Tuesday, August 26, 2014

School Committee Fires Back OML

Lawrence O'Brien, Rick Hood,  Trevor Baptiste Chair

After a somewhat contentious 45 minute discussion the Amherst Pelham Regional School Committee voted 5-2 to support new Chair Trevor Baptiste's response to an Open Meeting Law complaint filed by former School Committee member Tom Flittie, who was not at the meeting.

The contested 7/14 meeting was called by then Vice Chair Trevor Baptiste to put forth a resolution countermanding a memo signed by the Chairs of the Amherst, Pelham, and the Regional School Committees (but done so without any deliberation of their committees).

Lawrence O'Brien and Katherine Appy -- who both signed the original memo as Chairs -- adamantly opposed Mr. Baptiste's letter, which goes to both to Mr. Flittie and the Attorney General.  But five members did support it, so the motion passed 5-2.

The motion was slightly amended (by unanimous vote) to add to Baptiste's letter a memo from the town attorney suggesting the meeting was not legal, and a copy of the Regional School Committee's policy with regards to duties of the Chair and Vice Chair.

Voting in favor:  Trevor Baptiste, Rick Hood, Sarah Dolven, Dan Robb and Stephen Sullivan.

Two Amherst members who attended the renegade 7/14 meeting -- Amilcar Shabazz and Kathleen Traphagen were not in attendance this evening, but presumably would have voted in favor of the motion.


Michael H said...

Excellent work school committee members... gives me hope!

Anonymous said...

Is there possibly some way that they can all lose?

Anonymous said...

So if all that will happen, if the AG decides the 7/14 meeting violated OML, is a voiding of the minutes, where's the teeth? What incentivizes people away from committing violations again and again?

Anonymous said...

Oh yea I'm filled with hope with Trevor at the helm!

Anonymous said...

I have questions about Tara Luce, a Amherst school employee serving on the Pelham school committee. Since the Amherst and Pelham have the same superintendent & same central office administrators, will Ms. Luce be recusing yourself from votes involving the superintendent? (superintendent's policies, salary, etc.) It seems odd that she would be able to vote on salaries for the superintendent, assistant superintendent, finance director, etc. when they have some say over her own position and salary. .... ditto regarding the school budget.

Anonymous said...

Can we waste any more time and effort on self serving squabbles that do nothing for the children and educational system of Amherst.

Anonymous said...

With Trevor as head this SC will become irrelevant to the real work of providing an excellent education to all our kids. Voting him in as chair shows how out of touch this SC is. What were they thinking?

Anonymous said...

Luce seems clear conflict of interest since the superintendent is her boss-and Luce is the supertendent's boss. Check state law.

Anonymous said...

What was Lawrence's reasoning for not backing the letter?

Larry Kelley said...

He didn't call the meeting and at the time he was the chair.

So he was, kind of, taking his toys and going home.

Anonymous said...

If Luce serving as a school committee is a conflict of interest, will anything be done about it? I'm assuming a complaint would need to be filed.

Anonymous said...

Lawrence was being consistent in not voting for the letter.

Unknown said...

The July special meeting was a nullity, not because of any supposed infraction of the OML but because it was not called by the chair. Under the RSC's rules it is the chair (and only the chair) who has the power to call special meetings. If the RSC is really hell-bent on exposing the district to liability by revoking the letter of reprimand, it can do so by way of a properly called meeting.

They got your pin numbers said...

Hold up,

is that Cap'n Hood steppin in shit


What a friggan drama addict.

Ah well, he can afford it.

Can you?

-Squeaky Squeaks

p.s. Oh yes you can!

Marcy Sala said...

The bigger question, Squeaky, is what can YOU afford? This man, along with the other school committee members, is putting himself out there in service of the town--particularly the children of this town. Whether you agree with his positions or not, both he and his colleagues are stepping up IN PUBLIC to advocate for what they think is best for our school district. I respect that. What I don't respect is anonymous blog commenters, like yourself, whose sole purpose is to mock and criticize in the cloak of anonymity while leaving others in our community to manage all the heavy lifting.

Throwning babies into the Nile said...

"whose sole purpose is to mock and criticize in the cloak of anonymity while leaving others in our community to manage all the heavy lifting."



You call ~that~ lifting?!

No, lifting is what Dr. Sanderson did.

What Cap'n Disgrace does

is sink ships.

What that mob running the schools


for a fking paycheck

is ruin people's lives.

No, I will ~never~ stop.


-Squeaky Squeaks