I applaud the recent decision by the School Committee to seek a declaratory judgment to determine which board can decide where to build a new high school.
A cornerstone of my campaign for City Council is my fundamental belief that our Council has failed to serve the people of Lowell generally. The members of the Council all live in the same neighborhood, and as a result, the decisions they make are primarily aimed at better serving their own neighborhood -- even if those decisions come at the expense of the rest of Lowell.
That's no way to run a city.
The high school siting decision is a perfect example.
I've spent the summer talking to people all across Lowell about the city council's decision to build a new high school at Cawley. No matter where I go or who I talk to, people overwhelmingly express the same conclusion I have about the high school -- the City Council overstepped its bounds by voting to place the high school at Cawley, despite enormous concerns about the cost of such a move, logistics for transporting students, and the threat of taking private property (just to name a few). And, if there is a city board that's going to make the siting decision, the best and most capable board to decide where to build a new high school is the School Committee, not the City Council. (Note: I still believe the best decision of all would be to hold a referendum and let the voters decide for themselves, and I support the volunteers collecting thousands of signatures for that purpose.)
We can't expect our city to thrive and get ahead so long as it continues to be run by greedy and power hungry politicians who just want to feather their own nest. When the City Council makes a citywide decision, that decision should benefit everyone in Lowell, not just the small portion of residents privileged enough to live near a City Councilor.
Over the next few weeks, I'm hoping that several important events will transpire to set Lowell back on the right course. First, I'm hoping the judge hearing the school committee's case will conclude that the school committee is the proper board to decide where to build a high school.
Second, after that decision, I'm hoping the school committee will vote quickly to locate the high school downtown, such that the Massachusetts School Building Authority can proceed with its important work on this project without further delay. And, third, I'm hoping that when Lowell residents go to the polls, they will consider everything that's been happening in our city lately and that they will vote for real change in our City Council.
I want to bring that change to our City Council. I pledge new leadership for our city. I want to represent everyone in Lowell and start making smarter decisions to bring our city forward. For this reason, I respectfully ask for your vote on Tuesday, September 26.
Candidate for Lowell City Council