LETTER: Respect each other

To the Editor:

As we are aware, some questions have been raised about specific areas of the Board of Education proposed budget. In response to the questions raised and the citizens involved, the board has agreed to hire an independent auditor hired by an independent law firm.  With that said, it is time to respond to Henry Bruce’s Facebook posting on March 21 in which he accused certain board members of calling the citizens asking questions and presenting their findings as “liars.”  

Not sure whom he was referring to or why he felt it necessary to use the term “lying.” Does not matter which board members he was referring to as every person currently serving on this board has nothing but the best interest of the school system in mind when making decisions. As with any elected official, not everyone agrees with every decision we make. When you disagree, there is nothing wrong with that as long as you do it in an intelligent manner, respecting each other’s view on a particular issue.

No one currently serving on this board would ever call anyone a liar as we all have a long history of serving the Town of Stratford not only as elected officials but also through various community and youth organizations. We have children or grandchildren currently in the school system or have had children that have gone through the system kindergarten through 12th grade. In fact, some of us attended the Stratford school system and are graduates.  As a board, we responded to expressed concerns by authorizing the retention of an independent auditor to conduct an audit of the books even asking the public to submit questions on specific areas of the budget that they may have concerns.

Henry, I am asking you to take your Facebook postings up a notch and leave out the personal attacks. You are entitled to your opinion, just remember we are all well-intended, hard working volunteers and we should all respect each other as such.

Len Petruccelli

Vice Chairman, Stratford Board of Education

 

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  • Andrea Veilleux

    First of all, many questions have been raised concerning the Stratford Public Schools’ budget. Since you are unable to answer the questions as the BOE Finance Chair and Mr. Feehan cannot answer the questions as the BOE Chair, it makes sense that you would hire a forensic audit to explain the finances of the school system. It must be as mind-boggling for you as elected leaders as it is with the general public to sit through meetings, read various iterations of actuals, ask questions and get the run around by Central Administration executives.

    The term “liar (s)” was used as a defense mechanism by certain BOE elected officials who were not ready to acknowledge gross inconsistencies with the budget and therefore attacked the proverbial messenger. I assume by your actions you have conceded to an audit since you wouldn’t spend taxpayer dollars on an audit to find nothing. You would have to agree it would be a waste of money.

    Anyone who spends time as an elected official deserves credit for his/her time and effort. What doesn’t deserve immediate credit and should be expected is that Central Office Administration Executives bend over backwards to provide to the BOE Chair, the Finance Chair, the BOE Finance committee and the public with answers to any and all questions regarding the budget in an explicit and transparent format. It should be so transparent that elected officials and the public do not have to hear a diatribe from the BOE Chief Operating Officer (COO) when explaining the answer to any or all questions. It’s not like he isn’t paid enough for his time and effort.

    The taxpayers in the town, including the elected officials, deserve the truth, even though the COO/Superintendent do not think we can handle the truth – so the question is why?

    • Really??

      Andrea, you are amazing! You served 4 years on the BOE as chairman and you never met an increase you didn’t like. The audit should be on the years you were in charge!
      You complain about the Administration but you were the one that hired them!

      You are a typical politician, you talk out of both sides of your mouth. How many years did you fight for massive budget increases with no concept of the effect on our mill rate? You want to talk about someone that doesn’t understand a budget, next time you walk by a mirror take a peek and you’ll find that person looking right back at you.
      You are totally amazing Andrea Veilleux!

      • Andrea Veilleux

        You are correct. I was on the boe for 4 years. The boe is a unit of authority and needs a majority vote to pass a motion. There is a significant difference from when I served on the boe to today, there used to be an opportunity for any issue to be vetted such as the budget. The finance committee or any subcommittee met monthly and from there issues were vetted at chairman’s meeting prior to boe meeting. This allowed the public and boe members it raise questions. It appears this structure has changed and the public is now chastised when questions are raised. I did speak last year to the town council and at the public hearing meeting held at Bunnell expressing my concern over the budget errors in last years budget. Thank you for the feedback.

        • Andrea Veilleux

          I recall the boe increases when I served being a 1/2 percent, 1 percent, 2 percent and 2.5 percent. In my opinion, not massive and certainly not 6.7 percent like last year.

  • Neil Sherman

    It’s time we all recognized the Henry Bruce does not know the meaning of manners. He’s rude, and often out of control. We’ve fought for a Board of Education Audit and we’ve received it. Let’s wait for the results and, with respect, request that Henry Bruce spend some time learning how to celebrate the Town and the people who have been elected to represent it. His comments and his consistent criticism are hurting the Town of Stratford and damaging our Reputation.

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