To the editor:

There has been a great deal of discussion regarding the fate of the community gardens in the context of rebuilding Long Lots Elementary.  

At the last Board of Ed meeting on Oct. 19, there was an amended motion regarding the preservation of the community gardens that was defeated 4-2. If we had been seated on the Board of Ed, we would have voted in favor of that motion.

We believe it is appropriate for Board of Ed members to take a holistic view on all decisions that come before them and consider the interests of all constituents.  

Board of Ed members are not advocates for any particular group or cause, but need to consider the entire electorate. To claim otherwise, as our campaign rivals have done, strikes us as deceptive and characteristically manipulative. It is yet another excuse or tactic to dodge a tough decision.

We see the community gardens as one of the wonderful amenities within Westport that make our town such an attractive place to live, work and raise a family.  

What we have witnessed in the last weeks and months is how deeply valued this particular amenity is for so many Westport residents. It is in our collective interests to protect the community gardens, and we agree with those board members who seek a viable solution that preserves the gardens while completely meeting the needs of our school system. 

Jamie Fitzgerald and Camilo Riano

Republican candidates for Board of Education