And Now Hampstead ? UPDATED

Watch the first five minutes of Hampstead’s school board meeting last night.  The chairman reads an email sent to the board by Hampstead resident, Jorge Mesa-Tejada.  You may recognize Mr. Mesa-Tejada’s name from his many letters to the Tri-Town Times and from his extensive public service, currently on the Hampstead School Budget Committee.

After the letter is read, the school board chairman, Greg Hoppa, says that Mr. Mesa-Tejada will no longer be permitted to address meeting agenda items without a vote of the board.

Readers, here is my own little survey.  Please reply to this post by writing  “A,” “B,” or “C.”

  • A:   The Hampstead Board acted appropriately towards the letter writer
  • B:   The Hampstead Board was right to feel bullied but they should not limit a citizen’s speech by vote
  • C:   The Hampstead School Board’s reaction and penalties are objectionable.

THE MEETING:  http://hampsteadcabletv.pegcentral.com/player.php?video=ded19f8a06c8ef2322d12104a3b7c487

Our SAU encompasses the four Timberlane towns as well as the town of Hampstead. I will post the survey results on Saturday. Please vote!

UPDATE 11/01/14:   See the Eagle Tribune’s report on the issue:  PR Flak    Also hear Rich Girard tear a strip off of the Hampstead School Board on his radio show: Hampstead SB Bullies Critics

POLL RESULTS:  100% replied “C”     but responses were very small and limited to my regular commentators though the posting was very well viewed.  Thanks to those who voted – and to those who follow the blog.

UPDATE 11/18/14:   Girard at Large interview Mr. Mesa-Tejada about this incident today. Mesa-Tejada radio interview

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8 Comments

Filed under Sandown Issues

8 responses to “And Now Hampstead ? UPDATED

  1. [C]
    Bullying is defined as “unwanted, aggressive behaviour”. The letter put forth the desire of a taxpayer that this school board not hide behind a P-R agency (as Timberlane is attempting to do) but instead talk to voters directly. It also stated that a democratic process (voting members out of office) would ensue should a P-R agency be hired.

    It is unfortunate the chair and members of yet another bunch of seat-warmers lack the maturity to see through the voter’s intent. We all express ourselves according to our level of education, experiences, and social linking, with emotions most surely playing a part.

    This board should make a little more room for its own progeny: a taxpayer, likely a product of these same public schools, whose ability to communicate is rough around the edges.

    In short: get over it. You’re public figures doing public business. If you can’t handle criticism then find other work.

    • For the record, Mr. Mesa-Tejada is quite well educated and an extremely good letter writer. This letter was not characteristic of him. He is also older than he looks. He was struggling to hear at the meeting.

  2. Cathy

    C

    I hear the words “bully, bullying, bullied” quite a bit lately from the SAU and SB members.
    They have no right to prevent anyone from speaking during public comment. I would contact the NH ACLU the first time they deny someone their 1st A right.
    If the SB members can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen.

    • I believe the Hampstead board will allow public comment but will vote on whether to allow comments from Mr. Mesa-Tejada on agenda items.

      • Cathy

        They cannot prevent one person from speaking if they are opening agenda item to the public for comment.
        Either they are entertaining the public or they are not.
        That’s my opinion.

  3. lartus@aol.com

    A: The Hampstead Board acted appropriately towards the letter writer No they didn’t. B: The Hampstead Board was right to feel bullied but they should not limit citizen’s speech by vote. No they shouldn’t. The board never took a vote. The chairman made the decision. C: The Hampstead School Board’s reaction and penalties are objectionable. Very Objectionable!

  4. Judy Graham

    I am one of the people who watch your blog and not because I am looking for reliable information. I do not usually choose to participate. However, following is a late reply.

    A – The Hampstead Board acted accordingly. If you listen to the discourse they are limiting Mr. Mesa-Tejada to public comments; the same privileges as every other citizen of Hampstead and not less than the School Board policies state.
    Previously Mr. Mesa-Tejada had been allowed to join the conversations during the rest of the meeting as are the Selectmen. As an aside, when I served as Chair of the School Board a notable number of people contacted me with regard to stopping this unwritten policy.

    “You would not like to experience the ensuing firestorm” does sound like a threat to me (intent to damage), if not an ultimatum. Not exactly the example of good negotiation skills that we should hope to set for our students who watch and participate.

    Further, in my nine years experience serving on either the Budget Committee, School Board or working with Mr. Mesa-Tejada himself, I haven’t known a Hampstead board member yet who would not listen to and consider the content of the each message whether they like what they hear or not.

    That being said, after a costly and extensive search for a Superintendent with good communications skills among many other qualifying attributes, why the need for a PR consultant?

    Judy Graham

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