Shrewsbury’s vanishing twin

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To the Editor:

There’s a medical phenomenon called the “Vanishing Twin”. With the advent of sonographic examinations, a twin pregnancy may be diagnosed in early gestation. Serial sonographic examinations can show the disappearance or “vanishing” of one of the twins.  In layman’s terms, one fetus is absorbed by the other fetus and appears to have “vanished”.

I see a similarity between the “vanishing twin” phenomenon and what is happening between the Shrewsbury School Committee (SC) and the Board of Selectmen (BOS).

The SC is supposed to operate independently from the BOS.  The BOS is forbidden by law to direct the SC as to how to fulfill its goals.  The BOS “twin” charged to represent the entire community.  The BOS allocates taxpayer money between the schools and the town administration. This process works well when there is a balance between the SC and the BOS. However, it appears the BOS “twin” is about to “vanish”.

The evidence becomes clear when one examines the composition and background of the BOS.  First, 4 out of 5 Selectmen have strong ties to the SC.  Second, last year one sitting Selectman successfully ran for the BOS stating, “I want to be the School’s representative on the Board of Selectmen”.  This year a three term SC Member is running for Selectman.  If elected, the Board of Selectmen will have been totally absorbed by the School Committee.  The check and balance of the two boards will have disappeared. The Board of Selectmen will have become the “vanished twin”.

 

Benjamin Tartaglia

Shrewsbury