Guest contribution by Arthur Green
This blog site has been rather hard on Nancy Steenson in her candidacy for the Republican nomination for State Senate (here, here and here), and we fear that Jason Grosky, who is seeking the County Attorney nomination, may feel somewhat overlooked. Let’s fix that.
We received Mr. Grosky’s postcard mailer yesterday, in which he promises to “bring a fiscal conservative approach to curb unnecessary spending”.
Did he bring this approach to the Timberlane school district’s $68 million budget when he chaired the Budget Committee? I served on the Timberlane budget committee under his chairmanship in 2014, where he fought my efforts to bring fiscal discipline to the district.
The 2015/16 budget under Mr. Grosky’s supervision went up by 1.5% from the previous year, which sounds modest. But enrollment dropped by 3%. The budget per pupil went up from $17,875 to $18,703, up 4.6% in a single year.
But Mr. Grosky’s postcard promises to curb “unnecessary” spending. Was the 4.6% increase necessary?
I made a presentation to budget committee demonstrating that Timberlane school district was (in fall of 2o14, and still is) grossly overstaffed, by comparison with nearby school districts of similar size and composition and superior academic results. I showed that staffing, which represents over 70% of the budget, could be reduced by about 10%, and still comfortably exceed the staffing of high-achieving neighbors.
The following exchange shows how Mr. Grosky prioritizes the demands of the beneficiaries of public spending as compared to the rights of citizens and families to keep and enjoy their hard-earned income and property:
(Sorry about using 2 clips – the full uninterrupted presentation and discussion are available at the link above.)
We know that we could deliver equal or better educational results with a much lower budget – we know that because similar school districts in NH are doing so. But Mr. Grosky is an example of public office holders who fight tooth and nail to protect the level of staffing and spending.
While Mr. Grosky fought to protect the district’s budget, his wife was engaged by Timberlane as a public relations consultant at a rate of $1,500 per month. Mr. Rob Collins of the Timberlane School Board told the Danville Board of Selectmen in public session in Dec. 2014 that the PR contract was needed to counteract what he called “sabotage” of the district, referring to me and to Donna Green.
Mr. Grosky is no fiscal conservative.