Another day, another failure to communicate. The Sun and Jenn Myers have a great article on miscommunication at its best. The Lowell School Committee thought they had a Supt. who wanted to stay here in Lowell and one they could ignore and re-sign when they wanted to because she went to them ahead of schedule to express her interest in staying. They dragged their feet and she was clearly offended and now will move on.
According to the article:
Mike Gallagher says: He and his client (Supt. Scott) were informed in a Jan. 6 meeting with City Solicitor Christine O’Connor and Mayor James Milinazzo “that a majority of the School Committee could not reach any agreement on any offer” to extend Scott’s contract.
If that is true, then why the comments from The School Committee like:
“I am caught by surprise because we are in the midst of negotiations,” committee member Dave Conway
Committee members Connie Martin and Jackie Doherty said they feel Scott’s decision is premature, adding that they assumed negotiations would continue tomorrow night.
Milinazzo said he was “a little caught off guard because we never closed the door.”
“I cannot believe the audacity of someone to tell the staff without telling their direct employer what they are doing,” Jim Leary added. “It is absolutely outrageous. So much for good-faith negotiations.”
Great Outrage Jim but where does the fault really lie? Where is the communication??
I have yet heard one committee member step forward and say we held sessions with them on this date and this date and presented them this offer or that offer. Someone tell us, where and when you made any formal counter or offer! How about we told them we were discussing and reviewing it and would get back to them in two weeks, a month, when spring comes??
I’ll ask any member to please tell us: Did the Committee present ANY Formal Offer or Counter Offer or statement relating to this contract in a meeting with Dr. Scott or Mr. Gallagher?? If so when and where?
Why did the committee NOT Communicate directly before Jan. 6th with either the Supt. or Mr. Gallagher? Did you assume since she approached the committee she wasn’t going anywhere?
Gallagher said the School Committee has not negotiated. There was no suggestion that there was any interest in continuing,” Gallagher said. “It was very clear to us that there was not going to be an offer from the majority of the School Committee, but what the obstacles were remains unclear to us.” He was told the committee met several times to discuss its position on the matter but he and Scott did not meet with O’Connor and Milinazzo, the committee’s representatives, until the meeting on Jan. 6, when they were told the committee could not reach agreement on an offer.
If that is in fact correct, what did they expect when their representatives left Dr. Scott the message that at least 4 out of 7 aren’t interested in giving you an offer or counter? That she would say Okay? That she would counter her original offer after three months of NOT HEARING BACK???
The school committee in my estimation was being either a bit arrogant or lazy, assuming that because Dr. Scott had presented her proposal in October, a full two months before she had to inform the committee she was interested and they though they had her and could stonewall or put off the matter and ignore it until they had to deal with it in the spring because she wanted to stay. Either that or a majority of them felt that they could no longer work with her and by ignoring her offer and not responding she would get the message that it was time to go.
That is the message I see, the School Committee could or would not get their act together and respond until last week and that message was sorry we can’t agree that we want you to stay.
What other communication was there?? None!
It sounds as if they could not work together and agree they wanted her to stay or present an offer of any kind, so all she did was after hearing that message on Jan. 6th, 3 months after her first proposal, she informed them of her decision, informed her staff and then informed the press.
They now find themselves in an awkward position. Do they mea culpa, admit they made a mistake and work out a deal or do they let her go?
Is Scott serious about leaving, figuring she let them know in October she was interested, they ignored her and now she has heard or been approached with a better opportunity? I’d have to think so.
Can she now stay after the email and newspaper article and be an effective leader and work with this committee? I can’t see how.
Especially when you have such an outraged member like Mr. Leary who states: “In over 20 years of working, I have never seen anything so disrespectful”
Really Jim, how about someone making an offer and not being responded to for three months? That is pretty
disrespectful in its own right!
This looks like a classic case of a failure to communicate!