To the editor:
For the first time in several years, I was unable to attend the Joint Finance Committee meeting held last week.
However, I have many responses and comments and, unfortunately, questions that should not have to be asked.
First, let me lend my support and applause to the Bristol Warren Regional School District’s budget that came in approximately $300,000 less that last year, despite suffering a loss of much state revenue. The teachers, administrators and members of Council 94 did not ask for any kind of financial increase and took a substantial change to their health plan benefits.
The educational atmosphere has improved, with no loss of student programming. Our academic proficiency
has continued to improve and in fact, the curriculum will be enriched with the long awaited STEM program coming to fruition at the high school.
Now, on to several questions:
One: Why were two Warren members of the committee at least half an hour late for the beginning of the meeting? Cathie Tattrie was the only Warren member there on time.
Two: Why would the Warren members of this important committee show such absolute disrespect to not even applaud nor even respond to The Superintendent’s State of the Schools address? Susan Rancourt, a Warren school committee member, used the analogy of team sports (which is a wonderful analogy if everyone is playing the same sport), to compare the progress made over the last year. What kind of good sportsmanship did our Warren JFC members show here?
Are we not, as decent adults, to be the role models for our students and children? When choosing not to respond to the good things (but often complain about ALL of the bad) are we teaching our students the right philosophy of life? I say NO! Children learn from what they see.
Three: Was the vote really unanimous or was it, as reported and recorded, six to nothing (with the three Warren representatives abstaining) which is a rather awkward way of saying that Warren chooses not to even vote on the budget but does not have enough gumption to make that statement public.
4) My last and final question – is Warren acting this way because they feel outnumbered on the JFC and that is their form of silent protest? Well, the older I get the more I am learning that THIS KIND OF SILENCE IS NOT GOLDEN – IT IS A FORM OF COWARDICE. If you choose to sit by and say nothing, you will get nothing. I am truly becoming embarrassed over the lack of involvement and apparent apathy of our town council representatives. We even had the chance to step up and become chairman of this very difficult committee, but again reneged. Is this why we voted for these people, is this what we deserve? Again, I say NO. Warren town council members who represent our behalf on this committee need to step up to the plate and start playing ball – before we lose the game.
PS; Yes, even from another town, I still support our school system in Warren, because I care about our kids! I was a long time resident there. My heart and grandchildren still reside in Warren.