Board of Ed’s lack of transparency concerning

To the Editor:

Let’s recall how an audit suggested by the public came to be presented to the Board of Education members. The taxpayers had questions regarding the 2017/18 budget presentation presented by the chief operating officer and the BOE finance committee.  The questions regarding oil consumption, misrepresentation of the elementary world language program cuts, and columns that did not add to the correct total, were given to the BOE members. They could not answer the questions and consequently voted for the audit.

This must be politics. There has been no oversight or accountability for the budget by the BOE. Where is their fiduciary responsibly?  What recurring costs would drive an additional $6.7 million annually? Did the BOE ever ask for an accounting of this and metrics to prove it was well spent?

As the public has become more educated and engaged, the resistance to be transparent has become more apparent. Recently, a finance committee member stated there were funds of $1 million used for an unbudgeted special education expense.  How can you move $1 million of existing funds and not vote for the line item transfers? When did the BOE vote on this transfer and where can the taxpayer see what accounts were used? Why was there 1 million in existing funds available to move since they claim its zero based budgeting? Are there contracts, bills, new hires needed? Wouldn’t you come to the table with an itemized list of expenses?

The lack of transparency continues to be a concern as seen at the last BOE when the administration tried to present to the BOE for approval of a personnel report without including the names of the new hires. What is the administration trying to hide? The administration cannot even provide to the Chair the same data the state uses for our enrollment numbers. It took Newtown several years and Derby only one year to realize this administration wasn’t working for them. What’s taking Stratford so long?

Andrea Veilleux

Former Board of Education chairman

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  • Greg Cann

    Well stated. What is the purpose of an elected BOE if not to assure financial accountability and quality of academic operations? When millions are expended outside the approved budget, often for avoidable fixes i e contaminated heating oil, moldy classrooms and COO’s reports do not balance, why is the BOE not directly involved in rectifying those situations? Who is representing the public interest? 1/2 our town’s budget is controlled by one person – Sup Robinson.

  • Bob DeLorenzo

    If I am elected Mr. Zachery’s answers will have to be way more clear to the public . The examples of our classroom numbers always being different from the state’s system. Show us how that happens ?. My Honesty for our kids and integrity is on the line for the town as are others . Time for answers !!

    • Bill

      Good luck with that. Zachery is very cocky and not a people person. Your answers may start with a roll of the eyes. Then you expect some cooked books for proof.

      • Patricia Clark Sperling

        Cooked books! Absolutely!

    • Patricia Clark Sperling

      Bob ~ first order of business for the new Board of the BOE is to look for a new COO! CZ’s hands are in too many of the BOE’s “cookie jars” and I’m sorry, he’s been playing a “shell game” with our money for far too long! Every question is met with yes, rolling of the eyes, arrogance and confusing double-talk.

  • Bob DeLorenzo

    Well he will deal with a lot of questions like enrolling students in chapel school that parents now call a dumping ground . The eyes can roll and he can shake his head no like he did to Jim Feehan. The people in the seats need answers before the Public . He deems himself and out of towner”. Maybe he will land in town somewhere else 🙂 Gavin will eat his lunch when it comes to the numbers

    • Patricia Clark Sperling

      Personally, I don’t think enough of a background check was done on him before he was hired. If he’s going to land anywhere, it’s out the door on his A**!

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