The annual town election is Tuesday, April 10. There is a hotly contested race for school committee. Your choice is:
· Re-elect long-time School Committee Chairman Tim Doyle, who promises stability and a proven track record
· Elect Kimberly Hansen, who proposes change with a long-term management perspective to improve the schools
· Elect Phil McQueen, who champions change to enhance the academic learning experience
You can vote for any two of the three. To help you make this choice, here are some facts.
Our School Committee has proposed a budget increase of approximately 4.5% for the April 2018 Town meeting which involves cutting positions of much needed aides and programs for our young children. The School Committee’s proposed budget increase of over $1.1M is still not enough to maintain our current level of services.
At the same time, our School Department has been rocked by, but survived 2 recent incidents. The Lynnfield Villager, on March 7, 2018, reported that High School teacher Kacy Zurkus was awarded two years backpay by an arbitrator for wrongful dismissal, giving her a lump sum settlement of $225K. Additionally, in the second incident, Lelo Masamba was fired. Ms. Masamba has sued the Lynnfield Public Schools in Essex Superior Court seeking damages for discrimination and breach of contract. Ms. Masamba seeks back pay and other damages. Her yearly salary was $62,125, putting the potential damages in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. When this case is settled, it could further potentially divert funds from our children’s educational programs to rectify the alleged missteps of the current administration.
Despite the voter’s continued support of the sizeable increasing school budget, the Town’s children are still facing teaching staff and program cuts. It is up to you to vote for the status quo or for change.
Please vote Tuesday, April 10th.