Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Lord Acton, Letter to Bishop Mandell Creighton, 1887
I knew Jim Cassin and worked for Jim Cassin when he owned the Tavern at The Bridge, Jim introduced me to people at the Greater Lowell Tech in 1985 when I was a 25 year old kid looking for a job and I was hired there. My son graduated from the school in 2008. I like Jim Cassin he is a very nice man and one you would enjoy sitting down and having a coffer or beer with. Jim was a guy with integrity and values.
But Jim Cassin while Superintendent of the Greater Lowell Technical has turned the school into his own private fiefdom, corrupted by the power to hire school committee members immediate family members and some political friends from Lowell City Hall and the Statehouse and in return received a contract that has increased his pay by 69% in 6 years and no matter how well the MCAS scores are doing no administrator is worth that increase especially for a school with the student population of Greater Lowell Technical.
The former members of the School Committee along with some of the current members are to blame. When as an elected member you can’t vote on the teachers contracts then you should not be a member because that is one of the few powers a school committee still has. With the Teachers contract, administrator contract and clerical staff contracts all expiring at the end of June the new committee that begins tonight have a long hard road ahead trying to explain there is no money for raises or having to make layoffs with the shadow of Jim Cassin’s contract over them.
Jim you have been at the school a long time, as a teacher and Superintendent. I know you used to love the job and the kids and if you have any of that still in your heart, do everyone one more service and tomorrow night announce your retirement and walk away. Don’t continue to make yourself the story, bigger then the accomplishments of the kids, faculty and staff at one of the best schools in the country let alone the Greater Lowell Area. Walk away and let the new school committee start on a better playing field then what exist now.
Link to Today’s Sun Story: http://www.lowellsun.com/todaysheadlines/ci_14178917