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Voice of the Community

January 16, 2011

Some comments on the TRSD Budget process…

Mrs. Goodrich of Atkinson writes

I thank the citizens who stood up to be volunteer leaders on the TRSB
and TRBC. But, I have serious concerns about their being an independent voice
of the people.

I have tried to get aquainted with the school district beginning this fall. I
didn’t get very far.

I am so seriously discouraged about the lack of citizen participation in the
process. It is obvious that the management needs to address this total
disconnection by the general public.

Long ago, when I had children in the Salem School District, I put my time into
the budgetary process. There was always healthy debate to participate in.
What just happened on 1/11/11 is an aberration of immense proportions. We
are all answerable for this happenstance. There are no sides on this issue.

I just wonder if the members of the board and the committee realize that the
money we are spending will be an albatross around the necks of the children
currently in our school system.

I keep thinking of the children’s book the Emperor’s new clothes. It is a short
tale by Hans Christian Andersen about two weavers who promise Emperor new
suits of clothes that are invisible to those unfit for their positions, stupid, or
incompetent. When the Emperor parades before his subjects naked, no one in
the crowd wants to point to his state of undress for fear of appearing dim-
witted to the others. And so we sit in silence.

Mark Acciard of Atkinson attended the public reading of the budget

I was appalled to hear Mrs. O’Neil stand there and admit that, once again, the budget committee did not do their job. She said that they have never found they needed to look into the superintendent’s budget.

if that is true, then Michelle, why do we even have a budget committee? perhaps Mr. LaSalle should write the budget and simply put it into practice. After all, RSA 32:5 is really more of a guideline than a law, isn’t it?

Peter Bealo of Plaistow writes of the Public Reading of the Budget

I attended last night as well. As a guess, I’d say there were ~ 4 “civilians” (ie: taxpayers with kids in the system) present and ~25 administrators, principals, teachers, etc.

Mr. Acciard did indeed ask about the $1.2 million request last year, the answer was not grounded in reality. That said, I chose not to challenge it publically since I believe it would have served no useful purpose.

I was actually shocked at the major decrease of ~ $500,000 in maintenance and repairs. Is this a tactic to allow one or more facilies to wear out in order tio be allowed to rebuild sooner??? I don’t know…

Funding the CIP is not a bad thing, so long s there is a CIP list with cost estimates and when the expenditures are required that lines up with the money request. All our towns do this to fund fire trucks, building renovations, etc. With the schools its almost hand-to-mouth with no long term plan. That really should change.

Had time to meet with a few administrators and a teacher. FINALLY met Mr. Acciard. All time well spent.

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