I just wanted to take a minute to congratulate Manny Santos on being elected the new mayor of Meriden and to say that I like what I’m seeing and reading thus far.
Keep cleaning house so that the City of Meriden can, hopefully, finally get back to practicing good government. This can only happen with a more equal distribution of parties represented on the city council. It’s long overdue, and I would like to see a resolution so that the 11-to-1 Democratic monopoly, or any party monopoly, can never happen again.
I also agree that Meriden should have a “strong” mayor instead of a “ceremonial” one. I think my vote actually meant something this time. Go, Mayor Manny!
Michael Amann, Meriden
I am most impressed with Meriden’s mayor, Manuel Santos, for his response to our local Democratic leadership’s attempt to circumvent the city charter. It didn’t take long for the Democratic cry-babies to circle their wagons in an attempt maintain their misguided status quo, and protect their power base. It appears very clear from the city charter excerpt that the mayor has the power to make the personnel recommendations regarding the corporation counsel. Mayor Santos was put into office by the citizens of Meriden because “change is needed,” and he has my complete support. Keep up the good fight!
Tom Pannone, Meriden
Congratulations to the Wallingford Board of Education for its decisive majority in approving the Early Childhood Exploratory Committee’s recommendation to adopt a full-day kindergarten program and broaden its preschool program. This is welcome news to many Wallingford families where, out of economic necessity, two-working-parent households are now the norm.
Even more important than the economic factor is the mounting research that shows early childhood education is critically important. In an op-ed in The New York Times last month (“Do we invest in preschools or prisons?”), columnist Nicholas Kristof noted the compelling data that suggests the best way to address American economic inequality, poverty and crime is to invest in early education programs.
While it is doubtful that a deadlocked Congress will introduce a bipartisan bill for a national early education program anytime soon, it is imperative that local legislators take the lead and make the critical decisions that can transform our children’s educational trajectory while also strengthening families. Let’s hope that the town council and Mayor Dickinson will also see the value of Wallingford’s investment in its youngest citizens and that the board’s budget for this expansion will be approved next June. (The writer was a recent candidate for the Wallingford Board of Education.)
Lorraine S. Connelly, Wallingford
People of Wallingford, once again I thank you for the consistent support you have generously given me for some 34-plus years as your councilor, and I have enjoyed serving you and your support will allow me to continue to do so for this cycle.
I want to congratulate my colleagues who were re-elected and those that were unsuccessful in their election bid. They worked hard and I acknowledge their efforts.
No one is elected without the help of many dedicated friends and supporters.
I want to thank and acknowledge the following people: Barbara Thompson, campaign manager; Patrick Birney, treasurer and financial adviser; Dolly Parisi , fundraising and campaign headquarters; Steve Knight, press and special projects; Michael Tiscia, fund raising; the Sign Brigade — Elizabeth Tobin, Lisa Gambino, Lois Doherty, Madeline Bossidy, Barbara Gee, Rosemary Rascati, Jean Little, Ralph Acabbo, Ray Ross, Bill Golding, Bob O’Connor, the members of the Republican Town Committee and Chairman Bob Prentice; Senator Len Fasano and Joe DiNatali, advisers and fundraising; and finally, the lady who held it all together, my wife, Joan Ives-Parisi.
I am extremely grateful to her and all of you who worked quietly behind the scenes for my re-election, and we know there had to be a lot of you.
Bob Parisi, Wallingford
State of emergency
Education remains an integral part of the development of young children. However, the initiation of the Common Core State Standards has disrupted the American education system.
This affects me directly because I am a prospective teacher currently enrolled in an undergraduate teaching certification program. I graduated from the Wallingford public school system in 2011, and in just a few short years, I can already see the impact that the CCSS have had back home.
Students are no longer learning the way that my parents and grandparents, and even myself, have learned in the past. My younger brother falls under the category of getting both the “old-school” curriculum as well as the new standards, and since CCSS is still new, we have no idea how the changes will affect him. Now, consider the millions of children who will become the CCSS generation. The new standardized tests will no longer be initiated through the traditional paper-and-pencil method. Instead, they will be taken on computers, which is how most schoolwork is getting done these days.
Even though I am part of the younger generation, I am still not 100 percent convinced that eliminating paper-and-pencil work from school is the best way to educate our students. It might be the more environmentally friendly way, but do we really want to turn our students into robots?
My professors in my certification program are most certainly products of the traditional way of schooling, yet they praise CCSS during all of our class meetings. Is that because they are being forced to teach us about the new program, or do they really believe in its magic?
It would be nice to talk to my professors outside of the classroom and hear what they really have to say about the new educational reform.
Rebecca Sanderson, Wallingford
I’m writing this in regard about Nick Economopoulos. He’s always getting involved in something he doesn’t know anything about. First the Wallingford Housing Authority. Next the so-called dumping of street sweepings at a town site on North Turnpike Road. There’s so many petty things. He also mentioned running for mayor. That was one I hadn’t read about. It made me chuckle. The one about the Center Street Cemetery, that took the cake.
Also, complaining about the backhoe, which didn’t cost Nick a dime. Mr. Devaney has been taking care of the cemetery for at least 40 years and has done a fine job.
Why doesn’t Nick just pick up his toys and go home? All he does is blame someone else.
Barbara Pastore, Wallingford