Pelham - Windham News 6 - September 10, 2010
by Barbara O’Brien Windham’s Finance Director, Dana Call, says
that the town’s 2010 operating budget is “pretty much in line for this time of year.” During the selectmen’s board meeting on August
23, Call told town officials that most line items have been expended at about what was anticipated for the first half of the year. The facts and figures Call presented cover January 1 through June 30.
addition to being Windham’s Finance Director, Call also serves as Assistant Town Administrator. One item of significant note mentioned by Call
is the cost of vehicle fuel. “It’s running a little high for this time of year,” she told selectmen (approximately $1,000). “Prices at the pump are a little higher than anticipated last August,” when town officials began working on the 2010 budget. Not happy about paying higher than anticipated fuel prices for town vehicles, Vice Chairman Bruce Breton made a motion to put the purchase of vehicle fuel out to bid before the end of September. Breton’s motion passed by a vote of 4 to 0. Voting in favor of going out to bid for vehicle fuel were Breton, Ross McLeod, Roger Hohenberger, and Chairman Charles McMahon. Selectman Galen Stearns did not attend the meeting.
Finance Director Says Budget is in Line Call also explained that the amount of vehicle
But in the area of solid waste disposal, the
fuel required was not correctly calculated, as only the fuel obtained from Mobil on the Run in Windham, and not the diesel fuel obtained from the tank at the fire department, was considered when the total calculations were made. Call said this error would be corrected when preparing the town’s 2011 operating budget. Equipment maintenance for general
government buildings is also over budget for this time of year, as expenditures include $1,300 in emergency repairs to the fire station’s heating control system. Another over-expenditure reported by Call
is for emergency dispatch training, due to one employee who is currently enrolled in college- level courses, which are reimbursable by union contract. Call said that the town does not typically “budget for 100-percent usage” of this line item. In the area of Community Development,
the contracted services line is over budget by approximately $8,000 for this time of year, due to staffing vacancies earlier in the year. There will be offsetting savings in the regular salaries budget, however, Call said.
news is better. Waste removal costs were under budget halfway through the year, most likely due to the single-stream recycling program that was begun at the Windham Transfer Station last year. Referring to the Windham Police Department,
Call said all patrol positions are currently filled, although one officer is currently attending the New Hampshire Police Academy in Concord, and one other was just recently hired and is undergoing training. Two officers, however, are still out of work with injuries and, therefore, the town is experiencing higher overtime costs (with some related savings in the regular salaries budget). As for the Windham Highway Department, one employee was out with an injury, but that person has recently returned to full duty. On the revenue side of the 2010 ledger,
building permit fees have taken an upward turn, as compared to what was collected during 2009 at this time. Interest revenue continues to be down due to lower interest rates being paid by financial institutions. However, at the urging of Selectman Breton, Windham has invested $5 million of town funds (not money from the
Divided Board Struggles to Work Together by Lynne Ober Many New Hampshire school boards hold school board training.
So, it was no surprise when Pelham School Board Vice Chairman Deb Ryan proposed training for the Pelham School Board at the August 4 meeting. The Pelham School Board has demonstrated its lack of cohesiveness on a number of occasions over that past six years, and Ryan felt that training would help clarify roles and help move the Board into the future in a more cohesive manner. At the August 4 Board meeting, School Board Member Lorraine Dube, who frequently corrects statements she makes during a Board meeting when reviewing minutes, expressed concern about requiring training, and that concern remained in posted minutes. School Board member Linda Mahoney stated she supported the idea of board training, but the minutes show that “Mrs. Mahoney cautioned to not cross the line with imposing requirements and penalizations because we are an elected board.” When School Board member Andy Ducharme said that he
would like to hear from Attorney Dean Eggert about state laws and obligations of boards, Superintendent Dr. Frank Bass said he would schedule the presentation. Ryan later said, “My whole motivation for bringing about School Board training, communication committees, and some future changes is to ensure the Pelham School Board is accountable and
Mary Griffin Please Re-elect
• Active member of community concentrating on the efficient operation of state and county government and the welfare of its citizens. • Vice-Chair Rockingham County Executive Committee
State Representative Someone who cares
• 100% Voting Record 2010 • Host-emcee "Windham Watch" Cable Television WCTV-21 • Member of the Women's Clubs and Senior Centers (both Windham and Salem) • Member Cable Advisory Board • Secretary- Windham Housing Authority • Former owner/operator of Tara Farm - now Griffin Park
Vote “Griffin” September 14th Mary E. Griffin, Rockingham County District 4 • Fiscal Agent- Robert A. Skinner
TO INDEPENDENT VOTERS WINDHAM AND SALEM
• On September 14, 2010, as a registered Independent, I will be taking the Republican ballot to vote for Representative Anthony DiFruscia. Why?
• Because I want to ensure that Windham and Salem continue to receive state aid for education;
• I want a Representative who will continue to protect our individual civil rights;
• One that will ensure that we maintain the New Hampshire Advantage, no sales or income tax;
• One that will put our interests first, before partisan politics; • Because I want a Representative who is a leader;
• Because there are too many self-righteous politicians; self-righteousness bleeds into intolerance-it suffocates understanding. It is derisive and negative.
Please join us in voting for Attorney Anthony DiFruscia on September 14th. He makes a difference. He gets the job done for us.
Diane Carpenter Ed Gallagher Paid Political Advertisement, Kathleen Sullivan DiFruscia, Fiscal Agent
Doggie Daycare & Training Center 70 Range Rd, Windham
1st Day of Doggie Daycare
FREE with this ad- new clients only
worthy of the public trust. If we can be accountable and trustworthy, we will have a greater chance of passing warrant articles that are important for our district and our community.“ Pelham Superintendent Dr. Frank Bass said that he thought it was a good idea to ask questions and clear the air by understanding board rights versus individual freedom of speech rights. He was also very supportive of the training provided by Eggert, and thought that such training was always a good idea for a board. Not only do state laws affect school boards, but also, boards
have responsibilities defined in department rules. For example, section g of New Hampshire Department of Education Rule 303 states, “In consultation with the superintendent and in accordance with statutes and rules of the state board of education, determine the educational goals of the district develop long-range plans and identify measurable and attainable short-term objectives. The school board shall require the implementation of educational programs designed to reflect the goals and objectives and, further, the school board shall review such programs and make public the results of such investigation.” During Attorney Eggert’s September 1 presentation, he was directly asked about Board behavior and the ethical or lawful obligations of every member. According to School Board Chairman Rob Hardy, the 45-50 minute presentation by Eggert was very clear and Board members learned from the presentation.
Since the presentation, debate has continued to swirl around a question raised by Ryan, who voiced a desire to have a Board
Attend one of our Informative Vacation Destination Seminars presented by our representatives from the following suppliers;
Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Princess Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Azamara Cruises, Oceania Cruises, Carnival Cruise Lines, Rocky Mountaineer, United Travel Group, and many more.
View breathtaking videos and listen to the experts on the destination of your choice.
that does not act against Board position as established by a vote of the Board. This question was raised after the heated and public opposition by one Board member last year against school warrant articles, and subsequently also spoke against the Board’s decision to ask for a special session by testifying against that request in court. Eggert spoke about being unethical as opposed to being illegal. Is there an ethical reason to support a Board decision even when a member votes against the prevailing side? That yes answer is clearly found in New Hampshire State Department Rules governing board actions, but it does not trump free speech, as defined in the U.S. Constitution. “Beyond the topic of ethics, we have had a few instances since
March that there was some confusion on other matters,” said Hardy, who said that it was good for the entire Board to hear Eggert’s words. “Eggert is an expert in this area and his legal explanation of the roles of the School Board and Administration were clearly not well received by all members of the Board.” “Any of the changes that I have proposed are not original; they are the result of studying what makes a school board highly effective,” said Ryan. “Conversely, I have studied what makes a school board ineffective. By eliminating the ineffective practices and replacing them with ‘best practices’ endorsed by the National School Board Association, the New Hampshire School Board Association, and many other state school board associations, we may have a chance at restoring credibility.” According to Hardy, Eggert’s presentation covered the responsibilities and roles of the Administration and the School Board concerning the writing of policy and the hiring process.
“These are Please Note this is not a timeshare seminar,
this is an opportunity for our vacation suppliers to showcase their products and destinations for anyone considering a vacation.
For a complete listing of dates or to R.S.V.P please log onto:
Cruise Travel Outlet 39 Main St.
Salem, NH 03079 603-894-7245
Space is limited so please RSVP.
the two topics that I was very happy to see addressed.” Hardy and other Board members can take training classes offered in Concord, and Eggert frequently teaches during these training seminars. Hardy noted he was pleased to be offering such training not only to the Board, but also to the public via the telecast. “We have had some instances where we lost some valuable time debating each other’s roles. It may not be something that makes the papers, but it will go a long way in creating a more efficient and productive policy writing and hiring process,” he said. After Brian Mahoney, spouse of Linda, began a thread on the message board, supporters and detractors of Linda Mahoney joined in. The original post continued a debate that has long raged in Pelham. No matter which side of the debate you believe, this training session clarified the rights of a Board member who is still an individual. Hardy noted that it was Eggert who said the actions in question were unethical, but not illegal, and said that no vote has been taken to censor board behavior. During this training session, Eggert talked about First Amendment rights, as well as obligations when one is elected to a board. The attorney made it clear that board members have both board obligations and free speech rights, and no steps can be taken to remove a board member who speaks against a board position. This situation is unlike sitting on the board of a corporation, as
Ducharme pointed out. “If you watched last week’s meeting when Dean Eggert was speaking, you heard that we, the School Board, are the Board of Directors of the largest company in the town, the school district. The difference between a true corporation and what we have here is that if a Board member spoke against a ruling voted on by the entire board in a true corporation, they would be removed from that board immediately. Done—pack your bags, you are out. Most boards of directors have ethics and morals statutes that have consequences that can and do get enforced. Yes, Linda has the constitution backing her up and can say anything she would like to [say] against the School Boards’ decisions that she votes for and/ or against,” he said.
is right or not is a totally different story.” Former School Board member Mike Conrad wrote on the message board, “There is a reason Linda was only the School Board representative to the budget committee once in her 6 years and probably the same reason why she has never been chair. She supports her opinion and her opinion only. Nothing was more
Doggie Daycare & Training Center 70 Range Rd, Windham
1st Day of Doggie Daycare
FREE with this ad- new clients only continued to page 8 - Struggles “Whether it
operating budget) at a higher rate of interest (1.1 percent) at Centrix Bank and, as a result, has earned an additional $11,300 in interest for taxpayers as of June 30. Call said this is a higher yield on the money than if it had been left in the operating budget account instead. Regarding federal and state grants, Windham
has received a total of $37,145 in reimbursements for fire department personal protective gear; an amount that was encumbered last December. The 100-percent Federal Homeland Security grant is available to the town to be used as general revenue this year. Also, an additional $20,000+ in Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) disaster funds are also still expected to be received in the near future due to weather-related emergencies earlier this year. The total 2010 operating budget for the Town
of Windham was $13,444,333. As of June 30, halfway through the year, $5,863,838 had been expended, leaving $7,580,495 remaining for the rest of the year. Barring any unforeseen emergencies in the next few months, Windham should be in good shape financially at the end of December.
| Page 2
| Page 3
| Page 4
| Page 5
| Page 6
| Page 7
| Page 8
| Page 9
| Page 10
| Page 11
| Page 12
| Page 13
| Page 14
| Page 15
| Page 16