School committee meeting are generally about as exciting as white paint on a wall. The retinue is fairly mundane with various presentations that force an onlooker into a glazed over stupor. Now a little excitement has been injected into the weekly adventure in “stupid things to do.” The stupid thing was to cut off public comment.
Locally, we have been down this road before. A few years back the Board of Selectmen’s meeting resulted in a long line of locals to protest the arbitrary sanctioning by Marsha Brunelle of public debate. Ms. Brunelle had the good sense to apologize and move forward. Of course she had the ill fortune to run again and was defeated.
In the latest local dustup the committee chair, Richard Gillis, relinquished his post, but choose to remain on the committee. The central protagonist was Lincoln Andrews, who has an extensive record of local service. The SC used lawyer speak to squash any comments. Their attorney advised them not to add it to the agenda when it was missed over a clerical error.
Suggestion to the SC: Get a new attorney.
A heated discussion and Mr. Andrews’ willingness to lock horns with the SC over this issue resulted in a phone call to the police, another member, with a shrill and irritating “point of order” being bandied about, resulted in a fervent verbal exchange during a recess with Mr. Andrews.
A small group of concerned parents has wanted answers and have not received them. The SC has been stonewalling and entrenched on this issue and that issue is why in regard to the superintendent.
At the center of this brouhaha is the dismissal or the firing of the current superintendent, Roselle Weiss. Of course she “resigned,” but in actuality the SC wanted her gone. I posted on this uprising a few months ago and it appears Ms. Weiss requested a contract extension and also had made some rather honest public statement regarding school performance.
Here is a hint to the SC: Middleboro will never be beyond Level two. In fact, based on the historic demographics of Middleboro the SC should be giddy and not to be lower.
Now the revolt seems somewhat diminished after another meeting. A new Chair, Rich Young, attempted to restore some sense of continuity to the agenda process and managed to survive a rambunctious verbal onslaught from a burgeoning audience of over 100.
Two of the protagonists - or at least one - has continued the exchange on social media. As my wife - The Lovely Cynthia - commented: "How childish." I have heard that term many times with me being the recipient.
Next up is the selection of a new Superintendent.
Allin Frawley wishes to support a bill to expand bow hunting into seven days a week and that effectively shuts out those of us who cannot use the areas during hunting season. This is an incredible display of selfishness by the hunting lobby and by Selectman Frawley himself. Six days for ten weeks were not enough? The sheer nonsense of suggesting that folks walk in the woods during hunting season with vests on show that some just do not read the news regarding hunting accidents.
With Selectman Frawley it apparently comes down to family time as family commitments and a work schedule impact his hobby. From my own experience with hunters, one son included, they have a tendency to schedule a vacation day or two during the season. And sacrifice? Please! Spare me. I had a job, three children, coached baseball and had outside interests that had to be diminished or eliminated.
Not to be outdone was former Selectman Wayne Perkins, who attempted to connect blue laws to why we have no hunting. Any port in a storm, Wayne. What you have, Wayne, Allin and Chris Reed, is six days a week. I know that as do most non hunters. As a trail runner my little group also plan. We have a list of “safe zones,” and what is starting and what season. The one concession is to allow one day for non-hunters to enjoy say the 10,000 acres of Myles Standish without fear. Or even Rocky Gutter.
This bill is simply foot in the door legislation that some more myopic supporters of this measure refuse or are incapable of seeing. The next measure will be to open up the season to all firearms seven days a week and then even expand the season.
The bill itself should not have been brought before the BOS. This is not the APC, which impacts us all, but a bill that is directed for a small group. Selectman Knowlton had it right.
The Oliver House project seems to change more frequently than Hillary Clinton on email excuses. This project apparently is held together by tenuous threads of maybe will get some cash….or maybe not? Meanwhile the CPA well is now fiscally dry thank to emptying the coffers to this project. A sincere “I told you so” is my patented response.