Submitted by Janet McMahon and Mareta Hamre, RTM Members in Districts 8 and 10, respectively. Co-authors of the Education Budget Cut Sense of the Meeting Resolution. The views and opinions expressed here are our own and do not necessarily represent those of the entire RTM or its recognized committees.
This letter is in response to the Op-Ed piece “The Kathleen Stowe We Know” written by Peter Sherr and Karen Kowalski and published in the October 24, 2020 print issue of Greenwich Sentinel.
We are disappointed that The Sentinel would publish such a piece without having fact-checked its content at all. The Sentinel’s protocol is to publish editorials “ensuring facts offered to the public are the most correct and accurate possible.” (https://www.greenwichsentinel.com/send-
letter-to-the-editor/) This standard was clearly not applied here and in fact violated them.
Because the letter contains too many outlandish claims to address in one letter, we would like to address one that calls us out in particular.
According to Mr. Sherr and Ms. Kowalski, “it was revealed by members of the RTM who had written a resolution condemning the majority leadership of the BET that Board leadership and the Superintendent had ‘colluded’ in the drafting of the attack and overtly politicizing our ‘bi-partisan’ schools.”
As the sole two members of the RTM who had written the Sense of the Meeting Resolution (SOMR) referenced above, we categorically reject the baseless accusation that we somehow “colluded” with members of the Board of Education and Dr. Jones in drafting our SOMR.
We co-authored this SOMR with input from RTM Education Committee members ONLY, first on May 4
(https://www.greenwichct.gov/DocumentCenter/View/15233/Education-Committee-Audio-5-4-2020) and subsequently
on June 1
It will be evident from these public recordings that at no point were members of the Board of Education ever involved in the genesis or in the drafting of our SOMRs in any iteration.
Indeed, the Chairman of the BOE Mr. Peter Bernstein has publicly stated several times that his Board takes no position on the SOMR and the BOE consistently recused itself from any discussion of the SOMR at multiple RTM and BOE meetings.
If Ms. Kowalski or Mr. Sherr had taken the time to listen in on our committee meetings or its recordings, they would have seen
that the SOMR evolved organically out of our committee on May 4 in direct response to the public outcry over the budget cut (See 5/4 recording above, discussion begins at the 2 hour mark).
We therefore unequivocally object to this slanderous and unsubstantiated accusation and hope the Sentinel will strike this paragraph, as well as the entirety of this grossly fabricated “opinion” from its digital edition.
This letter was submitted in advance of the Oct 26 12:00 noon deadline for letters about candidates in the Nov 3 election.