Budget Committee’s Voice Gets Deeper

In a surprising turn of events, the Timberlane Budget Committee did not pass a budget in their Thursday night session. The meeting adjourned at 11:20 p.m.. For the first few hours of the meeting, it was standing room only with many men sitting while many women stood. Yes, I am old fashioned.

My takeaway from the long evening is that no matter what the budget committee decides, Superintendent Metzler is set on closing Sandown Central. He claims the school board has already voted to do this. I guess we didn’t attend the same meeting when that vote was supposedly taken by the school board.

What became apparent to me tonight:

  • Superintendent Metzler was challenged to answer direct questions with direct answers.

“What did you consider before you came to the need to cut Sandown Central?” [paraphrased.]
“We looked at everything.” [ from memory.]

  • “What’s your plan to deal with the 135 students?”

“I’ve got names on classrooms.”     [direct quote]

Really?  How about sharing a vague plan with the school board or Sandown parents? What about costs to retrofit the special needs classes that need to be relocated from Sandown North?  Let’s get some details…. any at all.

This approach to closing Sandown Central seems to be modeled on Obamacare:  you’ve got to pass it before you can find out what’s in it. Oh wait, Superintendent Metzler says the school board has already passed closing Sandown Central!  If he genuinely believes that, then you should ask where on the agenda such a momentous  topic appeared.


The vote was taken under discussion of the budget on Dec. 4…. and it was to support the proposed second draft of the budget – not explicitly to close the school. For the superintendent to say that vote gives him authorization to close a school is a stretch bigger than a fat’s man’s briefs and is galactically insensitive to our community. Anyone serious about wanting to close a community school should not be doing it over a budget fight.

If you have four hours, you would be well rewarded to watch this budget committee meeting because you will get a very real sense of the people who are running our district.  I will post clips of this meeting when the Vimeo recording of it is available.

A shout out to Mr. Cantone for his observations at the meeting.  You can see the dawn of understanding rise on his intelligent face.  As he noted, the budget process at our district is simply a negotiation.  Yes, that’s what it is.  There are no budget analytics  whatsoever.  My sympathies go out to Mr. Cantone and Mr. Horns who thought otherwise.

The budget committee meets one last time – on Dec. 23 at 7 p.m.




Filed under Budget 2015-2016, Budget Committee, Expenditures, Sandown Issues, Taxes, The Mushroom Farm

11 responses to “Budget Committee’s Voice Gets Deeper

  1. Noteworthy to readers, and perhaps instructive: this latest account of Messer’s ravings is posted under the subject line “The Mushroom Farm”.

    Speaking of wasted, how much cash is being thrown away on this guy?

  2. Unfortunately one man, and that is all he is one man, has decided to engage in a full frontal assault on the community of Sandown and her children.

    Why has he done this?

    In some Twighlight Zone world he is currently living in, he believes it makes sense to shut down the voices of logical School Board and Budget Committee members like Donna & Arthur Green by attacking the children of their community.

    He has miscalculated.

    If this had any logical portion to it, it just might be debatable, however there is none. What Earl fails to realize is that he is not attempting to silence two citizens who were elected, Donna & Arthur Green, but he is attempting to silence the citizens who elected them, because in America we are represented by our elected bodies. They speak for us. If we do not like the way they speak for us, when it comes time for them to be re-elected, we vote for someone else. If they run again, and we like how they stand up to tyranny in the face of complete darkness, but provide a shining light and example through that darkness for all of us to not only witness for ourselves, but to follow…….we re-elect them to continue to be our strong voices.

    As a community, Sandown now has a choice.

    Superintendent Earl Metzler has taken his insatiable appetite for power and control to a whole new level. Taking this past his personal hatred and vindictiveness for two people and the citizens they represent, Mr. Metzler has made an extremely unwise decision for his career.

    Mr. Metzler’s new battle plan it to reach right for the heart and soul of Sandown, which is simply a microcosm of a million other communities across America, and take an action that is simply unforgivable.

    Dr. Metzler has decided to attack Sandown’s precious gifts…….her children.

    As Americans you now have what I believe is a very simple decision to make, however every community is different, some weaker than others in the time of peril. You have to decide “Are this communities children worth fighting the likes of Earl Metzler and anyone who tightly aligns themselves with Mr. Metzler, or are they not?”

    In the next few days as we approach Christmas, Sandown residents will do some soul searching.

    This decision is not limited to citizens who have children, or whose children have moved on past this grade of school.

    This decision is about a basic human right to educate children in a locally controlled manner as a small community sees fit. What you are seeing is a first glimpse of what happens when that local control begins to creep out of your hands and another, more distant, form of government makes critical decisions that affect your community.

    If you need help, I will come to the aid of your children, however I will not do it alone. I need a minimum of 1,000 signatures on a petition from your citizens to remove Earl Metzler from office


    I am sure Mr. or Mrs. Green will come up with the appropriate language for the petition. I want to be clear. By signing this petition, you are also signing that when called upon, you will show up to a public rally in your Town, assembled in public so all can hear (Mr. Metzler, WMUR TV, NH1 news, Union Leader, Girard At Large Radio, your local newspaper) your voices clearly and what you think about outside forces messing with your children.

    I will bring a soap box for each of you to stand on.

    I will stand on that same soap box if you will allow me to, and speak out in support of your community’s children.

    It is time to unite.

    It has become personal……..Mr. Metzler has made it so.

    Anyone who attacks children makes it very personal in my book.

    Take time this season to pray on this and pray for strength to defend your communities children..

    The forces that are about to sweep like a Tsunami over Mr. Metzler and associates heads will be overwhelming and an awesome sight to behold.

    Merry Christmas Everyone

    • Rob Collins


      The Greens have said they aren’t opposed to the idea of closing Sandown Central… Were you aware of this?

      Are you aware of any of the details surrounding this issue?

      • We have said we are not closed on the topic and would keep an open mind IF the proper information were presented to us and I was convinced it would keep our children in Sandown through Fifth Grade and that we would not be forced to building another school when our student population begins to grow again in 2020. And that it would actually save money. I’ve not been presented with one shred of evidence that any of these three conditions will be met.
        Mr. Collins, please don’t put words in my mouth. And thank you, John, for understanding that this is really an attack on Sandown and not a logical proceding.

    • Fromthesidelines

      Sign me up. Please do notify us when the petition is ready for signature. It is time for earl to be reminded just who his employer is and how his superiors should be respected!

    • angry taxpayer

      I support speaking with Mr. Lycras, this is no longer about closing a school. The TRSD has continued to spend and spend with no accounting, and certainly no respect for the Budcomm. When a member asks for the revenue side of a budget and they are told by the business manager, an EMPLOYEE of the district they are basically told no, it’s not thier job to look at revenue? Sir, a budget is inclusive of revenue and expenses. This has become more about the way Mr Metzler and Mr Stokinger and all the others are using thier positions to try and threaten, manipulate, and bully Sandowns representatives. Sandown is fed up with it and the other towns will follow suit when they realize how much they will pay after revaluation. This has become a lack of respect and common courtesy. When I am asked to reduce a budget I nip and tuck, not just slaughter 800k from one spot with not so much as a plan, and my answer to my boss isn’t i looked at “everything.” The taxpayers deserveore and are certainly spending enough to demand a more respectful and informed response.

      Further, just the idea that Mr. Metzlers wife is a 68,000 dollar consultant, and Mr. Groskys wife is a PR consultant for the district smells fishy? Hired through a firm run by the previous superintendent? Really? Spanish in kindergarten? A money losing kindergarten you now want to make full time and free? Come on we have other things we can spend our money on, let’s get academic and spending under control before we start spending on other “nice to have” things. I whole heartedly support the Mr. Lycras working with the citizens of Sandown to put this tyrant and his cronies out of business.

      Did anyone notice the “police detail” officer last night sitting in his police department owned vehicle with it running for over an hour last night while he was making $48 dollars per hour?
      When you don’t agree with the government they bring an armed goon into a public meeting to do thier bidding?

      • And I heartily object to police presence at Budcom and School Board meetings going forward as announced by Superintendent Metzler. The School Board did not request this by vote nor did Budcom. And thank you so very much for understanding the importance of revenue in understanding a budget and how highhanded the administration is in giving your representatives information. We have long complained of information being withheld for political purposes.

  3. Goodenuf Cottage

    I came here this am to see if I saw what I saw.
    As usual Mrs. Green, you are way ahead of me at getting all the facts and performing an astute analysis.
    For the first time last night, I was able to watch most of the meeting unlike other evenings when the assembly was just a pretense of the board’s purpose.
    Gleefully last night, I saw some board members rising up to execute their “due diligence”. I cheer them on. It is not easy at times to suffer the nonsense that the administration pitches with such bravado. I did, however, see other board members unaware that the “jig is up.”
    It looks like Timberlane is about to require good information provided by salaried professionals in a timely manner and without duplicity .
    I have been concerned for some that more effort was being exerted on “damage control” rather than the business at hand.
    It is time for genuine collaboration in the name of the children.

    • It looks like Timberlane is about to require good information provided by salaried professionals in a timely manner and without duplicity .

      I’m afraid it is too little, too late. Superintendent Metzler is already spinning the meeting as instructing him to deliver a 68.1 million budget. It seems either he or I have a comprehension issue.
      This is an email from Cathy Belcher this morning:
      Good morning Board members,

      Dr. Metzler would like to provide you this budget update relative to last night’s Budget Committee meeting. As you may know, the Budget Committee rejected the flat line budget that was presented and further directed the administration to come back with a 3rd draft in the amount of $68,078,927. The Superintendent and Business Administrator will have a 3rd draft by this afternoon and will use this opportunity to incorporate some needed improvements to Sandown North in preparation of the consolidation plan.

      He thanks you, again, for your continued support.

      Have a good day,

  4. Cathy

    We sent the SAU away with a budget of $68,078, 927. 27. The cuts motions and and approved by majority vote from the original budget of $69, 186,246.00 to get to that amount are as follows
    – Draft 1 budget $69,186,246.00
    2620.420.12.33 Reduce rubbish removal $6,000.00
    2650.430.12.33 Reduce vehicle maintenance $5,000.00
    4600.450.12.33 Remove MS transformer replacement $500,000.00
    Various (line items) Wage reductions per draft 2a position chg detail $460,242.03
    2900.220.01.33 FICA per above $35,208.52
    2900.232.01.33 NHRS-Teachers per above $57,774.54
    2900.231.01.33 NHRS-Employees per above $10,225.78
    2900.210.01.33 Employee Ins. per above $32,867.86
    Sub Total $1,107,318.73
    Total $68,078,927.27

    After everyone left the BudCom the following statement was made by Superintendent (~3:47)
    Metzler: You had [school] board action on this already alright . So let’s not make assumptions based on numbers.
    Right now the transformer, Sandown Central and the vacant positions are out are of the budget.
    You move the # to 68 we can come back and tell you what we are going to spend from 67.3 to 68. That’s the reality of where we are at; right.
    I don’t know why we are confusing this and trying to make it some kind of shell game that this is in and that’s out and that’s out and this is in.
    Right now those item are out; they are out. So if You move it up to 68 I’m gunna go to the board and I will come back and tell you what we are spending the other 7 on.
    At ~3:49: 15
    Cathy Gorman: I guess for clarity because I don’t know if this was actually stated when everybody was here, regardless of what we do with the budget, the school board has already agreed they are willing to move forward with closing Sandown Central regardless of we do or say can be cut from this budget. That is what I am understanding because that was not said when a majority of people were here.
    We had a lot of people here earlier concerned about this very topic and we have gone around and around to find out at 11 o’clock at night regardless of what we do or say the school board is going to close Sandown Central.
    Metzler: The SB can direct me any way they see fit. The BudCom has to do with the budget #. So I will go back to the SB and II just know how much money I have and the SB will decide how to spend it. And that may mean Sandown Central is open or not. Right now the budget that they have approved and supported is one that does not include transformer, those vacant positions and it closes Sandown Central.
    Grosky then disagrees with my interpretation of what had occurred – it is also worth a listen.
    Someone please tell me how what I has said occurred did not based on Superintendent Metzler’s initial statement above?

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