Editorials published by the Goffstown Residents
Association are written by various members and
contributing non-members of the GRA.

December 22, 2008

Budget Committee caves in amid $chool tactics
$chool board chairman Allard warns committee to accept compromise deal or face repercussions at deliberative session

At their meeting of December 4th, the Goffstown Budget Committee voted to reduce the $chool Board's budget request by $1.2M, for a total budget of just under $33M.  Notably absent from this meeting was $chool Board chairman Keith Allard and $chool sub-committee chairman William Hart.

The following Tuesday, December 16th, the Budget Committee reconvened again for a final review of both the proposed Town and $chool budgets that will be taken to public hearing in January.  This time, not only were Allard and Hart present, they brought along virtually all members of the $chool Board, SAU 19 business administrator Ray Labore, and numerous other $chool supporters in the audience.

As the Committee completed it's review of the Town budget and turned its attention to the $chool Board's budget, what ensued was nothing short of a three-ring circus.

Here is just one example.  Allard began by making a motion to return the entire $1.2M cut back to the $chool's original budget.  But before that could be voted on, committee member Steve Fournier moved to amend Allard's motion to change the amount to $800K.  Allard then quickly countered by moving to amend Fournier's amendment to change the $800K to $950K.  All this before a single vote was taken on anything.

This was just the beginning.  During the meeting, $chool Board member Phil Kendall sat in the audience in the front row next to Allard and communicated back and forth with him, passing notes and information while the meeting was underway.  Committee member Hart, a well known pasty of the $chool Board, met with Kendall in the hallway while the meeting was underway.

As motions flew from $chool supporters, committee members held fast to an average vote of 8-7-1 in rejecting attempts to increase the $chool budget.  In addition to motions to add $1.2M, $800K and $950K, attempts to add $600K, $400K, $350K and even $164K were made as well, again all rejected by the budget committee.  

CAPTURED ON VIDEO:  To see video excerpts from the ridiculous series of motions and amendments used by $chool supporters, click here (video is 3 minutes, 30 seconds in length).

Finally (and unfortunately), Fournier made yet a third attempt to increase the number by motioning to add $700K back to the school budget.

Now seeing an opportunity with that motion for $700K on the floor, this is where the $chool Board began to put the squeeze on the Budget Committee.  Both Allard and $chool patsy Hart began a series of statements cleverly designed to "remind" committee members of the 'power' of the $chool Board.  Allard strongly suggested that if the Budget Committee didn't agree to this increase, they would "lose out in the end at deliberative session," hinting that the $chool Board not only might raise that increase, but could do so successfully if they chose to.  And Hart was even stronger in his "reminder", telling the committee outright that the $chool Board could even raise it to $2M is that's what they decided to do. 

Hart also predicted during the meeting that if the committee didn't knuckle under to the $chool Board's demands, the committee would no longer see any cooperation from the $chool Board in the future.  

CAPTURED ON VIDEO:  For video excerpts of the above statements made by Allard and Hart, click here (video is 2 minutes, 45 seconds in length).

Finally, a vote was taken on adding $700K back to the $chool Board's budget and this time, surprisingly, committee member Richard Fletcher caved in.  We were surprised due to Fletcher's excellent arguments against adding any money back at all earlier in the evening.  

Perhaps Fletcher succumbed to $chool Board pressure because he believed the $chool Board would carry out its threats to add even more than $700K to their budget at deliberative session.  Perhaps it was due to being faced with unending tactic of constant motions, manipulation and maneuvering.

Or perhaps it was simply the late hour.  

In any case, the $chool Board is once again on its way to fleecing taxpayers for a budget even Allard admitted contained "fluff".

IMPORTANT:  We urge all Goffstown taxpayers to watch the replay of the meeting on GTV, rent the DVD from the library, or contact the Goffstown Residents Association to obtain your own copy.  

EVEN MORE IMPORTANT:  BE SURE to attend the Budget Committee's public hearing on JANUARY 13, 2009 at 7:00 PM at Hieber Auditorium at GHS, and MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD!

You owe it to yourselves and to every taxpayer in Goffstown to put an end to the $chool Board's history of doubling their budget every 10 years at our expense, and help us all regain control of our wallets.



Cloutier calculations expose waste
Please support school petition article
School budget continues to double every 10 years

Did the School Board look out for your best interests?
Stop School foxes from guarding their own henhouse
How the $chool Board - and government - is ruining Goffstown


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