Hmmmm, food for thought….a breaking news story out of the Region One Board Special Meeting December 5 from Jonathan Moore???!!!! Reply

Jonathan Moore of the Region One Board of Education just mentioned one of the considerations in the possible hiring of a new Assistant Superintendent was

that “it might be time we tackle an issue that is literally right around the corner and that is our current superintendents retirement” …


The Hidden Agenda Reply

Okay folks, here is the bottom line:

Coupled with the change in the way Region One pays the superintendent from a seven way weighted split, to a seven way unfair even split (taxpayers is Sharon, Cornwall and Falls Village will be paying MORE per student in Region One than the other towns), is also a proposal to formulate a joint employment agreement that spells out who has the responsibility for dealing with the hiring and evaluation of the superintendent. Currently the Region One Board has the final vote on those issues (with, by the way input from the ABC). There folks…you have it, plain and simple. It’s an Illegal power grab. This change of responsibility on who is the superintendents boss is plain and simple…IT’S A GOVERNANCE CHANGE. And in our opinion, and other legal opinions, this can not be done by the ABC  or Region One Board, as the  governance of Region One has been set by STATE STATUTE. To turn this responsibility of the weighted vote From The Region One BOE to the ABC Committee, is unfair. Again, that weighted vote formula was put in place with the formation of The Region One School District 1939 by the Connecticut Legislature, and is part of Connecticut’s General Statues. Now Attorney Brochu, the superintendent, and ABC want only a show of hands from ABC and Region One Board to change the entire face of governance in Region One. The ABC may legally be able to change the way the superintendent is paid to an even split (I say maybe) , but to change who is the superintendents immediate supervisor can (I believe) only be changed by changing the state statute…and that can only be done by the legislature. Is there no one else in Region One who is offended by this? Is there no State Representative or State Senator who can interpret Conn. General Statutes? Or is the opinion of Attorney Brochu the beginning and the end of this power play? Our ABC and Region One board should be focusing on more important matters: Our students, the shrinking student population, the costs of simply running a high school designed to hold 600 or more students with only 300-400 students (and falling), negotiating new contracts with teachers and non certified employees, the need to revamp Region One not to have an Assistant to the superintendent, and the need to be looking far enough ahead to realize the need to hire a NEW Superintendent after this current contract is over.

Priorities folks, priorities.


The Lakeville Journal Hits It Out Of The Park With This Weeks Editorial….. 1

For full editorial

One more piece of an extended denouement

It’s unfortunate it had to come to this.

The dysfunction that overtook the relationship of the Region One Board of Education and its administration in the run-up to the approval of last year’s Region One budget (only after seven tries) was invasive and destructive. It permeated the atmosphere of the high school and the region, as well as damaging the longstanding, generally positive relationship Region One voters had with their high school, pupil services and central office.

The budgetary changes made during the seven proposals leading to the ultimate approval of the 2013-2014 Region One budget included increases in the legal expense line. This was because even at that time, it seemed the leaders of our regional school district weren’t able to solve their differences without resorting to court cases. It is therefore a relief that a case stemming from that time period has finally come to a conclusion. Yet some regret cannot be avoided, as well, acknowledging that the money and energy consumed by these court cases have sapped resources that could have been better spent.

The case was Goncalves v. Toensing, which was dropped on Oct. 31 (see stories by reporter Patrick Sullivan or in the print Lakeville Journals of Nov. 6  and Nov. 13.) Former Assistant Superintendent Diane Goncalves was suing for defamation the former Region One board member Gale Toensing, who had been the elected Falls Village representative. The settlement included Goncalves leaving the district through early retirement as of Oct. 31, while receiving her full year’s salary of $140,976, and health insurance through June 30, 2018, in addition to other benefits.

Superintendent Patricia Chamberlain has said that she will be taking over Goncalves’ duties for the immediate future. This raises the question of whether that may be an overwhelming task, in that previously the responsibilities were attended to by a highly paid full-time employee. But if this is not an untenable situation for the superintendent, it raises another question as to whether the region needs that full-time assistant superintendent position as part of its structure.

All Boards Chairman Region One Subcommittee November 19 Reply

All Boards Chairman Region One Subcommittee November 19, 2014

A report on the ABC meeting from The Republicn-American
full story avaiable at
Five of the six towns that form the Region 1 School District appear to support, or are at least neutral to, changing the way the superintendent of schools is compensated. One town, Falls Village, is adamantly opposed.

The towns currently each pay a portion of the superintendent’s salary based proportionally on student populations. That’s the same method district towns use to handle costs for the operation of Housatonic Valley Regional High School, special education and the central office.

Region 1 Superintendent Patricia Chamberlain has a base annual salary of $151,327, plus an annuity of $9,080 for a total of $160,407.

Under a new joint agreement, the towns would each pay one-seventh of the Chamberlain’s compensation, with the seventh piece of the pie coming from the regional high school’s budget. This benefits towns with larger populations. Falls Village, the smallest town, would see an increase of $15,485; Cornwall, $12,364 and Sharon, $2,574, while Canaan would have a reduction of $13,902, Salisbury, $9,290 and Kent, $7,230.

FALLS VILLAGE RESIDENT LOUIS G. TIMOLAT told the committee it can expect legal action if changes are made that ignore the founding principles of the school district.

Following the meeting, Timolat cited the inequity of changing the formula for the superintendent’s compensation. He noted that Canaan, which has 280 elementary school students, gets 6 percent of educational cost-sharing grants; Falls Village, which has 78 elementary students, gets 1.7 percent.

“We don’t split $700,000 in educational cost-sharing equally across the district,” he said. “Is that because the original legislators were asleep at the switch? No, there was logic to it. But because the distribution is weighted, North Canaan gets several times the amount we do. They have already been compensated for the additional cost (of tuition).”

It has been argued that towns paying a flat payment of one-seventh of the superintendent’s salary is fair because she performs the same work for big schools and small. Timolat disagreed.

“Her assertion that ‘I do the same thing for everyone,’ that the size and scale and complexity of the site has no effect on amount of work she does, cannot be true,” he said. “If it is, then the larger entities are being shortchanged. To double the share Falls Village pays of the superintendent’s salary is an outrage and a fraud.”

He further objected to the change in structure for the district.

“We would be creating a separate bureaucracy to do what we have done for more than 70 years,” he said. “The foolishness of such a thing. In structure, it kind of usurps some of the authority of the regional board.”

He said he believes the district’s attorney, Gary Brochu, misled residents when he said the region is not in compliance with educational law. “That statute says we ‘may’ do this, not that we ‘shall’ do this,” he said. “Even the village idiot would know the difference between ‘may’ and ‘shall.’ It would change the founding governing structure of the district. This is a subject to be addressed by the towns and not be imposed upon the towns.”

Andrea L. Downs of Falls Village, chairman of the Region 1 School Board, had reservations, too.

Unethical? Irresponsible? Meddling? North Canaan Board Of Education Meeting November 13 Reply

gerund or present participle: meddling
  1. interfere in or busy oneself unduly with something that is not one’s concern.
    Question 1: Is it ethical to criticly comment in a public meeting on and then criticize another towns local board of education?
    Question 2: When does a towns Board Of Finance members suggestion that the town attorney look into somthing to see if its legal become a threat for a lawsuit?
    Question 1: NO
    Question 2: It DOESENT
    Again this year a North Canaan Board Of Education member raises concerns and questions over another towns Board Of Education. Very poor manners, very poor conduct for a board memebr, just plain wrong…again.
    Watch the video