This is how School Superintendent Priya Tahliani described the lack of quorum at a meeting last week where the School Department budget is on the line.
Five members of the School Committee didn’t appear at that meeting, which was arguably, the most important of 2021 to date.
This includes the mayor, who said he really didn’t know about it. Cynthia Sarne, who does the mayor’s bidding. Millie Cardello, who bats for the mayor when he asks, and Allen Panarese, and Joseph LaMonica, who are inclined to do the mayor’s bidding for him.
Five members not attending such an important budget hearing is highly unusual.
The mayor not attending after making such a fuss that he needs to be a voting member of the School Committee is par for the course.
The others likely following his example or orders is also par for the course.
All the members who did not attend could have signed on from home on Zoom.
Instead, this five chose to stay away.
Superintendent Tahiliani said she was surprised by the lack of a quorum.
She said it was unthinkable that there would be only 50% attendance at such an important meeting following 13 months of negotiations.
Did the mayor lead this insurrection?
It certainly looks that way, doesn’t it?
Superintendent Tahiliani said the absence of the mayor and others at such a key meeting were a bit like die-hard football fans forgetting to watch the Patriots when they were playing in the Superbowl.
“Hopefully we can do better the next time,” she said.
She said it is incumbent on School Committee members to support the students and everyone else having something to do with the School Department.
What she didn’t say is that the mayor and his acolytes should have been there and ready to vote.
What she declined to say is that “mischief, thou art afoot.”
“We have worked tirelessly. It is unfortunate when the time finally came, we could not have a vote because so many members did not attend,” she repeated.
“The entire community deserves better,” she added.
With these comments, Tahiliani has shown she is fearless, definitive, and will not let bad behavior slide.
As for those members of the School Committee so inclined to do the mayor’s bidding, and who shows no pretense of being independent voices, we’d suggest they find seats for themselves on the city council.