Three board members used the Public Comment portion of the school board’s agenda last night (Feb 16, 2017) to air their grievances. Board members cannot get items on the agenda and so must resort to Public Comment period for three minutes of free speech. The Timberlane board, you see, does not control their own agenda. As a result, their meetings are usually little more than puppet shows — of the Punch and Judy kind. Last night was different. The drama turned against Punch.
Jack Sapia, school board representative from Atkinson, is not running for re-election. Last night was his last meeting as a board member and he decided to go out with a bang. Mr. Sapia read a list of objectionable incidents contrived by Chairman Bealo and then called for Bealo’s resignation from the board. Bealo pretended nothing had happened and moved on. Fortunately social media and the press are not moving on.
One particular incident Mr. Sapia related involved me. According to Sapia, before the October 6, 2016 school board meeting, Bealo bragged to some board members that he was going to “set me up” with an anonymous donation.
Sure enough, I objected to accepting an anonymous donation, as I always do, and Bealo shot back with some quick insults calling me the busybody Aunt Bea from the old TV series, Mayberry RFD. Without knowing** about the “set up,” Sapia joined in disparaging my concerns, although minus Bealo’s personal insults.
Stefanie Dube showed remarkable insight and backbone to call them both out. She was the only person on the board to understand that malicious behavior towards one is a threat to all – eventually. Mr. Sapia now knows it as well. Perceptively, Mrs. Dube told Bealo that he had to have known that the anonymous donation would elicit my criticism. Bealo put on a good show of innocent indignation, showing what bold-faced lying looks like in real life.
According to Sapia, Bealo then gloated about his success and enjoyed a laugh in front of him with the same confreres after the meeting.
You can watch the immature malice in this 6 minute video from the October 2016 meeting:
Mr. Sapia should be given credit for pulling back the curtain on the evil puppet show and I thank him for it. To hear all of Mr. Sapia’s complaints, start at 13 minutes into this video:
Vote wisely in March.
** A previous version of this post reported that Mr. Sapia knew about the “set up” before the meeting. He corrects my misapprehension and affirms that he knew about the plot only afterwards when he was present with the inner circle of board members. I apologize to Mr. Sapia for the error.