Mr. Collins’ Screed on Support Timberlane: Why argue when you can just discredit?

Danville’s representative to the Timberlane Regional School Board wrote this on the Support Timberlane Facebook page on July 10, 2015 and which I discovered yesterday:
All I know is on all the other Boards I was on over the years I always felt I could call someone and discuss an issue. No one went home and wrote on a blog name calling, making things up and distorting the truth. When we had questions we either called each other or the Superintendent and they were always cleared up, Donna doesn’t do that. She takes her interpretation and writes it on her blog, whether or not it is true, and then others read it and take it as truth and then get mad about it.

Who has time to unravel the mess she creates? It would be great if people had questions and they asked. Instead we get emails accusing us of things we haven’t done, statements that don’t make sense and conclusions drawn from those. 

We are parents, most of us work full time jobs. We are trying to do what’s best for our kids, our neighbors kids and our community. There’s no grand scheme or devious plan against anyone. Our goal is to do our civic duty and strive to make Timberlane number one. Constantly being attacked by people who have no interest in the truth does not help with, what I hope is, our mutual goal.

Respecting differing views and voting in favor of them are two very different things. If I don’t agree with someone’s view why would I vote for it?


I always told my children that people see the world through their own glasses and Mr. Colilins’ screed is a perfect example.

“No one went home and wrote on a blog name calling, making things up and distorting the truth.”   Oddly enough, Mr. Collins is doing exactly what he is protesting. He has said over and over that my blog is incorrect yet he has consistently failed to point out anything material that has not been immediately corrected with a note to that effect. Mr. Collins thinks that by simply asserting that my blog is inaccurate that it therefore is inaccurate.  He is calling it inaccurate it only to discredit it without having to actually muster an argument against a factual statement or claim I have made.

“Constantly being attacked by people who have no interest in the truth does not help with, what I hope is, our mutual goal.”    Now let’s see, who has been “constantly attacked,” Mr. Collins?

Dec 2013:  Mr. Collins swoops into a Budget Committee meeting to support (if not instigate) a motion of censure against me for the ridiculous crime of having the temerity to speak without authorization before the Sandown Board of Selectmen about the school district budget.  The censure motion failed by one vote. He had better luck next time.

March 2014:  My first school board meeting after the election.  Before I even got a word out, Mr. Collins presented the repellent “School Board Rules” which were so highly unconstitutional in their repression of free speech (aimed at me, of course) that the New Hampshire ACLU threatened to sue us if they were not withdrawn in part.

July 2014: The school board calls a special summer meeting to address issues I brought up in my blog. The SAU withheld a lawyer’s letter from me on the issue of a public hearing requirement for our acceptance of the LGC HealthTrust refurn of surplus. That letter was presented at the meeting which in fact proved the board should have held a public hearing, but because I was not acquainted with the argument before the meeting, I failed to realize it at the time.  The meeting ended with Mr. Collins putting forward a motion of censure against me which this time did pass.

Later in July 2014:  I am the target of a groundless criminal complaint  accusing me of “harassing” Mrs. Belcher, while simultaneously the district withholds the security video that did ultimately exonerate me. I finally obtained the video by hiring the services of a criminal lawyer.

July 2015:  The school board sends me a letter from their lawyer telling me to play nice in the sandbox with the other board members, once again using the bald assertion that my blog is inaccurate without giving me any evidence.

So, just who is attacking, making things up and distorting the truth?

Mr. Collins posts on Support Timberlane, which blocks me and many others from posting comments or responses. My blog is open to everyone but Bustmore Gas. I don’t need to hide behind a protected, censored page, and when I accuse someone else of an inaccuracy I give evidence for my claim – not bald assertions whose intention is only to discredit a person and not to advance the truth.

Please don’t think I consider myself a victim.  On the contrary, the support of the voters of Sandown demonstrates otherwise. What I am, however, is someone who is standing to give argument – not someone lashing out and then ducking behind a censored wall.


Filed under Sandown Issues

26 responses to “Mr. Collins’ Screed on Support Timberlane: Why argue when you can just discredit?

  1. Cathy

    Perhaps if even ONE School Board member bothered to second your motions during the SB meetings, discussion could be had.
    Just a thought …

    • Lorna

      Cathy, comments such as yours are inflammatory which leads one to believe that is the intent of your comment. You know as well as I do that several school board members do second Donna’s motions. When they do they state “I second for discussion”. Mr. Ward has many times, Mrs. Sherman has, Mr. Bealo has, Mr. Blair has, Mr. Sapia has and yes on one occasion Mr. Collins did. What they don’t do is vote in favor of her motions. If you watch the SB meetings with unbiased eyes and ears you will realize that they do not vote in favor because of the motion, not because of the person who made the motion.

      • Cathy’s comment was not inflammatory – it was a minor exaggeration, that is all. The majority of my motions don’t get a second even for discussion.

      • Lorna

        An early riser like me! I suspect we may have other things in common as well 🌸. Perhaps on your motions you could consider quality over quantity.
        I disagree that Cathy’s comment was a minor exaggeration, it is a major exaggeration bordering on complete fiction.

      • Cathy

        Stated with sarcasm; yes. Inflammatory; no. You will have to excuse me for I have no tolerance for Rob Collins incessant complaining about Donna and his attacks on people that disagree with his position.
        You are correct Lorna. There have been a handful of seconds peppered throughout the SB meetings; those being met with little to no substantive discussion.
        The 8-1 votes a majority of the time goes against the basic principle of probability. So one must or at least should wonder …

  2. L Beaule


    I appreciate your blog and I thank you for bringing a fiscal voice of reason to the school board.
    I am very disappointed by the manner in which the school board chair, school board members, and the SAU administration has treated you as our representative in Sandown.

    Thank you your hard work! It is vital that someone is voicing the concerns that I and many taxpayers in Sandown have.


    • Thank you so much for this appreciated comment. Most of the people of Sandown have been exceptionally supportive of me and I am profoundly grateful. Because of comments like yours, I’m compelled to keep going.

  3. Donna,

    Are you saying you’ve never deleted any of my replies to this page?

    Before I spend any time on a reply to this post, are you saying you won’t delete it?


    • You are welcome to reply so long as you don’t so grossly misstate the facts that it would take me an encyclopedia to correct. That was the one time I deleted your comment which you made to influence the Sandown election.

      • I believe there were more times but I’ll let that go for now….

        I’ve also removed posts for the same reason you stated above. I didn’t want to spend the time to unravel the false statements. You’re rationale sounds oddly familiar.

        Why is it censorship when I do it and not censorship when you do it?

      • I found one of your deletions. I still don’t understand why this was a gross misstatement of facts. Maybe you can explain? Please also explain how what you do is not censorship and what I do is.

        Her is the reply from me you deleted.


        Concerned Citizen,

        Mr. Green recommended that the AP program get cut. That’s one specific area.

        He also has a slide where he details what type of staff are cut, Donna could post that slide if she cared to, I would if I could but this blog doesn’t allow pics in comments, unless you own it. In that slide it specfies 38.4 regular ed teachers and the bulk of the remaining 76 are “non teaching professionals” which I believe, but am not sure, means teachers in the following areas art, music, PE, technology and finally nurses. They have some detail, I’m not sure why they aren’t posting it for the world to see.

      • This is a prime example of comments that are only half related to the truth and put out just to muddy the water and with no intention of having an honest debate. You are free to post sincere debate but I’m not giving you real estate to play political propaganda games since you have your own Facebook page to do that – as well as newsletters and a PR person.

        1) Arthur proposed cutting a sizable INCREASE to the AP program. He questioned expanding a program that was having just a 50% success rate. And by the way, the current 2015 increase in student success in AP demonstrates that we can do better by our students without continually demanding increased funding when our student population is generally declining.
        2) Arthur’s entire presentation at the Town Hall we hosted was posted to my blog the day of the presentation and a few days later when it was available on Vimeo. I can’t put pics in comments either.
        3)You know very well non-teaching professionals are teachers with no teaching responsibilities. They are not art teachers or any other kind of active teacher. Timberlane has a huge number of these compared to academically higher achieving comparable districts. Arthur took the highest number of non-teaching professionals (a category reported to DOE so there is no truth in pretending you don’t know what that is) in the comparable districts and said that’s how many of these positions we should have which resulted in the number of surplus positions he identified.
        4) By comparing superior achieving comparable districts he identified a very serious problem with overstaffing at Timberlane generally totally 76 positions.
        5) In Arthur’s ultimate budget proposal which he would have explained at Deliberative if not for the shill planted in the audience who cut off presentations, he proposed cutting just 39 positions altogether. This would leave Timberlane very considerably overstaffed compared to academically better performing comparable districts, but presented an easier transition.This is what he proposed at the Dec 23rd budget committee meeting and what was subsequently posted on my blog.

      • Here’s another you deleted…

        Don’t understand this one either…


        The bud com has been working the budget since April 2014.

        If they wanted to add meetings they could have. If they wanted more time they could have. Just because it isn’t your budget does not mean it isn’t the budget committee’s budget…

      • Your claim that the budget committee has “been working the budget” since April 2014 is a gross exaggeration. All they did in April is ask for a flat-line budget to be delivered in the fall. If you call that “working the budget,” please give me a job. They don’t see even a tiny portion of a budget until the fall and you know this very well. The full budget wasn’t presented to the Budcom until November of 2014. And they did add one extra meeting from their historic schedule and to accommodate more possible meetings during the summer they had to change their by-laws which they did. You also know very well that there are elements in the budget committee who want many more meetings and others who are in the majority who vote against this – irresponsibly in my opinion.

  4. Watching_and_waiting

    Back to the original post, regarding this:

    “Our goal is to do our civic duty and strive to make Timberlane number one.”

    We all need to focus on redirecting the administration away from a regime of intimidation and fear and retribution and towards supporting our educators in the important work they do with our children.

    To that end, the school board as a whole needs to hold Dr Metzler accountable, and quite frankly I do not see that happening now.

    • Along that line, I am currently waiting to see if I will be permitted to join a tour of Sandown North requested by Sandown’s minority committee. I have been denied access to all schools during operational hours.

      • Re: awaiting permission to attend tour of Sandown North.

        Permission denied until Dr. Metzler gives his OK for me to attend a school tour. And let’s see… he is out of the office until the end of the month.

        I genuinely feel bad for the school principals who are neither permitted to return a phone call from me nor to give their own permission for me to enter one of their schools.

  5. Mark Acciard

    Donna, do not let Mr. Collins incessant whining bother you. He has, for years, engaged in the politics of personal destruction to avoid substantive discussion on issues in which there is dissent. In fact, Mr. Collins will filibuster, shut down commentary, and use other bullying tactics to squelch dissenting opinions. And he has engaged in his share of disinformation as well.

    • Thank you for this comment, and I’m sure by ending your post with “as well” you did not mean to imply that I employ disinformation but rather that is one of many tactics. All best.

      • Mark Acciard

        No I meant as well as the rest of his bullying, and attempts to squelch any dissent from the party line.

  6. Rob Collins

    Thank you for your explanations. Seems we still disagree on many things, including the foundation for your arguments that these other districts are superior, like Hudson?

    Can you explain why what you do is not censorship?

    • Let’s see…. Have you been banned from posting here? No.
      You have outright bans on many people on Support Timberlane so that you control the conversation 100%. In contrast to ST, I am honest about the nature of this blog and who it represents.
      I do not delete honest and sincere opposing views. I delete political propaganda from you and someone’s warped alter ego, Bustmore Gas. I also do not post comments with personal attacks against others that cross the line for the benefit of the debate. That is discretion, not censorship. This blog is under no obligation to publish whatever is sent and if it isn’t in the spirit of advancing sincere argument it doesn’t have a place here.
      You control 100% of the argument with all of the readers of ST. I exercise discretion over the tone and do not give you real estate for propaganda. You can fail to see a difference in that, but I certainly can. Over and out.

  7. Mark Acciard

    Mr. Collins, it is not “censorship” for a private owner of a commentary site to moderate said commentary. it is prudent given the litigious nature of the School Administration.

    “Censorship” as you SHOULD know, is a governmental action where your “RIGHT” to speech, a right you do not enjoy on a blog owned by someone else, is infringed upon.

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