SALEEBY: Surprised that Arora Didn’t Know GHS Has a Swimming Pool

Submitted by Molly Saleeby, Cos Cob

I was surprised and disappointed to hear incumbent District 151 State Representative, Harry Arora, comment during the recent League of Women Voters debate that he didn’t think Greenwich High School has an indoor swimming pool.  Were he merely a private citizen it would be fine that he didn’t know.  But Mr. Arora, running for re-election in my district, is not. 

As a public servant advocating for dollars in Hartford, I expect him to be fully informed and knowledgeable about our community and our schools.  After all, that’s the job. 

How can I be confident he’d appeal for our needs when it appears he doesn’t know what we have or perhaps even who we are.  I was glad that Hector Arzeno, Mr. Arora’s opponent and father of four GHS students past and present plus a volunteer himself at the school in many capacities, quickly corrected him. 

Not only do we have a pool, Mr. Arora are you aware that our swim, dive and water polo teams are second to none?  That the boys swim team has won 49 of the last 50 annual FCIAC championships!  Or that our water polo program is considered the finest outside California.  Aquatics is still a PE requirement for freshmen, same as it was when I attended GHS decades ago.  Even a lifeguard course is offered as an elective. 

Also at the debate Mr. Arora remarked “I think Greenwich Elementary Schools could use some more funding as well, we can modernize some of our schools, we can prioritize that.”  I will take Mr. Arora at his word and count on him to work with Greenwich Public Schools administration and the Board of Education to advance the 15-year capital improvement plan should he continue to serve.  Our assets, with school buildings alone valued at $1 billion in the aggregate, have been woefully neglected over the years.

In a town like Greenwich I find this inexcusable and shameful and I want elected officials who are committed to the cause of fixing them.  Our students deserve a top-quality education and the facilities to match, including having all places of learning secure and ADA compliant. 

Mr. Arzeno stated he is in full support of school initiatives and he demonstrates this already through his RTM votes. 

Some may consider it minor that Mr. Arora was misinformed, but I believe it may be indicative of a larger issue and I hold my representatives accountable, just as I expect my constituents to do with me as an RTM member and vice chair of my district.  Who do we want representing the 151st?  I want someone entrenched with the community at large and someone well in tune with what’s happening at all levels.  That doesn’t seem to be Harry Arora.  

Editor’s note: Letters to the Editor in support of local candidates in the Nov 3, 2020 election may be submitted to [email protected] for consideration beginning July 15 and with a hard deadline of Oct 26, 2020 at noon.