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

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

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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

State House to GUT Right to Know

From the Plaistow Town Crier;

Well Curt Springer and all you government lovers, what do you think about the NH Legislature, the NH Senate and all their RSAs now. I told you RSAs are used against the people. This letter was in todays Fosters Daily Democrat.


It's our right to know

To the editor: Last week The New Hampshire Senate and House of Representatives passed HB 53. This bill was sponsored by Kim Casey, Democratic representative of East Kingston. HB 53 amends the RSA 91A, the Right to Know statute. The amendment all but eliminates the public's right to access information from government agencies. The revision exempts Mayors, Town Managers, department heads, executive officers, superintendents and associated government political agencies as public bodies from complying with a "right to know" request.

This draconian modification of the Right to Know Law will allow these extensions of government to operate under a Vail of secrecy. The only information that we the people would be entitled to scrutinize is that which these agents would elect to disseminate.

How many crimes would have escaped legal consequence if the public's "right to Know or the freedom of information" was fettered by government agents who operate outside of the law? It is exactly why those who contemplate such acts fear the possibility of exposure through this mechanism of accountability.

In 2000 my attorneys and I sued SAU 16 for a parent's right to know what websites our children were accessing on school computers. Dr. Skip Hanson SAU 16 superintendent of schools denied our request, citing a child's right of privacy. Superior Court Justice Julian Abramson ruled in our favor. Unfortunately, the computer records were destroyed after the Judge ruled that the information must be released, a harm that found SAU 16 in contempt of court. SAU 16 actions required an amendment to RSA91A criminalizing those who would knowingly and willfully destroy public documents for the purpose of avoiding prosecution. None of this would have been possible without a formidable RSA 91A and the public's "right to know".

Gov. Lynch has on many occasions professed to be a fervent supporter of open and transparent government. We should therefore, call upon the Governor to honor this commitment and compel him to veto this amendment.

Jim Knight



Anonymous said...

One of the worst things that could happen.

Curt Springer said...

Rep. Casey's response in the Exeter News-Letter

Note that your own Rep. Garrity is co-sponsor.

MAcciard said...

The problem with the RTK law is that, currently, governmental bodies can refuse to produce info, knowing full well that most residents will not spend the $175.00 and one year it will take in the Superior Court to get your info.

Also by the time you receive it the information will likely be untimely, and therefore useless.

There are few penalties for transgression. This Reps solution is simply to abolish those inconvenient rules.

What a corruptocrat!

Anonymous said...

MAcciard said...

Unfortunately, Curt; and I called Jim Garrity about this when it first came up beginning of the year, and he said largely the same thing, however, if you read the text of the bill, it opens up loopholes that a dump truck could be driven through. And here in Atkinson we have those that will try.

I told Jim that I was disappointed, almost as much as I was when he came into a selectmen meeting and said that the BOS of Consentino, Sapia, and Childs, was worthy of praise for their adherance to RTK! Laughable!

MAcciard said...

1 Right-to-Know Law; Definition of “Public Body.” Amend RSA 91-A:1-a, VI(d) to read as follows:

(d) Any legislative body, governing body, board, commission, committee, agency, [or] authority, or similar entity, which acts by vote or agreement of its members of any county, town, municipal corporation, village district, school district, school administrative unit, chartered public school, or other political subdivision, or any committee, subcommittee, or subordinate body thereof, or advisory committee thereto. An individual executive or administrative officer of a political subdivision shall not constitute a public body, and staff members of an agency or department of a political subdivision meeting as a group shall not constitute a public body.

Problem here is that BOS and SB's are not "legislative".

And they will hide behind that. The SB already, illegally sealed minutes for 99 years.

Anonymous said...

I just read the bill and I disagree. The head of a department for instance, would still have to produce records when requested.

Anonymous said...

The BOS are a board, governing body and an authority.

Curt Springer said...

In order to evaluate this change, I think you need to read all of Chapter 91-A.

I agree with Rep. Casey , anon@June 9, 2010 12:32 PM, and anon@June 9, 2010 12:33 PM.

This has nothing to do with records, only with posting and open meetings. It is just a housekeeping measure to clarify that the open meeting part applies only to committees that operate by vote or consensus. Nothing changes. Your selectmen still have to comply. I'd be surprised if your town administrator or any town or city manager now posts the meeting or allows the public in when s/he meets with department heads. This just clarifies the common understanding of the law.

Further, I agree with Rep. Casey that the court case cited by the letter writer could not have had anything to do with RSA 91-A, which exempts Personal school records of pupils.. Perhaps it involved FERPA.

Anonymous said...

So Curt, a question for you. In Danville, do you know the certification of your Police Officers? The Police Standards and Training think certification ( not scores), are exempt from 91A.

Just curious.

Anonymous said...

Now that the water systems between Hampstead and Atkinson are connected, it might be of interest to know whether the amount of radon gas and lead in the water is increasing or decreasing in both towns. Maybe Atkinson is exporting radon and lead to Hampstead or maybe Atkinson is importing it from Hampstead. How would one know, without a meter at the border and further testing? Don't we have a right to know?

Just my take, ha ha.

Curt Springer said...

To anon@June 9, 2010 4:50 PM

I've never given much thought to the certification of Danville police officers. A few years ago our chief, Wade Parsons, had some issues with the number of hours worked versus his level of certification, so he went to the police academy at the age of 45 or so, a grueling physical regimen, and got full time certification. I understood that you have to be certified to be a police officer, so it never occurred to me to want to check the certifications of particular officers with the state.

I take it you think that a member of the public should be able to check with the NH Police Standards and Training Council and obtain the status (e.g. full time or part time, expiration, etc.) of an individual officer.

That sounds reasonable, but I would want some more information before completely signing on to it.

The first question would be whether or not the refusal to furnish the information is in compliance with the statute currently in force.

They have to cite one or more of the exclusions allowed in RSA 91-A:5. Do you know which one(s)?

Without knowing, I would guess:
III. Personal school records of pupils. , because the PTSC is primarily an educational organization.

If you think the statutory exclusion doesn't apply, you can go to superior court.

If the statutory exclusion does apply, even though it seems reasonable for a citizen to obtain the information, I would want to ask if there might be any negative consequences to releasing it. For example, if the issue is student educational records, release of the information might jeopardize federal funding.

If the statutory exclusion is legally applicable, but there is no apparent objective reason not to release the information, then the question becomes how to tweak the statute to force this information to be available without inadvertently forcing other information to be available that should remain nonpublic.

Perhaps in this case you could adjust the law narrowly to release police certification information and nothing else.

But in general that is a hard thing to do. All sorts of stuff is kept nonpublic on the legal grounds of "reputation" or "personnel" and the other listed exclusions. I think a lot of it is withheld without justification, just because they can withhold it. I think most boards and committees like to play things close to the chest and only release what they have to.

But on the other hand, some amount of stuff is kept nonpublic for good reason, using the same legal grounds in RSA 91-A:5. Any one of us can look at specific situations and call 'em as we see 'em, i.e. this one should be made public, this one should be kept nonpublic. But how do you tweak the law that has to deal with any situation coming over the transom, to make more stuff public while ensuring that stuff that should be nonpublic remains nonpublic? That's what our legislators wrestle with. As Rep. Casey wrote, "This is complex and nuanced." I think some people are too quick to bash them without taking the time and trouble to understand the issues.

Are you a resident of Atkinson? If so, have you discussed certification information with your own Rep. Garrity, chairman of the RTK commission? What is his take?

Curt Springer said...

Anon@June 9, 2010 10:31 PM

ha-ha, I'm sure you know that this has been discussed recently HERE.

Chapter 91-A gives citizens the right to obtain information that has been obtained by the state or the town under other statutes. It doesn't give you the right to compel individuals or companies to supply information to the state or town.

Chapter 488 defines a comprehensive statewide scheme for collecting water use data. As part of this, the legislature could have specified meters at all municipal boundaries, or they could have provided for towns to require data additional to what the state law requires. They did neither, so the town lacks authority to require this information.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that if there isn't a renewal of moral & ethic structure of the RTK laws then we might just as well let our all powerful thieves loot the local,county and state treasuries at will . The time to do this is now. If this isn't done asap then why have ethics and conflict of interest boards/committees to oversee wrong doing through out the state. The elections are soon coming and I will not vote for anyone who is remotely associated with this outrage. Please do the same.

Curt Springer said...

To anon@June 10, 2010 7:40 AM

I wrote:

As Rep. Casey wrote, "This is complex and nuanced." I think some people are too quick to bash them (legislators) without taking the time and trouble to understand the issues.

Your posting bears that out.

Anonymous said...

Springer quotes RSAs like they're scripture and their creators priests. The NH Legislature does not represent the common working man in NH. It never has and probably never will. Its members include the well-to-do, the retired, the self-employed and the well connected, with a generous sprinkling of dilettantes. This is what you get when you live in a miserly state. Pay our state Senators and Legislators a living wage and maybe, just maybe, we'll see some of our working-class neighbors go to Concord to represent us for a change.

Anonymous said...

If there is no accountability with the existing RTK laws then why hasn't our local Garrity and Casey types done any thing to make them what they should be before this time. They seem to have known well prior from what I've read here and else where that the RTK laws were bent towards persons as 6/10 @ 1022 has said . I stand strongly behind my statement of the up coming election to boot out anyone remotely associated with this outrage. I think it is reasonable and just to have politicians respect the wishes of the taxpaying majority and vote accordingly . Its time for changes in faces and the RTK laws.

Anonymous said...

anon 10:22, after seeing our local officials in action, I'd rather not further empower them.

Curt Springer said...

To anon@June 10, 2010 10:22 AM

Well of course the Scriptures were written or at least approved by a committee, however divinely inspired.

I don't know why people are hostile to the notion that we should all make an effort to understand the state laws (RSAs) and follow them. They are the rules of the road for town and state boards and officials, and they are revised as necessary to deal with specific issues that arose in one town and might someday arise in another.

We would all spend less time arguing and there would be less risk of winding up in court.

There is nothing mysterious about reading and interpreting the RSAs. You can do it the way the NH Supreme Court does it.

Quoting from Rowe v. Thibeault et. al., one of many citations available:

Statutes are to be interpreted “according to the plain meaning of the words the
legislature used.” Hull v. Town of Plymouth, 143 N.H. 381, 383 (1999). In conducting its
analysis, the Court “will focus on the statute as a whole, not on isolated words or phrases.”
Milford Lumber Co. v. RCB Realty, 147 N.H. 15, 17 (2001) (quoting Snow v. American
Morgan Horse Assoc., 141 N.H. 467, 471 (1996)).

You just have to read what the law actually says, not cherry pick the parts you like. And you need to keep in mind that we are not a home rule state so the town has no powers not expressly granted in a statute.

Of course sometimes in some situations the law is ambiguous. But that is rare, at least in my experience looking at municipal issues.

As for your comments about the composition of the legislature, Mass. state government was structured pretty much like ours until about 40 years ago when they created fewer but larger legislative districts, started paying legislators salaries and assigning them paid staff. I not sure that the Mass. General Court is any more representative of the general population than the NH General Court.

To anon@June 10, 2010 12:59 PM, have you actually read anything posted here beyond the original article, or is it that you have just determined that you are going to be outraged and no facts or arguments are going to deter you from that course.

Anonymous said...

To Curt:

Thanks for the info on the PD certification question. I appreciate your comments.

Anonymous said...

6/10 12:59 answer to Curt.. As I said in what I wrote is what I meant and stand by. Yes I've read whats posted here and elsewhere. I ,too, stand by what I said on 6/10 @ 740 A.M. and 12:59 P.M. It seems to me that you might just appear to be some what of a hypocrite after having read my and the few other anonymous writings. The one thing I can say is that you do have knowledge of the RSA's given that all you do at your work place is sit and use the computer at Harvard. Are they aware of it and are you using your own computer. Either way you could be cheating Harvard of the services required of you in your job description and functions. Ahh!! but then that wouldn't be a failure of ethics and conflict of interest would it? I wish I had your job!!

Curt Springer said...

To anon@June 11, 2010 2:27 PM

Not that it's any of your business, but I took a day off today.

I ostensibly work 9-5 but actually I am on call 24-7. When I get calls about emergencies it is on a cell phone that I pay for. When I work weekends I use an internet connection that I pay for. I use more personal resources for work than I use work resources for personal use. I don't complain, neither does Harvard.

Curt Springer said...

PS: Are you the guy who used to post on Herrick's site as "Read Daily" or something like that? You remind me of him.

Anonymous said...

Curt, In all fairness to you and the "read daily" you asked about I have the memory of the sites host as saying what has been said here by me. Your right, it is not any of my business but it is your and Harvards. My guess is that Harvard doesn't know what is going on while your on their clock. I do envy your being so up to date on all the RSA's without your always or usually having to look them up. You do seem to have all the answers to any question anyone has concerning them. Maybe after you retire or get fired from Harvard you can work for the state legislature as the know all of the RSA's . With your knowledge there will not be as many delays when a bill comes before them to approve or deny. It hasn't been just today that you were able to bring to us your expertise of the RSA's so please don't try to mislead us by saying all that you've told us was on your day off . That is unless you have a lot them wether your on call or not. I look forward to any response you may have but reserve the right to not answer . We do have to let others write on the site to give their opinions and various comments. It can't be only just about us can it?

Curt Springer said...

OK, you won't admit it but you have got to be "Read Daily." You write just like him, in a long-winded resentful accusatory style.

I didn't say I only post on my days off. I only said that today was a day off.

I'm not going to waste my time trying to justify myself to you. You just want to cast everything and everybody in a negative light. Your comments in this discussion about legislators and RTK are true to form.

Anonymous said...

A raw nerve has been hit upon. Your past is catching up with you because people have long memories and remind everyone of it on this and other sites you've been on. It seems to me your boot licking the pols when you say I'm of a negative light. I am not alone in my thoughts on the subject of the RTK problem that confronts most of us except those of your thinking processes that know whats best for us all. If there isn't some thing wrong with the RTK law then why did it ever come up in the first place publicly? [The answer may be found by you in the posts by the anonymous posters ]. I'm sorry if we the anonymous are the lesser of the great knowing thinker you are ,however, you do know the RSA's better than most whether your asked for them or not.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Springer, I just looked at the web page in your profile. Your posts are continuous throughout all days at all hours. Most are news articles. You must spend an awful lot of time looking for articles to post to that site. There is no way you are not 'blogging' on your employer's dime. And that is not considering whatever other forums you contribute to.

That your employer is unaware or unconcerned that you do this is no surprise. I'm sure the same lack of accountability exists at the university level as we see in the local schools.

You should be careful, though, because you step on a lot of toes and it would not take much effort to assemble a spreadsheet documenting your abuse. Even an academic institution can be embarrassed into accountability.

Then, I suppose, we'll be reading about a Harvard Professor in rehab for an internet addiction.

Anonymous said...

6/16 @458am, It appears Mr. Springer is some kind of guy who claims to want honesty in government and yet does the opposite in his personal and work times. His giving the RSA information appears to be most welcome by those who are looking for open honest governing process for its majority . I think how he does this from his work place is wrong and hypocritical in appearance to say the least. As I read this blog site I came away with the thought that he doesn't see the need for the removal of pols that want to do for the select few who want to have a free hand at our treasury monetary expense. The H53 resolution ,at best, is the only hope for overseeing any reporting of violations of ethics and conflict of interest by elected and volunteer officials in all levels of our state governments. I question why he wrote what he has that appears opposite of good governing practices . The sponsors behind this debacle should be sent on their way out of office come November. I feel they are not doing their jobs for us but they are for those select few who want things hidden from the public view. Your right about what you wrote in regards to Harvard and Mr. Springer.

Anonymous said...

Springer's own blog must be a real failure. Why is that?
He gets on this blog and puts out the same style that keeps peopfe off his blog.

What disturbs me is Springer will take one side of an issue and then flip flop to the other side. That's a good way to get attention but removes credibility.

I don't care how many RSAs are up Springer's sleave. What matters to me is he is consistant and he genuinely cares about something besides his own self importance.

Springer can change anytime he wants by putting his behind on the line about a cause and fight like a Marine, instead of getting caught up in enjoying the pleasure of quoting RSAs.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more with your opinion. Is there anyone else out there that agrees?

Anonymous said...

I don't follow Springer's postings and blogging, but I live in Danville, and STRONGLY dispute his claims of providing a public service. Mr. Springer is not a resident of New Hampshire. He inherited land there but lives in Boston. His participation in local politics -- as far as I can tell from watching public access -- is to increase the value of his investment real estate. He is always before the board or selectmen and the planning board to surround his real estate with town forest. When Mr. Springer speaks of the public good, he is referring to his own benefit.

Frankly, I think this is true of most public servants. The public they are serving is themselves.

Curt Springer said...

To anon@June 17, 2010 10:44 AM and anon@June 17, 2010 1:47 PM:

Would you please provide examples of this flip-flopping that you claim, then I will respond.

Everyone has rights under the law, whether you like them or not.

To anon@June 18, 2010 6:33 PM:

Please document my "claims of providing a public service."

I live at 228 Sandown Road in Danville. I spend more than half my evenings there. I do not live in Boston. Like many, I spend some nights away from home in connection with work. I serve on three town committees and I rarely miss meetings, which are always on week nights at Danville town hall.

If you are interested in my family connection to Danville and the family land, you can read what I recently posted HERE. I always say that my mother's family left Danville at the turn of the 20th century in search of indoor plumbing and that I returned when the coast was clear.

I don't recall ever appearing before the selectmen concerning my woodland property. When adjacent land was subdivided, I did appear at the planning board public hearings. I am the chairman of the town forestry committee, but the town forest is located about a half mile from my property. The conservation commission bought a 20+ acre parcel close to my property, but not adjacent to it. I had no involvement other than to speak in favor of it when they had the required public hearing.

Regarding my property interests, I put conservation easements on my properties with no compensation from public funds, which many landowners have accepted. With the stroke of a pen (once for each parcel) I blew away 90% of the value of my land. In addition to obliterating my property value, I paid the costs of required appraisals and I funded the monitoring of the properties in perpetuity. I did receive a tax credit based on the loss of value of the land.

What difference does any of this make? What if you picked up the ET tomorrow and read that I was wanted for holding up a bank? So what? I have supplied corroboration of everything I have posted here. State law is what it is, it doesn't matter whether you think I am a good guy or a bad guy.

Len Mullen said...

Click my name to watch the 6/17/10 school board meeting. Advance to 90:17 to listen to the discussion of the calendar. Jack Paone complains that Rob is out of order. The discussion quickly turns to "do you know what our lawyers would say?"

Go to 156:00 minutes where Rob Collins asks for the NECAP results. Watch through 179:00 minutes when Mr. Strange leaves. Better, hang in until 192:3 minutes when the board votes unanimously to NOT televise their work session.

This thread and that meeting are about manipulating vague legalese to serve one's purpose. Rob accuses the SAU of not sharing analysis of NECAP tests. The superintendent says he has done all that is required by law. Another board member accuses Rob of manipulating Robert's Rules of Order to reintroduce nonteaching days into the calendar. Then the entire board comes together to refuse to televise a work session. This is the same board that abused RSA to seal minutes of a meeting for 99 years.

So, Curt, you can quote RSA and cite abuse of RSA as case study to support this position or that. People have been doing that for centuries. Now the rest of us have a tool -- the internet -- to fight back against the abusers and your team is using every trick to keep the rest of us out of your game.

By supporting the gutting of right to know you are advocating for the cock roaches that scatter when right to know shines a light on their activities.

For your part, I would cite your lack of support for making town meetings accessible to the public. Not only have you not supported my efforts to get recorded meetings posted to the internet, you have failed to even post minutes for your committees.

Like the rest of the cock roaches, you embrace the law when it serves you. It hardly ever serves me.

Anonymous said...

Well, Springer, what do we call a thing like you? I discuss you with 2 that used to support you and watch them wiggle in agony and admit I had you figured out all along.

Anonymous said...

To Curt Springer from 6/17 @1:47, It just goes to show I was right when I said a raw nerve was struck. Where did you get the right to accuse me of saying what some one else said . I do not know this person and I'm not privy to your holdings here or in Boston. I could care less about them because your not causing me any rubs. But for your excuses of what I and 6/17 @ 1044 a.m. have said about your RSA input and how we feel your cheating your employer doing so is a rub to me and others on this and other sites you frequent. It says to me and others your not at all the person you claim to be. If I were you I'd be most careful not to rub somebody who will tell and insist your employer[Harvard] take action on you. For an supposedly intelligent man you just do not seem to get this and then you deny any wrong and to top it off you continue to keep this debate of your alleged honesty at the fore front instead of just shutting up. I guess it is right when its said people of some above intellect act strange and you do appear to one of them. If your so bright why not run for a high office rather than dabble in small time politics with your blustering of so called intellectual personality and never ending time to do it. You'd fit in just fine at that higher level. Good night and sleep on my comments.

Curt Springer said...

Len wrote:
your team is using every trick to keep the rest of us out of your game.

Who is "my team"?

Len wrote:
By supporting the gutting of right to know you are advocating for the cock roaches that scatter when right to know shines a light on their activities.

I am not supporting "the gutting of the right to know". This is just a housekeeping measure. Just because somebody writes something in a letter to the editor, that doesn't mean it is correct.

But the logic of this blog is that everything negative is to be taken at face value.

Len wrote:
For your part, I would cite your lack of support for making town meetings accessible to the public. Not only have you not supported my efforts to get recorded meetings posted to the internet, you have failed to even post minutes for your committees.

Len, when you were a member of the Danville town website committee you had my full support for every initiative. My only concern was that we be able to keep stuff going, that we not raise expectations we could not meet.

You walked away from the town web site in a huff, you know I took flak for supporting you. You left the site in an inconsistent state because you had a grand plan for redesigning it, and like many of your grand plans you did not carry it through.

You proved my point about raising expectations when you posted every single Danville committee meeting on your site for several months. It was impressive. But then you suddenly stopped. Obviously you did not have the time to carry it off indefinitely.

I post the minutes for my committees with the town clerk within 5 business days as required by law. I forgot to post the April forestry minutes on the town web site. I didn't realize it until I was looking for them to prepare for the June meeting. I do slip up once in a while. You, on the other hand, are constitutionally incapable of ever admitting an error or that another person has a valid point.

Len wrote:
Like the rest of the cock roaches, you embrace the law when it serves you.

That is an unjust accusation, utterly without foundation.

Len Mullen said...

I didn't walk away from anything. I served for three years then moved on because the effort was not yielding worthwhile results. I have a real job, a real family, and private sector priorities.

The BoS had no stomach for posting information -- the committee existed and exists to provide the BoS with a platform for celebrating themselves.

Your forums serve the same purpose except that the participants do not have to feign politeness.

I posted the town and school meetings for years. I stopped because the TRSD stepped up and began posting their meetings on vimeo (my objective). Danville did not. I spent a LOT of time and money capturing and editing hours of windows desktop, transmission errors, and screensavers before resigning myself to the fact that our government does not want to be witnessed. Short of attending every meeting with a camera, there was no way to ensure transparency. The cock roaches in Danville prefer that the lights be off. What happened to Donna Sullivan? Did she get divorced? Click my name to see some familiar names trying to snuff out SB2.

Your team is celebrating the replacement of the Bridge to Nowhere. I think you wrote that you preferred the bridge not reopen but would celebrate the opening anyway. LOL. What are you people celebrating? Using political shenanigans to fund a project that failed to gain public support at the polls at any price?

That's your team.

'as required by law' is Mr. La Salle's favorite cover. He uses 'housekeeping measures' to sneak his initiatives under the door as well.

That's your team.

Most of us have no reason to fear transparency. Your team does. Watch the school deliberative session to see La Salle scurry when someone turns the lights on.

It is what it is, Curt.

Anonymous said...

6/19 @9:40 p.m. to the site readers, Gee !! Curt must still be sleeping on it ....or is he. He has sent a quoted message from Mr.Mullen @ 10:19p.m. I can only guess that he just might be afraid of the truths that have been expressed here. I can only say "guess" because I am of average means and intellect! I have to point out he did say he would not lower himself to my less than his level by answering any further saying he wouldn't justify himself to me on 6/11 @ 7:52 p.m. I "guess" that ends our debating his honest appearance and knowledge given that I'm not alone in my opinion[s].

Curt Springer said...

To anon@June 21, 2010 11:32 AM

Believe it or not my life doesn't revolve around posting on blogs.

In case you didn't notice, it was a nice weekend. Also, I had to do stuff for my job, expectedly Saturday morning and unexpectedly on Sunday afternoon. And no, I don't get comp time for that. I took care of some other things, including writing up the minutes of our town web site committee and sending them to the town clerk within 5 business days in compliance with RSA 91-A. I posted them on the web site this evening, which is not actually required by law. I took some flak from one of our members over procedures for handling a draft proposal. He thought I was being a stickler. I admit that email communications is a gray area.

The main points are that I don't cheat my employer and I do practice what I preach with regard to RSA 91-A and other statutes.

I answered Len because I know who he is and while I think he is wrong about some things, he at least deals with real issues, not all this whiny emotional resentful stuff about how you think I think I'm better than you. I agree with Len or at least don't disagree with Len on various items. I share his concern that the superintendent leads the school board instead of taking direction from them.

Some of you seem to want to sit in judgment of me based on innuendos that you infer and anoint as truth from a few web postings, while you sit cloaked in your veils of anonymity. Oh yes, I know, if you reveal your secret identities your hapless elderly police chief will wreak havoc on your lives, every last one of you.

I don't know you at all, and you don't know me if all you know is what you read in blog postings and a few ET articles.

An Atkinson resident who lurks but does not post emailed me recently wondering why I continue to contest things here with "idiots," their word, not mine. I'm beginning to wonder myself.

I will likely post if I can contribute information on a topic that I think others will find helpful.

But if you post something that is all "Curt Springer this" and "Curt Springer that," I might or might not reply. Whether or why is none of your business.

Anonymous said...

Another seen through attempt to cover your back side once again! It becomes every ones business when you blog on an open site such as this one. Being helpful with information and opinion is one thing but your being so largely controversial is still another. What you can't see is that you are the problem and if not all then at least a big part of the problem. Harry Truman said a little some thing about heat in the kitchen and it does apply here . Why not lose your come uppity attitudes and your constant blogging that gives everybody the opinion that your less than honest and a know it all. For a man that appears to be so busy with every thing in your personal and work life I do wonder how you can find the time in a twenty four hour day to blog as you do. I can see where people are saying your less than what you claim to be and why they do take issue with you .

Curt Springer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Curt Springer said...

Len Mullen wrote:
'as required by law' is Mr. La Salle's favorite cover. He uses 'housekeeping measures' to sneak his initiatives under the door as well.

That's your team.

Most of us have no reason to fear transparency. Your team does. Watch the school deliberative session to see La Salle scurry when someone turns the lights on.

I'm not naive. I don't doubt that in some cases people try to slip substantive changes through as "housekeeping measures." But it doesn't follow that **all** or even **most** "housekeeping measures" are more than they are said to be. In this instance if you read the bill and read the law as it currently stands, Rep. Casey's explanation makes perfect sense.

I am not on any TRSD "team." When we had the last big bond issue I thought Danville and Sandown should at least consider leaving TRSD and joining up with Sanborn and/or Fremont and/or Raymond and/or Epping. I was appalled by the circumstances of the PAC. I am well aware of the circumstances of the late night reconsideration vote on the junior HS back about 1973. Did you know that our own Fran Byron filed a law suit and lost over that. I think it was a mistake to hire LaSalle as a designated successor to (what was the last guy's name?) and then give him the job with no discussion about goals and expectations. I have no interest in funding new school buildings while other municipal needs go begging.

Len Mullen said...

Curt, as usual, your comments and recollections are tainted by your politics.

During the kindergarten political campaign, a school employee reported to me that Christine Collins was using the school's copier and other resources inappropriately. The person asked not to be identified because they had to work in the school. There was much ado about this on your forums that did not include a denial by the Mrs. Collins. (

The PTA was not the only group that engaged in unethical support of this initiative. We had a principal leave for other opportunities after misusing school communication.

Of course, Mr. Collins is now the senior school board rep for Danville. His first act in that capacity was to conceal the identity and protect the reputation of a pedophile in the middle school. Not only did he allow the pedophile to remain in the school locker rooms for fourteen months, but he later voted to seal the minutes to the meeting for 99 years. Probably just a housekeeping thing.

Mr. Collins is a member of your team. He serves on the town's website committee and is a moderator on your forums. Mr. Collins doesn't like it when someone shines a light (

I don't save all the emails you send me and I have no recordings of your calls to my home following this event, but my refusal to apologize to the offender for not having a camera in the room and my unwillingness to out the school employee were a matter of principle. Still are.

As far as my web site project goes, your recollection is typically self serving. Let me help you. I posted videos of school board meetings from August of 2007 until March of 2009 -- that's years not months, Curt.

The TRSD started posting on VIMEO in September of 2009. I stopped posting in March of 2010. (My calendar shows March of 2010 as coming AFTER September of 2009.)

Following the TRSD Deliberative Session in February of 2010, the budget committee had a brief meeting during which I proposed, for the third time, that the committee record/broadcast meetings. Only I voted for this. At that time, I informed the committee that I intended to bring a camera to the meetings and post the meetings on At their next meeting, the school board voted unanimously to record/post the meetings. La Salle also supported this position and one of the budget committee members who voted against the measure three times later claimed to support it.

Danville does a poor job of recording and broadcasting public meetings. I can't tell you how many times I reported to the cable committee that our channel was broadcasting windows desktop or a screensaver. When the meetings got to the air, the recording often started late, ended early, or terminated with a transmission error. Many meetings had audio problems. This year's deliberative session was recorded but not aired.

I have offered to do this activity for the town for free ( and have referred the cable committee to Dean Zanello who has helped the schools and some of the towns do this reliably and inexpensively. Danville's government has no interest in being witnessed.

Your team isn't defined by ideology. I characterize the team as political opportunists. On this forum, there is probably no need to document this, but click my name to revisit a planning board meeting where the chair mocks your obvious self service (start at 1:06 hours into the meeting).

You're not naive and we are not stupid. Let's leave it at that.

Len Mullen said...

it's the 8/13/09 planning board meeting...

Curt Springer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Curt Springer said...

Len Mullen wrote:
Your team isn't defined by ideology. I characterize the team as political opportunists. On this forum, there is probably no need to document this, but click my name to revisit a planning board meeting where the chair mocks your obvious self service

Ok, let's see where we are here. According to you, Rob Collins and I are on the same team because we are "political opportunists." Here is a definition of opportunism from a web site:

taking advantage of opportunities without regard for the consequences for others

Whatever our faults may be, neither Rob nor I are opportunists, political or otherwise.

I viewed the 8/13/09 planning board meeting that you mentioned. I was there as an abutter to a lot line adjustment to take land from one parcel on Cub Pond and transfer it to an adjacent parcel on Cub Pond. One of my parcels abuts the locus on the east, and the other nearly abuts it on the south.

You neglected to mention that I made several comments that were appreciated, particularly one about how to reconcile a discrepancy on the list of abutters that would allow the project to move forward.

My statement, at the end of the meeting was entirely sincere and not self-serving. Many towns are working to establish greenways. My land, the subject parcels, and a couple of other parcels, including land owned by the town of Sandown, could constitute such a greenway. My parcels have road access that could let people into the existing trail system. Part of the reason I put conservation easements on my properties was to set an example for and to encourage other landowners to do the same. I know that one or two landowners could donate the easements, as I did, and others would need some help.

But yes, there was a comment about it being self-serving. You didn't mention that it was light-hearted banter. The planning board knows about my easements and my good intentions.

The Sandown Conservation Commission is happy to have me as the owner of the property at the end of Morrison Lane, partly in Sandown, partly in Danville. They have landlocked property accessible from the road system through my property. I have offered to give them a recreational trail from the road through my property, which would be an irrevocable right of way to be under the control of the town, not me or my successors in title. I reserved the right to do this when I put a conservation easement on the property.

I will not derive any financial benefit whatever if any of this comes to pass. As I mentioned in an earlier posting, I blew away 90% of the value of my land with my conservation easements.

Here's a question for those of you who think I'm in it for the money: Why wouldn't I have simply sold out to a developer if I wanted to cash in on my land? My easements foreclosed that option. I had been approached by Lewis Builders, Frank Caparco, and others. That's what everyone else did. If you look up the titles and tax stamps on just about any subdivision in Danville, you will find that somebody bought the land for about $100/acre in the 1950s, 60s, or 70s, paid minimal taxes based on "current use", then sold it for $3-5,000/acre. Nobody questions their integrity, so why do you question mine?

Len Mullen said...

Could you do the italics thing with Mrs. Collins' denial? All I ever got out of that post is, "All copies that I have made are made with permission of the school," -- which is a lot different than, "I have never used public funded resources to promote a ballot issue."

The first town meeting I posted was the 2/3/2007 deliberative session. Regular posting of the meetings ran from 9/22/08 to 3/8/10.

Personal gain is not always measured in dollars. After failing to secure a seat on the Board of Selectmen for years, another member of your team petitioned to increase the number of seats on the board and then ran for one.

Your recollection of circumvention of current use law lends credence to the contention of this thread. DanvilleDelivery would have shined a light on this had it existed in the day.

Curt Springer said...

There's been a lot of mention in the news this week about "lack of judgment" at the top level of the military.

I've got to face up to my own lack of judgment this week in recounting here the circumstances under which Len left SpeakoutDanville and the town web site. A third party was involved, and they did not need to have their name dragged out and false accusations repeated in a different forum. Accordingly, I have deleted recent postings that mention this incident.

I appeal to Len and/or the moderator to take a similar action with his postings that touch on this.

In light of this, I have decided it would be best for me to take a time out from posting on this site, at least until Labor Day. I'm looking forward to a busy summer in several areas of my life. Posting in the wee hours is not always a good idea. Perhaps Len would agree with me on that. This is not to be taken as a retraction of anything else that I have posted on this site.

I've said this before and I'll take this opportunity to say it again. Anybody with a sincere interest in how municipal government is structured in NH, how power is delegated (or not) by the legislature, what are the checks and balances among local officials and boards, would do well to obtain a copy of the NH Local Government Center's publication Knowing the Territory, a guide for newly elected or appointed local officials. It's available in print or CD. I found it invaluable in understanding how to approach reading the RSAs.

Len, you know I was one of the 3 people who wrote in your name for the TRSD budget committee. I've never attacked you, prior to this exchange, and to my knowledge you have not attacked me. Perhaps we will bump into each other during the upcoming Danville 250 celebration (8/21-22) and we can talk.

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