FRAMINGHAM – When the School Committee meeting began on Wednesday, September 21, District 2 School Committee member David Gordon was about 12 miles away at the Westborough School Committee meeting. It was the third meeting in a row, where Gordon was not at a meeting.
Gordon eventually attended the Framingham September 21 meeting very late into the meeting via remote participation.
Appointed to the seat on June 21, Gordon has missed about 50% of his Framingham meetings since taking the oath office. The Framingham resident was appointed to fill the seat through December 31, 2023, by a unanimous vote of the 11-member City Council and the 8-member School Committee
The main reason for the absences is that Gordon is at the Westborough School Committee meetings, where he is the Westborough Public Schools Director of Finance and Administration.
Unfortunately, in 2022, the Westborough School Committee and the Framingham School Committee meet on the same night a dozen times.
Gordon attended his first two meeting for Framingham on June 29 and July 27, after he was sworn in, but missed the August 3 meeting for Framingham.
The night of the September 7 and September 21, while Gordon’s seat was empty in Framingham, you could watch him live on Youtube at the Westborough School Committee.
When Gordon applied to be appointed to take over the District 2 seat vacated by Ricky Finlay, who was elected to a 2-year term in November of 2021, he never mentioned the conflict between the Westborough and Framingham School Committee meetings.
Prior to being appointed to the District 2 seat, there were seven nights in 2022, when the Westborough School Committee and the Framingham School Committee met on the same evening.
Comparing the schedules of the two school committees, post-June 21, there are five nights when both the Framingham School Committee and the Westborough School Committee meet at the same time.
Those nights are September 7, September 21, October 19, November 16, and November 30.
This coming week, neither School Committee will meet on Wednesday. October 5, due to the Jewish holiday. Instead, Framingham will meet on a rare Monday night and Westborough will meet on Thursday night.
But on October 19, both School Committees have live meetings.
SOURCE asked Gordon for a statement and how he plans to deal with the conflicting schedules, throughout the rest of 2022 and into 2023. SOURCE also asked why Gordon, a Hemenway, Walsh, and Framingham High alumni did not disclose the conflict with the School Committee meetings when he applied for the seat.
Gordon provided this statement: “I’m honored to bring my unique perspective through life experience, talents and institutional knowledge to work for the students and families of the Framingham public school system. Like all of us, professional and personal life can pose a conflict from time to time and, like all of us, I work to minimize those conflicts through creative scheduling and focus on what matters – our children.”
The digital news outlet asked Gordon if he wanted to address the conflicting meeting schedules, beyond his statement, and how he will deal with the conflict moving forward to represent the students in District 2 and the families in Framingham. And no response from Gordon was received.
During his interview with the Framingham School Committee in June, Gordon said he had a great relationship with Framingham’s current vendor for buses – NRT, as they are also in Westborough.
He said he could be an asset to Framingham and he could help to leverage his relationship with Westborough to alleviate bus concerns in Framingham.
Except Gordon has missed the Framingham meeting in August, the September 7 meeting and came very late to the September 21 meeting.
And Framingham has 100s of students who want a seat on the bus, but can’t as the district is short 17 drivers from its contractual 77 drivers.
Gordon has not publicly spoke at a Framingham School Committee meeting on the busing crisis in Framingham since the 2022-=23 school year began.
Gordon however is not the only School Committee member who has missed multiple meetings.
District 7 School Committee member Tiffanie Maskell has missed three meetings as well, lately.
Maskell told SOURCE she has two family emergencies, and then contracted COVID-19.
She said she anticipates being at the next meeting on October 3.