Ramos: Significant Damage

Here’s what’s so befuddling about Superintendent of Schools John Ramos’ siren: why wait this long? Why not yell, scream, posture during the budget-making process? Instead, he waited until after the City Council approved spending. Why didn’t he jam the City Council chambers in April?

From Linda Conner Lambeck, CT Post:

Some 430 school employees, roughly one in five, would lose their jobs, class sizes would be pushed to the maximum allowed, even in magnet schools, and services across the district would reduced under a budget plan presented to the Board of Education’s Finance Committee on Thursday.

Read more: www.ctpost.com/news/article/School-district-budget-plan-cuts-430-employees-1407616.php.



  1. With apologies to the Kingston Trio:

    Hang down your head Tom Mulligan,
    Hang down your head and cry.
    Hang down your head Tom Mulligan,
    Poor boy, you’re gonna die.

    Not really a physical death, Tom, but death by a thousand cuts as you stepped onto the Education Board and assumed the position of Finance Chair.
    An interesting time for you, isn’t it? You have family history and your own personal experience of City service to recall, but I would have you think about what happened to the Library Board when Mayor Fabrizi put them on a flat budget for about 4 years and did not find LOHCIP funds from the State until his final year, keeping Black Rock Library closed for about five years.

    Flat budgets have a way of forcing something to snap ultimately. And that’s what happened with the Library referendum. Mayor Finch heard from the voters, and he still must be unhappy!!!

    (I wonder whether Mayor Finch has allowed Library positions to pass through the employment gauntlet after 10-11 months waiting? It seemed to me that several B & A Council members were going to research this problem and report back. Any word yet folks or is the delay just a coincidence? Or a matter of changing one’s attitude or expectations?)

    This year’s Education budget process has been truly weird. From where I sit in the cheap seats, I cannot hear the regular “sweet talk” between Mayor Finch and Superintendent John Ramos or their designees. Maybe there was no such talk this year? That’s a distinct possibility, come to think of it. So Ramos shows up at the 11th hour in front of B&A and Tom Sherwood with nothing to really talk about? And then it was going to be resolved with a one-on-one with the Mayor? You can’t make this stuff up, can you OIB?

    My head spins when I think of all the unspoken but petty political concerns that are delaying the resolution of this budget, which is necessary to provide a good education for all of the youth in the shrinking group attending our public schools, and affecting such a large group of employees, many of whom may be truly dedicated professionals at their tasks, and also dependent on salary and benefits.

    In one respect the Library and Education situations are similar because of the financial independence aspects of a dedicated one mil to the Library and nearly 80% or more of the Education Budget coming from State of CT payments. Doesn’t it seem as if inquiring minds could have worked out the contingencies in advance?

    In private industry you generally get one chance to pitch your story. Then you make do with what you have. No whining. Ramos seems to have wasted his time with the B & A. And now as June heats up and the school year winds down, everybody is hunkering down, muttering about the terrible rumors, and “hanging down their heads,” Tom Mulligan.

    Tom, have you got a horse and white hat? You could ride into town and be a real hero. How about it? Or a sword to slash Gordian knots? Or a padlock on the door of a room where you lock up all the stakeholders and decision makers, and stay there until agreement is reached, sufficient to operate? That is the format of a CONCLAVE and it seems we may need to use that model to achieve timely and necessary decision-making in civic decisions.


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