This letter was published in the Sept. 9, 2009 issue of the Roxbury Register:
To The Editor:
It's very difficult for the average Joe and Jane to find the time to go to school board and town council meetings because they're so busy working, paying the bills, and taking care of their families. Most are lucky to have any time left over for a little bit of rest and relaxation never mind trying to be government watchdogs. This is exactly what many in power count on and what allows for so much abuse of power and corruption on every level of government including school boards.
There are just far too many in the education establishment destroying public education because their lust for power and lining their own pockets takes priority over what is best for our children and the greater good. Sometimes you wonder how bad things have to get before we start addressing the right concerns that will benefit all and not just a few.
So what can people do to change things for the better? The single most important power we have as citizens is our right to vote.
Each of us needs to vote in every election and vote out public officials who are not representing the will of the people. That's exactly what the Roxbury voters did in the last school election. The largest number of them agreed with the campaign we ran and demonstrated their confidence in us by tossing out two long time incumbents, electing us into office, and voting down an irresponsible school budget. Although it's unfortunate both the majority of the school board and town council ignored the voters wishes and didn't make the budget cuts that would have given our community members much needed tax relief, we truly believe the tide has turned.
All elected officials in this town have been put on notice by the citizens of Roxbury who are fed up and will not forget just who is and who is not working on their behalf. People may not be able to make school or township meetings to protest bloated administrative costs, excessive union demands, and ever escalating property taxes, but they'll have their say come election time. We're absolutely confident the good people of Roxbury will once again make their voices heard through the voting process and outnumber the special interests groups in this town that have had a stranglehold on our schools and our lives for far too long.
Change does not come easy...it comes little by little and takes perseverance, but it can and will happen if the people want it enough.
Meanwhile, we're not only committed to doing our best under the constraints of the law to keep the public informed about our positions on the issues in Roxbury's school system, we will continue our fight to free dollars from bureaucratic overhead, stop wasteful spending, and make sure tax dollars go for the betterment of our children's education.
Maureen Castriotta and Chris Rogers
Roxbury Township School Board Members
Please note: We are speaking on our own behalf and not that of the Roxbury Township Board of Education. The opinions expressed are our own and do not represent those of the board, individual board members, or district employees.