This letter appears at the request of the writer.
Dear Board of Finance, Board of Education and Dr. Smith,
I am writing in support of the budget as written. I do not support further cuts.
Hartford’s fiscal issues are significant. And they affect many communities in Connecticut–including our entire DRG. Yet the administration in Wilton has been the most willing of our DRG to balance the schools’ needs with this situation in a pragmatic way. I am grateful for their work.
Wilton is also the only community in our DRG with a vocal minority that seems to believe that Hartford’s issues must be solved exclusively through the school budget. This concerns me. As Kevin Meehan noted at the meeting Monday night–there isn’t fat here. Coming into this year we were already among the most efficient in our DRG. A zero change budget increases that efficiency. Cutting more deeply risks our children’s education as well as the most prized asset this town offers. I do not want our town to be pennywise and pound foolish–creating a quality gap with our peers that we will likely be unable to close in future years and a backlog of deferred maintenance on our facilities that drive greater costs down the road.
I also wish to commend the BOE and district. Dr. Smith and his team have demonstrated yet again this year a worthwhile vision, a sound strategy to achieve that vision and pragmatism to do so while being mindful of the town’s situation. And they do their work in a very transparent way, inviting feedback at multiple points. This transparency isn’t just about the budget. It is also demonstrated at the BOE meetings. This year, these meetings have included a lot of great information–including presentations on the progress the district is making against the objectives of the District Management Council (DMC) report on how to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the district’s work with and for struggling and special education students. With each BOE meeting, I am able to see the hard work our district administrators, teachers, coaches, and other staff are putting in to keep Wilton a wonderful school district. I urge you to support their work and this budget.
It was a pleasure to be in attendance at last night’s meeting. Thank you all for your service to our community.