Expect consolidated school vote to fail

To the Editor:

The Region 12 Board of Education voted June 17 to select LRP Option 2B, to build a consolidated

elementary school in Washington, and to close the three existing primary schools.

A referendum will be held in each town so voters can decide if they want to support this option.

In order for this option to pass, a majority vote from each town is required, based on 10-47c, a state Supreme Court ruling in Bridgewater's favor in 2009.

We concurred, along with the leaders from Washington and Roxbury, to put this option to a vote. In our minds, we "put this option up to fail" so the schools administration will know the will of the voters.

Once the referendum fails, we expect consolidation to be taken off the table, and options acceptable to all three towns could be explored.

Our willingness to take this option to a vote has created some confusion in Bridgewater.

To be clear, we do not support a consolidated school, or the building of any new school given the declining enrollment projections.

We believe the loss of the Burnham School would be a detriment to the character and viability of the town.

We believe, after much research, the Region 12 administrations promises of cost savings will not materialize.

We believe time and money should be focused on the issues at the Shepaug Valley Middle/High School and not focused on the high performing elementary schools.

We believe declining enrollment and escalating costs need to be addressed, but not by building a new school two towns away.

We don't mind being known as the last dry town in Connecticut, but we certainly do not want to be the first and only town (along with Roxbury) without a school.

William T. Stuart

First Selectman

Dennis MacDonald


Board of Finance