Wood Warns School Subcommittee to Report, Not Negotiate

School Committeeman Scott W. Wood Jr.

Editor’s note: WHAV’s policy is to refer to any government meeting where the public is not allowed to listen as a “secret” meeting. The meeting in question below was posted publicly and referred to by officials as an “executive session.”

As a subcommittee plans to meet in secret tonight with Superintendent James F. Scully, one Haverhill School Committee member says he is concerned about the lengthy delay in learning what the school chief wants if he is to stay on the job after next June.

School Committeeman Scott W. Wood Jr. said a three-member subcommittee hasn’t reported any of its findings since it was formed during the summer.

“I have concerns that the subcommittee has not come back to the full school committee with the requests of the superintendent,” Wood said. He warned the committee of Mayor James J. Fiorentini, School Committee President Maura L. Ryan-Ciardiello and Vice President Gail M. Sullivan their job is not to bargain with Scully. “The role of the subcommittee has always been merely to listen to the superintendent’s requests and to report those back. The role of the subcommittee is not to make decisions or negotiate without a directive on parameters from the full school committee. I hope the subcommittee will report the requests of the superintendent to the full committee promptly so we can provide guidance.”

When asked by WHAV this morning, Scully said he wants to stay on the job.

“I love working in Haverhill. I would like to continue—especially to see the new Hunking School open and become operational,” he said. “I love my job and I sincerely love the children of Haverhill public schools. You can see the successes in the schools, test schools are up, schools not on level one are making improvements, the numbers of students involved in athletics is up and 200 students that left the district for other schools have returned.”

It is out of the ordinary, Wood said, for three people to be talking with the superintendent at this stage. Previously, he explained, the job fell to one—at most two members—to find out what the superintendent is seeking in a contract extension. Then, Wood said, it is up the full school committee to “bridge the gaps.”

Asked if he believes this round of negotiations is different, Scully told WHAV he can’t help but believe politics are in play.

“For the past nine months, it has not been easy with the political nonsense that I have not seen in the six or seven years in Haverhill. We’ve got a great deal accomplished and the record speaks for itself. I’m not going to campaign for my continued job in Haverhill. There are 67 superintendent vacancies now in the state. If some are looking or change, my best wishes to them,” Scully said.

Wood said he supports extending Scully’s contract. “I think he’s done a good job since he’s been here. Nobody’s perfect and I don’t agree with everything.”

“We owe it to employees and the superintendent to know where the school department is headed,” Wood said.

3 thoughts on “Wood Warns School Subcommittee to Report, Not Negotiate

  1. Ms Sullivan,
    YOUR NOT KIDDING ANYONE!! You have done nothing but harass Mr Scully and others since you were elected. Other parents and myself will not forget how you have acted these past nine months.