Anglace issues formal apology to Shelton High student: ‘I made a mistake’

Board of Aldermen President John Anglace has formally apologized to Shelton High School student Zak Shilleh for asking him to speed up his presentation on the city's proposed budget during a May 12 public hearing.

At the May 14 regular aldermanic meeting, Anglace read a letter he had sent to Zak the previous day (see the full text of Anglace’s letter below). Anglace said he also had spoken to Zak by phone to convey his apology.

In the letter, Anglace wrote that he “made a mistake and I am sincerely sorry for it ... When we err, we must own up to it and take corrective action and that is the purpose of this letter.”

During the May 12 public hearing on the proposed budget, Zak was telling aldermen about his experiences in the Shelton public schools when Anglace asked him to stay focused on the budget and that it was time to wrap up presentations.

He told Zak he was welcome to come to a regular aldermanic meeting at a later date to discuss his general school experiences.

Was complimenting his teachers

Zak had taken special education classes when younger, and was praising Shelton teachers for helping him excel to the point where he no longer takes special education classes.

The purpose of Zak's remarks was to urge aldermen to increase school spending in the new budget.

Earlier at the May 12 hearing, Anglace had asked the audience how many more people planned to speak, saying he needed to take a bathroom break if there was to be a lot more speakers.

Two or three people indicated they still wanted to talk at that time, so the meeting continued without a break, but more people later came forward to address the aldermen. Zak was the last of 18 people to speak at the public hearing, which lasted about 90 minutes.

The letter of apology

Below is the letter that Anglace sent to Zak Shilleh. It is dated May 13.
Dear Zak:

I write to apologize to you for seeming unappreciative of your public comments at last night’s budget hearing and for prematurely interrupting your presentation. No matter what the intent, I made a mistake and I am sincerely sorry for it.

You showed a great deal of courage to step forward and make your public statement on the 2015-16 Shelton budget. You should be applauded because you set the example for public involvement in government.

You taught me something about patience, understanding and respect. In life, we never stop learning.

When we err, we must own up to it and take corrective action and that is the purpose of this letter. I shall read this letter into the record of the next Board of Aldermen meeting.

I hope you will accept my apology and that I can be of help to you in your future endeavors.


John F. Anglace Jr.