Pope John, again

A chorus of residents wondering why Pope John is not being used to mitigate overcrowding in the public schools continues to dominate the public forum during public speaking portions of the city council and school committee meetings.

This is a powerful chorus of articulate people who are being treated as though they don’t know what they are saying and who are, at the same time, refusing to be intimidated or marginalized.

At last week’s school committee meeting, the high school principal was asked by a school committeeman to report on the population at the high school.

The principal replied: “It was built for 1800 students in 2007. We now have more than 2300 students and an additional 37 are waiting right now to be approved for entry into the school.”

The mayor’s flip flop on Pope John – first being for it and then being against it, has an echo with the public speakers that is not going to go away.

Also, the public speakers, and this includes members of the school committee as well, report almost from week to week that residents with kids in the public schools for the most part, don’t want their children in modular classrooms.

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Pope John out of the mayor’s mix; he changed his mind

“Pope John should be housing,” mayor insists

By Josh Resnek

At a public pre-Christmas celebration for the city’s elderly last week, the mayor apparently showed his true colors during remarks where those who watched and listened said he was “on fire.”

In one fell swoop he apparently said: “Pope John should be housing…I’m going after the newspaper…I am going nowhere.”

With those alleged statements, the mayor revealed his private thinking about very public thoughts.

Monday night at the city council, all of that coalesced.

The Pope John project right now is dead on arrival.

The mayor promised to do as the city council asked weeks ago, following months of meetings, discussions and public discussion and protest.

“If it is the will of the council, I will do it,” he said, more or less, for better or worse, in response to an outcry from the public looking for overcrowding relief in the public schools.

Peggy Serino said as much during public remarks before the Monday meeting of the city council.

Serino told the council the mayor out and “lied” about Pope John to each and every one of you. “What are we going to do here?” she asked the council.

“I have never seen a mayor lie to the common council. What is going on…I hope you will do something about this.”

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School Committee OK’s Mayor’s Plan for Use of Pope John as Junior High

Unanimous Agreement for $76 Million Rehab Offered by the Mayor

By Josh Resnek

A funny thing happened to the School Committee on the way to approving the mayor’s $76 million rehabilitation plan for the former Pope John facility in North Everett.

What had been a School Committee at odds with itself – with at least four members refusing to consider the Pope John School as a viable alternative to dent the overcrowding issue plaguing the public schools – became a School Committee united.

Monday night, the School Committee voted 9-0 to send a resolution to the mayor indicating the SC is completely behind the mayor’s proposal.

The resolution is non-binding, however, the mayor has said if the City Council agrees to Pope John as a junior high school, he would go along with it.

The City Council will have to act as soon as the mayor requests action on the matter.

To this end, several School Committee members insisted that the mayor needs to act decisively, and sooner, rather than later.

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Tahiliani – $40 million; DeMaria – $76 million

Mayor prefers gold standard, Tahiliani pleased with that offer

By Josh Resnek

Last week’s City Council meeting featured the mayor and the school superintendent seated near to one another and their respective school construction consultants discussing two main options on the table, each of them intended to reduce the public schools serious overcrowding situation.

Approximately 1,500 students presently do not have proper space to conduct teaching and are packed into classes with more than 30 students throughout the district.

Music rooms and libraries, and even closets are being used as classrooms by school administrators and teachers to meet the challenge.

Some school corridors are employed as teaching spaces, according to school officials.

The mayor’s consultant suggested a $76 million full rehab for Pope John.

The school department’s consultant said the school could be up and running by spending

$40 million and the school could open earlier. The mayor made himself perfectly and unambiguously clear at the meeting about his preference.

“If it is the will of the council, I will do Pope John but it will be done first class,” he told the council and School Superintendent Priya Tahiliani.

The mayor said he wanted no part of Tahiliani’s construction consultant, Andrew Barr.

It was Barr’s contention that Pope John could open as early as January 2024 without using the “gold standard.”

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Pope John doesn’t need a rehab, politics here needs a rehab

“Don’t believe the mayor’s lie.”

By Steven Pinto

Everett politicians and the mayor are clearly anti-education.

The deliberate inaction of the city to meet the public school overcrowding issue is an embarrassment.

It actually could possibly be an underlying form of discrimination. Everett public school students are only about 19% white.

This leaves 81% non-white students – Blacks, Browns, Hispanics, and numerous other minorities making up the vast bulk of young people in the school system.

We are refusing to properly educate minorities in Everett.

Maybe the Feds need to step in and investigate the issue. Maybe they already are.

There have been too many documented acts of racism in Everett. And not providing safe and proper education facilities could be another act of racism and or discrimination or both.

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