Letter: McFadden needs to apologize
I am writing to address comments made by Ken McFadden at the January 14 West River Modified Union board meeting, which I find disturbing. Mr. McFadden asked if it would not make sense for the board to close the Jamaica Village School as, with school choice, the school's population would likely fall below the threshold of 38 students that Brookline has when it decided to close its school.
I am surprised at the following:
That Mr. McFadden, who was part of the planning and implementation of the Act 46 merger, did not know that under the Article of Agreement the board does not have the authority to close any elementary school.
Seconds after the board was given the school choice results, before the Jamaica residents had the opportunity to learn the results and consider the implications on our school, before we worked through our sadness at the possible loss to our community, before democracy has the chance to run its course, Mr. McFadden decided that we, the people of Jamaica, are a "greedy" bunch.
When in 2015 Jamaica decided by a town vote to stay with the Windham Central Supervisory Union instead of selecting school choice, many of us voted to stay because we felt we were part of the valley, that the people in the valley were our people and the vote was one of solidarity with both our valley towns and in support of Leland & Gray. This despite having been advised that if we were not to join the Act 46 merger and Jamaica offered school choice, real estate values would be better served, as families moving into the area prefer school choice.
What a greedy bunch!
Mr. McFadden repeated several times, "I got it!"
No, Mr. McFadden, you don't! We are all in this together and your mean-spirited, belittling comments do not reflect well on our newly formed district.
I hope that the board and Superintendent Anton will realize how this incident reflects on the board as a whole and that this pitting one town against the other will only weaken us a community.
And I hope that Mr. McFadden will offer an apology to Jamaica.
Jamaica, March 7
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