Downie named to K-12 School building committee

Stonington — The Board of Selectmen unanimously appointed school board member Deborah Downie to the K-12 School Building Committee this afternoon.

The appointment comes two weeks after First Selectmen Ed Haberek and Selectman George Crouse refused to support the appointment of veteran school board member Alisa Morrison to the committee, which is creating a plan to renovate and expand the elementary schools.

Haberek and Crouse have refused to discuss why they would not appoint Morrison, who was the school board's committee representative of choice. The board had endorsed Morrison because of her “professional qualifications and expertise.”

They later released a statement that stated they did not believe Morrison “was the right person for this job.”

Selectwoman Glee McAnanly had made the motion to appoint Morrison but neither Haberek or Crouse would second it.

Morrison had been critical of Haberek in the past, especially this winter when she criticized his Facebook page, which he had used for several years to post official town information. Morrison and others noted that his page also often includes inappropriate material including scantily clad women and links to sites such as "Mommy has a Naughty Side," "Playboy Philippines" and "Victoria Secret Models."

The school board then submitted Downie’s name for consideration because school board chairman Frank Todisco said it was critically important that the school board get a representative on the board. It has been without one since November.

Haberek made the motion at today’s meeting to appoint Downie and Crouse seconded it.

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