In Today’s Sun John Collins has a featured story on the upcoming Dracut State Representative race. Incumbent Colleen Garry will take on the winner of the republican Primary fight between George Boag and Cathy Richardson. Grant Welker has an interesting story about Chelmsford men and letters during the Civil War. Collins has another feature on year 6 of the LOWELL WORLD CUP Soccer Tournament and Guest contributor Tony Archenski has a touching tale in the Focus section titled “How Lowell sailor Brissette died as a POW at Hiroshima”..btw if you don’t yet follow Rob Mills on Twitter or his Police Blog you should. He is the best reporter to read at the SUN!
The Sunday political Column is mostly a repeat of the Daily Column Blog from the past week. It does mention a previous item from an earlier post I did:
COMMUNICATION ISSUES between Greater Lowell Superintendent-Director Mary Jo Santoro and School Committee mem¬ber Erik Gitschier have been stirred up again. San¬toro has said she prefers to be contacted by telephone, but Gitschier prefers email. School Committee member George O’Hare was a guest on LTC show City Life on Monday morning discussing Greater Lowell Tech and the communication issues between Santoro and Gitschier. He said that although there is nothing wrong with email, he prefers the phone.
“If I wanted to get a hold of someone, I’m going to call them rather than sending an email,” O’Hare said.
Gitschier called in to City Life and said if the school district pays for a Blackberry phone for the superintendent, it should be just as easy to respond to emails as phone calls, although he was not certain Santoro uses a Blackberry.
The exchange also led to another issue: Gitschier said he believes the School Committee should know when the superintendent is on vacation.
What the column fails to mention is the Supt sent the email stating to call because she was going out of town for a Long weekend (taking 2 vacation days) and that there is nothing in the school policy manual regarding the Supt. having to inform all committee members when she takes time off.
It also failed to mention that Erik Gitschier is the Rodney Elliot of the Greater Lowell Tech Board , the lone or 1 of 2 votes constantly against the administration.
In June at the Tech School Committee meeting Lowell member Erik Gitschier falsely accused Supt. Santoro of “over stepping” her boundaries in dealing with layoffs which the Chairman and Superintendent proved was untrue at that meeting .
Gitschier is friends on Facebook with students at the school which opens up a huge conflict issue when students /parents register to speak. Are they doing so with his direction, support and encouragement before presenting issues to the Supt or directing parents/students to seek the proper channels?
In addition since Mr. Gitschier was first elected he has used City Life to take shots at his fellow committee members and at the Superintendent. Erik has gone on City Life and discussed “rumors” about teachers boycotting graduation and missing funds and has asked the question whether health insurance is Legal for Committee members before having the courage / respect to bring these up at a Tech School Board meeting.
People wonder why the atmosphere at the school is so bad? Look at the vocal minority causing the most issues.
Who was hired and promoted at the Tech. When John Ryan was a School Committee member? Could it be some of the same people who didn’t back either Cassin or Santoro for Supt. and didn’t get promoted? So they support Gitschier and get him to bash the Supt. Then there’s a former Tech School Committee member and fellow highland resident who was a divisive member when he served on the Tech board chirping in Gitschier’s ear (this person was alleged to have used city resources when he was running for the Lowell School Committee while serving as Clerk of the Works on a City project) and wants to get appointed when Mr. Lenzi retires and undermines the administration to his small group of supporters who work at the school.
Why did the recent survey indicate the atmosphere at the school was so bad?
In my opinion part of it is because you have a disgruntled Union who are upset with the past committee for the contract they gave the former Supt, part of it is that just like the Manager has his Lowell Critics who some call “Boo-Birds” the Supt. has a vocal minority made up of some men who don’t like reporting to a woman and some who are disgruntled because they disagree with the educational philosophy and others who felt they were passed over for jobs they deserved causing problems and creating a terrible work enviroment where you are forced to choose a side and are considered an outcast and non supporter of your union if you support the Supt.
The Supt does own some responsibility (like the Manager) for treating some people better than others and allowing some waivers for people she is close to and wants to work with over others she doesn’t want to be part of her team. If you don’t treat everyone the same, you open yourself up to critics.
It sure doesn’t help when you have a School Committee member bashing the Supt. and his fellow board members on the local cable show and to the Sun. When Rodney Elliot, Rita or Ed Kennedy do it, they are ripped and attacked yet with the exception of this loud mouth opinionated blogger Gitschier is applauded by some of these same Manager defenders who are part of covering “the bubble”.
Is it because the Tech School Committee isn’t considered part of the “inner circle” and taking shots at them is easy because they are not part of the “IN” crowd. They don’t play in the bubble so they are easy to attack because with the exception of myself who worked there and who had a son graduate from there, those who watch don’t know the inner workings and history so taking cheap shots is easy.
Someone recently emailed me asking about a “rumor” that Mr. Lenzi’s son is in line for a job at the school. Yet where was the uproar when Bill Martin’s wife got a job teaching in Lowell Schools? The Council votes on the budget for the schools so why does Councilor Martin get a pass?or when the grandson of a City Councilor got a job, who hired him and where was the outcry? Especially when he was later charged with stealing gas? The Manager’s defenders never said boo. How much money does the City / School dept. spend with CTI? Two paid full-time staffers are elected School Committee members and at least two City Councilors sit on the board, yet for the most part no one says anything.
I get accused of defending the Supt. and the board because I am a friend. I was friendlier with many of her opposition because I worked for the Discipline department. Ask George O’Hare who I have slammed on occasion or Dave Tully who I also slammed on occasion how friendly we are.
I call it as I see it and what I see is that the Tech Supt. is in the same boat has the City Manager
A vocal minority is fighting tooth and nail against her educational philosophy (even though test results show a tremendous improvement) and to some degree because she is a woman, they are her own “Boo Birds” and have a vocal supporter in a School Committee member with his own agenda (the Rodney Elliot of the Tech Board) who is making accusations and spreading false and incorrect rumors on a local cable (even Rodney doesn’t do that) against a Supt. with majority support (Much like the City Manager).
The only difference is Supt. Santoro has only one big mouth blogger in her corner while the City Manager has many more.