Letter: Cassetti Should Apologize For ‘Hate-Filled’ Statement

On June 12, 2018, Mayor of Ansonia David Cassetti released what I can only describe as the most immature statement I have ever read from the highest elected official in the city. In the more than five paragraph rant, Mayor Cassetti went on to describe the city as “the bigger person” when it came to the budget issue, and how they were tired of the Board of Education’s “threats and intimidation tactics.”

Despite the public completely tearing this lackluster hit piece of an official statement apart, Mayor Cassetti continues to deny any wrongdoing on the city’s part. Unfortunately, the residents of the great City of Ansonia are catching on, as evident by the immediate backlash this statement received.

The amount of animosity and hostility from the Mayor towards the Superintendent of Ansonia Public Schools is astounding as well. This is the same man that, when he was campaigning in 2013, claimed he would “end the fierce debate over school funding at budget time.” Does this administration’s actions really reflect his campaign promises?

It’s quite ironic that Mayor Cassetti then goes on a misguided rant that Superintendent Dr. Carol Merlone “uses kids as pawns to get her way, no matter the cost.” I have a question for you Mayor, do you recall back in May 2016 when hundreds of concerned parents showed up to the Ansonia High School auditorium and literally begged you and the Board of Aldermen to properly fund the Ansonia School District? Because I sure do. It is also not Dr. Merlone’s fault that she can’t fill an entire board of “Team” members to vote in unison for everything that she wants to do.

The smoking gun on this entire topic, however, is that this entire thing could’ve been avoided months ago. I know for a fact that city officials met with the Board of Education in late April, and the same deal was presented. The city refused to restore the $500,000 in funding. Why are you withholding this information from residents?

I am not sure what your intentions are in demonizing Superintendent Merlone, but I know that the public is now demanding answers. It seems rather telling of the Mayor’s stance on this situation seeing that he can’t bring himself to even come to meetings where he may meet hostility from passionate parents who want a bright future for their children.

I have been in Ansonia Public Schools my entire life. Of this time, I have been very close with Dr. Carol Merlone. You don’t know this amazing woman like I, as well as the parents of Ansonia’s youth, do. She has passion for education that is beyond reproach. Her dedication to the youth of Ansonia is awe-inspiring, and for the Mayor, who has dealt with her for maybe half a decade, to belittle her and make her out to look like a criminal is completely inappropriate. Mayor Cassetti, or whoever published this under the name of the Mayor, should be ashamed. The residents, the Superintendent, and the Board of Education deserve an apology.

And to close this hate-filled ramble, he even had the audacity to say “Ansonia’s future is worth fighting for.” Well Mayor, the residents have determined that this is a lie. I won’t reiterate the facts anymore, they’re already out there.

The writer is an Ansonia native serving in the U.S. Marine Corps. His views are his own.

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