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Welcome to the NEW Atkinson Reporter! Under new management, with new resolve.

The purpose of this Blog is to pick up where the Atkinson Reporter has left off. "The King is dead, Long live the King!" This Blog is a forum for the discussion of predominantly Atkinson; Officials, People, Ideas, and Events. You may give opinion, fact, or evaluation, but ad hominem personal attacks will not be tolerated, or published. The conversation begun on the Atkinson Reporter MUST be continued!

This Blog will not fall to outside hacks from anyone, especially insecure public officials afraid of their constituents criticism.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Superintendent LaSalle robs from the taxpayers to build his empire!

Budget Committee believes him when he tells them it is HIS responsibility to prepare the budget!

From Just like private sector wages and benefits, there should have been a cut in the Timberlane budget last year and a second cut this year. Superintendent LaSalle you should be ashamed, Timberlane is part of the real world, not a fantasy farm for overpaid bureaucrats. Check out the official "Reading of the Budget" video at Unfortuantely, voting NO this year won't even help.


Selling the Budget, Selling Out the Community
January 17, 2010 By: len Category: Budget, Front Page, Front Page, Timberlane

Danville’s senior TRSD Budget Committee member read Mr. La Salle’s warrant article to the public Thursday. She went on to deliver Mr. La Salle’s pitch including an explanation that Mr. La Salle —not the budget committee — is responsible for preparing the budget and that School Board Policy — not New Hampshire State Law — governs the process. I disagree on all counts.

You should be outraged. Despite deflation, falling energy costs, declining enrollment, and a contracting tax base, Mr. La Salle has asked for a 2% increase in the budget PLUS a separate warrant to pay for raises negotiated in a new teachers contract. In an era of frozen wages, layoffs, and making do, Mr. La Salle has secured a 2% pay increase for SAU 55’s highest paid administrators.

If you think you can vote against this, you are wrong. Mr. La Salle’s default budget is HIGHER than his ‘approved’ budget. At the last budget committee meeting, there was a heated discussion of the legality of the default budget that ending with a red faced Mr. La Salle apologizing for his outburst. You can’t watch this because the TRSD Budget Committee refuses to televise its meetings. This is not detailed in the sanitized minutes.

If you think this is much ado about nothing, you are wrong. This isn’t just about taxes. Budget committees provide direction and set priorities. Our high school is underperforming. It has been designated a School In Need of Improvement for five consecutive years — despite ever increasing budgets.


Anonymous said...

LOL! Frank and Sapia are gone so this blog is fearful of it's existance with only Phil left to bash. So what to do? I know, let's create a new boogeyman!!! How pathetic and see through. Losers.

MAcciard said...

Oh I don't know about the boogeyman part, but here is what I DO know;

1.) LaSalle has no authority under State law to prepare the budget.

2.) He is bound by law to provide for the budget committee ANY information it feels it needs.

3.) The SB has NO authority over the preparation of the budget.

4.) How much of a conflict is it to have the guy who will spend the budget, write it?

5.) There was no quorum for the SB budcom public hearing, therefore they did not have a legal meeting.

6.) Public hearing is required by law. Now there is no time to have a public hearing as the deadline is passing tonight, and it requires 7 day posting.

7.) The video is up on Danville Delivery, see for yourself.

8.) The SB budget is up almost $7,000,000 over last years spending.

9.) The default budget was also improperly prepared including many items that should be in warrant articles, and not included in the default budget.

10.) Superintendent LaSalle and a few of his closest Admins, get up to $3,000 in raises this year, when most people get nothing.

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Anonymous said...

My, My. Truth stings don't it.

Anonymous said...

Several other interesting points in LaSalle's contract are:

1) A statement that there is an intent to give him three years notice of termination, unless its for cause. I wish my cmpany gave ME that!! I believe that to jettison him at the end of the NEXT contract period (his contract is up in June 2010) without paying multiple years of severence, the Board needs to give him notice before they sign the next contract.

2) He's allowed to get reimbursements for something like $1,600 of expenses without submitting receipts. This may be constued as a back-door raise or bonus.

3) District pays 100% of his medical. I don't believe the teachers get this kind of deal...

MAcciard said...

Between the town budget up 16% and the school budget up 11% the only people making money are the various governmental agencies!

Anonymous said...

The town budget has been decreased 5%. Why do you say it's up 11%?

Anonymous said...

Scratch that, it should have said "Why do you say the town's budget is up 16%?"

MAcciard said...

Well funny you should ask that, When I was on the budget committee, we always began our research with last years actual spending. According to Budcom Chair Jim Blackadar at last years deliberative session, they don't look at that, they start with the proposed budget, a practice more commonly known as "baseline budgeting" This is the practice that has allowed the federal budget to balloon, as it has.

The reason that we began with spending was because that represented what it actually cost to run that dept. for the whole year. So from that point we only needed to review the spending to make sure none was unnecessary then to assess what factors will raise or lower costs this year.

You may remember I brought this up at deliberative session last year with regards to the police dept. The police dept. although it has a $771,000 budget for 2008, only spent $643,000. And yes, I know we lost two fine officers, but my point was that the PD did everything it had to do for a year for $643,000, If they had to move people around, fill in with part timers, why couldn't they do that again? Why did they need $775,000 for 2009?

So if you look at actual spending for 2009, you find we actually spent $177,000 LESS than the current proposed budget. a savings of roughly 5% MORE than currently proposed. And that is without addressing any of the inflated lines in the PD budget that remain from the last 3 years.

Also when I wrote that I was working off the previous draft of the budget which was up 1.5%. The other factor here is that the Budcom is recommending $483,000 in warrant articles, and the voters usually pass what the Budcom recommends, which further inflates the tax burden.

I apologize for the long winded response, but some explanation was necessary.

Len Mullen said...

It's not JUST about the money. Money spent on expensive, ineffective administrators is not available for less expensive, more effective teachers and aids. Money spent on a better color for the PAC's floor or for rooms full of underutilized technology is not available to fund summer programs. Money spent on evening/adult/dropout programs is not available for afterschool help for our students.

And all the millions spent on improving kitchens, science labs, and athletic fields is not available to fund the inevitable replacement of the middle school. Unless you are ready to pay on five concurrent bonds, we need to start saving for that NOW.

We need a budget committee that will look after the interests of the community.

Go listen to last night's meeting. Are these people serving you?

Anonymous said...

Mark, which warrant articles do you think they should not have recommended and why?

Anonymous said...

"5.) There was no quorum for the SB budcom public hearing, therefore they did not have a legal meeting."

If true, then the budget is not valid or legal. They did not have a quorum to take a vote.

Is that how our school committees and budget committees and town committees do business? Take votes without a quorum and call it legal?

Len Mullen said...

It's not quite like that Mark. Mr. La Salle tells the school board and budget committee what to do. He provides a SCRIPT for the school board meetings and an agenda for budget meetings. These bodies are made up mostly of PTSA refugees (plus one person who is auditioning for a job on Greenough Road). They are unfamiliar with the RSAs and accept 'tradition' and 'bylaws' and Mr. La Salle's interpretation without question or debate. They are not bad people. They just do bad things.

This is easy to fix. No one wants to serve on either body. If we could assemble a slate of candidates, we could quickly turn the schools around. The law is on our side.

I, for one, would happily buy out Mr. La Salle. He is a terrible person. He directed the school board to seal the minutes of the 3/20/2008 school board meeting for 99 years to hide the identity and protect the reputation of a pedophile. AND he let naughty scottie continue to work in the schools for fourteen months.

Of course most members asked to be removed from my mailing list when I asked them to unseal the minutes, so maybe they are bad people.

Aren't there any parents or grandparents in the district that want to ensure our kids learn something and are safe in the schools?

Anonymous said...

Your town committees do not act without a quorum, but your school committees do. They do what LaSalle says. They work for him instead of the other way around.

Anonymous said...

All I know is my property tax is sky high from the school budget and I can't afford to pay any more.

Len Mullen said...

Sky high? Brace yourself. The 20 year plan calls for replacing the middle school, renovating all the other buildings, and building additional athletic facilities off campus. Your taxes are going nowhere but up.

Anonymous said...

Len, it's impossible for our taxes not to go up unless you can somehow freeze costs. Do you expect that utility rates will stay the same? Insurance costs? Salaries? Do you expect that buildings won't need to be repaired or replaced? You sound a bit naive.

Anonymous said...

Who's naive?

Higher and higher costs while the school population drops, secret committee meetings, special pay raises for the Superintendent and his elite staff, School Board and Budget Committees that act like automatons for the SAU and all of this while putting out a pretty sub-standard product at about 15K a head. And then they have the nerve to demand more non-teaching days. These folks are acting just like Washington and Concord bureaucrats and politicians.

Len represents the eyes of the taxpayer on the School Budget Committee! Who are you looking out for? Send a message to the schools, demand a budget cut! Not forever. Just during the recession. Force the school administration to live in the real world just like the rest of us.

Anonymous said...

And you addressed any of my points with your rant how???

Anonymous said...

To bad Atkinson has no representation on the school board. It just makes room for stuff to happen while we have nobody to represent us. Thanks Baldwin. Whose interest do you serve by doing what you did?

Anonymous said...

Atkinson has no rep on the School Board? What happened to Michael Mascola?

Len Mullen said...

Anonymous, it's possible to educate kid without impoverishing a community. I also know what budgeting is and the SAU does not budget. Budgeting starts with revenues. You apportion revenues among functions according to priorities. La Salle shows up once a year with a pile of bills, a wish list, and a number. He explains the number for three months then the budget committee considers it for a half hour and signs the papers.

La Salle refuses to provide the committee with details he is compelled by law to provide. I have asked for two years for spending tagged legal obligation, contractual obligation, and discretionary. He never refuses -- just keeps coming back with something else.

there are two timebombs in this budget. Look at y2 and y3. In y2 the long service teachers get a lump sum payment. They get nothing in y3. Short timers get a double step in year three. this is an incentive for older teachers to retire after their lump (to maximize pension). They will be replaced with short timers who will double step in y3.

the second bomb is with health benefits. the sau gets a hugh slush each year because they budget for a 'maximum' contribution. The actual number does not come out until after the elections. It is guaranteed to be less than the budgeted level and is usually much lower. La Salle usus this for whatever he couldn't get funded. It is also the capital reserve fund we fill each year and it is the surplus that is returned to the taxpayers. The max was a 22% increase this year. He got it down to 13%. There will be no surplus or capital reserve slush once the bills are paid.

As for cutting the budget, there is lots of low hanging fruit. There is no need for redundant administrative staff at the sandown elementary schools. We outsourced the food service to avoid expensive kitchen renovations and have spent 1/4 million dollars per years on renovations since. When I was on the massachusetts with the boy scouts we ate full hot meals in the dining room. the cost was less than $2/person and the meals came aboard ready to eat. Doing this would save time and money. We spend thousands of hours per year on curriculum development. our curriculum sucks and it shows in our test scored. I would offer to pay a good school (exeter comes to mind) to administer their curriculum in our schools -- that's a win-win. La Salle says that there is no discretion in pupil personnel services. He says the courts and the laws mandate these costs. Yet we have a director of pupil personnel services and an assistant director of pupil personnel services. Fire both and hire a clerk. BTW, these nonteaching positions got a 2% raise this year and lost no positions despite falling enrollment. I recommended a review of all indirect (nonteaching) staff but that was off the table.

The problem we have is that the school board and budget committee serve king richard not the community.

If you don't believe that, anon, it is you who is naive.

Anonymous said...

What an incredibly informing post from Len Mullen!

Thanks for the education, Mr. Mullen. Your effort to write it all down helped me as otherwise I would not know about La Salle and the school budget committee and how they operate to rip off the public.

The blog is free speech at its best. Without the blog I would never know what is going on. I would never see the video that confirms we citizens MUST take the school board and La Salle to court for violating the laws of this state.

The citizens of the victimized towns WILL go to court as the selectmen of the four towns FAIL to do so. What do they fear? Why do they fail to defend the voters by bringing legal action against wrongdoing?

My humble opinion is the blog fights corruption and wrongdoing by public officials! That explains why they HATE the blog and desperately try everything to undermine and kill it.

This blog gets in the way of malicious and deceitful official actions that are hidden and corrupt. This blog shines a bright spotlight on these acts so everyone in all the towns can view it.

It is a fact, petty dictators will be summoned to appear in court to answer for their egregious violations of State law.

Anonymous said...

Witness the big distinction between a true man who stands for something, Len Mullen, from a pretender who stands for nothing, Curt Springer.

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