To the editor:

On Tuesday, Nov. 7, we can vote for up to three Board of Education candidates. I will be voting for my current board colleagues, Lee Goldstein and Neil Phillips, and I will write in Jill Dillon.

Why am I voting for Lee and Neil?

  • They have admirable and lengthy track records of public service to our schools and town.
  • They inquire and listen to understand all viewpoints.
  • We have many common values, including academic achievement and belonging.
  • They care deeply about ALL students reaching their full potential. And because they do their homework and listen to understand, they appreciate the relationship between connectedness/belonging and academic success. Some people claim Lee and Neil are not focused on academics — this is false.

Why am I writing in Jill Dillon?

  • Jill Dillon is an engaging, well-respected leader with relevant experience in her professional career and as a PTA co-president (twice!).
  • I believe prior volunteer service to our town, students, parents and/or teachers is a meaningful qualification for board service — it is evidence that a candidate is willing to invest an incredibly scarce and valuable resource (their time) to help others. Jill Dillon’s community service emphatically checks this box.

I believe local elections can have an immediate impact on our daily lives. Together, let’s ensure more than the usual 35-40 percent of the electorate will vote in Tuesday’s hyper-local election (in-person, or absentee). 

I would encourage everyone to seek out the facts about all five candidates and decide for themselves — after all, what is a discussion of schools without a little bit of homework? Let’s cut through the noise of campaign websites, videos, fireplaces and emails, and perhaps watch the League of Women voters debate, or do a simple “candidate name” “westport” search in your favorite search engine. Look for track records over the past 2 to 4 years, from BOE meetings or beyond. And more recently, look at who has endorsed who, who has not endorsed who, and who has been silent.

This type of homework can and should be shared. Westport will be graded on the results of this election, for years to come.

Kevin Christie, Westport