Sandown voters, I’d like to thank you in advance for casting a considered vote.
Here is how I am going to vote on the school ballot and why:
- Article ONE Election of officers: Donna Green (See below)
- Article TWO: BUDGET: ABSTAIN (Neither budget options are acceptable and a lot of abstentions will send a message.)
- Article THREE: Capital Reserve Fund: NO (We have enough money in there now and little planning seems to go into capital expenditures)
- Article FOUR: Sandown Central School and Kitchen: NO (Why put a new kitchen in a school they want to close and at such an exorbitant price?)
- Article FIVE: Sandown North Playground: NO (The children there need a large field – not a small playground with equipment, which is the plan.)
- Article SIX: Timberlane Support Staff Collective Bargaining Agreement: YES (The increase was reasonable.)
- Article SEVEN: Authorize Special Meeting: YES
- Article EIGHT: Acceptance of Reports: YES
- Article NINE: Free Full-day Kindergarten: NO (There is no funding attached to this warrant, nor do I think it is educationally necessary. It should stay tuitioned.)
- Article TEN: Amend Article of Agreement to change funding formula for the school district: NO (Paying by the number of students we send to the district is the fairest way to fund a cooperative school district. Even though this will considerably lower Sandown’s school taxes, it is not a fair solution to the problem.)
- Article 11: Continue Operation of Sandown Central: YES ( There has been very inadequate information about the consolidation plan and I believe consolidating the schools now will ultimately lead to building a very expensive addition onto Sandown North so that in the long run this will cost us more money than keeping Sandown Central open for at least one more year in order to do a proper study.)
- Article 12: Conduct Impact and Consolidation Plan: YES (This shouldn’t need a warrant article but it does because we have not been given enough information to judge the long-term cost of a consolidation and even the classroom accommodations for all the students.)
On the TOWN ballot, I hope voters will support Warrant Article 19 which asks the school district to conduct a study into the feasibility of Sandown withdrawing from the school district. This is just a study, but it is an important one in order to explore if we could get a better education and better value doing it on our own or in partnership with another town more similar to ours in tax base.
If the school warrant passes to change the funding formula for the school district (thereby giving Sandown much lower school taxes but increasing Atkinson’s and Plaistow’s) there is a possibility Atkinson could desire to leave the district. They already have a withdrawal study on their town ballot, as we do. Sandown will not want to be left to absorb the costs of keeping the lights on in the district if Atkinson leaves, so this study at the very least is necessary for defensive purposes. In my opinion is it critical to vote to conduct a study.
WHAT I STAND FOR:
- A steadfast commitment to quality education with more effective use of our tax dollars.
- Pro-active oversight of the SAU,
- Financial transparency,
- Asking the tough questions in order to increase effectiveness and efficiency of our schools,
- Calling out issues that need public attention,
- Requesting serious discussion and appropriate supporting documentation prior to taking action on issues that impact Sandown and the entire district,
- Pressing for SB policies to be followed and changing ones that do not serve the public interest.
All this must be done to provide the quality education we want for our students.
Thank you and I look forward to a new start working with a new board.
As for my lawsuit against the school district and SAU, I’d like to state that the district did not have to fight the suit nor did they have to do the things they did to bring on the suit itself. Beyond that, I respect the court and its deliberation and do not want to debate the merits of my case in public at this time. My pleadings and the district’s pleadings can all be found on this blog.
See you at the polls on Tuesday!