Friday, March 30, 2007

School Committee Race

We have three candidates running for two seats.

Glenn Pavlicek epitomizes the highly valuable School Committee member. An educator with a Ph.D. in Mathematics, Glenn is a strong advocate for math and science education. As a former Warrant Committee Chair he understands the budget issues facing our schools better than anyone. And as an experienced past member of the School Committee he will contribute from day one to addressing important issues, such as improving communication between the schools and parents.

To get an idea of what Glenn can contribute in the future, look at the contributions he made in the past.

As Warrant Committee chair he successfully advocated for the School Building Project before town meeting.

When it appeared the town might have to ask voters for yet another tax increase to finish the Collicot gym, he used his understanding of the School Building Assistance Program to work out approval from the Department of Revenue to finance it without another override.

He played a key role with the group “Fair Funding for Milton” in securing PILOT funding from the state for the Blue Hills. We will receive over $500,000 this year for use not only in our schools, but for all town services.

He worked with the Department of Education on some SPED compliance issues which could have been very costly if not resolved.

These are unusually significant contributions for any office holder. Glenn has a website which I’ve added to my links list. I urge you to vote for Glenn Pavlicek on April 24, as I will.

Beirne Lovely has logged more hours working for the Milton public schools in the last 6 years than anyone could imagine. He has taken on some very tough issues with his trademark tenacity and energy.

He has been unwavering in his efforts to ensure that the parents of Milton school children have all the information they need and the ability to speak out about the Student Reassignment Plan. He refused to accept, long after many others would have, anything less than first rate athletic fields at our new High School. And during a period when we were without a Superintendent he personally worked with the interim Superintendent to develop the detailed budget for the schools.

He has also pledged to oppose any attempt to eliminate the French Immersion program, a sine qua non with me.

Beirne is a dedicated public servant who devotes his time and talents to our school kids long after his own have left the system. He deserves your vote on April 24. He will have mine.

Karen Lambert is making her third run for a school committee seat. Her message appears to be the same as in the past. She claims to support “fiscal accountability” and “optimal educational outcomes within budget”. It seems to me this is simply code for not forthrightly saying we don’t need to give the schools as much money as we do. This view is reinforced by her record on overrides [see Campaign Notes below]. There are many honest differences of opinion about educational policies and their ability to produce excellent education for our children. But denying the resources necessary for excellence and being willing to live with the mediocrity inadequate budgets produce is not something I can endorse.

Campaign Notes

At the Beirne Lynch debate incumbent Jimmy Mullen claimed his opponent Kathy Fagan was a supporter of the DPW Yard development and came before the Board of Selectmen multiple times to offer such support. Ms. Fagan corrected him, pointing out she had only spoken about the idea once, as being something which should be investigated. This comment was made at the very first presentation on the subject, during which Mr. Mullen said: “I think you just might have something there”.

Ms. Fagan noted that her reaction exactly paralleled Mr. Mullen’s through the various phases of the project, ending with the same conclusion that objections to the project made it unworkable.

It will be interesting to see if the Mullen campaign continues to attempt a re-writing of history.

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At the same debate the School Committee Candidates were asked whether they supported the series of overrides which resulted in our soon to be completed 6 new schools and whether they supported the operational override last June.

Karen Lambert gave a rather confusing answer on the building overrides, apparently claiming to have supported the “compromise plan” override, which did not pass. She led some to believe that she supported last year’s operational override, and then offered that someone’s support for increasing their taxes was somewhat of a private affair.

Of course for someone seeking a public post in government, one’s opinion on funding levels for town government is quite appropriately the public’s business. Furthermore, Ms Lambert made her opinion known in a letter to the editor which appeared on May 26, 2006, one which makes clear she opposed the override. You can see it here: http://snipurl.com/1dze9

5 Comments:

Blogger Brian said...

Phil,

Could you include the date of the letter that Karen sent to the Times!

Thanks

Brian

9:43 PM  
Blogger Philip Mathews said...

Ms. Lambert's letter appeared in the May 26 issue of the Milton Times.

10:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

mediocrity - is it a result of inadequate money or inadequate effort?

12:28 AM  
Blogger Philip Mathews said...

False dichotomy. Mediocrity can be caused by both. Budgets which produce large class sizes, insufficient up-to-date texts, and the curtailment of exposure to music, art and physical education constitute a a recipe for mediocrity which cannot be overcome with effort. I think advocating for an adequate budget is the very least we can expect from a would be school committee member.

12:27 PM  
Anonymous Edward said...

I share your enthusiasm for Glenn Pavlicek and your support of Beirne Lovely, but I fear that voting for both might work against me. That is, I'd rather see Lovely and anyone than Pavlicek and Lambert, and, therefore, I'm considering what we used to call a "bullet" for Beirne. Is there any poll (or other) data to support (or refute) my concern?

5:19 PM  

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