Dear TRSD Budget Committee Member
As another session of the budget process winds down, I urge each of you to resign. You must realize how powerless the budget committee is and you know how much time and effort goes into the process. Your energy and passion would be better expended elsewhere. While there have been occasional, symbolic victories, the months of work has no meaningful impact on the quality of our schools or the size of our budget. Your work serves neither student not taxpayer.
The real power is vested in the town meeting. One articulate person can secure funding for his or her pet project by proposing an increase in the budget and asking the superintendent to earmark the increase — quid pro quo. We know who attends these meetings — school employees, contractors, their friends and families, and non-resident teachers. We know who does not attend — parents, taxpayers, home schoolers, and those who send their kids out of district for a better education. The District shows up with a lawyer and the moderator. The moderator, absent an engaged electorate, allows non-residents to participate in voice votes and savvy operatives use gimmicks to stifle opponents.
We know all of this. We know that we have to ask for ballot votes before the meeting starts. We know we need to bring friends and solid arguments. We know the cards are stacked against us.
We also know how to remedy this. All we have to do is show up to the deliberative session and propose a reasonable budget. Given a reasonable budget, the voters will right this ship.
If you have never attended a deliberative session, consider making this session your first. The 2014 Deliberative Session will be held on Thursday, February 6 at 7:00 pm at the Timberlane Performing Arts Center, 40 Greenough Road, Plaistow, NH.