On November 8, 2016, I voted yes on question #4.  I cast my voted to legalize Marijuana in MA along with the majority of Groton voters in our town.  Now that it has been legalized, I believe the voters of Groton have the right to decide how we want to move forward.  Over 100 communities are now taking action and establishing their own local restrictions.

The ballot is unequivocally the only way to clarify how our community as a whole wants to proceed, I am asking our Board of Selectmen to provide us with that chance by way of a ballot question. I am asking for a question to allow all voters to clarify if they want to allow or ban retail Marijuana shops from opening in our town.  For that reason, I created a petition to formally and collectively request this of our Board of Selectmen, please consider endorsing my petition.

Please note that this petition does not force the Board of Selectmen to do anything, that is not my intent.  My intent is to share with the Board of Selectmen the want for due process to better serve the community as a whole.  It is no surprise that I am opposed to retail Marijuana Shops in our town, I believe the associated risk outweigh the limited economic benefit our town may receive. Beyond being opposed to retail Marijuana shops, I am a strong advocate for the right to vote and for our elected officials to serve our community as a whole.
A ballot question allows our elected officials to acknowledge the will of the entire community and to better serve us.   “A man without a vote is a man without protection”.

This blog post is my interpretation and summary of discussions from meetings that I attend and are not official minutes

There was Budget & Finance Subcommittee and SC meeting back to back whereas all agenda items were listed on both agendas allowing the Budget & Finance Subcommittee the first glance and feedback on the items. In attendance for the Budget & Finance Subcommittee was Business & Finance Director – Michael Knight, Superintendent – Dr. Laura Chesson, SC Members – Jennifer McKenzie, Brian LeBlanc, Ryan McLane and Jeff Kubick.  Marlena Gilbert joined the B&F meeting at 6:55 PM and Peter Cronin joined at 7:45 PM.

  • Announcements – The Supt. shared information about the extreme cold weather affects on our buildings. The HS gym floor was damaged due to water from a heater that was affected by the extreme cold, this will be covered by our District insurance policy. The claim will be submitted, insurance claim process will be followed and the floor will be repaired.
  • Spiceworks Demo/Michael Knight – Business & Finance Director provided a high-level explanation of the free application currently used in our District.  Currently, maintenance requests come in and are distributed daily to the staff via paperwork order which is then resolved and reported back for entry into the system as a closed ticket.  Currently, our preventative maintenance is managed on spreadsheets by the Director of Business & Grounds.  The Supt. mentioned other software that is available but is expensive. Gilbert referenced prior to spending money on a different software she would like to see Spiceworks explored further and fully utilized to include preventative maintenance scheduling.
  • Boutwell SIP/Budget Update – Jill Greene, Direct of Pupil Services provided the SC with the Boutwell SIP due to the change in Director.  We currently have an interim Director and will conduct a search for a permanent Early Childhood Coordinator.  Our Interim Early Childhood Coordinator is newly retired Karen Kanter.
  • Custodial Outsourcing RFP – SC voted to submit the RFP as written by the Business & Finance Director with a change to make up of the RFP Evaluation Committee. The committee will include seven members – (1)Director of Business & Finance, (2)Director of Buildings & Grounds, (2)Building Principals, (2)Community Members and (1)SC member.  All members will be selected by the SC.
  • Special Ed. & Gen Ed. Programmatic Review Update – The staffing, curriculum, and scheduling final report will be presented to the community and School Committee at our last meeting in January.  The consultant was granted more time to allow for the final draft to cover all portions outlined in the RFP which includes everything from examining staffing levels, best practices and any possible opportunities to increase efficiency.  Jennifer McKenzie reiterated that the SC voted to hire the consultants to conduct the District Programmatic Review (Audit) in an effort to find some efficiencies within our budget to reallocate towards our District needs. The SC expects a detailed report that outlines any cost savings opportunities as no matter how well an organization is run there must be some level of efficiencies that can be found. Both consultants are being held to that task, any cost savings realized will be reallocated back to our Students.
  • Policy – The following policies were reviewed for 1st reads and approved the 2nd reads at the meeting. The policies listed under 2nd reads will be sent to the MASC and they will upload the updated policies to our website.
    • 2nd Readings
      • BEDH – Public Participation at SC Meetings
      • GCA – Professional Staff Positions
      • KE – Public Complaints
    • 1st Reading
      • KEB – Public Complaints About School Personnel
      • KEC – Public Complaints About the Curriculum or Instructional Material