Ludlow Democratic Committee
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Chairman Michael Gove opened the meeting at 7:35pm. As there was not a quorum present, action could not be taken. Members agreed to discuss items listed on the agenda.
Leon Gaumond, a legislative aide to Representative Paul Caron of Springfield, was invited to the meeting to discuss the various uses of the voter information list. These uses include targeted mailings, voter history tracking, and pre-collected phone numbers.
The committee reviewed possible policies regarding the voter information list including the placement of phone numbers on the list, the question of what individuals or groups we would sell to, and what the cost of the list would be. It was agreed that the committee would vote on these policies at the next meeting.
Co-chairs of the Breakfast Committee, Helen Garrow and Kathleen Ouimette informed the committee that preparations for the breakfast were proceeding as planned. Tickets had been received and would be distributed among committee members soon. It was reconfirmed that Senate President Thomas Birmingham would be this year’s spekaer.
Chairman Michael Gove expressed his belief that some members of the committee may be eligible for "twenty-year" seats (voting seats automatically given to those on the committee for more than 20 years) which will make room for new members. Chairman Gove also asked for committee members to look for Democrats interested in joining the committee. Gail Labelle expressed interest in joining as a full member; Dennis Gove expressed interest in joining as an associate member.
The next meeting was scheduled for 7:30 pm on March 5, 2001.
Chairman Michael Gove opened the meeting at 7:40pm with a quorum of fourteen (14) members present. A motion was made to accept the minutes of the previous meeting as printed. The motion was seconded and the vote was unanimous. Treasurer Helen Garrow reported that the Committee had a balance of $1037.46. This report was also accepted unanimously.
20 Year Members
The "20-Year Seat" Amendment was distributed to those present. Following discussion, there was a motion to table the amendment which passed unanimously.
Selectman William Mahoney, School Committeewoman Gail Labelle, and Anthony Mole expressed interest in running for three open "full member" seats on the committee. A motion was made to cast one vote for all three and this motion passed unanimously.
It was announced that the breakfast had been moved to the Polish-American Club on East St. and that both the Union-News and Register would be covering the event. Alex Simao asked about letters being read for Democratic candidates who could not attend the breakfast. It was shown that the committee had previously voted to allow such statements to be read by the Master of Ceremonies. It was mentioned that Michael Goncalves would need a statement read and that he had not bought any tickets. The point was made that if he had not bought tickets to attend, he would not be able to speak and the question was asked if the MC should read a statement from a candidate who had not bought tickets. The committee agreed that no such restriction should be created but that we hoped all Democratic candidates would support the breakfast if possible. Following a concern that not enough tickets had been sold, the committee voted unanimously to donate ten (10) tickets to the Ludlow Senior Center. The committee also voted to donate five (5) tickets to the Ludlow High School Student Council groups and Matthew Pszeniczny offered to buy another five (5) tickets to donate to the LHS Student Council.
The meeting was suspended at 8:15pm for the 2001 Democratic Caucus and reopened at 8:45pm.
Dennis Gove and Richard Devine were added to the committee as Associate Members with a unanimous vote.
A motion to place public phone numbers on the committee’s voter list was approved unanimously. A motion to accept the regulations regarding the sale of the voter list was approved unanimously. A motion to accept the proposed selling prices for the list was approved unanimously. A motion to create a voter list maintainer position on the committee was tabled so that Jason Thompson could speak to the town clerk regarding voters taken off the rolls.
Upcoming Town Elections
The committee voted unanimously (with two abstentions) to approve the expenditure of $204 for an advertisement in the Ludlow Register urging voters to support committee members running for office. A motion was made to include associate members in said advertisement and passed unanimously.
A motion was passed unanimously to place Dennis Gove, Richard Devine, and Chairman Michael Gove on the newly created Activities Committee which was charged with looking into future activities for the committee.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:00pm.
Members in Attendance: Michael Gove, Helen Garrow, Kathleen Houle, Carolyn Muzzi, Anthony Mole, Jason Thompson, Irene Kimball, Gail LeBelle
Associate Members: Dennis Gove
The meeting was called to order at 7:45 by the chair, Michael Gove. As a quorum was not present, action could not be taken on agenda items.
Helen Garrow indicated that the interest from June 2001 – August 31, 2001 is $3.95, giving the committee a balance of $ 1,440.64.
Register to Vote Month: The chair indicated that James Harrington was to be scheduling the "Voter Registration Drive" for October.
By-law Committee: James Thompson will send amendments and recommendations to all members for review.
Activities Committee: James Harrington will be asked to provide a report for our next meeting.
Correspondence was received from the Westfield Town Committee concerning their breakfast. Although a quorum was not available to vote on the matter, members agreed that the chair could attend and payment be requested at the next meeting.
It was suggested that the ticket prices should be increased to $15.00, to help cover costs. The chair indicated that he believed that Shannon O’Brien would be the speaker at this event. Gail LeBelle reported on the selection of a recipient for the "Democrat of the Year Award". It was suggested that there be open nominations and the field could be narrowed to three, with the sub-committee making the final recommendation. Some of the items that the committee would review include: years of service, contribution to the party and/or town, a possible limitation which would require the person be a Ludlow resident, and involvement in the political process.
MCAS: Anthony Mole indicated that he reviewed some of the concerns he and other members had during an earlier discussion on the MCAS. He stated that his opinion had changed and the committee should review the possibility of proposing a solution to the problem.
The next meeting has been scheduled for 7:30 P.M. on November 12, 2001.
Meeting adjourned at 8:15 P.M.
Kathleen J. Houle
Members in Attendance: Michael Gove, William Rooney, Kathleen Houle, Helen Garrow, Domingos Alves, Leonard Robbins, Gail LeBelle, Brian Connery, Alexander Simao, Juliann Rooney, James Thompson, Mary Gurski, William Mahoney, Irene Kimball, Kathleen Ouimette, Anthony Mole
Associate Members: Dennis Gove, Susan Galvin Richard Devine
Chairman Michael Gove opened the November 5, 2001 meeting at 7:35 P.M.
Chair: The chair reported that he spoke with the chairman from the State Democratic Committee and interest was expressed in integrating the State and local committees to a greater degree. The State Committee will also be publishing a quarterly newsletter.
Vice-Chairman – no report
Treasurer: Helen Garrow reported that our previous balance was $1,440.64. The account earned $1.44 in interest, giving the committee a balance of $1,442.08. Motion made and seconded by James Thompson and Alexander Simao to accept the report as read. All in favor. Motion carries.
Secretary’s Report: Motion made and seconded by Leonard Robbins and Helen Garrow to accept the minutes. All in favor. Motion carries.
Awards Committee – members were given a copy of the report prepared by the Awards Committee.
Members agreed that the sub-committee was thorough in their review and recommendations, but were in agreement that section IV, b. Selection, ii. ["meet-and-greet"] was not necessary.
Motion made and seconded by William Mahoney and Helen Garrow to strike section IV, b. Selection ii. All in favor. Motion caries.
Motion made and seconded by James Thompson and Alexander Simao to approve the report as amended. All in favor. Motion carries.
The chair will make arrangements to have the nomination form published in the "Ludlow Register".
Alexander Simao will confirm reservations for the breakfast on March 10, 2002. He will check on prices at other establishments and make a decision. The committee can then review the ticket costs.
By-laws Committee: Members reviewed the recommendations of the By-laws Committees.
Motion made and seconded by Irene Kimball and James Thompson to discuss the "Twenty Year" service proposal. Members were concerned with the number of present members who would be eligible for this type of membership. It appears that there would be between 2-4 members. Irene Kimball suggested that these members could be recognized at the breakfast. Motion made and seconded by Irene Kimball and James Thompson to approve the amendment to the bylaws. All in favor. Motion carries.
Political Action Committee: The chairman reported on the "Register to Vote Drive". Approximately 13 people filed forms at Randall’s Farm and the Ludlow Post Office. Motion made and seconded by James Thompson and Alexander Simao to accept the report. All in favor. Motion carries
The Longmeadow Democratic Committee will host a Candidates Night Forum on November 14, 2001.
Old Business – the breakfast and the amendments were discussed during the reports from the committees.
Hampden County Democratic League: The chairman indicated that he is involved in an effort to organize a county democratic group and had contacted other communities. Irene Kimball suggested that he contact Jim Fleming.
Banner: Members indicated that this is expensive. Kathy Ouimette indicated that she would contact a friend who sews to discuss costs.
Motion made and seconded by James Thompson and William Mahoney to send condolences to the family of Edward Boland. All on favor. Motion carries.
MCAS: Anthony Mole stated that he would like the committee to go on record regarding the use of the MCAS as the determining factor for graduation. Mole stated that although he initially believed that the use of MCAS testing would serve to better educate students, he believes that the opposite is occurring. He indicated that he believed that a student who fails the MCAS should be given the opportunity to obtain a diploma through the educational process (i.e. summer school). Also, the Ludlow Democratic Committee should take a position whereby it would make a recommendation to the commonwealth on how problems could be corrected.
A motion was made by Anthony Mole: To return the educational process and the awarding of diplomas to the educators who should be the final authority and to submit an alternate plan to the governor and legislators on how a diploma could be granted if a student fails the MCAS (i.e. summer school).
Mole indicated that he believed the current plans to tutor students are not sufficient and that the Ludlow Democratic Committee should take the stand that the current plans are not acceptable. Dennis Gove stated that there are honor students who are unable to pass the test.
The chair asked if members felt a letter should be sent to the governor on this matter. Motion made and seconded by James Thompson and Alexander Simao to send a letter.
Irene Kimball stated that she believed that the committee should get some advice on this matter from the school committee and superintendent. William Rooney agreed and indicated that the latest reports show that the Ludlow School system showed improvement. Rooney indicated that the committee has already taken the stand that the test should not be used as the determining factor for graduation. He indicated that he did not believe it to be within the purview of the Democratic Committee to propose solutions, as the committee does not have the expertise to do so. Rooney stated that he believed such action would be irresponsible.
Mole asked that the question be moved. The final motion proposed by Anthony Mole is as follows:
Draft and send a letter indicating that the Ludlow Democratic Committee takes the stand that the educators should be the final authority in determining who receives a diploma; and
Propose an alternative method for providing students an opportunity to graduate
The letter to be mailed to the Acting Governor, Speaker of the House, President of the Senate, Representative Petrolati, Senator Lees, and the MTA.
Vote taken. Motion fails.
The chair indicated that if members want to discuss this matter, we could meet with the School Committee and the Superintendent. A meeting will be set up in the coming months.
Next meeting will be December 3, 2001.
Motion made and seconded to adjourn by Alexander Simao and James Thompson. All in favor. Meeting adjourned at 8:35 P.M.
Kathleen J. Houle
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Chairman, Michael Gove, opened the meeting of December 3, 2001 at 7:36.
Reports – Officers
Chairman: Michael Gove provided information concerning the forming of the Hampden County Democratic League. At this time, Springfield and Longmeadow have responded. The first meeting will be held on Saturday, January 5, 2002 at the Teamsters Union Hall, from 10:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M. A letter has been sent to local committees in Hampden County.
A motion was made and seconded by Mary Evangelista and Juliann Rooney to send two (2) members to these meetings. All in favor.
Nominations were taken from the floor:
A motion was made and seconded by Leonard Robbins and James Harrington to nominate Michael Gove.
A motion was made and seconded by Mary Evangelista and Helen Garrow to nominate Irene Kimball.
A motion was made and seconded by Alexander Simao and Helen Garrow to close nominations. All in favor.
A motion was made and seconded by Richard Podosek and Juliann Rooney to cast one ballot. All in favor. Motion carries.
Treasurer: Helen Garrow reported interest earnings of $. 59, and a balance of $ 1,442.67 in our account. Motion made and seconded by James Harrington and Leonard Robbins to accept the report as read. All in favor.
Secretary: The report was amended to show attendance by Mary Evangelista. A motion was made and seconded by Helen Garrow and Leonard Robbins to accept the report as amended. All in favor.
Reports – Committees
Awards Committee: No response to the flyers and advertisements for "Democrat of the Year" to date. Forms are available in the Town Hall and Library, and additional forms will be brought to the Senior Center.
Breakfast Committee: Tony and Penny’s Restaurant is booked for the day of the Breakfast. Alexander Simao will contact the Polish Club about using the hall for the event.
A letter of resignation was received from Lawrence Kus. A motion was made and seconded by James Harrington and Alexander Simao to accept the notice of resignation. All in favor.
A motion was made and seconded by Alexander Simao and Leonard Robbins to send a letter to Mr. Kus thanking him for his many years of service and enclosing complimentary tickets for the breakfast. All in favor.
Old Business – Breakfast
Michael Gove indicated Shannon O’Brien will probably be the speaker at the Democratic Town Committee Breakfast. A full confirmation should be received after January 1, 2002, after all forum dates have been set.
A discussion followed on the number of complimentary tickets, which will be distributed. As in past years, tickets will be sent to our Senators and Representatives, as well as the DA and County Officers. Last year complimentary tickets were sent to the Senior Center and the Student Council at Ludlow High School. It was brought to the committee’s attention that Matthew Pszeniczny paid for five of the tickets sent to the student council. A discussion followed as to the number of tickets that should be sent this for the 2002 breakfast. Additional discussion centered on reduced rates for students. The ticket price set for the breakfast is $15.00.
A motion was made and seconded by Leonard Robbins and Brian Connery to provide 10 complimentary tickets to both the Student Council and the Senior Center, and to sell tickets to any additional High School students at the reduced rate of $10.00. All in favor.
Members were reminded to bring raffle gifts.
Addition of 20-year members – As indicated a 20-year member will retain full voting rights.
A letter was accepted from Mary Gurski on December 3, 2001, asking for recognition as a 20-year member. A motion was made and seconded by Helen Garrow and Irene Kimball to install Mary Gurski as a 20-year member of the Ludlow Democratic Committee. All in favor.
Addition of new members: As the committee accepted the resignation of Lawrence Kus and has installed Mary Gurski as a 20-year member, two positions are open for full membership. Nominations were accepted:
Motion made and seconded by James Harrington and Helen Garrow to nominate Dennis Gove.
Motion made and seconded by Juliann Rooney and Helen Garrow to nominate Richard Devine.
Motion made and seconded by Irene Kimball and Chip Harrington to nominate Susan Galvin.
Leonard Robbins indicated that he believed that he was entitled to appointment as a 20-year member. Motion was made and seconded by Helen Garrow and Gail LaBelle to install Leonard Robbins as a 20-year member. All in favor.
A motion was made and seconded by Richard Podosek and Irene Kimball to move by acclimation the ballot for three (3) full members. All in favor.
Caucus – The date for the caucus has been set for February 2nd. Additional information will be provided at our next meeting.
A motion was made and seconded by Irene Kimball and Gail LaBelle to send condolences to Mary Evanglista. Helen Garrow will send a gift.
The next meeting will be scheduled for January 7, 2002. The chairman will make a determination if the MCAS forum, which was discussed at our November meeting, will be held on this date as part of our meeting, or on a separate evening.
A motion was made and seconded by James Harrington and Leonard Robbins to adjourn. All in favor. Meeting adjourned at 8:10 P.M.
Kathleen J. Houle
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Chairman, Michael Gove, opened the meeting of January 7, 2002 at 7:35P.M.
Reports – Officers
Chairman: Michael Gove provided information concerning the Hampden County Democratic League. He noted that the attendance was not what was expected. There were 8 representatives in attendance. Discussion centered on how a similar attempt was made several years ago and there was not much success. Those present indicated that the scope of this type of committee should change to a Leadership Council in which chairman from the neighboring communities could meet and discuss events being held by each group. This would be helpful in avoiding scheduling problems, etc.
Vice- Chairman: No report
Treasurer: Not available
Secretary: A motion was made and seconded by John DeBarge and James Harrington to accept the report as read. All in favor.
Reports – Committees
Awards Committee: There was discussion on whether or not the award should be named in honor of a specific person, or if it should remain the Ludlow Town Democratic Committee Award. Juliann Rooney stated that she felt that the town had many Democrats who had worked for the town and it would be a disservice to name the award after one person. Members were in agreement.
Breakfast Committee: The breakfast will be held on Sunday, March 10, 2002 at the Polish American Citizens Club. The guest speaker will be Shannon O’Brien. James Harrington will take care of the advertising for this even. Tickets will also be sold at the Democratic caucus.
As in the past, Eugene Beauregard will order the tickets. When tickets are available, five (5) tickets will be mailed to each member. The price for the ticket is $15.00, with a student rate of $10.00. Complimentary tickets will be mailed to elected officials. One ticket (not complimentary) will be mailed to all local committees.
Members are reminded that raffle items are needed and they can be brought to the next meeting.
A letter of resignation was received from John Pires. A motion was made and seconded by James Harrington and John DeBarge to accept the notice of resignation. All in favor.
Mr. Pires indicated that he would be interested in serving as an Associate Member. Motion made and seconded by James Thompson and John DeBarge to appoint John Pires as an Associate Member. All in favor.
III. Old Business
Democratic Caucus: The caucus will be held in the Ludlow High School Cafeteria on Saturday, February 2, 2002. Anyone interested in participating in the caucus is reminded that registration must be made prior to 10:15 A.M. Participants are encourage to be at the high school by 9:45 A.M.
The chairman indicated that the committee may have to pay the fee for the janitor.
The next meeting will be scheduled for February 4, 2002. Due to a scheduling problem, the MCAS forum, which was to be held at the January meeting, has been postponed to February 4, 2002.
V. New Business:
Eugene Beauregard provided information to the committee concerning members who meet the criteria for "20-Year Member" designation. The list was taken from the March 4, 1980 election. The members noted on that ballot are Eugene Beauregard, Alex Simao, Julia Silva, Mary Gurski, and Brian Connery.
A motion was made and seconded by James Harrington and James Thompson to adjourn. All in favor. Meeting adjourned at 8:00 P.M.
Kathleen J. Houle
Addendum to Minutes dated January 7, 2002
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Chairman, Michael Gove, opened the meeting of February 4, 2002 at 7:30P.M.
Reports – Officers
Chairman: Michael Gove provided information concerning the Hampden County Democratic League. The core group is in the process of obtaining a complete list of all chairs.
Vice- Chairman: No report
Treasurer: The Treasurer reported a balance of $ 1,196.94 in the committee’s account. A motion was made and seconded by Leonard Robbins and Dennis Gove to accept the report. All in favor. Motion carries.
Secretary: A motion was made and seconded by Leonard Robbins and Dennis Gove to accept the report as read. All in favor. Motion carries.
James Harrington thanked Michael Gove on the successful organization of the caucus held on February 2, 2002.
Reports – Committees
Breakfast Committee: Tickets were mailed to members and tickets will be mailed to candidates.
II. New Business:
By-law Amendments: The chairman indicated that upon review of our current bylaws, he noted that some were out-of-date and presented a proposal for review. A motion was made and seconded by Helen Garrow and Dennis Gove to forward them to the By-law Committee for review. All in favor. Motion carries.
The MCAS in Ludlow
Dr. Jack Welch, Superintendent of Schools and Robert Smith, Assistant Superintendent of Schools provided an overview of the MCAS and Education Reform. Materials provided to those present included and overview of the MCAS, including general questions on the implementation and "frequently asked questions", as well as sample questions in the English and Mathematics test for Grade 10.
The participants indicated that the Education Reform Act of 1993 had two major components:
While the State suggested the curriculum framework, it did not mandate decisions on local curriculum development. However, the assessment tools were based on the State curriculum framework. This, in effect, forces communities to focus their efforts into developing a curriculum, which meets the State guidelines. The curriculum is constantly updated. It is interesting to note that many people have expressed concerns that the schools are now "teaching" to pass the MCAS. The panel members agreed that this is the case, as the tests are based on the framework developed by the State in 1993.
Tony Mole expressed concerns that the test implies that all children have the ability to learn at the same rate. He noted that it appeared that the testing almost required that a child have a high level of self-esteem.
The panel members spoke of the remedial help available and indicated that there is another option to help students pass. When the test is administered in Grade 10 as a requirement for graduation, a student who does not pass at that time is given an opportunity to take the test over the next two years. Several remedial programs have been implemented through grant money received by the school system. A review of the test scores is being used to help determine students at risk and giving them the opportunity to build on their skills. Donna Hogan and Diana Roy both indicated that these programs require the student to take an active part in the learning process and monitor their learning, thereby instilling a sense of confidence as well as providing the skills necessary to pass the MCAS.
Dr. Welch indicated that there is another option to allow a student to obtain a diploma: If a student has not passed the MCAS, has 95% school attendance, and has participated in the tutorial programs offered by the school system, the school can present an appeal to the State Board.
All panel members indicated that the test is challenging and the State has high standards. They all stated that they believed that the math portion of the examination required a knowledge of Geometry and Algebra II by the time the exam is taken in Grade 10. All panel members indicated that they believe that while all students will not score at the top levels, they do believe that all students have the ability to pass the test.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:50 P.M. with the next meeting scheduled for March 4, 2002
Kathleen J. Houle
Dennis P. Gove
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