LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The Finance Committee chairman is peeved with the Mount Greylock Regional School Committee for canceling a meeting to discuss the budget.
The committee met on Monday with an agenda that included speaking with the School Committee. However, after a testy meeting last week, and with another meeting administrators were attending Monday and a public hearing scheduled for Tuesday, Mount Greylock officials opted to cancel their appearance.
“That is very disturbing to me. I don’t think it is right that they did not come,” Finance Committee Chairman Ray Jones said.
Jones says he’ll be sending an email to Mount Greylock officials to express his displeasure, and called the move disrespectful. Jones says he’s been asking for a meeting with officials since February and last Monday, school officials said they would attend the next Finance Committee meeting.
As the chairman of the Finance Committee, Jones felt school officials should have specifically notified him that they would not attend — the School Committee had emailed Town Manager Paul Sieloff about it on Thursday.
Jones says if he had known, he would have canceled Monday’s meeting. The Finance Committee, however, still spent nearly 3 1/2 hours reviewing the town budget.
“I feel highly insulted and disrespected that the email from Mrs. [interim Superintendent Kimberly] Grady did not come to me, it went to [Sieloff],” Jones said of the cancellation notice.
Sieloff said he felt an abrasive meeting last week, when school officials were on hand to talk about the elementary school budget, triggered the change in plans.
“Last week the committee, after the meeting with Finance Committee, they met Wednesday and made a decision that they felt more comfortable meeting at the public hearing,” Sieloff said. “My understanding was they were a little concerned about the interplay.”
Jones had been aggressive last week when talking to school officials, pressing them on recent staffing changes on the administrative level. Both the superintendent and business manager have resigned in recent months from the central office of the tri-district — a shared administration of the Lanesborough, Mount Greylock and Williamstown school districts.
“We don’t seem to know what is going on,” Jones said last week.
The conversation peaked in contention when Jones especially looked at Grady and asked, “how did you get your job?” The question came with some level of insinuation.
School officials, however, said they couldn’t speak about why the two administrators left and Grady said she was chosen to fill in for both jobs because of her longstanding history working for the district. Grady had the qualifications so the School Committee asked her to take over on an interim basis.
“That’s really the whole scope of what happened with the superintendent,” Sieloff said. “This…