Atkinson Town Hall

Atkinson Town Hall
The Norman Rockwellian picture of Atkinson

There is a NEW POLL at Right--------------------->

Don't forget to VOTE!
Make your voice heard!

Welcome Message and Mission Statement

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.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Fireworks at the school board deliberative session

Yes there were firework in the PAC tonight, and those fireworks were lit by Atkinson's own former budget committee chair, Mark Acciard. Mr. Acciard had some very tough questions for the school board and the budget committee, none of which they were able to answer, as Atkinson Selectman, Bill Bennett said later in the meeting; "your silence was deafening".

2010 TRSD Deliberative Session from Timberlane Education Network on Vimeo.



Mr. Acciard began by asking a question about what went into one of the budget's line items, and it took the school board business manager to answer as it was clear that the budget committee had no idea what went into the budget. He then asked who "put numbers to paper"? The answer.... The superintendent! Acciard then stated that this was improper and quoted State Law, in the form of RSA's to back up his claim. As I was watching this exchange, I realised that the school board attorney, Mr. Peter Bronstein was sitting right there to the superintendent's left, not saying a word in contradiction of Acciard's quoting of State budget law.

But there were many more revelations tonight, Superintendent LaSalle stated, in response to a question from Selectman Bennet about his pay and raises, that the public " has no say in what he makes"! THE ARROGANCE! This was preceeded by school board budget committee Vice Chair, Len Mullen from Danville, stating that; "the budget committee did not prepare the budget". He also stated that there was no legal public hearing, no research into the validity of the numbers, no verification of the superintendent's role in the budget preparation, etc. In fact Superintendent LaSalle ADMITTED that there was no Quorum for the budget committee public hearing. When Acciard then asked how the school board could present the budget for consideration when there was no LEGAL public hearing, LaSalle claimed that "we consider it to be a legal meeting, the budget was presented". The Attorney, of course said nothing in answer to Acciard's questions about the law, or his quotations from the law.

This was followed by an ammendment by Acciard, to reduce the operating budget to $56,760,388.00, which he said was last years spending, from the budget he "obtained last week from the SAU" plus the Federal Government's COLA adjustment, less the Teachers raises which are in a separate warrant article. There was much discussion on this, culminating in a statement from Acciard about the quality of his education at Timberlane 30 years ago vs. the lesser quality education received by his four kids at Timberlane. This was answered angrily by a teacher, Mr. Dube, who stated how hard he and his fellow teachers work, and he would not stand by and listen to his work denigrated by Mr. Acciard. Although Mr. Acciard made no personal comments, he was discussing the quality of the district's "product" for the amount they were "charging". Acciard pointed out, to LaSalle's agreement, that the budget divided by the kids enrolled amounted to $14,500/kid! Acciard then pointed out the tuition at some of the surrounding schools providing a better quality education for a fraction of the cost. This is what led to the teacher's anger. These budgetary points were echoed by a number of Atkinson residents to no avail.

As is usual at the school district, the discussion deteriorated into "it's all about the kids" with superintendent LaSalle reading an extended list of the cuts he would have to make to comply with Acciard's ammendment. Acciard and Mrs. Heaney claimed that his list totalled $15,000,000, and they were only asking for last years spending plus COLA, LaSalle claimed his list of cuts were less than $5,000,000, and the question was moved by the husband of budget committee member Michelle O'Neil.

The budget passed as written, the questions about preparation were never answered, the teachers left feeling underappreciated, and once again the taxpayers were left footing the extraordinary bill.

228 comments:

1 – 200 of 228   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

I saw Mr. Dube ream Acciard, but what he didn't say is that even though he feels the quality of education is so great at Timberlane, his kids go to Hampstead Academy!

Anonymous said...

Looks like the union was there to preserve their feeding at the public trough.

Anonymous said...

I am amazed that the Super. was prepared with a list of $17,000,000 he would not do if the "budget" was reduced $4,000,000. I must know , is that spite or non professional or both?

Anonymous said...

Listen, we dont want to hear your gripes. That is why there was noone to hear you at the public hearing on the budget. You should have stayed home last night and taught your kids what we don't get paid enough to do. So from now on just pay what we want and SHUT-UP!

Anonymous said...

I am amazed that the "Judge" did not feel responsible to answer questions on public hearings. Oh well, different hat, or is it "All hat no cows"?

From another town said...

Hopefully people watched and realize what is really happening.

A few points:
1. Mr Dube(who I like as a teacher) is also the volleyball coach so no wonder he is there until 9pm many nights and probably gets there at 6am to catch up. His kids attended Hampstead Academy but are now at Timberlane for HS.
2. It was pointed out that the admin raise of 2% could be deducted from the budget but the SB could rearrange money to still give Lasalle his money. After the emotional plea from O'Neil about how Lasalle had to pay more for benefits and wasn't paid as much as counter parts didn't you want to give more to him -- If he is underpaid then perhaps he can get a job somewhere else where he is appreaciated more( Note to LaSalle do not go to Sanborn, they already got rid of a Timberlane Cast-off without the 3 year notice your contract states).
3. Many people in the audience were confused as they had never been to a meeting with Robert's rules of order. Maybe our esteamed film makers at school can produce a film on Roberts Rules to educate the taxpayers and for that case the moderator too who was confused more than once during the night.
4. Had to Love LaSalles under the breath comment to just continue, and Mrs. O'Neil jumping right in to move things along with her Motions to table the discussion.
5. Suggestion for next year. Preprint a request to have a ballot for each article and get them signed by 5 people before hand. Deliver them at the beginning so it can not be passed by as Mr. Mullen's question was when he was trying to ask about it and the moderator continued with the vote.

6. Does any one have the teacher contract? Is the deliberative session one of the "training days" they have each year? Or were they offered an incentive to be there?
Rumor has it that they were told to be there.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps "Scooby" is a Union steward or...?

Anonymous said...

Lots of teachers. Did anyone park in their numbered parking spaces? Most years less than 25 people at deliberative session. "Feed the pigs".

Anonymous said...

China and Russia put the blame on some screwed up experiments of US for the earthquake that happened in Haiti.
Chinese and Russian Military scientists, these reports say, are concurring with Canadian researcher, and former Asia-Pacific Bureau Chief of Forbes Magazine, Benjamin Fulford, who in a very disturbing video released from his Japanese offices to the American public, details how the United States attacked China by the firing of a 90 Million Volt Shockwave from the Americans High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) facilities in Alaska
If we can recollect a previous news when US blamed Russia for the earthquake in Georgio. What do you guys think? Is it really possible to create an earthquake by humans?
I came across this [url=http://universalages.com/hot-news/what-happened-in-haiti-is-it-related-to-haarp/]article about Haiti Earthquake[/url] in some blog it seems very interesting, but conspiracy theories have always been there.

Anonymous said...

If the Budget Comm. has workrd since September as they said then why is th SB abd BC budgets IDENTICAL $ for $, line by line? Exactly what did they do? Not attend the public hearing! anythin else?

Anonymous said...

Mr. Dube was so offended as a teacher but went right on to place all the blame for the failing school on the parents.

He needs an anger management class at the least.

Anonymous said...

What about Mr. O'Neil's babbling at the end of his rude speech? Wow, no objectivity there.

Anonymous said...

This just shows that to tame the district we need to install additional knowledgeable budget committee members. In the past Plaistow's seats have been vacant, or at best, held by some well meaninged amateurs. This year Plaistow has two experienced members of its municipal BudCom running for school BudCom; Michelle Conte and Norm Bouchard. If elected they ought to align themselves with the present minority on the committee who are trying to do the right thing, and I know they will accept no c%#p from LaSalle.

So who is Atkinson putting up to help with this issue?? We need a solid majority of hard-nosed experienced members here.

Anonymous said...

Mark Acciard is a valuable asset to Atkinson. Thanks for trying to hold people accountable, Mark. The silent majority appreciates it.

Anonymous said...

I was there and witnessed Dube attack Acciard personally. The moderator did not do his job and immediate stop Dupe from attacking a voter from the microphone.

The moderator also relied on voice votes, so the teachers sole their "yes" loudly and this intimidated the "no". Why the F..K was I given a ballot to begin with?

The moderator seemed to have no moderator rules and not know the rules of public meetings much less a thorough understanding of Roberts rules. He needs to go to moderator school and learn how to do his job and run a public meeting.

I warticularu enjoyed the low microphone volume so you could not hear what the people at the front table and public at the microphone were often saying. I even noticed one guy at the table pull his microphone close to him to speak. Then immedately push it away to the edge of the table. WTF!!!

Another observation, new Atkinson replacement moderator Garrity sat right near the microphone and wached a voter attacked and he said nothing. Guess there was a lot of bubble gum stuck to his but cause he sure couldn't stand to criticize the school moderator. I was hoping to hear his "Good Neighbor" admonition. He said nothing. And he said nothing at all about the corrupt school budget and the rape of the Atkinson taxpayer.

Selectman Bill Bennet was there, and Friel and Childs should have been there to protect Atkinson voters from the tTimberlane illegal and run away budget. Obviouly they had something more important to do? I want to know what!!!

I am going to speak at the microphone next time and call this rogue moderator and fake budget commiee to account at every incidence of their failure to do their jobs and obey state law.

You don't have a quorm you act illegally you get stopped by a judge.

The school budget is illegal and an incredible display of rude arrogance of LaSales. It is a "junk" budget that violates the taxpayers of Atkinson, Danville, etc etc

Anonymous said...

Where was Atkinson,s representive? Why was Atkinson without a leader who could fight against this school budget corruption?????????

Anonymous said...

I agree that "Garrity. Gets a B+ for his job at Atkinson Deliberative Session Jan 30th. But he gets an F- for his abject failure last night.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Dube was offended that Acciard would criticize Timberlane's performance, Does he get pissed at the Dept. of Education too? They labelled Timberlane a school in need of improvement 5 years running!

Hey Mr. Dube the results speak for themselves. We are sick of paying more and more for less and less.

And if it is all the parents fault, why are we paying you $52,000 a year to teach our kids?

Anonymous said...

It isn't $52,000/yr. It is $52,000 for 8 months! Teachers only work 185 days per year. and only TEACH less than 170 of those.

Anonymous said...

Noticed school board attorney sat there and said nothing while Mark pointed out the illegality of their public hearing.

That said a lot to me!

Anonymous said...

He is not just an attorney, Peter Bronstein is also a Judge! And yup, he sat there and didnt say anything when Acciard asked how you could have a meeting without a quorum.

NOTHING!

This is OUR MONEY!

Anonymous said...

Can we locate a judge, (other than Bronstein) to stop the non-legal school budget this week?

Anonymous said...

Garrity had no official role there last night. Just because he filled in to moderate the town's deliberative, doesn't mean he is now a moderator cop. The moderator did a poor job last night and deserves to be criticized. Your criticism of Garrity is misplaced.

Anonymous said...

Timberlane is very excited to get our 61,000,000 in new taxpayer dollars. And a $5,000,000 cushion for extras. Boy, this is just great.

I have a question for you visitors who don't belong at our meeting. Why do you think Robert's Rules of Order matter --- it's only 61 million dollars. Why don't you stay home and teach your children something. We don't want you here.

You dopes. Don't worry about the school budget. We do cheat, lie, and steal but if we did, you can't do anything about it.

We know how to get paid, even in a depression. We need raises.

Sorry you didn't get a raise in the last two years, lady. That's your problem!

Anonymous said...

Garrity is guilty of sitting on his butt when duty called, loud and clear!!!

Only A FEW DAYS AGO Garrity was lecturing Atkinson Deliberative Session attendees on proper conduct in a deliberative session meeting. "Oh Good Neighbor, Oh Good Neighbor!" --(I guess he had temporary amnesia last night!)

Garrity's CONDUCT at Timberlane's "ram it in" session MUST BE BROUGHT UP publicly at the Atkinson Deliberative Session 2011.

Why did Garrity not speak up against the public slander of Mark Acciard? Silence is golden???

Garrity! It is NOT his school, NOT his community, NOT his business, NOT his country! Right?

Why did we elect Garrity for anything? That's the mystery.

Garrity should be ashamed of his cowardice. It shows the RSA's and his "moderator rules" are not REAL for him. Rather, just "a joke" he can pull out of his pocket when they server his purpose or insure his survival.

Garrity was a fraud last night.

He did not stand up for state laws and the laws of public meetings. Otherwise he would have been on his feet speaking with some backbone instead of smiling, seated in his chair.

SHAMEFUL that Atkinson selectmen Friel, Childs and big mouth Sapia were not there to challenge corruption at is source. I guess that shows EXACTLY how Atkinson selectmen act in the best interest for Atkinson taxpayers.

Only Atkinson Selectman Bill Bennett attended and stepped up to the microphone and had some guts.

For this he earns my compliment.

Len Mullen said...

Watching the teachers and administrators file out of the PAC last night, there seemed to be relief that the operating budget warrant remained intact. This meeting wasn’t about amending the operating budget warrant article — it was about amending the budget process. The goal was to shine a light on a broken budget process and win public support for change. I think we did that well. We demonstrated via discourse and cross examination that…

•Mr. La Salle prepares the budget without input or oversight from the budget committee
•The budget committee does not have even a rudimentary understanding of the budget
•The budget committee routinely acts in violation of the law

You guys have no seats on the ballot this year, but you have two sitting representatives that I believe are well intended. Let them know that you want them to support changes that return control of the budget to the community.

Thanks to Mark, Bill, and others who spoke at the mic last night.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 11:47am, do you actually need to heat your house in the winter or does all that hate keep you warm? You sound a bit rabid. You should see a doctor.

Anonymous said...

What good citizen is not irate and angry at such a display of dishonesty as occurred at Timberlane last night?

You criticize a person for being angry at a budget that must now be stopped from going forward by a Judge?

My guess is you will criticize the Judge when he gets angry and castigates the defendants for violating state law.

Where is your outrage?

I bet you would like all voters to remain ignorant, passive, and silent in the face of injustice and violation of the law.

Anonymous said...

My good neighbors comments were directed at Mr Garrity who was simply an observer and had no authority over last nights proceedings. I'm simply concerned about my good neighbors mental health. Clearly my good neighbor needs professional help. I hope you, as my other good neighbor, share in my concern for our fellow good neighbor.

Anonymous said...

Dear Good Neighbor.

Garrity was an observer? Shame on him and all Atkinson officials who did not defend against slander and violation of the law.

Garrity's position at the next Atkinson 2011 Deliberative Session should also as an observer in the audience. He has no "standing" as a leader because he did not speak out.

Atkinson needs leaders who stand for what is right and lawful.

Anonymous said...

Garrity could have helped by speaking up when his good neighbors were being taken advantage of and lied to.

Thank you to Mark Acciard, Bill Bennett, the woman from Snug Harbor and the other gentleman from Atkinson for your questions that exposed the fraud.

Anonymous said...

Clearly our good neighbor Mr Garrity and others were simply allowing our other good neighbor, Mr Acciard, the latitude to be able to engage in his next lawsuit. Interference with our good neighbor Mr Acciard's pursuit of this lawsuit would have been down right ungood neighborly.

Anonymous said...

I noticed the Atkinson Police Chief clapping for Mr. O'Neil when he was attacking Mark Acciard. This proves he'll do anything to be opposed to Mark, even agree with a corrupt school board.

Pathetic.

He needs to go, the sooner the better.

BTW, the Chief's car was illegally parked completely on the sidewalk right outside the entrance to the PAC. Others, including one teacher I know, were also parked there illegally while there were many open spaces in the lot.

I was ashamed at the display of angry tempers by the money grubbing teachers around me. Gimmee, gimmee, gimmee. Just don't expect me to be effective in my job while I insult you all.

Anonymous said...

Phil could've rounded up enough seniors to turn the vote and save them annual tax dollars. It would cause him to burn up some political capital so no sense indoing that. Nice job Phil. We're proud of ya.

Anonymous said...

LOL! I knew it was only a matter of time until it became Phil's fault!!! You're all so very predictable.

MAcciard said...

To all of those who thanked me last night, I want to say THANK YOU for your appreciation. Although I didn't get most of your names, I DO appreciate the shared sentiments. I would like to make a few things clear;

1.) I arrived a few minutes late and missed the introductions. I wish I had known that Mr. Bronstein was the school board attorney and a judge. If I had I would have asked him point blank if you can have a meeting in the State of New Hampshire legally without a Quorum? I DID notice that he did not defend the legality of the meeting. He merely asked me what RSA's I was quoting, and when I told him pushed his chair back and said nothing.

Here is the genesis of the number;

BTW, all these numbers come from the SAU budget reports furnished to the budget committee.
2008-2009 school year final spending was $53,816,390.62

The Federal Government inflation rate for 2008 was 3.8%, this makes the spending total $55,861,413.46

The Federal Government inflation rate for 2009 was 2.7%, this makes the spending total $57,369,671.62

Subtract from this amount the teachers raises which are presented in a separate warrant article of $609,284. and you arrive at the number that I proposed of

$56,760,388.00 (cents rounded off)

I proposed no draconian cuts, simply spend what you did last year, adjusted for inflation. Is that so bad?

Now as to Mr. LaSalle's claim of the cuts he would have to make to handle this $5,004,760 reduction in his proposed budget, he stated;

REGULAR PROGRAMS

1.)40 teaching positions at $50,000/yr. TOTAL: $2,000,000

1.A.)FICA, MEDI, Retirement costs of those positions. TOTAL $500,000

2.) 20 assist. educators @ $15,000 ea. TOTAL $300,000

2.A.)FICA, MEDI, Retirement costs of those positions. TOTAL $57,000

3.)50% repair/maint. line item is $26,496. 50%= $13,248

4.) 50% Supplies. line item is $519,459. 50%= $259,730.

MAcciard said...

5.) 50% books. line item is $283,477. 50%= $141,739

6.)Software $100,000 cut.

7.) ALL new equip. TOTAL: $102,189

8.)$200,000 out of new computers

9.)ALL RAISES. TOTAL ???? never mentioned

SPECIAL PROGRAMS

10.)7 special needs educators @ $50,000/yr. TOTAL $350,000

10.A.)FICA, MEDI, Retirement costs of those positions. TOTAL $66,000

11.)20 assist.@$15,000/yr. TOTAL: $300,000

11.A.) FICA, MEDI, Retirement costs of those positions. TOTAL $57,000

12.)ALL replacement computers. TOTAL: $2,850

ATHLETICS

13.) $100,000 cut

14.)Cut 1 guidance position. TOTAL: $52,000

15.) Cut 1 psychologist position. TOTAL:$80,000

15.A.)FICA, MEDI, Retirement costs of those positions. TOTAL $22,500

16.)50% Supplies. TOTAL:$5,098

17.)100%Books. TOTAL:$4,145

18.)50% Library supplies. TOTAL: $6,984

19.)100%Library books. TOTAL: $78,055

20.)ALL A/V. TOTAL $38,002

MAcciard said...

21.)100% travel. TOTAL: $62,795

22.)2 Admin positions. TOTAL: $150,000

23.)2 office/secretary positions. TOTAL: $70,000

23.A.)FICA, MEDI, Retirement costs of those positions. TOTAL $41,000

OFFICE OF PRINCIPAL

24.)50% supplies. Line item is $75,300 50%= $37,650

25.)100% Equipment. TOTAL: $11,114

26.)50% Replacement equipment. Line item is $86,760. 50%= $43,380

OTHER ADMIN

27.)50% supplies. Line item is $9,500. 50% = $4,750

28.)3 custodial positions. TOTAL: $130,000.

28.A.)FICA, MEDI, Retirement costs of those positions. TOTAL $20,000

29.)$40,000 cut in repairs

30.)25% supplies. Line item is $175,710. 25% = $43,928

31.)100% New Equipment. TOTAL: $11,000

32.)33% replacement equip. Line item is $75,000. 33% = $25,000

33.)Cut ALL Transportation + require parents to pay $200.00/yr. for transportation. TOTAL TRANS. Line= $2,503,704 + 200/yr.x 3,000 students= $600,000

MAcciard said...

34.)Cut Athletic Trans. 20%. Line item is $86,900. 20%= $17,380

35.)ALL field trips. TOTAL: $32,208

36.)50% Music Trans. Line item is $14,450. 50%= $7,225

DATA PROC. SERVICES

37.)20% cut in software. Line item is $99,896. 20%= $19,979

38.)100% New Computers. TOTAL: $16,800

39.)$146,000 out of Building Improvements.

Superintendent LaSalle sid this came to a total of "$5,673,000.00 NOT EVEN CLOSE TO BEING THERE."

Let's check his math...

GRAND TOTAL of cuts he stated would be needed to meet my proposed $5,004,760 cut in his proposed budget.... $ 8,845,453.00

Conclusion, he lied.

MAcciard said...

Thank you to Bill Bennett, You were outstanding!

As to everyone's criticism of Jim Garrity, I believe it to be unfounded. He had no official position at that meeting and was there merely as a concerned resident. If you are going to berate him for not correcting the moderator, then you must criticize yourself as well, for you had the same standing at that meeting as Mr. Garrity.

Anonymous said...

Mark A,
Great job!
You should clearly be on the school budget committee.
Thanks!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

So when does the lawsuit get filed???

Anonymous said...

Hopefully soon.

Anonymous said...

not in time to help our taxrate this year

Anonymous said...

"LOL! I knew it was only a matter of time until it became Phil's fault!!! You're all so very predictable."

Just thought I'd point out how he was doing something illegal AGAIN.

Anonymous said...

Uh huh. I think you have a Phil fetish.

Anonymous said...

Garrity was a resident, a town moderator and a government official, an elected official, etc.

Yes, there should have been a line of Atkinson citizens to correct the Timberlane moderator --starting with the two dozen Atkinson officials or town employees present. (Couldn't count all the regular voters.)

Do you support our officials letting some Dupe maul, slander, and humiliate.

You do not mind such abuse or do you condone it?

In which case, they will surely be happy to repeat the same conduct for you and others in the future.

Let me suggest that everyone welcomes your "forgiveness", Mr. Acciard, including the Timberlane school moderator and the school planning board and all the teachers.

Whew! What a relief the victim. himself, approves. In which case, evidently, you got what you wanted.

Anonymous said...

All the while you sat on your ass and said nothing waiting for someone else to step up. Your attacks are pathetic. You are pathetic. Go back into the hole you climbed out of.

Len Mullen said...

http://www.vimeo.com/9228452

Anonymous said...

I saw you applauding. You loved it. And no, I will not crawl into a hole. I will stay in your face until the abuse stops.

Keep it up and I keep going!

Anonymous said...

LOL! I get it. You think I'm Phil! LOL! Do you realize just how dumb you are??? Nah, I'm sure you don't. I saw you applaud... Even if I did, so what? Keep guessing dumb ass. Meanwhile I have NO worries about you getting in ANYONES face since you lacked the courage to stand up when you thought that Mark was wronged. No, the only "get in your face" will be behind the computer screen posting on a blog. YAWN...

Len Mullen said...

Special thanks to Cathy Belcher, Kathy Smith, and Dean Zanello who have provided terrific support.

MAcciard said...

I don't think Mr. O'Neil understood my point, if he did then he was just trying to muddy the waters. The point was that for the 2008-2009 school year, Mr. LaSalle admitted that everything in his scare list they paid for. EVERYTHING! My number of $56.7M came from THAT SPENDING PLUS INFLATION!

Here he is telling us that they will have to CUT $8.8M from the budget to hold spending to only $4M MORE than last year!

How does that make ANY sense at all?

Anonymous said...

Mark,
It doesn't make any sense at all.
That streaming video link that Len
has provided rocks. Dale, please take note. Mark, I just watched as
you chewed up the board last night.
It was done so very professionally and was quite entertaining to watch them squirm. The deafing silence when you asked that 1st tough question was worth its weight in gold. All should watch !
Thanks again!

kephren10 said...

I am an Atkinson resident and a teacher at one of the elementary schools. I take it personally that we are being called "money grubbers." Do you know each of us? Because some teachers do not do their jobs to the best of their abilities, does that mean that EVERY teacher deserves the comments being put out there? Do you realize that we have absolutely no say in what goes on at the SAU and school board? That we barely have a say as to what goes on in our classrooms now a days. I understand the anger towards the budget and how it was done. But please, keep in mind that there are teachers who truly want to teach and do whatever is necessary for the students to succeed.

MAcciard said...

To Kephren;

I NEVER said anything about the teachers. My problem is with the School Board, the Budget Committee and the SAU, namely LaSalle.

I have a problem with the illegal public hearing, the way the budget is prepared illegally, the arrogance on the part of Mr. LaSalle, and Mrs. O'Neil, and the high handed way of disparaging anyone who asks how their money is being spent.

My complaint about the deteriorating quality of education in the Middle and High school is not directed at the teachers, but at the weak curriculum, and the weak administration.

I have not heard anyone claim that teachers are "money grubbers" but your representation last night by Mr. Dube did you no favors. Instead of dealing with the budget issues, the academic achievement issues, the high and middle school's SINI status, he chose to berate the man who is asking questions and pays his salary.

The way Mr. LaSalle and Mrs. O'Neil conducted themselves both last night and during the public hearing were dispicable.

Anonymous said...

That video is GR8! at the point where acciard asks about the public hearing being illegal there is a minute or so of silence. If you are in a quiet room and turn the volume up high, you can hear LaSalle talking to the Judge, saying "he is asking about the public hearing, we only had 3 budget committee members there! are we REQUIRED to have a quorum?" and the judge says; "you always have to have a quorum"

kephren10 said...

MAcciard-my comment was not aimed at you. The money grubber statement came from another post on the site. Along with others saying we were told to be at the meeting or was it counted as professional development. You spoke very highly of the elementary teachers-which was appreciated.

Anonymous said...

Kephren,

I am a frequent contributor to this board regarding issues within Atkinson.

When it comes to comments about education here, you have to seperate the "lunatic fringe" here from the folks who actually think when they write something.

The "lunatic fringe" just rant and rave as a release of their general frustrations in life; they don't take the time to read or research much about whatever they spout off about. It's just a chance to vent their misery; don't take it personal, that would be like blaming the sky for rain.

Mr Acciard: Regarding the issue of the quality of education.

Please consider how society has changed in the last 40 years; contrast the respect shown to teachers in the 1960's to the respect shown to them today. Our society has undergone a lot of changes, both good and bad.

Teachers are supposed to get the same results with students that, when they are disciplined for acting like idiots, are then defended by parents (sometimes with lawyers). At one point in this country, parents actually supported schools when they punished students that acted like fools; these days, teachers realize that most of the time, parents are going to attack THE SCHOOL for punishing a student that disrupts and damages the learning environment.

High school kids are working full-time jobs to afford almost new cars, with no time for homework; they are staying up 10 hours plus playing video games unsupervised by parents that don't seem to care. Few problem kids have to worry about what there parents will think about getting in trouble in school because, if their parents cared in the first place, they wouldn't be getting in trouble in school.

So before you trample the work that schools do these days, please ask yourself; how has society changed regarding kid's attitudes towards education.

Then ask yourself the second question that no politician has the guts to ask; where are the parents when it comes to the questions raised above?

Answer: No one has the political guts to call parents on the carpet, even though the greatest gains in education would come through parents actually doing their job.

> Monitor your kid's homework and grades
> Limit their time on video games
> Read to them when they're small, and urge them to read as they grow
> Take them to museums, aquariums, and stimulate their intellect in every way you can

Until parents start doing their part of helping to prepare their children for education, all this whining against teachers is just a bunch of NOISE...

Anonymous said...

When other schools can do a better job at educating our kids for less money, then Timberlane must look at their performance.

If you are saying that ALL the parents in the Timberlane district are worse parents than any other district in the state,I don't buy ALL of your arguement. You make some good points, but some bad parents don't cause ALL the teaching problems. You MUST look at the teachers for part of the problem, otherwise we don't need to pay them 50K a year for poor performance.

Anonymous said...

Looks as the sleeping giant has been awakened! First and foremost, this is a school district. An SAU chartered under State Law. Education is a STATE Constitutional mandate. Both the problems with the budget hearings and the quality of education are a state action. See where this is going? The courts will likely have to address this as a state issue. Under both the RSA's State BOE rules, and Constitutional (equal protection) issues. What is the best this district (SAU) can expect? Maybe a consent decree to correct their issues. What is the other end of the spectrum? Loss of Charter, receivership, by either the state BOE or a Court defined entity. Our sleeping giant had been at rest since the 70's, why was it awakened? Short memory? No memory?

MAcciard said...

Kephren,

Thank you for your appreciation, however my comments lauding the elementary schools and Mrs. Dayotis and the Atkinson Academy in particular were not simply alms, but a chance to express my appreciation for a job well done. I wish I could say the same about the middle and high school, but I can't. I can't speak to the other comments as I did not write or see them.

To Anon @ 11:05;

I must beg to differ with you, I recognize the societal changes, but unfortunately public schools are largely a victim of their own political correctness in that the wishy washy, hand holding, feel good disciplinary methods breed more disrespect not less. As an example let me cite private schools, both parochial and secular, which simply do not tolerate disrespect in the classroom, and apprise parents the first time it happens.

As to your comments about the parents, yes, I recognize that their are parents who will excuse any behavior on the part of their little angels, but the school does not need to.

As for the parents helping out, you heard Mr. Dube, and the budget committee member's husband, Mr. O'Neil blame the parents, claiming that we should be educating our kids. Mr. Dube saying that they "have to educate kids that we are not raising!"

Mr. Dube, that IS the job you signed on for, if you don't want to do it, or find it too difficult, perhaps I can find you work cleaning. As parents we are continually asked to pay more and more for less and less product. When we question how our money is being spent we are derided, or dismissed by the educational establishment, yet when their failure to achieve results are pointed out, it is the parents they blame.

My question to those who blame the parents is;

If I need to educate my kids, why do I need to pay a teacher $52,000 for 8 months work to do the same?

Anonymous said...

The problem with the quality of education rests on school administration, not the teachers. If a teacher is under-preforming, it's up to administration to do something about it. We have too many curriculum coordinators (the people who prepare and instruct what will be taught in the classroom)who are more interested in experimenting with the students and getting more early release days for professional development. Teachers are beginning told how to teach and what to teach by administrators who are no longer or barely in the classroom! 80% of the students at the high school continue onto 2/4 year college and the military. Yet administration wants non-level classrooms. Teaching lecture style will no longer be tolerated. Who cares that colleges still teach lecture style! We like to brag about 80% continuing their education but ask some of these same Timberlane HS graduates if they were prepared for college and lots will say "NO!" The root of most of the issues lie within administration. Guess what? During the deliberative session, people wanted to freeze raises for administration. No one mentioned teachers. It's not about the teachers, it's about administration! Teachers have 185 day contract. 180 of those days are required for teaching in the classroom and 5 to be used for professional development. According to admin, teachers need more professional development. Instead of looking into contracting for more PF days, administration takes away school time from the children with early release days. They rather increase the number of half days than negotiate for whole days.

It's time for change. Some of the people who are now serving on the SB and Budcom is more interested in keeping administration happy and turn a deaf ear to the taxpayers. It's time for change. Voters within the district have a chance to vote in new SB and Budcom members. Vote for change!

I still can't get over that the superintendent gets a 3 year notice of termination. How many jobs do you know that gets 3 years notice?

MAcciard said...

To all of you who voted for the current budget, please explain something to me;

You had a private citizen, armed with State Law, expose the fact that your budget committee knowingly held an illegal meeting to present an illegally prepared budget, that is a $5,000,000 increase over last years spending after being adjusted for inflation, and the only response from the school board, the budget committee, AND THEIR ATTORNEY, was we think we had a public hearing.

Where is your outrage at the cavalier attitude with which YOUR money is being treated?

I know I have never had a job where I was hired, and when I failed to achieve the result that I was hired to achieve, I could tell my bosses that if they paid me more I could do a better job! That is effectively what Mr. LaSalle told us on Thursday night, with the help of Mr. and Mrs. O'Neil, and Mr. Dube.

Mr. LaSalle even told us we had no say in his pay or raises! If THAT doesn't spark outrage, please explain to me why?

Anonymous said...

a Phil fetish

that's gross

Anonymous said...

I wrote the comment about the money grubbing teachers sitting around me at the meeting and I stand by it.

I was referring directly to the teachers sitting around me at the meeting who were degrading Mark and making very nasty remarks when he said how much it is costing us for a lousy result while they expected to get everything they asked for. "We deserve the money" "It's for the kids". As a parent and taxpayers, I was also insulted by Dube and O'Neil.

"I was ashamed at the display of angry tempers by the money grubbing teachers around me. Gimmee, gimmee, gimmee. Just don't expect me to be effective in my job while I insult you all."

It was obviously not directed at all the teachers in the world and should be taken in context.

Anonymous said...

MAcciard and Mr. Mullen,

Now that you have publicly accused the SAU, School Board and Budget Committee of illegal activity, what's next on your Agenda? What is your next move?

You've started this argument, how do YOU plan on solving it?

Anonymous said...

You make it sound as if the accusation is unfounded. You heard Mr. LaSalle admit that they did not have a quorum for the public hearing.

You heard the RSA stated which requires a valid public hearing, and that the budget be prepared by the budget committee.

You watched the District's attorney back off after Mark quoted the RSA's to him

You saw all of this, who do YOU think was right? What do YOU think should be done?

Anonymous said...

The blog is free speech in action.

Without the blog I would never know what is going on. I would never see the video that exposes what is wrong.

The citizens of the victimized towns must go to court as the selectmen of the four towns will not do anything. What do they fear? Why do they fail to defend the voters?

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

The blog obstructs malicious and deceitful official actions that are hidden. It shines a bright spotlight on these acts so everyone in all the towns can view it.

My opinion is the perpetrators should be summoned to appear in court to answer for egregious violations of State law.

Anonymous said...

No, you are assuming that I find the accusation unfounded. I don't believe I ever stated that.

My question is as clear as could be. What is the next move? What are the accusers going to do?

I'm especially curious to hear what Mr. Mullen plans on doing since he is part of the Budget Committee that has been accused of illegal activity, and he's the accuser ... it is all incredibly mind boggling.

Anonymous said...

MAcciard writes:

"If I need to educate my kids, why do I need to pay a teacher $52,000 for 8 months work to do the same?"

In my opinion this statement personfies Mark and others that think like him. Mr. Acciard, teachers are not paid to educate YOUR child. They are paid to educate 30-50 children at the same time.

Why not quit your cleaning job and dedicate your life to becoming an educator? Or is it easier to just sue?

MAcciard said...

To 12:24;

No, Timberlane's class ratio according to their own reports, is 15:1, not 30-50. And the question still stands. The statement was that Mr. Dube and his colleagues "have to teach kids they are not raising", and that parents need to step up.

He and his colleagues are being paid $52,000 on average to educate our children. If we have to educate our own kids, why do we need he and his colleagues?

The question still stands, address it.

MAcciard said...

Let me put it in private sector terms for you. Let's say that I clean your carpets for you, and a week later the spots return, what would your reaction be if when you called to complain, I responded;

"Well, if you helped me out, or paid me more I could do a better job on your carpets"

Would you continue to hire me?

I think not, nor would I expect you to.

Len Mullen said...

Anonymous @ 11:09am, my goal is to have the budget committee prepare a budget as required by RSA.

I'm not the best guy to do this as I do not have a business or finance background, but I think I could do better than what is going on now until we get some better people on the committee.

I am a process guy, though, and I think I can help get the committee going in the right direction.

I think we need to get the meetings recorded. People need to hear their budcom reps say they believe the committee's job is to sell the budget -- these people need to be replaced. They need to hear their reps say they would support a default budget even if it was illegal -- these people need to be replaced.

We need a new calendar. Right now the budget committee considers the budget for less than an hour before approving it. The rest of the calendar presentations. We need to have hearings where the budget committee can collect information required to prepare a budget.

We need a new model. Each year La Salle shows up with a pile of bills and a wish list. Costs move form expense to investment and from line item to line item -- it's like a shell game. We need to draft a model that can be managed by lay people. Big buckets instead of line items. I've asked La Salle to tag each line item as required by law, contractually obligated, or discretionary. He has refused to do this and the committee has refused to compel him.

I would urge you to read the minutes of the 4/9/09 budcom meeting and take a look at the trsd section of danvilledelivery.com. I posted a framework for change. I could not get other members to commit to change. I proposed the same thing following the deliberative session and got no votes (they did commit to reconsider 3/25).

I have also been working to get candidates to run for open positions and challenge obstructionists now serving.

Your ideas are welcome. If you or someone you knows wants to help us work out a new process, contact me via my web site.

thanks...len!

Anonymous said...

Mark,

As a parent I'm sure you know that education doesn't stop at the classroom. The students are assigned homework, have tests to prepare for, etc. There needs to be a partnership between the teachers and the parents. If the parents don't participate and hold their children accountable, then it makes the teacher's job that much more difficult. I know I've ridden my kids to get their homework done and have been a steady user of Power School so that I can get a glimpse as to what they are and aren't doing. If they need help I do my best to try to explain what it is that they are not understanding. I believe this is what Mr. Dube was referring to. Although I don't know Mr. Dube, my understanding is he is a very dedicated teacher always willing to provide extra help to a student.

Of course it's the teachers job to prepare the lesson plans and to teach the material in the classroom. That is what they are being paid for. It is also the parents job to make sure that their child is doing the work required that will make them be successful. If you care about your kids then you need to maintain a vested interest in their education.

Peter Bealo said...

Mark,

I don't know how to contact you outside this forum. Sorry.
Just letting you know I copied your accounting of Mr. LaSalle's proposed program cuts if your amendment had gone through and posted the numbers verbatim, with attribution, on the Timberlane Parent's Forum: http://timberlaneschools.forumsland.com/timberlaneschools-about237.html

I'll take them down if you object.

Peter Bealo

Anonymous said...

I don't have children of my own, and if the state report is as accurate as maintained, I am paying a hell of a lot of money for the children of others to receive an inferior education.

I resent this.

Maybe one of the Timberlane teachers can break away from counting up their future pension dollars to provide justification for the waste of my current tax dollars.

Anonymous said...

Mark,

To respond to your question @ 2:29 PM, would I hire you again? Perhaps not.

But since you wish to frame this in the context of private sector thinking, let me pose this scenario to you.

Maybe the spots that return to the rug are due to equipment in need of repair or upgrading, or personnel in need of additional training or, perhaps, the need to hire new people. And you, as CEO, go to your Board of Directors with a new, larger budget that would enable you to invest in the areas you need to improve your business. And what if a board member tells you the business did just fine with what you budgeted last year? And, here's the funny part of the scenario, that same board member also tells you that the quality of work you did has not been the same for quite some time?

Furthermore, what if you knew the same board member said the same exact thing at a different board meeting of a different company. You know, like you said at the 2009 deliberative session about the PD budget? Where exasperated budget committee members attempted to explain to you the main reason the budget was increasing was to hire two new officers to fill the positions of officers that passed away?

Wouldn't it seem to you that, maybe, that particular board member has their own axe to grind?

MAcciard said...

To the last commentators; I fully agree that, as parents, we have our roles to play. It is our jobs to make certain that our children are prepared for school, maintain decorum, do their homework, and are prepared for tests, and other activities. However, that being said, I am a little tired of every time the declining level of academic achievement at TRMS and TRHS is brought up, the parents are blamed.

I believe that there are outstanding teachers at Timberlane, and there are teachers that should find a career in ditch digging, much as exists in every occupation in America, however the teachers that are competent, and want to teach at Timberlane are saddled with ineffective administration, that attempts to dictate a one size fits all approach from the SAU office, and a weak curriculum, that allows no deviations.

These are systemic problems, and not an indictment of teachers. But whether the problem id the administration, curriculum, or teaching staff is moot at this point, because as we saw Thursday evening, You can not criticize the schools no matter how true your criticism may be.

In order to improve results, you first must identify the areas needing improvement. In order to identify those areas, you must first discuss frankly, the failings of the school, in order to discuss frankly the failings of the school, you must first allow discourse without rancor. This includes loose assertions made by thin skinned teachers afraid of being labelled ineffective.

If it is truly about the kids, do they not deserve the best education possible? If other public schools achieve better results for less money, shouldn't those schools methods be examined?

Why is this logical approach met with fear and loathing from the educational establishment?

And Mr. Bealo, do with them what you will sir. Thank you.

MAcciard said...

To the last commentator, You are correct about my question at 2009 deliberative session about the Atkinson PD budget but you missed the point of the question. I understood that the increase was due to the hiring of two new officers to replace the two that had passed away. My question was, and by the way, it still has not been answered, was;

If the PD could fulfill all of it's operational duties in 2008 with an expenditure of only $643,000. (and yes, i understand that part timers filled in and people moved around, but if that could be done in 2008, it could be done in 2009) Why would the same job require $779,000 for 2009?

The point was that in 2008, the job was completed with two less officers, and no degradation in services was present. That being the case was it really necessary to replace both of them?

And I am speaking solely from a budgetary aspect, not personal as I grew up with Sgt. Kinney, and considered John Lapham a friend and an excellent officer. Both will be sorely missed.

Anonymous said...

Mark,

I think you missed my point, which is quite simply this: I do not understand how you can sit there and complain about the quality of the "product" and, at the same time, tell educators the budget you worked with in 2009 is satisfactory.

Perhaps you do not see the contradiction in your words and actions, but I do.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Mullen states (re: "my goal is to have the budget committee prepare a budget as required by RSA"):

"I'm not the best guy to do this as I do not have a business or finance background, but I think I could do better than what is going on now until we get some better people on the committee."

So you're saying that you and "better people" you'll find are more qualified than the Superintendent of Schools? So you think the policies and procedures of our district mean nothing?

I do believe you have been elected to represent the views of your constituents ... I do not believe you have all of your facts 100% correct and I do not feel the Budget Committee should write the budget - you have no idea of the day to day needs of the district.
Your last rant regarding staff proves it.

What's next, you'll ask for a large salary to micro-manage the school district as a Budget Committee member?

Do you ever have anything positive to say about our district? You're negativity is quite depressing.

Anonymous said...

Ooops ... your negativity is quite depressing ... I didn't mean to write you're.

Anonymous said...

From the District Website:

"The Timberlane Regional School District Budget Committee is an elected body of individuals who represent the residents of the towns within our District - Atkinson, Danville, Plaistow and Sandown. The purpose of the committee is to ensure active community participation in the district's budget planning process. The Budget Committee provides input to the School Board and administration on budget plans that support district and board goals, policies and initiatives."

The Budget Committee has the responsibility of presenting a recommended budget to the voters. The recommended amount can't be raised by more than 10%.

Len Mullen said...

No, anon, I am not looking for a salary, I'm not jump starting a political career, and I'm not auditioning for a job in the superintendent's office.

I don't think the role of the budget committee is to pay bills or micromanage a budget. I believe the role of the budget committee is to set priorities and provide direction.

I'm hoping that outrage over the behaviors of the budget committee and the school board will encourage the right people to run for office.

I think my facts are pretty good. What I post is based on information provided by the SAU and credible sources.

It's not my job to promote the school system -- we have a PTA for that. It's my job to understand and manage a budget. I'm trying to do that.

I SHARE your depression. I have two kids in the school and own a home that loses value as the quality of the schools declines and the tax rate rises.

It's not hopeless, though. I think there is enough excess in TRSD administration to fund hundreds of teacher aids to help our kids after school and over the summer.

If we could couple budget reform with legitimate school board oversight, we could add fifteen teaching days -- nearly 10% -- to the school year.

All I have ever asked is that the schools teach the right things well 180 days each year. I think, for $61,764,677, we're entitled to that.

MAcciard said...

But 7:24, that is not what I told them.

I proposed taking the amount spent in the budget ending June 30, 2009, adding TWO YEARS of inflation to it, which adds a cummulative 5.9% to that amount, and THAT is what they get for this year.

How is that a cut, in any way?

Anonymous said...

So qualified individuals for the Budget Committee would be only those who share your views?

Do you work cooperatively with your peers? Do you represent the view of your constituents?

Anonymous said...

"It's not my job to promote the school system -- we have a PTA for that. It's my job to understand and manage a budget. I'm trying to do that."

Wow! Are you planning on using that as a slogan for your re-election? I'll have to share that with the PTA! That's quite a statement there!

MAcciard said...

To 7:32 am,

Madam, your "feelings" do not matter. The budget committee has a duty to fulfill under State law, and they failed miserably. Mr. Mullen is one of only two members of that committee who TRIED to follow the law.

Mrs. O'Neil conducted an illegal meeting.

You state;

"So you're saying that you and "better people" you'll find are more qualified than the Superintendent of Schools? So you think the policies and procedures of our district mean nothing?"

Yes, ANYONE would be better qualified than our Superintendent, he is the guy who will SPEND the budget, it is a conflict for him to write it, not to mention a violation of law. Even the Attorney didn't try to defend that.

As to the district policy that he writes the budget, the District can not have a policy the contradicts State Law! You saw the attorney shut up at that too.

The budget committee demonstrated their ignorance of both state budget law, and their duties.

LGC puts on workshops that the district will pay for budget committee members to go to to learn their duties. The cost is $35.00, but the district pays. Anyone can read RSA chapter 32, it is on the State website.

It is the duty of the budget committee to ask the super about NEEDS, rather than wants, and to make decisions about finding the proper funding levels. The budget committee has unlimited authority in this realm.

Let me give you an example;

3 years ago, Salem's town manager wanted to hire a 61st police officer for the dept., He failed to justify that need to the budget committee, and they did not fund that position.

That is an example of doing your due diligence to separate needs from wants. BTW I am not advocating that action merely using it as an illustration of the bounds of the committee's authority.

Anonymous said...

First of all, who says that I'm a Madam?!

Let me understand you correctly, State Law is that the Budget Committee PREPARE the budget and you're saying our Budget Committee will PREPARE the budget?

The policies and procedures of the SAU are illegal?

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.

Anonymous said...

"Madam, your "feelings" do not matter."

Spoken like a true politician!

Anonymous said...

Len Mullen, Budget Committee Member, states:

"I don't think the role of the budget committee is to pay bills or micromanage a budget. I believe the role of the budget committee is to set priorities and provide direction."

Does that include PREPARING the budget? You've already stated that you don't have a business or finance background - how are you going to help PREPARE a budget? As a member of the committee, that would be your job according to the Law that you've found?

Anonymous said...

So MAcciard:

You're saying this is illegal:

TRSD Policy Code: DB adopted 5-5-83 Revised 1-3-91

"ANNUAL BUDGET
One of the primary responsibilities of the School Board is to secure sufficient funds to carry out appropriate program of education. The adopted annual school budget is the financial outline of the district’s educational program; it is the legal basis for the establishment of tax rates. The annual school budget process is an important function of school district operations and should serve as a means to improve communications within the school organization and with the residents of the community. The Superintendent will be responsible for preparing and presenting to the Board for adoption the annual school budget. The Board expects the Superintendent to work closely with the principals and other administrators in their respective areas in studying the needs of the schools and in compiling a budget to meet those needs. The principals are expected to confer with appropriate staff in getting
budgetary requests and information on requirements."

Anonymous said...

This is illegal too?

Timberlane Regional School District Policy Code: DBC
Adopted: 5-5-83
Revised: 9-5-96
Revised: 10-7-99

BUDGET PLANNING
The School Board will adopt guidelines to govern the budget development for the following year.
The Superintendent will establish procedures for the involvement of staff in the development of the
budget proposal.

Budget planning will be related to the goals and objectives of the district and its programs.

The budget proposal must be within the parameters of Board policy and include provisions for:
1. Programs to meet the needs of the entire student body.
2. Staffing arrangements adequate for proposed programs.
3. Maintenance of the district’s equipment and facilities.
4. Efficiency and economy.

Len Mullen said...

"So qualified individuals for the Budget Committee would be only those who share your views?"

No. I am open to debate and discussion. Take a look at the minutes from the 4/9/09 budget committee meeting...

"Mrs. O’Neil described the Budget Committee as an oversight committee and it would be impossible for the Committee to actually prepare the Budget or even to have the expertise to make the decisions the administration makes, prior to presenting the Budget to the Committee."

"Mr. Balanoff agreed that the Budget Committee doesn’t have a big impact on the proposed Budget, but to do so would take a time commitment that no one, as a Committee member could possibly do."

or the 11/24/09 minutes...

"Mr. Dhaliwal asked what the role of the Budget Committee actually is. It is his opinion that the committee approves the funds to support the school but not act as the Administrator."

There you have three members testifying that it is their belief that the budget should be prepared by the superintendent -- in violation of RSA.

I believe that qualified members understand and support budget committee law.

Anonymous said...

"Mr. Dhaliwal asked what the role of the Budget Committee actually is. It is his opinion that the committee approves the funds to support the school but not act as the Administrator."

Thank you Mr. Dhaliwal!

Mr. Mullen, you do not have the qualifications to PREPARE the budget. Let the Administrators do their jobs!

You really think they have an evil plan to fool the public, misappropriate funds and only provide the students a mediocre education?!

Len Mullen said...

I think in refusing to televise the meetings, they are deliberately depriving the public of information that would help us elect competent representatives and cast informed votes.

I think in padding the default budget to the extent that it exceeds the approved budget, they are depriving us of an opportunity to disapprove of excessive spending.

It's a fact that the SAU provides a mediocre education.

As for my qualifications, you judge: I would have reduced psychologists, guidance counselors, renovations, secretaries, and administrators to balance the budget. La Salle cut teachers and books.

Anonymous said...

Anon @10:00
Do you or any of your family member(s) work for Timberlane? Curious if you are actually non-bias.

Anonymous said...

Completely non-bias. No employees for the district here. Proud parent of brilliant Timberlane students!

Anonymous said...

"As for my qualifications, you judge: I would have reduced psychologists, guidance counselors, renovations, secretaries, and administrators to balance the budget. La Salle cut teachers and books."

You'd look at a piece of paper and make cuts like that without FULLY knowing needs and requirements? PLEASE! Thank God you didn't get your way! Are you confident your cuts would have been fully supported by your constituents??????

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 10:25,
Have your students attended college yet?

Anonymous said...

No they have not attended college yet. Let me guess, you're going to blame the SAU for your child not doing well in college or not being fully prepared? It's all their fault right? Are colleges hesistant to accept Timberlane students because they're only "mediocre" as Mr. Mullen has referred to them as? PLEASE!

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 10:34:

Have your children ever attended school at another district to have comparisons with TRSD?

Anonymous said...

Rant on

Well, I watched the Deliberative Session Video and I've made my decision. I'm going to hold my nose and vote YES on the budget. What else can I do? No one is talking about taking the School District to court over their illegal meetings. At least its less than the default budget. However, I'm going to vote NO on everything else. NO Teacher Pay increases this year and next. Hey, you should be happy just to have a job in this economy. So the beatings will continue until test scores improve. Atkinson police, firemen and town workers pay attention. No raises for you either. You can fuhgeddaboudit, until I get a raise at my "private sector" job. No Timberlane Capital Equipment slush funds in tough times. No kitchen renovations unless the money is coming from one of Obama's stimulus programs. Wonder what it would cost to have a private company prepare food offsite and truck it in? And it's time to send Superintendent La Salle a message and vote all the bums off the school board and the budget committee. What happened to all the checks and balances in the system? Our town isn't even fully represented on the School Board and the board itself doesn't even think it's a problem. La Salle is running a dictatorship and you're acting like "useful idiots".

Rant off

Anonymous said...

Anon @10:38,
Seems like I touched a nerve. I was just trying to get prespective. My background includes my children attending the Timberlane school system since 1st grade. No, my children never attend any other school but Timberlane. Yes, we have visited and talked to other faculty, parents, and students from other school districts. BTW, my high school children were pitied by peers for attending Timberlane.

I have one child that graduated Timberlane and is now attending college. That child did get accepted to all colleges applied to. My child is doing ok/better compared to fellow Timberlane classmates attending the same college.

So, you would think I would be happy with the Timberlane school system? My college students resents that the HS did not prepare students for college. In fact, I've heard that comment from several recent HS graduates.

I have spent the last 13 years tutoring and filling in the holes in their education. I can't understand why I paying so much money for subpar education. I've had to pay for books because the school cannot provide for them. Maybe because school administration transfer money from that acct to pay for project overruns (due to poor planning). A group of students stay after school for extra help and get ignored. I heard a story about a teacher who didn't have time for students after school because that teacher would rather power walk through the halls.

I asked the question because most, not all, supporters have vested interest with the school.

Anonymous said...

Experience has shown us that the more money we throw at the school, the less results we get. No results should result in less money. If the problem can not be fixed, than another system should be put in place, WITHOUT the current administration.

We can no longer afford to pay for a business that doesn't preform. If LaSelle can't get the job done with what he spent last year, than LaSelle should be given his three year notice now. Any teacher that supports him should be allowed to leave now.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 11:05

"My college students resents that the HS did not prepare students for college. In fact, I've heard that comment from several recent HS graduates."

I would hope that they or you would bring specific evidence of such to the attention of the School Board. Why not make it all public to help make improvements?

"I have spent the last 13 years tutoring and filling in the holes in their education."

Isn't that part of parenting? We're supposed to help with their education, right?

Your concerns should definitely be brought to the attention of the School Board - make it all public.

One thing I whole heartedly agree with that Mr. Mullen has proposed is televised meetings - all meetings. Open and honest communication is the way to go.

We all have a say.

MAcciard said...

To 9:41 am;

Yes, the superintendent and school board have no legal authority over the PREPARATION of the budget. Their job is to provide TO THE BUDGET COMMITTEE whatever information IT FEELS IT NEEDS to prepare the budget.

Both the superintendent and the attorney knows this fact. When the superintendent told the budget committee that it was HIS job to prepare the budget and they just "review and recommend", he was lying. When Michelle O'Neil said that it was the ob of the budget committee to "sell the superintendent's budget to the people" she was ignorant of her duties, and the law.

Anonymous said...

""I have spent the last 13 years tutoring and filling in the holes in their education."

Isn't that part of parenting? We're supposed to help with their education, right?"

Provide support, ok, but provide actual instruction, no. How's your math skills? Do you remember how to or can assist your child with the following algebraic problem: when given the equation of a function, find the equation of its inverse, and draw graphs of the function and its inverse? How about assisting with idea gas law and moles(chemistry if you didn't know)? Do you know the presidents of the Guilded Age and how they impacted society? If so, you're a better person than I. Does that make me a bad parent? FYI, my children have asked me to help them with similiar type problems.

"Your concerns should definitely be brought to the attention of the School Board - make it all public."

It has been with various SB members and administration at the MS and HS.

MAcciard said...

To 10:00 am;

I don't think that is an evil plan, just the result.

They want what they want without interference from the people paying the bills.

As to laypeople not being able to prepare a budget, how does it work for the 233 towns in NH with budget committees, then? Those are all laypeople elected to a position, who learn their responsibilities and largely fulfill them, how are they able to do it, yet our SB Budcom can not?

Atkinson's budget committee meets every tuesday evening from Late sept. or early Oct. through January to analyze and PREPARE the town's budget. Each dept. head is scheduled to come in throughout that season with their budget, and they are questioned on their spending in the current and previous years, versus the coming year, and decisions are made regarding the appropriate funding level for the upcoming year, on all 461 line items within the budget. Atkinson's budget committee regularly invests approximately 45-60 hours of meetings throughout this period plus numerous hours outside of meetings discussing with the various dept. heads their needs and wants.

This is what a budget committee does.

This is what the job requires.

Elective office is not supposed to be a stepping stone to a job in the SAU, Mrs. O'Neil, nor is it supposed to be a resume enhancer.

Elective office holds a much greater responsibility than private employment, because the electorate largely can not go somewhere else when their representatives fail them. They are stuck with them at least until the next election.

Anonymous said...

Please don't talk to me about the O'Neil's. The performance they put on the other night was self-serving and nothing less than disgusting. I thought they were good people until I saw that, but their ignorance and arrogance really came to the surface. I don't want them ANYWHERE around my kids, and I certainly don't want him as my selectman. He IS the FRUIT he couldn't express. Shame on the both of them. Their contempt for the taxpayers is unbelievable. Now we ALL know that they are part of the problem.

Anonymous said...

I second that and move the question. O'Neil's are part of the problem and the proof came from their own mouth. No additional proof is needed.

jmho

Anonymous said...

The silence is deafening in Danville.

MAcciard said...

Just to explain where my complaints about the quality of Timberlane's educational product came from;

I am a graduate of Timberlane in 1979. I received an excellent education.

I have put 4 kids through the Timberlane district. As I stated at the meeting, the elementary schools are great. The middle school is abysmal, and the high school not much better. My oldest son graduated and is currently a United States Marine. My two daughters are now students at Pinkerton, so I have experience with two local public high schools and can readily compare the two;

I have personally witnessed kids be pushed through the TRM/HS system year after year with failing grades. No communication from the teachers or administration to the parents.

Compare to Pinkerton;

I have personally witnessed kids held back for failing grades, constant communication between teachers/ admin and parents. They have an online program called Edline which teachers are contractually bound to update each day. It includes; grades, homework, tests, quizes, and attendance both for the day, and each class. And the information is updated daily, unlike powerschool which sometimes, depending upon the teacher can go a week or two without an update. I have received phone calls, both personal, and robo, notifying me if one of my kids misses a class, or if there is an early dismissal, or cancellation. I have seen a marked difference in the strength of the curriculum, and the demands of the school.

I have seen a child hand in a report on Vincent Van Gogh, at TRHS, which was cut and pasted from the internet, it consisted of unreadable disjointed paragraphs with no continuity, yet that boy received an A- on it. I have seen that same trick tried at Pinkerton with disastrous results for the childs grade. The english teacher at Pinkerton explained to me that they use a contextual search engine that will return a source for a block of text. Child got a 0 and had to do over for a 50. Lesson Learned.

TRHS could do much to improve the quality of its product, but they choose not to. It is not the teachers fault, but the administration that does not raise expectations, and gravitates toward every educational fad to come down the pike to the detriment of the kids.

When I was in school class sizes were much bigger, and the college enrollment rate was just over 50% however those kids were prepared and graduated.

Now the college enrollment rate is somewhere around 80%, with over half of those kids having to take an introductory/remedial reading or math course in their first semester. This means that parents are paying colleges to do what they already paid TRHS to do. BTW the dropout rate among those kids is much higher too.

Anonymous said...

For me, this blog is very informative about the issues and problems. It's wonderful to know about them and not just a word or two about the issues from a friend at the water cooler. This blog is helping me think and figure out how to vote, I appreciate it.

Anonymous said...

Why is it that when people criticize the way the schools are run, they must be trying to destroy the schools, and hurt our kids?

Mayb they are trying to make them better, and improve the kids education, ever think of that?

Anonymous said...

Mark forgot to mention that NHMA annually conducts Budget Committee seminars which are enormously helpful. Not only do they discuss issues and potential problems, they provide lots and lots of literature....all very helpful. (Often includes all statutory references to the Budget Committee and budget.

In this instance, I don't know whether to blame the budget committee for either not knowing or over-ruling the Superintendent. They could have voted a continuation to the next night and dragged two of the missing four to the meeting. That might have saved it....but they didn't. Interesting to see if DRA is going to weigh in on this.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 2:39,

While you MAY learn something from the blog, take note that much of what is posted is opinion. Take Mark's last post for example. He states lots of "facts", but yet he did not supply a single source to back up his assertions. If he had, I can then accept them to be facts, but for now it is nothing more than opinion.

Mark if you wish to back up your statements with actual data, that would be welcome. Right now it's nothing more than opinion.

Regardless poster, read with a discriminating eye. Check out the so called information for yourself and don't accept it as gospel. You'll be far better informed if you do.

Anonymous said...

The towns and voters didn't even know the school budget was not legitimate. Thanks to Mark Acciard and others, they know it now.

MAcciard said...

Lol, NHMA is now known as LGC.

The Local Government Center.

Anonymous said...

TRHS sends 80% on to college?

What are the statistics for graduates who go to college for a second year?

How many of our graduates actually complete the program they started? Those going to 2 year schools actually completing 2 or more years? Those going to 4 year programs completing 4 year programs? How many of our graduates are entering first professional degree programs? How many complete?

MAcciard said...

To 5:25,

What assertions do you need sourcing for?

Anonymous said...

Mark,

Start with these:

When I was in school class sizes were much bigger, and the college enrollment rate was just over 50% however those kids were prepared and graduated.

Now the college enrollment rate is somewhere around 80%, with over half of those kids having to take an introductory/remedial reading or math course in their first semester. This means that parents are paying colleges to do what they already paid TRHS to do. BTW the dropout rate among those kids is much higher too.


Show me some documentation about the class sized in 79 I think you said versus today. Show me the college enrollment stats and show me the stats showing college students from Timberlane having to take remedial classes as well as their drop out rates being much higher.

Anonymous said...

While you're at it, show the national rates of college attendance from the two eras versus the Timberlane rate of college attendance from the two eras. You made a whole post full of assertions as well as anecdotal stories. Back them up to show that they are factual.

Anonymous said...

I'm not Mark but obviously you are a teacher or administrator at TRHS, because you want everyone else to do your work. Does Mark have to do everything for you, or could you possibly step up and do some research for yourself.

You're just upset because Mark proved the budget committee didn't do their work and held illegal meetings. It's funny that you aren't upset about that.


Grow up and get off your lazy old ass and do some work for a change.

jmho

Anonymous said...

I'm not a teacher nor associated with the school. Why should I or anyone else have to verify what he claims to be facts? They're not facts if he can't verify them, they're opinions. I'm not saying Mark is lying and I don't mean to just pick on Mark, but many posters throw out items that are so called facts when they are really just opinions. I thought you would see through the bs jmho. You have in the past.

Anonymous said...

Ignore the above.
Just a busy-body with yet another plan to disrupt the blog but always fails. Boring.

Yawn

Anonymous said...

10:41

How much clearer of a picture do you want. The meeting proved hands down the incompetence of the budget committee and the lack of transparency over the years.
The time has come to correct this issue and get some quality teaching in this school. I am not saying all teachers are not doing a good job but quite a few are not. The administrations responsibility is to assure a quality education and they are clearly not doing their job.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 11:31PM,

My post is in no way trying to disrupt the blog. People will post and people will read. Quite frankly I don't see how I can disrupt it by posting.

Anon @ 1:32AM,

There are obvious problems with how the budget committee performed. That's not what I addressed however. What I said is to be careful as to what you accept as fact and I held up Mark's post as an example. I can make a statement as though it were fact but if I don't provide support by linking to the data, then you should be skeptical about what it is I post. It's the same with any blog or board, not just this one.

Anonymous said...

to February 7, 2010 10:41 PM

My child is retaking a class now as a second semester student due to getting a D and needing a C- or above. Student took this class as an AP class at Timberlane with an A average. All other grades for semester were A's and B's.

I've talked to parents whose children took this same AP class at Timberlane and received C and D grades.

BTW, I brought my concerns to the HS about this class last year.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:02,

That's too bad and an outrage. What is the class? If you spoke with other parents about this, I'd assume it is the same class and teacher, correct? So, who is the teacher?

Inquiring minds want to know...

Anonymous said...

Maybe someone could start a public service website for TRSD parents and students to expose these stories and bring them to the forefront. Let's see teacher names, classes, student reviews, parent reviews. Does something exist like this already? While listening to the longevity raises the teachers will be getting, I was wondering what kind of review they receive. Wouldn't it be great if the public had a say as to weather they were worthy or not ... just because you teach for years doesn't mean you deserve a raise - it should be given for a job well done.

Anonymous said...

Instead of jumping on Mark to cite the statistics behind his asssertions... just ask yourself this.

Are our children getting an education commensurate with spending $14+K per child?

In my view, they are not. But it is not just a local problem (though I do think we have poor local leadership). Federal DoE meddling with unfunded mandates like No Child Left Behind, a politically-correct mentality that places more attention (and funding) on troublemakers & lower-performers than higher-performers, a Special Education program that is out of control with huge numbers of students being "coded" for some reason or another and getting more time to complete tests, or dumbed-down homework assignments, or whatever.

The notion that 80% of our students are "college material" is pure silliness. I am sorry some kids are ADD or have other issues... but in my workplace, we offer no special accomodations... you get your work done well and on time or they'll find someone who will.

We do our kids no favors giving them special treatment in school only to toss them into the world where no such treatment exists. It would be better to prepare them for real-world life at an early stage.

And all this special treatment costs money... big money.

I know these comments are unpopular with some, but having put 3 kids through school, 2 at TRHS and one in a private school, I've seen first-hand the contrast between the quality of education between TRHS and a private school... the difference is not just money; it is an educational philosophy where students are simply held to much higher standards and poor performance or troublemaking are not coddled.

Anonymous said...

ooops again, meant whether not weather ... lol

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 9:42 & 9:44,

Must have been that public education that caused the mistake in words. LOL.

I still think you're missing my point. You are focusing on the topic at hand whereas I am focusing on posts in general. When someone throws out stats like they are facts, you need to be aware that they may not be accurate if no links to the data are provided to back them up.

Someone stated that they learn a lot from this blog. My point is you need to read it with a discerning eye and I used Mark's post as a good example of what I was talking about. Mark offered many anecdotes and "facts" without providing back up for them. Are they accurate? Maybe, maybe not. Unless we have the accompanying data I tend to take these assertions with a grain of salt.

Getting back to the topic at hand, I agree that Timberlane could use some improvements. I also agree that it is up to the administration to correct the issues. The buck stops there, or at least it should.

Anonymous said...

10:05 AM

I absolutely agree. Facts and proof are a necessity. I'm wondering, will the issues that were brought up the other night be addressed at the next School Board Meeting or Budget Committee Meeting?

Shouldn't the concerns be formally brought before the School Board for public record and a response?

Also, is there somewhere to find out who is running for election for the School Board and Budget Committee in our towns? What are the candidates saying?

Anonymous said...

I think the clerk's office keeps track of who is running. Find out and contact them directly or you can go to a candidates night if they attend.

Anonymous said...

Just try to talk to a teacher or administrator about your child and see what it gets you. We've called many times only to be told the teacher was not available and would call us back. Think we got a call back? Answer is NOOOOOOO.

We had to be persistent to get a call back only to get no results to our concerns. Trying to talk to a teacher alone is like trying to have a debate at deliberative session last Thursday. They "stonewall" you then go into a rant like Mr. Dube did on the floor. The response from the teachers that night is proof of what I'm talking about.

Anonymous said...

C'mon people, name some names here. Lots of horror stories, but no one seems to want to step up and name the offending teachers. How can we believe all of this otherwise.

Anonymous said...

Names? Not a great idea for this forum.

Remember the kid who wrote about all his classmates? Don't turn this into a bashing session for singling out anyone at the lower levels. Right now, this is an administrative issue that should be addressed first.

The rest will have their turn later.

Facts? Sure, we all know that TRHS has been doing a lousy job, it's a fact, a widely publicized fact. The meeting are illegal and the budget is a joke. What more do we need to hear?

Anonymous said...

No names...I see. So, you suggest we take all of the anons and their tall tales at their word. OK....

Anonymous said...

You're being ridiculous.

The topic is the budget and the lies.

Anonymous said...

B careful what u wish for

Peter Bealo said...

If you simply want to see which AP classes our kids do best in compared to national averages, go to:
http://timberlaneschools.forumsland.com/timberlaneschools-about170.html

The list is arranged from best performing to worst performing compared to all other schools for tests taken in 2009. Our kids do better than the national average in 7 out of 10 classes, where I define "passing" as a score of 3 or better.

Note the small numeber of kids who take the tests. I have no idea how this compares to other schools.

Anonymous said...

When the local government, whether town government or school administration, fails to heed the laws of this state they should end up in a courtroom explaining it to a judge.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't the judge sitting right there???

MAcciard said...

Ok here is what I have been able to find quickly more to come when I find time to unearth 30 year old stats.

I can't find data from the 70's online, but I DID dig up a few old Timberlane Annual Reports;

In 1974, there were 2766 kids in the district, and 1475 in the HS.

Student to teacher ration was 22.3 but remember that this does not translate directly to class sizes as a number of teachers on the roster are not classromm teacher but fulfilling other roles. Anecdotal classroom size info was 24-26 students per class average.

Currently Timberlane has only 4361 kids in district, 1077 in MS, 1440 in HS. Student to teacher ratio is currently 12.1. Anecdotal class size this year 16-18 students average.

By the way LaSalle is the 3rd highest paid Superintendent in the state @ $132,000/yr. plus bene's. Only higher paid are Manchester and Nashua. Average Timberlane Teacher makes $52,286 for 8 months work, state average is $50,128.

That is what I have for now, by the way, current figures are form the DOE website. 70's figures are gleaned from annual reports, and reports to towns.

Anonymous said...

What did a Judge, sitting right there at Deliberative Session, have to say about there not being a quorum?

Did he offer his legal opinion? Curious minds want to know.

Anonymous said...

Peter,

Most of our students do not take the AP exams. In 2009 there were 3 sections of AP BIO, only a few took the test. Ap Bio at Timberlane is known as a class to get an easy A in and show a AP class on your transcript for college.

AP BIO have limited lectures as a method of teaching a direct contrast to college BIO.

A 3 on an AP test is not that good. Many colleges will not accept a 3 for credit. Northeastern for example is one.

Peter Bealo said...

AP credit depends on the school. I only used 3 as a bar for "passing" because the College Board considers a 3 to be "Qualified". I understand state schools and some others accept a 3.

From the College Board website:
"AP Exam scores are reported on a 5-point scale as follows:

5 Extremely well qualified*
4 Well qualified*
3 Qualified*
2 Possibly qualified*
1 No recommendation**"

I needed some method of comparison between TRHS and the national average, now you know what I did and how I chose the comparison point. Make your own decisions beyond that. As they say, your mileage may vary... :>)

Anonymous said...

You people are spending an awful lot of typing time criticizing the education the kids are getting.
The immediate, REAL issue is whether the Budget Committee held a legal public hearing. And if not, could that have an impact on the appproval by the State Board of Education or Department of Revenue Administration? Could the entire budget be put on hold because of one really stupid error?
The Superintendent should contact the State immediately, to seek advice. They can always apply for a special meeting, if it becomes necessary.

Anonymous said...

UNH does not always award credit for a 3 on an ap exam either.

Anonymous said...

A few weeks ago, in Atkinson, I tunred into a ZBA Public hearing which was televised. They didn't have a quorum. With apologies to the persons attending, the chairman heard the issues, then recorded facts to share with absent members and advised they would reschedule the hearings. No action was taken, nor would it be taken until the second hearing.

Just thought you'd like to know.

Anonymous said...

Mark, Len and others who stepped up and shined some light on the hidden workings of our shool system, I'd like to personally thank you for making this known. I had know idea what was going on. The video tape says it all. What a crime. Sign me up, Im ready to help.

MAcciard said...

The problem is that the quorum deficient budget committee, that night, DID take an action. They voted to appoint Michelle O'Neil as acting chair for the purposes of presenting the budget. When Mrs. Copp asked how they could do that without a quorum, they took back the minutes claiming there were errors in the minutes, and changed them to reflect, not a meeting and a vote, but a request by the three member present to schedule a special meeting.

This indicates to me that they knew it was an illegal proceeding, and tried to put the best spin on it to get what they wanted.

Len Mullen said...

Anon @5:56, atkinson does not have any school board or budcom seats on the ballot. You should contact your sitting members and tell them you expect them to behave better -- tell your school board rep you want the minutes unsealed! start recruiting candidates for next year and attend meetings. i'd love to see some teach 180 days or unseal the minutes signs in the audience. If you plan to do this, let me know -- i'll come in to take pictures.

plaistow has one board seat and two budcom seats on the ballot. all are contested. i'm waiting for info on the challengers, but all you really need to know is that they are not the ones sealing minutes for 99 years and holding illegal meetings.

danville has a board seat and a budcom seat on the ballot. both are contested. there are two challengers for the school board seat. i'll try to vet before the election. look for candidates night on danvilledelivery.com.

there will be write in candidates for sandown's budcom seats. check danvilledelivery.com for info on this. sandown has a board seat on the ballot. there are three candidates. i'll try to vet these before the election.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone called the AG office?

MAcciard said...

Our School Board rep is on a ship in the Persian Gulf, while the board holds his seat open, because he refused to, even temporarily resign it.

Anonymous said...

I think it is important that the Atkinson School Board Rep at least have a college education.

Anonymous said...

We have more than one SB rep.

Anonymous said...

Why call the "Do Nothing" AG's office when they haven't moved forward the "Slam Dunk" case against the Warner Selectmen? They are as useless as the DRA or DES. Don't bother even thinking about calling them as long as "Party agenda" Lynch is in office.

Laws “Be dammed" as long as "Party Aligned" officials are in office. It doesn't matter if it is Sapia/Childs as selectman at the local level, Contentino as police chief, LaSelle as super at the school, school board, school budget committee, school teacher’s association, or Lynch as Governor. They all have one thing in common. They set up a system to take money out of your pocket while illegally denying your rights. If you complain, they refer you to a higher authority saying they can do nothing, or defame you in public meetings. They fear you more than you should fear them, unless you do nothing. They would be right if you do nothing.


There are a FEW Scott Browns in our area but until we get more of them representing us than there is of them, your pocketbook is doomed. How much can you afford before you go under or you take a stand? If you wait you will go under. Your only chance is to take a stand.

It’s time to unite with those few that TRULY CARE for YOU, YOUR rights, YOUR children and YOUR pocketbooks. You know who they are so contact them. They need your help to correct this situation. They can’t do it by themselves. The choice is yours.

You don’t have much time to decide March 9th is almost upon us.

jmho

Anonymous said...

Not to change the subject but I understand the OSBORNS are about to get their ass kicked on their illegal taking of Carol Davis's property.

Like Sapia, Childs, Consentino, LaSelle, School Board, TRHS Budget Committee, the Osborn's are going down for the count.

That's my opinion, School administrators and their supporters, be DAMNED.

Len Mullen said...

We don't need the AG or any other politician. If we could have seated 100 registered voters in the PAC last thursday, the approved budget would be $56,760,387.62.

We need to raise awareness and win public support.

La Salle refused to tell the budget committee what line items in the budget were required by law or contractual obgligations. Had we passed our amendment, we would have found out.

If the other budget committee members refuse to do their jobs next year, we can simply seat a budget committee in exile and show up to the deliberative session with enough of the rest of us to get it passed.

March 9th, we can begin to replace La Salle's posse. In a year, we can have a majority on the school board and the budget committee.

It's up to us.

Anonymous said...

There is only one Atkinson School representative to Timberlane that I know of so I want to know the name of a second one if you are telling the truth. If there is only one (and that one only earned a high school degree) then please clear that up by stating their name. If you cannot state that name then it begs the question, "Why do you choose to mislead everyone? What is the "payoff" for issuing such a blantant deception.

As to the formation of a school budget committee in exile, I have a Masters degree and would like to serve on said committee.

Anonymous said...

Atkinson School Board Reps: Bill Baldwin (on leave) and Michael Mascola

Budget Committee Reps: George Murray and Catherine Rochford

Contact info can be found on timberlane.net

Anonymous said...

I must issue an apology and am duly punished. I was incorrect as to the names of all Atkinson representatives. I am now informed and thank you for the information.

I would like to know what their opinion is regarding these controversies. Perhaps they could post their comments?

Anonymous said...

I will also add that as a result of this information I will be paying close attention to the words and deeds of the following:

Bill Baldwin (non-functioning)
Michael Mascola
George Murray
Catherine Rochford

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:30 p.m.

How can you try to imply the problems are due to political affiliations? What a horse's ass you are. Last time I checked, Chief is a life-long republican.

Anonymous said...

Chief registers republican because Atkinson has always been a republican town.

He campaigns for Democrats, like Lynch, Downing, Hodes. His solutions to problems are always more government, not exactly republican ideals

Anonymous said...

RINO

Anonymous said...

Ad captandum vulgus:
(To appeal to the crowd.)

Background: I took Latin every year in high school and was in the Latin club. Lain I, II, III, IV and I still have all the textbooks 50 years later. And yes, I can read Latin texts.

True Story: I was talking to my customer, a nurse, about the educational issues I read here and that Timberlane costs 14K per student and they matriculate as numskulls.

The nurse said, "Well the teacher only has two eyes." I said, "What do you mean?" She said, "The kids come to class with their cell phones etc. and are texting on or under their desks. The teacher only has two eyes."

I didn't know what to say. I was stumped. However, this morning I lay in bed mad about it and I figured it out.


Solution devised: If I were a teacher at Timberlane or any other school, I would hold a basket at the door to my classroom. Every student would place their cell phone or other piece of electronic junk in my basket to get into my class. THAT WOULD SEND A MESSAGE.

And any student caught using a cell phone etc. for texting or to call their mother to to get them a day off would pay a price.

Such as, going to the front of the room and writing on the blackboard for the entire class hour, "I WILL NOT PLAY WITH MY TOY DURING CLASS." And this would be written in LATIN, by the way.

AS a teacher, I would insist on excellence. You would be able to recite the Aeneid from memory.

Proposal: I would inspire to excellence and turn dumb numskulls into genius numskulls.

Conclusion:

Abyssus abyssum invocat!

1. "Chasm involks abyss"
2. "Deep calls the deep"
3. Translation for teachers: "Hell calls hell" (one misstep leads to another.)
4. Translation for students: "SHIT HAPPENS!"

Anonymous said...

To Anon 11:43

Caveat emptor

Anonymous said...

Everyone in a bar or pub can spout at least one Latin phrase or Neitzche quote.

Did "Caveat emptor" get memorized post purchase of your Toyota with a sticking gas pedal?

If you proceeded to drive your Toyota after knowing there is a sticking gas pedal you need to memorize the following for spouting loudly just prior to starting your engine:

Ave Toyota! Morituri te salutamus

"Hail Toyota! We who are about to die, salute you!"

Anonymous said...

If you can't remember that quote then take a page out of Sarah Palin's playbook and write it on your palm.

I hear that most students know that trick.

Anonymous said...

At Pinkerton, any kid caught using a cell phone in class gets detention. No ifs ands or buts.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous February 8, 2010 11:13 PM,

You say you have a master's degree and want to serve on a budget committee in exile. Curious.

A budget committee member needs more than a degree. One needs to have an innate curiosity and the ability to search out answers on one's own if the information is not forthrightly provided. A working knowledge of our local government is also a plus.

I find none of these traits in you dear sir/madam. What I do see is laziness. Not only did you not know we had more than one school board rep, you did not take the initiative to find out that very public information on your own. A call to the SAU, or a quick internet search would have provided the same information I had to spoon-feed to you.

Here is a bit more information for those reading this blog...

The TRSD School Board is comprised of 9 voting members: 2 each from the towns of Atkinson, Danville, and Sandown; and 3 from Plaistow. Plaistow gets a 3rd member because both the middle school and high school are located within their town boundaries, and supposedly has more at stake.

The TRSD Budget Committee is set up in a similar fashion, the difference being a 10th voting member: the School Board rep to the Budget Committee, whose vote must repesent the Board's opinion, not his/her own. The current School Board rep is Atkinson's own Michael Mascola.

Anonymous said...

"You say you have a master's degree and want to serve on a budget committee in exile. Curious."

Having three businesses does keep me preoccupied such that I do not know all the details about school government. Thanks to reading the blog, along with your information, I am learning quickly. However, what I learned from watching the video on this site leaves me unimpressed with how the school government operates.

As to town government, I know a great deal more. More than I want to know. The more I know the more I learn how it is broken and in desperate need of repair. (Similar to school government.) Now don't ask me to enumerate everything about current town government wrongdoing as I am trying to keep my lunch down.

To tell you the truth. I wish I could just pay attention to my own overwhelming business interests and not have to turn my attention to working on town or school government. I would prefer they both just obey the laws and do the jobs for which they were elected in a reasonable and responsible manner.

Do I want to be a member of an alternative school budget committee? NO! If you did your jobs I wouldn't have to step in. Wouldn't that be bliss!

Anonymous said...

"To tell you the truth. I wish I could just pay attention to my own overwhelming business interests and not have to turn my attention to working on town or school government. I would prefer they both just obey the laws and do the jobs for which they were elected in a reasonable and responsible manner."

I have no doubt you are a busy person, but it is exactly the attitude quoted above that has contributed to this country's current economic and political turmoil.

In your three businesses, do you hire employess and then hope they do the job they were hired to do without providing any oversight? I should hope not. Just as it is an employer's responsibity to provide direction and oversight of employees, it is every citizen's repsonsibility to keep an eye on their elected officials to make sure they are doing the job they were elected to do.

Complacency and apathy will lead us away from freedom and liberty and into governmanet servitude.

Anonymous said...

Correction to the second to last line above... it should read "government servitude".

Anonymous said...

If the school budget committee itself is bound and gagged and can't build a budget, and if the budget is coming down from Lasalle like Moses tablets down from the mountain, then how can a regular, ordinary, but educated citizen make a difference? How does a citizen MANAGE the nightmare of a school (or a town) government budget out of control?

The system is set up to make the citizens feel helpless and discouraged and no longer pay attention. That's how the entrenched get away with giving themselves big raises and bloated budgets.

If you do get some traction on an issue they refer you up the ladder to someone higher, like the DRA who then has the "formula" to squashes you. Oh yeah, that REALLY makes the citizens want to participate. Oh sure.

The NH governmental system needs to be dismantled because it is self-serving from top to bottom. How do I remove an entire system that has exploited the public for decades?

!!!!!!REVOLUTION!!!!!!

It is a bold revolutionary action to create an alternative school budget committee and an alternative town budget committee.

Thank you, Len Mullen.

Anonymous said...

The system is setup for regular citizens to be participants. If they fail to do their duties, they have no one to blame but themselves. Voters are free to elect someone who will do the job. Stop feeling helpless and sorry for yourself and get involved. Posting on a blog doesn't count.

Anonymous said...

I must be missing something here. Who better to determine the needs of the school district than those who work within it everyday? Is it being suggested that the budget committee actually construct the budget from scratch each year? While these may be be perfectly intelligent and educated people, they cannot possibly know how much $ is needed in each of the line items to sustain academic programs, facilities, and personnel from year to year. I definitely agree that oversight is necessary and that the administration should be required to show evidence of the needs of the district but isn't that what the budget committee does now?

Anonymous said...

Government DEPENDS on you being too busy to pay attention to what they are doing. The extra taxes they impose without you paying attention, forces you to work longer. Three businesses require you to work three times as long.

Moral of the story? Don't take your eye off your government for a minute because it will cost you hours of enjoyment in the end.

Now add in the Federal, State, Local, School boards, and courts as other governmental agencies, and learn you can't afford to not pay attention.

In other words, less government is better for your health, pocketbook, time spent, retirement and your free time.

If you take your eye off your business, you will fail. If you take your eye off your government, it will ENTOMB you. When will you decide to pay some attention to your government? Doing so pays dividends.

jmho

Anonymous said...

To Anon February 9, 2010 4:14 PM

Haven't you learned from the video that your school budget committee didn't do anything aligned with their sworn oath of office? LaSelle wrote the budget that he gets to spend. The budget committee only rubber-stamped HIS budget.

In other words, the school budget committee is NOTHING MORE than LaSelle's "Smoke and mirror" pawn to give legitimacy to his expensive wish list of taxation, forced on the taxpayer. If you understand this now, what will you do to correct the problem?

You know who the players are, co contact them. You aren’t in this fight alone unless you want to be.

jmho

MAcciard said...

To 4:02 and 4:14; The answer is YES, the budget committee is supposed to PREPARE the budget each and every year. If you allow the superintendent to do it, you are allowing the guy who spends the budget to write!

The super should be bringing into the budget committee his previous years budget, his current and previous years expenditures, and his needs for the upcoming year.

It is the job of the budget committee to ask for any additional information they need, and to look into each line item to find out what it is spent on, what is needed, and if his requests are inline with what they feel he has justified to them.

It is about balancing priorities. Each member of the budget committee should be responsible for a different dept. and should become intimately aware of the depts. function, needs, and wants.

To use a town analogy, if I want to know why we need a $10,000 increase in materials of trade line in the library budget, I could ask the budget committee liason to the library, and they would tell me exactly why it is needed.

NONE of this happens in the SAU.

If I were the budget committee chair this year when Mr. LaSalle set out our schedule I would have politely told him thank you very much but we will be meeting every tues. (or whatever) night from Sept. until Jan. to get this done. I need this info from you, and we will schedule you to come in and explain your budget requests later in the season. Each committee member would be responsible for each dept. They would have to decide what is truly needed. I will continue more when I have more time, sorry, but work beckons..

Anonymous said...

MAcciard,
Do you have examples of other NH SAU's that do just as you've described? I'm curious how qualified their Budget Committee Members are and if they are paid for these positions, if so, how much? Not sure if you have that information or not.

Also, do you agree that the Budget Committee Members are supposed to represent what their constituents want; therefore, in this great process they'd better make sure it is not just their own personal opinion making decisions.

Also in this process, shouldn't there be a portion of the Budget Committee Meeting open to the public for comments/considerations, as there is with the School Board? Maybe this exists already, I apologize that I'm not aware of the whole process. Thank you for the information you've been sharing.

Len Mullen said...

I'm not sure how things are done on other school budget committees, but in talking to members of other budget committees, they do pretty much as Mark indicated.

Budget Committee is an elected position, so the only qualification is that you get more votes than anyone else. Many members of the current committee were not elected -- they simply asked to serve.

Budget preparation is an exercise in progressive elaboration. You do not have to be an expert on budgets or schools as long as you do not drill down beneath your ability to process the information. For instance, it is perfectly OK to say that the budget has to be the same as last year or the same as two years ago plus inflation. If there are limited resources, that may be a correct solution. You can drill deeper. Maybe you break the budget into legal, contractual, and discretionary spending and say discretionary spending is limited in some way. Or you focus on personnel -- say you want a 10% cut in personnel who are not legally or contractually required.

If you have the right people and enough time, you can drill deeper.

I have proposed that we organize the budget into buckets that lay people can work with. I asked La Salle to tag all items as legally required, contractually obligated, or discretionary. He refused.

La Salle has also refused to provide the committee with the budget in spreadsheet format so that we could what if.

I suggested that we take a deep dive annually into some bucket, learn about that area, make it right, and record the session[s] so that future members could review the data.

I think indirect (nonteaching)personnel and technology are two areas where substantial resources return little value.

I agree with Mark that the committee should write the schedule, define the data to be provided by the SAU, and set budget priorities. That is what the RSAs say.

During the deliberative session, the moderator said that discussion of the quality of the schools was not germane. He was wrong. There is not infinite money. Money spent on psychologists is not available for teacher aids and after school programs. You don't need to be an expert on schools to see that the kids need help.

But you can't do that as long as some members -- more than half -- believe their job is to sell La Salle's budget to the taxpayers.

Anonymous said...

What makes me very leery of you Mr. Mullen is that when you speak of how YOU would cut the budget, it is always about how YOU judge what is necessary and what is not.

I have a suspicion that you're not the easiest to work cooperatively with. You are an elected official who should represent your consituents - NOT just YOUR view.

Len Mullen said...

Well, anon, I may not be your guy.

1) I am for transparency. Since being elected to the committee, I have pushed televising the meetings so that people can see what is going on. The last vote (following the deliberative session) was 6-1 against. The first time I proposed this, I did not get a second.

2) I am for teaching the kids. My mission is to ensure that the school is teaching the right things well 180 days per year.

3) I think the school board and budget committee have failed the community -- the taxpayers and the children. I find the handling of the Scott Buatti incident particularly repulsive.

You can read two years worth of my opinions at danvilledelivery.com. I think you will find my beliefs consistent and my behaviors aligned with my beliefs.

If you are leery of that, then I am probably not your guy.

I think I work well with people. I've worked for the same company for 24 years. And I'm not tenured.

When I see something that is wrong, I do my best to fix it.

If I have been a member of the school board in March 20, 2008, Scott Buatti would have been on leave March 21, 2008 because I would not have tried to get along or compromise or accomodate or work things out. I would have told the school board -- behind the doors of a nonpublic session that I would go to the papers with the story if they did not act properly.

If you are leery of that, then I am probably not your guy.

I can live with that.

Anonymous said...

OMG Len Mullen. I am amazed at who you are. Your integrity comes through like a breath for fresh air.

MAcciard said...

To 6:39pm;

I can only speak to my own experiences, but i have never heard of either a municipal or school budget committee acting in this manner. That is why I was so shocked to not only see it happening here, but the unmitigated arrogance of stating it openly in public meetings, and thumbing their noses at the people whose money they are spending.

BTW, I have been told that when a budget committee member asked about making a change to a line item amount, they were told that the committee could email their questions or "requests for changes" to LaSalle and he would run them by the SB to see if it was ok.

Len, maybe you could tell us, is that true, and who was the person that said it?

The SB HAS NO AUTHORITY over any changes the budget committee wants to make.

Did you also notice that their are no line items under the SAU budget?

When asked about that by Bill Bennett, LaSalle responded that the people "have no say" in what he is paid or raises.

YOU HAVE TO BE KIDDING ME!!!

Anonymous said...

Rant on

To all those La Salle hanger-on-ers out there in netland: How can you possibly trust this guy?

Wasn't it Superintendent La Salle that was proposing a grand plan last year to replace the High School and Middle school? And how much do you think this would cost us paid, under-paid and on-the dole taxpayers? 50 million? 60 million? 70 million? This guy's totally out of touch with reality. Probably doesn't even know what a quart of milk costs. And don't insult my intelligence by sayimg it was just a "trial balloon". His proposal was serious! Hey, Mr La Salle, come on over to my house, I just picked a fist full of $1000 dollar bills off my money tree. And I'd like to let you have it.

Rant off

Len Mullen said...

Mark, I believe the circumstance was that a member asked to meet with the SAU's counsel because she believed the default budget was prepared incorrectly. She was not granted a meeting and was told to sumbit questions and he would run them past the lawyer.

Brenda Copp was the member.

MAcciard said...

Was there any questions asked about reducing any line items in the budget, at ALL during the Four meetings the budget committee had this year? And, if so what was the response and from whom?

Anonymous said...

How can a school budget committee prepare a good budget by meeting FOUR times? Let me guess: the FOUR meeting lasted twenty minutes each, right?

sigh

MAcciard said...

Here is a local comparison for you; I would like to hear any comments you may have.

Timberlane:

4361 Students enrolled district wide
1407 High School
36 Administrators district wide
121:1 Student to Admin Ratio- Dist.
12 Administrators High School
117 Student to Admin Ratio- HS
6 Psychologists on staff- District
727:1 Student to Psych. Ratio

(does not include SAU)

Pinkerton:

3446 Students enrolled High School
7 Administrators
492 Student to Admin Ratio
1 Psychologist on Staff
3446:1 Student to Psch. ratio


Perhaps stats like these have something to do with the difference in costs between the two schools?

MAcciard said...

Atkinson's budget committee generally meets 14 times during the season.

But then again, in Atkinson they ACTUALLY PREPARE the budget!

Sorry, Mrs. O'Neil

Anonymous said...

Didn't just about the entire Atkinson budget committee quit?

Anonymous said...

Just got the 11th grade NECAP test results. 68% of the students are proficient and/or proficient with distinction in reading with the state avg of 73%. Not bad. Now the bad news...

70% of the students are partially and/or substantially below proficient in mathematics and 60% are partially and/or substantially below proficient in writing. Nice job Timberlane!

«Oldest ‹Older   1 – 200 of 228   Newer› Newest»