Regional school committee declines to get in middle of debt issue

by susan on April 2, 2010

At a special meeting this week, the regional school committee decided to stay out of the ongoing tiff between Northborough and Southborough over how to split debt remaining after the Algonquin renovation. The Northborough Board of Selectmen had asked the committee to file a request for a declaratory judgment on the issue, but the school committee voted unanimously not to do that.

From the Metrowest Daily News:

“I hate to talk myself out of potential business, but the bottom line is I don’t understand why the (Regional School) district would want to be the plaintiff in a declaratory judgment action,” attorney Thomas Mullen told board members. “You don’t have a dog in this fight.”

Regional School Committee members asked Mullen to attend last night’s special meeting in hopes he might help them decide whether or not they should initiate legal action to resolve an ongoing dispute over how the two towns should divide the $1.5 million debt payment owed to the state.

That means it’s up to Northborough residents to decide whether or not to take Southborough to court. They’ll vote on what action to take at their town meeting on April 26.

The dispute over how to split the Algonquin debt stretches back several years. You can get more history by reading these posts.

1 Evan Lips April 2, 2010 at 1:01 PM

Hi Susan – I wanted to clarify that the Regional School Committee did not hold a formal vote. I know I stated that they did in the article above, but the committee actually did not take a formal vote on the matter; they agreed “by consensus” not to file for a declaratory judgment.

I was confused when member Paul Butka read a motion to decline an invitation from Northborough’s Board of Selectmen to initiate a declaratory judgment. But looking back at my notes, I now see it was more of a motion to adjourn. My confusion truly set in when Paul said an adjournment would be in fact making a decision to pass on making a decision.

Hence my confusion.

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