Letter: Lawyer's about face clouds school project
Fairfield Citizen reporter Genevieve Reilly hit the nail on the head with her Feb. 13 article: "More money OK'd for Osborn Hill project, but enclosed walkway unresolved."
The question is why does the enclosed walkway for Osborn Hill school students remain unresolved? Republican RTM members unanimously endorsed additional funding for completion of the project, including the walkway, at the most recent RTM meeting.
In fact, when RTM Republicans made a motion to add back in $120,000 for the walkway to strengthen school security and protect students from the elements, Democratic Minority Leader Hal Schwartz asked for clarification on whether the RTM was empowered to take such action.
Several days earlier at a Board of Finance meeting, bond counsel Frank Cleary stated that the RTM has the authority to increase bond resolutions relating to major school building projects. Before the RTM, however, Attorney Cleary was visibly uncomfortable at the podium and said he could not say definitively whether this action was permissible.
This is all quite puzzling to us. RTM Republicans on Feb. 23 were fully prepared to exercise their authority and add the monies back into the project to fund the walkway. Some might wonder whether these were dilatory actions designed to position the First Selectman to take credit for reinstating the funds for the walkway, which he had removed earlier. Maybe they were, maybe they weren't.
The resulting confusion on the floor due to a lack of consistent legal direction from bond counsel has now delayed positive action for the Osborn Hill community for at least 30 days. School safety and security is best served by timely action, not politics.
In the end, we have much faith and respect for the public and suspect those who watched the RTM meeting in person or live on FairTV picked up on this confusion. Unfortunately, the meeting will not be re-airing on FairTV anytime soon because it appears that the video file was corrupted.
RTM Majority Leader
RTM Deputy Majority Leader