Less than 1% of the school district’s voting population turned out for Timberlane’s annual Deliberative Session on Friday night, Feb 10, 2017. The vast majority of those in attendance were employees of the district.
Two things of note occurred during the meeting.
- A motion was made by Arthur Green to cut $1.6 million from the proposed operating budget. Since the default budget is inflated but cannot be touched by the people, the strategy was to lower the proposed budget to make it what an honest default budget should have been. This way the voters would have the choice between an honest default budget or a dishonest default budget that is $200,000 more than the district’s actual proposed budget. The small crowd knew full well the voters overall would go for the honest default budget so in their self-interest they voted to deny everyone in the district an honest choice.
- A Citizen’s Petitioned Warrant Article to force the district to change auditors every four years was changed to remove any change at all. The motion to gut this Warrant Article was made by Dan Guide and seconded by Peter Bealo in evident cooperation. A majority of the school board and the budget committee voted for the amendment.
As far as I can learn, our district has never changed auditors and we’ve been around 53 years. Best business practice is to change auditors frequently to prevent the parties from becoming too comfortable with one another. “Frequently” does not mean after a generation or two – but this is the irresponsible standard of care your school board and SAU board has for your money.
In support of the motion to gut my warrant article (yes, it was mine…) Peter Bealo, the chairman of the school board said it would be “a recipe for disaster” to change auditors in the same year as changing business administrators.
If the chairman of a publicly traded company made that statement, there would be a run on the company’s stock so severe he or she would be fired that same day.
If what Mr. Bealo said is true, it is a shameful state of affairs. It is isn’t true, it shouldn’t have been said. Either way Peter Bealo should be fired — along with every school board and budget committee member who supported the change to the warrant article, including Mrs. Sherman who is currently seeking re-election.
You get the government you deserve and the tax bill right along with it.