If there’s anything Worcester continues to give, it is hope. After last week’s announcement of Worcester Public Schools’ next Superintendent, Rachel Monárezz, one can’t help but acknowledge the high standard Worcester School Committee has set in terms of what an equitable search looks like. Or as my friend so eloquently put it: “they understood the assignment.” A move that quite frankly our City Council should take generous notes on considering that the task to appoint Worcester’s newest City Manager is upon them. That is not to say that the Interim (Acting?) City Manager, Eric Batista isn’t up to the job – alls I’m sayin’ is that Council members owe it to the community to ensure the best candidate is vetted properly and not shoved down our throats through closed-door deals as has been the usual dinner menu. It is simply their duty as elected officials.
Not that I have anything personal against Eric Batista, but if I’m being honest, outside of those such as myself who know him personally, there’s not enough for the community to know that he’s the right guy for the job. Just sayin’ – equitable search, guys!
After watching Rachel Monárezz’s interview, I couldn’t help but let out a huge sigh of relief. Not only is she coming in with a plan that is data-driven, community-focused, action-oriented, realistic, and sustainable that puts our children’s education first, but it is also TRANSPARENT! Something that is sorely needed in the good ol’ boys club Worcester politics. It is no wonder she was unanimously selected because I too found myself yelling at the screen halfway through the interview: “for the love of all that is Holy, give this woman the job!” Considering the rambunctious entanglements in Worcester politics, Alaska would’ve been ideally far enough to find a candidate that isn’t politically connected in Worcester, but California will do just fine. The fact that our School Committee conducted an objective search for the best person for the job while also having a clear understanding of what the job really is in the first place, gives me hope that we are seeing our elected body of government do what it is supposed to do. That we are going to continue seeing transparency and accountability in order to see progress. The current Worcester School Committee has given us the lesson we all needed.
Binienda leaves a legacy that we cannot wait to put behind us. And in my opinion, she can’t leave fast enough so the work can begin to clean up her mess.
Now that Worcester School Committee is operating at optimal levels and Worcester City Council is finally starting to develop a backbone by way of Etel Haxhiaj, Thu Nguyen, and Khrystian King, what can remain if not hope. Dare I say, this is where we will see the real renaissance – in Worcester’s government.