Letter: Baldwin resignation agreement should get an ‘F’ grade

To the Editor:

Gwyneth Paltrow coined the phrase a “conscious uncoupling” to describe her divorce and, oddly, it appears we’ve had a “conscious uncoupling” here in Ridgefield.

School Superintendent Karen Baldwin spoke a language that I never quite understood so a “conscious uncoupling” seemed a fitting way to describe her termination agreement.

Kudos to The Ridgefield Press for acquiring a copy of that agreement via FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) and publishing an article about it. Shame on BoE for making it come to that.

The article states that BoE “found no wrongdoing or misconduct in [Ms. Baldwin’s] performance,” that BoE had “not requested [her] resignation” nor had they “forced [her][...] resignation. In addition, BoE found no “deficiency, wrongdoing or misconduct with respect to Dr. Baldwin’s performance or actions.”

Moreover the resignation did not “constitute an admission” by Ms. Baldwin that she did anything to warrant her termination and that — according to The Press account — Ms. Baldwin simply “suggested she would resign.”

Accordingly she would continue to receive her full salary until June 30, plus an annuity of $14,660 plus her unused vacation days at $894 per day.

So, from all accounts, it appears to me that Ms. Baldwin woke up one fine morning and just quit her $200,000 plus job because she simply felt like it.

The problem is that after her self-serving resignation, she will continue to receive her full salary until June 30, and there is no mention of plagiarism. So what’s the takeaway?

In my opinion, neither side has taken responsibility for anything in this matter. There is no “learning moment” for the 5,000 Ridgefield students from whom we demand more. It’s hypocritical and disgraceful.

First Selectman Rudy Marconi said he felt the arrangement [was] a “fair agreement for both sides.”

I give it an “F.”

Jan Rifkinson

New Road, April 23