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Haberek critic kept off School Building Committee

By Joe Wojtas

Publication: The Day

Published June 12. 2014 4:00AM   Updated June 12. 2014 9:46AM

Editor's Note: This corrects an earlier version.

Stonington - First Selectman Ed Haberek and Selectmen George Crouse refused to appoint veteran school board member Alisa Morrison to the K-12 School Building Committee Wednesday night even though the school board had asked that she be appointed because of her "professional qualifications and expertise."

After Wednesday night's Board of Selectmen meeting, both Haberek and Crouse, who were running mates in the last election, refused to discuss why they did not support Selectwoman Glee McAnanly's motion to appoint Morrison.

McAnanly said she was "taken aback" by the actions of Haberek and Crouse, especially since the building committee has been without a school board member since December. Appointments of board members to such committees are usually approved without controversy.

Morrison, who has been critical of Haberek, also has served on the Athletic Fields Task Force, the Planning and Zoning Commission and the Inland Wetlands Commission, and is a civil engineer. McAnanly said Morrison also has attended recent meetings of the building committee.

Morrison could not be reached to comment.

Board Chairman Frank Todisco said she was the unanimous selection of the school board.

"I thought she was a good choice considering her professional background," he said. "We thought she would be a good resource to the committee and (would) represent our board well."

He said he would follow up with the Board of Selectmen to get an explanation of why Morrison was not an acceptable candidate. He said the school board needs to get a member on the committee as soon as possible.

Earlier this year, Morrison was critical of Haberek's Facebook page, which he had used for several years to post official town information, but which Morrison and others said often also included inappropriate posts.

"It is embarrassing that someone who goes on Facebook to read about our town or news in a snow emergency will instead see that the first selectman likes pages such as 'Mommy has a Naughty Side,' 'Playboy Philippines' and 'Victoria Secret Models,' not to mention the countless pages of other models in bikinis, questionable body building sites and women weight lifters," Morrison wrote in her criticism to the town.

"If this is the face of the town, this is an embarrassment," she wrote.

Haberek later said the town would start an official Facebook page and he would limit access to his personal page.

j.wojtas@theday.com

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