Wednesday, February 24, 2010

School budget, Bullying and the auto bill

As the 2011 budget forecast for Framingham Schools takes shape, Superintendent Hiersche says a 3% reduction in staff, or around 54 people, may be a reality. Transportation cuts could mean no busing for kids living 1 1/2 to 2 miles away from schools. It's way past time the school department get with the program and reduce their budget... somehow. Any ideas from anyone are welcomed.

Beacon Hill, in their reaction to bullying in schools and on the web, in light of recent suicide of the S Hadley school student, has once again, showed how the lack of insight into this matter has produced another overbearing, infective bill. Last year, the bill received support from teachers and law enforcement, because it had a provision for school districts to report cases to the State, but in the Senate version, it's gone. Another provision in the bill would require every school district to adopt prevention and intervention measures. And another part of the bill would mandate that children on the autism spectrum receive counseling on how to avoid and respond to bullying. This part makes no sense what so ever.

The entire bill misses the most important factor, parents of the bullies and their victims. Before cops are drawn into this and separate classes are taught on how to prevent and report bullying, the schools should first acknowledge and react to in school bullying. Parents are the only answer to this problem and should be counseled if need be and held accountable for their children s actions. In my life's experience, bullies grow up to have bullies as children. And it's our own fault for not having more control over our children, not the schools, cops or legislators. The Senate will vote on this in early March and could have done something about this years ago, but once again, people have to die at an intersection before a light goes in.

The big money comes to the lobbyists, representing car companies, they got so far, 600,000 to kill the "Right to Repair" bill that will be voted on today. Car manufactures claim company secrets will be compromised, while everyone else says it will help the consumer get car repairs done cheaper than the dealer. Mass would be the first state to enact such legislation and I hope they can get this done. It's a whole sale rip off, getting any repairs done at a dealership, regardless of manufacture. And the worst part of this is that most drivers pay more than they should for the same service done by a repair shop. Lets see if all that lobbyists money sways the Hill away from fair competition and lower car repair prices.

Eastleigh Farms, Paulini Loam/concrete still unresolved

Last night the BOS averted even more of a pissing contest with Doug Stephen, submitting a statement from the BOS, which included language that stated Eastleigh would not have to pay back water charges, back flow regulators and a water meter to be installed. (already approved by Town Meeting last year)

The hand shake deal that was allegedly made with the Town going back to early and mid 1900's has been the bone of contention. The farm has never had a water meter and when the Town or the developers needed more water pressure, the then multi owners of the land made deals to let pipes, water tower and easements go through their property, in return for no payment for the water they used on the farm.

It's good to see the BOS do something, other than get into ligation with a resident and I do believe the quid pro quo deal made with the farm should be honored. The Town has had numerous chances to install a water meter on the property, going back to the 80's. One would have to conclude, it would be impossible to get an accurate figure on how much water was used in all those years.

A deals a deal and since the Town has benefited in so many ways by using Eastleigh Farm to run infrastructure through it, it makes sense to me that he not pay for his water usage. Losing that piece of land to mic-mansions will cost this Town dearly.

The vote for approval by the ZBA was postponed last night, citing a request from the board to seek counsel advice. I can't imagine how the ZBA can approve this business, in that cubby hole location, knowing full well, the environmental effects, noise and traffic problems that will come. The ZBA meets again tonight but they better have croosed all the T's on this, as the neigbors are furious over this and I wouldn't be surpried if they took this matter to the courts, just on the air quality issue.