Guest Column: Happy to work with Kreutzer

This responds to suggestions that during last year’s Sandy nor’easter and subsequent snowstorm the superintendent of our schools, Dr. Paul Kreutzer, in some way lacked good judgment and common sense in his decision making while “directing tirades at Town officials and emergency responders.”

As Lewisboro town supervisor, my experience working closely with Dr. Kreutzer during these two events in no way supports these suggestions. He and I had extensive face-to-face contact at the Town House both during and subsequent to the daily morning conference calls to the Westchester County Emergency Management Center and the afternoon NYSEG calls. Both tended to be lengthy and repetitious, but never did Paul challenge my position as spokesman. In the discussions subsequent to these calls, there was certainly robust and logical debate about the town’s priorities. It should be no surprise that the school superintendent’s main priority was to re-open the schools, whereas my priorities were complete access for emergency vehicles to all town roads, however small, plus a smoothly functioning election on Nov. 6. In simple terms this is what each of us is paid to do. This is also what he and I are paid to satisfactorily resolve. We did that.

During the subsequent snowstorm, Paul and I were in telephone contact. Unfortunately, all the contact in the world could not make up for the major mistake in judgment by New York state. The Department of Transportation’s decision to delay work until rush hour ensured that the state highways were so clogged that the state plows and salt/sand spreaders could not reach where they were needed. The result was a series of traffic jams involving all traffic, including commuters, school buses and the town’s plows as they tried to access town roads. This situation can scarcely be laid at Paul’s door.

These debates and discussions never interfered with what rapidly became a warm, productive relationship spiced with humor. I am happy to have Paul as a partner in helping our community.

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  • L Brooks

    I am glad to read that you have a warm, productive relationship with Dr. Kreutzer. Unfortunately, I haven’t heard too many other people say the same thing.

    I don’t recall the association’s letter including any suggestion that Dr. Kreutzer challenged you for the role of community spokesman in the aftermath of the hurricane. I do recall participants in conference calls with Dr. Kreutzer, held during and after the storm, reporting that his behavior seemed inappropriate. The letter pointed that that was consistent with the “tirades” others have witnessed in the school district’s office.

    And, I don’t recall the letter blaming Dr. Kreutzer for the dangerous conditions of the roads and the traffic pileups that kept students on busses until after 10pm on the night of the noreaster. The letter did blame Dr. Kreutzer for deciding to abandon his desk and leave the state to keep a massage appointment, rather than remain in the district office to make sure all the students had arrived home safely.

  • Lewis Boro

    It is good to see a person without an ax to grind expressing their perspective on Dr. Kreutzer’s performance.
    Keep up the good work Supervisor Parsons and Superintendent Kreutzer.

  • L Brooks

    What is most telling is not who has come out to stand up for Dr. Kreutzer, but who hasn’t.

    I thought, given the seriousness of the union’s charges and the importance of his position, the BOE would have responded to its letter with a more spirited and thoughtful rebuttal, something that went beyond “yeah, we knew about that.”

    Unless I missed it, no one on the Board of Education, no one in the district office, and none of the schools’ principals have come forward to blast the union’s charges.

    Maybe someone who knows Kreutzer as an educational leader or as a coworker (other than his wingman Lipton) will step up and explain why the union’s complaints are hogwash.

    • Lewis Boro

      When one side is desparate without any real facts on their side they always resort to spreading propaganda in the media.

      When the truth is on your side no need to say anything . This is why the union’s mouthpieces won’t shut up.

  • John Galt

    Let’s here it for Mr. Parson’s! Hip hip hooray! Let reason prevail! I applaud you! As for L Brooks; really? Crossing “state lines”?! In case you are from another planet, you might be informed enough living here to know Lewisboro has limited cell phone access and that the town 5 minutes away (Ridgefield) is where many of us shop because we can get calls from our children, our schools, etc. in case of emergency. That “crossed state lines” bologna is purely bullsh-t and you know it. You are pathetic in that line of reasoning and the entire town knows it. We all laughed out loud hearing that pathetic excuse. Wonderful teamwork Mr. Parsons for standing with Dr. Kreutzer. Thank you for your reasonable voice in these bifurcated times.

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