Sleight Of Hand, Misdirection, Hide and Conceal. Why the Region One Board Needs Drastic Changes, And Needs Them NOW 2

At the most recent A.B.C. Meeting in Cornwall it was revealed that a new contract was negotiated by former Region One Board Chair Phil Hart of Cornwall, with the knowledge of  current Board Chair  Jonathan Moore of Kent that resulted in an average raise for the new administrative contract (the principal and assistant principal at the high school, the director of pupil services and the supervisor of special education) of 8.3%!

Now, mind you, spending money on a principal and assistant principal that are great leaders IS a great investment into the education of our children. The problem here is that the former and current chair of the Region One Board of Education kept these numbers hidden from not only the current board members, but from the A.B.C. as well until the meeting in Cornwall. For months we have heard the former and current board chair demand that any “shared service” goes first to the A.B.C. and then the A.B.C. passes on its advice to the Region One Board. WIth the director of pupil services and the supervisor of special education included in these raises that is exactly what should have happened according to Hart and Moore’s constant pleading to the board and public.

Well it did NOT happen, and at the meeting in Cornwall according to a story in the Litchfield County Times,  “the ABC Committee members expressed mild pique that they had not been made aware of the agreement before it was accepted by the Region 1 school board at its October meeting.” A video of this meeting can be viewed at the following link.

These figures were kept from public knowledge by both Moore and Hart with the blessing of the Superintendent.  Why did Moore, Hart and the superintendent keep these figures from the board, the A.B.C. and the public? How about the fact that they were concealing those numbers until AFTER the last budget vote. It seems that the “million dollar expense” each year now for 6 positions, and the fact that  fiscal news for some district towns like Canaan, which sends the largest number of students to the high school can expect to see tuition fees rise by another $171,000 next year, and the dollar figure in Sharon will also be up. Do you really think that North Canaan would have voted YES on the Region One budget last vote with this information? Do you really think that Sharon’s vote would have been as close as it was?

Yes, we NEED to invest in educators! But NO we do not need a board that is not honest and open with the public! Those numbers should have been put on the table, shown to the A.B.C., shown to the Region One Board, and shown to not only the public, but to the area towns Boards Of Finance as well BEFORE the last budget vote. When will the public finally say to the current board chair, the former board chair, and the superintendent that enough is enough?

Well, it’s now time for taxpayers to say to the board and the superintendent, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.


  1. I am appalled by the comments of the Chairperson of the All Boards Committee at the meeting on October 22. Does she really not understand why the budget was voted down six times? On my part, it was voted down because of the extension of administrator contracts and by the elimination (in late March) of many HVRHS teaching positions. I have said that publicly MANY times. For the umteenth time, it had nothing to do with politics and nothing to do with money.

    The fact that nothing was done about the administrator contracts resulted in five additional budget defeats. And the ABC members commending each other for the passing of the budget on the seventh try, was funny to watch. The budget could have been voted down a seventh time if several of us had not eased up, and said it was time to pass the budget.

    No, I will not sit down with the “Yes” voters as the chairperson suggested should be done. And I certainly will not “have a cup of tea” with the Superintendent of Schools on Wednesdays in her office from 5-7 pm, as she well knows why I voted “No” all seven times.

    Hopefully after November 5, we will be able to have some public discussion about the issues that still exist. Hopefully, those of us who voted “No,” will be allowed to speak for more than three minutes. And most importantly, hopefully those in leadership positions, whether they are on the Region One Board or the All Boards Committee, will listen to us.

    Ed Epstein, Kent

  2. I wish people would talk about these issues more. I never hear anyone at the grocery store, library, or post office ever chatting about what the Region One Board, Superintendent, and Assistant Superintendent have gotten away with. Even more disturbing is THAT they (administration) know this and continue their rein of deceit, bold face lies, and coercion.

    Thank goodness for people like Ed Epstein, Gale Toesing, Marshal Miles and parents Barbara & Clint Bishop who have fought the fight for all of those who have and continue to remain silent.

    For all us who either didn’t show up to the last budget vote or voted yes – shame – shame. I pray that the November elections give us the Board C A P A B L E of turning things around and that our children are finally given the chance to attend a non-corrupt, transparent school district. One that doesn’t limit our ignored, unaddressed concerns to 3 minutes. A school district that represents the values that we as small town communities hold so dear. Don’t all of our great kids deserve at least that?

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