Tuesday, January 15, 2019

The rest of the story.... Part II

This article was written and submitted to the LongmeadowBuzz blog by Jim Moran/ Longmeadow, MA

We have seen this movie before..... 

TM Stephen Crane was hired by the Longmeadow Select Board in 2011.  It is worth watching portions of this June 4, 2014 Select Board meeting to better understand some of the interpersonal dynamics involving this "employer (Select Board)" vs. "employee (Town Manager)" relationship.

The current dysfunctional relationship between the Longmeadow School Committee and  Superintendent O'Shea have similar characteristics to what has previously occurred between members of the Select Board and the TM Stephen Crane during the TM's first contract period.  Many areas of the TM's first performance review were rated "does not meet expectations" and "needs improvement".  A performance improvement plan was developed.  In addition, an outside consultant was hired to help improve the relationship between both parties.  This Select Board/ TM relationship had difficult times during the first contract period but has improved significantly since then.

It seems that the four members of the School Committee who voted against the renewal at their November 14, 2018 meeting are unwilling to work with Superintendent O'Shea to improve the relationship since they failed to agree on even a one year extension.  This is in spite of tremendous support for Superintendent O'Shea from all of the constituencies and stakeholders involved.  Hiring of a new superintendent will be costly to the town.  It is also likely that a less qualified candidate will need to be chosen in order to fill the vacancy.

The SC chair Beth Baron should at a minimum consider a motion for a one year extension of the Superintendent's contract or submit her resignation.

Below are two MassLive news articles providing additional details about this Select Board meeting for review.

Submitted by Jim Moran/ Longmeadow, MA

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