Public Salary Information Kept Hidden

[Sent Jan. 21, 2015 at 2 pm]
Dear Ms. Steenson:

As a member of the Timberlane School Board, I am formally requesting that the administration provide me and the school board with the financial system’s salary detail output for the 2014-2015 budget.  I similarly request the same for the proposed 2015-2016 budget as per that which is given the Hampstead Budget Committee as attached. Both requests are to include all district staff. The information is to include the full code for each staff member, FTE information and all else included in Hampstead’s attached salary detail.
As I am sure you are aware, the salaries of all public employees are a matter of public record in New Hampshire.
If the administration requests a vote of the board to provide this information, I will ask why this information is given to the people of Hampstead and not to the people of Timberlane.  Are we somehow less worthy of the same level of disclosure as the people of Hampstead?  
Hamsptead and Timberlane share the same SAU administration and the same financial software.  Because I know this to be a simple printout from your financial system, as attached, I look forward to receiving this information at the school board meeting on Thursday night.
Thank you,
Donna Green
Sandown representative
re:  “Reported Staffing Numbers Don’t Add Up,”  TimberlaneandSandown.wordpress.com

Here is her response received 10:36 am, Jan. 22, 2015

Mrs. Green,

If you feel that board members would be interested in this report, please make a motion to request it on behalf of the board during other business tonight. The Hampstead and Timberlane districts may share SAU administration, but are run completely separately, as you know. We have done many things differently for many years. Nobody at the SAU is depriving the Timberlane board of documents; the reports you reference have not been requested nor needed by the Timberlane board in the past. Perhaps you’d like to briefly explain why they would be of use for the benefit of the rest of the board tonight.

Nancy


Of course the school board does not want to release the salaries of all the staff at Timberlane and a motion would go down in flames as most all my other motions. Public officials want to keep as much information secret as they possibly can. Mrs. Steenson’s suggestion that I put it to a vote of the board is a taunt and an insult at the same time. A request to examine public records does not require any vote by any body. I am entitled as a citizen to see this information and as a school board member it is my duty to see this information – and this time I’m not going to pay for it either.

Timberlane has been allowed to function in darkness for too long.  Some school districts publish this information in their annual report but in Timberlane school board members cannot even see it.

To be clear, my goal in requesting this is not to criticize teacher’s salaries but to find out the exact number of full-time equivalent staff we are paying for  since there is an inconsistency between what I’ve been told and what has been reported to the Department of Education.  No explanation has been forthcoming to explain this discrepancy despite earnest efforts to obtain an explanation.  A Right to Know request would cost hundreds of dollars at 50 cent a page.

Taxpayers, citizens, students, are you being served by this kind of behavior?  To those who would give the district all the money they ask: do you think this secretive behavior is indicative of responsible governance?

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2 Comments

Filed under Budget 2015-2016, Expenditures, Right to Know issues, School Board Behavior, The Mushroom Farm

2 responses to “Public Salary Information Kept Hidden

  1. mark Acciard

    Oh NANCY, this is PUBL:IC INFO BY LAW! Mrs. Green does not need your permission to get it. However if the SAU is refusing to comply with the law, it would behoove the governing body( that is the SCHOOL BOARD, for the cheap seats) to direct Mr. MEtzler to provide it.

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