By JOSH RESNEK
The mayor now officially has the right to sit on the Everett School Committee as a voting member following a swift and well-oiled romp through the statehouse.
Governor Charlie Baker signed the Home Rule Petition which amends the City of Everett Charter and provides for the mayor to be a voting member of the school committee.
“I am honored to accept this responsibility,” the mayor said on his Facebook site.
And just like that, as though with the snap of a finger, the mayor has succeeded in becoming a force to deal with on the school committee.
In previous recent school committee hearings, Superintendent of Schools Priya Tahiliani had protested against the mayor’s effort.
“I do not favor the mayor becoming a voting member of the school committee,” she told her colleagues in the School Department, and on the school committee.
The mayor has pledged to work cohesively with other members of the school committee to always put the students first, something he has not always done as mayor.
He said he wants to establish a record of accountability and to allow residents to understand…” where I stand on important matters affecting our children.”
Since taking about $1 million out of the School Department’s bank accounts without notification, the superintendent has been fighting to get it back.
At the last Zoom meeting recently, a Zoom meeting the mayor attended while inside his $1,000 a night room in the beach-front Ritz Carlton Hotel in Aruba, he mocked and pushed the fake news theory that Tahiliani had overspent her budget by the amount she is seeking for him to return.
The two bantered about the issue, sparring just a bit.
he claimed he took the money away after it was spent leaving her and the School Department high and dry.
He kept repeating that it was she who overspent her budget.
Tahiliani is right. The mayor is wrong.
At some point, the mayor will have to return the money, or the Devens School is going to close, and all its special needs students sent out of the city at great cost.
In addition, the mayor’s virtual listening tour, held before the governor signed the Home Rule Petition, featured the mayor only listening to those who had something favorable to say about him voting on the school committee.
When confronted with negativity about him possibly voting on the school committee at the last virtual listening tour stop, he left the forum and didn’t return.
He canceled the last three listening tours that were scheduled.
The mayor as a non-voting member of the school committee has already missed about 9 meetings, according to an article in last week’s Leader Herald.
None of those who wish to comment publicly about the mayor becoming a voting member of the school committee all say the same thing: “He wants on to charge teachers and administrators fees in the forms of campaign contributions to be assured of their positions from year to year. That’s how he does it on the city hall side. That’s how he’ll do it on the school committee side.”