Saturday, August 18, 2012

Southbridge School Tussle Is Big News In Upstate New York

Southbridge is garnering headlines in the Albany/Schenectady area of New York State.

Unfortunately, it’s not the result of any positive community news.

Rather it’s a result of the fascination over the recent effort by three members of the Southbridge school committee to remove Superintendent Eric Ely.

You see, Mr. Ely was previously the Superintendent of the Schenectady school district. He left under a cloud related to the conviction of a former Facilities Supervisor on arson and weapons charges.

Too bad we couldn’t get this kind of publicity for our “Make Southbridge Home” campaign.


  1. Let's add that we can thank the three who called for and supported the disgraceful motion to remove Mr. Ely for this negative publicity and black mark on our town.

    It is not Mr. Ely who needs to be removed.

    Southbridge voters can begin the process by voting Scott Lazo off of the Committee in June if he chooses to run for re-election.

    Then Mr. O'Leary and Ms. Dominko can be voted off in June 2014. We can hope that they will resign before that, particularly if their ringleader is gone.

    There is clearly a power struggle going on. Ultimately the voters wield the most power.

  2. First let me say that Bill Bishop should have been given the chance to open the building. I don't know what he has done to engender so much enmity in this community. For all those you defending Ms. Perreault's qualifications as Principal, Mr. Bishops were the same when he was appointed if not better.

    With that being said, the sad truth of the matter is that whomever is the principal of the new school is going to be the focal point of politics in the next year. I give her credit for accepting such a challenging position even if it were not in such a politically charged atmosphere.

    And for you FAB Four supporters I give you now the Kumbia Quartet. They will be spouting all the touchy feelly work together campfire rhetoric while the F4-1 will be asking the hard, and at times unrealistic, questions

    1. They are not "asking hard questions." They are delivering ultimatums. Our way or the highway. Time to put a stop to that.

      As for the 4 singing "Kumbaya," the term used by Mr. Lazo by the way, there is no evidence that all will go along to get along. The research done by some of the new Committee members show that they are thoughtful and informed, something clearly not evidenced in the "Look at me 3."

  3. Ok, let's settle on the Campfire Girls. And I like the moniquer "Look at me 3". However, it does not change the fact that we are in for a rough 10 months. Hopefully the Campfire Girls will be able to stay in tune and the Look at Me 3 will catch a glimpse of themselves in the mirror and make some adjustments. The sad part is that it is the kids that suffer.

  4. Sounds like somebody made a $.25 cent toll call to Schenectady. Sorry, was no doubt a Scheduled 3-Way Conference call.

    Utterly Shameful!

  5. well I just find the whole issue being created by the Lazo camp as shame and black eye to this community. Lazo has been controlling the board for a long time. Now that he has lost control he's crying like a little baby.He is going to destroy any good that he may have done. Give it up Mr Lazo go back to running your so called construction company and start paying some bills than maybe you could open your bar. Maybe not the hearing may take care of that issue. Doctor O'leary go back to your practice and take care of the sick in the world, Dr. Dominko go back to your school and invent something because your not inventing anything here that's for sure. And if all else fails take your team with Mr Bill included and go to the office on Mill St. and sulk your sorrows away. Ken thanks for keeping the community informed about the happenings of the community because the News does a terrible job and by allowing all sides to have a say. We need to give this team a chance and support them. Again Thank you

    1. I couldn't have said it better myself! Nice job!

  6. Interesting Scenario. It's too late in the game to remove the super or new principle, but why wait until 4 weeks before the school year to appoint an inexperienced principal for a new school, new location, with 7 grades? The busing issues alone will be monumental.
    Good luck to her

    1. The proposal for a new administrative structure was made months ago, and the old School Committee tabled it. There were very good and sound reasons for the one-principal and 3 assistant principals scenario, but some members substituted their vast wisdom about best practices in education for Mr. Ely's. After all, they knew better.

      The administrative structure could only be changed after the last election and so it was. It was not the superintendent's fault that this was his earliest opportunity to put into place what he believes is best for the school.

      No, it is not the Committee's job simply to rubber-stamp whatever the Superintendent proposes. However, we do hire a Superintendent of Schools for his or her expertise on issues involving education. Without a compelling reason for rejecting it, it should be supported. Plus, I am not impressed with the self-appointed "experts."

  7. As I've said before, and I'll say it again, as long as we constantly have divisions and "sides", neither the School Committee nor the Town Council will be productive on behalf of the people they represent, nor will we ever stop giving ourselves self-induced black eyes.

    There are good people on the School Committee that I am friends with on both sides: Kara Donovan, who I think is a breath of fresh air, and Scott Lazo, who I believe is well-intentioned and does care about the kids.

    I would like to publicly ask Scott, though, since as friends, I believe that we can respectfully disagree:

    Scott, I do understand your loyalty to Bill...that is admirable. I understand your devotion to the school, and you and many others deserve a big thank you for getting it done. However, no matter how much you may dislike Mr. Ely, he was selected to do a job, and he's doing it. By bringing this type of attention to our school district, particularly with the actions of O'Leary and Dominko, all the good that was achieved through the building of the school, has been lost.

    We're about to open the new school, and although the physical structure may be new and fresh, the political structure is old, tired and rusty. I would ask you, as a friend, to please sit with O'Leary and Dominko, and instead of being mired in disappointment, take the high road, and accept what's happened gracefully and professionally.

    I completely disagree with this vote, since, weeks after getting a new contract, a) it would have been a costly litigation that b) had no chance of passing.

    With the Town Manager, it's different. Sending a message loud and clear that there is a vote of no-confidence in his tax and spend ways would have had an impact on either his horrible way of dealing with the people of this town, forced him to resign, or both...and that could have been accomplished with the minority, who never had the courage to do anything about it--it "wouldn't have helped in the next election", according to one councilor.

    How well did that work out?

    Don't be the Town Council. Be the proud and supportive School Committee, that proves by its actions and words, that the kids really DO come first.

    Thank you,


  8. her we go again! THE SCHOOL COMMITTEE IS IN A CIRCLE AGAIN.......FIRE,.... READY,..... AIM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. sick to my stomachAugust 19, 2012 at 1:32 PM

    how could they have hired such a corrupt man shame on you mary ellen and i liked you not anymore!and i wont vote for the two new duds again either what is wrong with you people my kids are in that school system run buy a corrupt man!

    1. instead of being sick to your stomach, you sound like you have a stick up your ass. you have no proof of your allegations. Shut up and let the powers that be make the difference this town needs.

  10. Just out of curiosity, who was on the search committee, and who was responsible for hiring him? You're questions should be directed at them. However, it's moot, since he's been hired and has the job. Stop complaining and let's see how things go, shall we?

  11. Exhale the past, inhale the future. Every Southbridge politician is in it for themselves. When the contract runs out in two years another person will be hired and all of this will start again.


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