A Reshuffled Deck
Tonight’s the night that the newly elected school committee takes up the torch, and I heard rumors that it might vote on an arbitrated teacher contract. So far they’ve elected a new chairman, Jan Bergandy and a new vice chairwoman, Sally Black.
Having attended these meetings for a year or so, I’ll say that it’s nice to see several members of Tiverton Citizens for Change in attendance, some of whom are newly elected town officials themselves.
I was just about to note that Superintendent Rearick so expected the renewal of the committee’s lawyer’s appointment that he didn’t prepare any sort of spiel, when Carol Herrmann suggested that they put the position out to bid.
And it goes out to bid! Amazing that simple matters of good government can seem like refreshing reform.
ADDENDUM (7:29 p.m.)
Superintendent Rearick just argued in favor of approving the arbitrator’s teacher contract award.
Leonard Wright moved to table on the grounds that the two new committee members need more time to get up to speed. Negative reaction from some teachers.
Newly elected budget committee member Tom Parker (and TCC member) read a letter suggesting that likely decreases in state aid to Tiverton and the economic crisis will undermine “assumptions made throughout the contract.”
He suggested that the committee put the contract away until money matters are more settled and to confer with all relevant town committees and boards.
ADDENDUM 7:36 p.m.:
Deb Pallasch, who was (thankfully) denied in her run for school committee, spoke in favor of the contract.
ADDENDUM 7:42 p.m.:
Former Budget Committee Chairman Chris Cotta just protested the pressure of public groups on public representatives.
The contract approval (or denial) is tabled/continued to the next meeting, to give the new members a chance to ask questions and so on.