LETTER: Attendance Does Not Equal Experience

Lee Drive resident Paul Scalzi writes that his 'standards are higher for both our students and elected officials.'

To the Editor,

Lisa Bergen and Cynthia Rainey proclaim their attendance record at meetings this past year as positive reason to vote for them for School Committee. That theory would reward Concord students for simply attending class.  While we’re at it, let’s give everyone a trophy. My standards are higher for both our students and elected officials.  

New people to public service need to start with the basic foundation of respect for the people they serve and the democratic process. As the CCHS Building and School Committee were diligently working to meet the requirements of the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) for the CCHS building project, Bergan and Rainey were writing letters attempting to halt the reinstatement of funds.

In a letter to the MSBA dated October 10, 2012, Bergen writes that the building "will not meet our educational needs" and "is not fiscally responsible," followed by the threat "avoid escalation of legal injunctions." After stating she is not an architect or an engineer, Rainey wrote on the same date (coincidence?), "The current design is wasteful, inflexible, and inefficient," and "We need to start over, either with a model school or a new design." After admitting to having no qualifications for their opinions, they attempted to derail a project overwhelmingly supported (84 percent) by their neighbors. 

As a citizen you can disagree with the majority. You can even put your personal interest in front of everyone else and single-handedly stall the majorities’ desires unnecessarily costing your town tens of thousands of dollars. Fortunately we have elected officials and a democratic process to ensure people with personal agendas are not allowed to strong-arm the system. 

Electing people who disregard the overwhelming majority is the first step toward losing your say in the process.

Paul Scalzi
121 Lee Drive

Mr Smith March 08, 2013 at 03:01 PM
To: John and David, How did Bergen and Rainey try to improve the process? It seems to me that all they did was create conflict and divisiveness. I read the letters very differently than you. I see Bergen and Rainey as rogue citizens who went outside of the town process when they didn't get what they want. Both knew that withdrawal of support by the MSBA would scuttle the project. Concord would not likely see support again for years. They claim that there is a trust issue with the School and Building Committees and the School Administration. I went to a number of the town meetings that they attended. I saw them in action and a lot of mean spirited behavior. I say that there is a trust issue with both candidates. We have no place for rogue school committee members. They most certainly don't represent me or a great many residents of Concord.
Concordian March 08, 2013 at 03:56 PM
Yes, and the same 5 supporters for Bergen and Rainey continued to bully candidates at the Monday night forum. They ignored pleas from the moderator and attacked Kathi Snook. I was horrified to watch their behavior at the microphone. It is the same 5 people who write in the Journal and on Patch. A small but divisive and destructive minority in this town. So sad. Please choose candidates who will listen, problem-solve and bring people together again - Snook and Boynton!
Valerie Tratnyek March 08, 2013 at 05:26 PM
Some of these comments are just plain mean, and I have to interject: Can we think about this for a moment? How did "the small vocal minority" create the problems with the high school project? Do you think the MSBA could be influenced into suspending the project because somebody complained? Don't you think they have dealt with individual complainers before on other projects? What is "rogue" about expressing your sincere belief that a project is off the rails? (Especially when it turned out to be true!) They ALWAYS followed school committee guidelines about asking questions, and I'd like to see a specific example of any time they behaved in a mean-spirited manner. I sat in the same room with them and saw more banging of the gavel and "your 2 minutes is up, sit down" from the school committee, and that from a school committee that is supposedly "listening carefully". DON'T fall for this folks, there is a lot more to the story.
Mr Smith March 08, 2013 at 09:47 PM
Valerie, yes, there is more to this story and I invite any who are interested to read the entries in the Concord Yahoo group that were posted this fall. Talking about mean. There are folks in that collective who go personally after individuals who oppose them. Their behavior was nothing short of bullying. I am proud of Boynton and Snook for putting themselves in the firing line knowing that they would be subjected to personal attacks. Fortunately the MSBA was not swayed by those individuals and instead followed protocol and recognized the will of the voters. The building and school committees did what they were supposed to. They led a successful initiative to build a new high school. The MSBA agreed and awarded funding. We will get a world class facility. In the end that's what counts.
Concordian March 08, 2013 at 10:05 PM
I would never vote for a School Committee candidate who has claimed to be the representative of the views of this town yet has not been elected to any public office. It causes serious doubt for me that Bergen and Rainey can work with the other committee members and with the Building Committee. I have read the Yahoo group threads and I agree with Mr. Smith. Bergen and Rainey represent a very negative bunch if you judge by their own Yahoo comments. I would hate to have that negativity spread further. Let's elect positive, thoughtful, constructive leaders like Snook and Boynton who can heal the wounds and move us forward. Concord deserves the best leadership for our schools and for our children.


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