This morning a 2.7 magnitude earthquake hit Sandown. I ran to my window thinking the oil delivery truck I was expecting had flipped over and exploded near my house. As exciting as that was, it didn’t compare to the explosive revelations at the school board meeting tonight.
Shawn O’Neil of Danville read an email during public comment that he said he had obtained from SAU 55’s printer. The email was allegedly sent from someone he didn’t identify in the SAU office at around 1:15 pm on Feb. 9, 2018, the afternoon after Timberlane’s Deliberative Session. The email tells the printer that the default budget was not yet finalized. The email writer than asks how long they had before having to submit the final ballot for printing.
Why is this a seismic revelation? Well, for one thing, the school board had finalized the default budget. Further, upon direct questioning last week, Mrs. Belcher explained that the ballots always go to the printer the day after deliberative session. By law, the default budget can be changed up until the ballots are printed.
It’s no secret that the superintendent and certain elements of the board are unhappy with the fact that our default budget is actually lower than our proposed operating budget this year.
If the email is proven to be genuine, (and there’s no reason to suspect it isn’t), then certain unknown party or parties at our SAU appear to have been delaying printing the ballots in the hope that elements on the school board would succeed in increasing the default budget. My resignation gave them this sliver of a hope.
Without me, the board was split 4-4 on controversial votes. Motions such as increasing the default budget, for instance, would fail. This is why certain members of the board worked hard to get Lee Dube, my replacement, to vote by phone tonight even though he was not legally qualified to do so because he had not physically signed his oath of office. (Thank you to Dr. Farah for that perceptive catch.) Mr. Dube ended up being unavailable by phone and thus was not compromised by any of these dealings.
Did four people on the board know Mr. Dube would be favorable to increasing the default budget? Or were they just gambling?
Note to Sandown’s newly appointed representative, Mr. Dube: be careful who your friends are.
A motion to bring this matter to the attention of the Attorney General’s Office failed by a vote of 4-4, with the usual SAU sycophants voting against – Sue Sherman, Dan Guide, Kelly Ward and Peter Bealo. Chairman Boyle said he would pursue the matter privately.
Funny, how even Mr. Boyle is turning into a Donna Green. What is it about Timberlane and SAU 55 that drives elected officials to seek the assistance of state authorities?
Personally, I see nothing to disturb the Attorney General with. If the email proves to be genuine and the reason for it merely a hope for a better default budget, then we have a simple case of political interference by the SAU. Surprise!
Even though we know nothing will improve at SAU 55, there is good reason to now fear that there is no bottom.