Oops, did they forget something in their haste?!!!!
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
LETTER ON REGION 1 CONFLICT WAS FULL OF MISINFORMATION
The magnitude of the misinformation, or even disinformation, of John Mauer’s May 31 letter regarding the request of the Region 1 Board of Education to the superintendent, assistant superintendent and business manager to consider reopening contract negotiations, requires immediate correction.
Mr. Mauer claimed the Region 1 board didn’t have the authority to take such action because the All Boards Committee had that authority.
The All Boards Committee is a committee of the chairmen of the local boards of education established by the Region 1 Board of Education. To state that a committee of the Region 1 board has such authority is utter nonsense.
While the committee might have been given certain tasks to carry out through a series of policies, it has absolutely no legal authority or power to act, only to recommend. The statutes reserve action for the Board of Education.
In fact, there is no provision for the Board of Education delegating its statutory requirements to a committee. No one should be under the mistaken impression that what Mr. Mauer has stated regarding the authority of the All Boards Committee vs. the authority of the Region 1 Board of Education is accurate. It’s not.
Mr. Mauer also mentions the lawsuit filed against Superintendent Patricia Chamberlain and insists any “responsible board should stand behind her (the superintendent) while the legal process plays out;” and that because the board “did not do so demonstrates a complete lack of integrity.” He then proceeded to claim the “board failed its test of moral character.”
I am no fan of most of the actions of the majority of this Board of Education, but Mr. Mauer’s assessment is not only unreasonable, but also dangerous.
I can’t imagine the board’s attorney wouldn’t recommend complete neutrality and non-involvement from the board as this suit works it way through the judicial system. To do what Mr. Mauer suggests, it seems to me, would cause the plaintiff to consider including the board as a defendant in the action, putting it in an untenable and likely costly position.
Further, it is the actions of all members of the Board of Education that determine its reputation, so it would only seem reasonable that Mr. Mauer should call for the resignations of all members rather than targeting just one.
Lastly, Mr. Mauer seems to delight in slamming board member Gale C. Toensing at every turn, but he really should check the minutes of the meeting because it wasn’t Mrs. Toensing who made the motion to ask the administrators to consider reopening their contracts; it was Marilyn Yerks. That is not to say it should make a bit of difference who made this very reasonable motion.
Patricia Allyn Mechare
Dear Editor of the Republican American, Tuesday, June 4, 2013
This is in response to John Mauer’s recent letter to you regarding” Region One.” Mr. Mauer in his screed clearly demonstrates his ignorance of the facts surrounding Superintendent Patricia Chamberlain’s incompetence and abuse of power. Many citizens in the community including myself with solid credentials have made it clear that they can no longer allow the education of our students being jeopardized by an administration fraught with controversy.
In this questionable environment, why is Superintendent Chamberlain being rewarded with the three-year contract plus 2% pay increase each year? What does John Mauer know about how Superintendent Chamberlain runs the Region One? What does All Board Chair (ABC) committee know about how the Superintendent manages the personnel of schools/offices other than the one-sided report they receive directly from the Superintendent?
As former Region One Assistant Business Manager, who handled the funds accounting, investments, employee payroll and benefits for over nineteen years, I found this Superintendent completely lacking the skills and knowledge in business administration that her predecessors had. Furthermore, I often found her manipulating or bypassing proper procedures that did not serve her personal interest. Try to imagine this Superintendent negotiating eleven different union contracts. She didn’t have a clue. That’s why the school attorney had to spend so many hours during the contracts negotiating seasons when I was employed.
Also, I would like to point out to Mr. Mauer that the governing body of ”Region One” is the Region One Board of Education not ABC committee. As he himself mentioned, ABC is a committee not a Board of Education and therefore, a committee cannot be the governing body of a public school system. “Region One”, consists of three components, Housatonic Valley Regional High School; the Special Education Division of the six member town elementary schools plus the High School; and the Administration. The cost of the Administration is included in the Region One budget and therefore, Region One Board of Education is the employer who pays the Administrators and has the authority to negotiate their contracts, not ABC Committee.
Regarding Lucille Paige’s lawsuit against Superintendent Patricia Chamberlain, I believe that the Board should remain impartial and let the legal justice system play out its course. Remember in this case both the defendant and plaintiff are the employees of Region One. It is premature for anyone to take the side at this point and say that the Region One Board of Education should” firmly defend the Superintendent,” as if Lucille Paige’s allegations are groundless. Nobody knows the truth yet! Meantime, Mr. Mauer’s concerns should be our tax paying community who are footing excessive legal bills defending this misled Administration.
Signed by Choo K. Singer
Sharon Resident/Region One Assistant Business Manager, Sept. 1991-Nov. 2010
Region 1 parents worried
School budget has yet to be passed
BY LYNN MELLIS WORTHINGTON
Two Kent parents told the local Board of Education last week that they were concerned about the Region 1 district budget, which has been rejected in two referendums, and about the quality of the six-town district’s regional high school.
A hearing on the proposed $14.7 million Region 1 budget for 2013-2014 will be held at 7:30 p.m. today at Room 133 of Housatonic Valley Regional High School in Falls Village.
Kent voters have sent mixed signals on the Region 1 budget. In the May 7 referendum, Kent voted 59-43 in favor; on May 30 it voted 67-45 against. The third budget vote will be June 25.
Parent Athenaid Dallet told the Kent school board Thursday that parents are “voting with their feet” and making choices not to send their children to the regional high school. Without naming names, she said she knew families of graduating eighth-graders who plan to move to other towns, attempt home schooling or send their children to private school.
Of the 22 graduating eighth-graders this year, only 12 plan to attend Housatonic in the fall, Principal Matthew Harnett said. The high school has 413 students this year.
Dallet said two of the 22 could attend one of the town’s three private schools — Kent, Marvelwood and South Kent — tuition-free because their parents work there. She said two students were accepted at private schools, but the families can’t afford it and are “sending them to Housy with heavy hearts.”
She asked the Kent board to look into the declining enrollment. In the past, board members have concluded that the low enrollment rate at the regional high school has to do with the number of students whose parents work at private schools. The high school has tried to counter this decline by inviting seventh- graders and their parents to the annual open house. The principal has also made several visits to the local elementary school to meet with parents.
Dallet voted against the regional budget both times. She would like to see both the superintendent and assistant superintendent dismissed. She also objected to cutting summer work for the librarian and the plan to cut 4.4 teachers, saying that it adds to the poor perception of the high school.
Board Chairman Paul Cortese said 45 board of education members from the various towns in the region evaluated Superintendent Patricia Chamberlain, who received favorable comments this year.
Parent Fran Besmer told the local board Thursday that six of her children have graduated from Housatonic Valley, where she said there is “considerable discontent.”
“The deficiencies are glaring,” said Besmer, who is a former representative to the Region 1 Board of Education. “There is a huge disconnect in the central office between the student experience and the product that is being delivered.”