SB Politics Trumps Business, Oh hum.

Sandown’s Mr. Kelly Ward is now the favored child of the school district establishment. He was on the winning side of the withdrawal controversy and as a result has been elected school board vice-chairman, a position whose only responsibility is running a meeting.  Mr. Ward’s experience in this is quite limited and unfortunately his brief tenure as co-chair of the district’s withdrawal committee lacked distinction. He chaired one Withdrawal Committee meeting then resigned as co-chair.

Recently  Mr. Ward was hand-selected by the superintendent to co-chair an Advisory Committee on Sandown North’s outdoor facilities – an advisory committee I was told nothing about, was not invited to join nor notified of their tour of SN school grounds.

Now Mr. Ward has been awarded the chairmanship of no less than THREE school board standing committees.  These assignments were announced yesterday and were made by Chairman Peter Bealo. Take a gander at this list of assignments, then see my comments.


  • Sue Sherman – Chair
  • Donna Green
  • Jack Sapia
  • Stephane Dube

Check Registers

  • Sue Sherman

Community Relations

  • Kelly Ward – Chair
  • Peter Bealo
  • Greg Spero
  • Stephane Dube

Curriculum and Assessment

  • Sue Sherman – Chair
  • Peter Bealo
  • Rob Collins
  • Greg Spero


  • Kelly Ward – Chair
  • Dan Guide
  • Jack Sapia
  • Stephane Dube


  • Jack Sapia – Chair
  • Sue Sherman
  • Dan Guide
  • Kelly Ward


  • Rob Collins
  • Peter Bealo – alternate

General Assy Delegates

  • Peter Bealo

Legislative Advocate

  • Peter Bealo


  • Peter Bealo – Chair
  • Greg Spero
  • Sue Sherman


  • Peter Bealo – Chair
  • Greg Spero
  • Jack Sapia

Prof. Dev.

  • Sue Sherman


  • Kelly Ward – Chair
  • Dan Guide
  • Greg Spero
  • Sue Sherman


  • Peter Bealo

Strategic Planning

  • Rob Collins
  • Stephane Dube


  • Sue Sherman


  • Sue Sherman

First of all Mrs. Sherman must be congratulated for being the energy powerhouse of the school board.  She is on no fewer than 9 committees.  That is a huge commitment of time and I believe an unreasonable imposition on any volunteer, but it is up to her to push back if she sees fit to do so.

These are the committees I requested of Mr. Bealo:  “Policy, Facilities, Safety, CIP.  I’d also like to be liaison to the budget committee as well as to SERESC.”

Quite honestly I predicted that I would be given no committee assignments whatsoever. Mrs. Steenson had previously threatened to remove me from all committees which elicited a hearty laugh from me since it would free me to do more blogging, but you can see from that remark that everything some school board chairmen do is primarily political. Advancing the actual work of the board is secondary.

Mr. Bealo surprised me with one committee assignment, CIP (Capital Improvement Plan). Mr. Bealo assigned himself to SERESC and as an alternate to the budget committee, along with other positions.  Keep in mind that Sue Sherman and I are the only members of the board who are not employed and are thus available to attend daytime meetings such as Safety and Facilities.

The good news is that I will continue to attend Facilities meetings as a member of the public so when the committee fails to have the required number of school board members present as happened three times in the last cycle, I will be there to allow their work to continue. Oh, but wait!  The board will likely reduce the number of SB members required to conduct committee meetings to just one member. (See April 7th agenda.) So much for how much of the board’s business is actually done in committee, unless you believe that the business of the school board should be done by everyone other than school board members.

Just think what a reduction to one board member per standing committee meeting actually accomplishes.  It allows a perfectly fit, if unpopular, board member to be excluded from all committees (but one in this case) at the decision of the chairman.  That’s in practice what this change, which will be approved by the school broad on April 7, will accomplish.

It is no surprise that I continue to be marginalized by the superintendent and the chairman because the business of the board is primarily political in nature and not substantive, as you can see from our agendas which do not show the gravity of issues that a $70 million operation concerning children should reflect. What is surprising, to me anyway, is the shamelessness of the players at being so obvious.


UPDATE 3/31/16:  I have removed a Facebook post from Kelly Ward that I was told came from Speak Out Sandown. It seems it may have come from a personal Facebook page.



Filed under Sandown Issues

20 responses to “SB Politics Trumps Business, Oh hum.

  1. Mark Richards

    “Mr. Bealo surprised me with one committee assignment, CIP (Capital Improvement Plan). ”

    Not a gift.

    You’re being set up to be a lone voice of no when expensive projects, which will serve to deepen the maladministration’s grip upon Sandown, are advanced.

    • Interesting suggestion…

      In truth, none of these assignments are a gift – unless you can use chairing a committee that usually doesn’t do much of anything as political experience on a resume.

      For the most part, these are long, tedious meetings. Very time consuming to prepare for – for those that do any preparation – and a big time commitment over all.

  2. Tacky comments by Kelly Ward. Yet, he ran unopposed for re-election. Is there no else in Sandown willing to step up to the plate and get politically involved to break the status quo? Otherwise “sit down, shut up and shell out your tax dollars. How does it feel to be marginalized Sandown?

    • Mr. Ward is being feted to show that Sandown isn’t being marginalized. What is being marginalized is the constituency that I represent. Since my constituency didn’t come to the voting booth – or has dwindled considerably – nothing can be done but watch the shamelessly obvious antics. Thanks for writing. It is truly discouraging that two of Sandown’s school district positions went unchallenged this election.

      • Lorna

        Your constituency did come to the voting booth, in great numbers. Your constituents are everyone in Sandown. Your supporters did not come.
        That sounds like you represent only those who support you. I was under the impression you and anyone else elected to office were elected to represent the Town of Sandown, not just a select few. Am I being naive?

      • I am using the word in the British sense as listed below: “a body of customers or supporters.” My higher education was in Canada where British usage is the norm.
        From a Google search on “Constituency meaning: con·stit·u·en·cy
        noun: constituency; plural noun: constituencies
        a body of voters in a specified area who elect a representative to a legislative body.
        “the politician who wishes to remain in the good graces of his constituency”
        an area whose voters elect a representative to a legislative body.
        a body of customers or supporters.
        “a constituency of racing fans”

      • The residents that I speak to ARE for what you are try to achieve. LOWER the tax burden. A more aggressive stance needs to be taken and spoken out about WHO is running for public office. It’s not mudslinging, its telling the truth about where they really stand. The issue is about taxes and lowering them, with an out of control school system.

      • We are being marginalized because Kelly Ward has chosen to go along to get along. He needs to be called out on it, and often. When the taxes bills come out the real howling will begin.

  3. mary munsell

    The above screenshot was not from Speak Out Sandown. It was from my personal page…unfortunately I must have a troll and intend on blocker that Facebook account!

  4. Cathy

    Regardless of where Kelly posted this comment perhaps he should consider sticking with that so called “silent dignity”.
    Building bridges and mending fences in Sandown …

  5. Cindy

    It is more than disappointing that someone who should be working together with his fellow Sandown Elected Officials would take the time to step down into that level of immaturity. The right thing to do would be for Kelly Ward to apologize to both Donna and myself for his inappropriate actions. I guess we will have to wait and see what his character is truly made of.

    The other disappointing part of this, is that the concerned person who sent over the screenshot from the FB page is considered a troll and will be blocked.

    So the person who reports poor behavior is the one who is considered a troll? Not the one who wrote the inappropriate post? Is this the logic of society now?
    It seems a little backwards to me.

    Let’s try to have some integrity, even if you don’t agree on every issue it’s okay, but lets try to address each other with respect.

    After all, you never know who is watching.

    • “So the person who reports poor behavior is the one who is considered a troll? Not the one who wrote the inappropriate post? Is this the logic of society now? It seems a little backwards to me.”
      Cindy, you are absolutely right. The mentality of many is to shoot the messenger instead of addressing the fundamental issue. I think we saw a lot of that in the “dialogue” from those opposing withdrawal, as well as immature personal comments of which Mr. Ward’s is just one example. Yes, we are both owed an apology and the person who brought this to our attention has my thanks.

    • Mr. Ward is a public official and anything he says is open for criticism. If he chooses to act like a smug, immature, know-it-all he and shouldn’t be surprised when they are called out on it.

  6. Mary Munsell

    Cindy – Yes, that is a definition of a troll. The comment was meant for me and the audience of my Facebook page. Would you want pictures of your grandchildren screenshot and pasted all over public sites and page…I think not.

    • Facebook audiences are public to a large extent, so someone taking a comment of public interest off a Facebook page is not doing anything wrong or inappropriate. Posting pictures of children on public sites is a completely different matter and it is highly alarming that you do not see a distinction in that behavior.

  7. MJ

    If the comments were posted on the Rockingham Alert page, that is not personal, nor private. Unless you adjust your privacy settings correctly on FB, your personal page is also public….no expectation of privacy.

  8. MJ

    Perhaps he can clarify? I was told the original post came from Rockingham alert, but that may have referred to the picture, which was reposted on Speak Out Sandown page, the comments were under the picture originally on one of those two pages, I believe. Perhaps whoever captured it can tell you from where? Obviously not a private page.

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