Thursday, December 9, 2021
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Letter to the Editor: Killingworth Voters Should Vote No

The views stated here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the staff of this newspaper. 
(Received May 9, 2019) — This is intentionally targeted to Killingworth voters who may not be aware of what is happening in Haddam.  The closing of Haddam Elementary School will have a severe negative impact on Higganum Village Center and the cultural and economic vitality of Haddam as a whole.  The existence of HES in the Higganum is directly in sync with our town Plan of Conservation and Development, which was revised and adopted in December of 2017.  The Board of Education has made the decision to close the school and consolidate the district without consulting the Haddam’s POCD – a document which serves to guide and properly manage change in every Connecticut town (by state statute).  Though this error has been brought to the attention of the BoE, the majority of the members have remained dead-set against reexamining their plan – many saying “it is too late,” “the restructuring plan has already begun,” or” it is a done deal.”  An organization that takes such an approach, refusing constructive critique, may well be operating with alternate agendas in mind.  This is not a healthy situation.
I would ask that you look at this matter as if the Killingworth community were in our position.  Imagine your devastation, were Killingworth Elementary School  selected as the school to close.  How would that affect Killingworth’s town center?  How might it affect your cultural continuity as a community?  How might it immediately affect your property values, children and businesses?  We are asking for your support by rejecting the budget until such time that our BoE is willing to rethink their position, examine the facts, and provide a lasting and endorsed resolution.  This approach will not hurt our children.  State statues protect schools in that regard.  There will be a budget to support education, but we need to make a statement – a united statement – and this is our last opportunity to do so.
Steve Bull
Haddam
Editor’s Note: According to the CT General Assembly: “Delay of budget adoption. It is not clearly or directly explained in statute what a member town’s responsibility is to a regional school board if a regional budget has not been approved before the start of the fiscal year. The statutes only address this problem with regard to municipalities (C.G.S. Section 7-405). If a municipal budget has not been adopted by the beginning of the fiscal year, the budget-making body (e.g., board of finance, town council) may authorize necessary expenditures for the first 90 days. If the budget is not approved after the initial 90-day period, the budget-making body may approve payment of expenses on a monthly basis within the limits of line item appropriations of the previous fiscal year. The department of education has applied this interpretation to regional boards of education and are allowed to expend amounts equal to the monthly share of the previous years appropriation.” 

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