By Guy Page
Essex-Westford School Board member Liz Cady has resigned over frustration with the board leadership’s unwillingness to “engage in two-way dialogue with the public.”
Cady was elected last year as a ‘dark horse’ candidate committed to more openness to parents about diversity-equity-inclusion education and other school programs.
Cady today shared with Vermont Daily Chronicle the letter she has already sent to board members, and which they have already shared with the press. The letter appears below:
When I was elected to the board, I had one goal in mind: to make the board more accessible and approachable to those who have concerns and criticisms.
After over a year, I can honestly say that goal has not been achieved. If anything, it is worse.
Board leadership has spent a wasteful amount of time admonishing me for doing exactly what this board does not: engage in two-way dialogue with the public. This has served to further how unapproachable board leadership is to not just other board members but to the very public they are supposed to represent.
I hope my fellow board members have noted the hypocrisy in which board leadership corresponds with members of the public: those who send praise and applause will receive immediate responses while those with differing views are treated with responses that do nothing to answer their concerns and effectively silences them into knowing how futile it is to contact the board…if they receive a response at all. Many of these emails with concerns are never answered.
Board leadership’s intolerance of differing viewpoints shows there is no real desire to best represent the entire community, but rather shows they have a narrowly pointed agenda the community must follow. Several board members do not agree with this, but remain primarily silent in front of the group or in public – they are complicit in cultivating an atmosphere of intolerant, political tribalism where dissenting voices from the community are actively blocked and attacked, instead of being afforded the mutual respect of a listening ear and critical thought given to their words.
Disagreement is always okay; exclusive intolerance and suppression of dissent is not.
I cannot effect change while constrained as a member on this board and so tender my resignation, effective immediately.