Stonington pettiness

The decision by Stonington First Selectman Ed Haberek and his sidekick, Selectman George Crouse, to block the Board of Education's choice for a seat on the school building committee appears petty and unproductive.

This looks like a case of petty personal, rather than petty politics. Both Mr. Haberek and Mr. Crouse are Democrats, as is the school board's unanimous recommendation to be its representative on the building committee, Alisa Morrison. It was the lone Republican on the Board of Selectmen, Selectwoman Glee McAnanly, who made the motion to approve the school board's recommendation, only to see it die last week for a lack of a second from Mr. Haberek or Mr. Crouse.

The K-12 Building Committee has the job of developing a plan to assess and recommend improvements to city schools, many in need of refurbishment or replacement. Mrs. Morrison is particularly well qualified. She is a civil engineer, Board of Education member, with experience serving on several other town commissions.

Mr. Haberek and Mr. Crouse initially provided no explanation for rejecting the school board's choice. Affirming such appointments is typically a routine function. A week after their decision, and in response to our queries, the pair released a statement. It was not terribly enlightening.

Representing the school board on the committee is not a "technical position," they maintained, apparently dismissing any importance tied to her civil engineer training. Instead, the two stated: "The Board of Education seat is actually a liaison position intended to provide a reasonable and productive communication path between the two committees."

Based on their experience working with her, "George and I simply do not believe Mrs. Morrison is the right person for this job." As for details, the pair responded, "It would be inappropriate, unproductive and not in our nature to malign an individual in the press."

Maybe it is just a coincidence, but Mrs. Morrison has been critical of the first selectman. Her statements about his Facebook page, contending its content is not an appropriate outlet for town information, had to particularly sting.

""If this is the face of the town, this is an embarrassment," she stated a few months back.

It appears she communicated too much for Mr. Haberek's liking.

The editorial board is composed of the publisher and four journalists of varied editing and reporting backgrounds. The board's discussions and information gained from its meetings with political, civic, and business leaders drive the institutional voice of The Day, as expressed in its editorials. The editorial department operates separately from the newsroom.


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