“Default judgment: Opening school district books”

Today’s Union Leader editorial concerns my case.

http://www.unionleader.com/editorial/Default-judgment-Opening-school-district-books-04112017

The paper’s editorial board correctly concludes that default budgets should be much more transparent.

By way of a small correction, my case was not a Right to Know suit. Timberlane claims they do not have a line item default budget.  The Right to Know law applies only to documents that exist, not documents that should exist. I was asking the court to compel the district to produce a line item default budget.  My contention is that this is required by law.

My thanks to the Union Leader for their coverage of my case and their abiding advocacy for government transparency.

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2 Comments

Filed under Sandown Issues

2 responses to ““Default judgment: Opening school district books”

  1. Pingback: “Default Judgment: Opening School District Books” | The New Media Militia

  2. Mark Acciard

    Great article, hits the high points, As usual the district is obfuscating. Earl, what have you to hide? These people pay your salary!

    Here is the relevant Statute; RSA 40:13, IX, (b) “Default budget” as used in this subdivision means the amount of the same appropriations as contained in the operating budget authorized for the previous year, reduced and increased, as the case may be, by debt service, contracts, and other obligations previously incurred or mandated by law, and reduced by one-time expenditures contained in the operating budget. For the purposes of this paragraph, one-time expenditures shall be appropriations not likely to recur in the succeeding budget, as determined by the governing body

    This means that, despite what the District claims, the proper, method to calculate the default budget would be to;
    1.) Begin with the existing operating budget, go through it line by line looking for one time items, contracts, etc to be subtracted or added.
    2.)Subtract and add as required by statute, to arrive at the legal default budget.
    Now, the District claims they do not do this, yet somehow, they arrive at this number as if by magic.

    All Ms. Green asked of the district was; What line items did you subtract from, and how much? and what line items did you add to, and how much?

    This was never a format question. It was a process question, and once again the District refused to answer.

    To the taxpayers…. How much longer will you tolerate your employees lying to you, and obfuscating, and refusing to answer your questions?

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