“…[T]here are people out here who are trying to sabotage things…”
This is how Rob Collins, former Chairman of the Timberlane School Board, feels about this blog and the representation that Mr. Green and I are providing. He and the district will be using your taxpayer dollars by way of a PR person to combat the public policy measures we are advocating.
Here is a clip from Danville’s fascinating Selectman’s meeting of Dec. 22 where they discussed trying to change the district’s funding formula or withdrawing from the school district. I disagree with virtually everything Mr. Collins says at this meeting and would dispute the relevance of his facts, especially his claim that our cost per pupil is in the lowest third for the entire state. Why does Timberlane think it should be comparing itself to tiny school districts in rural areas? Of the ten school districts in the state similar in size to Timberlane, we have the third highest cost per pupil for 2013-2014. I could go on disputing his reasoning, but I most want to draw to your attention to the real reason Timberlane hired a PR specialist, according to the man who was instrumental in the bidding and contracting process.
Now Mr. Collins’ own words:
Citizen: Why do we need a PR person?
Rob Collins: “I was on the chair of the committee that spearheaded that. So the last five years, you may recall, that in the mail you get something called School Board Notes… predominantly I wrote that… To mail that out 4 times a year costs about $12,000, maybe a little bit more… We’ve stopped that. We’re not doing that. To hire the PR consultant is less than that. It’s $10,500.
The law has something to say about this. RSA 659:44-a Electioneering by Public Employees:
No public employee, as defined in RSA 273-A:1, IX, shall electioneer while in the performance of his or her official duties or use government property, including, but not limited to, telephones, facsimile machines, vehicles, and computers, for electioneering. For the purposes of this section, “electioneer” means to act in any way specifically designed to influence the vote of a voter on any question or office. Any person who violates this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
A public employee is defined as “any person employed by a public employer . . .” with some other qualifications not pertaining to a PR consultant.
Here is the whole meeting: http://vimeo.com/115743437
The Attorney General’s Role in Overseeing Municipal Governance , by: Attorneys James W. Kennedy and Orville “Bud” Fitch, II