Mention government corruption, wasteful spending, crony politics and most minds will undoubtedly go straight to the sleaze pit we know as Washington D.C. Try to convince your neighbor that that same ooze may lie closer to home at the municipal level and you’ll likely run into some opposition. After all, we’re talking about our neighbors. Our co-workers. These are local heroes who take time out of their busy lives to make ours better.
They are also human. Just as corruptible and just as likely to misuse public funds as the parasites in DC. Let me explain.
Last year the Keene School District unabashedly spent $24,000 of our money to advertise its very controversial Article 1 that dealt with the acquiring of a $13 million bond for school renovations and the subsequent closing of Jonathan Daniels Elementary. They placed pro-article 1 ads in the Sentinel, the Shopper, on WKBK radio, and blanketed the city in campaign signs. For those unaware, the act of using government property to influence the results of a vote is known as electioneering and is illegal in the state of NH (RSA 659:44-a). The school board justified this act by claiming a need to “educate” the folks on current affairs. This is nothing new, really. Governmental departments across the country are guilty of using public funds to perpetuate their own agenda. The problem is no one is calling them out on it.
When asked what he thought of this misuse of taxpayer money, KSD attorney, John Wrigley, had this to say: “I think the school board has an obligation to inform and to educate… In 30 years I’ve been doing this I’ve seen the board over-extend itself more than once. I sit there and I look at something and I say, “Whoa I hope no one asks me about that.” But those are specific details that sometimes I trip across. I think on the whole, the board does it right, it has public hearings to inform and to educate. …but, I think sometimes they over-extend themselves. But I think it’s all in good faith…we’re not talking about Richard Daley in Chicago and that sort of thing.”
So in other words, it’s ok to break the law as long as it’s for the kids and as long as it’s not Richard Daley level. Had you or I attempted this same stunt, we would be looking at fines and or imprisonment. It’s true. Badges and titles do grant special privileges to some.
Need another example of how KSD spends your money? (more…)
His character seems kind so I’d have liked to have known if guest Patrick Michelson was drinking alcohol the night of the incident where after 35 years of a violence-free relationship, he threw a laundry basket and grabbed his wife by the shoulders. For this act, he ended up pleading guilty to a felony assault charge. Interestingly, Michelson says that in hindsight he wishes he’d refused the first plea and chosen not guilty. According to his story, a roommate/tenant called police and by the time the cops arrived he and his wife were sitting down and talking. He was surprised to see them show up.
Guest Kelly Darling-Snow admits to having been both the victim and victimizer in domestic violence situations and goes on to say that she knows people whose lives have been torn apart by the system. Michelson says the state involvement in his situation was quickly “out-of-control”. His then-wife told the prosecutor she only wanted Michelson to go to therapy, not face criminal charges.
Sadly, “the state” is not compassion. It is aggressive force, and the state agents do what they want. (more…)
Recently I shared a couple of news articles describing the contentious scene at this year’s Grafton deliberative session. I had wondered what the activists would have to say about the scene there and now Bob “Weeda Claus” Constantine has weighed in:
I am one of the unfortunate people that the town of Grafton, NH sends a demand note to, often euphemistically and oxymoronically referred to as a property tax bill by government apologists. Therefore I attended the annual Town Meeting or Deliberative session on Feb. 7th 2015, in an attempt to reduce the theft and rattle my chains, well aware of my forced subservient position within the coercive government food chain. Plus I know they’ll steal my home if I don’t pay their ransom.
This year’s meeting was again run sloppily by Susan Frost, a serial bureaucrat and the same moderator who proclaimed her “fairness” in her 2014 Town meeting preamble by quoting Voltaire. You know the quote, something like I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. Less than two hours later, she had Brian Fellers, a friend and a forthright long time Grafton resident, arrested for asking the deliberative body to “examine his right of free speech”, that is, if you still believe in that kind of stuff. Or “being disruptive”, if you think Voltaire quotes sound good, but weren’t meant to actually be followed. No, I’m not making that up. Brian has stated the real reason he was arrested in 2014, was that he told the Police Chief prior to his arrest that he was there to cut his budget which had bloated enormously in recent years. Brian does not mince words. The cop has a gun. Guns, sadly trump words. Apparently Voltaire is an electrical term to the double dipping salaried and hourly overtime paid Police Chief. (more…)
Democracy: Two wolves and a sheep voting on what’s for dinner!
That’s exactly what went down at last Saturday’s deliberative session, where a small group of fiscally responsible residents went head-to-head with the tax hungry education industry.
As was expected, they were completely outnumbered, ridiculed and ultimately silenced. School board member Susan Hay summed up the proceedings perfectly, “We don’t need a very small minority of people in this community — that do not in any way represent the will of the people — telling us how to do our job.”
This brings up a very important question. Who, then, represents me? If I have no voice because the powers that be disagree or outright refuse to hear me, why then should I be forced to pay into such an institution. What happened to deriving their powers from the consent of the governed? Well, I officially renounce the consent I never swore to in the first place.
The bullies over at the Keene School District along with their supporters in the community showed their true colors once again at this year’s town hall style deliberative session.
“We don’t need a very small minority of people in this community — that do not in any way represent the will of the people — telling us how to do our job.” That was School board member, Susan Hay.
It seems in her world, it’s perfectly acceptable to steal money from her neighbor to pay for her sacred cow as long as it’s the majority making the decision and as long as she’s on the winning team. I can only imagine the ruckus she would have made if we had had another 60 or so supporters in the room–one day we will.
There were 13 ballot initiatives up for discussion. Nine were created by the Board itself; aimed at raising the already bloated and unsustainable budget. That’s how they “do their job,” which Ms. Hay takes extreme pride in. Four submitted by petition were focused on reducing the budget.
The purpose of the deliberative session is to discuss, debate and clarify the articles before being placed on the upcoming ballot in March. Instead of leaving my four warrants in their original wording for the voters to decide on, former school board member and local busybody, Ted Parent, made it his goal to neutralize all four and extensively added an additional 2 hours to the already-lengthy proceedings.
After the meeting, I was approached by a good dozen participants who were all sympathetic and urged me to continue the fight, knowing that the entire proceedings had been unfairly stacked against us. I wish they had all stepped up and told the entire room instead of just me in private. This at least is encouraging. The seeds have been planted.
The most ironic part of this entire process is the anti-bullying stance these school authorities spout off on a regular basis. Don’t they realize their entire system is fundamentally built and supported by the practice of bullying others? You give us your lunch money or we’ll take your house. If you don’t like it run for office yourself ( join the ranks of bullies). Or Move to another playground (and take your chances with another gang).
Why am I paying for this crap! • 4 New warrant articles. School officials concerned • Problems with the education system? You should totally run for school board. /Vomit • @IanGoogling • BallGate, autotune, and you’ll love my nuts • Patriarchy wins!! At least on Survivor • The Penguin circa 96 • Jay, Darryl, and Shaunna join • Show notes at: BlackSheepRising.org