8 - March 9, 2012 | Hudson - Litchfield News More Letters to our Editor continued from page 6
Te employees have compromised and reduced benefits recognizing the need for all of us to work together in difficult economic times. In closing, our employees work hard each and every day to provide you with the
services you request. Our employees are highly professional, dedicated, and continue to give their best in servicing our community. Te labor contract become our employee’s security blanket and is the Towns commitment to retain the highest quality of employees to serve you the taxpayer. Te costs detailed in these contracts lead to long term savings and the reduction of future liabilities in personnel costs. In order to continue forward towards obtaining other remaining contracts and cost savings in the future your support of these contracts are necessary. I ask for your support!
Shawn Murray, Fire Chief, Hudson Fire Department – Hudson An Enormous Waste of
Taxpayer Money in Litchfield Jason Guerrette, a candidate for re-election to the Litchfield School Board, has
requested an enormous volume of information from the Litchfield SAU. His RSA 91-A request was for the following pieces of information (timeframe 31 July, 2006 to present): “All existing information or communication (including electronic) to or by School
Board members within the district and its schools. Tis would include email from and to the following School Board members that I am not/was not a first party to: Jason Guerrette, John York, Mary Prindle, Trish D’ Alleva, Dennis Miller, and Cindy Couture. From any member of the SAU, SAU office staff, Principals, and Asst. Principals. I am also requesting (a query) of the same group of people, email or other communications (information or documents) that contain the name ‘Jason Guerrette’ or any form or variation of my name.” Te total cost to the Litchfield taxpayer so far (itemized version available from the
18,000 pages of documents were identified 220 hours of staff time was utilized to review those documents and redact any information that was considered illegal to provide under various RSA codes (student information, etc.). $1,300 in attorney fees $550 in copying charges $9,000 in staff salaries Te total cost would have been even higher due to the fact that Jason’s original request was for information since the inception of the SAU itself to present.
Tankfully he limited the range to July 2006 to present. Te reason for Jason’s 91-A request? Apparently to uncover a perceived conspiracy between present and former School
Board members and the SAU. Jason has published the items he feels are “evidence” of collusion on the Litchfield
Message Board and on his own message board. I encourage the public to visit both of these sites and arrive at their own conclusions. Jason has been quite prolific in his postings so you may need to search through quite a few. I have yet so see anything proven other than a grudge. Can Litchfield afford a school board member who would rather waste taxpayer money on “witch hunts” on people he doesn’t get along with rather than working to provide a good education for our children? Should Litchfield voters elect an individual who rescinded his signature from the Litchfield School Board code of ethics? Should Litchfield elect an individual who throws a tirade, or walks out of meetings when they don’t go his way? RSA 91-A has incredible merits and is a fantastic law. However, 91-A can be misused by individuals with other questionable purposes in mind outside of the intent of the law itself. For further information concerning RSA 91-A – Access to Governmental Records and Meetings, please see http://bit.ly/fV4URI
Guerrette Right-to-Know Costs (Through 3/5/2012) Hours
Manseau Lecklider Mahoney
Espisito-Flynn Michele Review
Tech Support Bielawski Cutler
54.5 8 6
41.75 0.5 6
2,977.79 476.18 312.32 391.46 286.72
Printed Pages CPP Cost 10,063 0.03 301.89 1,250 0.03
438 0.03 13.14 250 0.03 1,750 0.03
0 0.03 125 0.03 3.75
875 0.03 26.25 0 0.03
25 0.03 2,750 0.03
Guerrette Right-to-Know Costs (Through 3/5/2012) Hours
Caissie Demain Bennett Gregg
Rothhaus Finnegan Schlichter
TOTALS Legal Fees
12/6/11Soule Bill 1/25/12Soule Bill 2/15/12Soule Bill
Summary Costs: Salaries & Benefits Printing
Backup Tapes TOTAL
$11,604.52 Brian McCue – Litchfield Hudson School Board Briefed on Maintenance
by Lynne Ober Schools require constant maintenance in order to keep them safe and operational. Aramark, who supervises the maintenance done to Hudson school district properties, recently briefed the board on the status of maintenance. Despite medical leaves for staff at three of the
schools, the board heard that maintenance over the past few months has been on track and much has been accomplished. Because of the three medical leaves, more overtime hours have been used that expected, but staffing issues were able to be covered and the board learned that all schools
had work completed as expected. Over the holiday break, staff worked to clean and polish the schools. Project items included restoring and burnishing hallway floors, classroom detail cleaning, wall washing, minor painting, and power washing restrooms.
Safety continues to be an issue and all custodial staff completed safety training and training in new procedures and products. The board received a detailed spreadsheet
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showing all fiscal year projects. Additionally they were briefed on some of the major projects and their status. The good news was that Granite State Roofing completed the roof replacement project at H.O. Smith School.
The new conference room for the Special Education office in room V114 at the CTE building has been completed. Various intercom issues throughout Alvirne were corrected over the holiday break.
Bill Zelonis completed semi-annual preventive maintenance on food service refrigerators and freezers, which will ensure continued food safety for students.
At Hills some water saving features were installed. Dan Hogle converted the automatic electronic faucet sensors with pressure metering faucets at Hills Garrison School. Even when winter arrives, grounds crew is
always busy. This year with the lack of snow there has been more time available for tree limb
and brush removal, but they have also been busy moving equipment and risers for the elementary school holiday shows.
During inspections done at each school by Hudson Fire Department, some fire department violations were reported. These received top priority and the board learned that work needed to repair each violation has been completed. Aramark is now waiting for the final report for the SAU building before issuing its own report. Both corrective and preventive maintenance has been completed at all schools, but there is always more to do. The last document that the board reviewed was the spreadsheet showing work orders that were still open at each school.
Shawn Jasper Selectman
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LEA Scholarship Applications Now Available
submitted by Litchfield Education Association Litchfield Education Association (LEA) members Heidi Miller (Griffin Memorial School) and Martha Thayer (Litchfield Middle School) present Jerry Cupp of Cupp and Cupp Corporation, Boston Flower Exchange, with a framed certificate. The award was for 25 years of partnership with the LEA to purchase carnations for the annual LEA Scholarship Fund. Over the years, the association has raised over $33,000 and awarded 96 scholarships to Litchfield students. LEA Scholarship applications are available at Campbell High School Guidance Department.
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possible budget, she answered, no, that it is the Budget Committee’s responsibility to approve of a budget that adequately meets the town’s needs. Finnegan was appointed to the position in October during the height of Budget planning, and hopes to serve out the remainder of Miller’s term. “The budget needs more transparency,” Finnegan said, adding, “How much more can we let it grow.” He added that he has no ties to special interests, as he has never served on the School Board, nor does he have children in school. “We need to keep independent voices on the Budget,” he said. When asked if he thought the goal of the Budget Committee was too approve smallest possible budget, he answered it was up to the committee to find a supportable and reasonable budget. “We should never be a rubber stamp for the town or school district’s budgets.” Catman, before removing his name from the ballot and endorsing Finnegan, warned Litchfield voters about spending. “If we don’t control government spending, we’ll lose our country,” he said. Finnegan echoed the sentiment in the forum, letting voters know that his interest is keeping spending to a minimum. The other Budget Committee position is a
three-year term, sought by Spencer, Schofield and Cutter. Spencer has lived in the town for over 30 years, and said that he has been on the Budget Committee for half that time, “It’s your committee, and it needs to be supported,” he added that it is up to the committee to see what is needed and to move on with those recommendations. Spencer also explained some a situation Litchfield may not have seen in a while: lack of students. “There were only 54 babies born in Litchfield last year,” Spencer said. He added that the number couples with school aged children has also been declining over the past few years. The committee calculated that while the school district’s student population sits at around 1,500 students now, it is possible that the number can be as low as 1,000 students in seven years.
Cutter is a newcomer to the race, but has an extended background in finance and auditing. ”I’m a numbers guy,” Cutter said, adding that it is critical to have an outsider in the position. Cutter added that he grew up in the area, and his wife grew up in Litchfield. He added that the town will need to make some strategic decisions in the coming years due to the economic climate.
The race for Board of Selectmen is less polarized than the races for School Board and Budget Committee positions. Jewett moved to the town in 1950, and has been involved in town politics since 1952. She touted her experience in Litchfield politics as one of her qualifications, pointing out that she was involved with creating Litchfield’s master plan back in 1970, among other things. When asked where she sees Litchfield in five years, she insinuated that the town would be very much the same, as the town does not have access to public sewer lines. All homes in businesses in Litchfield are serviced by septic tanks, limiting the amount of commercial and industrial growth in the town. Jewett said the town faced similar problems several years ago, with the lack of public water. The town has since gained access to a public water supply, allowing some companies to flourish in the north end of town. Nick D’Alleva is also running for the one open seat on the Board of Selectmen. “I moved to New Hampshire from Massachusetts because of the greater personal freedoms allowed in the state,” he said. He also described himself as a proud conservative, with a practical, no nonsense approach to politics. When asked where he felt the town would be in five years, he answered that he was more concerned with the present. D’Alleva, a former business owner, said that he would like to see more industry in the town, but it had to be the right fit, adding that Litchfield is a peaceful town, and many people moved to the town for that purposed. “We’d need to work to develop some sources of revenue,” he said. Bourque was the only other Board of Selectmen candidate present at the forum. Like D’Alleva, Bourque is a former small business owner. He also volunteered for the Litchfield Recreation Committee and helped with youth sports in the town. “We are going to face a lot of challenges,” he said. “But the future of the town is bright.” Along with working at his regular, full-time job, Bourque was been a volunteer with the Litchfield Fire Department since 2006. Bourque said that residents pay a lot in taxes, but get little back in town services. The town will be holding elections on March 13 between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. in the Campbell High School gym.
0.75 2 3 5 3 4
158.71 233.74 125.22 216.25
Printed Pages CPP Cost 5 0.03 3 0.03 63 0.03 3 0.03
188 0.03 125 0.03 250 0.03 188 0.03
0.15 0.09 1.89 0.09 5.64 3.75 7.5
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