At this meeting, the chair did not even know Roberts Rules! “You can not withdraw a motion after it has been made” bellowed the chair…. pandemonium ensued, the book was read, and guess what…….YOU CAN! As Homer Simpson would say…. D’oh!!!!
It’s official! The budget will go to referendum after the Board of Education agreed to send it on its merry way. Questions about annuities, the non-certified employees contracts not being settled, questions about the new three year contracts of last year being torn up and new ones issued one year later be dammed. The Region One Board is full speed ahead with a budget that has questions for all administrators, but apparently, no answers to those questions.
The Tribal Council
We will be there, asking questions and letting our feeling be known…DUMP THE “EXTENDED CONTRACTS” and keep their contracts in place and negotiate entering the last year AS THEIR CONTRACT STIPULATES!!!
From this mornings Republican-American
FALLS VILLAGE — A local radio personality and blogger’s concern about the salary of Region 1 Superintendent Patricia Chamberlain led to her defend the figure at a meeting of the Region 1 Board of Education Monday.
Marshall Miles, a local radio commentator on WHDD FM in Sharon and operator of a blog called regiononereport.com, has been outspoken about the contract raises and extensions that have been approved by the board for the five central office administrators. During the public comment period Monday he raised the issue, explaining he’d done a survey of surrounding area towns and the salaries they paid their top school administrators.“Our superintendent’s salary is top of the scale and comparable to others,” Miles said. “To take a 2 percent raise in these times is unconscionable.” Chamberlain later provided information about other area superintendents’ pay. Most of them have salaries higher than hers. Chamberlain’s salary is $148,360 plus an annuity of $8,902 for a total of $157,262. The board is proposing 2 percent wage increases for her and two others (3 percent for the remaining two), plus a contract extension to 2015.
The proposal calls for Chamberlain to receive next year a base salary of $151,327 plus an annuity of $9,080, for a total of $160,407.
She is also slated to get five additional vacation days and two more personal days.
Chairman Philip Hart asked Chamberlain if she’d like the opportunity to respond to Miles. She said she had called around that day to several other area districts and received salary information for superintendents.
According to Chamberlain, the Winchester system, which is pre-kindergarten through grade six, is small and has one school board. That superintendent’s current salary is $130,000.
Region 6, which has 1,036 students and one board of education, pays $162,000, while Region 7, with 1,007 students in grades seven through 12, pays $149,940. The superintendent in Region 10, which is a K-12 region, and has one board of education, gives a salary of $184,000 and Region 12, with 880 students and one board of education, pays $182,000, she said.
Region 7 does have separate local school boards in its member towns, although they have their own head administrator.
Chamberlain pointed out Region 1 has seven boards of education and seven budgets. Student population from the six towns totals 1,740.
Miles noted that Torrington, which has 5,000 students, is paying its new superintendent $142,000.
He said there is no question that a school superintendent needs to be fairly compensated, “but I don’t want people to think you’re drastically underpaid.”
Wow, I feel honored! During the “public” comment section tonight, the Region One superintendent got up and spoke to rebut comments that I made about pay in the area, the comments were not even addressed to her, they were made to the board! The Region One Chair, Phil Hart allowed it, but, I am not really sure if it was appropriate! The superintendent has her own time to give a report..she is NOT part of “public” comment…she is NOT the “public”, she is the superintendent! Oh well…they just don’t get it…tearing up three-year contracts every year and writing new ones is just plain WRONG. Period.
FCC sides with WHDD in complaint from Region 1 Schools administrator
Monday, April 2, 2012
By REGISTER CITIZEN STAFF
The Federal Communications Commission on March 30 sided with Sharon-based WHDD radio and its co-founder, Marshall Miles, in a complaint filed by Region 1 Schools Assistant Superintendent Diane Goncalves.
“This was an attempt by the Region 1 administration to bully,” Miles said in a phone interview Monday afternoon. “They might be able to get away with it in their own school system, but they’re not going to bully us.”
In the complaint, filed on December 5, 2011, Goncalves contended that on multiple occasions Miles broadcast on-air endorsements of specific candidates running for public office and also criticized specific members of the Region 1 Board of Education. She contended that such action were a violation of the Communications Act of 1934, and specifically Section 399 of that act. That section specifically states, “No non-commercial educational broadcasting station may support or oppose any candidate for public office.”
On January 13, Miles filed opposition to the complaint by Goncalves arguing that the specific section cited in Goncalves complaint addresses endorsements or opposition by the station itself. Miles counter-argued that his on-air endorsements stated at the beginning and at the end that the endorsements were his personal opinion and did not reflect that of the management, underwriters, staff or WHDD. He cited legal precedent to back his argument.
Gonclaves responded to Miles’ opposition with confirmation that he did use a disclaimer of personal opinion to accompany the endorsements, but that they came only at the end. Additionally, she said on the station’s most recent ownership report that the stations officers are Miles and two appointees. She argued that Miles involvement in the station equated to him being a spokesman for the station as an entity.
The FCC letter from Mark L. Berlin, Policy Division of the Media Bureau, clearly sided with Miles on the issue of criticism of school board members. The letter states, “At the outset, Ms. Goncalves’ contention the station criticized various members of the Region 1 Board of Education on the air is not prohibited by any law or policy.”
The letter goes on to cite a 1973 opinion on Section 399, stating, “…we concluded that it would be an unnecessarily broad construction of Section 399 to prevent all personal expression of views on public issues by employees of a noncommercial educational broadcast station.”
On the issue of endorsements, the letter concluded, “We also believe that your endorsement of certain school board candidates on the air was permissible – as long as you clearly indicated that it was your personal opinion and not that of the station. Section 399 applies only to formal station support or opposition of a candidate for public office, and you should take care in the future that your personal views over the air continue to be clearly labeled as such.”
Miles said the word ‘continue’ in that last sentence adds validity to what he has been doing all along. “The FCC, with that one word, validated what we’ve been doing and said we’re following the rules,” he said.
He added that the decision came as no surprise, but it came at a cost.
“This was a free speech issue,” Miles said. “I’m not surprised at the decision because the FCC’s rules clearly state that employees or hosts at independent, not-for-profit stations can make personal opinion statements. But the ruling came at a cost to us. We had to hire a lawyer to fight this.”
FCC rules were violated when Miles spoke out against certain Region One school board members, and endorsed candidates in the school board elections. And the FCC went on to clearly state that the practice of personal endorsements can continue by continuing to state and label the opinion as Miles own.
The administration of Region One may be able to bully and muzzle opposition in the school system, but not out in the real world where free speech, and free thinking is not restricted and banned, but cherished.
Attached please find the FCC decision.
From this mornings Republican-American….
Rancor over support for budget carries into planning of agenda
A lengthy discussion ensued at last week’s special meeting of the Region 1 Board of Education on the upcoming budget process.
Chairman Philip Hart of Cornwall, anxious to see the budget pass in the six member towns of
Canaan, Cornwall, Falls Village, Kent, Salisbury and Sharon, polled the members on how to seek support. His idea for a letter signed by all six members was nixed when two of them, Gale Courey Toensing of Falls Village and Marilyn Yerks of Sharon, said they couldn’t put their names on such a piece of correspondence. Hart then cautioned members that they may express their opinions on the plan, but when talking to constituents cannot tell them how to vote, looking directly at Toensing.
She was outspoken about the rights of board members who don’t have to follow lock step with the majority when their views differ, and was quick to respond to Hart’s admonition, saying, “I won’t do what you did last month.” When Toensing asked to add an item to the agenda at that meeting about board procedures and goals, Hart told his fellow members, “I encourage you not to vote for this.”
Here is Mr. Moore, Vice Chair of The Region One Board of Education, replying to the fact that the salary/annuity line in the superintendents budget line has increased by 6.26%…
“Once again this information is wrong. I guess you have to read the first part of the line where it says Salary/Annuity. You all asked last year for that to be added to the salary line hence the 6%. Her salary did not increase by 6%, the line did due to the requested change.”
Salary/annuity/call it what you may…it still is ADDING 6.26 percent to the bottom line….
For our esteemed member of The Region One Board from Kent…here is some more reading material
1) There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics. – Mark Twain attributed this to B. Disraeli
2) It has long recognized by public men of all kinds … that statistics come under the head of lying, and that no lie is so false or inconclusive as that which is based on statistics. – H. Belloc
3) Figures don’t lie, but liars figure. – Samuel Clemens (alias Mark Twain)
4) If your experiment needs statistics, you ought to have done a better experiment – Ernest Rutherford
By the way, regiononereport.com will have more to say on Pat’s “annuity”, it’s history, it’s earlier cover-up and more at a later date..
Please let Mr. Moore know the Region One taxpayers were not born yesterday, here is his contact information.
|Mr. Jonathan Moore, Vice Chair
6 Elizabeth Street, PO Box 903
Kent, CT 06757
Phone: (860) 927-4580
Figures don’t lie, but liars figure (Samuel Clemens (alias Mark Twain)- a perfect description of Jonathan Moore, Vice Chair of The Region One Board Of Education
This year’s Region One budget for the Superintendent’s Office
Look at all the figures, then….look at line 17, follow it across to the right…it’s a 6.26% raise for the Superintendent this year $9,265.00 INCREASE!!!! Send this link to as many people you know who vote in Region One….this is disgusting….please read our posting on the salaries for other Superintendent’s around Region One at the following link
…ours is not underpaid….and does not deserve a 6.26% percent raise in these economic conditions, with almost every barometer of success DOWN in Region One…. lets buy some new microscopes with that money! DEFEAT THE BUDGET till the administration raises are pulled, and they all honor their existing contracts.