Arthur Green Sums Up Responsible Budget for Atkinson BOS

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.

Video link here

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.

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14 Comments

Filed under Budget 2015-2016, Budget Committee, Expenditures, Sandown Issues, School Board Behavior, Taxes

14 responses to “Arthur Green Sums Up Responsible Budget for Atkinson BOS

  1. Who asked that Jack be removed?

  2. A notable lack of the (very) general public in attendance. Sad, given the potential impacts to their livelihood. Hopefully some managed to watch it on the cable TV.

    Mr. Green presented well and appeared to engage the attention of the Board. Perhaps the spectre of a significant tax increase might land unfavourably upon the various political kingdoms, notably in Atkinson. In fact, such an increase might well be seen by their townsfolk as coming directly from the Board of Selectmen… given the perception of enabling the corrupt school board by way of what can only be fairly described as harassment of Ms. Green through Baldwin’s (the BOS chair) police affiliation. It was a wise move to give the Green’s the floor. But I would not put too many eggs in that basket. I do still smell the weaving of a sticky web.

    I must liken the Green’s strategy (whose motivation is to save their school district and town from disaster) to that of the legendary Paul Revere who courageously traveled town by town to sound the alarm. The difference is the Green’s are not upon a borrowed horse: their affiliations and expertise carry the message. What’s we did not hear, but should quickly consider, is this: If the taxpayers are spared, it will only be temporary. The wholly corrupt and ineptly managed school district will simply find new means of countering the drive towards fiscal sanity. They, and notably the superintendent, Messler, will turn the fight into an ugly mess.

    After you figure out how to stem the tide, ask how it rose beyond the breach. Within the answer to that question will be found a panacea. Looking at history, I think everyone knows already what the answer is. Get out the brooms and be sure to sanitize when done. The stench of incompetence and malfeasance by Messler et-al will take a lot of scrubbing to remove.

  3. Jason B. Grosky

    Mrs. Green,

    Imagine the surprise you would have generated if the headline atop your post read something along the lines of: “Greens Apologize for Unprofessional Behavior”.
    It confounds me that you and Mr. Green would show up unannounced, not on the agenda for the Atkinson BOS, without giving at least a courtesy heads up or extending an invitation to the town’s elected school district representatives.
    Suddenly on Monday night, your Atkinson colleagues started getting calls, messages, emails Monday night that — there are the Greens before Atkinson’s selectmen speaking about the school budget.
    So like Mr. Sapia, I gathered my things and headed to the meeting. Unfortunately, I arrived at the very end, just enough time for the meeting to close and express to Mr. Green my disappointment and belief that it was unprofessional of him to not extend a courtesy to his Atkinson colleagues. Before Mr. Green could get a word out, Mrs. Green, you stepped in and expressed your regret, that it never even occurred to you give the rest of us a heads up.
    The fact this simple courtesy was not extended should not be a surprise. What better way to sprinkle dust in Atkinson’s well than to show up unannounced, uninvited and then repeat the narrative of stats pulled together to support the agenda? It is an example of suspect judgment, or perhaps better, a lack of judgment.
    Tally this as an example of you nudging a stick in the eye of the very same colleagues who – even while disagreeing with your agenda, method and cloud of created dissension – have repeatedly extended themselves to you.
    Should the near day come when I try to sneak my way before an elected Sandown board to talk about school issues, you can be sure that your household will get a professional courtesy from me first.

    Respectfully,
    Jason B. Grosky

    • It is not unprofessional to speak in public about an issue of importance to all district taxpayers. This is still a free country and no elected representative owns the turf of their town. Yes, it would have been a courtesy to have told the other elected officials, but in retrospect, I’m glad we didn’t or we probably would not have been given the opportunity we did based on the way I am treated at meetings by other representatives who with some exceptions rarely if ever “extend themselves” to me except with the goal to thwart.
      “Sprinkle dust in Atkinson’s well” is what you call an open exchange of ideas? This speaks volumes. I might suggest instead of getting outraged about someone setting foot in Atkinson after the sun was down you might examine why it was that Arthur Green’s questions concerning staffing were not answered by the administration – again serving to thwart us both.

    • “It confounds me that you and Mr. Green would show up unannounced”

      I’m not certain there’s very much worth the confounding, but on the off chance here’s my advice: turn off the football and watch it on TV.

      As a somewhat impartial follower, all I can say is that here’s one pot calling the kettle black. Try supporting Ms. Green’s work for transparency. Stand up for her right, as an elected official, to receive the documentation she needs to do her work without having to file FOIA requests and shell out cash. Rail against those who would abuse their office with attempts to suppress her elected mandate. Work with her and others to achieve some balance between the greed and incompetence of the current school maladministration and the poor taxpayer who is being pulled ever downward into insolvency.

      Or continue to spread your own stardust around. However I suspect the voters can tell the difference between the twinkly kind, and that from a black hole.

    • mark acciard

      Mr. Grosky, as a former chairman of the Atkinson Budget Committee, My comment to you would be rather than presenting you outrage at not being notified perhaps you should perform the duties which you were elected to perform, PREPARE THE BUDGET!, YOUR WIFE being hired as PR person, a posiition for which no appropriation exists should disqualify YOU to comment upon district personell matters. You have a conflict of interest. and while the District has no such policy the Town does, and honr and integrity would have demanded that YOU stand against the hiring of your wife, for a position which YOU KNOW no appropriation exists. Not to mention the side issue of hiring someone for the express purpose of electioneering.

  4. thehumblehost

    who was that guy at the end?  All I gathered is that his name was Jack, that he’s on the budget committee, and apparently, really big on everybody being a “team player.”Loved the way Baldwin adjourned the meeting!Who was complaining about his being attacking?Rich GirardHumble HostGirard at Large in the MorningFacebook Twitter

    • Jack Sapia is an appointee to the Timberlane school board for Atkinson and has been on the board since October. The Atkinson BOS appointed him to replace a long serving SB member who moved out of the district. Jack will be up for election in March.

      The person asking Mr. Sapia to leave is Selectman Mr. Morse.

  5. Jason B. Grosky

    Mrs. Green,
    Just so my position is not misunderstood or mischaracterized:

    1) I agree it is not unprofessional to speak in public about an issue of importance to all district taxpayers.
    2) I agree this is a free country where no elected representative owns the turf of their town.
    3) My disappointment is not such that I am outraged. I am not, even after you have now backtracked from your expressing regret that you did not extend what should be a common courtesy.
    4) The sound of one hand clapping is not “an open exchange of ideas”.

    • INSULTED BY YOUR REMARKS

      Really Mr. Grosky? The only sound of one hand clapping is you. The other hand is stuffing taxpayer money into your back pocket each time Mr. Metzler sends your wife a check for $1500 a month. It’s no wonder as school chairman of the budget committee, you won’t recognize Mr. Green or his presentations/ ideas. The first cut would be your wife. The second would be Metzler’s wife at $50,000 a year.
      You are not working for the taxpayer, you serve for your own betterment at the cost of the taxpayer. Taxpayers are insulted by your type of representation. [with edits by DG]

    • “Just so my position is not misunderstood or mischaracterized”

      “A gentleman would be ashamed should his deeds not match his words.”
      -Confucius

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