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.
Please read this post from Alexis Curtis Facebook…it says it all