Please read this post from Alexis Curtis Facebook…it says it all
Here is my email back to the BOE chairman after he tried to tell me that me asking to meet with him was illegal and therefore refusing to meet with me. So here is my reply. Would have come out sounding much better if I could have said it in person, but oh well:
Thank you for the information. Is there somewhere online perhaps where the by laws are which I can see just for future reference? I also was not really suggesting meeting with the board informally, but with meeting with another human being over coffee just like I might do if I met someone in a grocery store and offered to meet over coffee. I am having a meeting with Marilyn and totally understand what you are saying but I have to think that there is some way to ask questions that are not allowed to be asked at special meetings. For instance, if I wanted to bring up with the board the region’s bullying policy (which I do), how would I do so? I believe there has to be some way to speak to not only one person who has only one vote about something very substantial otherwise it is a very flawed system and is certainly not the way other BOE are run. If you would please apprise me as to how I would go about doing this, I would gratefully appreciate that.
I do wish you would understand that I am in no way, nor have I ever been, trying to say that the BOE job is easy, I am just frustrated because it is becoming increasingly apparent that things are being done to make sure that what the public says doesn’t matter. I feel it would be incredibly important to have a way for community members to speak freely with the board, not pertaining to just the budget, so that it doesn’t become a situation where I can only speak to my town representative, but she only has one vote, while other board members do not take the time to listen to their employers and speak their own minds. This to me seems like a very unproductive way to do things and it is outrageous that it seems that there are only two board members who are really listening and realizing that it is not at all about the number but instead is about the ethics behind everything. This entire situation is going to just continue to be awful for everyone involved as the budget will get voted down again. The board is clearly frustrated, the public is frustrated and it is an all around bad situation. When those votes come in each time, while board members and administrators are calling the voters dumb and saying that we don’t know what we are doing, the voters are ten times more frustrated that their voices are not being heard. All we are ever taught in school is that you must speak your mind if you want change to happen, and no, it doesn’t always work, but in a small matter like a budget, it should not be that the people who are making choices that will change the lives of all past, current and future students as well as the staff members and teachers, are not listening and understanding what is best. If the board members keep saying that the voters don’t know what we are talking about, then please, tell us, because we aren’t getting any answers and that is just wrong. Knowing that in just one year my little cousins will be coming to HVRHS one year after the other, and knowing the hostile environment in the high school, in the central office, on the board and between the community and the board, makes me feel as though they should not go to HVRHS. I wish that the board, the next special meeting, would actually listen to what people are saying, not come into the meeting already knowing what they are going to do, or having certain board members already have met with other board members in an informal meeting, but to come with open minds and LISTEN and after listening, then decide, for yourselves, not for anyone else, but decide what you think is actually best for the students and everyone else involved.
I would also just like to mention to the board that at HVRHS.org, there is a calendar with the list of events during the school year, and that as board members who again, make decisions that change the students lives, it, to me, is your responsibility to be at school events. I understand having a conflict here or there, but the fact that I came from Boston several times throughout the school year to support the students, and at most events I saw not one single board member. That is a disgrace. At the 2013 Senior Awards Ceremony, did you know that the largest amount of scholarships was given out to “your” seniors? Over $300,000 was given out, and I did not see a single board member at that assembly.
Once last unrelated question. On the board is there someone who is in charge of Parliamentary Procedure? I know there is a person in charge of the finances and someone goes to takes notes, like a secretary does, but is there someone to make sure that the Parliamentary procedure is correct? My FFA officer, Robert’s Rules of Order mind thinking.
Thank you again for your consideration and I am sure that we will all meet again in the library in a month or so.
Very nice, Alexis. I wonder if Mr. Moore tells everyone he meets he cannot discuss Region 1 business with them? You raise valid points that need to be discussed, unfortunately, you chose the wrong forum. Speaking directly with your town rep is important. Now, if others with your beliefs speak to their reps, that should be discussed by the board. There have been quotes from Board members that the public “has the wrong information,” “do not know the issues,” “misquoted,” “press got it wrong,” etc. If they believed that, nothing has been done by the Board to correct the issue. However, some of the blame falls to us, the public. Many people do not know the “budget process.” Input from the public concerning the budget actually begins early in the school year, Budget Workshops. Issues dealing with school policy, procedures, lack of Board members participating in school activities, etc are discussed during regular meetings. It is too late once a budget has gone through the process and been accepted by the Board, any board, any town, to be sent for a vote. At this stage, the only “input” of the people that will be recognized is defeating the budget. So, it is time to vote “NO” again.
To the defense of the Board, the purpose of the meeting, was to have the Board discuss changes to the budget. To that end, no questions can be received from the public. STATEMENTS about the budget, how to amend it, from the public are accepted, and can be considered by the Board. As we saw, decision making is not a forte of this group. The public needs to get involved earlier in the process. Maybe next year will be different.
While I think Paul makes some good points here as does Alexis, the public should know that the Board can structure its meeting/s any way it wants at any time whether that be before the budget, (which is actually a proposed spending plan until it is accepted by the referendum), is accepted by the Board for public vote or after its defeat, so long as it is defined in the posted agenda. And even then there is leeway in what can be discussed vs action taken by the Board. Budget workshops, at least those that I’ve attended or watched on CATV do not welcome public comment, although that does not stop the public from contacting his/her representative about concerns. No one should be fooled by the way the meeting on Wednesday was structured. Moore, Hart and Freund, in particular, but more strikingly Chamberlain and Goncalves don’t want the public to speak to the depths of the problems that exist in the RSSC office and at the high school in particular or know how they require ALL the administrators to march to their tune. Further, they don’t want anyone whether staff or the public to ask intelligent questions about staffing, technology, how the Pinkpank Report has been addressed or any number of other things because they’ll be “found out”. They have done a really good job of convincing almost all local Board members and those on the Region #1 Board that the rest of us have it wrong. It’s becoming more and more clear to the general public, finally, that our Board members do their bidding instead of the other way around. It’s disgraceful! And guess what most of us have it right!
I will just add that I was corrected and apparently Mr.Moore did attend the awards ceremony, so I do apologize for that misinformation but for that section I meant for it as a message to the entire board since HVRHS holds over one hundred events each year and each board member only really goes to one or two and I know that is disheartening for the students. I am in no way implying that their job is not hard, because it is. I am simply stating the fact that the public has a lot of questions that the board simply refuses to answer. I do understand that they can’t answer them at a special meetings, but then it is confusing when you can get those answers since not all board members are being let in on what is going on, so they can’t answer all questions. I was simply requesting (not forcing anyone) to meet with him, not formally, but i respect any decision made by anyone not to meet with me. I just put my concerns and questions out there, just as many have done on this website, in the newspaper, and on other forums. I also did not post this on this website despite being accused of this. I have spoken to my representative and anyone else can deny speaking to me.