Killing the Seeds
I’ve been arguing that change has to come to Rhode Island from the municipality up. If we begin at the local level identifying and placing worthy candidates and generating a grassroots comprehension of the state’s problems, we’ll be positioned to grow upward and begin to crowd out the entrenched interests.
Although I haven’t followed the politics of Little Compton very closely, this letter from the Little Compton Taxpayers Association appears to provide evidence that those entrenched interests are intent — probably long have been — on squelching local whispers of change:
In a stunning turn of events, the newly elected School Committee tossed out experience and accomplishments by electing Attorney Mike Harrington as its chairman, and rejecting incumbent Joe Quinn. Mr. Quinn, a lifelong educator himself as well as an experienced contract negotiator, has been of tremendous benefit to our school by helping Wilbur & McMahon to be among the best in Rhode Island, attending numerous state conferences and hearings representing our interests, working with the school superintendent to develop fully accountable school department budgets, and taking part in teacher contract negotiations resulting in one of the best contracts ever seen in Little Compton. He also voted to outsource student transportation saving the taxpayers nearly $1 million over a 5-year contract. …
And who caused this? It was Lynn Brousseau who ran as an endorsed Republican in the November 4 election only to turn against the Republicans by nominating both Attorney Harrington as the chair; and, newcomer Micah Shapiro, a registered Democrat, as the clerk. When confronted, her response was that she did not believe in “party loyalty” but was for “the kids.” She also said the teachers are angry and miserable, and so are the children. She must see something that nobody else does. She went on to be elected as the vice-chair, and Micah Shapiro became the clerk. Joe Quinn, Don Gomez, and their combined experience were dumped in favor of two newcomers. …
The National Education Association vowed to “get” the ones that outsourced the transportation function. They delivered, at the expense of the taxpayers of Little Compton.
The voting habits of the new leadership bear watching, if only to disallow their actions from occurring in the dark. If we remain collectively aware, we’ll likely see a pattern emerge across the state.
The LCTA has more, including video, on its Web site.