Two wolves and a sheep voting on lunch

Government_vs_Mafia

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).

Stay tuned for video of the proceedings.

Here is the Keene Sentinels take:

The majority of people who attended Keene School District’s deliberative session Saturday morning overwhelmingly rejected a small minority’s attempt to slash education funding via the group’s petition articles.

The other articles about the operating budget, employee contracts, the appropriation of surplus money into the school buildings maintenance fund, the creation of a fund for special education and an article that would permit the school board to lease or purchase land adjacent to district property all remained intact with no amendments.

About 100 people out of the 16,276 registered voters in Keene attended the four-hour meeting in the high school auditorium.

The proposed 2015-16 budget is $64,529,015, a $652,964 increase from the current year. The default budget is $63,618,688 and will kick in if voters shoot down the board’s proposal.

The budget, along with employee contracts would add more than $152 to the taxes for a home valued at $200,000.

In addition to the operating budget, the district negotiated three-year contracts with the Keene Paraprofessional Group and Keene Administrators, Principals and Supervisors, plus a four-year contract with the Keene Association of Tutors.

The cost of the contracts is an additional $184,444 for 2015-16; they are presented as separate warrant articles.

The proposed budget would also implement the first step of a two-year process to restructure the elementary schools, ultimately leading to the closure of Jonathan Daniels School.

Contentious discussion centered on the four petition articles, but, ultimately, each was amended and effectively nullified.

The first petition article proposes the district implement a tax cap that would not allow the board to propose a budget that increases the amount to be raised by local taxes by more than 0.5 percent of the previous budget.

The article drew negative criticism from school board members and the public.

George Downing referred to the article as “irresponsible” because it gives no guidance about where the money reductions would come from in the budget and he doesn’t think it’s a good idea to limit the budget in this manner.

School board member Carl A. Panza said it would be very difficult to adhere to the 0.5 percent increase.

Adding the costs of the contractual agreements would already account for more than a 0.5 percent increase from the previous budget, according to Panza.

“I think that 0.5 percent (tax cap) is outrageous and ridiculous,” he said.

Theodore H. Parent, a former school board member, proposed amending the article from 0.5 percent to 10 percent.

Ian Freeman, one of the sponsors of the article, said he wished that the public would get the chance to vote on the article as originally worded.

Thomas Driscoll agreed saying it is “selfish” and “pushy” to amend the article to neutralize it.

“I’d like to see all of these articles appear as they are,” he said.

Joseph Mirzoeff thought that the idea was at least worth exploring with the resolution being somewhere between a 0.5 percent and 10 percent cap.

He said despite decreasing enrollment, costs for education still increase.

“The system that you’re using is not sustainable,” Mirzoeff said.

Implementing a tax cap is unnecessary, vice chairwoman Susan D. Hay said.

She said the school board doesn’t approach the budget looking to raise it and if the public doesn’t like the job the board does, they should express themselves at the polls during elections.

“Putting a cap on it (the budget) says you don’t want us to do our job anymore,” Hay said.

Parent’s amendment passed with 80 people in favor of raising the proposed tax cap to 10 percent and 19 against the alteration.

After the vote, James Cleaveland said a tax cap should be reconsidered because people plan their lives around taxes and the cost of living. In response, he proposed amending the article again from 10 percent to 5 percent.

Hay reiterated that a tax cap is not needed.

“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,” she said.

Cleaveland’s motion failed 80-14.

In response, Freeman tried to make another amendment to change the tax cap to negative 0.5 percent. The moderator, Joe Hoppock, ruled his motion out of order citing the previous two votes taken showing overwhelming support for the amendment to 10 percent.

Freeman then challenged Hoppock’s ruling to not allow his amendment. Ultimately, Hoppock was not overruled and Freeman’s challenge failed 84-8.

The second petition article proposes cutting the average cost per pupil by $500 for the next five years or until the cost per pupil reaches the state average. If passed, this article would take effect for the 2015-16 budget; also, it proposes the surplus be returned to the district.

Parent moved to amend this article, too. His amendment would have the school board form a three-person committee to investigate the consequences of taking actions to reduce the cost per pupil by $500 for the next five years to see if this is something that should be done.

“This would assure no matter what the voters do at the polls, it would have no effect this year,” he said.

Parent added that the original article is a bad concept, but if it is entertained at all then a committee should be formed first.

Downing then asked what would happen if the proposed operating budget was passed by the voters and then this article was passed as well.

Keene School District’s legal counsel John D. Wrigley said the budget would not be affected if both articles passed.

“I am certain the Department of Revenue Administration would say article one (the operating budget) would take precedent,” he said.

Resident Gerald Kuhn said he works in a school district with an article like this in place and urged caution.

“It’s amazing what kind of damage this kind of article can do in a school building,” he said.

Kuhn later said, “It’s like trying to weed your garden with a hand grenade.”

Ultimately, Parent’s motion passed 75-16.

The third petition article proposes making a 5-percent cut to the executive administration portion of the operating budget that would take effect for 2015-16 and also return the surplus to the district.

Parent made a similar motion for this article. He proposed changing the wording so that a school board committee would be made to explore the consequences of such a cut.

Again, his amendment passed with a super majority, with 72 in favor of the change and 19 opposed.

The last petition article proposes the district should “be prohibited from electioneering, which includes, but is not limited to: spending budget money to (directly or indirectly) educate, advertise and/or influence the voting results on questions, warrant articles, ballot initiatives and/or candidates.”

Parent again led the amendment of the article to instead say the district should align with state statute regarding electioneering as opposed to being prohibited from electioneering.

“This is the most absurd petition article I’ve seen in a long time,” he said.

Conan Saladay, a supporter of the amendment, said he thinks it’s against the law for the school board to do what it does when it advertises elections and said it’s unfair that the board gets to use money out of its budget to do so when he would have to spend his own money to advertise.

“It’s one thing to say please come out and vote on article one. It’s another thing to say vote yes on article one.”

Hay said the school board has a legal obligation to say and promote what the board does and does not support.

Parent’s motion to amend later passed 72-11.

The other articles about the operating budget, employee contracts, the appropriation of surplus money into the school buildings maintenance fund, the creation of a fund for special education and an article that would permit the school board to lease or purchase land adjacent to district property all remained intact with no amendments.

About 100 people out of the 16,276 registered voters in Keene attended the four-hour meeting in the high school auditorium.

The proposed 2015-16 budget is $64,529,015, a $652,964 increase from the current year. The default budget is $63,618,688 and will kick in if voters shoot down the board’s proposal.

The budget, along with employee contracts would add more than $152 to the taxes for a home valued at $200,000.

In addition to the operating budget, the district negotiated three-year contracts with the Keene Paraprofessional Group and Keene Administrators, Principals and Supervisors, plus a four-year contract with the Keene Association of Tutors.

The cost of the contracts is an additional $184,444 for 2015-16; they are presented as separate warrant articles.

The proposed budget would also implement the first step of a two-year process to restructure the elementary schools, ultimately leading to the closure of Jonathan Daniels School.

Residents will vote on the budget and the other warrant articles March 10 at the polls.

by Matt Nanci, Sentinel Staff

Now you can subscribe to Free Keene via email!

Don't miss a single post!


14 Comments

  1. 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 doubt it. Like everything else that comes out of your mouth, it’s typically either highly embellished or an outright lie.

    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.

    We’re not worried because it will never happen; you’ve been stating this for awhile now. Besides, your flop-house can’t hold 60 people.

    Have you not figured out that no one wants you and the rest of your groupies in Keene, Bernard? We will do whatever we can to neutralize your nonsense. Maybe if you and your groupies weren’t such a bunch of annoying dickheads people would be more receptive to some of your ideas.

    You reap what you sow, moron.

  2. To reduce the budget saves money. To study reducing the budget costs money.. I would vote for reducing, but not studying.

    Thank you for standing up!! I love you guys!

  3. Why is the school board so afraid of democracy?? Let the people vote.

  4. Accusing another of being deceitful without providing evidence isn’t very compelling, Rob.

    Were your accusations hearsay, at least you would have evidence marginally above that of nothing. And while citing gossip as evidence is still not proof, at least it would have exposed a modicum of effort on your part. But you were too lazy to even provide that, Rob. All you contributed was conjecture. And conjecture stemming from bias is less than nothing.

    Once again Rob, you’ve exposed yourself as a fool. Worse, a fool who encases himself in false bravado. Such fools can never be taken seriously. Maybe you should try a different strategy? I doubt that anyone who reads this blog will ever be impressed with your poorly thought out arguments. They rely all too much on guesswork bedecked with snarky remarks and whiskey-fueled courage.

    However Rob, you have contended that you will do everything you can to stop Ian’s “nonsense”. While this is a start, you haven’t as yet presented yourself as being much of a self-starter. Don’t you think it’s high time for you to put some skin in the game? Let me help you.

    Borrowing from Ian’s strategies, why don’t you attend one of these school board meetings yourself? You can even bring a video camera. If you don’t have one, borrow one from a family member, or even a friend. Or just go out an buy one. I’m sure Amazon will give you a fine deal.

    Once you have a camera Rob, attend a meeting! Don’t forget that school board meetings can be long and boring so you may want to bring some coffee. But don’t drink too much! Shaky camera handing will not impress your viewers! Most importantly though, you need to record the entire process for everyone to see. This means that closeups and interviews with the meeting’s attendees are a must. Interviews with the board members would be even better. I’m sure they would be glad to participate. You’re a loyal taxpayer after all! But remember, your goal is to provide demonstrable evidence to everyone watching that your accusations have merit. Stick to those objectives!

    I really think you should do this Rob. It’ll be difficult, but the rewards will be worth it. I have faith in you.

  5. I’d like you to try something for me, Drac:

    1. Grab ahold of both of your ears;

    2. Pull down as hard as you can.

    Hopefully by doing so you will successfully remove your cranium from your anus.

    I really think you should do this, Drac. It will be difficult, but the rewards will be worth it. I have faith in you.

  6. The people did vote; they voted for the school committee members to represent their interests. Just because dipshits like Bernard and his ilk are all butthurt because their ideas are rejected doesn’t make it any less democratic.

  7. Indeed? Yet more childish remarks? Is that the gratitude I can expect from simply trying to help you, Rob? How disappointing. Well at least you’ve managed to furnish yet another lewd description to show your readers just how refined and sophisticated a man you truly are.

    Though I probably shouldn’t praise you for such a dull effort on your part, I suspect you’ve received little other encouragement in your own life. So cheers for a job well done!

    Still Rob, I’m a little confused about some of the details in your instructions. From what scant understanding I have of the science of human contortion I would think that the positioning you described would require the person to push rather than pull. Was that an error on your part? If it wasn’t, then maybe you could try to experiment with this. Just for my benefit? Perhaps you could even record it once you get that video camera I mentioned. Then you could demonstrate to others how it’s done! Oh, and please post this on YouTube so that others can learn from your results!

    Thanks Rob! And good luck! I’ll eagerly await the outcome of your experiments! And don’t forget that I believe in you!

  8. What about the people who didn’t vote for the school committee members, Rob? Are they being represented? In what way are my interests being represented if the board member I voted for wasn’t elected?

    Democracy as you’re portraying it sounds more like a competition for regency rather than authentic representation. Restated, if democracy deliberately excludes its electors’ interests as whole by only granting favor to the majority voters, than how is everyone being represented? Doesn’t this mean only the majority gets representation?

    I await your reply, Rob. I’m certain that it will be your usual brief and petty discourse replete with the usual scatological innuendos and/or ad hominems. But I’m prepared to slog through it anyway. Maybe you’ll surprise me by trying something different? Here’s hoping!

  9. I’ll bet you really would like to take a good look at his ass, wouldn’t you? I’ll have to say this for you freetards: you are consistent.

  10. What about them? Get a fucking clue and learn about how our system of government works, dipshit.

  11. Did you just make a gay joke Sammy? That’s unusual! A retaliation against my previous remarks by accusing me of reveling in deviant sexual proclivities! You’re so inventive! Wait! Let me try one!

    OK Sammy! Here goes! Did your husband help you write this?

    Astounding! This is easy! No thought went into that whatsoever! Now I’m just like you Sammy! Thoughtless!

  12. Bravo Sammy! Exactly my point. What about them? You’ve managed to answer the question correctly without understanding the question itself.

    But really I would prefer that Rob provide his own answer. While his rhetoric is no less pedestrian than your own, at least it’s not completely insubstantive. Your posts however, particularly of late, barely even qualify as comedy relief. Intelligent deliberation should never rely exclusively upon profanity or clever portmanteaus. Might I suggest a short furlough so that you can develop some better material? Perhaps you could take a spinning class? Or maybe Thai-Bo? A little exercise might help to relax you and hopefully will allow more blood to flow into your brain.

  13. the only way to way this battle is take budget and divide by number of students – publicizing that per student cost

  14. There is this concept of “Conflict of Interest”. How many people at the school board meeting were employed by the school board?

    Its not that I don’t understand how the system works. It is the nature of the corruption to not allow the population to vote on whether they want to be stolen from.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Keene Voters Enslave Their Neighbors | DerrickJ.me - […] The Free Staters are upsetting local bureaucrats again. This time they tried to return freedom to the people by…
  2. Keene Voters Enslave Their Neighbors | Free Keene - […] The Free Staters are upsetting local bureaucrats again. This time they tried to return freedom to the people by…

Care to comment?