To the Editor:

My name is Barry "Scott" Johnson, and my wife Jeanine and I own ABC Music School in Litchfield.

We are honored and humbled to be able serve the area's citizenry and local businesses for the past 11 years and are extremely thankful and appreciative of the way the people of Litchfield have embraced us.

I am writing this today in hopes that people will begin to question what we long have, without any answer from the school system - Why the Litchfield school system uses an out of state company to do most all of their music and theater-related business without giving any opportunity to a local tax-paying business to bid or provide the same?

We have a full-scale instrument rental service, keep all accessories for these instruments in stock, and sell all relevant sheet music and band course materials - We are friendly and extremely knowledgeable, and even offer loaners, delivery and pickup, and an excellent repair service - all at very competitive prices.

In other words, we can and do provide every service that the current out-of-state company does (and more), but with more immediate service, and we are literally right around the corner and minutes from the green.

Further, we have for many years contributed both financially and through volunteering to the school system's music and theater programs, and we have tried many times to reach out to school administration to build bridges with no response or explanation.

Despite all this, we hear frequently from school parents and students that the school narrowly encourages them to only use the "school approved company."

We are not looking for a handout - merely for an opportunity to provide value to the school system, and for the school to not deliberately steer students and parents to an out of state company while ignoring an established and capable local business less than a half mile away from their own driveway. We do not believe this request is unreasonable.

We would hope shopping locally is something our town would promote at all levels, and that they will reconsider their decision to steer all this business out of state.

Accordingly, we humbly and sincerely ask our friends and citizens to ask school administrators and the Board of Education why a local tax paying business is not even a consideration when spending our tax dollars.

Thank you,
Scott and Jeanine Johnson