A truly unbiased voice

Last week Republican Town Committee Chairman James Baldwin wrote to the papers vehemently opposing my candidacy. He accused me of being ill-suited for the Board of Education because I am young. He stated that I could not be fair and unbiased because my mother sits on the same ,oard, and on top of that I was falsely accused of using my mother`s old political lawn signs. Considering Baldwin has never met me, I was at first intrigued he found so much to say about me, but then realized nothing he stated was correct.

First I have disclosed my campaign finance information to the paper.* My campaign committee bought my signs that have a different message on them. It`s upsetting when you are just out of college and unemployed and make a large financial commitment to your campaign and then someone who never has met you accuses you of trying to scam the public.

However, signs are not the issue here. The fact that someone has the audacity to stereotype someone based on their age and use that as a reason to advocate against their candidacy is appalling. Frankly I believe my age (22) as a great component of my candidacy. I am not so far removed from the Fairfield school system that I can`t translate the numbers into actual faces, hallways and classrooms. In fact who could better serve on the BOE and help develop curriculum than someone who recently experienced it? Who better to help improve the weaknesses in our system than someone who has seen them?

Finally, let us address Baldwin`s last accusation, of bias. Anyone who has been or known someone on the BOE, would acknowledge that everyone tends to be happy when their term is over. I find it upsetting that someone as unique as I am is putting themselves out there to help this town and we are going to assume that it is to form some sort of BOE posse with his mother. This begs the question: why don`t we put all candidates under the same microscope? Why not scrutinize candidates who are close friends with another? If we are calling for independent voices why do we always nominate and elect candidates that current BOE members find to run?

The real bias we have in our structure is that all of our BOE members, and all BOE candidates other than myself, are parents of children in the school system. This does not make these individuals bad people, but how unbiased are they if doing the right thing for the town is not in the best interests of their children individually? My inspiration for running came three years ago watching the board change the method of determining GPAs at the high schools, and I watched members admit how the GPA change would affect their child. I spoke out against this and asked for certain members to recuse themselves. One person did, my mother, and she was not happy that I pulled that. But to this day I know I did the right thing, and if elected I will continue to do that. Make sure the BOE represents the whole town, not member`s personal interests. Have you ever heard of a BOE Member complaining about where their child went to school after a redistricting? I think that proves my point.

If you would like to see a Board of Education that can represent the whole town, students, parents and all other residents, I ask you to support me on Nov. 3.

Joshua Albin,

BOE candidate, two-year term,