By Steve Colarossi
To the Editor:
NORWALK, Conn. – A local political chief has proven, once again, why Norwalk’s community values aren’t represented by his attempts to impose political influence on the Board of Education. And it demonstrates why Norwalk’s voters are supporting Norwalk Community Values’ endorsed candidates Andres Roman and me (Steve Colarossi).
Let’s put aside the sheer hypocrisy that a political party that has just nominated an outspoken member of the opposing party wants a different rule applied to candidates who defect from their ranks. And let’s put aside the unmitigated chutzpah of a local party flack who is somehow so taken with the trappings of his post (by vote of fewer than 100 people) that he alone is to decide the political parties in which one might register in our otherwise open and free democracy.
But, then again, this is the same political club that is refusing to allow its Board of Education candidates to run their own individual campaigns and is, instead, directing and controlling their four candidates’ campaigns.
Fortunately for Norwalk’s families, children and taxpayers, they have a real choice. Andres Roman and I believe that Board of Education members owe their allegiance to the families, parents, students and taxpayers of Norwalk. Andres Roman and I believe that, in order to restore accountability to the Norwalk Board of Education, members need to be accountable to the voters and not to local political party chiefs.
Andres Roman and I believe that the Norwalk Board of Education must represent Norwalk’s community values, for we are a city that values the education of all our children and a respect for the taxpayers whose profound sacrifices make that education possible. We are united, not by a political ideology imposed by the organizers of Norwalk Community Values, but by a shared belief that accountability is the key to improving education for all.
These are not the values the local GOP overseer has espoused. He critiqued my preparing an alternative budget plan that was revenue neutral for the taxpayers, but that did not contain the detrimental cuts to elementary education contained in the plan supported by his party faithful. He dictated who should be Board of Education chairman and who should lead Board of Education committees.
As his emails and public comment suggests, he demands that allegiance to his club takes precedence over allegiance to Norwalk’s taxpayers, families and citizens. However, it was those taxpayers, families and citizens who elected me to the Norwalk Board of Education. It is them to whom I owe my allegiance and from whom I am seeking support in the upcoming election. And, with the election of Andres Roman and me in November, I believe that the best interests of the entire Norwalk community will be well-served as we craft a Board of Education free from undue political party influence.
(Steve Colarossi is an incumbent Republican Board of Education member running for re-election on the Norwalk Community Values ticket.)