Citizens for, against, or on the fence concerning withdrawing from the Timberlane Regional School District should watch this public comment by Arthur Green at the most recent Sandown Board of Selectman Meeting ( Sept. 21, 2015). It details the actions of the district’s withdrawal study committee and school board subsequent to the selectmen’s decision to pull the plug on Sandown’s own withdrawal study committee.
In my own personal experience, when you do something out of fear of what someone else is going to do, you have lost control of your own direction and have laid yourself open to being manipulated. I believe the district allowed a malicious threat to be concocted and broadcast to instill fear into parents in Sandown. Parents rallied in response and petitioned the board of selectmen to do something to put an end to the threat. The BOS did what they could, and in the end the threat is just as active as before, but now without any defense from Sandown’s Minority Committee.
10 responses to “Appeasement Never Ends Well”
I happened to have watched it just the other night. It struck me as over the top and somewhat paranoid.
There is no role for a “minority committee” in the process, thus there is nothing that it could have done to protect Sandown in any way.
Of course there is a role for a Minority Committee because the is a re for a minority report.
The law states a Minority Report may be submitted. How would you propose that report be generated ?
The law **compels** (for a reason) the SB conduct a study and report its results (novel concept to some) and allows 6 months to do so.
Do you honestly believe a minority report can be generated without the same amount of time and manpower allowed the “SB’s committee” for research and analysis?
A governing body is allowed to form a committee it deems necessary/needed in order to meet requirements of the law or to protect/defend its interest.
i.e. CIP committee
Here’s how it should work:
The single committee considers all information submitted to it. Or at least all information is submitted to it. Then the majority votes on whether or not the withdrawal would be feasible and suitable and if they think it would it creates a withdrawal plan. If they do not, and if the members from the would-be withdrawing committee think it would be feasible and suitable, they they may submit a report and a plan based on the same body of information submitted to the committee. That is the only way you could create a minority report to be submitted at the same time as the majority report.
Of course the Sandown selectmen could create any committee they choose. They could create a Sandown committee to advise the town of Danville on zoning issues. The point is not that they can’t create a committee but that the work product of a committee will not be used unless authorized by law.
My position is that if the study committee (can we please stop calling it the “majority committee” by the way) votes along town lines that it is not feasible and suitable, with the 2 Sandown reps constituting the minority, then Kelly Ward will have a veto on whether a minority report is to be submitted. Of course Cindy Buco or any committee could submit a purported committee report, but it would be not be the minority report described in the statute and therefore the state BOE would not be authorized to consider it and possibly put it on the ballot at the next school district meeting.
Curt, I don’t know where you get the concept of “veto” authority. Any rep from the “withdrawing district” can submit a minority report. Nowhere in the law does it say both reps have to be in agreement. This is a serious issue, perhaps the most serious school district fissure in the history of the state. The BOE is not going to use technicalities to override the much larger issues at play because they know the courts will overturn such strategies as the courts’ aim is to achieve a just and equitable solution for all parties and do not use the law as a straight jacket. Furthermore, the minority opinion is free to use whatever information they have gathered to support their position regardless of whether or not the district’s study had the ambition or motivation to seek it out. The district’s committee should not be writing their report on the back of the work of the minority committee. They have all the resources of the district and they should be doing their own research and compiling their own figures because that is what is expected of them by the law and the people of the district and it is only prudent to do so.
Arthur responding from Donna’s account:
The official committee is convinced that the district is entitled to a $6+ million buyout.
On this basis, they know that withdrawal is clearly not feasible OR suitable.
Under these circumstances, the ONLY responsible course of action is to submit a report finding withdrawal not feasible and not suitable.
Proceeding to prepare and possibly submit a withdrawal plan is irresponsible and malicious.
I could be wrong, but I believe that the committee is constructing a withdrawal plan first and then will vote if it is feasible and suitable.
Rob Collins, could you please comment.
That is correct Curt.
Listen to the words he chose to use in this video.
Fired back at us
The vote to create the withdrawal plan was 5-1-2. I was the only one to vote against it. Dr. Farah and Cindy Buco abstained.
It appears to me Arthir is trying to move the SBOS onto a war footing with Timberlane. He makes these comments either in complete ignorance of the RSA and the work/actions of the SWFSC or he is intentionally lying and misleading again.
Donna continues this behavior here on her blog.
And you, Mr. Collins are just an innocent victim.
Re the $6,000,000 figure I have said this many times:
First some criteria should be established as to how much annual expenses could go up or down from the current state and still be feasible and suitable.
It should be treated as a figure to be bonded for some period of time, maybe 20 years, and the annual payment to pay down interest and principal can be calculated. Then add it to the projected operating expenses. It’s really just one cost to be considered.
In other words, no drama.
You wrote above ” the courts will overturn such strategies as the courts’ aim is to achieve a just and equitable solution for all parties and do not use the law as a straight jacket.”. You are talking about actions in equity. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equity_%28law%29 I do not believe that court cases involving interpretation of state laws are handled as equity actions, for that would essentially be the judge overruling the legislature. I have read a number of cases where the superior court or the state supreme court interprets a law. If they can, they go by the plain meaning of the words. If that does not suffice, they try to discern legislative intent. No discussion of fairness, they leave that up to the legislature as long as the law is not unconstitutional.
Regarding the submission of a minority report the key wording is “a minority report.” Singular, not plural. If any rep in the minority could submit a minority report, in this instance that would allow two different minority reports. Maybe Cindy would send the HS kids to Pinkerton and Kelly to Sanborn, each claiming their proposal was F and S and the other not.
No, there is to be one minority report. Or none. And if there is to be one it has to be approved by the minority as a body. That means a vote of 2 people. There’s plenty of precedent since most BOS around the state are 3 people and often one can’t make it. Used to happen in Sandown and Danville, as I have mentioned. It’s just standard practice, a tie fails so with 2 people voting either both have to be in favor or one votes in favor and the other abstains, basically the same thing. That’s what I meant when I used the word “veto”. And of course no minority report unless the majority does not submit a withdrawal plan, but I would be surprised if they did.