LETTER: Bergen Can be Counted on to be Objective
Haywood Mill Road resident Louise Haldeman, a member and clerk for the Citizens Transportation Committee, writes that School Committee candidate Lisa Bergen's 'leadership of the CTC was exemplary in all respects.'
To the Editor,
I was astounded to read the recent comment by Janet Friedman, which simultaneously attacks Lisa Bergen and maligns the Citizens Transportation Committee (CTC).
As a member and clerk for the CTC, I can attest that Lisa Bergen’s leadership of the CTC was exemplary in all respects. All committee meetings were open to the public and a number of citizens attended. The minutes were posted promptly making them easily available to the public as well as to the School Committee and TAC. The protocols of the Open Meeting Law were carefully followed.
The CTC, which was appointed by the Town Moderator following a vote at the 2012 Town Meeting, was asked to search diligently to find ways of keeping the bus transportation department in house. The CTC studied several other areas, including safety, social factors, emergency preparedness, site selection and cost analysis.
The CTC met 16 times during the period between May and October. It held two larger forums during that time and concluded with a 72 page report. Since the members of the CTC made no prior assumptions, the conclusions did not come together immediately but as a member of both committees Lisa Bergen was able to keep both advised of progress.
The Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) was appointed by the School Committee.The TAC and the CTC were not competing committees, their charges were different. The CTC was independent and thus was able to consider all possibilities for the bus transportation system including use of the high school grounds. The TAC was prevented from considering the high school grounds.
The final report of the CTC is available through the Concord website and in the libraries. The TAC report is available on the school website. Any person in town who has so far managed to avoid this subject is advised to read both reports. A reader will see that while the committees were similar they were not identical.
The importance of keeping discussion both civil and respectful is very important. I regret that it has sometimes been lacking in the general debate over the school situation, but civility does not mean servility. It is the proper business of any School Committee member to give advice to the administration not merely to consent. To accuse anyone who raises questions and looks for information of being uncivil is incomprehensible. Lisa Bergen, as member of the School Committee, can be counted on to bring the same objectivity to school matters that she brought to the CTC.
Louise S. Haldeman
38 Hayward Mill Road