3 thoughts on “Council Will be Required to Hold Meetings with Residents, President will Continue to Serve on School Committee

  1. This is somewhat strange:
    requirement for the Town Council President to hold at least public meeting where people can interact with the President and are able to get their questions answered. The agenda of the meeting would be determined by the Town Council.

    IF the requirement is that the town hold a public meeting where people can ask/get responses to their questions…how can the TC set the agenda? Shouldn’t this meeting literally be about taking questions and answering them from the public(isn’t this the agenda, defacto?).

  2. NOTE: This comment is from Marilyn Petitto Devaney:

    As the longest serving Town councilor, I strongly believe that A council President should not serve on the school committee.
    It does not serve the public good.

    Consider the following 12 points –
    (1) In 41 years of this government no council President sitting on the school committee reports on school committee meetings to the council .

    (2). There has never been an agenda item on the printed council agenda to allow .

    3). Only MAYORS in Massachusetts serve on school committees.

    4. NOT one elected councillor in Massachusetts serves on a school committee – because they do not have the authority as the Mayor or a “Town Manager (in city known as Town governments )

    5. A Town council President is a member of an legislative body – not the Executive!

    6. Council president has no authority to even speak for the Town councillors at a school committee meeting. –
    He or she as President cannot talk on budget or school related matters. It is the manager’s responsibility( per Charter)

    7, Watertown is officially known as “City known as a Town “ with 13 others in Massachusetts.
    They are so called because they are cities who do not have a MAYOR .

    8. The town manager as executive ( in lieu of a mayor) should serve as a member of the school committee.

    He has the sole responsibility and authority over all budgets and to speak on related matters on the School Committee. (per Watertown charter)

    9, The Council president has no more authority than any other Councillor to be a school committee member . It was added to the position on the ballot 41 years ago ( per Watertown Charter)

    10. Again -.it is on the council printed agenda already –
    The manager could report any important information from the school committee to the council under this
    agenda item .

    11. It could be said by some -it simply gives he or she- whoever the Council President -an advantage to have more political visability to be on the school committee – that’s all !

    12. IMPORTANT-
    Not ONE thing regarding the structure of this government in 41 years has ever been changed by the charter reviews to allow the citizens to vote !

    Even the constitution has been amended –

    It’s time that the position of a council President
    be removed from school committee .

    It makes no sense – again- it does not serve the public good .
    Marilyn M.Petitto Devaney

    Note. The vote is for the STRUCTURE of our government for the present and the next 10 years (until a review)

    It is NOT a vote to support someone who presently holds this office

  3. I’ve never thought the Council President should also serve on the School Committee. There are ways to ensure ongoing communications between the bodies (i.e. joint meetings on a regular basis.) The Town Manager recommends a final School Department budget every fiscal year, so they still have significant control over the purse strings. This was part of the “grand compromise” back in 1980 to get support for the council-manager form of government; it hasn’t caused any problems but just isn’t a very necessary thing.

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