Two people have written to me requesting my resignation. They feel I no longer represent the people of Sandown because I strongly believe that Sandown should know its educational options. I support Cindy Buco and her band of extraordinarily dedicated volunteers. Some see this as a betrayal of Sandown and would like me to resign my elected position to make way for someone else.
I have no intention of resigning.
- My election was a hotly contested one and I won a healthy majority of the votes. My opponents thought I would bring ruin to the district by endorsing Arthur Green’s call for a four million dollar budget cut. Then the district announced a four million dollar surplus – after needlessly displacing Sandown’s children
- It is extremely likely that anyone who would replace me now would have a spouse as a teacher or some other personal connection to the district that would not give Sandown an independent voice. I am nothing if not completely independent, which is why you are learning things about your district many would rather not know. No one likes the messenger who brings bad news.
As for my support for the withdrawal analysis, which most upsets my critics now, this is an outgrowth of my participation in the district’s budget committee and school board. A number of the people supporting or involved in exploring Sandown’s educational options have had elected positions with the district. Why does this close service seem to transform those of us who have neither children nor spouses in the district into seeming radicals? Could it be because we see things parents don’t, and school board members with personal interests won’t?
Sandown is suffering within a district that is not sensitive to the town’s ability to pay ever escalating school costs while providing a mediocre education for our children. I do not believe our money is spent with the care it deserves (many contracts don’t go out to bid, for instance), nor do I think Sandown can ever have enough influence in the district to correct the many things that should be fixed.
Philosophically, I would like to see Sandown control its own educational destiny with a chance to build a truly great school district that will serve our children well and increase our property values. Is it currently feasible and suitable? Well, that I just don’t know yet and this is exactly why a “minority report” with a withdrawal plan –IF withdrawal is judged practical by Ms. Buco — is something that should be written and put before the voters.
There will be a high price for ignorance
Those who want to squelch a minority report/withdrawal plan are wishing to subject all of Sandown to ignorance. Those who wish to run me from office are also electing ignorance over reality. Sooner or later the runaway budgets, the poor fiscal controls, the lack of transparency, the nepotism and questionable hiring practices I complain about are not going to build a better education for your children; they are going to undermine any chance of it.
Cindy Buco is a fine person who has taken a lot of abuse at the hands of some majority members. The district has been less than forthcoming with information requested by her and Sandown volunteers assisting her: some data promised by the end of August still has not been provided, for instance. Every scrap of information the minority committee assembled was hard won; whereas, everything the majority committee has was given to them promptly by the administration; nevertheless, Ms. Buco has not withheld any material information from the district’s committee. I, for one, am grateful she stayed on both committees and continues to represent the interests of all of Sandown on the district’s committee.
For the record, Arthur Green has done a lot of analysis of the financials on his own as a volunteer to the committee, and not as a member of the committee. This is his own work. It was not presented and deliberated by the former minority committee and neither is it subject to the district’s committee.