Silva golden in Pepperell

Silva golden in Pepperell

There are 60 comments on the Lowell Sun story from Apr 27, 2010, titled Silva golden in Pepperell. In it, Lowell Sun reports that:

One challenger is talking recount, but the early returns show North Middlesex Regional School Committee Chairman Arnold Silva Jr.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Lowell Sun.

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Wake up call

Southbridge, MA

#1 Apr 27, 2010
I hope Mr. Silva got the message--that a majority of Pepperell voters wanted a different perspective in their representation on the school committee. There is no real victory celebration when the election failed to produce a voter mandate for him to return to the school committee; clearly, Pepperell voters expect and deserve better.
It can hardly be called a "golden" victory.

Mr. Silva, I suggest you start listening to your constituents, rather than seeming to capitulate to every proposal brought by this superintendent. You owe it to the residents of this town to ensure the students and the quality of education receive the full attention of a superintendent dedicated to this district, and this district alone. Do your "due diligence"--there was money available in the budget through E & D, through a line item review, through positions which did not need to be filled. This district didn't have to surrender to this half-*** arrangement with a district that performs inferior to North Middlesex. Thanks, but no thanks, for supporting that.

Talk to your constituents--many balk at your "achievement" in voting for this superintendent. We have problems in this district that continue to be unaddressed. I vote "no confidence" in the current leadership. Hope you have gotten the message from others as well.

Btw, calling this superintendent one of the "brilliant persons" you have met in your life only shows that you obviously don't get out as much as you should. I'd suggest speaking to your fellow Pepperell residents for a refreshing perspective on that.
failing grade

Pepperell, MA

#2 Apr 27, 2010
Golden victory or failing grade? Like passing with a 61 after the teacher grants bonus points and scales the test.
Resident

Northborough, MA

#3 Apr 27, 2010
Arnie please go buy Burson some beers ASAP, it's the least you could do....
Paying Attention

United States

#4 Apr 27, 2010
I agree with Wake Up call -- and Arnie better really wake up, with more proposed cuts headed downstream to towns, it is likely the dear doctor will need to make some decisions. I really wish someone, with valid attendance documentation would present this to the town manager. The dear doctor is only trying to build her resume.
Disappointed

United States

#5 Apr 27, 2010
Wake up call -- Here is the problem with Arnie. Although everything you wrote is what Arnie should do but in the end this town has given him the green light for him to brow beat them for another term. He is going to go back to how "we do not do enough for the schools" as stated by "bettering the district".

He will tell you how we need to spend millions of more tax dollars on the school system and promote an override to do so because to Silva there is no bottom to the well. We could have a Harvard like endowment for the school system and it would not be enough.

People will have to make real decisions as to which bills to pay vs tax dollars to the town but Arnie could care less for those people. He has always given them a deaf ear.

The one trick pony wins again..you had a chance for change and went back for some more pain. Guess the people did not get the message.
Wake up call

Southbridge, MA

#6 Apr 27, 2010
Disappointed wrote:
Wake up call -- Here is the problem with Arnie. Although everything you wrote is what Arnie should do but in the end this town has given him the green light for him to brow beat them for another term. He is going to go back to how "we do not do enough for the schools" as stated by "bettering the district".
He will tell you how we need to spend millions of more tax dollars on the school system and promote an override to do so because to Silva there is no bottom to the well. We could have a Harvard like endowment for the school system and it would not be enough.
People will have to make real decisions as to which bills to pay vs tax dollars to the town but Arnie could care less for those people. He has always given them a deaf ear.
The one trick pony wins again..you had a chance for change and went back for some more pain. Guess the people did not get the message.
I share your frustration, however, it is my belief that the election results were impacted by the addition of a third candidate, who articulated concerns similar to those of Ms. Clermont. The messages of these candidates communicated the need for change in representation, and the voters, by majority, wanted change. The results may have been very different had the third candidate, who had a relatively smaller voter following, bowed out of the race and endorsed the candidate who shared his concerns.
The voters who showed up at the polls should be recognized for making their voices heard--a majority wanted a change. But, for the rest of the registered voters in Pepperell, who failed to exercise their right and responsibility as an American citizen, let this be a reinforcement of the statement that "every vote counts" and can make a difference.
Silva is golden

Pepperell, MA

#7 Apr 27, 2010
Nathan, I really thought better of you. More like "Silva Squeaks By". This is no mandate for him. Should be a wake up call as others have said. The majority of the committee has sat around and let Dr. Marshall do what ever she feels is right for the district, with little or no questioning. This has led to her apply for many grants that have amounted to nothing in the end but paid busy work. A shared services agreement that has her working more for the interests of her old district more than ours. If I hear "I'm doing it for the kids" one more time I'm going to puke. We're all "doing it" for the kids. Stop it.

A 20+ year supe, who will tell you til you're blue in the face, that she has built several new schools in Quabbin but somehow missed that we had an $800K grant that Pepperell could have lost by turning over PFS to the town (embarrassingly Joe Sergi was the only one to catch this? Seriously?). She absolutely should have known to ask about that. A budget that was thrown together by taking last year's numbers and inflating them across the board, without regard for what should or should not be increased based on real need. Then use scare tactics, which is her bailywick, to threaten loss of the band program and World Language in the middle schools to get parents out to kick and scream. Remember the threatened override a few years ago which failed in Pepperell? Ultimately she found the money elsewhere to meet a $3M budget cut.

Where was the planning and foresight? I know... in Quabbin...
More beers needed

Pepperell, MA

#8 Apr 28, 2010
Resident wrote:
Arnie please go buy Burson some beers ASAP, it's the least you could do....
Arnie should also buy beers for Pepperell selectman Joe Sergi and his fincom chairman for last minute support and praises, ie Saturday morning baloney budget hearing. Arnie spent most of the past three years inflicting damage in the district and taunting Pepperell taxpayers but was invisible the past few months. A pint or two for the friendly press, also. Now we can all cry in our beer.
Scott Brown

Pepperell, MA

#9 Apr 28, 2010
Silva is golden wrote:
Where was the planning and foresight? I know... in Quabbin...
It sure as heck wasn't in Rotten-Unstable
Jerry Seinfeld

Lowell, MA

#10 May 2, 2010
Way to be Pepperell, re-elect this clown.

While the school tries to build a new school and incorporate another town into the district, they forget the other problems. Also forget theres an empty school in town...hmmm
New Super

Pepperell, MA

#11 May 3, 2010
Dr. Judith Klimkiewicz, I vote for her as the new Superindendent. She can be part-time for Nashoba Tech & NM.

She could do this job in her sleep and better than what we got now.

Arnie, you suck. Admins getting a raise. You should be ashamed of yourself.

And Arnie counting votes for the school budget??? Isn't that a conflict of interest Scott? Get off the Jack and pay attention!
Disgrace

Pepperell, MA

#12 May 3, 2010
Only thing golden about Arnie is his shower.
Take it or leave it

Southbridge, MA

#13 May 4, 2010
New Super wrote:
Dr. Judith Klimkiewicz, I vote for her as the new Superindendent. She can be part-time for Nashoba Tech & NM.
She could do this job in her sleep and better than what we got now.
Arnie, you ****. Admins getting a raise. You should be ashamed of yourself.
And Arnie counting votes for the school budget??? Isn't that a conflict of interest Scott? Get off the Jack and pay attention!
I'm with you--very impressed with the Nashoba Tech superintendent and the fact that she had information available to the public regarding the school. It was commendable that she was amenable to answering questions from the public (note the lower per pupil expenditure relative to NM, especially as she noted that per pupil expenditures tend to be higher at the h.s. level.)

And, where was our esteemed superintendent during the town meeting? Letting Arnie do all the talking (after all, Arnie is just the mouthpiece for the superintendent, and this was a battle she didn't need to take on, since she knew she'd get Townsend to approve her budget anyway.) Arnie--thanks for the "take it or leave it" attitude regarding the school budget. Some of your constituents aren't willing to approve a budget without information regarding where the additional cuts are going to come from--what line item expenses have been earmarked for potential cuts?(Don't tell me you haven't identified that, or are you waiting for the superintendent to stroll on in with her recommendations which you'll endorse, per usual?)

Mr. Silva's unwillingness to hold this superintendent accountable for anything of concern to his constituents is really deplorable. And, an administrative concession of a one-day furlough? Really? With over 56% of Pepperell voters casting a vote for change in their representation on the school committee this year, you'd think that Arnie would get the message and, at least, provide his constituents with an idea of where the additional cuts to the school budget are going to come from; we've all had it with the "take it or leave it" and "let them eat cake" attitude.
NMRD Quabin District

Pepperell, MA

#14 May 4, 2010
What a show again last night. I was embarrassed at the town meeting. The Super was at the meeting last night, but again, Arnie the night and shining armor, had to speak for her. Where was the budget??? Did the most brilliant person in the whole wide world forget to bring it? The tax payers don't need to know how or where there tax dollars are going, then they might ask questions.
Is anybody questioning why another principal at the high school is leaving?? Don't worry everyone will find out next fall when there's 30 kids in a class and the playground equipment hasn't been moved yet.
Pro ed mom

Pepperell, MA

#15 May 5, 2010
NMRD Quabin District wrote:
Is anybody questioning why another principal at the high school is leaving?? Don't worry everyone will find out next fall when there's 30 kids in a class and the playground equipment hasn't been moved yet.
No surprise here. He was getting less than $125,000 including stipends. Why would he want to stay in a district that isn't commited to quality education. Don't worry about next year. Even with the Lunenburg merger Dr Marshall has several options.
Absence of leadership

Southbridge, MA

#16 May 5, 2010
Pro ed mom wrote:
<quoted text> Why would he want to stay in a district that isn't commited to quality education. Don't worry about next year. Even with the Lunenburg merger Dr Marshall has several options.
Not sure how you have concluded that the district "isn't committed to quality education." If your answer to district problems is to "throw more money" at them, then you are contributing to perpetuating the prevailing problem in this district: the inability to sustain compensation for an inordinate number of administrators, despite a decreasing student population. Here's a solution: eliminate the excess and retain key administrators who are fairly compensated, with a potential for increases based on performance.

The superintendent and many of the SC members need to get the message--it's not about more money for each existing line item in the budget. It's about reducing and eliminating fiscal waste and extravagance--it's about efficiency and allocating money where it has the most impact on the quality of education for our students.

If you're really a "pro-ed mom," then instead of repeating the age-old mantra of "let's spend more money" to provide a better education for our students, how about advocating for your children by demanding accountability from those who are paid with our tax dollars to lead this district? How about researching our district expenditures, relative to others', or perusing the district MCAS scores, showing student performance, compared to surrounding districts? Satisfied that our administrators have "earned" their pay increases this year? As evidenced by what? By virtue of the fact that they're "entitled" to them as part of their contracts?

I can support fairly compensating key administrators and offering them the potential for increases, when there is payment for performance. But, with an absence of leadership in NM and less than stellar student performance, there are too many people on the central office "gravy train" with nothing to justify it.
Absence of leadership

Southbridge, MA

#17 May 5, 2010
Pro ed mom wrote:
<quoted text> Even with the Lunenburg merger Dr Marshall has several options.
As you're researching district expenditures and reviewing student performance via MCAS scores, I might suggest you also do some further reading and research on that "Lunenburg merger." With the exception of Milree, others, notably the Lunenburg SC members, seem to have had a change of heart (after noting the disappointing MCAS NMRSD scores and the current district budget woes--really?)

Still, Dr. M has kept the door open, resorting to her usual scare tactics--crying that the state is applying pressure to merge. Here's a news flash: In this economic environment, and given the recent NM school budget forum, there is no public appetite for this "spending spree." The voters get to send her that message if/when she decides to put forth that proposal to a public vote.

Seems like the good Dr. M had the wool pulled over her eyes--Lunenburg was just using NM to show the state they were "trying," but ultimately need/want to go it alone. Maybe Dr. Marshall should investigate some "other options." How about starting with "saving" NM another $98K and offering her services full time to Quabbin?
Pro ed mom

Pepperell, MA

#18 May 5, 2010
Absence of leadership wrote:
<quoted text>
As you're researching district expenditures and reviewing student performance via MCAS scores, I might suggest you also do some further reading and research on that "Lunenburg merger." With the exception of Milree, others, notably the Lunenburg SC members, seem to have had a change of heart (after noting the disappointing MCAS NMRSD scores and the current district budget woes--really?)
Still, Dr. M has kept the door open, resorting to her usual scare tactics--crying that the state is applying pressure to merge. Here's a news flash: In this economic environment, and given the recent NM school budget forum, there is no public appetite for this "spending spree." The voters get to send her that message if/when she decides to put forth that proposal to a public vote.
Seems like the good Dr. M had the wool pulled over her eyes--Lunenburg was just using NM to show the state they were "trying," but ultimately need/want to go it alone. Maybe Dr. Marshall should investigate some "other options." How about starting with "saving" NM another $98K and offering her services full time to Quabbin?
Some people THINK they know what is going on behind the scene, but Superintendent Loxi Jo Calmes' and Dr. Maureen Marshall KNOW what is best for the children and our districts.

"The voters get to send her that message"??? "Here's a news flash" for you: The chairman of the school committee was just re-relected running as a referendum on Dr. Marshall!!!
baffled mom

Proctorsville, VT

#19 May 5, 2010
"The chairman of the school committee was just re-relected running as a referendum on Dr. Marshall!!!"

By what a margin of 12 votes over the second place candidate? More total votes were cast against him. Get the message?

There is a monument to Dr. Marshall's lack of KNOWing in Pepperell - the empty Peter Fitzpatrick Elementary School that NMRSD is still paying to maintain. I am sure that having 25-28 students in a K-2 class at VB is also best for our children.
Pro ed mom

Pepperell, MA

#20 May 5, 2010
baffled mom wrote:
"The chairman of the school committee was just re-relected running as a referendum on Dr. Marshall!!!"
By what a margin of 12 votes over the second place candidate? More total votes were cast against him. Get the message?
There is a monument to Dr. Marshall's lack of KNOWing in Pepperell - the empty Peter Fitzpatrick Elementary School that NMRSD is still paying to maintain. I am sure that having 25-28 students in a K-2 class at VB is also best for our children.
Glad you brought that up. You can't blame Dr. Marshall for the poor planning of past administrations and Pepperell's "space needs experts". Sheeesh! Peter Fitzpatrick is just one of many messes that Dr. Marshall inherited and is cleaning up without proper support from the people that caused the mess.

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