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Over the last few months, the public comment section of the Board of Selectmen’s meeting has been filled with less than pertinent business of our board. In fact, much of it has been spent by citizens expressing bitter and angry thoughts, directed toward the School Committee. So I thought, wouldn’t it be reasonable for a citizen to unload on the selectmen at an upcoming School Committee meeting?

From my calculations, no fewer than 45 minutes of the selectmen’s meeting has been consumed by people wishing to discredit the School Committee and make accusations without the accused being present. I contemplated asking for those 45 minutes back but settled on this letter instead, in order to speak out against these frivolous accusations of impropriety.

Some of the recent speakers at the selectmen’s meetings have hijacked a valuable portion of the meeting, a time when community concerns regarding the operations and policies of our town should be raised. Instead, they have chosen to turn that forum into their own private kangaroo court. This is a shameless attempt to manipulate public opinion and eke out an extra news cycle of coverage for the promotion of their divisive agenda. So much for “moving on” from the “censure” we remember so fondly.

The “censure” was promised to bring a “new day for Harvard,” but if this keeps up, I’m not really looking forward to tomorrow. How much more time will be wasted by people whose sole objective appears to be to continue to discredit the School Committee in any way possible and distract them from getting on with their job of maintaining our exceptional school district?

As we all know, Mr. Cheveralls is a frequent visitor to the selectmen’s meetings and I am baffled by the example he sets for our students as a member of the School Committee, when he and his supporters continue to firebomb his own board from the safety and comfort of the selectmen’s meeting. How does he intend to uphold the school’s mission statement, where it is written that “the schools are committed to helping students develop the interpersonal skills necessary for working effectively and cooperatively with others and to become responsible school, community and world citizens”?

If you really want to set an example for our community and our students, how about demonstrating the interpersonal skills we want all students to have by working hard to rebuild the credibility of our School Committee through collaboration and cooperation, rather than tearing it down brick by brick and throwing them through the superintendent’s office window?

I would think that the time wasted by these folks would have been better spent criticizing the selectmen for not promoting the special town election. Where was the banner across Mass Ave.? Where was the townwide mailing announcing the ballot question and the date of the vote? Where was the promotion of absentee ballots for hardworking citizens who spend much of their time during the week traveling for business? Who put up those sandwich boards on the common? Don’t we want as many people participating in every election, no matter what the subject matter is?

These are the questions that should have been asked of the selectmen, rather than blasting a member of the School Committee (who wasn’t present) for doing his job — informing the public about an opportunity to express their opinion on an issue and asking them to exercise their most valuable right in this country, the right to vote.


Speaking as a citizen, not as a Harvard