As a former 12-year member and Chair of the Suffield Board of Education during difficult economic times, I faced more than my fair share of difficult budget fights. Class sizes soared, building maintenance and desperately needed capital projects were put off, (to the town’s ultimate detriment I might add), administration was reduced, and extracurricular activities at the high school especially were eliminated.
As a volunteer and occasional coeditor at the Observer, I take exception to certain comments in First Selectman Melissa Mack’s column about the paper. In a discussion with Suffield Middle School students about her job, she chose to take a cheap shot at the Observer due to her distress over an article written about the Suffield Police Department.
The Board of Education has just imposed pay to play and parking fees on high school students in Suffield. To quote the Yankee Institute’s recent review of the State Legislature’s budget diversion of public transportation funds to create a crisis requiring tolls: “Creating a crisis to justify the imposition of unpopular and unnecessary measures is an offensive way to conduct public policy.”
I hope the citizens of Suffield will see through this maneuver of Chairman Davis and the rest of the Board for what it is, offensive to say the least.
Connecticut has one of the nation’s highest rates of vaccination for the measles virus. Many of our State’s legislators, including Governor Lamont, have expressed serious concern with our State’s compliance rate.
An important issue that has troubled and eluded our town for many years is the lack of a connector road from Bradley International Airport to the Enfield-Suffield Bridge to divert traffic from Main Street. It is a proposal that I vigorously advocated as First Selectman, but I could not get traction at the time.
Our recent Town budget includes a potential Pay to Play option going into effect for future school years despite overwhelming comments at the last meeting to not have this happen. I believe the Pay to Play fees will pertain to athletics and potentially, clubs/activities at SHS and/or SMS.
My concern is that we are pricing some students out of participating in said activities.