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Security cameras discussed again at school committee

November 7, 2011

Despite the evidence from a business manager’s report that they asked for, the school committee stuck with an inflated number that justified their $88,000 decision to install security cameras around the high school. Finance Director Richard Matthews, whose career rises and falls on his accurate accounting of school finances, issued a statement that only $16,261 could be attributed to vandalism. Tom Connelly, questioning the decision, the process and the need for cameras pointed out the misinformation given to the committee by Superintendent Maass. Kathy Leonardson, EuRim Chun and Jonathan Lederman all were ready proceed in spite of the discrepancy. Superintendent Maass said, “I’m pretty sure it will be easy for us to find another $14,000.” People listening closely to this public meeting might wonder about two things: can the School Department come up with whatever numbers they need to justify whatever they want? And, second, when High School Principal informed the town than an existing security “outside the school locker room,” caught a thief,”1 the town might wonder what other cameras are already in place in the schools with no public debate?

The basic justification for the expenditure was that it’s being done in towns all around the Commonwealth. Now that’s leadership. Did the other towns think of it before us, or are we now happy letting other towns lead the way for us?

Makes one wish more people could watch the technically inferior, sound deficient broadcasts of the school committee meetings. Or wait … maybe we could turn one of those hidden cameras on the committee meetings: we hear their production value is great.

Further reading: Are security cameras effective?

  1. Lynn Item, p. A5, 11//11 []

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