Simple Minded Obstructionism?

In a Tri-Town article some weeks ago, Dr. Metzler referred (by implication) to Cathy Gorman and me as “simple minded obstructionists.”

Here’s an email exchange from this morning:

Request for public minutes   sent July 6, 2015 at  7:52 a.m.
Dear Ms. Danahy:
Could you kindly forward me the public and non-public minutes for the SAU meeting of May 20, 2015?  I understand these are still in draft form. 
Thank you,

Donna Green

Received 8:27 a.m.  from Earl Metzler


Dr. Earl F. Metzler II

I replied 8:52 a.m.

Dr. Metzler,

Are you advising Mrs. Danahy not to reply to my request?  How else am I to understand your email?

Draft minutes are required by law to be available to the public within 5 business days of a meeting – public or non-public.

I assume that Dr. Metzler thought he was responding to Mrs. Danahy and not me when he sent that email.  He is on vacation after all.

“DNR” conventionally means “Do Not Reply” or “Do Not Resuscitate.”  Was Dr. Metzler giving Mrs. Danahy his medical directives or was he counselling her to make my life more difficult? (Thank you to a funny friend for that joke, by the way.)

The SAU draft minutes are not available in any way other than by a request of the SAU. Perhaps members of the public would have more success gaining information about the SAU than your elected representative.

This just in:  Peter Bealo, SAU chairman, called me this morning to tell me that Dr. Metzler advised not to reply to the email because it did not go through the school board chairman. (That’s the second funny thing I’ve heard this morning.) He told me the minutes would be posted on the SAU site when Mrs. Belcher returns from vacation next week.

Why, I asked, does Mrs. Belcher have anything to do with this? Mrs. Danahy writes the minutes.  They were due at the end of May.

Mr. Bealo also told me that he authorized the legal letter I received on Friday because the chairman was out of the country.  He admitted he did it without a vote of the board and did this on his sole authority.  Our board chairman and vice chairman need to learn the law.  They have no authority to act outside of meetings without an explicit vote of the board authorizing their actions. But who cares – especially when the target is a simple-minded obstructionist? Anything goes.

By the way, I have an important reason for asking for the SAU minutes of May 20th.  The SAU is advertising for an Assistant Business Administrator. I want to know when the SAU board authorized such an advertisement and an increase in pay for the position from its current $61,000 to its advertised $70,000-$90,000.  Here’s what our policy says about filling professional vacancies at the SAU:

ELECTION OF SAU PROFESSIONAL STAFF: When a vacancy occurs in the SAU professional staff, the Chairman of The Board shall establish a screening committee consisting of one Board member from each of the school districts. The Chairman of the screening committee shall be appointed by the SAU Board Chairman and the Superintendent of Schools shall serve on the committee (except if the Superintendent’s position is being vacated).

Need I point out that no such search committee has been formed?

Agenda of the last (May 20) SAU meeting:
1. Call to Order
2. Roll Call
3. Pledge of Allegiance
4. Approval of May 13, 2015 Minutes
5. Finalize Superintendent’s Evaluation
RSA 91-A:3, II (a) The dismissal, promotion or compensation or disciplining of any public employee and (c) matters which, if discussed in public, would likely affect adversely the reputation of any person.
6. Other Business
7. Adjournment

UPDATE:  The May 20, 2015 SAU Board minutes were made available on July 13, 2015. I was informed that they were posted on the SAU site on July 15.



Filed under Sandown Issues

6 responses to “Simple Minded Obstructionism?

  1. Simple retort:


    (Circling the drain).

  2. Mark Acciard

    Perhaps someone can explain to BOTH Mr. Bealo, AND Mr. Metzler that the LAW requires that minutes be produced upon request 144 hours after the close of the meeting, even if available only on draft form. FURTHER any notes, tapes, etc used to create the minutes are ALSO to be made available.

    What have they to hide?

  3. MJ

    I am really confused! There are minutes posted on SAU site for 5-21-15 and 6-04-15

    • The minutes you are referencing are minutes for the Timberlane School Board. I am trying to obtain the minutes to the SAU55 meeting of May 20. The SAU is comprised of the boards of both Timberlane and Hampstead school districts. It can be confusing!

      • By the way, on May 20 the SAU board was just signing the letter for the superintendent’s performance review all in non-public. That same evening Sandown was having a Withdrawal Feasibility Committee (Minority) meeting which was very substantive (and all in public I might add). I went to the Sandown meeting as that’s where I could make the greater contribution that night. This is why I need to review the minutes both public and non-public because I strongly suspect the board did not know at that meeting that Ms. Smith was leaving us. Since that was the last meeting of the SAU board, when could the board have approved a job advertisement for an Assistant Business Administrator, accepted a resignation and approved a raise for the position?
        I am trying to point out that both the Timberlane and the SAU boards are failing in their duty to oversee the administration. Now, if the SAU can prove the SAU board did vote on these things, I will stand corrected. So, where are the minutes?

  4. MJ

    Yes, I see that. Thanks for the clarification.

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