The five members of the School Finance Oversight Committee have now been chosen and had their first meeting on Tuesday night, which came too late for Independent deadlines.
The Committee was one piece of the plan put forward by Mayor Carlo DeMaria in February when the school funding debate came forward, and the schools faced a major shortfall that the City helped to fund.
Those on the Committee include:
- Councilor John Hanlon
- Councilor Leo McKinnon
- Councilor Anthony DiPierro
- School Committeeman Frank Parker
- School Committeeman David Ela.
Parker said this week he was very excited to be a part of the Committee, having asked School Committee Chair Bernie D’Onofrio to appoint him.
“I had asked our chair to appoint me and he decided to do that and I’m thrilled,” he said. “I’m looking forward to starting to meet. One thing that came out of the whole situation earlier this year is there is a lot of misconceptions among people about financing and the roles of the schools and the City…I think just from what we went through the last couple months, I believe this will be something that’s positive.”
DiPierro said he looks forward to the transparency in the school finances, and being a part of the team that helps solve the issues.
He said he expects that there will be a monthly reconciling of what has been spent and what has come in, and that the Committee will be able to review that.
“I’m excited to be on it and definitely looking forward to meeting on a regular basis,” he said. “I’m excited about being able to look at every aspect of school finance and seeing everything on a line-by-line basis. We can’t cut things, but we’ll be able to make recommendations. More transparency is the goal in all of this. This will be more oversight and it’s for the better.”
Parker added that he hopes the Committee will work well together.
“It can’t turn into an us versus them situation,” he said. “It has to be ‘we’ and not us and them. When we do that, it’s going to succeed.”