Tuesday, September 20, 2011

On Primary Day

On this election day, please don't forget this.

Shameful is right.

Full article regarding the wasting of $42,000 a year, and failing to provide our city employees with needed upgrades to their offices here. Let me remind you that Pinto claims to be a fiscal watchdog. Shameful.


I mentioned yesterday that my school committee ballot will include Nate Bryant, Francis Vigeant, and Deborah Amaral. Here's why.

Nate Bryant: Jim Fleming makes a good point when he says that we have a new to Salem leadership team in the schools, and they could use an experienced school committee to help guide them. I agree with this point. So why not Fleming? When I think about Fleming and Bryant, I see one person I want guiding the school committee and one who frequently won't be there to. Fleming spends a good chunk of the year in Florida and gets a D for attendance. Quite literally, he misses a third of the meetings. How will he guide them in Florida? Bryant is also the poster child for decorum, while Fleming sometimes acts like school committee meetings are his stand up shows. Seriously, watch a school committee meeting with Fleming present, and one where he's absent. I've seen him talk and crack jokes during presentations, ignore speakers, and generally act like he doesn't take it very seriously. It's a 50 million dollar enterprise. Nate Bryant treats it with the respect that it deserves, and I've never been embarrassed to have him as school committee member. With his behavior in meetings, and frequent absences, I can't say the same about James Fleming. (Yes, he's a veteran. Yes I'm grateful for that. Yes, I can still criticize his school committee behavior.)

Francis Vigeant: One only has to watch the school committee candidates forum that took place last week to realize that Francis Vigeant is wise beyond his years. He said during the forum that he is 28. I almost fell out of my chair. He displays a maturity far beyond his age. This former teacher owns and runs a company that develops interactive curriculum materials for elementary and middle school science and engineering education. He presented solid ideals, and a serious grasp of the issues, unfortunately unlike many of his counterparts. In fact, Bill Kirby was asked a fairly elementary question about school choice, and passed, because he didn't know anything about school choice. You're running for school committee! I crossed him off of my list immediately.

Deborah Amaral: Ms. Amaral is well known to many in Salem, as the former director of the Salem YMCA. She's also a dedicated foster parent, with plenty of experience with city schools. She was one of the only other candidates who seemed to have any real factual basis of what goes on in the school system. (Lisa Lavoie wasn't bad, but selfishly, I don't think I could handle her sing-song preschool teacher voice in meetings, and I watch a lot of them. Shallow, I know.) Amaral seemed totally competent for the job. She's definitely heavily invested.

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