from John (March 31, 2006; exactly six years ago to the hour)
The recent Proposition 46 referendum (March 2006) was likely a tactic by Mr. Wetzel and the Citizens for Prudent Spending (CPS) and possibly the Board of Selectman (BOS) to destroy the Woodstock Board of Education’s (BOE) position with its projected budget deficit.
Both former First Selectman, Ernie Wetzel, and First Selectwoman, Ms. Wholean, spoke tepidly two weeks ago in the Villager before the referendum about their hopes that 46 would be repealed. Yet neither Wetzel, nor Wholean, lifted a finger (with the possible exception of the middle finger) to help promote the repeal to the Town citizens. This was a ploy foisted upon the Town electorate to suit Wetzel and the BOS/BOF needs. It can only be concluded that this was their strategy – e.g. re-enforce Prop 46 and completely undermine the BOE’s position.
It’s as though the BOS, the BOF, and Mr. Wetzel collaborated together with the CPS, to conspire to have a referendum to repeal Prop 46 that they knew could not win. There was no 200-signature petition to have a Town referendum. The BOS cooperated with these other conspirators by deciding that there should be a Town referendum even though 200 signatures were never obtained. Thus, the BOS nailed the BOE in a coffin with the referendum. They did so knowing that it would damage the position of the BOE irreversibly in their effort to secure a budget that would adequately support the Woodstock School System. To reiterate again-and-again, the BOS jerked around the Woodstock electorate to suit the needs of CPS and Wetzel’s obsessive attacks on the BOE. I remember feeling this way as I went to the polls that night after a long day at work.
Indeed, Mr. Wetzel has spoken venomously and obsessively about the horrible things the BOE is doing to the Woodstock Academy as though the BOE had attacked him personally (Wetzel was later added to the Trustees). To make matters worse, on a weekly basis the Villager chooses to interview spokesmen from the CPS starting with Wetzel and Schultz two weeks ago, followed by Mr. McCrillis last week, and then Mr. Whitham (past President of the CPS) this week. It has been stated at this website that Wetzel has a hotline to the Villager. It now appears that CPS owns this hotline.
The BOF can now point to a failed, fraudlently conceived referendum to back their position against the BOE. The position of the Board of Finance (BOF) as described in the Villager today demonstrated that the BOE is to get absolutely no relief from the BOF. This is indicated by the BOF denying use of emergency funds ($65,000) to pay the tuition fees for the seven Woodstock Academy students that exceeded the number projected in last years BOE budget. The way this denial is presented suggests that the BOF now wishes to punish the BOE for under projecting the number of new high school students as though the BOE should be clairvoyant to predict an influx of students.
The make up of the BOE is quite different this year than last with a new Chairman, Lindsay Paul and two new Board members, Carol Andrzeicik and Kirsten Rigney. Read the rest of this entry »