Norwalk BoE seems less contentious

NORWALK, Conn. – It appears, as the new year comes in, that members of the Norwalk Board of Education are getting along better.

Recent meetings, since Norwalk Superintendent of Schools Manny Rivera resigned, have been more cordial. Members appear to recognize that, even if they disagree, they are in the same boat, working to make Norwalk schools better.

BoE Chairman Mike Lyons confirmed this impression. It wasn’t organized, as in a retreat to air out differences, but “facilitated by our ability to hold all discussions on the interim superintendent and search firm selections in confidential sessions,” he said.

“I’m doing things the way I always have … and have made sure everyone is included.  Maybe people just got tired enough of the fighting to calm down and try to respond to facts rather than to perceptions.  There remain deep philosophical divides on the Board, so I wouldn’t count on spontaneous outbreaks of Kumbayah singing,” Lyons said.

Lyons mentioned a recent comment left of NancyOnNorwalk by former Board member Steve Colarossi, which referred to the charge of harassment and racial discrimination levied by Shirley Mosby.

“The level of vitriol directed at Ms. Rivas, Ms. Mosby and Ms. Murray does suggest, at a minimum, a deep division – although the division may be between traditional liberal and conservative elements (and not race), the fact remains that there is a deep divide,” Colarossi wrote. “… Having had the honor of working closely with Ms. Rivas and Mrs. Murray, I do not doubt for a moment that they are motivated by their profound faith in the sanctity of all children and that they are both doing all they can to assure equal educational access for all in Norwalk.”

Lyons said the philosophical differences are likely to continue, so “there will still be plenty of arguments.  But maybe they can be a bit more civil.”

“I would hope that the new year brings a new mood,” Artie Kassimis said. “I would think that the seriousness of Dr. Rivera leaving may have changed a couple of attitudes, and even in the community, so people can see that we do have a serious job ahead of us for the sake of Norwalk schools. We all have to have our heads in the game and do the right thing, and come out as a unified body.”

Kassimiss wished everybody “the best for the new year.”


4 responses to “Norwalk BoE seems less contentious”

  1. McKeen Shanogg

    Don’t forget 2015 is an election year and the in-district BOE members are coming to the end of their term.

  2. Oldtimer

    Lyons may be on to something, the absence of an audience of any kind, press or general(voting) public, may change the way some people behave.

    The BOE can’t, by law, do all it’s business in executive session, but, once the members all recognize the meetings take less time and accomplish more when everybody makes an effort to be civil, we may see a lot better behavior by all members. Despite their differences, all see their duty to work for the benefit of the children, although not all from the same point of view. It is possible to disagree legitimately without needing to analyze every disagreement, looking for motives that probably do not exist. The fact that all are elected, and some, if not all, want to be re-elected, we, and they, must make some allowance for the effect of efforts to get re-
    elected. Party flag waving, so to speak.

    We can all hope for a happier new year, for members of the BOE and all the rest of us.

  3. Rod Lopez-Fabrega

    May courteous exchange of ideas among members of the BOE be the new norm…It’s for the children and not for the egos.

  4. Norewalk Lifer

    Good for all of the BOE, I support them all in this

    Norwalk Lifer

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