Causes are won not on a single battle, but many battles. The right to vote is the most powerful tool we have.
We began this journey three years ago, losing the first battle by 40 votes. The next year, more people heard our story, and we won the first vote, losing the second vote. Well, this year, the trickle from the dam has become a torrent. Three budget votes, three defeats .
VOTE 3 623 NO 452 YES 5 towns NO 1 town YES
VOTE 2 486 NO 363 YES 5 towns NO 1 town TIED
VOTE 1 587 NO 351 YES 6 towns NO 0 towns YES
1,696 NO 1,166 YES
As a final insult to taxpayers in Region One the voters who vote no, and who show up at Region One budget hearings were called the following..
Jonathan Moore board Chair: ” the angry few”…
John Mauer former Region One Chair: ” group of political public, This activity appears on the verge of riot”…..
We are NOT the angry few, we are not on the verge of riot. We are taxpayers that are fed up with a clear lack of leadership in the board, and the administration.
If ever there was needed proof of why this budget MUST be defeated again, and again, and again until the situation with the administrative contracts is worked out, this is the straw that broke the camels back.
For voters “on the fence”, or deciding why vote NO please ponder these recent events:
1) Despite being informed by taxpayers from the very first budget hearing that the administrative salaries are a problem, the former board chair, Phil Hart, the current board chair Jonathan Moore continued to ignore taxpayers requests. They were so brazen they even scheduled a special meeting of the board to be held after the first vote because they knew they were sending a budget that would be defeated.
2) Now three votes later, and a new board chair later, they still refuse to listen to the public’s concern, “It’s not the total dollars, it’s the administrative contracts”.
3) The former board chair, Phil Hart lied on audio tape about knowledge of the suit against the Superintendent, he since resigned the chair, but still serves on the board.
4) Lucille Paige, Executive Secretary to Patricia Chamberlain, Superintendent, files a lawsuit against the Superintendent claiming retaliation against her testimony during the Pingpank Report. (Lucille had an unblemished record for over twenty years until that point).
5) Please watch the unedited video of the last board meeting on the CATV 6 YouTube page to see a board with no ideas, no leadership, and no intention of doing anything more than resubmitting the EXACT same budget that was just crushed at the polls.
6) And now this lawsuit, a final insult to taxpayers in Region One on the eve of the fourth attempt to pass a Region One budget, Diane Goncalves, Assistant Superintendent lawsuit against Falls Village Region One representative Gale Toensing.
7) I don’t think the $5,000 deductible will cover the two law suits. And what about the hourly charges for two lawsuits?
If ever there was a reason for why this budget MUST be defeated again, and again, and again until the situation with the lack of direction of the board, and the administrative contracts is worked out, this is the straw that broke the camels back.
Three votes, three rejections, two lawsuits, a board isolated from the taxpayers it serves, a committee of local board chairmen also seemingly isolated and removed from the public as the regional board, a shrinking student population, static academic achievement, a report (Pingpank) authorized by the board who spent over $9,000.00 on and then ignored it’s findings. Also add a new contract for administrators calling for around ONE MILLION DOLLARS over the next three years.
This administration, and the administrations majority block on the board need to be replaced. Voting no on the budget will allow the district to continue to operate on the same budget as last year, and keep the new administration and board aware that the times have changed.
Taxpayers want their voices heard in the business of running Region One. Already repercussions have been heard locally: Laura Freund, The North Canaan Representative lost her Democratic nomination to continue on the board, Phil Hart is leaving the Cornwall Board Of Education at the end of his term, a new representative is on the way from Salisbury.
Just consider what has happened during the budget process:
300 students sign a petition-the board ignores it.
Before the very first budget vote the board set up a special meeting for after the vote because they knew it would be voted down..imaging sending a budget knowing it would be voted down!
Three different budget forums-the board ignores all the input from the public.
The Housatonic Principal “stretches the truth” about the amount of textbooks that will go on the iPad Mini.
The Chairman of the board (Phil Hart) lies about his knowledge (when he found out) of the lawsuit.
When Phil Hart resigned as Chairman he illegally appointed a new chairman, the board then hurriedly called a special meeting to do it legally.
Then they forgot elect a Vice Chair!
Enough already! For the students, for the teachers, for the health of the region
Vote NO on the Region One Budget again.