woods? How else could Mike Hayden get re-elected, repeatedly? Oddly, they aren’t paying the high salaries in monopoly money. They can still invent jobs like ‘public relations’ or whatever title Mike McGovern has. They can still hire in an incestuous manner that would make a West Virginia moonshiner tip his jug.
Ultimately, they are completely fucked out there. They know it. We know it. And, on it goes. Unabashed.
Found this note in my Facebook messages. The author is known to me.
Keep me off your trashy blog.
I do not want my name appearing in print on that piece of shit blog you write.
Out of respect, I will limit my future entries, with regards to the offended, to only passages from the Blog of Record. While I won’t argue the “Eye of the Beholder” aspect of my blogging being a ‘piece of shit,’ I do take exception to the notion that the Sunday Column is any less so.
Obviously, the GLTHS’s Supt. Santoro wants to go out in a hail of rhetorical barbs:
To imply that I somehow want to influence this hire is not only ludicrous but reflects the level of paranoia and need for control on the part of those who have been critical of this administration (me, in particular) and is a clear indication of the lack of understanding for how the process works as well as the importance of maximizing the potential for the BEST person we can get by staying competitive with other districts.
I’d like to thank the Supt for her service. Wishing her the warmest Arrivederci. Also, maybe a suggestion that she doesn’t embarrass those that have had her back, all this time, by being ‘untoward.’
That said, let’s not lose perspective on the whole, who hires during a transition period? We’ve been down this road before.
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