You are sounding like a recalcitrant child. There is no countersuit at this time. If there should be one, we will discuss it then. In addition, no one informed me that they were in favor of your request for a meeting – I’m guessing probably because it’s unnecessary.
[sentence redacted as the request of Mr. Collins.]
I suspect Ms Steenson is saying that until a countersuit is filed with the court, it does not exist. Ms. Steenson conveniently overlooks my point: if a countersuit is in the works, which she does not deny, we as a board should be authorizing the considerable expense of this. Defending against a lawsuit is one thing. Launching a countersuit is quite another. To be clear, I am not defending or trying to protect Mrs. Morse in my request for an emergency meeting. My sole concern is protecting taxpayer dollars and stopping a runaway legal spiral.
So far Rob Collins and Nancy Steenson have denied the existence of a countersuit. I sincerely hope they are not misinformed or misinforming me. We will find out on June 29th.* But one way or the other, you can be sure your board will react with complete indifference.
*CORRECTION: The deadline for responding to federal lawsuits is more than the 30 days given for NH suits. Mid-August is a more likely time frame.
Danville State Representative Betsy Sanders weighed in on this issue in an email sent on June 23, 2015 to Rob Collins:
Good morning, Rob,
As I happen to be a recipient of your e mail, I want to take the opportunity to respond as a voter, taxpayer, and a State Representative. I have provided a copy of RSA 195:6 the powers and duties of cooperative school districts. I believe that these powers and duties are exclusive to the school board who are elected to represent their constituents in the district. The law includes “I. Each cooperative school district shall be a body corporate and politic with power to sue and be sued…”
Dr. Metzler has no legal authority to sue anyone on his own behalf using taxpayer funds, without school board approval. The school board has no legal authority to delegate any of their authority to sue to a single person who has not been elected by the voters.
The Cooperative School Board should indeed have an emergency meeting to determine the person(s) to be sued, the anticipated cost of the suit, and the language of the suit. Any board member who does not meet, is relinquishing their legal duty to the taxpayers. It is the board that needs to approve or decline the participation in this suit of Dr. Metzlers. If he wants to sue someone then it should be at his own expense, not taxpayers.
This situation needs to be discussed at a public noticed meeting so that the taxpayers are aware of the board’s decision and discussion. Any board member who refuses to attend this emergency meeting is neglecting their duty to the people they represent.
I urge all cooperative school board members to respond with a “yes” and hold an emergency meeting before a possible unnecessary legal expense is used. This is the people’s money to be used for a public purpose, not a private purpose and not for the benefit of a single employee.
Thank you for your consideration to this matter. Please remember Article 8 of the New Hampshire Constitution:
[Art.] 8. [Accountability of Magistrates and Officers; Public’s Right to Know.]Edit
All power residing originally in, and being derived from, the people, all the magistrates and officers of government are their substitutes and agents, and at all times accountable to them. Government, therefore, should be open, accessible, accountable and responsive. To that end, the public’s right of access to governmental proceedings and records shall not be unreasonably restricted.
June 2, 1784
Amended 1976 by providing right of access to governmental proceedings and records.
Rep. Betsy Sanders, Danville
COOPERATIVE SCHOOL DISTRICTS
195:6 Powers and Duties of Cooperative School Districts. –
I. Each cooperative school district shall be a body corporate and politic with power to sue and be sued, to acquire, hold and dispose of real and personal property for the use of schools therein, and to make necessary contracts in relation thereto, and have and possess all the powers and be subject to all the liabilities conferred and imposed upon school districts under the provisions of RSA 194.