Metzler Losing His Mojo

Remember March 2014, when the Timberlane voters handed Superintendent Metzler his first default budget?  It was about $500,000 less than the proposed budget.  Before the power lights faded on the voting machines, Metzler posted a video announcement warning residents that he would need to spend every penny of the voted budget, and that there would be no surplus the at the end of the default budget year.  He then proceeded to initiate the new full-day kindergarten program, as well as the Spanish FLES rollout – two brand new programs not in the default budget.

That budget year (2014/15) ended with a $3.5 million surplus.

Remember when the Timberlane Budget Committee handed Metzler his first flat-line budget?  That was in Dec. 2014.  His knee-jerk response:  close a school!  He put a giant bull’s eye on Sandown Central.

The budget committee took out the operational funding for Sandown Central.  Sandown citizens put a petitioned warrant article on the ballot to reinstate operational funding.  It passed in Sandown but failed district wide.

Sandown Central should have closed as it had been stripped of operational funding.  Instead, it was re-purposed and stayed open.  That gives you an indication of how much money is sloshing around Timberlane’s mighty budget. You know what else?  In the fiscal year (2015/16) in which that school operated without budgeted money, the district still delivered a $3.6 million surplus.  Staggering, right?

Fast forward to Dec. 2017.  The Timberlane Budget Committee again hands Metzler a flat-lined budget.  This time, no one would believe a threat to close a school.  The derisive laughter would be heard all the way through Massachusetts where the superintendent hopes to find future employment.  Instead, he announces he would have to lay off 20 support staff, 11.5 administrators and 25-50 members of the Timberlane Teachers’ Association.  That is a maximum total of 81.5 full-time equivalent positions.

Skip again to March 2018.  Voters rejected the proposed operating budget that was jacked up by $1 million at deliberative, in favor of a default budget that is $100,000 higher than last year’s operating budget.

Without any consultation with the school board, Metzler ran screaming to the press.  This time his Chicken Little routine is down to 50 staff layoffs, and the teachers’ union president is running around behind him blowing Metzler’s loose feathers into a puffy white cloud.

Poor Superintendent Metzler.  First he threatens to close a school.  Fails at that but not before he displaces hundreds of Sandown students and forces staff into crowded conditions.  Then he threatens 81.5 staff.  Fails at that.  Now he’s down to a hollow threat of 50 staff cuts.  You can be sure he’ll fail at that, too.  It’s too bad, because the district does need to cut excess staff.  Unfortunately he isn’t the man for the job.

Incendiary threats?  He’s the guy!  Proactively embarrassing the school board and bullying them, too.  A+.  Actual management?  [Insert your grade here.]

Here’s an idea that would find favor at the inner sanctums of Timberlane:  let’s stop having elections and let the employees rule the school district by threats, bullying and intimidation.




Filed under Sandown Issues

2 responses to “Metzler Losing His Mojo

  1. Gene Reed

    I think your SAU is not the only one that is out of control:

    School Board(s) can’t get answers so,,,, *SAU 44 Audit Committee*

    *The Joint Board of SAU 44 representing the towns of Northwood, Nottingham and Strafford has formed an Audit Committee. The Audit committee is responsible for the oversight of the independent auditors and the evaluation of the audit process. The committee will review, through discussions with management and the auditors, the audit scope and plan, the adequacy of internal controls, the effect of any new accounting requirements and will report findings and make recommendations to the Joint Board.*

    On Mon, Apr 2, 2018 at 7:38 PM, timberlaneandsandown wrote:

    > donnagre posted: “Remember March 2014, when the Timberlane voters handed > Superintendent Metzler his first default budget? It was about $500,000 > less than the proposed budget. Before the power lights faded on the voting > machines, Metzler posted a video announcement warnin” >

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