This site aims to inform and mobilize Beverly parents to take an active role in all issues related to the funding and operation of the city's schools. It was launched in the spring of 2008, when the city saw its first-ever override attempt fail, followed by the closure of a nearly-new elementary school. Subsequent years have seen further cuts that have led to larger class sizes across the district. While the opening of an impressive new high school and plans to replace the city's aging middle school give us reason to be optimistic, the school community must be ever vigilant in demanding appropriate school funding by city and state governments, and better community communications from the district and School Committee.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Hear the Candidates

BevCam (Comcast Channel 10) will be presenting Conversations with the Candidates for School Committee, City Council and Mayor, leading up to the November elections.

There is only one contested School Committee race, and that is in Ward 4, where Karen Fogarty is running for re-election against Gail Burke, the co-founder of Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility. Burke, along with Elliot Margolis (a candidate for City Councilor at Large) led the anti-override campaign in Spring 2008, opposed the new high-school construction, and most recently have been the subject of a tangle (see previous two posts) with the Superitendent and Assistant Superintendent in the pages of The Beverly Citizen over their interpretation of the recent MCAS scores.

The other race of most interest to the schools is the Mayor's race, where incumbent Bill Scanlon faces current City Council member John Burke (no relation to Gail.)

Scanlon ruffled a lot of feathers in 2008 with the "secret plan" that he dropped on the community at a pubic meeting without filling in the Superintendent or School Committee first; as well as his open-mike comments that the Superintendent "was lying throught his teeth." Still, his plan did save the Cove School, and his support and success in getting the high school project off the ground—much of it funded by the state—has won him back much of the school community's support.

Burke, a frequent critic of Scanlon, was the only Council member to vote against the high school project in the end (Don Martin also opposed it in the preliminary vote, but voted in favor once the money had already been spent on design, and state funding was all but assured). Burke also voted against the continuation of the trash fee, which was instrumental in the plan to save Cove.

Another race of interest is former school committee chairman, and frequent school critic George Binns who is challenging Kevin Hobin in Ward 4.

We will try to get a more complete schedule, but the schedule for the above candidates is as as follows:

Karen Fogarty (School Committee Ward 4)
10/15/ at 6:00 PM
10/18 at 7:30 PM
10/21 at 9:00 PM
10/23 at 10:00 AM
10/26 at 2:00 PM
10/28 at 2:00 PM

Gail Burke (School Committee Ward 4)
10/14 at 11:00 AM
10/17 at 6:00 PM
10/20 at 7:30 PM

Bill Scanlon (Mayor)
10/15 at 9:00 PM
10/17at 10:00 AM
10/20 at 2:00 PM

John Burke (Mayor)
10/14/2009 at 10:00 AM
10/17/2009 at 2:00 PM
10/20/2009 at 6:00 PM

Mike Cahill (Councilor at Large)
10/13 at 6:00 PM
10/16 at 7:30 PM
10/19 at 5:55 PM

Elliott Margolis (Councilor at Large)
10/14 at 6:00 PM
10/16 at 10:00 AM
10/19 at 11:00 AM

Pat Grimes (Councilor at Large)
10/15 at 10:01 AM
10/18 at 2:00 PM
10/21 at 6:00 PM

Paul Guanci (Councilor at Large)
10/13at 7:30 PM
10/16 at 9:00 PM
10/21 at 10:00 AM

Bill Coughlin (Councilor at Large)
10/13 at 9:00 PM
10/18 at 10:00 AM
10/21 at 2:00 PM

Kevin Hobin (Ward 4 City Council)
10/14 at 2:00 PM
10/17 at 7:30 PM
10/20 at 9:00 PM

George Binns (Ward 4 City Council)
10/14 at 4:00 PM
10/17 at 9:00 PM
10/19 at 10:01 AM

For a more update schedule, and schedule for other candidates, check

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