Ted Siefer's City Hall: Schools, consolidation ideas and tears mark aldermanic session
Alderman-at-Large Joe Kelly Levasseur said the district needs to keep some room in its budget to hire more teachers or make other adjustments should a contract deal finally be reached with the teachers union. It was a valid point, but not exactly diplomatically expressed.
Still, a quiet majority of the aldermen were willing to move forward with at least the preliminary phase of the projects, voting to support spending $1 million for architectural services.
Gatsas outlined the proposal before the HR committee on Tuesday, and it was clear it's much more than a vague notion.
The committee members seemed inclined to agree. They voted to table the matter and schedule a public hearing.
In the meantime, Assistant Superintendent Dave Ryan has been main point person before the school board and aldermen.
Alderman Levasseur is not known as the most touchy-feely guy, so it was a surprise to see him getting choked up late into Tuesday's meeting.
At the beginning of the meeting, two residents of the Elmwood Gardens public housing development - Daniel Issu, a refugee from Sudan, and Sophia Niyifasha, a young woman and Burundian refugee - spoke of their desire to form a resident council at the complex.
"She's come such a long way," Shaw said.
"I drove through there a couple of weeks ago," he said, choking up. "I have to say, I'm extremely impressed how it looked, how clean it was - those kids look like they're doing a heck of a job ... . Who knows, someday they might be standing at that podium right there," he said. Then he quipped, "Just like I will."
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