Sanzi lists reasons for supporting Jeff Mutter for mayor

Sanzi lists reasons for supporting Jeff Mutter for mayor

There is something fundamentally wrong when people attempt to define somebody as an education candidate and then imply it is somehow a bad thing to be. The implication, of course, is to paint that person as nothing more than a tax-raiser, a person who believes that every solution for our educational woes lies in the mighty dollar. Jeff Mutter is the furthest thing from that person. In fact, he has taken more time to understand the dollars and cents of the town’s budget than perhaps anyone else in the history of Cumberland.

I have known many people during my 20 years working in education, including plenty who hold tight to the status quo, nibble at the edges for change, and blame insufficient funding for the subsequent subpar outcomes. I am supporting Jeff Mutter, my former colleague on the School Committee, precisely because he isn’t one of those people.

He is the person that thinks it is unacceptable to have trash piled up outside of our schools and did something about it.

He is the person who agreed that it was unacceptable for the grass at our schools to ever be knee high, most especially on Field Day for our elementary students.

He is the person who rejected the assertion that full-day kindergarten was an impossibility and pushed forward until we had it for every child.

He is the person who played a critical role in replacing a superintendent who lacked the focus on student achievement that we so needed.

He is the person who refused to vote on a single expenditure without a fiscal note attached because as far as he was concerned, that past practice of the School Committee was irresponsible, lacked transparency, and didn’t meet his standards for how a budget is managed.

While most of our leaders ignore the vast achievement gaps between our high and low income students and our white and nonwhite students – if they are even aware that they exist – Mutter shines a light on them and forces us to talk about them. He knows all of our children are capable of meeting higher standards and he isn’t interested in hearing excuses for poor performance. Or mediocrity. Jeff Mutter knows we can do better. And he’s right. And because he has a gift for numbers, he will always look at funding and budgets as one important piece of the very complex puzzle of making something work better for the community whether from the Town Council, the School Committee, or the mayor’s office. There’s a reason past administrations have relied on Jeff Mutter in the past to help them balance their budgets. And no matter what they may try to make you believe now, the truth remains the truth. At a time when integrity is in short supply, I’d be proud to live in a place that calls Jeff Mutter its mayor.

Erika Sanzi