The public comes, voices opinions, to no effect…… 2

No, thanks for coming, thanks for your input, but there are countless other sources of information, letters and emails telling the board other things. So the budget will go to referendum as penned by the Region One Board, the Region One Administration, with endorsements for raises from the ABC, along with teachers cuts and additional administrative hires from the board….a recipe for rejection. The Region One Budget hearing will be posted here and on the CATV 6 YouTube page later today or this evening…please watch it, and pass it along when it is posted.


  1. Who ARE these “countless others” that Dear Leader referred to who are telling him “other things”? Why didn’t they show up at the hearing to say so? I think they are figments of Dear Leader’s imagination, at best, or made up, at worst. Not a single person supported cutting the teachers, not one. And congratulations to the superintendent for speaking out in support of her own raise and contract extension — because no one else did, not even her ABC Committee buddies who were in the audience, the ABC chairwoman and the Cornwall board chair WHO MADE THE RECOMMENDATIONS for the administrators’ contract extensions and raises. Another truly amazing exercise in faux democracy, Region 1 style. It’s deja vu all over again, a repeat of last year’s arrogance. I’m voting against the budget and I encourage everyone else to vote against it too. — Gale Courey Toensing

  2. I would encourage everyone to view the March 20th Region 1 Board of Education meeting understanding that previous to this meeting the Board had at least informally accepted the proposed spending plan of early February which had not included staff reduction for school year 2013-2014. In fact, there was never a discussion regarding staff reduction. It is apparent from the superintendent’s “speech” at the beginning of that meeting that she initiated staff reduction and directed Matt Harnett to gather the numbers. Harnett’s comments, along with his demeanor and body language clearly indicate that he was ordered to make these cuts; in fact he said he was given the direction to gather the numbers. Despite that he asked the Board to look beyond the numbers and consider the impact to the students. Within days his comments regarding these cuts became clinical and devoid of the previous passion he had expressed for the courses of study and how these cuts would diminish the comprehensiveness of the high school. It was as if this 180 degree turn in position was one that was forced on him. If he truly believed what he stated at the meeting of March 20th it is more than a little disappointing that he was unable to stand his ground. At the hearing he did not make it clear to the students or others who questioned the rationale of this move that in determining the number of sections of classes that the minimum number for a section had been increased significantly over what had been determined as appropriate for these very same classes this school year. Make no mistake, the Board of Education did not do its due diligence in this matter. There is no way that a decision of this magnitude should have been made at the same meeting at which the information was presented. As a taxpayer in this region I expect some leadership and part of that leadership lies with the chairman who should encourage the members of the Board to consider the information presented, determine if it is valid, in the best interest of the students and balance it’s educational and fiscal responsibilities. After that is done, then come together again, seriously discuss the issue and come to a reasoned decision. That was not done. Further, the same standard should have applied to the hearing. With an amazing attendance of over a 100 people expressing their concerns, the Board should have called the meeting after the hearing to order and then adjourned it to a later date. That way the Board could, at the very least, given the impression that they actually cared about the concerns raised by the taxpaying public. Instead they confirmed that the majority of the members had no intention of considering any type of alternative and that the hearing was only an exercise required by the law. It should not be forgotten that this issue serves as a perfect diversion from another ill-advised decision made by the majority of the Board of Education regarding the renewal of central office administrative contracts. That must be a topic of discussion. Taxpayers need to be aware that these agreements are weighed heavily in favor of the administrators while the taxpayers and the students are truly getting the short end of the stick. Do yourself a favor and become informed! And by the way, if any member of the Board of Education thinks that the students at the high school don’t really know what’s going on here, they better think again!

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