Letter: Naming new school after mayor a step back

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letters_flatTo the editor,

At its monthly meeting Tuesday, March 26 the Beacon Falls Democratic Town Committee voted to express its displeasure and opposition to the Region 16 Board of Education vote to name the new regional school after the Mayor of Prospect.

For over 30 years, there was rancor between the towns of Beacon Falls and Prospect regarding the Region 16 school district. As a result of this, Beacon Falls tried to dissolve the region on three separate occasions. Each time, because of its weighted vote, Prospect out-voted us on the dissolution committee and the state would not allow us to go our separate ways.

Finally, the people of the region agreed to the building of Woodland High School. The high school did wonders for the relationship between the two towns and Region 16, at long last, started behaving like a region.

Right now there are five schools in our region and, for good reason, none of them are named after a person. For some Prospect Board of Education members to try to have the new school named after Prospect’s mayor goes against everything the region should stand for.

Back in the 70s, all four Prospect board members voted to have the name of one of the schools changed to be named after a member of the Prospect Town Council. Once again, because of their weighted vote, the votes of the four Prospect members out-voted the four negative votes of the Beacon Falls members. A petition was circulated in Beacon Falls calling for a hearing on the name change. Over 200 people showed up at that hearing to express their displeasure. The politician’s name was withdrawn.

This new move by some Prospect Board of Education members is a step backward for Region 16 and insulting to the people of Beacon Falls. This is a Region 16 school, not a Prospect school.

We respectfully request, for the sake of the region, that Prospect’s mayor withdraw his name from consideration.

Peter Betkoski

Chair, Democratic Town Committee

Beacon Falls