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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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Friday, February 11, 2011

Timberlane voters quickly dispense of school budget matters

From the Eagle Tribune;

February 11, 2011
Timberlane voters quickly dispense of school budget matters

By Doug Ireland The Eagle Tribune Fri Feb 11, 2011, 12:58 AM EST

PLAISTOW — School district voters made quick work of the proposed budget and other spending proposals last night, plowing through a list of warrant articles in less than 40 minutes.

Nearly 100 people turned out at the Timberlane Performing Arts Center to consider articles that included the proposed $62.4 million school budget and a $300,000 plan to renovate the Pollard School kitchen.

Despite the large crowd, only a few voters stepped to the podium during the annual deliberative session to ask questions about the articles, including Kate Russell of Danville.

Russell asked school officials where the district would cut seven positions that Budget Committee Chairwoman Michelle O'Neil said would be eliminated. O'Neil gave a brief presentation on the proposed budget before the discussion began.

Superintendent Richard La Salle outlined the cuts, which include a custodian, two support staff positions, and also teaching jobs at the elementary schools.

A declining number of elementary school students means fewer teachers are needed, La Salle said. The superintendent also presented the proposal to spend $300,000 on renovating the Pollard School kitchen.

When the district began renovating its buildings several years ago, the kitchens were never upgraded, La Salle said.

"During the renovations, one of the areas in the schools that was not addressed was the kitchens," he said. As a result, they are inefficient and do not meet code.

The district is now making the upgrades a priority, renovating the Atkinson Academy kitchen last summer and the Danville Elementary School kitchen two years ago.

The $300,000 would come from a capital reserve fund.

Although no one voiced their opinion on the article, resident Martha Fowler questioned how much money was in the fund.

"It would essentially use the money that is there," La Salle said of the renovation project.

The capital reserve fund contains a little more than $300,000 and would be replenished through another article that asks voters to add $200,000, the superintendent said.

There were no public comments on that article as well.

The $62,437,055 operating budget outlined by O'Neil is a decrease of less than 1 percent compared with the previous budget. The default budget is $62,708,119.

All five articles were quickly approved and sent to the March ballot after little or no discussion.

As one resident approached the podium, longtime town and Timberlane moderator Barry Sargent said the meeting was one of the shortest in memory.

"It is the quickest one I've had in 20 years," he said.

Perhaps it had something to do with the upcoming tipoff between the Celtics and Lakers, with Boston star Ray Allen looking to beat the NBA record for making three-point shots.

"Not to mention the Lakers and Celtics start in less than an hour — make it quick," Sargent joked.


MAcciard said...

I am sorry but I do not see the "substantial cuts" made to the budget.
The 2010 budget was $60,950,948.00 But they completed the year spending only $55,921,152.00, leaving an overage of $5,029,796.00

The 2011 budget is currently $63,698,961.00

The forecasted 2012 budget is $62,437,055.00, which is $261,906.00 less than last year.

This savings came from;
Annual decrease in debt service $84,000
Not putting $100,000 into Cap reserve.
And actually forecasting electricity closer to what they actually spend, The 2010 budget requested $788,000 for electricity, while only spending $517,000. The current budget again asked for $788,000, and next years budget has trimmed this to $650,000 STILL 21% higher than actual spending.

Where are the "substantial cuts"?

Anonymous said...

Get on their budget committee so you can influence some changes.

Macciard said...

The sb bud com does not even know the state budget law, let alone their job to prepare it. Tey ask no questions, and do, no due diligence.

MAcciard said...

Look at it this way, if last year the school district could do everything it needed to do for $55,000,000/00, is it really cutting the budget to give it $62,400,000.00 this year?

Anonymous said...

No one wants to be the "bad guy". No one wants the "glare" from district employees and yes it does happen. By the time people, who have ambitious students who want more of education, will realize what a poor job the district has's too late and they don't care because their student is no longer attending the school. Sad...very sad.

MAcciard said...

Funny you should say that because when I asked budgetary questions last year, that is what happened. I had a neighbor ask me "why I wanted to destroy the education?" I didn't want to destroy it, I want to get what we pay for. I want the district to care more about the quality of education than they do about their raises, pensions, or offending parents, by telling them that their little johnny is a bully, or a troublemaker, or just lazy.

But they would rather push the failing kids through the system, they will catch it up in high school, right Mr. Hogan?

Anonymous said...

SINI No More Fire La Salle

Anonymous said...

Thete is oppression of citizens for a long time here and Its time for change. Protesting with signs, getting on the news. It's time.

Courageous citizens of Egypt, Lybia, want change and freedom from oppression and fear. They know the bullets will come at them.

We want change here. Transparency, financial sanity, and the laws be obeyed. And not to fear retribution or vandalism for wanting laws to be obeyed. When leaders don't do the right thing, it is up to the people to stand up, protest and demand justice.

Our rights are worth defending.

Just an opinion from the millions today wanting freedom and true democracy.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Hey, your picture is on the blog??? Which one???

Anonymous said...

Do you mean the rose [phallic symbol] standing between the two thorns?

Anonymous said...

I don't think we would have to pay half as much on our schools more parents actually cared enough to instill some values in their kids and checked to see if they did their homework...

Anonymous said...

I don't think we'd have to pay half as much to maintain our cars if more parents were auto mechanics.

Anonymous said...

I don't think ...

Therein lies the problem...

Anonymous said...

Instilling values and checking on homework are as foreign to Timberlane parents as mechanic skills?

Are you sure you meant to say that 12:45?

Anonymous said...


It was a non sensical response to a non sensical statement. Do you really believe we would pay 50% of the costs of education if parents would just check to make sure their kids did their homework? Let's drop a zero and ask the same question. Do you think it would cost us 5% less? It's utter nonsense.

Anonymous said...

Teachers and other NEA rump swabs blame problems on disengaged parents and cheap taxpayers. In fact, the parking lot is full each day of disengaged parents dropping kids off and picking them up. Disengaged parents fill the seats at extracurricular activities. Cheap taxpayers spent millions for a Performance Arts Center that is without peer in New England (Exeter's new HS has a stage -- they spent their money on academics).

Parents may struggle with 'manipulatives' and other nontraditional studies, but that's only because books that should be coming home with the students were not bought so we could finance 'no tax impact' kindergarten.

I was in Danville Elementary more during my child's first year of school than my father was in twelve years. He couldn't get time off from work to attend activities at the school. (We didn't actually have activities at the school.) When my mother worked as a teacher aid, I helped her with material she would teach the next day. Yet somehow I managed to learn to solve problems, interpret literature, speak french, and write.

I had an advantage these kids do not have. I had good teachers -- some great teachers. Some were young, but many were older. There was a culture in the building. We were there for a reason.

My teachers dressed like professionals. Shirts, ties, and jackets for the men and dresses for the women.

And we had no idea they were unionized. When a math or science teacher was out (rare), the first substitute was the principal. We had an assistant principal, but she taught english unless the principal was out. Turns out the single secretary managed the day to day activities. Just as the one nurse managed to serve the entire 1-8. And her husband came once a year to do dental checkups and apply fluoride and fix the teeth of the kids who did not see a dentist outside of school. We had physicals and vacinations at school.

But there was not even a stage at the elementary school. In high school it was in the cafeteria. We didn't have a hockey team or a ski team. No one went to France or Disney or even Canada. We mostly just went to school.

Most of my teachers did not have 'advanced' degrees. No one was called Doctor. There were no psychologists or curriculum coordinators. We didn't even have a Director of Education. If there was a business director, I never knew it.

Performace mattered. The children were sorted by performance so the best could be challenged and the less gifted could keep up with a more reasonable pace (like Timberlane does for sports and music).

While all of this was going on, we knew our school was nothing special. There were much better schools in the state -- Timberlane was one of them.

Anonymous said...

Submittal for a new Article:

Federal law says that Police Chiefs may not volunteer their time if working on police matters

Anonymous said...

This budget will pass because it's lower than the default budget. The new budget zeroed out lots and lots of books. NO BOOKS! Why? According to the deliberative session, the school has nooks. Who has these nooks? So let's elimate the books so that someone OTHER than teachers and students has a nook. FACT: I had to purchase from my pocket this school year so that my students could have books to use. The teachers told the students that they did not have enough books for everyone! Over $60 million goes to the school district! Where does the money go? Not toward books and next year budget acknowledges that even less books will be obtained. SO GLAD that the administration is getting it's well deserved raises. Remember, it's for the children!

Anonymous said...

Better website as to wheather Consentino is breaking the law is:

Anonymous said...

the budget gives across the board raises to all employees. these increases are offset by 'predictions' of lower energy costs and lower healthcare costs. these predictions are already laughable. when energy prices and healthcare costs rise unexpectedly, do you expect the SAU to claw back at the raises? they will cut back further on books, teachers, and aids. again.

Anonymous said...

Question---Where can one get a copy of the town warrent articles? They used to be mailed. It would be nice to go over everything before going to vote.

tim dziechowski said...

The warrant by law must be available by March 1 (and it was). Look on the town's web page

click the link for "2011 sample ballot".

There is also a pile of hardcopy warrants on the table in the lobby of town hall.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Tim.

tim dziechowski said...

I notice on the school ballot that nobody is running for the school budget committee member from Atkinson.

Five write in votes would get Mark Acciard the job. (If he gets the most votes and wants to sit on the other side of the table at a meeting he might be at anyway.)

Just sayin...

Anonymous said...

BOYCOTT the BLOG! Save Atkinson