July 14, 2008 School Committee Meeting


Regular Meeting of the Quincy School Committee July 14, 2008

City Council Chambers, City Hall
6:00 p.m.

I. Approval of Minutes: None 

II. Superintendent’s Report: None 

III. Old Business

A. Faxon Field Track: Mr. McCarthy made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Dwyer to vote on the Faxon Field. Mrs. Bragg tabled the motion.

B. Update on the New Quincy High School:  

IV. New Business

A. Summer Facility Projects Update

V.  Executive Session: - Strategies with Respect to Litigation

VI. Adjournment:


Quincy, Massachusetts - July 14, 2008
Special Meeting of the Quincy School Committee

Special Meeting

A special meeting of the Quincy School Committee was held on Monday, July 14, 2008 at City Council Chambers, City Hall. Present were Mr. Kevin Mulvey, Mr. Nick Puleo, Mrs. Elaine Dwyer, Mrs. Jo-Ann Bragg, Mrs. Anne Mahoney, Mr. Dave McCarthy and Mayor Tom Koch, Chairman. ` This meeting began at 6:00 p.m.

Chairman Presiding

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Also present were: Dr. Richard DeCristofaro, Secretary, Richard O’Brien, Tom Walsh and Jim Mullaney.

Executive Session

On a motion by Mr. McCarthy, seconded by Mrs. Bragg, the Committee voted to go into Executive Session at 6:04 p.m. for the purpose of strategies with respect to litigation. On a roll call vote, the motion passed unanimously 7-0.

Regular Meeting

The Committee returned to Open Session at 7:00 p.m. A moment of silence was observed for Anthony Tufo and Christopher Dexter Dolan, who recently passed away.

Motion off table

Mr. McCarthy made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Dwyer, to take the off the table his motion to vote on Faxon Field. The ayes have it.

Motion on Faxon Field

Mr. McCarthy made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Dwyer, to vote on Faxon Field as the site of the track.

Motion to table

Mrs. Bragg made a motion, seconded by Mr. Puleo, to table the motion on the grounds that there was not sufficient information to vote one way or the other.

Mrs. Dwyer stated that according to School Committee Policy, a motion can be tabled only once without a vote. Mrs. Bragg answered that Mrs. Dwyer was correct in that the first time the matter comes before the Committee they can table without a vote, however, you can table with a second and a vote on top of that. The motion has been made and seconded, but requires a majority vote.

Mr. Puleo called the motion before them.

Motion fails

On the motion to table the vote on the Faxon Field site again, the motion failed 4-3. MRS. BRAGG, MR. PULEO and MAYOR KOCH voted YES.

Mr. McCarthy said this is not a vote about design, topography, etc. this is about the physical location. There are many obstacles at this location. Some issues are parking, during the school week if we have a track meet at this location, our parking lots are still full, this will only smother the people in the neighborhoods, the second thing is a safety concern with the corner of 3A and Coddington. Traffic backs up to the end of cemetery. The wetlands bring up potential appeals. He does not want to jeopardize the new high school. Flooding has been there forever. This may make it worse. We should not be wasting money and time with all these obstacles.

Mrs. Bragg asked why the Park Department was told not to come to the meeting. Mr. McCarthy answered that last Monday night he told them he planned to meet with the School Committee. The Park Dept. members are all new and he didn’t think they looked at any of the obstacles yet. He doesn’t think Gale or the Park/Rec. Board could tell the Committee anything different. He presented the withdrawal of the appeal from the neighbors. The first sentence reads that if we make any alterations, the neighbors will appeal this. We will waste time and money on that site. It’s not going to work.

Mrs. Bragg said she had the document. She didn’t think one person should make the decision. She didn’t think it would jeopardize the plan for the high school. Every single plan had fields on that spot. She didn’t think it would impact the wetlands. She asked that the Mayor bring Gale before the Committee.

Mr. Puleo said as far as he can remember that has always been a site for the Quincy carnivals and youth baseball games. He would like to see if there were any incidents from the Police. He hasn’t seen any plan or proposal He is concerned that if they say no we will have to start from square one.

Mrs. Mahoney stated that the Park Dept. is appointed by the Mayor so it was unanimous on the Faxon Field site. Also, the Mayor stated that the School Committee was going to have a meeting with Gale Associates before the September School Committee meeting. However, there was a meeting with a private citizen, the head of the track department, that was shown the plans before the Committee. There is information out there that the Committee is not privy to. The members should know what is being shown before other people see the plans. The Committee is being told to wait. She was told that the money was site specific to Pageant Field and now that money is being used for Faxon Field. The Councilors tell the members that they have to vote on the site. That is an unresolved issue.

The Mayor said Geoff Hennessey was invited to his office to share information from his vantage point with Gale on what should be included from his programs. As far as the money goes, the money approved for Pageant Field, was site specific, but that money is not being used. The funding being used is part of the original $10 million bond issue for the parks that was under the Stadium Program. There is now a contract with Gale engineering to do layout and design work

Mrs. Mahoney asked why a track was not built when the Stadium was redone. Mayor Koch said it just wouldn’t fit into the stadium. The new plans for the Stadium did not include a track. In order to do a track there, they would have impacted the wetlands. The agency on record for the Stadium was the Park Department. If a track was put into the Stadium, it would have been substandard.

Mrs. Mahoney went on to say that Quincy has been without a track for years. In two years, there could be a different Mayor and maybe they will pick a new site. The problem is in existence because the track was pulled out before we knew where it would go. Her point, she said, is that she thought it would go to the City Council before any money was spent on a track. Her concern is we keep picking sites.

Mr. McCarthy said he requested a meeting on July 1 with the Mayor to talk to Gale. He got turned down and was told he had to wait until August or Sept. Then he found out there was a meeting with Mr. Hennessy, and he was shown designs. The obstacles are dictating the site. His motion is to vote on the location, not the design, etc. Mr. McCarthy said he lives in that area.

Mr. Mulvey at the last School Committee meeting he made my opinion clear. He is of the opinion that Faxon Field is not an appropriate site, even if it came back positive that a track could be built there. The field events for this site would be excluded. Field events would not be played at the same location of the track. We would have different sites for field events than track events. Based on parking, safety, field events, and exhaust coming in on the field during a heated event, is a big issue. Based on that, he doesn’t believe Faxon Field is appropriate. He asked if Sterling Middle School area had been looked at.

Mrs. Dwyer said they have been trying to find a location for the last four years. She agrees with Mr. McCarthy that it’s the location. When plans were submitted to the DEP and EPA and ACE, we had to submit what it was going to look like. It was a passive field. All they agreed to is grass and fields. Mrs. Dwyer would like somebody independently to come in and look. It depends on who’s in office. Move the question.

On a roll call vote to move the question, the motion passed 7-0.

Motion to put track on Faxon Field fails.

On a roll call vote, the Committee voted 4-2-1 against putting the track on Faxon Field. MRS. DWYER, MRS. MAHONEY, MR. MCCARTHY, and MR. MULVEY voted NO. MAYOR KOCH, MR. PULEO voted YES, and MRS. BRAGG voted PRESENT. On a roll call vote, the Committee voted NO to putting the track on Faxon Field.

The Mayor said that the Faxon Field site goes down.

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Update on new QHS by Mrs. Dwyer

The Superintendent said by February vacation we should be moved out of the Center. The Media Center is packed up. We are identifying equipment that needs to be moved. The art wings will move to Coddington Hall as Quincy College moves out. We are working with the Carpentry Shop to relocate it at Broad Meadows. Those shops have a lot of material. We are looking at the rear entrance of Broad Meadows for food services--dried foods and a freezer. We’re still working with the Mayor’s office to see where we can put our Maintenance Department.

Mrs. Dwyer said she had asked Mr. Timmins and Mr. Fatseas if they had any space at the DPW where we could put two vans, a dump truck and a bob cat. They checked and said there was no available space. Mrs. Dwyer said she couldn’t help but notice we are housing at the DPW site all the Capital Waste trucks. If we couldn’t handle our trucks, how could we handle 15 Capital waste trucks. Did we agree to house those trucks for 7 days a week?

The Mayor said there are there on a temporary basis. He will check with Public Works.

Mrs. Dwyer said she finds that uncooperative and unsupportive. She asked the City again to at least give us four spots in the DPW yard for our Maintenance workers or help with another location.

She has forwarded the QHS Building Committee meeting minutes. One thing that isn’t there is the $49,000 which is a very valid claim. There were two contracts signed. The first contract did say that interest had to pay. The City Solicitor has worked out with SMMA and the check has been sent. That was a valid claim. That has been resolved favorably.

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Summer Facility Projects Update by Supt.

The Superintendent updated the Summer Facility Projects. Our Maintenance men are working in a lot of schools. We are getting a lift gate truck. At Squantum, the rug is being changed to tile. At Atlantic, they are working on computer labs. Purchase orders have been processed. At Sterling, they are constructing a computer lab and there are some painting needs, and two or three windows that need to be replaced. At Central a computer lab. At Parker, drinking fountains have been updated and a computer lab will be installed. Some HVAC work is going on at Lincoln Hancock. Maintenance is looking at overhauling a generator at NQHS. The one at Quincy High School is fine. The Atlantic generator is fine. They are looking at Quincy High School and Snug Harbor radiators for September. With regard to intercom systems, Lincoln Hancock needs speakers in the cafeteria and gym, Merrymount, Montclair, Atherton Hough and Bernazzani need base units. We are getting quotes.

The specs for the roofs for Broad Meadows and Atlantic have been completed. There are clauses in these that state they want it done before September.

We are looking city-wide at security systems. The Superintendent would like that in Subcommittee. We will have a report for the Safety and Security Subcommittee.

Parts for the graffiti machine have been ordered. The City shares their machine with us. System wide needs--we are looking at the service of our boilers, motors and pumps on-going with our Maintenance Dept. We have purchase orders for for certain vendors.

There is ongoing work being done by Honeywell on the boiler at Merrymount. Mr. Cunniff will meet with Honeywell to take a look at steam issues at Broad Meadows.

The Superintendent thanked the Mayor for the funding for the North Quincy High School gym floor.

At the GOALS building, we are taking up the rug and putting tile and painting classrooms.

The PA system at North Quincy should be done within the next two weeks. The Point Webster computer lab will be set up by Mr. O’Brien. Painting is going on at the ECC.

Mrs. Bragg made a motion that the Maintenance staff and all of our custodians are trained by Honeywell before school starts in September. The ayes have it.

Mr. Cunniff is working with Honeywell to replace the exhaust fans in the Lincoln Hancock pool locker rooms. Mr. Cunniff said that the fans were not part of the overall Honeywell project. Honeywell was concerned with controls of the boilers. Honeywell has agreed to do that with a change order.

An ad was put in the Sunday Globe for the former Mike Ryan’s position. It is hoped the position will be filled by September.

Mr. McCarthy inquired who maintains the pool and if money is set aside to fix filters, etc. The Superintendent said he thought it was shared between the schools and the Recreation Dept.

The Mayor added that when the Recreation Dept. does their membership, that money goes under a certain fund. Any portion of that is to be used for upkeep of the pool. The School Department lets them know when they need something because the appropriation would have to go before the City Council.

Mr. McCarthy asked the Superintendent to investigate to see if that money has been released for our Maintenance person to fix the pool, filters, and such.

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On a motion duly made and seconded, the Committee adjourned for the evening.