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Letter: Welander Has Remained Silent on School Regionalization

In Connecticut right now, one very serious challenge our communities face is the threat of forced school regionalization.  Hartford politicians have used events of the last few months including the pandemic of COVID 19 to advocate for schools to be regionalized based on their probate court district lines.  This poses a significant threat to the Amity School System and our other fine local schools as it would dissolve our great school district that has already regionalized.  The intent of this proposal is clear, the goal is to wrest control from communities, towns, and school boards that are tied to parents and students, and instead grant sweeping power to paternalistic bureaucrats in Hartford to make decisions for them.

Democrat, Mary Welander, has remained silent on this issue, as she also has on other vital issues concerning public education in the state of Connecticut, including the utilization of resource officers in our public schools.  Welander’s silence raises concerns on how responsive she would be to her constituents were she to be elected.  The residents of these towns who are concerned about maintaining their influence over the education their children receive deserve to know how Welander stands on such an important issue.  Welander’s seeming inability to take a solid stance on issues expands beyond education and she has been unable to clarify to Connecticut voters if she would support the radical policy of defunding the police either.

Sixty percent of businesses have closed in Connecticut due to the recent pandemic, this has greatly impacted small businesses, their owners, and employees.  Despite the importance of this toward our local economy and the numerous local residents whose livelihood depends upon these businesses reopening, Mary Welander has offered no opinions on these matters.

Welander’s opponent, Dan DeBarba, has been candid on his feelings about the issues.  He supports continuing the use of school resource officers and while he understands there are advantages to school districts collaborating, he supports educational decisions to be made locally, by communities most impacted, not by distant authorities in Hartford with minimal ties to the community as a whole.  Dan DeBarba supports public safety by opposing the defunding of the police and believes that smarter solutions exist to build a more just and equitable Connecticut.  DeBarba is a small business owner and carries the endorsement of the NFIB, who are confident that he will be friendly to our small businesses and help them through these trying times.

If Welander wants to earn the support of her prospective constituents she must be more open on such issues.  As of now, we know where DeBarba stands, while Welander obfuscates her positions to the voters and appears to stand for very little, and would likely be yet another rubber stamp for power elites in Hartford at the expense of our local community.

Deb Brutsche

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