Prihoda: BET, Are You Up for a Change of Heart?

Submitted by Monica Prihoda, Greenwich

Thank you to the Town of Greenwich Board of Estimate and Taxation (BET) for your dedication, hard work and time. 

I offer a challenge to every member of the BET:  Experiment this year by fully approving the Board of Education (BOE) capital budget request! 

A novel idea!  A safe BET (no pun intended)! Think out of the box!  Look at this as an investment! 

And if the BOE falls through on its responsibilities in carrying stated town wide school improvements forward, well, some of the BET members can return to rejecting, cutting and deferring as you have in the past! You’ll have proved your point!  But, my bet is on the BOE, parents, students and educators.

Wednesday night I attended the unusually packed annual BET budget meeting to support the many parents, students of all ages and educators pleading, begging for BET approval of the full BOE (Board of Education) budget request.

So crowded that the overflow of residents had to watch on a live video from another room upstairs!  Great residential interest in town affairs! Of course there were two or three naysayers with their usual charts, graphs and statistics.  They are the minority.

The BET is elected to hear, listen to – really listen – and carry out the will of the majority.

The naysayers’ statistics (if in fact they are accurate as they seemed to vary) posed by this strident minority pale in comparison to the physical reality of years long BET maintenance deferrals and budget cuts for one reason or another.   

The BOE is not asking for public schools with country club-like facilities as their private school counterparts have, i.e., fire pit anyone?

Public school children and educators need safe, secure, basic, well-maintained and ADA compliant buildings in which to learn and teach. Parents deserve peace of mind that this is so.

What do you say members of the BET?  Are you up for a change of heart?