My Deliberative Speech

For those interested in keeping public education affordable, for those who want to encourage the well-being of young families so they can have children and stay in the state, for those who want to help retired people stay in their homes, last night was a rout. One hundred people showed up out of approximately 800 to support lowering the school district’s budget. The teachers’ union was out in force in a well coordinated campaign.

In a brilliant stroke of pre-reheared gamesmanship, a woman motioned to limit all presentations to three minutes.  This was staggeringly undemocratic and the very opposite of what a “deliberative session” is all about.  I called for a secret ballot on the motion which was met with anger at the inconvenience.  I offered to withdraw my request for a secret ballot if the motion to limit presentations and addresses was withdrawn.  It was not.  Then I tried to get the moderator’s attention to call for a show of cards but my microphone was turned off and the moderator did not recognize me.  Getting the moderator to recognize me, Arthur Green and Tony Cantone continued to be an issue throughout the evening.  The motion passed by a wide margin.  As a result, Arthur commented that he wondered what people were afraid of in hearing his information.  He made the best he could of 3 minutes when he had diligently prepared a 15 minutes presentation then cut to ten minutes with just 24 hours notice by the moderator the day before.  I, too, could not get through my prepared remarks which the moderator improperly interrupted and attempted to stop.  You can read why here:

DELIBERATIVE ADDRESS 2015

Timberlane has many fine teachers, students who make us proud and a passionate school community. We’re not here to tell you Timberlane is bad. We’re here to give you an honest assessment so we can improve together. The first step is getting control of the budget.

My husband and I have been made out to be dangerous enemies to public education. That is patently ridiculous, but we ARE enemies of something else –waste and indefensible practices.

In the past 14 months the school board has

  • hired the superintendent’s wife as a consultant to introduce Spanish in Kindergarten at $50,000 a year. The board will almost certainly be renewing her contract for four subsequent years.

  • Hired the wife of an SAU board member as a teacher

  • Hired the wife of the chairman of the budget committee as a PR consultant –an unbudgeted position, and entirely needless.

I honestly cannot say I believe this is the extent of crony hiring.

  • In 2014 the school board dropped the requirement for competitive bids if the “existing services continue to meet the needs of the district.” This couldn’t be more wasteful and irresponsible. Our Athletic Trainer contract, for instance, did not go out to bid for 28 years until we were hounded by a parent to do so. The result was an excellent new company that provides more services – such as doctors at football games – for significantly less money.

I don’t know how many other contracts we have like this. I tried to amend this new policy to say that all contracts had to go out to bid at a minimum of every three years. This was defeated 1 to 8 by the board sitting in front of you.

The district also has a practice of withholding financial and staffing information and making elected officials pay for it. In the past 14 months, Arthur and I had to resort to 13 Right to Know requests– all for public information mostly at fifty cents a page.

These included:

  • monthly revenue and expenditure reports

  • a year end financial report

  • enrollment projections

  • basic staffing numbers

  • Mrs. Metzler’s contract

Last year, the district’s financial audit was issued 9 months late with an adverse opinion. Nothing has been done to address those issues. Now the audit is once again no where in sight… 2 months late to no one’s concern.

I could go on but I’m allowed only 3 minutes. The current practices are self-serving and profoundly disrespectful of the sacrifice your family makes to pay taxes.

How can it be responsible to cut millions from the budget?

It is positively irresponsible not to.

The Responsible Budget gives more per student than currently. The proposed budget adds a staggering $900 more per student.

Taxpayers can no longer prop up a system that will not control itself.

We must demand excellence in both education and management and stand up to the politics of fear.


In a surprising turn of events, Mr. Bealo, member from Plaistow,  motioned to add $250,000 to the budget to put in a sprinkler system in Danville Elementary. The amended and increased budget passed by large majority.  Arthur Green’s subsequent motion to lower the budget by what was then $3 million lost dramatically:  100 for, 517 against.

It’s been a great year for the facilities manager.  Lots of major projects are getting funded that weren’t even on the facilities 5-yr plan.  One wonders what role budgeting and planning have in our district.  Next May, when the school board is staring at an irresistible surplus, you can look forward to learning about and paying for other emergency projects not even a twinkle in the facilites’ plan.

Deliberative Session ended at 12:10 a.m. after which the school board held a meeting.  The agenda included a “first reading” of a new math curriculum.  The materials for this math curriculum were sent to us at 3 pm,  three hours before we were to arrive at the Deliberative. This is how seriously your board takes decisions of this magnitude. A new math program is the most important decision the school board will make – even more important than closing a school – because this will affect our students’ future in the modern world to a person.

I asked the chairman to reschedule that agenda item.  She did not respond.  I did not attend the meeting as I do not believe any member of the board could possibly have had time to read the voluminous material concerning the curriculum and no intelligent discussion  could be expected.

 

 

 

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22 Comments

Filed under Budget 2015-2016, Sandown Issues, Taxes, Withdrawing from District

22 responses to “My Deliberative Speech

  1. Beth Blomquist

    Mrs Green,
    (I have left one comment for you today so please feel free to cut and add it here if you feel it is better for continuity’s sake.)
    In addtion to my previous reply I will acknowledge that as you state above there are items within our district that can and should be examined. Unfortunately, I believe things have become to heated for any meaningful conversations at the moment.
    I will also acknowledge that I did notice the moderator failing to recognize you as attempted to get his attention on a few occasions. This is not right. I can’t say if it was with willful intent but I did see you with your hand up and not be recongnzied.
    Lastly, I can say for me and most of my peers we do not have any fear in hearing Mr.Green’s words or analyses. We feel as though we have reviewed the proposed budget and as long standing members of the community didn’t need to hear any information further to what we have already seen. You may not see us in person but many of us do watch meetings on Vimeo and read what is available to us on the Web. We conducted our own independent research. We do our best to be informed. We get together and talk amongst ourselves and have simply come to a different conclusion. Also you should understand that we are not fooled into thinking that all the Draconian cuts that were purported to happen would happen but we also know cuts don’t come with out cost of some kind.
    Most of us are more level headed than you are giving us credit for.
    Respectfully,
    Beth B

    • Metzler 1, green 0

      Well now that the Greens bad case of “Fiscal Flatulence” has now passed we can all breath fresh air, these clowns as well as a few others do nothing good but cause fighting within the towns.

      THE REMAINDER EDITED FOR OUTRIGHT RUDENESS TO OTHERS.

      Thanks, Bustmore Gas, for another dazzling display of adolescent critique.

  2. Chris Machemer

    Having fought the so-called good fight, and lost, Mrs. Green, I hope that the powers that be in Sandown can focus on raising the tax base in your town. It will be very disappointing to have to sit through another one of those meetings this time next year, because all you’ve done is spend the time preparing presentations, and statistics, to try and convince folks to divest in our kids’ education.

    • Do you realize that we pay the cost of a new car for every student in Timberlane every single year from kindergarten to graduation? We are trying to hold it to that. You have got to realize that we cannot keep paying more to educate fewer students. That is not divestment, it is simple arithmetic. We are in the grips of a major demographic shift that school districts across the country do not want to recognize because money is power. Power is what we saw on display last night with the insulting police presence in overabundance.

      • Chris Machemer

        So having not answered my question, I’ll assume the answer is unfortunately, that we’ll be doing this again next year.
        Yes, education costs money. And everything keeps getting more expensive, due to inflation, and other factors. Perhaps the cost isn’t worth it to you. But to more than 5 out out 6 people who attended last night, it apparently is.
        What the presence of police last night has to do with anything at all, I really don’t know, or care, so please don’t explain. It had nothing to do with what I said.
        The power was in the vote.

      • Lou Farrell

        Dear Ms. Green, there are many ways to look at the budget issue and, by using a car analogy, it is clear that you are choosing to view the budget issue as a cost. Others, myself included, consider it an investment. And while you can choose to view last night as a display of power, I believe we saw the democratic process work amazingly well, especially given some of the tactics that were employed by both sides. When all was said and done, the votes were overwhelmingly in favor of continuing the strategy and mission of the school district. In fact, it should be noted that there were significantly fewer votes in support of an amendment to reduce the budget this year than last year’s attempt. I do believe this is a telling data point.

        I give you and your husband much credit for raising the awareness of budget issue across all four towns in our district. And I believe, due to your efforts, the school board and budget committee will work harder to keep the “delicate balance” of meeting the needs of our students and taxpayers within the district. Thank you! That said, I do believe, last night the people of the Timberlane School District made clear where we stand on the issue. There were many, many people in attendance and I am sure there was a healthy mix of Republicans, Democrats, Independents, etc. as well as voters from all four towns. A vote this lopsided shows that when it comes to the future, our children, we are “on the same page”. I truly hope that as you continue your position on the school board and your husband on the budget committee you both keep in mind that this is the will of the people.

    • Chris, the fight to ensure taxpayers get good value for their ‘investment’ is eternal. Metzler’s attourney explained the problem last night. I think he also provided a path forward. The district hides millions of dollars of fraud and waste in it’s budget each year. If the taxpayers dare to complain, the SAU uses the ‘bottom line budget’ to punish the children.

      Donna and Arthur tried to explain this, but three minutes is not a lot of time to rebut 90 minutes of propaganda. I don’t think they could have changed a single mind in that room. That meeting was about nothing but money. The children were in the bulls eye — as hostages.

      I think the best approach to the problem is to put fraud, waste, and abuse in the bulls eye. I think, going forward, the people who who fill the trough should focus on DEFUNDING fraud, waste, and abuse. For instance, citizens could put a warrant on the ballot to pay $x for a PR consultant. No one thinks a PR consultant benefits education, so it is voted down and the budcom chair’s main squeeze has to get a real job. People I talk to really do not believe Metzler’s wife was hired as a spanish language consultant — consultant not instructor — for the preschoolers. No one would approve a warrant for $50k to pay for this position, so it would be zero funded and another nonteaching position would be eliminated.

      This is the best way to engage taxpayers in the war on fraud, waste, and abuse that Big Education is waging on our children.

  3. Reposting From Friends of Timberlane

    RePosting Comments from Friends of Facebook.

    I don’t mean to come into the conversation this late in the game but I did want to point out a couple things about fles since I am a language teacher at the high school. First, to say no one else is the state of nh has fles certification is untrue and we have a Spanish teacher right at our school that currently holds this certification. But second and more importantly, whoever the consultant may be. It is their job to create curriculum, hire, check up on, mentor, etc. but we currently have been asked as high school Spanish teachers to tutor one of the fles kindergarten teacher as she goes for certification. Shouldn’t this be the job of the consultant and not paying us additional money that comes from the sau? Don’t get me wrong, the high school is ecstatic about a kindergarten program but I feel people should know and hopefully that issue will resolve

    • Sue Sherman, school board member, replied to the post about a FLES consultant with this:
      Susan Sherman BTW, as I recall,the board was offered 2 choices for consultants from SERESC, we chose the most qualified for the Spanish consultant.

      Allow me to correct Mrs. Sherman’s memory. TRSB 2/20/14 Mtg @1:42:00 minutes begins the Administrators Report where FLES is first mentioned to the entire Board,
      (you can hear someone ask what is FLES?). Dr. Metzler is looking for a consultant and he says his wife is the only one in the state. He can go directly and hire her or the board can go through SERESC to hire her. The board decides it looks better to hire her through SERESC even though it will cost more money.

      @1:48:00 Dr. Metzler states: “I don’t know of anyone else who does this.”

      The Contract did not go out to open bid to find out if there was anyone else who could offer these services, only to SERESC. Surprisingly, SERESC’s own contract says they have someone else with similar qualifications if the district needed additional services. oops!

  4. Reposting From Friends of Timberlane

    Rob Collins SERESC is charging the district $1,500 per month for our PR consultant. There is an account tied to the School Board that we use for various things. In recent years we have used it for helping Destination Imagination teams travel to Global Finals and our mailing of “School Board Notes.” Those mailings typically cost about $3,000 per mailing and our goal each year is to get 4 out totaling ~$12,000. Hiring the PR consultant from December to the end of the school year, 7 months, totals $10,500. We are not planning to mail anything this year in lieu of the PR consultant.

    We are paying SERESC $50,000 for the FLES consultant. That money came from the curriculum account I believe. It was Board approved.

  5. Reposting From Friends of Timberlane

    Jennifer Silva So we hired someone to fight our own SB member and Budcom member? No wonder I hear people from other districts laughing at what’s going on. And mind you, this person was hired when the superintendent himself said he didn’t feel like he needed or wanted such a position? So this was entirely the decision of our current SB members?

    Rob Collins We did NOT hire a PR consultant to fight the Greens. We hired a PR consultant to assist in getting professional and consistent communication out from the District. No one has eve said this, I’m not sure where it is coming from…

    Jennifer Silva I believe there was a reference made at some meeting about being hired to combat negative publicity

    Rob Collins Totally understand the timing and it might not have been coincidental. There was an overall negative culture growing around Timberlane and the CAC wanted it addressed in a better manner. That’s my take of this slide.

    Jennifer Silva Rob Collins – this is why people are feeling that the PR person was hired to fight the greens http://vimeo.com/115743437#t=2h19m35s
    BOS Meeting 12/22/2014
    Danville, NH Board of Selectmen Meeting December 22nd, 2014

    Rob Collins Jennifer Silva, not sure I understand your point. That’s exactly what I’ve been saying here. I never used the word fight. I guess your inferring that from what was said? Is getting the truth and positive stories about Timberlane “fighting” the Greens? I just think it’s doing a good job telling the story of our district because others, and that most certainly includes the ET, have had zero interest in getting it right about TRSD in recent years.

    Jennifer Silva It was more you referencing/identifying Mr. Green personally and saying that PR person is needed bc there are people out there trying to sabotage things. On top of that, the superintendent did not support this position.

    Stacey Marcotte Rob Collins I’m floored after watching this BOS video. You agreed with Mr.Green’s waving of the hand as to say it is him who is sabotaging things and is why the need for PR. It’s one thing to get out positive news to tell the story of TRSD and another to need PR against a BudCom and SB member. Is the PR person behind Support Timberlane and their anti-Green movement? I may not agree with the Green’s but I do feel they deserve the right to speak their opinion. This is disgraceful. I certainly hope the SB will reconsider their reasoning for a PR person next year.

    Rob Collins Stacey Marcotte, who said the Greens couldn’t speak their opinion? I did not say he was the only reason but he is certainly and ADMITTEDLY, part of it.
    Your reasoning makes no sense to me…

    Stacey Marcotte Rob to say you are admitting to the Green’s being part of the reason for a PR consultant is only half the truth. Early today you said the exact opposite “we did NOT hire a PR consultant to fight the Green’s”. If you want to play on words then go ahead but I know what I’ve read here and it’s disturbing. How can something like this build trust? I think it’s doing the opposite.

  6. Reposting From Friends of Timberlane

    Question: When Peter Bealo added the 250K to the budget he said for sprinklers in Danville, can money be ‘earmarked’ as such in the budget? So the board can use that 250K for whatever they like correct?

    …. the additional funds can be used for anything as all we did was add it to the total budget number. No where on the ballot will it mention the sprinklers

    Jeanmarie Ward Ya funny enough I remembered that from last year…someone trying to earmark a budget increase for astroturf…ironic.
    ( Mr.Jack Sapia)

    John Hughes Which is part of the reason I voted against the increase. Also I hate added large sums like that at deliberate without some detail on the cost. If this budget passes we will have to see if Danville actually gets sprinklers.

    Doris Welch While I support the school budget, I did not support Peter Bealo’s move to add $250K to it. It is moves such as that which cause distrust and discourse amongst the voters. Why was he willing to risk the work everyone did on that budget with an end run like that? And where was any further information to say that $250K is an adequate or inadequate amount for a whole school sprinkler system? This is like a Jack Sapia move, from previous years, to stick money in the budget when you’re TRYING to get it passed for heaven sake. I supported Jack the first time he pulled that, although I wasn’t completely comfortable. The 2nd time he did it I was very angry that he’d risk the budget in that way. Those things either belong in the budget from the beginning so they can be further discussed and explored OR need to be voted on as a separate warrant article. And I’m not saying I’m against a sprinkler system either. What I’m against is any move like that, especially when no back-up is presented. The mantra was ‘suppport the planned budget’ and his move flew in the face of that in my opinion.

    Jeanmarie Ward You know Doris you make a good point and the more I think about it the more upset I am with the 250K amendment. We have been told for weeks now how hard they worked on the budget and how many revisions and how sensitive they have been about people’s needs and that they kept it flat and then surprise an extra quarter of a million is needed. The truth of the matter is the board did not have the intestinal fortitude to close the school on their own instead put out a warrant article that they don’t recommend to use 400K from captial reserves. If they hadn’t done this that money could be use for the sprinklers. Now we have the Ross Perot of warrant articles with article 11. I believe the voters will be split on those two and the school will indeed be closed and it will be the “voters fault”. Am I the only one hearing people cry for a tax relief? Putting in that amendment at the 11th hour was irresponsible in my humble opinion

  7. Reposting From Friends of Timberlane

    Jennifer Silva I know people don’t like to hear that this feels like a game – but it does. I am NOT saying this is what the SB did – I am only commenting on how it looks from a taxpayer perspective here….SB looks how to save $ and does some research, obtains some information, comes up with a plan (I know some will argue this did not happen, I feel there is some information available if you dig enough) and decides closing central is in best interest of the district. SB moves forward but then starts taking heat from public on this one and begins to back pedal and think maybe the voters should decide so that SB can’t be blamed. However no information is made readily available to the public (now THIS would have been a great project for PR person…but I digress) except to those of us who call and make appointments and ask questions specifically requesting information so that we can make an informed decision. In the meantime we’ve got WA for capital improvement projects coming from taxpayer dollars – why can’t it come from capital fund??? I’m guessing bc if the school stays open with kitchen then there isn’t enough money in this fund for other projects. And the voters are sitting here scratching our heads bc at the end of the day even if we do vote to keep central open….the SB doesn’t have to go along with this plan. As a voter I am of the opinion that this stinks all around and only serves to pit towns against each other. I feel it is false hope – now we have two WA on the ballot so even if there are 2/3 of voters who want to keep the school open, there is a very real possibility that those votes will be split between 2 articles- resulting in them both failing and the SB saying…it’s the “will of the voters” that the school must close. Oh and then let us not forget that the budget was presented as lower but then we throw in that we want to INCREASE it for the safety of the children at one school…but not another – bc we are looking at that as part of the consolidation plan that we may or may not depending on the will of the voters. If the sprinklers were so important to the SB as a playground was then put them in a WA. So anyway, in case anyone was wondering how it looks as a taxpayer on the outside of the bullseye looking in….that’s how it looks to this resident – I can’t speak for everyone else in the district. I can honestly say that I have not spoken to a single resident in ANY of the four towns who is happy right now. This to me is VERY sad.

  8. Reposting From Friends of Timberlane

    Jennifer Silva To say the SB wanted the sprinkler system and thought it better to put it in the budget at DS ( Deliberative Session) than on a WA ( Warrant Article) for fear it would be turned down sounds like the SB doesn’t trust the voters to support it, yet the voters are expected to trust the SB to use that money for the sprinklers and nothing else…even though it’s not earmarked for such. If SB really wanted it – find a way to get it done with the budget you have and work with the budget committee to make sure the money is there. Sneaking it in like it was done only builds resentment with taxpayers and feels very much like bad business

  9. Reposting From Friends of Timberlane

    Jennifer Silva that right there is why people say it feels like a game. The SB didn’t trust the voters to do the right thing if it was a WA planned in advance that they could think about. So it got thrown in the way it did…and ironically the voters did support it – even though you didn’t trust that they would on a WA. So while yes it is democracy, it felt underhanded nonetheless. Why wasn’t this money just put in the operating budget to begin with????

    Because Ms. Silver, the Budget Committee would not let it go into the Operating Budget. It would have had to go to a WA

  10. Michele

    Donna-
    It is unfortunate that you and your husband have frenzied people to the state you have because I went to the meeting Thursday hoping to hear discussion. I whole heartedly agree with what the 1st commenter said. I did not need to hear your Husbands PPT again after reading it online. 3 minutes of back and forth should have sufficed for all. I wanted to hear and would like a lot of what you brought up investigated. The budget committee should be doing this. What I don’t want is your Husband’s attitude to continue to dilute the message. He sat behind you the entire time, with a smirk on his face and at times laughing. He was smug when the secret ballot was launched and people were so angry. I for one, did not appreciate it. I came there to get involved and to understand and got nothing done because I had to leave “early” to go get my child so she could go to bed at a decent hour. early was 9:30. The secret ballots screwed me over, I am now pissed. I am a single mother, I am a professional in the business world, and I am not an idiot. I agree with Metzler’s message to find a middle ground. As elected officials you and your husband need to work in the right ways to do your job. For one, go back to your district and report what you are seeing and hearing and let the tax payers support you in pushing for answers. They will not do this if they don’t like you. As a taxpayer from ATK, I will support ensuring that our SB is acting appropriately, but I need to be assured that the information coming to me is accurate, not anecdotal, data driven, not one sided and presenting a full picture. For instance- don’t just compare Hudson. You heard the argument the SB posed because of your comparison. Why then did you not present a comparison to more school systems in the area as a retort? That could have been your 3 minutes if you had better prepared. (It’s how I would have managed it at my job, which is to buy things and to save money at a Director level- BTW.) Pinkerton, being one I could think of at the moment. An excellent school system but a heavily taxed population. Where is that comparison so that parents who want a real “quality” education could see the results and the costs of such?

    I could go on… However, I would leave it to this. Learn how to manage the PR for yourselves and learn how to communicate your messages. Figure out how to work with the school committee to get done what needs to get done. People have to do this every day in the business world and you should be no exception. The SB and the budget commit should also be working in this and not ignoring the key messages raised by you. If you keep working in the way you are, you will not get anything accomplished.

    • If you had read Arthur’s work online you would know that he compared 9 different districts. Given that he has a full-time job and that he had to cut his presentation down from 15 minutes to 10 minutes with 24 hours notice and then was given 3 minutes, I think you are way out of line criticizing him/us for not doing a good enough job. Furthermore he was not smirking and smug. The is Dr. Metzler’s area. You put yourself out there next year and see how much better you can do. Everyone before us has been co-opted to go along to get along. We don’t have children in the system so we are free to say it like we see it. We’ve accomplished a great deal just to get people’s awareness raised. As for the secret ballot, you have the plant in the audience to thank for that.

      • Michele

        Donna- let me clarify as I understand the amount of work that went into the research. I am saying in the PR area- your responses and behaviors. I saw the schools you compared yet you honed in on Hudson, which is underperforming. They had you and you countered with no new info to combat what they put out there. My perception of your husband’s “smugness” is not isolated to me. That perception is what is digging you deeper in failing to get your message across. Although my message is not easy to hear it is important because people are beginning to ask questions about some of the issues you have raised. You could gain momentum if you can garner their support and keep it. I myself was asking the questions especially about the nepotism. One of the school board members just answered the questions on those hires very reasonably which makes your accusations now seem unfounded to me. You have raised serious issues and if you want to have people take you seriously you must change the ways you are going after them. You choose to look at my post as an attack- that’s fine, as I said its a hard message but you have lost yet another supporter as well as the 10 people who were sitting around me who saw the same thing I did. IF you and your husband want to continue to battle for what you believe in, I appaude your dedication, however, I will quote a colleague of mine who likes to say that the definition of insanity is repeating the same actions over and over while expecting a different result. I was willing to listen THURSDAY night and now I am not until I see a change in the method of delivery. I know there was a “plant” just as I know you planned the secret ballot to combat it. You would gave garnered more support had you risen to the challenge of three minutes as I said and countered their attack in the Hudson comparison.
        Anyway- good luck as I said because I applaude your dedication though disagree with your methods and as a result, now your message.

      • What was the answer to the nepotism charge? Let me guess: they were the best candidates? They went out to bid?
        Mrs. Metzler’s contract did not go out to bid and I have just learned we had our own FLES qualified employee. [I previously wrote that there was an internal “candidate.” What I meant was that there was someone internal with the qualifications – not a formal candidate in the sense of an application.]
        Mrs. Grosky’s contract went out to bid but she knew how much the board wanted to pay so bid at just about that number while the others did not have this information because they did not listen to that particular board meeting and didn’t have an inside edge in that way. Furthermore, the RFP was written so ridiculously broadly that other firms had to charge the world while Mrs. Grosky knew exactly what was needed and could price accordingly.

        See the meeting where Dr. Metzler mentions Mrs. Grosky as a possible PR person 5/29/14 http://vimeo.com/channels/ten/97162461
        @3:42:00 Dr. Metzler announces he gave Rob Collins the name of a PR Person – Mrs. Grosky

  11. Reposting From Friends of Timberlane

    Cathy Sargent Schoppe I asked Peter Bealo during one of the secret ballot “intermissions” why he didn’t include SN on the warrant when requesting a $250k increase to the budget. I was put off by his request for only Danville to be done especially after hearing Dr. Metzler say many times that the students deserve equal opportunities in all schools ie, playgrounds, kitchen facilities and sprinklers. Mr Bealo assured me that SN would get a sprinkler from surplus budget. He also explained that he was putting a warrant forward to increase the budget at the deliberative to test the waters to see what type of support the Greens had that night. If the increase passed then possibly the Greens would tone down their efforts that evening. Although it made many people mad that increases were being proposed at the last minute, it did clearly show that the Greens did not have the support they had hoped for. That was my understanding of what was told to me.

    Jennifer Silva Then put it in on WA. The process is what it is. Nothing was illegal about it- but I personally do not support these tactics and when people get upset at comments saying this feels like a game/ I point to things like this. We are voters, stake holders, tax payers and deserve better than to be treated like a pon in a game.

    Rob Collins I’m generally not in favor of putting safety measures on a ballot as a warrant article. They should be in the budget.

    Jennifer Silva At the end of the day, it’s a bottom line budget. You find a way to pay for it within your budget or you save for it. I know many people who are now against article 3 bc you basically you’re asked tax payers to give you a quarter million of surplus that could come back to us and want us to put in savings for capital projects AND asked for another quarter million for a capital project AND are saying you want to take another quarter million or so from surplus to do sandown north sprinklers this year. So you’re already planning to spend half a million dollars for capital projects with none of the money coming from a capital fund. So why would people want to put money in a capital fund???

    Lisa Donnellan Using a safety issue to “test the waters”. And people wonder why there is such deep skepticism of how this system works. I have never been in favor of the manner of cutting the budget that was proposed by the Greens. I do, however, believe that the process of budgeting is a serious problem. It’s no victory to say the budget only went up by .58% if the manner in which it was developed isn’t questioned.

  12. Reposting From Friends of Timberlane

    Jennifer Silva My interpretation of that statement was referring to the fact that some parents feel intimidated to speak out bc they still have children in the district. I’m not about to criticize or tell them the way they feel is wrong given the public display of how people are treated in some cases. I encourage those people to not remain silent. I am amazed at how many people have reached out to me privately thanking me for asking the questions and making my observations public as they mirror their own feelings…but they’re nervous to publicly say so. This is the environment we have currently.

  13. Reposting From Friends of Timberlane

    Judie Kerem Jennifer Silva has provoked more thought and has raised more questions than I would ever dream of asking. Knowledge is power. The more questions, the better.

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