Sunday, April 6, 2014

A Dry Run?


This week’s public meetings of Southbridge’s governing bodies should provide an interesting set of counterpoints.

On Monday the Town Council will receive a presentation from the Town Clerk on the fate of a citizens’ petition. Sponsored by a group calling itself “We The People” headed by former Town Councilor James Marino, the petition calls for Southbridge to return to a selectmen/town meeting form of government.

Based on her recent public comments, the Town Clerk will provide an opinion of counsel as to whether a vote on the petition at the next town election would be binding or non-binding upon the town.

Based upon past history we might also see an opinion that the petition is not considered by counsel to be in the proper legal form.

Regardless of the outcome of her presentation and the opinion of counsel, the meeting of the Southbridge School Committee the following night will provide a test of the basic premise of the petition.

The sponsors of the petition are seeking a return to town meetings to return control of the town to “the people”. Given the opportunity, the assumption is, people will speak out in public to express their opinion on various issues required to run the town effectively.

Nothing has generated public interest in Southbridge since the decision on the town landfill like the last meeting of the Southbridge School Committee. The YouTube video of the meeting has received almost 500 views since it was posted. That level of viewership is unprecedented in the history of the local public cable access studio’s YouTube channel.

Comments on this site have been universally critical of the actions of the officials at the meeting. Other local blogs and FaceBook sites supportive of the committee and the administration have been essentially devoid of comment or simply not accepting them.

Given this degree of interest it will be informative to see the level of public turnout to take advantage of the “Public Input” portion of Tuesday’s School Committee meeting. If the public is unwilling to speak out publicly on a matter of such concern, just what can we expect in terms of participation when it comes to the more mundane matters of governance that is the fodder for town meetings?

In essence, Tuesday night will be a dry run to see if “we the people” really have what it takes to actively participate in a democracy.




37 comments:

  1. "We the sheeple" haven't the guts. That's why things will never get better in this town regardless what kind of government we have.

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  2. Tuesday's SC meeting should begin with a public apology to our school guidance staff. Since that won't happen perhaps Quinney, McLoughlin and Donovan can do the town a favor, resign for conduct unbecoming.

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    1. Leaving us with CongOlivo?

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    2. Sounds like a new A Capella Group - CongOlivo Buzz.

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    3. Yea, and they only sing the blues!

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    4. Congdon and Olivio have different agendas. Congdon wants the chairmanship and knows to be quiet during periods of turmoil. Olivio is just filling a seat to give Big Mac another vote.
      Let's not forget how the newbies dissed Dave DiGregorio when he sought to fill the seat of the quitter, Woodruff. Why would the " we know it all" gang want someone with experience on board?

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    5. Has anyone ever heard Olivio speak at a school committee meeting?

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  3. Ken raises a legitimate point. Are any of the Anonymice who speak out so boldly here going to have the courage to publicly confront these committee members and speak their mind?
    If they won't then what good is there having a town meeting where the same people will hold their piece and then grumble on endlessly afterwards.

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  4. Just heard Buzz is out with pneumonia and Pat Gardner is the new boss. What are the bobbleheads going to do? They've had almost two years to find an appropriate replacement for Ely, no action. Now our town is stuck with this ' also ran.".
    I certainly hope we have 3 competent candidates in June

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  5. I hope that he has a speedy recovery.

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    Replies
    1. If he has the walking kind, he’ll still be able to get his 18 holes in. Perfect timing.

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    2. Well I know former Director of Operations, Roland Gaboury. Is available for golf. Let's get Ely and Perrault and make the perfect foursome. Maybe they can play against the other perfect foursome: Big Mac, The Spelling Queen, the Quonnster, and the voiceless Congdon.
      What time is tee tim

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    3. That sounds like a very bad dream.

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  6. I hope we're not paying him $$$$. We are still paying the ms principal whole she's out on extendef medical leave.
    Get ready taxpayers. 1.2 million increase ain't enough.

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  7. He has several arbitrations and unemployment hearings in the near future... I wonder if he will be attending?

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    Replies
    1. Looks like the offenef parties will win, uncontested. More cost to the dopes who pay their tax bill.
      Thanks a lot McLoughlin and company!
      You screened poor Pat Woodruff and so many others. Especially the taxpayers.

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  8. With all the talk about bullying in schools, it is especially disturbing when it is engaged in by members of the district’s school committee. It is even more egregious when it is done publicly.
    I happen to feel that bullying goes beyond merely calling names or public humiliation. Bullying, to my mind, exists when those acts are coupled with a threat, either explicit or implied. Others may disagree with that definition, but I believe we can all agree that a threat of adverse action certainly elevates the seriousness of the offense.
    There is little doubt that the committee engaged in humiliating the members of the Guidance Department at their last meeting. It has been pretty well established that those making the presentation were set up to fail. I feel that the line was crossed into bullying with the remarks made by school committee member Erin Quinney in her comments during member forum where she implicitly threatened the employment of members of the Guidance Department.

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    Replies
    1. We may be losing Nikolla, but we've got Quinney to replace her.

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    2. You're not losing Nikola, she's tunning for school committee. A battle of arrogant incompetents will unfold between hrt and Queen Quinney!

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    3. If Nikolla gets on the SC the kids will only be allowed to have clear plastic backpacks and teachers won't be allowed to decorate more than 25% of their wall space. Violating either will result in a $150 fine.

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  9. Does Buzz'd departure ( that's right, he won't be back, even if he "guaranteed" proved MCAS improvements) mean the Bobbleheads have to make a decision? OMG!
    PLEASE bring back Jovan!

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  10. Isn't it funny how evil begets evil? When you screw people you will always get yours.
    Let the payback be as harsh ad what Buzz and the girls did to people. I, for one, believe it can't be severe enough.

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  11. Kama is a notch girls!

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    1. Did you mean Kama is a Bitch? Well it is, and it's time to psy for the errors of your ways!

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  12. So, Buzz is in California with an illness. Interesting. His daughter just had a baby and Buzz just happens to be "I'll" in California?
    I wonder what his arrogant attitude would conclude if a staff member pulled this bullshit.
    We better not be paying this per-diem guy. The school committee should make payroll documents available to us to see if they paid their boy to "be sick" in California.

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    1. I agree. Where's Buzz? Where' s. Mrs Allen? The that union guy Wiiliams? No one cares about our kids

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    2. Mr. Niebrrkow is on California and we are paying him $500.00+ per day? I'm available to fill in for him!

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  13. Kopelman & Paige gave an opinion that the selectmen/town meeting petition would be on the ballot and would be binding. As a result the work of the Town Manager Search Committee has been suspended.

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  14. Kopelman and Page - now there's a credible outfit!
    And if we change the format it only means we get the same dolts with different titles.

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  15. A number of people have raised the question as to whether Mr. Nembirkow is getting paid while out sick.

    He is no longer on a $500 per diem.

    When he decided to stay on he was given a contract that runs from July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014.

    He is paid $155,000 per year.

    He gets a $7,500 annuity payment.

    He gets 25 vacation days.

    He accrues 1.5 sick days per month.

    He gets 2 personal days.

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    Replies
    1. Well here's an update: according to Telegram.com, Buzz has formerly asked McLoughlin for a leave of absence.

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    2. WOW! And the Southbridge Public School downward spiral picks up speed. I just read an article online by The Worcester Telegram that our Savior, Nembirkow has asked for a leave of absence. Why not, according to today's The News, we are currently paying two of the four building principals who are out on leave. I Gus 'ol Buzz decided that's a great way to get his full MA retirement, get paid his $155,000 annual salary from Southbridge, and sit on the beach in California. How F^#! mad am I?

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    3. Time to recall McLoughlin and Donovan. Get the out-of-district transfer papers ready parents.

      I'm starting a new business - transporting Southbridge students to neighboring school districts. Could be a Fortune 500 company by September.

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    4. Where's Superintendent Buzz? $$$$
      Where's SMHS Principal Amy Allen? $$$$
      Where's Eastford Rd Principal Diane Shaw? $$$$
      Where the former English Language Learner Director? (Left mid-year, paid until she secured a job with the Dept. of Ed. The position remains vacant - not that our ELL program needs help {some of the lowest Statewide scores}

      This school committee has squandered hundreds of thousands of dollars, or more, Why? Politics, ineptness and following a snake oil salesman.

      Now they want another 1.1 million dollars for next year. This is after a 1 million dollar increase this year. And the results speak for themselves.

      ANY COUNSELOR that votes for more money for this failed operation should be voted out. As a matter of fact, if the council gives them one dollar more I will vote to accept the reorganization proposal, and promote this action throughout the town.

      McLoughlin says they need the whole community! They only need the whole community's money - and we don't have much left!

      I had enough!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    5. Maybe Buzz is using all the money he's making from the fools in Southbridge to make a bid on Tom Brady's 50 million dollar house in California. Or maybe he's just renting it for a few months.

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  16. Have you ever seen anything as disfunctional as the Southbridge schools?

    Yet tonight we will watch the bobble heads, in lock step, telling us much better things are since "they" took over. Well, I suppose if they say an untrurh enough, it becomes plausible.

    By the time McLoughlin is done we will be able to school our entire k-12 student body in a one room school house. Maybe we can lease the new school to a charter school.

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    1. It looked pretty much as the above writer said. McLoughlin continues to diminish the efforts of hard working teachers and refuses to acknowledge her countless errors.

      And how about the 30 minute concert announcement by Ted Bartlett? You'd think this was the landing on the moon moment. But it was brilliant theater by the chairwomen . . . fill up the time with diddly. It also gave the "I have no idea what I'm doing" committee member Olivio the chance to speak at a meeting. After all, he took out papers to run in June and needs to say or do something before then. To date, he just sits there and gives Big Mac his untethered support. I was hoping he was his own man - NOT! He's McLoughlin's stooge, just like Donovan.

      Time to send our kids to Tantasqua.

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