Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Southbridge Schools make the newspaper again. Guess who's involved.

Yes, here we go again with yet another controversy in Southbridge involving our school system.  And, as usual, Committee member, Scott Lazo, is right in the middle of it.

As Telegram and Gazette reporter Brian Lee indicated in his article Southbridge officials spar over finance manager's resignation; School business manager quits [January 16, 2013], the resignation of School Business Manager, Terry Wiggin, was spurred by a comment in which Committee member Maryellen Principe "blasted" him for patronizing Mr. Lazo's pub.

As is the usual scenario, Mr. Lazo's allegations are unproven.  It is his word against Ms. Principe's, and I am inclined to give Ms. Principe the benefit of the doubt.  Mr. Lazo has been in the position of the boy who cried "wolf" on too many occasions.

That being said many people have told me that Mr. Wiggin was in attendance at one function at least at Lazo's Pub.  Let me add quickly that he certainly has every right to patronize any place he wishes on his own time.

The question is whether or not it is wise for a school administrator to attend a function at a pub that has been alleged to be a meeting place for many to hold informal discussions (and strategy sessions?) regarding the Southbridge Public Schools.  I submit that it is not wise and could only lead to a conclusion, erroneous or otherwise, that Mr. Wiggin might be engaging in these discussions.  That may be unfair, but some forethought about possible ramifications would have been in order.

Finally, it must be emphasized that Mr. Wiggin, for reasons only known to him, tendered his resignation in December and then sought to rescind it. The School Committee chose to honor the original request.  That is the right of the School Committee as well, and Mr. Lazo's intention once again to try to thwart the action of the Committee should be soundly rejected. 

Just a bit more to add.  In the article it is stated that Mr. Wiggin announced his intention to resign on December 21, 2012.  Mr. Lazo states that Mr. Wiggin visited his pub "during the Christmas break."  That being the case, since the break began on December 21st, Mr. Wiggin indicated his resignation was forthcoming before he allegedly patronized Mr. Lazo's pub.