Words Which Must Be Silenced

Guest Contribution by Arthur Green

At Timberlane Deliberative on Thursday night, supporters of the administration insisted that the body invest one hour in order to prevent my ten minute presentation. The moderator had previously agreed to give me 15 minutes to make a  presentation on the budget.  Twenty-six hours before deliberative, I received notification to cut this to 10 minutes.  Due to an orchestrated motion from the floor, I was ultimately allowed 3 minutes, which I had to respond to on the fly.

Here is the 10-minute presentation – my speaking notes interspersed with the slides I had prepared.

Presentation for Timberlane Deliberative Feb 5



Filed under Budget 2015-2016, Budget Committee, Taxes

15 responses to “Words Which Must Be Silenced

  1. Len Mullen

    Lessons learned, right?

    1. Need more like minded people in the room
    2. Do not allow non voters to speak
    3. Motion to remove non voters from the room

    That leaves taxpayers vs School Board and Budget Committee — no unions, no lawyers, no special interests.

    Secret ballot votes were made unnecessarily difficult. There was no reason why ballots could not be picked up leaving the gym and deposited at the other door on the way back into the gym.

    The so called moderator was extremely biased. I think next time we should all bring watches and air horns to help him keep time.

    Mostly, though, we need petition warrants to ban specific unethical expenditures.

    • From my observations, there were very few non-voters in the room and I’m not sure that any of them spoke. There were certainly many like-minded folks in the room, they just don’t think like you.
      The part you don’t understand is that it isn’t the teachers union, it’s the teachers, their families and the communities that value them. What I saw was that many, many Timberlane teachers and staff live in our district and have for decades. Our community is so wonderful because the teachers live here and have a personal investment in the schools. In many cases, multiple generations of the same family live and work here. Our roots run far deeper than you can imagine. We take your attack on our school and community personally.
      And the only person who seemed to have difficulty telling time is Leon Artus.
      You folks are the ones plotting, scheming, and playing games and it is shameful! You are sore losers and you have wasted more than your fair share of the time, resources, and energy of our School Board, SAU, and staff. You are not affective advocates. Can’t you see that?! Or are you so filled with your own delusions of grandeur that you think you are doing this well?
      I wonder, can The Greens pay Timberlane three compliments? You have dedicated your blog (and years of your life) to bashing our school. How sad is that? Can you find anything nice to say or is the message you want to send to our students that the pride they feel in their school is wrong?

      • Facts are not insults, they are simply facts. You can’t improve if you are not honest with yourself. We are spending too much money per pupil and not getting proportional results. This is not a problem with our children or our families, it is a problem with some of our schools. If you want to take the call for improvement as a personal insult, you will be shortchanging your own children and those of the district.

      • Len Mullen

        Heather, the first motion of every deliberative session is to let nonvoters speak. We have not opposed that historically, but this is the first year that voters were not allowed to speak.

        Watch the video. Half the bleachers and the back of the gym were RESERVED for non voters.

        Of course, if you are correct, there will be no impact.

      • Len,

        At Sandown Deliberatives a non-voter must get the permission of the body in order to speak and they are seated well away of the voting, talking body as I believe they should be.

      • TMT

        Yes Heather, there were like minded people in the room, but not necessarily those employed by or live in the district. And Heather, yes, folks are plotting, scheming, and playing games and it is shameful!

        From NH News Labor.com
        FT-NH Red Alert: Standing Up Against Timberlane Regional School District Budget Cuts
        By NH Labor News | January 29, 2015 | AFT-NH, Union
        A special message from AFT-NH

        Thursday, February 5, 2015, 7:00 pm
        at the Timberlane Regional High School Gymnasium
        Registered voter check-in will begin at 6:00 pm in the TRHS Cafeteria

        The Timberlane Regional School District is under attack at the deliberative session on February 5th. Students and staff will suffer serious consequence if this cut passes. The District is comprised of the following towns: Atkinson, Danville, Plaistow and Sandown.

        The naysayers rely on the fact that we won’t show up—but we will when the education of our children is at stake.

        Please reach out to your local union leadership in the Timberlane Teachers’ Association and the Timberlane Support Staff Union on ways you can help.

        Stand Up For Your Schools!

        In Solidarity,

        Laura Hainey
        AFT-NH President

        Terri Donovan
        Attorney at AFT-NH
        Greater Boston AreaLegal Services


        Doesn’t matter that Terri does not live in this district or other districts, as you put it, plotting, scheming, and playing games, is shameful!

        Terri Donovan retweeted
        NTUCOPE @NTUCOPE · Feb 4
        On School Cuts: “This isn’t a school budget problem. This is a community problem.” Judy Loftus Nashua South http://www.nashuatelegraph.com/news/1056600-469/nashua-schools-face-major-cuts.html
        Terri Donovan @terridonovan12 · Feb 10

        Once this was Mr. Beyrent’s message… seems that message has changed with some influence.

        Erich Beyrent‎ Save Sandowns Taxes
        January 2 · Sandown, NH ·
        I have yet to see a single example of how closing Sandown Central will keep our taxes the same, or lower them. The claim is that $744k will be saved by closing the school, but because some of the cuts are critical (and some are not), taxes will go up because money will be removed from the surplus to pay for some things instead of the school budget. It seems no matter what is done, taxes go up.

      • Fascinating information. I always find it interesting that what people accuse me of doing, they themselves are doing. I recall Mr. Bealo was it (?) suggesting there was outside money involved in sending out postcards to residents in all four district towns. And I said, no, but what’s the issue with outside money anyway? And here we have outside organizers!
        So, when people believe that budget cuts will hurt education, they should see from whom this message is coming – from those for whom jobs will be on the line.

      • TMT

        Eagle Tribune printed
        “About 1,300 people attended, Metzler said.”

        same ET article printed
        “Bealo’s amendment was approved, 352-289”

        That equals
        659 Non Voters.

        Seems there were many non voters, if Dr. Metzler’s quote is correct, 1/2 of the room would have been non voters.

  2. Last Taxpayer Standing

    This over spending by the school district is hurting our good teachers far more than it helps them and their families. While teachers in the short run believe they are providing the best education that money can buy, (along with the raises they receive) in the long run will destroy their families.
    The reason teachers are paying more for their health and retirement benefits is because LGC (now Health Trust with the same people running it ) illegally siphoned off $21,000,000.00 (million) of their public employee benefit money and placed it in a non performing sub division. When the Supreme Court ordered that money be returned, LGC dissolved and “Poof” their money disappeared. Where was the school administration while this was going on? The administration stayed silent. Where were the teachers? Most likely they didn’t know what happened to them and stayed silent.
    Our teachers (if truly part of our community) should be looking at their future and the “Unfunded Mandate” that is suppose to protect their retirement and health benefits. They should be asking the administration to do more to fund the mandate at 100% instead of the current 50%. Instead, they stay silent and pay increased premiums in an effort to build the fund back up. ( So much for their raises).
    Why aren’t the teachers speaking up about their mistreatment by the administration? That’s where their attention should be directed, instead of expecting the taxpayers to make up the missing money. Is it because they see what will happen to them, if they speak? Are they afraid of losing their jobs, if they speak? Have they observed how the administration will defame them, just like the administration does to the taxpayer that speaks!
    Teachers are smart people. They have husbands, wives and children. They have to work hard like the rest of us and they pay the same taxes as the rest of us. Why then, don’t they realize they will be impacted by the same economic conditions that affect all of us. If they don’t join us to get our spending under control, history will repeat itself and they will suffer just like Detroit. Bankrupt! This is what the teachers will garner for not speaking up. No pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, no protection in their retirement. Is this really what teachers want to happen to them?

  3. Concerned Tax Payer

    I came across this blog awhile back and have been following it. Especially recently with all of the meetings about raising the school budget. I currently live in Plaistow. I am concerned as I am a tax payer. I would like to ask each parent why they think more money would benefit the school? Why does Timberlane need more money per student than many schools in the area including Pinkerton which is ranked higher on the list for best schools in the area. Is more of our tax payers money going to make Timberlane better? We have fewer students attending now than ever before. Maybe the budget committee needs to utilize the money they already have more efficient than they currently do.(Spanish for kindergarten?) Money is not going to make that school better. Parents in this community have options with charter schools and private schools popping up everywhere. We all want our children to get a great education but that doesn’t mean to raise taxes.
    Just a concerned Tax Payer. I would be all for it if this was needed……

  4. Sleepless in Sandown

    For a population so concerned about their children’s education there sure are a number of uneducated residents out there. More $$ does not mean a higher success rate.

  5. Peter Bealo

    Concerned Tax Payer: why do you believe Pinkerton costs less? In its most recent budget Derry will pay Pinkerton $33.9 million to educate 1,730 kids. I believe that is $19,595 per student, FAR more than any other local school charges.

    • I spoke to Pinkerton’s Business Administrator today. He said Pinkerton’s regular education tuition is $10,964.60 for 2015-2016 year. They charge extra for special education services.
      He did not confirm the $19,595 number because he did not know how many students Derry would be ultimately sending. He also said some of the $33 million could include special education services also.

  6. Concerned Parent

    Neither does lower $$.

    • Concerned Tax Payer

      I agree that cutting the budget may not be the best idea but utilizing what we already have should be done first. Cutting things out that are not needed should be the first step. It’s not the budget it’s how our budget committee utilizes the money they are getting. Again how can we trust them when the wife is a offering Spanish to kindergarten for 50K a year? Now that is a waste of each and everyone of our tax payer dollars and we are willing to throw more money there way without question?

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