Letter: Joint meeting about pushing charter revision, not school tech as advertised
To the Editor:
I attended the Board of Aldermen (BOA) and Board of Education (BOE) joint meeting on technology on Wednesday, Sept. 30, at City Hall. It was my understanding from communications with the BOE and BOA that the BOE was going to present their technology needs for consideration by the BOA. What actually occurred was quite different.
The BOE presented nothing and asked for nothing. They presented no plans or dollar figures on what it would take to upgrade the current connectivity to a level that would allow synchronous learning in Shelton. Instead, Jim Orazetti, vice chair of the BOE, went off into some fantasy musings about creating a technology studio to be used by the schools and the city to film things.
The BOA took the opportunity to in turn state that the only way to effectively implement a technology plan would be to approve the charter revision that is on the ballot this November. Chairman Anglace later admitted that you don’t need to change the charter in order to form a committee. The BOA also has the authority to consider requests for funding and creating projects to improve the city without a charter revision. So holding the city hostage and implying that the only way to do this is through charter revision is just not right. We should all be voting no on charter revision.
After the meeting I decided to talk to both aldermen present, Chairman John Anglace and Alderman Anthony Simonetti. Mr. Anglace did not let me get a word in. He interrupted me every two to three words, and I ended up pleading for him to let me finish a sentence, and he refused to do that. I then introduced myself to Alderman Simonetti and told him I believed the tech issue in the schools is due to underfunding of the school system. He said “no, it’s not,” and walked away without another word.
It is clear to me that these two aldermen do not care about the residents of Shelton. Whether our opinions differ or not, the aldermen should be listening and responding to residents’ concerns. Not allowing a resident to talk, or just turning and walking away from them, is not how I want my elected officials to act. We all need to remember behavior like this when we vote in 2021. These aldermen have been in power far too long and clearly no longer feel that it is their duty to serve the public.