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Gilmanton School District doesn't need its own superintendent

  • Published in Letters
To The Daily Sun,
The building which houses SAU 79, Gilmanton School District, is up for sale. It is used for the superintendent's office, staff and equipment. Soon, all of the above will be looking for a new home and asking the taxpayers to foot the cost. Since the present population at the Gilmanton School exceeds the recommended capacity, the School Board will come to us to ask for other accommodations.
Since 2012, the superintendent has reduced his position from full time to only two days a week. The question is do we need a superintendent at all?
An easy fix for this upcoming problem would be to dissolve the SAU and hire a school administrator to work out of the Gilmanton School and to continue the financial administrator's contract with Gilmanton but not necessarily supply an office for this position.
What we have is a School Board that has relied upon their superintendents for much too long to do their job and have become nothing more than a "Rubber Stamp Board". Case in point is a recent debacle regarding the replacement of the school's underground fuel oil storage tank (see School Board Minutes for July 9, 2013). This project was brought to them for approval, they did not do any research into it, approved and spent money for it, then realized they couldn't get that money back once they found that the project wasn't to be done. This ended with the expenditure of nearly $18,000 of surplus funds for a" project to nowhere".
This sort of abuse has been going on for much too long without true oversight. The N.H. Department of Education has no oversight of our budget. The N.H. Department of Revenue has no authority to tell the School Board how to budget or spend. Only we, the taxpayers, have that authority but we are not using it.
It is time to reduce the budget by ridding the town of the SAU and to begin to force our elected School Board to become responsible fiscal agents.
Our town must begin to make time to look into School Board decisions and expenditures with a curious eye instead of giving them a blank check. Remember YOU are holding the purse, not the School Board, so only YOU can tighten those purse strings and make them accountable.
Remember, it's YOUR MONEY.
Elena Ball
Gilmanton Iron Works