Letter: Writer upset with 'deception,' 'lack of honesty' at Ridgefield education board meeting

Hearst Connecticut Media Letter to the Editor graphic 

Hearst Connecticut Media Letter to the Editor graphic 

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I’m disturbed by the evident deception and lack of honesty exhibited at the BOE meeting on November 28th. According to the shocked comments during the public session, specific individuals had agreed at the Democratic caucus beforehand to support a bipartisan slate for leadership, but changed their votes after the chair was elected without discussion or transparency. Members of the caucus weren’t only blindsided; they were also betrayed. The planned bipartisan nominations of both Democrats and a moderate Republican, in the spirit of the bipartisan nature of the BOE, were ignored.  

The contingent defending these actions is extremely misguided. No one has been "disrespected,” except for the individuals who were deceived during the caucus, and the meeting on November 28, and voters in the Ridgefield community. During the meeting, Robert's Rules were flouted, and discussion was shut down, diminishing the value of the newly elected officers, and thereby diminishing the Board's reputation. The damage is done.

As a voter and a taxpayer, with a keen interest in the Ridgefield Public Schools - the driver of our economic health as well as the driver of the largest portion of Ridgefield’s annual budget - I’m wondering if some of our BOE members intend to represent one thing in private and another in public. Will they be able to work credibly with and have the trust of the Selectmen and the Board of Finance? Will they be effective in advocating for a $100M budget that affects our town, our schools, and our children? 

The voters of Ridgefield are accustomed to honest dialogue, and fidelity to agreements made in the best interest of all residents. While there may sometimes be disagreement on issues, the ability to be transparent, and collaborate with honesty and integrity is vital. Deception doesn’t work for Ridgefield.

Lisa Alter

Barry Avenue