School Committeeman Carlos Rodriguez has been missing from School Committee meetings since the beginning of the year, and formal and informal efforts to reach him have gone nowhere, school officials said.
Now, they said they will begin the unprecedented process of having to remove a member of the School Committee for, basically, being absent without leave.
Rodriguez has represented District 3 on the Committee for several years, and has been an active member, but recently he has gone missing. There were rumors that he moved to New York City, but Vice Chair Edward Ells said that couldn’t be officially confirmed. Informal efforts to reach out to him also went unheeded.
Last Thursday, the Committee held a meeting with City Solicitor Cheryl Fisher Watson to discuss how to proceed.
“We instinctively knew what we should do, but then there’s what you’re empowered to do,” said Ells. “There no clear language in the City Charter or in our rules to deal with the situation we’re in. Postscript, we’ll probably look to adjust this in our rules. We certainly aren’t taking this lightly. In the absence of anything else, there’s this moral obligation to take some action. It is a district that is now without representation. So, we’re planning to have a public hearing.”
Ells said that would trigger a process that would alert the City Council.
That process has occurred in the past with the School Committee where a vacancy has occurred and the Council and Committee accepted applications and picked a replacement.
That process will be followed once again unless Rodriguez materializes and explains his absence.
The public hearing will take place at the regular monthly meeting, on May 7, at 6:30 p.m.