Recently the North Mianus PTA sponsored a forum for the Board of Education candidates. As a North Mianus parent and RTM member, I posed the following question to all six of the candidates: Would they advocate a random $1 million BOE budget cut at the Annual RTM Budget Meeting, after it was rejected by the BOE and BET Educational Committee, as the only incumbent, Ms. Marianna Ponns Cohen, had done unilaterally last May?
Ms. Ponns Cohen’s ambivalence in her response was shocking as she questioned whether she spoke at the May meeting, denied advocating such a cut and then claimed the intent of the cut was to reallocate the funds within the BOE budget (The RTM cannot transfer appropriations within the Annual Budget). Ms. Ponns Cohen then proceeded to repeat the arguments she made in May to support the budget cut (which failed).
To be certain my recollection was correct, I checked the online archives at Greenwich Community TV Website at gctv.greenwich.org. True enough, at the 2:20 mark of the May RTM meeting, Marianna Ponns Cohen’s comments and positions contradicted her statements at North Mianus School less than five short months later.
I respect anyone’s right to their opinion and position, or even to change their mind. What was appalling to me and other observers of the PTA forum was that this is yet another example of Marianna Ponns Cohen’s revisionist history to suit the image she is trying to project at the moment. This undermines the faith we put in the candor of our local candidates.
We trust our BOE members with the welfare of our children and the financial health of our educational system. Marianna Ponns Cohen is not worthy of that trust.
Member of the RTM (District 12) and the Democratic Town Committee