Cambridge Civic Journal Forum

December 25, 2011

How would you elect a mayor?

Filed under: 2011 Election,Cambridge government,City Council,elections — Tags: , , , — Robert Winters @ 3:04 pm

Instant Runoff Simulations for Choosing the Cambridge Mayor

In Cambridge, the Mayor is the Chair of the City Council and of the School Committee. This is not a popularly elected mayor, but over the years some have suggested that it should be. Often missing from the conversation is the question of how such a popular election would take place in the context of a Plan E Charter, proportional representation elections for City Council and School Committee, and a city manager form of government.

One suggestion that has been made is that without changing the Charter, the City Council could factor into their decision what the actual City Council ballots might have to say regarding the "popular choice" for who should be chosen as mayor. This is only a simulation and must be understood with the caveat that voters might vote differently if they knew that their City Council vote might also be used to elect the mayor. That said, here’s what the ballots have to say for the 1997 through 2011 City Council elections and what actually happened in the City Council vote for mayor for each of these mayoral elections.

1997 Election Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Round 6 Round 7 Round 8 Round 9 -
Galluccio, Anthony D. 2738 2793 3299 3582 4136 4347 4701 6671 0 DEFEATED — 8th round
Duehay, Francis 2118 2440 2548 2739 2851 3827 6037 6759 6759 ELECTED — 8th round
Triantafillou, Katherine 2022 2241 2331 2679 2780 3596 0 0 0 DEFEATED — 6th round
Sullivan, Michael A. 1833 1862 2359 2676 3593 3733 3984 0 0 DEFEATED — 7th round
Toomey, Timothy J., Jr. 1816 1835 2005 2156 0 0 0 0 0 DEFEATED — 4th round
Born, Kathleen 1712 1947 2024 2236 2342 0 0 0 0 DEFEATED — 5th round
Reeves, Kenneth E. 1674 1771 1859 0 0 0 0 0 0 DEFEATED — 3rd round
Russell, Sheila 1618 1664 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 DEFEATED — 2nd round
Davis, Henrietta 1084 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 DEFEATED — 1st round
EXHAUST 0 62 190 547 913 1112 1893 3185 9856 -
Total 16615 16615 16615 16615 16615 16615 16615 16615 16615 -

Actual result: On January 26, 1998 on the 3rd Ballot, Francis Duehay was elected as mayor for the 1998-1999 City Council term.
Note: The three most popular Instant Runoff candidates were Francis Duehay, Anthony Galluccio, and Michael Sullivan. The most popular candidate was elected as mayor.


1999 Election Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Round 6 Round 7 Round 8 Round 9 -
Galluccio, Anthony D. 3540 4072 4192 4641 4996 5171 6685 7195 8857 ELECTED — 9th round
Decker, Marjorie C. 2193 2262 2570 2655 3054 3765 4072 0 0 DEFEATED — 7th round
Born, Kathleen 2187 2249 2970 3072 3395 4343 4812 6810 0 DEFEATED — 8th round
Braude, Jim 1976 2021 2301 2355 2545 0 0 0 0 DEFEATED — 5th round
Reeves, Kenneth E. 1825 1868 2022 2139 0 0 0 0 0 DEFEATED — 4th round
Davis, Henrietta 1796 1832 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 DEFEATED — 2nd round
Toomey, Timothy J., Jr. 1776 1889 1923 0 0 0 0 0 0 DEFEATED — 3rd round
Sullivan, Michael A. 1610 1934 1999 2764 3147 3295 0 0 0 DEFEATED — 6th round
Maher, David 1343 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 DEFEATED — 1st round
EXHAUST 0 119 269 620 1109 1672 2677 4241 9389 -
TOTAL 18246 18246 18246 18246 18246 18246 18246 18246 18246 -

Actual result: In the wee hours of February 15, 2000 on the 5th Ballot, Anthony Galluccio was elected as mayor for the 2000-2001 City Council term.
Note: The three most popular Instant Runoff candidates were Anthony Galluccio, Kathleen Born, and Marjorie Decker. The most popular candidate was elected as mayor.


2001 Election Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Round 6 Round 7 Round 8 Round 9 -
Galluccio, Anthony D. 3477 3851 4042 4478 4836 6241 6654 7415 8402 ELECTED — 9th round
Davis, Henrietta 2174 2229 2346 2435 3005 3271 4380 6232 0 DEFEATED — 8th round
Murphy, Brian 2172 2241 2303 2331 2713 2838 0 0 0 DEFEATED — 6th round
Decker, Marjorie C. 1845 1914 2067 2173 0 0 0 0 0 DEFEATED — 4th round
Simmons, Denise 1762 1814 2296 2369 2836 2995 3812 0 0 DEFEATED — 7th round
Toomey, Timothy J., Jr. 1485 1578 1640 0 0 0 0 0 0 DEFEATED — 3rd round
Sullivan, Michael A. 1420 1703 1828 2459 2611 0 0 0 0 DEFEATED — 5th round
Reeves, Kenneth E. 1300 1345 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 DEFEATED — 2nd round
Maher, David P. 1167 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 DEFEATED — 1st round
EXHAUST 0 127 280 557 801 1457 1956 3155 8400 -
TOTAL 16802 16802 16802 16802 16802 16802 16802 16802 16802 -

Actual result: On January 7, 2002 on the 1st Ballot, Michael Sullivan was elected as mayor for the 2002-2003 City Council term.
Note: The three most popular Instant Runoff candidates were Anthony Galluccio, Henrietta Davis, and Denise Simmons. The 5th most popular candidate was elected as mayor.


2003 Election Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Round 6 Round 7 Round 8 Round 9 -
Galluccio, Anthony D. 3500 3937 4023 4570 5024 5331 5951 8008 9528 ELECTED — 9th round
Davis, Henrietta 2786 2859 3204 3326 3712 4795 6137 6852 0 DEFEATED — 8th round
Murphy, Brian 2114 2318 2488 2544 2716 0 0 0 0 DEFEATED — 5th round
Decker, Marjorie C. 1961 2033 2398 2495 2931 3475 0 0 0 DEFEATED — 6th round
Sullivan, Michael A. 1913 2218 2320 3015 3396 3703 4039 0 0 DEFEATED — 7th round
Reeves, Kenneth E. 1828 1897 2269 2371 0 0 0 0 0 DEFEATED — 4th round
Toomey, Timothy J., Jr. 1817 1929 1986 0 0 0 0 0 0 DEFEATED — 3rd round
Simmons, Denise 1683 1729 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 DEFEATED — 2nd round
Maher, David P. 1452 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 DEFEATED — 1st round
EXHAUST 0 134 366 733 1275 1750 2927 4194 9526 -
TOTAL 19054 19054 19054 19054 19054 19054 19054 19054 19054 -

Actual result: On January 5, 2004 on the 1st Ballot, Michael Sullivan was elected as mayor for the 2004-2005 City Council term.
Note: The three most popular Instant Runoff candidates were Anthony Galluccio, Henrietta Davis, and Michael Sullivan. The 3rd most popular candidate was elected as mayor.


2005 Election Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Round 6 Round 7 Round 8 Round 9 -
Galluccio, Anthony D. 2437 2598 2994 3136 3383 3800 5171 5942 0 DEFEATED — 8th round
Decker, Marjorie C. 1823 1962 2054 2381 2689 0 0 0 0 DEFEATED — 5th round
Davis, Henrietta 1804 1911 1978 2461 2936 3821 4229 6006 7864 ELECTED — 9th round
Sullivan, Michael A. 1777 1929 2532 2689 2865 3113 0 0 0 DEFEATED — 6th round
Kelley, Craig A. 1665 1696 1724 1869 0 0 0 0 0 DEFEATED — 4th round
Simmons, Denise 1621 2174 2262 2517 2794 3460 3853 0 0 DEFEATED — 7th round
Murphy, Brian 1590 1662 1700 0 0 0 0 0 0 DEFEATED — 3rd round
Toomey, Timothy J., Jr. 1577 1629 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 DEFEATED — 2nd round
Reeves, Kenneth E. 1433 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 DEFEATED — 1st round
EXHAUST 0 166 483 674 1060 1533 2474 3779 7863 -
TOTAL 15727 15727 15727 15727 15727 15727 15727 15727 15727 -

Actual result: On January 2, 2006 on the 1st Ballot, Kenneth E. Reeves was elected as mayor for the 2006-2007 City Council term.
Note: The three most popular Instant Runoff candidates were Henrietta Davis, Anthony Galluccio, and Denise Simmons. The least popular candidate was elected as mayor.


2007 Election Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Round 6 Round 7 Round 8 Round 9 -
Toomey, Timothy J., Jr. 1829 1919 2010 2145 2244 3018 3561 3939 0 DEFEATED — 8th round
Davis, Henrietta 1811 2062 2313 2818 3435 3795 4443 5903 6645 ELECTED — 9th round
Maher, David P. 1672 1720 1886 2020 2200 0 0 0 0 DEFEATED — 5th round
Reeves, Kenneth E. 1480 1764 1838 2048 2249 2452 0 0 0 DEFEATED — 6th round
Murphy, Brian 1343 1430 1633 1853 0 0 0 0 0 DEFEATED — 4th round
Seidel, Sam 1314 1410 1687 1879 2283 2510 2814 0 0 DEFEATED — 7th round
Kelley, Craig A. 1308 1380 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 DEFEATED — 2nd round
Decker, Marjorie C. 1276 1468 1609 0 0 0 0 0 0 DEFEATED — 3rd round
Simmons, E. Denise 1256 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 DEFEATED — 1st round
EXHAUST 0 136 313 526 878 1514 2471 3447 6644 -
TOTAL 13289 13289 13289 13289 13289 13289 13289 13289 13289 -

Actual result: On January 14, 2008 on the 2nd Ballot, Denise Simmons was elected as mayor for the 2008-2009 City Council term.
Note: The three most popular Instant Runoff candidates were Henrietta Davis, Tim Toomey, and Sam Seidel. The least popular candidate was elected as mayor.


2009 Election Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Round 6 Round 7 Round 8 Round 9 -
Davis, Henrietta 2343 2601 3010 3431 3677 4049 4846 5589 7678 ELECTED — 9th round
Toomey, Jr., Timothy J. 2199 2284 2355 2478 2645 3330 3648 0 0 DEFEATED — 7th round
Simmons, E. Denise 2191 2318 2563 2912 3698 3949 4460 5158 0 DEFEATED — 8th round
Maher, David P. 1667 1749 1873 2017 2121 0 0 0 0 DEFEATED — 5th round
Kelley, Craig A. 1623 1759 1952 2083 2154 2384 0 0 0 DEFEATED — 6th round
Reeves, Kenneth E. 1450 1501 1580 1760 0 0 0 0 0 DEFEATED — 4th round
Decker, Marjorie C. 1438 1476 1531 0 0 0 0 0 0 DEFEATED — 3rd round
Seidel, Sam 1238 1373 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 DEFEATED — 2nd round
Cheung, Leland 1205 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 DEFEATED — 1st round
EXHAUST 0 293 490 673 1059 1642 2400 4607 7676 -
TOTAL 15354 15354 15354 15354 15354 15354 15354 15354 15354 -

Actual result: On February 22, 2010 on the 6th Ballot, David Maher was elected as mayor for the 2010-2011 City Council term.
Note: The three most popular Instant Runoff candidates were Henrietta Davis, Denise Simmons, and Tim Toomey. The 5th most popular candidate was elected as mayor.


2011 Election Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Round 6 Round 7 Round 8 Round 9 -
Cheung, Leland 2591 2719 3119 3437 4151 4594 5632 6827 7695 ELECTED — 9th round
Maher, David P. 1951 2035 2193 2382 2480 3081 3554 0 0 DEFEATED — 7th round
Toomey, Jr., Timothy J. 1924 2023 2094 2193 2275 0 0 0 0 DEFEATED — 5th round
Davis, Henrietta 1839 1914 2104 2461 2800 2984 0 0 0 DEFEATED — 6th round
Simmons, E. Denise 1597 2095 2200 2513 2702 3001 3812 4586 0 DEFEATED — 8th round
vanBeuzekom, Minka Y. 1459 1492 1728 1825 0 0 0 0 0 DEFEATED — 4th round
Kelley, Craig A. 1416 1451 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 DEFEATED — 2nd round
Decker, Marjorie C. 1356 1469 1588 0 0 0 0 0 0 DEFEATED — 3rd round
Reeves, Kenneth E. 1255 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 DEFEATED — 1st round
EXHAUST 0 190 362 577 980 1728 2390 3975 7693 -
TOTAL 15388 15388 15388 15388 15388 15388 15388 15388 15388 -

Actual result: Inauguration Day is Monday, January 2, 2012. The 1st Ballot for mayor will be cast at the Inaugural Meeting.
Note: The three most popular Instant Runoff candidates were Leland Cheung, Denise Simmons, and David Maher.

Feb 22, 2012 Update: Henrietta Davis was elected on the 10th Ballot as mayor for the 2012-2013 City Council term. The 4th most popular candidate was elected as mayor.

4 Comments

  1. I don’t see any need to change to a directly elected mayor – primarily because the mayor has no special authority other than as Chair of the City Council and School Committee. He or she has only one vote out of nine on the Council and one vote out of seven on the School Committee. The mayor does get to appoint City Council committees, but those committees have no special authority. They can only make recommendations to the full City Council. The city manager is the administrative head of the City, and all city councillors have an equal vote in the choice of city manager.

    Perhaps the most important criterion in the choice of mayor should be who is most able to be even-handed in the role of Chair. Unfortunately, there is some history of deal-making in the selection of mayor, i.e. gaining votes by offering favors. That and the occasional delay in choosing a mayor are the two main complaints people have about our method of choosing a mayor.

    Whenever there is a brief delay in choosing the mayor, expressions of exasperation are often heard, but rarely is the daily more than a week or two. In every case, the memory of the delay has faded quickly.

    Perhaps the most perverse practice is that sometimes it is the case that the better a candidate does in the City Council election, the less that candidate’s chances are of being chosen as mayor – presumably because his Council colleagues don’t want to strengthen the hand of a strong candidate.

    Comment by Robert Winters — December 27, 2011 @ 7:02 pm

  2. The first question to ask is does the status quo currently work for the city and its citizens? The answer is clearly a resounding no.

    -Months of gridlock, favor peddling, backscratching, and backroom deals (literally) lead to fractured councils that— are less effective and end up ultimately representing the interests of the politicians instead of the people
    -Abuses from the Reeves credit card and car scandals to the simple fact that the Mayor really doesn’t do much more than a Councilor but gets paid more to do it, they get all the prestige the useless title accords them with none of the accountability
    -Vice Mayorship is not even in the charter and is most definitely redundent and useless
    -Mayor is liaison to school committee but also appoints someone, usually a campaign worker, as his/her liaison to the School Committee, another rather redundant example of patronage
    -Mayors like Maher or Galluccio that have been successful at elevating the position beyond its limits were only moderately successful, superintendent searches and trying to lure companies or represent the city at conventions are only so helpful when you have an advisory role rather than a leadership one

    How to reform the broken status quo? I can think of several solutions ranging from radical to simple

    Solutions Within Plan E/PR:

    1) Eliminate the perks

    Maintain all existing rules, electing via council, Mayor and Vice Mayor, Mayor Chairs both Council and School Committee meetings, but just make it a promotion of stature, prestige, and honour without all the perks. I think it’d be a lot easier for the council to elect a Mayor without the horse trading for favors, it’d save the city some money, and it would ensure that whoever sought this position did so for the right reasons.

    2) Some perks for Mayor, eliminate Vice Mayor

    Vice Mayor is not even in the charter, simply a designated chair that takes over when the Mayor is absent is all we need. Could make it a rotating chair, reduces the time and horse trading by half, restores the spirit of the charter, and elevates the Mayor as the only additional position a councilor can get, restoring some prestige to the position and maybe we can restore some of the perks. Travel budget for city business,borrow but not own a city car for city business, can have some negotiating/representing power, give state of city addresses, represent the city at state and federal functions, etc.

    3) Eliminate the positions

    A rotating chair or designating the most senior councilor as chair, no more election drama, just a council. To me this makes the most sense if we stick with Plan E/PR since the council has all the authority and the ability to hire and fire as a group. It will improve collegiality and ensures the chair is merely a first among equals who either by chance or seniority got to intrepret roberts rules and have a gavel. I don’t think nine adults would really fight and bicker and gridlock the city over a gavel and roberts rules but this is Cambridge and you never know…

    4) Elect the Mayor in Plan E with PR

    A) Either first councilor in becomes Mayor, second becomes Vice Mayor,

    B) Or do an IRV or FPTP style election after the initial PR election in December. Last time I seriously proposed this in the Alewife and at city council meetings I had an extensive phone conversation with the Election Commissioner in Worcester, the only other Plan E city to elect its Mayor. The big difference there was they didn’t have PR.But all at large councilors are eligible to be automatically entered into run off, if they decline they don’t compete. first past the post determines the winner in a sparsely attended runoff after the council election. Benefits were negligible in Worcester according to the Election Commissioner I spoke with, but not hard to implement. Seeing how sparsely attended the existing election is I do not think a direct or IRV vote after the first PR count would be all that significant or attended.

    C) The only other option here is having FPTP or IRV for Mayor concurrently with the PR for the city council. We could elect 8 at large councilors and then 1 mayor who breaks the tie and serves as chair of school committee and city council. I like this option better since it returns the Council and School Committee to relatively equal footing and makes the Mayor above both, instead of a member in part of one and in practice in another. It also means that if a councilor or school committee member really wants the extra perks and prestige they have to earn it by going through the people, makes the position directly accountable and doesn’t alter the character of the charter or PR, just moves the method of selection from the council to the people. It also might increase turnout at the regular general election. Downside is outsiders with no experience win, downside is this election overshadows the more important one for council and school committee.

    Solutions that Change Plan E/PR

    These are the more radical approaches that we need to have that seriously ask important questions about how we want our city to be run. Does having a shadowy, 30 year veteran, highest salaried public official in the state, who doesn’t even live in Cambridge as City Manager make sense? Should the vast majority of municipal power be invested in an unelected official. In Benton Harbor Michigan this coup has received extensive coverage on MSNBC and elsewhere as a horrid and undemocratic power grab but arguably its par for the course in Cambridge. In theory the City Manager is an apolitical figure, a trained expert in city finances and budget management who serves at the pleasure of the council. In practice, most councilors are afraid to challenge him since he doles out favors, can cancel pet projects, controls the DPW, and is in charge of hiring and firing. Our current one also had a series of legal issues involving race relations, an issue that say, an average cop on the CPD had to undergo sensitivity training and national embarassment was swept under the rug when it involved a City Manager, actually discriminating, and costing the city millions with the public shut out. I know the CCA fights, I know the corruption previous Chicago style mayors had in Cambridge (not to mention Chicago) and we can look across the Charles and see an all powerful Mayor erode the relevance and power of an elected City Council, eliminate an elected School Committee, and run in non competitive elections using a patronage army. And Menino, a good man IMO, is par for the course for any big city Mayor. They are the closest thing we have in America to elected dictators and are kings of their fiefs. So maybe a middle course is preferable, maybe term limits on City Manager, maybe delineating more of his powers to the City Council, maybe splitting some of them with a slightly more powerful Mayor?

    The second controversy is how we elect our councilors and Mayor. To me, the current system of all at large candidates with PR is not serving the city. The system is byzantine, overly complicated, and fails at its purpose of yielding a representative council. Councilors appealing to narrow niches of the electorate can win with as little as 9-12% of the popular vote in Cambridge to ostensibly represent all of us. It violates the constitutional principle of one man one vote, it doesn’t work for individual candidates running for 9 seats, as opposed to say slates of candidates running for a single seat or a multi member body. Its overly complicated and requires a high degree of voter education. I am convinced it discriminates against minority candidates and decreases their participation, it discriminates against newcomers unfamiliar with the system and imposes a huge barrier for getting involved early and often in local elections, it discriminates against the young since they are not taught in school how to vote in this system, pamphlets are not sent out instructing us how to vote. Basically if you want to vote and are willing to educate yourself and jump through all the hoops as I have, you’re golden. For the 99% of people who do not have that level of engagement you skip it, and that engagement corrodes in a lot of other facets as well. For these reasons I think it is important to change both of these systems.

    In Closing

    I think we can create a more geographically representative city council by expanding it to include four districts, four at large. Within the districts we can use IRV, a fairer and easier proportional voting method since its for a single candidate. For the four at large its first past the post. School Committee is three districts (one for each middle school), three at large, districts IRV, at large fptp. Mayor runs as tiebreaker and chair for both bodies, is given many of the powers of the Somerville mayor (some hiring and firing, appointing boards, etc. with council approval) while day to day is managed by a term limited Manager limited to four two year contracts with a salaray cap far closer to the national average for the position. Their contract comes up for renewal every two years so they truly serve at the pleasure of each city council. Vice Mayor eliminated, Mayor gets paid the same as councilors but does have access to some compensated travel and vehicle expenses. They also run for a four year term every other municipal election. This Mayor, much like Joe Curtatone, can really lead and be a guide and spokesperson for the city and bring it to national attention. Since they have more influence than can more credibly lure talent,jobs, companies, events, conventions, etc.to the city. They can more credibly represent it at the state and federal level.And whoever wants the job wants it for those reasons, to make the city proud, and they get elected directly by the people. At the very least I am flexible on districts, I am even willing to live with PR although I would really force the Election Commission to educate every citizen on how to register, how to vote in this system, and put a component in a broader civics curriculum in the high school. A pamphlet to every resident, not just every voter, on how to vote, where to vote, etc., every two years with ample time for new registration. But I think option 4 c) gives us the Mayor we want and deserve, a mayor that can do as Joe Curtatone has done and really advocate for great policies at the local level and be an accessible point person for the average citizen, for those that want to do business with or in the city, event planners, etc. The kind of leadership Maher and Galluccio wish they were empowered to have. If we do not go that route than I think we should just eliminate the position since its not what a Mayor by definition does in most other cities of our size and stature and it ends the childish gridlock and games.

    Comment by James Conway — December 31, 2011 @ 2:02 am

  3. Shorter Version

    1) Eliminate the perks, the position, or both, everything else stays the same Plan E/PR
    2) Elect Mayor simultaneously with city and school committee to a four year term,slightly expanded power, some perks, same salary, fptp or irv for Mayor, 8 councilors and 6 school committee members. Still Plan E/PR
    3) Change from Plan E, Change from PR and start something different.

    I am starting to think 2) solves most of the problems of the status quo while creating a new center of power away from the City Manager and a new political position that can actually bridge the Council and Committee, represent the city abroad, and craft some neat urban policy ideas like we have seen in Somerville and Newton.

    Comment by James Conway — December 31, 2011 @ 2:22 am

  4. I know this isn’t about how the Mayor is chosen, but I thought I would share it anyway. It is a copy of an email I sent to the Council a few days ago.

    Marc McGovern

    Dear Members of the Cambridge City Council,

    I apologize for sounding like a broken record, but given that the School Committee has no “official” say or avenue in choosing our Chair, I am relegated to being a nudge, only able to encourage you to make a timely decision in your choice for Mayor.

    At last night’s School Committee meeting we reviewed a draft calendar of upcoming meetings/votes that will be taken. Although there may be some minor revisions, this is what is on our agenda over the next few months:

    January 10, 2012: Retreat to discuss District Wide Goals
    January 17, 2012: Regular SC meeting, presentation on Academic Challenge (essentially, will we have leveled classes at the upper schools or not)
    January 21, 2012: Public meeting/interview of the 8 finalist for the 4 upper school dean positions
    January 24, 2012: Budget retreat with specific focus on the Innovation Agenda
    January 31, 2012: Budget retreat-District budget for next fiscal year
    February 7, 2012: Regular SC meeting, vote on Academic Challenge Recommendation from January 17th meeting and a presentation on Math and Science curriculum for the new upper schools.
    February 14, 2012: Executive Session to discuss union contract negotiations

    We are also waiting to schedule a retreat of the new SC to discuss how we will work together with the administration over this term but can’t schedule this retreat until we have our entire team appointed, including our Chair.

    As you can see, our Committee, which typically meets every other week, will be meeting every week in January and half of Feb (Feb. 21st is school vacation and we will likely schedule a third meeting that month for the 28th).

    Although I have complete confidence in Councilor Reeves to serve diligently as our temporary Chair, I don’t believe it is fair to him, the School Committee or most importantly, the school district, for the School Committee not to have its permanent team in place for these significant decisions.

    I know there is a great deal that goes into choosing a Mayor, with the School Committee being only one component, but it is, in my opinion, Chairing the SC that is the most significant role the Mayor plays. Please take into consideration our schedule and the significant amount of work we, the administration, the teachers and the community have done and still must do, in order to implement the Innovation Agenda for September 2012.

    Thank you.

    Marc McGovern

    Comment by Marc McGovern — January 6, 2012 @ 6:08 pm

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