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Munroe Absent from School Committee Meetings, Delays Votes

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Key Takeaways

  • School Committee member Adam Munroe has missed many meetings since his election in May 2023
  • Mr. Munroe also serves on the Board of Assessors
  • School Committee business is routinely deferred due to his lack of attendance

At their meeting on Thursday, March 21, the Hopkinton School Committee was slated to vote on the name of the Elmwood replacement school building. Originally scheduled to be discussed fifth in the “New Business” section of the agenda, the topic was postponed until the end of the meeting to allow time for School Committee member Adam Munroe to join. Mr. Munroe had informed Chair Nancy Richards-Cavanaugh that he was delayed at work but hoped to join.

The item was revisited around 9:20 PM, and several potential names were discussed, but the committee ultimately decided to defer the vote for a future meeting where Munroe is present.

In fact, Mr. Munroe has been absent for half of all School Committee meetings since he was seated in the May 2023 election. The committee has met 29 times since May, and Mr. Munroe has attended in-person just 15. He missed meetings on May 25 (the first following his election), July 6 (remote), August 3 (remote), September 21, October 5, November 2, December 21, January 11, March 7, and March 21.

Mr. Munroe also serves on the Board of Assessors, and during the School Committee debate last May was asked about how he intended to balance his time commitments.

Section 6-3 of the Hopkinton Town Charter contains a provision entitled Loss of Office, Excessive Absence. The charter reads:

During the term of office of any person appointed to serve as a member of a board or committee, if such member shall fail to attend four (4) or more consecutive meetings thereof, or half of all the meetings thereof in any fiscal year, a majority of the remaining members of the board or committee may, by vote, declare the office vacant. Not less than ten (10) days prior to the date said vote is scheduled to be taken, notice of such vote shall be provided to the member whose removal is sought in hand or by certified mail, return receipt requested.

While Mr. Munroe has missed half the School Committee meetings this fiscal year, it’s unlikely the other committee members would vote to unseat him, though his absence has undoubtedly slowed progress on key initiatives.

“Whenever possible I think it’s great to have five voices in the conversation,” said Chair Richards-Cavanaugh. “Sometimes we’re on a tight timeline and have to make decisions, but I will often defer until the entire body is assembled when possible.”

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  1. I can appreciate people that step forward to commit their time to a board position. However if circumstances change wherein more commitment is needed for work or family then perhaps resigning would be the way to go so the board can move forward in a somewhat timely fashion.

  2. I had noticed Mr. Monroe’s frequent absences as well, and I am glad that someone is drawing attention to it. School Committee is a vital role with a significant time commitment, and it concerns me that a member is seemingly unable to fulfill their obligation. Unfortunately the current SC will never vote to unseat him. It is also unfortunate that the two open seats this year have only two candidates, but given the tumultuous election last year, I am not surprised by the lack of engagement.

  3. Another candidate the HDTC pushed through last year’s election. Mr. Monroe also didn’t attend the Meet the Candidates Night before the election. Therefore he avoided having to answer questions from the community and then had a fellow HDTC member read his statement and endorse him. His attendance has been sparse at best.

  4. Looks like he has missed every other meeting. It’s almost as if it were intentionally planned out that way and has been since he ran (with an already full plate). But hey, at least the HDTC got their candidates in there. Who cares if they are absent half the time or aren’t even from MA, let alone Hopkinton. Whatever it takes right? Their Mission statement should read that getting a candidate in place that is a dem is more important to them than the progress and well being of our town.

  5. Much like his comrades on Beacon Hill. Through 12/1/23 29.4% (47 out of 160 Representatives) have missed one or more roll calls of the 2023 Legislative session.
    Source: Somerville/Medford News Weekly 12/4/23


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