On Monday night, Dec. 28, Arthur Green and I attended the Atkinson Board of Selectmen meeting. Leon Artus, Atkinson resident and head of the Atkinson Taxpayers for Fair Evaluations, had brought Mr. Green’s tax analysis to the attention of the BOS and also introduced us to the board. They graciously permitted us to speak about the estimated percentage tax increases with the proposed school budget as well as what we are calling the “Responsible Budget” of just under $65 million.
If you haven’t yet watched Arthur explain the staffing problem at Timberlane, you should spend a few minutes watching the video from the Atkinson meeting as it is a concise version of the more detailed presentation he gave at the Sandown Town Hall we hosted on Dec. 7th.
The Atkinson selectmen listened attentively and asked insightful questions. We were grateful for the opportunity to speak openly and fully without any time constraints and enjoyed a free flow of back and forth that made our time together singularly productive. Thanks especially to William Baldwin, Chairman of the Atkinson Board of Selectman, for his consideration. It is no secret that I’ve had issues with Lt. Baldwin in the past and I heartily appreciated his courtesy to us and the way he ran the meeting.
Watch to the end of the clip where the meeting changes tone suddenly. Jack Sapia, appointed school board rep for Atkinson, bursts into the meeting outraged that we did not notify him about our attendance at the meeting. This is hugely ironic because Mr. Sapia had a tour of Sandown North Elementary School during the day without telling me he was doing so while I have been denied access to all schools in the district during operational hours. School board members, Mrs. Delfino and Mrs. Steenson, made quite a point of how extraordinary the new full-time kindergarten program is after their time visiting the classrooms while they were in action a few months ago.
You will hear Atkinson Selectman Mr. Morse ask Mr. Sapia to leave the meeting.