LETTER: Free Us from Selfishness & Greed on Nov 2

Submitted by James Waters, Greenwich

It can be easy to miss signs of an approaching cliff.

We drive our kids from place to place, scrambling from one thing to the next, with barely enough time to breathe in a chaotic world. When things do let up, even just a bit, we often think “Wow, what a great place to raise our kids.”

I’m with you. I’m thrilled to be back in the town where I grew up, which has given me so much. But as I juggle running a business and being there for my kids, I’ve noticed signs that threaten it all:

• An incompetent town finance board (the “BET”) that routinely cuts schools to the bone and ignores critical town and school infrastructure projects, while saying “we support our schools.” In just the last two years, they’ve cut nearly $40 million from our schools.

• A small group of fringe activists that peddles conspiracy theories at school board meetings and harasses teachers and administrators, desperately trying to pass off their nonsense as “science” and a way to “bring our community together.”

• A handful of people serving in our town legislature (the “RTM”) that simply make things up, creating pretty charts and passing them around as though they’re fact-based, without sources.

• Several school buildings crumbling and in violation of laws, drainage that doesn’t work, and infuriating traffic adding stress to the things we need to get done.

• Elected officials who refuse to collaborate and find solutions, thinking only about their own ideology, refusing to listen to others, and gaslighting when challenged. We even have some elected rich guys who do this because they benefit more from tax relief than you do.

To me, this all comes down to one simple thing: Selfishness & Greed. People so wrapped up in themselves that they either do not notice or do not care about the needs of others.

This threatens us all. Left unchecked, Selfishness & Greed will make today’s stresses look like a luxury. It could very possibly mean that children are killed in school, and I don’t say that lightly (the families of last year’s 4th grade North Mianus School class were lucky).

Fortunately, we can do something about it in our election on November 2. Every single item above can be rectified. Selfishness & Greed can get a resounding rebuke.

Here’s how.

First, we need all the great people in Greenwich to stand up and take a two-minute breather. There are three major town boards up for grabs that have a direct impact on our schools: BET, BOE, and RTM.

Second, we need people to visit Greenwich Citizens for Schools and act on their non-partisan Pro School Ballot. There is also a QR code below that will take you to them if you point your phone’s camera at it. These recommendations were put together by some of our town’s brightest stars, people of all political affiliations who are committed to you rather than themselves.

Third, we need you to take five minutes out of your day to vote on November 2.

It’s time to stand up. It’s time to stare Selfishness & Greed in the face. It’s time to make this town everything that we want it to be, for ourselves and others.

James Waters is a Greenwich native and resident with children in the public schools. A Republican, he works at a private investment firm and served in the Bush Administration’s White House Office of Management and Budget and then as a US Navy SEAL officer. He is a candidate for Representative Town Meeting in District 12.