Sunday, May 04, 2008

The Unspeakable Betty Sternberg Strikes Again

Probably no Town employee is as wildly unpopular as the unspeakable Betty Sternberg, who continues to make new enemies at every turn. Now she has managed to p*ss off the Boy Scouts - the organization, the kids, and the parents. What will she pick on next, one wonders? Motherhood? Apple pie? When, oh when, dear reader, will the Board of Ed finally get the message and fire her, as they should have done many months and many millions of wasted dollars ago?

Even the First Selectman, Peter Tesei, has finally gotten off the fence and let his opinion be known: "I think it's an example of her not understanding our community," he said; "To pick a fight with an organization that has served the community for decades is just not sound judgment in my opinion."

Right on, Peter! So would you please follow through and get rid of her while we still have the remnants of our neighborhood school system and a few dollars left in the kitty? Please, pretty please?

Peter's mention of the "decades" of the Boy Scouts' service to our community is accurate as far as it goes, but there is much more. The Boy Scouts of America was founded right here in Town, at the Cos Cob estate of Ernest Thompson Seton. Seton wrote the first Boy Scout handbook, and his daughter, Anya Seton, later became a best-selling novelist. Her book The Winthrop Woman is about the early days of Greenwich, and well worth reading if you haven't done so already.

In one of the wisest decisions in recent years, the Town bought Seton's estate and saved it from the developers. You can get lost in the woods barely a mile from I-95, dear reader, and you can even visit the erstwhile Seton mansion, perched high overlooking a lake. Unfortunately, in one of the dumbest decisions in recent years, the Town evicted the lovely Swedish family that had been renting the mansion for $6,000 a month, and the house is now a shambles of broken windows and peeling paint. From historical landmark to local eyesore in a few short years - doesn't say much for the Town of Greenwich as a landlord, does it?

Other local officials besides Tesei are now - finally! - speaking out against the unspeakable Sternberg. Selectman Peter Crumbine noted that the relationship between the school system and the Boy Scouts has "been going on for 70 years. What's changed?" Former Scout and RTM District 1 member Ed Dadakis was even more direct: "This is really outrageous, and it seems that Mrs. Sternberg and her school administration are totally out of touch with the Greenwich community."

Well, maybe it's time for the Board of Education to cave in and admit they made a dreadful mistake in hiring the unspeakable Betty. The damage she has done during her tenure thus far is incalculable; the spiralling costs and mismanaged building projects are unrivalled in Town history; and the degree of opprobrium she engenders from every quarter (except her pet Board of Ed) surpasses that of any local resident since the days of the notorious "Boss" Tweed, or "the Witch of Wall Street," Hetty Green. Let's hope that the days of "the Witch of the Greenwich School System" are finally drawing to a close, and that very soon she will be invited to mount her broomstick and fly out of Town forever, leaving only enormous unpaid bills and a plethora of hard feelings and bad memories behind her.


Blogger Sarah Darer Littman said...

I didn't get a chance to read the article - what, exactly, was her rationale?

Seriously, the Boy Scouts?! What, does she think they're an unwholesome influence or something? Sheesh...

May 05, 2008 8:19 PM  
Blogger Bill Clark said...

Sunday's lead story in Yellowwich Time.

The words "rationale" and "Betty Sternberg" don't belong in the same sentence. The woman isn't rational, so how can she have a rationale?

May 06, 2008 9:19 AM  

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