The following is a letter to the editor submitted last week to the New Milford Spectrum.
June 24, 2014
To the Editor:
Shame on you, Mayor Murphy, and the Republican members of the New Milford Board of Education board. We watched last week as five Republican school board members, with Mayor Murphy by their side, voted to close Pettibone school after the next school year.
They did this knowing that the public was overwhelmingly opposed to this action. They did this after four public hearings at which the public spoke out vehemently against closing the school. They did this knowing that nearly 400 people signed a petition to keep the school open. They did this at the urging of Mayor Murphy. They did this despite evidence to the contrary that birth rates are going up. Only one Republican member voted to save the school, along with the 3 Democratic members of the board.
The children have no say in this. But the children will have to endure hour-long bus rides to schools that will be farther away. The Mayor’s slash-and-burn budgeting has meant that children go without, teaching staff is stretched, and now it will be worse.
Without a strong school system, the children suffer. Our property values go down, and our taxes go up. People who think about moving to this town may reconsider when they become aware of the town's anti-school attitude . People who want to sell their homes will have to wait even longer for buyers.
These are the school board members who voted to close Pettibone School:
They were supported by most of the Republican members of the Town Council who spoke out publicly in favor of closing the school. When these candidates are up for re-election, should they choose to run, all registered voters in New Milford should vote these people out of office for they did not serve the people of New Milford, and they failed the children of this town.
Mary Jane Lundgren
The undersigned represent the Executive Committee of the Democratic Town Committee. A majority of the DTC supported this letter.