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John Puopolo On Pope John

Guest Editorial By John Puopolo

School Capacity is a major crisis. I hope you had time to watch the School Committee meeting.

As of tonight our mayor provides NO solution or path forward for school capacity relief. He is here for approval for yet another housing development, proposing to tear down Pope John, a turn key school that is a near term solution for capacity.

Tonight the mayor will be pitting the school capacity crisis against affordable housing, veterans and the elderly, while the Mayor will try to have you all believe PJH is NOT an option to help school capacity. He couldn’t be More wrong!

His divisiveness for pitting one against the other as he tries to sell you a totally illogical idea given the city’s current educational dilemma is ludicrous.

The HS is over capacity by 600, Parlin 400, both growing exponentially. Student enrollment levels are not sustainable now or in the future. He offers no capacity solution. A New HS at $500M with the mayors 25% guaranteed over run is 10 to 15 years away you started today. But NO new HS is in motion.

You will hear from school committee member DeMaria who will vehemently defend giving Pope John away for FREE to a developer and saddling residents with the $10M debt. So How can providing unsatisfactory learning conditions be the position of a school committee member? Should be NO seat for him!

He will present numerous roadblocks as to why PJH school can not be a school. Not logical. He will offer nonsensical suggestions. He unjustly wants your vote to tear PJH down when our schools are in crisis. Don’t do it!

He will offer to send city hall employees to work remotely to make city hall a school for 1,000 kids faster. WOW, does that make sense? I hope no ones buying what he is selling. This is a man in desperation for a developer NOT the children. Maybe it’s a good idea to give city hall to the developer instead of PJ!

He will say that Pope John needs significant investment, maybe he doesn’t realize it is already a HP accessible SCHOOL for 53 years. He will say if you choose Pope John taxes will go up – well what else is new on his watch? Taxes go up every year, so doesn’t spending with ZERO cost containment. He is chasing business out for housing, losing more taxes every year, putting more tax burden on the residents and driving up rents!

There were many more falsehoods presented by school committee member DeMaria not worth discussing here, I know a majority of you get what’s going on.

I implore you not to take his desperate plea to GIVE PJH away while the city needs school space NOW! It’s disrespectful to the Children and the educators.

You will hear a plea for more studies, committees, meetings for things as basic as how will the kids get to Pope John?

Does he not understand it was a school for over 53 years, educating children from all corners of Everett and the surrounding communities.

The time for studies, debates, meetings is OVER. This is yet another self inflicted CRISIS created by the mayor. Stop the administrations dysfunction and indecision. Vote to move forward with Pope John as an emergency crisis resolution for capacity immediately.

OPEN UP POPE JOHN WITHOUT any further DELAY. Save the Children.


Editor’s Note: The mayor did not speak at Monday night’s city council meeting.

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