Watch SAU Board Sluff Their Responsibility to You

The April 20, 2016 SAU meeting will go down in the annals of self-deception as a meeting not to be missed.

First you can watch the board make astonishingly empty-headed excuses for not changing auditors.  If this wasn’t your money being supervised by these elected officials it would be laughable.  Start at 29:30

Then you can watch as I attempt to get the superintendent’s new Right to Know Request policy changed to be more in keeping with a sensible and convenient service ethic toward public information and a respect for open government. The intellectual dishonesty demonstrated is breathtaking. A particularly revealing moment occurs when the superintendent prefaces his comments with the phrase” revisionist history,” which is exactly what he proceeds to deliver.   Start at 44:20

This is the government you have.  Is it the government you deserve?

Thank you to Stefanie Dube of Danville and Wayne Dinsmore of Hampstead for seconding my motions about revising the Right to Know Policy and changing the auditors (respectively) to allow a revealing if profoundly disappointing discussion of these topics.

It’s OK for others to disagree with my positions and my goals. It is also understandable that new members may be reluctant to make changes when more experienced board members hang back. It is absolutely not OK, however, for the board to be indifferent to obvious issues with our auditing arrangement and to accept that a superintendent can impose harsh conditions on our constituents to obtain public information without the establishment of a policy by the board to permit this.

We, as elected officials, should be protecting our constituents from unreasonable hardship to obtain what is theirs and not enabling self-serving obstructionism by an administration that has lost sight of who it serves.



Filed under Sandown Issues

8 responses to “Watch SAU Board Sluff Their Responsibility to You

  1. “cohorts of obstructionists”. Dr Metzler manages to stick the knife in by being rude and disrespectful. Is he hoping this will cause us to be so distracted by his behavior we ignore the topic at hand or is just truly ignorant? I suppose we are all to be believe he handles requests for information personally very often and when he is doing so he is bombarded by people who ask for the same report repeatedly just to be obstructionists. Can anyone else imagine our superintendent A. Sending information without a fee B. Resending the same information twice??

    • Those are my constituents! Some were fellow elected officials of the school district. What is the superintendent’s obstructionist is another person’s dedicated and conscientious elected official. Yeah, it really is a nuisance to have to provide facts to those who pay the bills. This just gets in the way of “getting the work done,” even when a big part of the work is providing a good accounting of public money.

  2. Perhaps it would be a good idea to find out what other districts charge for copies. This could be done quite easily via an email by the business administrator to other business administrators.

    • Thanks for commenting. I believe in leadership and doing the right thing regardless of what others are doing. The law says the cost of copies should be for ONLY the cost of making the copy. NO one has challenged in court 50 cents a page, but if it were challenged it could not stand because copies do not cost 50 cents each.

    • You are a taxpayer, you are ALREADY paying for this service. Copies should be free because that’s the price of transparency in government in a free society.

      • Copies should certainly be free for elected officials who are charged with overseeing the government body in question. Quite a sweet deal when you think of it: withhold vital public information and then force those elected to supervise you to pay to get the info they need to do their job. The district and SAU should be ashamed of itself, but they resort to character assassination and insults rather than self-reflection. I do think it fair for a public body to recover costs of copies to the general public to be fair to all taxpayers.

  3. Jorge Mesa-Tejada

    Metzler’s excuses are just that: excuses. Other districts provide unfettered access to their public information 24/7 via their website, Merrimack/SAU 26, for instance. No attendant required!
    See for yourself:
    Click on each and all the folders and feast your eyes–the amount of information is staggering!
    Windham/SAU 95 is another although the information dump is overwhelming–but available.
    Of course, this is anathema to Metzler. His little gold mine vaporizes and his control is gone because all of us unwashed would then have access to the data…FREE!!!
    Imagine that: a well informed electorate. How horrible…and threatening!!!!!!

  4. Cathy

    One comment made by Peter Bealo that deserves attention in my opinion: (paraphrase) the SAU line is not the only line in the budget that we do not adjust. We passed bottom line budgets all the time and we only adjust the bottom line.

    My response: that may be this districts practice but it is not in line with RSA 32. The budget committee is task with the **generation** of the budget in a prudent budget at that. Their role and responsibility is not to tweak the bottom line.
    The **bottom line** only exists on the ballot; that is what the voters vote on.
    The fact that this concept, that had been discussed minimally for the three years that I was on the budget committee, is still lost on so many is concerning.

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