Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Transparency??

So I guess there is a Board of Selectmen meeting tonight.

No agenda on the town's website
No coverage on DATV
According to John Collins of the Lowell Sun, they spent a good portion in executive session

Loving the transparency folks.














Sunday, October 27, 2013

#noleadership...again

Today's Column in the Lowell Sun leads off the with the failed contract negotiations with our almost Town Manager Steve Bucuzzo.  Get a load of this:


DRACUT SELECTMEN Chairwoman Cathy Richardson was about to announce publicly that negotiations with the board's top choice to become the next town manager, Steven Bucuzzo, had crumbled. Then she appeared to remember something very important: In this era of social media and instant news coverage, protocol required that a town representative immediately call Bucuzzo so he wouldn't hear the news from some other source.
To accomplish this task -- and speed what was already a lengthy Tuesday meeting, with several agenda items remaining -- Richardson handed her cellphone to her longtime beau, Bill McMahon, a frequent audience member at selectmen's meetings, to call Bucuzzo.
McMahon walked out of the Harmony Hall meeting room, apparently speaking with Bucuzzo. Richardson restarted the televised meeting and informed the public that "after much discussion and many meetings," the board had voted in executive session to discontinue talks with Bucuzzo.
What is Bucuzzo, Andover's assistant town manager for the past decade, thinking about getting the news by proxy? He isn't saying. Bucuzzo did not return an email from a Sun reporter inquiring about the call.
The boyfriend of the chair of the Board of Selectmen is the one who called Bucuzzo to let him know the news?  The same person who allegedly starts fights at local bars with politicians who disagree with his girlfriend and has  reputation for being rough around the edges when it comes to those who disagree with his girlfriend?

God help us all.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

#noleadership

John Collins of the Lowell Sun tweeted this today:


Here we go again

I had to work last night so I missed the Board of Selectmen meeting but came home to read on-line that the selectmen and Steven Bucuzzo have failed to reach an agreement on a contract and the town will reopen the search for a town manager.

They announced this decision after meeting in executive session but did not explain why.  State law allows executive session minutes to be held confidential until "disclosure would no longer defeat the purpose of the executive session" or if there is an exemption or attorney-client privilege.  So, for now we don't know who is at fault here or if anyone is at fault.  What we do have is a town manager set to retire and yet another mini-crisis.

Sigh.

You can read the Lowell Sun's article on this here.

Monday, October 21, 2013

#fired

Robert Moulton, the Dracut High School English teacher, who read a story he wrote about Bob Dylan to his students has been fired according to the Lowell Sun.  The story, supposedly, was full of swears and Moulton was suspended back in May.  He was allowed to return a week later but had to submit lesson plans in advance and refused.  So, he was suspended again and today Superintendent of Schools Steve Stone terminated him.

Moulton is calling this a first amendment issue and told the Sun:

"Dracut is currently building a new school that will continue to be an old school until people understand that the 21st century high school is a 20th century college," Moulton said. "If people aren't seeing that, they're going to have to."

Ugh.  Leave no cliche behind.


Yes, the "n" word is throughout "Huckleberry Finn" and there are swears in "Catcher in the Rye."  But this guy is not Mark Twain or J.D. Salinger.  He knew what he was doing when he read the story and he wanted to get the kids all worked up, I've seen teachers like this in my career.  They want to be the cool teacher and want the kids to like them.  They forget that we are to be friendly to them, not be their friends.

In the meantime, this guy is out of a $75,000 job that he held for 17 years and may never teach again.  The students who rose up in protest and took to Twitter will move on to something else very quickly, that's how teenagers are.  I ask, was it worth it?


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Fair thee well, Gerry Nutter

Across the river, fellow blogger Gerry Nutter has been named to the Lowell Election Commission and as promised, his blog went black tonight.  I have gotten to know Gerry over the years through this blog and WCAP and always enjoy reading/listening to what he has to say.  He has a shoot first, ask questions later approach and his grammar would make an English teacher scream but he's still great at what he does (or did).

Richard Howe has a great run down of the Lowell City Council discussion about Gerry's appointment, including some disgusting comments from Councilor Rodney Elliot towards City Manager Bernie Lynch about the appointment (this man should not be serving in public office IMHO) and Councilor Rita Mercier saying she wanted Gerry to get the post so he would quit blogging.

*****slamming head against table*****

Anyway, congrats Gerry.  Your voice will be sorely missed.

Warrant articles

November Town Meeting is Nov. 4 and while I haven't seen all the warrant articles, the Lowell Sun has a story in today's paper about two having to do with school funding:

1. Asks the town to support a $1m-1.5m override to fund the schools
2. Asks the town to free up $100,000 in free cash to fund school supplies

This is great, this is how it works, folks.  WE are the legislative branch.  Use the power you have.  If you don't, well, you know the results.