To the editor: Going to the Lenox annual town meeting has always been a top priority for me.
Unfortunately, this year I will not be able to attend, but I would still like my voice to be heard. It was very interesting to me that the Lenox Finance Committee and Select Board both voted not to be endorse the Lenox School Committee budget to be presented at the town meeting. ("Lenox school budget gets a thumbs-down from the Select Board. Now, it’s up to town voters," Eagle, April 26.)
It was even more interesting to learn on that day that, according to the U.S. News & World Report that Lenox Memorial was the top-ranking high school in Berkshire County, 29th out of the 380 Massachusetts schools and 746 out of 17,800 nationally. Do the Finance Committee and Select Board think the schools are going in the wrong direction? The above rankings clearly illustrates otherwise. To have them vote not to endorse the School Committee's budget is not a new occurrence, as it happened back in the 1980s and '90s. But fortunately for the youth of Lenox, the residents of Lenox always voted at the annual town meeting to support to education and the budget developed by those elected to the School Committee.
The idea of the Finance Committee to encourage the school board to undergo a strategic budgeting process to reduce costs may have some merit for future years, but to recommend it at this stage when the budget has already been developed is unwise and without merit. It is like closing the barn door after the horse left the barn.
In summary, it has taken decades of hard work by many (I know this personally since I was on the School Committee for 24 years) for the Lenox Public Schools to reach the high level achievement mentioned above, so please do not send them backward. Please attend the town meeting and vote to support the budget prepared by and endorsed by the Lenox School Committee.
Thomas J. Romeo, Lenox