Danville Takes SAU to Task for Chronic Tardy Reporting

Danville’s Board of Selectmen chairman, Shawn O’Neil, sent a very revealing letter to Superintendent Metzler and the school board on Nov. 20.  It details years of missed filing deadlines set by the state’s Department of Revenue Administration (DRA) for district documents.


  • The research stopped at 2013.  It is not known how long DRA filing deadlines have been slipping in our district.
  • Mr. O’Neil concentrated on DRA filing deadlines. One has to wonder if filing deadlines to the Department of Education are treated with similar elasticity.

I’ve personally been aware of a few late filings, not in my capacity as a school board member, but as a cohort of Arthur Green who is ever on the watch for financial information about the district. He discovered that the end-of-year financial report was weeks late.

You may recall that the SAU wanted to charge us $39.50 for copies of this and other public information (such as the staffing report) on November 3.  Finally, on Nov. 19, the SAU saw fit to distribute copies of the end-of-year financials (DOE-25) and the NESDEC enrollment report to the school board (at no charge).  The staffing report,  which has been filed with the Department of Education, has not been given to the board – or the budget committee. Staffing costs make up the overwhelming part of our budget. What possible use could the budget committee make of knowing how many staff we have?

Mr. O’Neil’s letter is yet more evidence that the school board doesn’t have a clue what is going on at the SAU, and that the SAU requires supervision and oversight.


Filed under SAU 55 Issues, School Board Functioning

11 responses to “Danville Takes SAU to Task for Chronic Tardy Reporting

  1. Mark Richards

    They require supervision and oversight, yes, which is what a School Board should be doing. That it serves in just the opposite capacity – that of enabler – compounds the lack of action on the part of NH regulators.

    With all the non-performance, one might ask if NH state regulators actually exist and, if they do, whether they are as much in the pocket of the job and contract machine as Messler is.

    • The DOE and the DRA do not see themselves as regulators. Evidently no one enforces filing deadlines. I know for a fact no one enforces actual budget law and private citizens don’t have standing to sue on the grounds of budget law violation. Now we have learned that towns don’t have standing to sue over same. The state of NH operates on the principle that all public officials operate with conscientiousness and integrity and that they take their duty to supervise seriously. When this doesn’t happen, the whole system breaks down because there is no state level replacement for the job of the local elected officials.

  2. One would argue it’s the school boards job to hire someone with the integrity to adhere to the Dept. of Education rules and regulations. Rewarding someone who doesn’t adhere to these guidelines or doesn’t make sure his staff does is irresponsible.

  3. James O'Labour

    are you sure Danville is taking the school district to tax, or did Mr. O’Neil write this on his own without the knowledge of the board, or even discussion in an open meeting? I was at the last Danville board of selectman meeting and I don’t recall this being discussed?

  4. Sheila Johannesen

    James you are correct….The Danville BOS took no vote at the last meeting, it was not discussed at the last meeting nor discussed in any Danville BOS meeting…We all received an email with the letter just like everyone else did.

    • James O'Labour

      am I then to assume this blog writer will either remove this post, or print a retraction as it is completely false? Danville didn’t take the SAU to task. Shawn O’Neil the citizen falsified town documents (letterhead) to write a letter to the SAU. Sheila, as a member of my board of selectman what are you and the rest of the board going to do about this misuse of power by Mr O’Neil?

  5. James O'Labour

    younact as I accused you of falsification, I was merely referring to Mr. O’Neils letter on town letter head, signed by he the Chairman of the Board of Selectman. We all know that no member of the aboard has authority as an individual, so that means that he has a plain old citizens (since the board had no prior knowledge) used town letter head, and I would assume town money since it was printed at town hall, on town paper, with town ink, and presumably typed by the administrative assistant. This conspiracy goes right to the top in Danville. Are you refusing to correct your page to reflect the appropriate headline, or are you willing to spread misinformation? This blog entry is clearly wrong at best, misleading at most.

    • Mark Richards

      The letter’s content, which accurately portrays the current superintendent as a complete idiot, seems of little interest. Instead, the mechanics of its production rises as a hot topic. Skewing.

      Your “Dr.” Messler has some dedicated acolytes. Must be on the payroll.

      • Although I usually find myself in agreement with you, I think the letter shows a problem with controls in general and doesn’t reflect on the current superintendent as much as you express. For all we know, this could be a longstanding pattern. It certainly reflects very badly on the school board for not knowing what the heck is going on with our basic reporting responsibilities.

      • Mark Richards

        Perhaps your Dr. Messler should remain on the public payroll where, if one plays his cards properly, miserable performance such as his is easily overlooked. In any business dependent on planning the annual department budget, showing up late to the table – repeatedly – would yield what is in your case the unthinkable: he’d be out on his ass. Not so in this case. With zero oversight (the exception being your occasional question) it’s pretty much a free ride.

        I was surprised he took some responsibility for his lack of performance. Not to be disappointed, he then failed to meet his own deadline. Most folks would consider this behaviour idiotic. Perhaps there’s another word for it. Your taxpayers might offer a few suggestions when they open the next bill.

        I suspect these will be unprintable here.

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