Too bad there isn’t a taxpayer protection agency in New Hampshire. If there were, Sandown, Danville, Plaistow and Atkinson would be under state protection right now. The latest instance of taxpayer abuse by SAU 55, with the willing cooperation of our own elected representatives, is worthy of front page headlines.
In an illegal non-public, the Timberlane School Board voted unanimously (8-0) to use $20,000 of Timberlane’s surplus money to dig SAU 55 out of its accounting hole of shame. A damning audit revealed the need for remedial work in the keeping-track-of-our -money department at SAU 55. The solution? Hire a consultant!
Funny how things work in education. Failing schools get lavished with money. Failing SAUs like SAU 55 also get lavished with money when what they need is a swift kick in the butt (metaphorically speaking) and major personnel changes (literally). The sad thing is that the elected officials who should be administering the harsh discipline are spineless jellyfish who float on the tide of infinite tax revenue. The jellyfish pulse to the tide of your diminishing income, while SAU employees, who should be unemployed, continue needing a bailout.
How Many Ways is this WRONG?
- Timberlane taxpayers should NOT be bailing out the SAU’s incompetence. The SAU board should be dipping into the SAU’s own budget to fix what needs fixing. If they were to do this, the superintendent might not have $18,000 for conferences in vacation destinations next year. Oh dear. The Cop Sync program money, appropriated despite the company being bankrupt and defunct, would have had to be applied to fix this problem, instead of redirected for other purposes unknown to the SAU board.
- The Timberlane board should not have gone into nonpublic to discuss audit/accounting/bookkeeping problems. That is not an allowable exemption from the open meeting laws of this state. The “reputation” exception is meant for employee performance/disciplinary matters, not to shield the administration from owning up to management shortcomings and financial problems.
- The Timberlane board should not have voted in nonpublic to spend public money. That is always and ever a public concern and should never be hidden behind the cloak of nonpublic meetings – even when deliberations are legitimately non-public. From the draft minutes of TRSB meeting of June 21, 2018: “Madam Chair Sherman announced that during nonpublic session Mr. Guide motioned to expend up to $20k from the 2018 budget surplus fund to employ a consultant to assist with Timberlane bookkeeping which was seconded by Mr. Dube. The motioned passed 8-0-0.”
- The Timberlane board should not have been silent about this action until someone made a Right to Know request for the public minutes of the meeting wherein the nonpublic was conducted.
The nonpublic discussion of accounting inadequacies in SAU 55, the decision to spend $20,000 of TIMBERLANE tax dollars to hire a consultant for an SAU issue, and the silence from ALL the board members about this business is outrageous. Kim Farah from Danville was absent from this meeting. Every other one of your elected officials failed you profoundly, stupendously, and inexcusably.
Timberlane should divorce itself from SAU 55, which has shown itself to be mendacious, secretive, litigious, and now utterly incompetent. You can continue to throw money into thin air like trash from a speeding truck on the way to the dump, or you can sign the petition to withdraw from SAU 55. And while you are at it, get yourself some new representatives. The ones at the table now want to protect a uesless SAU more than they want to protect your tax dollars. SAU 55 should be made to fix its own problems with its own budget – and make sacrifices to do so. That’s called consequences.
The petition for Timberlane to withdraw from SAU 55 can be found on SpeakoutTimberlane Facebook page. It is being circulated by former Danville school board rep, Stefanie Dube (no relation to Sandown’s Lee Dube who voted in favor of spending your money on an SAU problem).
Note: SAU55 is overseen by a board that consists of all the members of both the Timberlane Regional School District and the Hampstead School District. Hampstead and Timberlane share the costs of SAU 55. SAU 55 has its own budget independent of both school districts.