Well, I see that Jeff Baron has fired the first public shots in the 2009 School Committee campaign in his WaylandeNews.com candidate statement (emphasis added).

Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Baron
... Too often, decisions are made by our current School Committee absent fact-based decision making processes and without the best interests of our children in mind. I do not agree that the role of the School Committee is to blindly follow the advice of the Superintendent. ...
Mr. Baron, feel free to disagree with Committee decisions or the process the Committee follows. Resorting to your language above goes beyond such disagreement and crosses a line leaving civility and respect behind.

I'll address Mr. Baron's three inflammatory and untrue charges.

1. No board gets it all right, all the time. That said, the current School Committee categorically does follow a fact-based decision-making process. To say otherwise is a blatant mischaracterization.

2. "Without the best interests of our children in mind?" Please. My service, and that of every Committee member with whom I've worked, has been focused on exactly that objective. Again, Mr. Baron, your writing makes for interesting reading ... in the fiction aisle.

3. As for "blindly following" the advice of the Superintendent, I haven't seen Mr. Baron at a recent Committee meeting to judge first-hand. He may recall a year ago, however, when the Committee made the unpopular decision to reconfigure the elementary schools *despite* the counsel of the Superintendent. Just last week, the Committee opted to forgo asking for capital funds to supply much-needed temporary modular classrooms at the High School, again in the face of the Superintendent's recommendation.

It would do the children of the Wayland Public Schools no good to recount item-by-item where the Committee and the Superintendent have disagreed, nor is it worth my time to dig through my notes to create such a list. Regardless, the examples above are not the only exceptions to Mr. Baron's "blind" charge. Residents should not be surprised by such disagreement, of course, as the two parties by design and practice look at the policies and politics of public education through different lenses.

Paul Grasso, whom I suspect would not describe himself as the Committee's or Superintendent's biggest fan, saw no need to go negative in his candidate statement. Certainly I didn't, nor did Malcolm Astley.

Steve Glovsky almost escaped the negative trap, then at the end accused the Committee of lying when he wrote as follows.

Quote Originally Posted by Steve Glovsky
... Long years of observation have convinced me that our present School Committee will manufacture whatever negative evidence they need to discourage consideration of repair, while glossing over what might be the final costs of new construction. ...
The Committee does not "manufacture evidence," nor has it in any way "glossed over" final costs.

Mr. Baron and Mr. Glovsky, Wayland deserves better than this sort of behavior. I pledge not to engage in it and urge you to apologize and do the same. Thank you for your attention.