At Tuesday night’s school board meeting, the chairman of Hampstead’s Board of Selectmen called for the school board to consider withdrawing from SAU 55. Selectmen Chair, Sean Murphy, spoke during the school board’s public comment. He was critical of SAU 55 for not providing minutes for the Hampstead School District Facilities Committee meetings. The Facilities Committee minutes, he was told, are not available because the district’s Facilities Committee is an “advisory” committee to Superintendent Metzler and as such, according to the SAU, not subject to the Right to Know law.
Chairman Murphy was not the only elected official to support consideration of withdrawing from SAU 55. Towards the end of the meeting, school board member Jaye Dimando asked for this to be put on the next school board agenda, seconded by Karen Yasenka. (Video of the meeting)
SAU 55 administers the Hampstead School District, and the Timberlane Regional School District which includes the towns of Atkinson, Danville, Plaistow and Sandown.
It is good to see others understanding what is at stake in this shadow government forming as “advisory” committees. Sandown has been in an information blackout concerning the schools consolidation study being done behind the curtain of the Superintendent’s Advisory Committee on Sandown Schools Consolidation. The consolidation is to be completed by the end of August.
In the Timberlane district Dr. Metzler has also formed a Campus Development Advisory Committee and an Athletic Services Advisory Committee. These committees are no doubt a good idea and will offer some needed study into ongoing issues, but they should be subcommittees of the school board and as such answerable to the school board and fully open to the public in all aspects.
My reporting of the Hampstead School Board meeting is based on information from one person in attendance and from one person watching the meeting on TV. I’ll post the Vimeo of this meeting here when it becomes available.
UPDATE: The video of the meeting is posted (link highlighted above).