Ted Siefer's City Hall: School board gives cool nod to STEAM
Indeed, the big launch took place the week immediately after the election. A coincidence? Probably not. STEAM Ahead is being led by Bob Baines, the former mayor, and he praised Gatsas for his support and enthusiasm. A post-election launch ensured that the project wouldn't be tainted by political calculations - or perceptions thereof.
"My bet," Gatsas told me, "is that a lot of people will be taking a close look at what Manchester is doing."
Call it a rookie mistake. The district's new athletics director, Chris Donovan, had some explaining to do before the school board's Athletics Committee Tuesday concerning the contract for new winter equipment. With the season fast approaching, Donovan was prepared to award the contract without having it go out to bid. That's a no-no; the city's procurement code requires a competitive bid for contracts worth more than $25,000, as was the case with the athletic equipment.
Donovan later told me that he attributed the misstep to being new to the city and the job. "It's part of the learning curve, but something easily rectified," he said.
You may recall near the beginning of the school year that there was a minor revolt among principals over concerns about student safety. As part of the conversation about the shorter 175-day calendar, there was concern raised that as the school day got longer for students, there wouldn't be enough staff available at the end of the day to monitor things and ensure youngsters boarded buses and left campus safely.
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Starting a couple of weeks before the election, there was renewed interest in the Manchester Dog Park, to put it mildly. A faction of current and former park users accused Ward 10 Alderman Phil Greazzo, the founder of the Manchester Dog Park Association (MDPA), of in effect running it as a closed Republican club. Greazzo in turn called the accusations politically motivated. The election, of course, has come and gone (and Greazzo has lost his seat), but it's clear the dog park issue will linger at City Hall.
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Robots, you should know, will be kicking off the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on Nov. 28. This is nothing to fear, Manchester technology entrepreneur Dean Kamen assures us, but should rather be a point of pride.
READER COMMENTS: 4
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- Ted Siefer's City Hall: A time for ideas and budget matters, large and small - 4
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