To the Editor:

On May 20, the Region 12 Board of Education discussed a proposal to spend up to $17,000 to study the impact of the long-range planning options on real estate values.

Discussion and voting lasted almost on hour with many board members participating. The public can view the entire discussion and voting process on the Region 12 website via the YouTube link.

During the discussion, Greg Cava spoke six times. He strongly advocated spending the $17,000 with a company that he has done business with in the past.

During this dialogue it was revealed there was a proposal but the written proposal was not available at the meeting. A representative from the proposing firm was not present to answer questions.

The superintendent suggested she would collect suggestions from board members and negotiate with the firm to include these topics in the study.

When the vote came, the chairman had added the name of a specific firm to the original motion without authorization. There were five `yea' votes for the motion and five `nay' votes against.

Surprisingly, Mr. Cava did not vote. He waited to see how the vote went and then claimed he did not understand the motion. It appeared the motion failed since the vote was tied without Mr. Cava's vote.

Then board chairman Jim Hirschfield stepped in to order a revote. Now it was clear, Mr. Hirschfield was not functioning as an objective board chairman. He was a partisan pushing to spend $17,000 on a specific firm with this mysterious proposal.

On the revote, Mr. Cava voted `yea' and what I believe to have been an illegal motion passed, 6 to 5.

After 12 years on the Region 12 Board of Education, Jim Hirschfield is clearly not up to doing an objective leadership job. He had the opportunity to accept the first vote and, at a later time, the proposal could be considered again, when board members have more information.

Tony Bedini explained his `nay' vote was because of lack of information. In the future, Tony could request the proposal be reconsidered when more information is available.

Is this the way Region 12 makes business decisions -- no bid, no written proposal, no presentation?

As we move forward with future repair or new building projects, many business decisions will be made by the Board of Education.

Do we want Region 12 with the current partisan leadership to conduct business in the manner displayed on May 20, 2013?

Is new leadership needed on the Board of Education?

Ed Wainwright

Bridgewater