August 30, 2017
The Lowell School Committee is seeking a judgment in an attempt to overturn the June 20 vote of the Lowell City Council, which named the Cawley site as the location for the new high school. The vote was 5-4 in favor of the Cawley site. In all the city held public forums, including the 64 people who spoke the night of the vote, no one contested the legality of the vote.
To his credit, City Councilor Dan Rourke is concerned about lost time due to legal filings, court dates, etc. related to the school committee’s intent to file for a judgment. The city council has fought tooth and nail to preclude the possibility of any delay in the process and they must protect their interest in this matter.
The school committee and city council are two different boards that sometimes find themselves at odds with each other. So why would the city council file a court case to determine whether the council has the authority to determine the school’s location? The city council has already assumed the authority. They voted 5-4 on June 20 to locate the high school at the Cawley site. Again, to date no one has contested the legality of the vote.
Therefore, the real question is whether or not the June 20 vote was a legal. That separates the two boards who should pursue their own legal agendas separately.
Should the city council secure a judgment that determines their vote to be legal in all respects, the MSBA should take that as good faith at the subsequent hearing and release the funding for the schematic design.
The only action required by the city council is to protect the integrity of their formal proceeding in the council chambers.
Note that the four nay voters on the city council have not argued the legality of the June 20 vote.
The city council should take exception to the frivolous shenanigans of the school committee and other politically motivated individuals, stand up for their integrity as a board, and fight for their executed vote to build a new high school at the Cawley site.