SAU Board is Contemptuous of YOU

Tonight, the SAU Board displayed shameless contempt for taxpayers and staggering incompetence. Examining a $2 million budget is just so very beneath their dignity.

While I was trying to make motions to cut budget lines one by one, the unelected Hampstead member, Cathleen Abruzzese, abruptly and inappropriately motioned to move the budget to public hearing. This was quickly seconded.

Hampstead’s Wayne Dinsmore tried to amend this to lower the bottom line by $15,000. The chairman would not accept the motion but invited Mr. Dinsmore to make a motion to table the motion on the floor.  Mr. Dinsmore made a motion to table.  Only he and I voted affirmatively.

Then, before you had time to blink, the vote was taken to move the budget to public hearing. The Vimeo isn’t out yet but when it is I bet the whole discussion was under 20 minutes. Town budgets of this magnitude take months of work and many hours of discussion, but that’s because Selectmen have a healthy respect for their taxpayers while your elected school district officials are too arrogant and lazy to be bothered.

It’s all for the children, after all…. and a few spouses….. but in the case of the SAU budget, not much goes for the children.

At no time did any of the board members say just what the bottom line of the budget was ($2,002,066).  This is where the staggering incompetence comes in.

We were notified earlier today that the insurance line of the SAU budget would have to go up 5.5% because the Guaranteed Maximum Rate had been published only today by HealthTrust.  It just so happens that our agenda packets at the meeting contained an unmodified budget not reflecting the 5.5% insurance increase.  This means, the budget we voted to move to public hearing is shy a 5.5% increase in the health insurance line which I previously calculated to add one percentage point increase to the budget which would be a 4% overall increase from the 16/17 year.

Ms. Abruzzese, who should never see public office again, didn’t notice this – nor did any other board members apparently.

Oh well, you can be sure the SAU will come to public hearing, announce that they need an insurance line increase, and of course you will have to suck it up because there is not a darn thing you can do about the SAU budget.

Given that the voters have no say whatsoever about the SAU budget, you would think your elected officials would be more serious about it. Instead tonight’s meeting was a display of incompetence, indifference, irresponsibility and arrogance.

Present at tonight’s meeting were: the entire Hampstead Board and from Timberlane: myself, Peter Bealo and Dan Guide.

This is the government you have.  It becomes the government you deserve when you do nothing about it.






Filed under Sandown Issues

2 responses to “SAU Board is Contemptuous of YOU

  1. Mark Acciard

    State budget law clearly states that any expenditures not discussed at the public hearing can not later be added to the budget. RSA 32:5

    32:5 Budget Preparation. –
    I. The governing body, or the budget committee if there is one, shall hold at least one public hearing on each budget, not later than 25 days before each annual or special meeting, public notice of which shall be given at least 7 days in advance, and after the conclusion of public testimony shall finalize the budget to be submitted to the legislative body. One or more supplemental public hearings may be held at any time before the annual or special meeting, subject to the 7-day notice requirement. If the first hearing or any supplemental hearing is recessed to a later date or time, additional notice shall not be required for a supplemental session if the date, time, and place of the supplemental session are made known at the original hearing. Public hearings on bonds and notes in excess of $100,000 shall be held in accordance with RSA 33:8-a, I. Days shall be counted in accordance with RSA 21:35.
    II. All purposes and amounts of appropriations to be included in the budget or special warrant articles shall be disclosed or discussed at the final hearing. The governing body or budget committee shall not thereafter insert, in any budget column or special warrant article, an additional amount or purpose of appropriation which was not disclosed or discussed at that hearing, without first holding one or more public hearings on supplemental budget requests for town or district expenditures.

    Not that I expect the SAU to follow the law, nor DRA to hold them to it.

    • All correct, Mark, but last night was just an SAU meeting and not the budget public hearing. That sham still has to take place. No one will show up from the public hearing, and even if someone did, it would make no difference whatsoever because the SAU board would swallow poison before they took a penny from the superintendent. They exist as window dressing for the SAU. Kudos to Wayne Dinsmore who has an independent mind. He must be very unhappy on the Hampstead board.

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