Southbridge politics have forever been defined by coalitions sharing grudges and vendettas.
Last night’s meeting of the Southbridge school committee cemented in place a new brick in that relentlessly growing wall of infamy.
The endorsement of Superintendent Ely’s proposal for a single principal at the new Middle/High School confirmed the shift in power and philosophy on the committee that began with the July 3rd meeting. As a consequence newly minted committee members Donovan and McLoughlin have almost certainly been assured the ongoing enmity of the three minority members of the committee.
The transgression in which they shared was nothing less than diminishing the self-perceived legacy of a closely knit group who sees “their” school being wrestled from their grip. The repeated apoplectic invocations of ten years of blood, sweat and tears underlined the sense of ownership and entitlement that was being threatened.
These perceived slights will not be forgotten. The sores will only fester and grow with time. The visceral anguish will find its expression in ongoing and relentless dissection and criticism of every action taken by the Superintendent and the majority of the committee from last night forward. Any disagreement among the new majority will be amplified and exploited at every turn.
So sit back and strap in. It’s going to be a long and bumpy ride from here on out. We’re all about to get an education why, in the real world, once change is started it rarely goes hand-in-hand with hope.