Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Council Votes Unanimously In Favor of New Middle School

In a night that honored student achievements in City Hall, the Common Council voted unanimously to support a new middle school for Middletown.

The triumphant Ultimate Frisbee
team from MHS.
The meeting began with the Council acknowledging the achievements of DECA, who returned from an international competition in Anaheim, with awards for their work.  In addition, the Council honored the state champion Ultimate Frisbee team from Middletown High School.  The Council also introduced a set of students from Woodrow Wilson Middle School who were participating in the annual Mayor For A Day program, and who were shadowing the Council at the meeting.

The eventual unanimous popular support to send the proposal for a new middle school to referendum in November followed a contentious debate about the legal wording of the resolution that would allow the plans to move forward.

WWMS student Ryan
Cudworth shadowing
Council member Tom
This debate didn't occur in the main body of the meeting, but instead occupied councilors for nearly the entire "Questions to Directors" portion of the meeting that began at 6 PM.  When the city attorney raised a concern about the wording of the resolution, a point of order raised by Council member Seb Giuliano blossomed into a full-blown debate about the substance of that resolution.

It didn't look promising for passage when Council members questioned everything from the application for a state grant to the location of the new proposed middle school on Hunting Hill Ave. When Deputy Mayor Bob Santangelo finally called time on the debate, the question had not been settled, and a large crowd, consisting of DECA students and parents, Ultimate Frisbee students and parents, and middle school supporters was gathered in the foyer waiting to enter the main meeting.

At the meeting, parents, teachers, Board of Education members, building committee members, city residents and some of the students who were participating in the Mayor For a Day program, spoke in favor of a new middle school.

After a short debate about the legal wording of the resolution, and several Common Council members speaking in favor of the plan, the Council voted unanimously to adopt the resolution.

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