Report by Paula Antolini
May 15, 2018 9:48PM EDT
Bethel School Renovation Meetings Should Be Open To All Residents, Not Just To Those With Children In The Schools — Letter to the Editor from Frank Mineo
To the editor-
I recently came across a FB [Facebook] post where school officials invited parents to a school renovation meeting. The exact post is as follows:
“Renovation Parent Session – May 22, 2018 at 6:30 PM at BMS – Dr. Carver and Rizzo Construction Corp. will review the logistics of the renovation projects. Topics will include phasing of work and space, traffic plans, safety and security, strategies and measures to be used to ensure safety and minimal disruption throughout the renovations. We encourage Rockwell, Johnson and Berry Parents to attend.”
Throughout the entire renovation campaign, and subsequently with the discussion on the turf field, proponents consistently argued that renovations would be beneficial to the entire Bethel community, not just those with children in the schools. Taxpayers and voters were urged to vote “Yes” because it was in the best interest of our children and our town. Schools, we were told, are a community investment, one which impacts everyone in our town.
So with this as a backdrop, why then are important meetings concerning the renovation project for parents only? Shouldn’t these meetings be open to all Bethel residents, those that have children in the schools and those who don’t? After all, it wasn’t just parents who were asked to support the project with their vote and with their tax dollars.
In short, and given the lack of transparency just witnessed with another large building project cost overruns, every resident and taxpayer has the right to know what’s going on with this project, not just those with children in the schools. People can elect to attend or not, that’s their decision. For those that don’t or can’t, the school district can always post minutes on their website. But meetings for select groups only goes against the argument that its’ everybody’s schools as a reason for supporting the project.