SAU Budget Increased at Public Hearing

Nearly $49,000 was added to the SAU budget last night in anticipation of higher health insurance rates. I made numerous motions to cut the budget from travel allowances to an unfilled human resource administrative position ($80k with benefits). Every single motion failed spectacularly.

Since the 2013/14 year, the SAU budget has gone up 44%.  Taxpayers, has your property value gone up 44% or your pay?

Mr. Dinsmore, member from Hampstead, said the problem is the federal government driving costs, such as Obamacare, down onto the districts and the SAU.  We are helpless to do anything about it at the SAU level, he believes.  I guess that is why no one supported cutting the travel expense line in the budget from a luxurious $17,000 to $10,000 which is what was spent in 14/15. Or cutting the 3% “merit pool” for SAU employees.

The SAU is a service organization to the Timberlane and Hampstead School Districts. It is also a monopoly. Districts cannot seek services elsewhere without a district vote and years of transition. I neglected to ask at last night’s public hearing how much of a raise for the superintendent (to 2022) was built into the budget. The superintendent’s most recent raise was 6.75% with a 4% bonus. The SAU does not publish the salaries of the SAU staff – even for the benefit of the SAU board – despite the fact that this is public information. The SAU board likes it this way because the less information they have, the more effectively they can administer the budget. Information gums up the rubber stamp.




Filed under SAU 55 Issues, Taxes

13 responses to “SAU Budget Increased at Public Hearing

  1. Donna,

    The travel line was explained in detail in the meeting. Why aren’t you including that detail?

    • It was not explained in detail whatsoever. We dwelt on it without specifics at all. Specifics would be the number of conferences, where and at what cost.

      • It was not explained that the new Director of operations would be going to a conference and Dr. Wilson will as well and neither of them went last year or plan to this year?

      • That is no argument for an increase unless we know all the funds were expended this year, which we don’t. Also, the fees for those conferences were conveniently left out of the discussion. Do you really think that justifies an extra 7k?

      • Based on what I heard, yes.

        You do realize we won’t know if the funds from this year are fully expended until June, right?

      • Trends… trends…. we shouldn’t be working in a vacuum with respect to the current budget year.

  2. mark Acciard

    Rob, while you do not have a final accounting until June you are not, or at least SHOULD not be ignorant of the rate of spending. You should be able to see what has been spent to date out of each budget line, and the remaining funds, thus allowing you to see if it appears to be headed towards overexpenditure. Further there should be no dismay at questions being asked, after all this is ALL public info despite the Board, and Admin’s best efforts to thwart that effort.

    • Jack sapia

      As usual your sticking your nose in our business. This budget is about ten times the size of the one you worked on and a lot more complex! As far as your comments about the administration and school board. This was the very reason you got trounced in your last election as the sitting chair. People just got sick of your personal and political attacks! Like the one you just exhibited. I actually thought you were a pretty good BC member. Unfortunately you could not get beyond your personal agenda. No honor in that! So please stay active in witch the community that you live in. No need for your help

      • Here’s a vocab lesson: parochial.

      • mark Acciard

        Oh, Jack, how wrong you are. The school budget has less than half the budget lines that Atkinson’s has. This means that Atkinson’s actually involves more work, (hint: the amounts on each line do not add more work) Which is why Atkinson meets 12-14 times per season, and assigns committee member to act as liasons to get info from each dept. The School budget committee is a 4-5 meeting dog and pony show. As Then chairperson Michelle O’Neill stated in Deliberative session 5 or 6 years ago, she had no idea what wwent into the largest line item in th budget. She said “we do not have the time or knowledge to know what is needed to run the school”, She said the BC’s job was to “PASS THE SUPERINTENDANT’S BUDGET”. Now Jack, if you ever bothered to READ the state budget law, RSA 32:5 NOWHERE does it say the BC is to rubber stamp the governing bodies budget. IN FACT it states that the governing body has no authority over the budget until the voters pass it.

        Odd that with your many years on the BC and BOS, SB, it falls to me to educate you on the process.

        Unlike you, Jack, I have made no adhominem personal attacks. I have stated fact. Now if you wish to discuss the CONTENT of my post instead of launching the very attacks you decry, bring it on, cupcake. And Jack PLEASE do not use the word “Honor” you have proven you have no clue as to its meaning.

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