No need for primary after Wojcik drops out of race for Peabody School Committee

28 Aug

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

Travis Wojcik

Travis Wojcik

The only Republican in the Peabody School Committee race — who made fiscal responsibility one of his themes during the recent televised “You Make The Call” candidate forum — has saved the city money by dropping out of the scheduled Sept. 29th primary.

Travis Wojcik, 19, announced yesterday that he was ending his campaign for school committee.

That eliminates the need for a primary, which would have trimmed the field of candidates from seven to six. The primary would have cost the city roughly $25,000, according Peabody City Clerk Tim Spanos. Per city charter, it’s required that the final school committee ballot only have six candidates.

Candidates Brian Addesa, Joe Amico, Andrew Arnotis, Michel Bonbon, Brandi Carpenter and John Olimpio each automatically advance to the final election ballot on Tuesday, Nov. 3.

22 Responses to “No need for primary after Wojcik drops out of race for Peabody School Committee”

  1. NASBC August 28, 2015 at 9:32 am #

    While I appreciate and can understand why Travis made this decision, I sure hope he doesn’t give up on running again in the future!

  2. Anonymous August 28, 2015 at 9:35 am #

    we can just have the CC transfer it over to the Herb Levine Endowment. Has anyone confirmed with the city that he is not getting double paid because at one point wasn’t he in a paid position with the Higgins? How can we support ANY of thes candidates? Has one publically spoken about what has transpired with Levine? Come on boys…you want to be on the School Committee? Then tell us voters what you would have done and how do you honestly feel about what is going on with him adding his buddy to the payroll as well? I would say that the taxpayers of Peabody boycott any voting till these candidates really tell us who they are? Why isn’t Citywide PTO having a debate? Why isn’t anyone but Bob and Dick placing any interest in this election? Don’t you see what happened when candidates aren’t tested? You get Bettencourtville….

    • anon August 28, 2015 at 9:55 am #

      I predicted this back when Ted first decided to run for mayor. He can do anything he wants and will get re-elected easily because he has a built in guaranteed base like nobody else. Nobody will run against him because it’s the equivalent of flushing money down the toilet. This Levine thing stinks to high heaven. Every single current school committee member owes the public an explanation and then should step down. You can bet though that we will be “asked to pay our fair share” when he wants to increase taxes AGAIN because there isn’t enough money in the budget because of BS like this. The good ol’ boy network is alive and well here in Peabody. I’ll never vote for any of these morons again.

      • Anonymous August 28, 2015 at 1:55 pm #

        The sad part is that the candidates are all alive and breathing because all of them have posted that there is no primary but they have no problem ignoring this story? It blows my mind that they think they can get away from actually having any of their opinions public? If the voters don’t push for it then you are all to blame for these types of decisions going forward. Not one of them wants to be seen as a leader.

    • Anonymous August 28, 2015 at 11:23 am #

      • Anonymous August 28, 2015 at 12:34 pm #

        Odessa is a COWARD!!!! He is asking before speaking? That is NOT a leader. Can just ONE of these candidates say what they actually feel???

      • Brian Addesa August 28, 2015 at 12:39 pm #

        Anonymous, thank you for the support! Anon – please check out my FB campaign page, or email me directly. I will let you know where I stand.

      • Brandi Carpenter's Ego August 28, 2015 at 12:41 pm #

        Did Ed Charest write that last comment? I mean, he spelled Addesa’s name wrong, so I guess it’s possible.

      • Anonymous August 28, 2015 at 1:12 pm #

        Hey Brian how about being transparent and letting all know. This is the issue everyone is having. No one wants to be clear about their positions. I am very much against one on one communication because it can be denied or be misunderstood. Brian weren’t you the one saying there was a lack of transparency with this committee? I was always told you act the job you want and not the one you have today. So here is a test for you and the other candidates.

      • Brian Addesa for School Committee August 28, 2015 at 10:31 pm #

        This is a comment from my FB campaign page from yesterday. Please let me know if this is unclear:

        …This troubles me. Now, I don’t have all of the behind the scenes information on what actually happened with Matrocola. But would him staying until June of 2016 have been a huge problem? At a bare minimum, the cost of the buyout ($100K) is coming right out of our budget. What could that go toward? Teachers have been let go, and maybe could have stayed. What about classroom resources for our teachers and kids? What about building repairs, renovations, and upkeep? How about strengthening the technological infrastructure to support the technology initiative. Or – straight out of this year’s handbooks for district goals and evaluation planning (for those who know, it’s the green book): District initiative #4 – Securing a funding source to implement the new science curriculum. I gotta tell you, $100K would have covered any one of these…

      • Anonymous August 29, 2015 at 2:41 pm #

        Brian that is not an opinion on the Herb decision. You push to the budget and throw a lot of questions back. You only speak to Joes buyout. In some ways maybe the SC used Your argument to walk him out the door. Some smoke and mirrors game. There are rumors that after school was part of the reason for his departure. But the parties protected eachother from public acrimony….Or did they? You should all be pledging to not let that happen again either!

        Honestly I want an actual candidate to condemn what has happened and show us now how you would deal with this decision. All the candidates silence is telling me they are actually fine with this decision. This all reminds me with the republican debate and in general. Everyone was afraid to talk about immigration but the you have a guy like Trump that is not afraid to challenge the lack of leadership on it and then it’s finally discussed more. I will only cast a vote for the candidate that actually has the courage to speak up. We are losing that with Hochmans exit. I have three votes but right now I am not using any of them. I am not someone that just fills in the spaces.

      • Brian Addesa August 29, 2015 at 5:21 pm #

        As I see it, and as I feel my comment spells out, there never should have been a “Herb decision” as you put it, if they made better decisions about Mastrocola. That doesn’t read as a condemnation of it? I will also say that I have never met either Joe Mastrocola or Herb Levine. I can’t comment on either man, because I don’t know them.

        Professionally, when I ask reputable educators and administrators who have worked with them directly, I get mixed responses on both. I can’t tell if the general outrage over this is due to the money, the man, the poor decisions, or something else entirely. At first glance, the money is a huge hit to the needs of our district. I think the school committee made some really bad decisions here. But I don’t know all of the details. I am not born and raised here in Peabody. I am not a second or third generation Peabody resident. We chose to move here. I don’t have the detailed history that many here do. With the information I have, I can focus on Mastrocola. It seems pretty black and white. There were some bad decisions made right there.

        When I look at the decision to hire Levine as the interim, I am curious to know why it was decided the same day that city council approved the budget. Seems like it was slipped in at the last minute. The appearance isn’t a good one. If he is the RIGHT decision for the interim job, he should be up to speed on current education issues, and not need us to foot the bill to send him to a Superintendents conference in Arizona for February break. (There is actually a Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents right here where he could get much of what he would need…even a mentor if he chooses). That is money we could have back in our schools, or taxpayer pockets. I would also say that for an interim position, I want to know why we are offering a salary over the average pay for Superintendents here in MA (around $147K). Is it that hard to find someone to take this position, here in Peabody as an interim? I don’t think so, since it was reported that there were 18 applications for the job, not really even considered.

        So, again, as I see things, we are out $100K for the buyout, about $11K for a salary that is over the current average here in MA for this position, and another $3K or so (I’m estimating) for a nice vacation. Then there’s the 30 vacation days, 20 sick days and 2 personal days. Before I changed careers to education, I worked in the private sector I had 2 weeks paid vacation (10 work days), 4 sick days, and 2 personal days. So go ahead and factor that in. Let’s round that total to $120K. I am against this. It could have been handled better.

        Please let us know where we can find positions of the other candidates about this once they post them.

  3. Greekpie August 28, 2015 at 11:50 am #

    This is too bad…
    Really would have like to see Carpenter debate and explain her crazy decisions especially this police program that the whole teaching staff had to sit through for two hours.
    Shouldn’t us teachers be focusing on students and leaning issues?

    By the way, someone should look into the bidding and awarding of this contract!
    It appears this is a BIG CONFLICT with Carpenter and her relations with Police departments.

    Nevertheless, whoever wins the seats will have to deal with (three times a charm!) Dunne’s antics and personal agenda!

    Poor Mayor, as weak as he is , he still has to deal with these morons!

    • anon August 28, 2015 at 12:50 pm #

      The mayor deserves it. He is his own worst enemy. He is too concerned with being everyone’s buddy.

  4. Wakefield is watching August 29, 2015 at 7:32 pm #

    Hey Brian, regarding your posts.

    You seem like a smart man but your assumptions are troubling.
    This is not the way to start a political career unless you want to be like Charest!

    The issues are not about herb or joe they are about the Mayor and the School Committee and their lack of putting the city first before themselves. ( 7 superintendents in 10 years?)

    If your going to be a public official, you better learn to produce EVIDENCE!

    So you going to be a stand up guy or join the long list peabody political misfits?

    • Brian Addesa for School Committee August 29, 2015 at 8:56 pm #

      I like your identification. I appreciate the humor. I disagree that it’s about the Mayor or the school committee.

      It’s about kids, families and taxpayers. I have already said that I think bad decisions were made. I acknowledge issues at the school committee level. It’s why I’m running.

      I have also said that I don’t have the history that many of you do. If you recall, I was content to support my kids at the Carroll School, and do what I could to support their teachers there. I was content to lead the Cubscouts here in our city.

      I heard some of the things that have been going on, but just being a parent on the sidelines, you never hear the depth of detail that I’m getting now. So I will tell you what I can about what I know. And I will tell you more as I gain more information. I feel like I have done that since I went to my first committee meeting in support of the care provided to our kids by the FKO program.

      I can tell you about my strengths, my experience in educational leadership. I can tell you that I sit in on regular meetings with Superintendents, Assistant Superintendents, building principals, curriculum directors, department chairs, and other teachers. I have been on hiring committees for these positions. I have managed a budget of $13 million. That is a brief snippet of what I can bring to this position

      I have already stated that I think there has been substantial waste based on some bad decisions. You are asking if I’m going to be a stand-up guy. Well, there’s really know way to know that, is there? You can ask people from some of the groups I’ve mentioned. You can read what I’ve posted, and review what I have said on You Make the Call. Heck, get in touch and I’ll meet up for coffee and conversation.

      You can compare all of that with the words and actions of current committee members, and even the candidates. And then you can form whatever opinion you like. I took this on because I want to help. I feel that I can.

      I continue to engage here because I think it helps people to get a better feel for who I am. I said it before, please let us know when anyone else in this field starts answering your questions an really getting involved. And Wakefield doesn’t have to watch. I tell them all about what’s going on up here in Tanner City. They are well informed.

      • Anonymous August 30, 2015 at 8:31 am #

        Brian this what I was hoping to see from a candidate. I don’t believe any of the other candidates will acknowledge it unless it gains not traction in the news. I agree that his perks and salary are way too high. He didn’t get take the home discount but instead took the VIP package. I would really like a candidate one or maybe even all of them go to the first school committee meeting and publicly question the city officials decision. You may not get a response from them due the awful public meeting laws but it would be impactful and would get on the radar of the taxpayers. Brian are you that candidate? As an outsider will you be the candidate to hold them accountable for their questionable decision making to bring in their friend, their donor and the guy that’s has bled this city for far too long????

      • NASBC August 30, 2015 at 3:21 pm #

        Brian, thank you for personally responding to these posts. I for one, am VERY happy that you are NOT a life long Peabody resident because that seems to be one of the biggest issues with our elected officials. They are all tied to each other and again, for the third time in one of my posts, I will call out the nepotism that is out of control in this city. So thank goodness you “chose” to live here and are willing to jump into the crazy political scene of this city. I heard you call into the show when the FKO stuff went down and was thrilled you decided to run.

        I also am not from Peabody and we also chose to live here but as I have also stated in a previous comment, the longer I live here, the more I want to move because of what I have witnessed. When the mayor was elected he talked about bringing back “Pride in Peabody” but I have yet to personally feel that. All I feel from our leaders is “pride in my own personal agenda.”

        I would also like to see any of the other candidates reply to this post. I am sure they are all reading them! Maybe they see that only a small number of people have replied and think it’s not that big of a deal. I beg to differ since I have been reading these posts and following things without replying. This is the first time I decide to put my thoughts out there. So, I am thinking there are a whole lot of other people doing the same thing!

  5. Just Thinking August 30, 2015 at 2:48 pm #

    Too Bad. Now, Can anyone tell me Who of the remaining candidates are NOT “educators”. We don’t need more part-time “professionals, aka educators” on our payroll! After all they, the educators, had all summer off (with pay) to campaign. Peabody can’t afford more spending. We have seen a perfect examples of gaming the system with the current and past administrations. Double dipping, pay of no work and extra perks, raises for everyone! Step and lane increases for everyone. When was the last time an educator was let go for failing to complete the paper mill for a Masters degree? Phony advance degrees only add to the cost of education and not the quality.

    Taxes are never a problem for the “educators”. After all, it is for the Children. Taxpayer paid laptops for everyone, kids and teachers, aka “educators”. The recession never happened (to city employees)!
    When is this insanity going to end!

    Get out and vote!

    • Anonymous August 31, 2015 at 8:21 am #

      The current cast of “full time professionals” has really done a great job. Didn’t they cause this mess? Of all the ridiculous nonsensical pseudo-thought posted here, this makes the least sense. Just Thinking…hilariously ironic title.

      • Just Thinking August 31, 2015 at 1:38 pm #

        Educator is even funnier.
        Today is the first day of day care, aka School.
        Let the busses roll! ($300 a head)
        Get in the lane and step up those raises!!

      • Scott B September 1, 2015 at 2:53 pm #

        How many opening day issues. New bus company, btw, have they found a place to store the busses yet, or are they come back in May and need more money? Also, wondering if the interim superintendent for the interim superintendent who just happened to be the interim superintendent before, was yesterday one of his 125 days of vacation pay or was he on a city paid trip?

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