A second member of the Winthrop School Committee has resigned from her position.
Pat Milano, chairwoman of the committee for the past six years, submitted her letter of resignation to Town Clerk Carla Vitale on June 16, ending her ten years of service on the committee.
Gus Martucci previously stepped down from the committee earlier this month. .
Milanoâ€™s exit sent shock waves through the town. She has been a strong advocate for the school system and proudly presented a diploma to her son, Will, at the Class of 2010 commencement ceremony. All four of her children attended Winthrop schools.
â€œI felt it was the right time for me to go and take care of some personal stuff that I needed to take care of,â€ said Milano.
Many observers reasoned that it may have been the Town Councilâ€™s decision to take $240,000 out of the school budget for the coming year that prompted Milano to leave the committee. The Council moved the $240,000 in to the Council reserve fund by an 8-1 vote.
â€œI donâ€™t think it was wise of the Council to take money [out of the school budget], but on a personal note, I felt it was the right time for me to be moving on â€“ to pay more attention to my work responsibilities as well as family responsibilities.â€
A graduate of Yale University, Milano is the program director and coordinator for CASA (Community Against Substance Abuse) and co-director of the Kathyâ€™s Place Youth Center. She also works part time in a substance abuse prevention program in East Boston.
Milano was asked whether she is resigning so other parents with children currently in the school system would be able to serve on the committee.
â€œNo, I still think the children in Winthrop are the most important commodity that we have, so Iâ€™m certainly not stepping away from any involvement with young people in Winthrop,â€ said Milano. â€œIâ€™m still very committed to them through the work of CASA and the Youth Center. I just donâ€™t think I was being very effective on the School Committee and it was time.â€
Milano said the Town Council and School Committee must work together to help improve the town and its school system.
â€œThe town and the schools were not moving in the same direction,â€ said Milano. â€œThey took a vote to take money away from the schools which certainly wasnâ€™t a popular one for those of us who are school people. I think they have taken a vote that gives them more control over money that belongs to the school department. It certainly gave me reason to pause and reflect about what Iâ€™ve tried to do for so many years.â€