Ted Siefer's City Hall: A dust-up over Common Core, and kudos to custodians
It began with a somewhat cryptic statement from MayorTed Gatsas about how he's heard talk that the Manchester Academic Standards are really just Common Core by another name.
"I just want our teachers to be able get back to work," she said, while adding (jokingly), "Maybe he was mad at me because I got more votes than him."
A group of school employees who are often overlooked got some love last week, or at least their employer did. Aramark, the district's custodial contractor, was recognized at Monday's school board meeting for being the first company to step up to support the newly unveiled STEAM Ahead program at West High.
It so happened that the next day, Aramark's new contract was up for a vote at the Building and Sites Committee.
Its cost would essentially hold steady for the next three years, going down slightly next year, and up 1 percent in 2016. The current contract costs about $4.3 million, O'Maley said. In addition, the company would undertake a facilities assessment, which O'Maley has long sought, and it would invest an additional $100,000 in new cleaning equipment and technology.
"The more money we save on any of these line items, the more we can put into the classroom," he said.
Hopefully, their Thanksgiving meals have been well-digested because the aldermen have a full plate of meetings this week, and there are some potentially upsetting topics on the agendas.
The Committee on Public Safety on Monday will take up the proposal to hire more police officers, which emerged during the election amid rising concerns over crime.
And the full board meeting on Tuesday could offer the latest installment in the feud between Ward 10 Alderman Phil Greazzo and Alderman-At-Large Joe Kelly Levasseur.
You may recall that at the last aldermen's meeting, Greazzo invoked a section of the charter to have the mayor review his allegation that Levasseur had improperly disclosed confidential information - and he later expanded the list of alleged charter violations.
In any case, Gatsas is now referring the matter, as per the charter, to the city solicitor. "I have requested that a review be completed in a timely manner and prior to a new board being seated," he wrote in a letter to the board.
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