Asks for transparency about Pettibone decision

To the Editor:

The topic of John Pettibone School closing is obviously quite controversial right now.

The town is talking about it. There is a firestorm of debate in social media over it. People are forming groups to save the school.

This is probably the biggest town fight I've seen since I moved my new family here five years ago, excited to find a town that cared about families, had many activities throughout the year, a cute New England appeal while still having the benefit of modern shopping options.

The concern people have on all sides stems from a lack of transparency from the Board of Education and the mayor's office.

We have heard the reasons why this should happen. But we haven't heard the what.

What will happen specifically with these saved funds?

What will happen with the money the town gets if it sells the property?

Members of the board say it will go back to the kids.

How?

Better technology? Improved athletic fields? Needed repairs or expansions to the remaining schools? Funding for arts and music? Increased security?

What is the plan?

Or will it really not go back to the kids?

Will it go to the police department, Parks & Recreation, improving our roads... a few more traffic lights?

A focus on supporting our citizens battling addictions?

We all know we won't see a decrease in taxes.

I have a daughter at John Pettibone School. She is so happy.

I love the experience she has there, but I am realistic as well, and, if those who voted deem this necessary, I will help her adjust.

But I need to know it was for good reason.

I can't say what is best for the town overall, but what I do know is such a big change requires explanation.

The people in this town deserve to know the answer.

Until then, people can't truly know how they feel about this decision, if it warrants a big fight.

Without that transparency, it leads to speculation. And speculation leads to distrust.

Distrust leads to an overhaul in those elected.

Please inform the people. Rebuild a culture of trust in our town.

Heather Pedersen

New Milford