Andrew Parrella, the chairman of a Groton political action committee formed in 2011 to oppose the Phase 11 school construction referendum in favor of a more affordable alternative, has decided to close out the group in August.
Parrella said in an e-mail last week that he believes the organization, Friends for Affordable Education, has reached a crossroads where it must be closed and see another political action committee formed to address items besides education and other parts of the budget.
“It is really hard for me to end this group as I have never seen and worked with such a caring group of people who just stepped up to the plate and acted in such a professional and almost somewhat ‘spiritual’ way to accomplish a cost savings that we all believed to be the best for all the citizens of Groton,” he wrote.
, within two weeks of Representative Town Meeting's vote to send the proposed $133 million school construction proposal forward to voters at referendum.
The plan was overwhelmingly defeated at the polls.
“I would state that we accomplished a tremendous effect with our concentration of the referendum vote in 2011, and I feel we have absolutely galvanized the electorate here in Groton for some time to come,” Parrella wrote.
The decision to close Friends for Affordable Education comes as town and school officials work .
The Town Council and Board of Education are scheduled to hold a special joint meeting at 6 p.m. on Tuesday in the Town Hall Annex to hear an update on the task force.
They plan to ask Mike Zuba, associate senior planner with the Branford consulting firm Milone & MacBroom, to facilitate discussion of the group. Once Zuba is on board, the task force would be appointed.
Mayor Heather Bond Somers said recently the group has 18 potential members, but others may be added before final appointments are made. Zuba has suggested that each school involved also have a representative from the Parent Teacher Organization.
Parrella said Groton faces issues with the superintendent and other school issues that will be determined shortly. He said the direction of a future middle school long-term plan would be guided by the committees assigned to that role.
" . . .My only hope is that you all will continue forward in your spirit of hope for the town in whatever form you choose that will benefit the most people in the case at hand," he wrote to his colleagues. "There is never danger in trying to change something as long as we are all guided by some underlying code of ehtics that fosters offereing the best we can be for those down the line to follow."