Argues against Gronbach's 'scurrilous comments' against Children's Center

To the Editor:

I read with alarm Mayor David Gronbach’s scurrilous comments attacking the good reputation of the New Milford Children’s Center.

This institution has been in business for over four decades, and literally thousands of children have received a high-quality start on education at the center.

Almost half of those children were able to attend because of financial assistance in the form of a sliding fee scale. This fee scale is determined by the state of Connecticut, which contributes the lion’s share of the money.

Mayor Gronbach knows the Children’s Center does not control the fee schedule, the state does, yet he deliberately misleads the reader into thinking the school is handing out taxpayer money to families who do not deserve it. This is not only deceptive but an affront to the integrity and honesty of the Children’s Center.

Implicit in Mayor Gronbach’s method is a degree of vindictiveness which is beyond reason.

He has never visited the Children’s Center, despite four invitations. He has not asked the center how sliding fee scale spots are allocated.

He has not asked the center any questions about the state’s philosophy regarding the eligibility criteria for the sliding fee scale. In fact, the state is clear that this grant is intentionally structured to help working families across a broad economic spectrum.

The state of Connecticut Office of Early Childhood read Mayor Gronbach’s Facebook post and learned about documents he released to the press. They determined that the mayor’s actions constituted a breach of contract.

They notified Mayor Gronbach (who is a practicing attorney) in writing that the disclosure of family-level personal information “must cease immediately, as it is considered in breach of the contract’s confidentiality requirements.”

One can only speculate about Mayor Gronbach’s motives in his sensationalized misrepresentation of the Children’s Center, but the upcoming election seems to be driving him to pander for votes using the lowest form of political treachery, baiting and innuendo.

In my opinion, Mayor Gronbach has targeted the Children’s Center since he came to office, doing his best to denigrate the image of the center.

Once again, Mayor Gronbach is on the offensive. This time it is the Children’s Center’s sliding fee scale, and who should/should not get financial aid.

He presents himself as the defender of the taxpayer, the poor and a good fiscal practitioner when, in fact, he seems to really be driven by two factors: the upcoming election and the need to siphon off funds for his pet project, Pettibone School.

To say it is unfortunate that the mayor has decided to attack the Children’s Center, and to do so in such a public way through Facebook and the press, is a gross understatement.

Again, I must ask: Why is he doing this? For me the answer is obvious, and it is not about helping the working poor.

Charles Raymond

Chairman

Children’s Center of New

Milford board of directors