To the Editor:
As an original member of the LTFPC, I need to address Ms. Bachus’ comments in the Dec. 12 Beacon article that she was told by members of the City Council that the committee’s recommendation to re-purpose Warwick Vets “… had actually been written in January and the committee had just been flushing out the plan to make sure it would work.”
That is patently false. The idea, among others, was floated in January, but the committee opted to look at junior high consolidation instead because, at that time, the committee as a whole felt that was a better way to go. Look at the meeting minutes. I don’t know what was said and to whom, but I’m reminded of the children’s game where one child is told that the “dog is brown” and by the time the story is passed down to the end of the line, the dog has become a cow and its color red.
The LTFPC did not begin to discuss in any appreciable way its final recommendation until the summer months and not sooner. Period. I’m glad that Ms. Bachus admitted that this was not part of her decision to propose a consultant because it was just not true. Further, the School Committee should not have re-arranged the agenda to allow Ms. Bachus’ proposal to go before the vote on the LTFPC’s plan. Rather, they should have voted on the plan first and gone on record as either supporting or not supporting it and then entertained Ms. Bachus’ proposal. Instead, in my view, they hid behind Ms. Bachus’ proposal, which rendered a decision on the recommendation a moot point. While some may see this as a distinction without a difference, I vehemently disagree. Leadership sometimes requires making difficult decisions, but make them you must. A vote of “No” was fine, but at least take a vote!
Though I’m not convinced of the necessity of a consultant, I accept the decision and I await their proposal(s). Should their recommendation(s) include consolidating/closing/re-purposing school buildings, then I’ll also await the requisite criticisms that’ll accompany them that will include, but not be limited to: The choice of an out-of-state consultant; the choice of an in-state consultant; their mysterious link to the mayor, the council, or the superintendent; the overly broad scope of the bid; the overly narrow scope of the bid; their lack of understanding of how we do things in Warwick; their lack of understanding of our various communities; the source and veracity of their data; the “secret” data that was never provided; the people should vote on their recommendations; and finally, the cry that it’ll be too close to an election and we should hold the decision for the new School Committee to address in January 2015.