The following letter was sent to Governor Lamont, and was reprinted here with the author’s permission.

Dear Governor Lamont:

I write to express grave concern about a mandatory school consolidation bill passing in any form, including even as simply a directive for a study of the subject. It is an insane idea that will cause enormous conflict in the districts affected and their respective towns just as it has already caused tremendous turmoil here in Wilton and can accomplish no intelligent end either in cost savings for us all or in educational achievement for our children.

I must add that I’m a registered Independent who voted for you, as did many of my fellow Wilton residents and of course a majority of citizens from across our state. I did so with a strong respect for your record of accomplishment and knowing what advanced and thoughtful plans you have for our state. And please know how much I and our local elected officials appreciated your very informative impromptu meeting with them just a few days ago. Even though our First Selectman is a Republican, she was singing your praises afterwards for your careful attention to local concerns and your vision for our state.

That being said, for this town the consolidation bill in any form is such an inflammatory issue that it is already and will continue to be a one-issue political subject here in town for as long as it persists in any form, whether as it is now or as modified — including even in a “study-only” form. Any of those forms of a mandatory consolidation bill or a study of this subject leaves a huge cloud of uncertainty hanging over our town for as long as this bill or any study under it persists. And I understand that this impact is being felt and reacted to in similar terms in many other towns across our state.

This is a one-issue subject for all of us, and we are all united here as I’ve never seen before. I can see how this will bury under it any other issue and the accomplishments of your Administration if it persists in any form. You undoubtedly have the clout to make this go away. Please use that clout to have that happen now and not at some unknown time in the future when the damage will already have been done as the result of an idea that has no merit administratively or as a policy move. If it is, as I expect, a stalking horse for something else concerning educational funding, then let that something else be advanced straightforwardly, in candor and with integrity, so that it can be carefully considered and, if found to have merit, acted upon.

Respectfully,

Steve Hudspeth