Two School-Related Motions Rebuffed by the City Council

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Flaherty's motion for a resolution shot down

The first defeated motion, to request City Council evaluation of a Proposition 2 1/2 override "to fund school department performance increases," was voted down 10 to 1 with only Flaherty voting in favor. The second motion, which asked for approval of a one page resolution "relative to negotiating and executing" school department contracts, was withdrawn by Flaherty after a withering attack from other City Councilors. It was determined that Flaherty's resolution was unnecessary and that Councilor Brown's ad hoc committee should continue to be the vehicle for a joint effort for investigating school budget issues. Save Westfield Schools agrees with both City Council decisions.

City councilor remarks regarding these two school-related motions and several other non-school-related motions brought forward by Flaherty last night made it evident that his clout with some other City Councilors has taken a heavy hit. Councilor Keefe excoriated Flaherty for bringing forward a total nine motions to Thursday's meeting, saying that Councilor Flaherty has a track record of bringing forth motions that he does not follow up on and move through the process. Councilor Brent Bean expressed his opinion that Flaherty was "grandstanding."

Last night's meeting seems to have been the last gasp of a summer-long battle over the 2011 school budget. We're hoping that next year's budget discussion will be more productive and fruitful.