AP NEWS

Ralph Mayo Horton column a ‘diatribe’

March 19, 2019

I have always felt that a community newspaper should build community and not try to tear it down by unjustly criticizing individual town and Board of Education employees who are dedicated to people whom they serve.

I also feel as a public official, that when criticism is needed it should be leveled at the person who has charge of the organization, not the employees. After eight months serving as the superintendent of schools I no longer can keep silent and read the weekly columns of Mr. Bob Horton. The last thing I wish to do is promote this man’s work, but I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t respond to his latest diatribe on my administration. Yes, Mr. Horton, this is my administration, Jill Gildea is in Utah and I was appointed interim superintendent last June. (It was in Greenwich Time) The buck stops right here so if you have any comments about how the administration handles capital expenditures they should be directed toward me, not the chief operating officer or the director of facilities.

My administration has worked alongside the Board of Estimate and Taxation to help solve some long-standing problems and the people that you singled out begged to initiate it. We, the senior administrators, are not trying to hide behind lame excuses, but leave the organization in better shape than we found it. Our goal is to be more efficient and transparent so we can regain the public’s trust. By conducting the Capital Project Operational Assessment and then presenting it to both the BOE and BET in a public meeting (which you did not attend) we took a positive first step in making improvements to the process.

The column that you wrote was all about placing blame and why the public should not trust the school district or any other town agency. I am deeply disappointed that your column may hasten the exit of two very fine individuals who work late into the night to improve the facilities of the 17 buildings that are maintained by our district. If that comes to pass that will be both tragic and the result of a newspaper that looks for headlines rather than the real story.

Ralph Mayo is interim superintendent of Greenwich Public Schools.