Letter: Majority’s wishes are being ignored
As a taxpayer, teacher, and education association leader, I am distressed by what appears to be lack of appropriate representation on our Board of Supervisors. The citizens of Gloucester have overwhelmingly voiced their support of our schools and of lump sum funding.
I myself handed out 300 stickers to concerned taxpayers [to wear] showing their support for lump sum funding the last time this issue was discussed. The fact that one supervisor with an axe to grind with the schools manages to drum up enough support on the board should not change a system supported by the taxpayers of this county. I have listened time and again as Ms. (Michelle) Ressler and Mr. (Gregory) Woodard claim that they have heard from citizens who support categorical funding and who share their view. I don’t doubt that. There’s always someone out there who’ll agree with an idea. The point is, not enough people support it to justify the change.
Unfortunately, no matter how many folks show up to support the schools, they are dismissed as a few "mamas and papas" that aren’t representative of the community at large. Mr. (John) Northstein doesn’t see what the "big deal is." We’re being ignored, sir, that’s what the big deal is. And it’s just bad politics to ignore those whom you were elected to represent. Now, perhaps there is a silent, hidden majority out there. Maybe there’s an overwhelming number of citizens who prefer to conduct business in a clandestine, behind-the-scenes fashion. But I’d like to make a request of these and all other citizens with access to a computer (which is anyone who can get to the library): E-mail your supervisors and express your opinion about the school funding formula in a very public way. Let those who represent us know where you stand.
And then I challenge the supervisors to make that correspondence public; tally up the responses both for and against categorical funding and, here’s the important part … vote accordingly. Put aside your own personal opinion and represent your constituents. If you can’t manage to vote against your conscience—abstain from voting entirely.
And that goes for both sides. I think we will all rest a little easier knowing that, whatever the outcome, that the majority of the Gloucester citizens were represented in this matter. I know I would.
Carolyn Molly, President
Gloucester Education Association