Clarification: Miles is now bellowing that the contracts have not been signed. Correct. The new contracts themselves haven’t been signed but the resolution to issue those contracts was.
It was approved 4-2 and endorsed by the BOE at a March 28 special meeting on unanimous recommendation from the All Boards Committee (ABC). For those who got the wrong impression, the better choice of words in the italicized sentence would have been “approved” rather than “signed” since the BOE has signed off on the resolution and not the physical contracts.
But don’t let this argument over semantics detract from the main point. The fact remains that we find ourselves in a terrible bind. Sure, the BOE could try to renegotiate contracts that it has already approved, but it continues to risk expensive litigation or a mass exodus of administrators from the central office. Come to think of it, isn’t that what Miles wants: a mass exodus of administrators?
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For my Northwest Corner peeps, my take on the failure of the Region One budget last night …
So those who were outraged at the new administrative contracts got their wish. The regional school budget was defeated 570-472, while two capital projects were approved. The opposition block was a strange alliance between a bumbling egomaniacal radio host and taxpayers of Falls Village. In the latter case, residents of that town were already angry at the Region One BOE because most of its members had ostracized the town’s outspoken representative, Gale Toensing.
And was it just coincidence that, at the eleventh hour, word leaked out that “an administrator” had told Region One employees to vote for the budget or they could lose their jobs? On little more than hearsay, radio host Marshall Miles reported the culprit was Director of Pupil Services Carl Gross. Did Miles make an attempt to contact Gross about the allegation? Obviously not. If Miles is wrong and Gross didn’t threaten any Region One employees, then he should hire a lawyer and sue Miles for defamation because such an accusation is clearly actionable if untrue.
In addition, Miles allowed unsubstantiated comments on his blog, purportedly from an HVRHS student, that Superintendent Patricia Chamberlain “asked students to vote yes for the budget.” That is a very serious accusation and, absent any evidence that it’s true, Miles was grossly irresponsible to have published the comment.
Ok, so now that your wish has come true, what exactly do you propose the board do now? If Facebook and Miles’ hideous blog (started solely for the purpose of defeating that budget) are any guide, almost everyone who voted no now wants those contracts to be voided.
Unfortunately, this vote was more about emotion than anything else – and emotions aren’t helpful in making a clear-headed decision on how to vote. People wanted to send a message to the BOE about the administrative contracts, but they’ve already been
signed approved and ratified, so the no vote effectively accomplishes nothing but forcing us to spend thousands of dollars on another referendum and perhaps cut programs.
If the contractual procedure troubled me, then I’d say the proper course of action would be to vote out of office those board members who approved the new contracts. But there are no elections until next year, so venting over the budget remains the only recourse.
P.S. I’m proud to say I live in the one of the three towns that approved the budget.