Friday, December 01, 2006

Greens A No-Show at City Council- School Board Summit

The four Green Party members of the Portland School Committee failed to show up for a meeting between the Portland School Committee and the Portland City Council on November 27th. Newly-elected West End School Committee Representative Robert O’Brien was also absent from what outgoing Mayor Jim Cohen described a as ‘fall summit’ between the two local governing bodies.

Green Party School Committee members Ben Meiklejohn and Jason Toothaker both said they were given insufficient notice of the meeting - less than one week - and were unable to change work commitments.

Committee member Susan Hopkins said that the meeting was not listed on the School Committee calendar she received, although it was on the City’s calendar. She said she got no calls or emails about the meeting and didn’t even know about it until the next day. Newly-elected Committee member Rebecca Minnick was also absent.

Among the topics discussed at the meeting were the City’s multi-cultural demographics, the work of the Elementary Facilities Task Force, the policies for leasing school facilities to private groups, and the new teachers’ contract.

The City’s two new elected Green Party City Councilors, David Marshall and Kevin Donoghue were in attendance at the meeting, which was held a week before the two officially take office on December 4. Both governing bodies are officially non-partisan.


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