The following are a few comments/thoughts/observations re: the Region One Budget. They are my own opinions based on what I’ve read of the budget and the Pingpank report. They do not represent any board or organization on which I serve or for which I volunteer.
- The budget referendum is about funding regional education, primarily, the high school operations. The regional budget also funds special education efforts for all 6 towns in the region. It is not a vote on personnel issues.
- Interestingly, fewer than 1,100 voters have decided the fate of taxpayers and students in 6 towns.
- People should take the time to query Matt Harnett, the principal at HVRHS. Ask him how the negative votes affect his ability to implement new initiatives and move the school forward. In his own words: “We will prepare for the opening of school and be ready for the students when they arrive. Unfortunately moving anything forward, trying new strategies, implementing new plans and initiatives is difficult if not impossible – so we sort of maintain and wait for the dust to settle and see where we go from there.” (my emphasis added)
- The people fighting passage of the budget are doing so not for the benefit of education or for the kids of Region One. Again, in Mr. Harnett’s words: “this is incredibly frustrating because it has absolutely nothing to do with students and making HVRHS better.”
- Region One towns continue to incur expenses to hold these budget votes.
- According to the ABC Committee the Superintendent has dispatched her responsibilities in a professional and competent manner. Additionally, the Pingpank report commented that the schools in the region have no difficulties with the Superintendent. In fact, the report places as much blame on the faculty as the administration for tensions occurring in 2010 and prior.
- The proper avenue to address performance issues is through the town Boards of Education and the Region One BoE.
- Town of Sharon taxpayers: the 2013-2014 Region One allocation is down 11.60% over last year (based on the budget passed at town vote in May). This represents $285,678 in reduced expenditures for the Town.
It is time to work together to address the issues (real or imagined) at the high school and in the central office. Rejecting the 2013-2014 budget repeatedly is not the way to create positive change and/or harmony. Encouraging discord and conflict only hurts the community.
Please vote so that we at least have meaningful numbers representing the region!
Very best to all,