NORWICH – The Norwich City School Board’s seventh member wasn’t on the ballot in the last election, doesn’t have any school-aged children enrolled in the district and, prior to being named to the open seat, had only attended two local school board meetings. But that doesn’t mean that Perry Owen isn’t eminently, and uniquely, qualified to fill the post.
When asked what prompted him to throw his name into the mix to fill the vacancy, Owen replied that it was “by request, really.”
At the first Norwich school board meeting Owen attended, he felt compelled to speak his mind. “No one knew what was going on,” said Owen. “There was great secrecy.”
Following that meeting, Owen said he was approached by several people suggesting he express an interest in the school board seat which had stood vacant since Bill Winans resigned on June 6.
He took their advice to heart, and at the Aug. 19 meeting, Owen stood during public comment and stated both the importance of filling the open seat and his willingness to serve. He also made a point of stating that, if appointed to the position, he would “not be in anyone’s pocket.”
Although not his only qualification for serving on the board, Owen thought it important to state this fact. “I wanted to make sure there was a clear understanding that I was an independent thinker,” said Owen. “I have no agenda.”