Three reasons why Norwalk Board of Education is three ring circus

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To the editor:

Enough is enough.

There are some far reaching problems that have led to us losing our past extremely qualified superintendents.  The main ones are:

First, they stem from how the Norwalk Democratic Party nominates their candidates.   It is never the most qualified person.    It is done like the NFL draft with a lot of haggling and vote trading.   It always comes down to a few people trading votes and manipulating the system.   The DTC only has 35 seats – which means 35 people are controlling the votes for all of the Democrats in Norwalk.  Then if it is based on districts it comes down to seven.    No wonder we end up with some of the candidates that turn the BOE and Common Council into dysfunctional bodies in the city of Norwalk.   We have a great chairman of our party but it takes time to fix things.  Plus he is up against certain members who do not want change or fairness because they like to manipulate the party.    

Second, the BOE should not be based on political party.  Who cares if you have a D or R behind your name?   The children certainly don’t.  They want an education so they can compete in a global world.   The challenges we face reach across party lines.    Norwalk has diversity, which on one hand is why we love it but it can also be harder to manage.   We have school facilities that are in poor condition.  We have union issues – education should not be about how many days off teachers have – what it needs to be about is  are we giving our educators the tools to get their job done?   Are we funding them so they don’t have to buy supplies from their own pocket?   Union reform is not a dirty word like Democrats want you to believe.  Many Democrats, myself included, believe that times change and this is why we need reform.  The unions should protect the teachers but not at a cost to our educational system.   We should pay them accordingly but if we decide to put more rigor into the school year we do so.

Thirdly, house cleaning. We have three toxic people on the BOE that prove they cannot work with others.   This is not telling tales out of school or pointing fingers – one only has to attend a BOE meeting or watch the videos that are on the Norwalk website.   There are other people that prop up this group of people, who also need to be “fired.”  I know that is a dirty word to many people but they haven’t been doing their jobs for years.  Yet as taxpayers we are paying the salaries of the people that are causing all this angst.  The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.   The results are not going to be any different with our next superintendent if we do not clean house before they arrive.

Though I agreed with many items Peter Torrano stated – this should not be about Democrats versus Republicans because that is not what is taking place.   This is about a few bad apples that should all do the right thing and step down from office or try to start remembering why people elected them.   They do not have the best interest of Norwalk at heart when they turn every Board of Education meeting into a three ring circus.  I am a registered Democrat and do not support this three ring circus that is taking place.  So, Peter, if you want to truly help the BOE keep this about the issues and not political parties.  People are tired, myself included over this constant bickering between parties.  We can accomplish much more for our children if we elect people and support those people that demonstrate they have the business acumen to move the Board of Education in the right direction.

Nora King

Mother of children in our school system, taxpayer, business owner and volunteer for the City of Norwalk as a member of the Zoning Commission



7 responses to “Three reasons why Norwalk Board of Education is three ring circus”

  1. Bruce Kimmel

    Thanks for the clear and focused analysis of what happened. The beating around the bush is really absurd, since many, and I mean many, people know exactly what caused the superintendent to leave.

  2. Tobias

    So if I choose to be an Independant, then I have no hope of getting on the BOE?

  3. EveT

    Thanks for illuminating how the Democratic party chooses candidates. Shouldn’t there be a lot more emphasis on actual qualifications? It should not be about horse trading and I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine. This goes a long way toward explaining how unqualified people get on the ballot.

  4. John Hamlin

    The petty party politics in this town have the potential to keep us in the 19th century. The average voter doesn’t care whether the Council or the BOE is all Democrats or all Republicans or all Independents (Unaffiliated) as long as the job gets done and progress is made. Anyone who’s trying to make a career out of municipal politics for the benefit of personal ego and personal power is going to end up being a toxic walking root canal for the rest of the city — we’ve seen it too often from individuals in both parties. Those public servants who are there to serve the greater good and who aren’t in it to promote their own petty agendas and personal egos will end up getting support from the public regardless of party affiliation. So tired of ego over progress!

  5. Bill

    We should have a rule that if you have a family member who is employed by Norwalk schools, you cannot be on the BOE, that would kick Mosby off in a second.

  6. cc-rider

    Sadly, the three ring circus description is not limited to just the BOE. Planning & Zoning, DPW, and the Common Council all qualify. The city desperately needs to get its act together. Whomever thought up this common council style of governing needs to have their head examined. It has long outlasted its usefulness.

  7. John Hamlin

    @cc-rider — agree totally — time for a strong city manager form of government instead of this amateur hour council form of government.

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