This Friday the joint School Committee & City Council Facilities Sub-Committee will be holding an open meeting and tour of three Lowell schools to showcase the need to maintain and repair the schools in Lowell.
The meeting will start at 3:00 pm at the Reilly School and include visits to the Robinson School and Lowell High School.
School Committeeman Jim Leary and City Councilor Ed Kennedy the co-chairs invite the public to attend and participate. Members of this committee include City Councilors Joe Mendonca and Kevin Broderick along with School Committee members Robert Gignac and Kristin Ross Sitcawich.
I intent to do that and will post pictures on the blog to show how bad some of these situations are and how the city has let the buildings fall to this level of disrepair.
Last Night the Council voted to fund $100,000 to outfit 13 trucks for measured salting (do we really have 21 trucks salting at the same time?) No one asked that question and chose to ignore the needs of the schools.
The city enforces codes in private buildings but chooses to be absentee landlords when it comes to maintaining / repairing the school buildings they own and admitted so last night by stating when Councilor Kennedy mentioned that money might be better spent on school repair , he was told that would be addressed at a later date even though the Manager admitted the list is in the MILLIONS of dollars!
He and Ralph Snow the DPW Director couldn’t even agree on when these new computers will allegedly pay for themselves or if the 25% “savings” is actually 25% or something close to that. The Manager indicated within a year or two while Mr. Snow said 5 years and the Councilors just let it go without questioning what the truth really is or what the savings really would be.
Salt for 13 trucks used MAYBE 5 Months is more important to the Administration than Schools used 10 -12 months and serving thousands of students. Maybe those that criticize the Administration for hiring so many out of towners instead of Lowell people have a point. Maybe if they had students who had to use these bathrooms and bubblers (those that actually function) they would prioritize this issue more.
It is time for this city to step up and fund the required maintenance for these schools and provide the funding and labor to do so. The School Committee can only request it is up to this Council and this Manager to be the Landlords that they want all the private home and business owners to be.
I’ve been at the school and seen some bubblers that don’t work or bathrooms that look terrible and it is embarrassing. Yet the Manager and Council seem not to think this issue is important enough to spend money on when we can buy $100,000 worth of computers for trucks that are used only 5 months a year.
Keep an eye on the Salt budget this year, the Manager claims it was 1 million dollars in 2012, even if the expected savings is only 10% that line item should show us $100,000 in savings in the 2013 budget.