I am not sure my esteemed colleague, Mr Nutter, gets it exactly right. The Greater Lowell Technical High School negotiations re Ms Santoro were in Executive Session, as they should be. But, the videos of the candidate interviews have not been released. Further to that, the view of some, to include some in Move Lowell Forward, is that perhaps the best person was not picked for the job of GLTHS Superintendent. That is now water over the dam—but it would be nice, polite, perhaps even in conformance with the spirit of our Commonwealth's Open Meeting Law, if the video of the interviews were released.
The fact is, the whole process at GLTHS had some appearance of the decisions having been taken before the interviews. Perhaps not, but the fact is, the process didn't convey that full and open appearance that some of us would like to see. And in saying that, I would like to note that I think of Dave Laferriere as being a fair person. Not real open in terms of the GLTHS School Committee, but a very fair person. On a side note, I was happy to note that the GLTHS updated its web page for the School Committee.
As for the Lowell City Manager issue, the negotiations should be in executive session. That said, I will be looking forward to the release of the minutes, which is part of the new Open Meeting law as of 1 July 2010. That is where the mining of information will take place. That is unless someone leaks information, which I have never found edifying. Fun, but not edifying and not helpful to the cause of good government.
Now, I will say that I am currently in a conflict of interest position WRT the Lowell City Manager. Professor Lynch is teaching the course I am taking—"State and Local Government"—through the UMass Lowell Continuing Education Program. And an interesting course it is, to include interesting classmates. Note that if you are 60 or so the course, any classroom course, is only $30 plus books.
But, that said, here is one of the complaints on Mr Nutter's blog:
Yet after 3 days nothing, no one is clamoring for the Council or Manager to negotiate in public, including me. It got me to recall George Anthes on City Life saying that Bloggers give Bernie Lynch a break and don’t criticize him. It made me step back and take a look as to why he doesn’t seem to get criticized as much as some elected Officials do.I know George Anthes and this is a constant criticism—well, for the first fifteen to thirty minutes of the show. Mr Lynch does get less criticism, but then he is doing less to openly annoy the citizens and the bloggers. Not that GLTHS isn't a fine institution, but it is a public institution and the School Board and the Administration have grown comfortable operating out of the sun light. Part of their responsibility to the public is to operate in the sunshine.
But, back to the Lowell City Manager and UMass Lowell. For my class project, Casinos, I contact the full delegation, via EMail. From our Senator I got an immediate automated out-of-office response. Soon thereafter I got an EMail from my own Rep, Mr David Nangle, with two attachments, which were megabyte sized electronic copies of outside reports to the General Court. Rep Tom Golden called me and talked to me and when we were cut off he called back to finish up. Rep Kevin Murphy sent me a very short EMail response to my two questions: 1) Yes, 2) No. That was it. Sufficient and not something to jam my electronic incoming mail.
I would encourage all to reach out to elected and appointed government officials. I use Hanks Street (North/South street approaching the East side of Fort Hill Park). The other day, after a couple of weeks of enduring a couple of potholes on Hanks Street, I call DPW and a very nice lady took all my information and in less than a week the potholes, and several others in the area, were filled. But, a couple of days after calling I talked to one of the more highly placed people in Lowell Government about the two potholes. It was a day later I noticed them filled. So, I asked Professor Lynch (academic situation) if the fill was in line with procedure or if my talking to someone motivated the fill. The Professor said that my story seemed to indicate a longer than normal time to get the potholes filled.
QUESTION: Why didn't anyone on Hanks Street call in about the potholes?
It seems to me that Government works best when the citizenry is involved and the Government is open to that participation.
Regards — Cliff