To The Daily Sun,
In the April 14 Newfound School Board Meeting, Superintendent Ms. Stacey Buckley deviated from the published agenda, sliding in a proposal for $10,000 in bonuses to a select few administrative staff members she recently brought into the district. Given recent budget and staffing cuts, Superintendent Buckley's request seemed wildly off the mark, as Chairwoman Ruby Hill questioned whether this request should even be read aloud as it's on the existing budget year which experienced drastic budget cuts.
While one School Board member opposed, stating he "cannot in good conscience support this given the message sent by voters this year," the superintendent's unprecedented request to use existing budget dollars for "bonuses" was passed in less than three minutes in a 6-1 vote.
This is an egregious abuse of taxpayer dollars on multiple levels. First and foremost, your tax dollars do not translate into a business model of doling out bonuses to public service employees. By definition, a bonus is "an extra amount of money that is given to an employee from a profit margin." It doesn't take a great deal of experience to recognize that we currently do not have extra dollars in our education budgets. Additionally, your tax payments are never "for profit." They are for line item needs transportation, supplies for classrooms, computers for labs, books and other learning experiences.
Your taxpayer money is carefully itemized for such items each year in administrative they are not considered as profit to be used as bonuses while the superintendent and Budget Committee slash personnel and critical learning materials that provide direct support for student academic achievement.
Citing her reasoning for providing these administrative bonuses, Ms. Buckley stated these administrative-level employees have given "additional efforts that all of them have put into resolve the many issues that they we have come across and their dedication to continuing to work through those issues." It is simply unprecedented to start giving out bonuses to public service employees for doing the job for which they were already hired and contracted.
Ask the many teachers, para-professionals, counselors, nurses and other dedicated administrators who work in this district providing services if they provide additional efforts and are dedicated to resolving issues above and beyond their position descriptions — these very teachers for whom Ms. Buckley and the School Board currently fail to support by even providing a contract, never mind a bonus.
Secondly, Ms. Buckley entered this district less than a year ago and has spent the past nine months proposing to tighten the budget by eliminating positions, slashing budgets, questioning roles of current staff and stating her commitment to tighten the Newfound budget. Apparently, in an incomprehensible new direction, she feels it appropriate to financially reward her administrative inner circle with taxpayer dollars from the current over-stretched budget and reducing the professionals who are on the forefront of practice, teaching and learning.
Finally, taxpayers should find most appalling this blatant misuse of taxpayer money from public funding given the current economic climate in the region. At a time when critical positions are cut, education systems are working in crisis modes, and families struggle to make ends meet, public officials should not be using our money to reward public servants for simply doing their jobs.
As a society, it is imperative we hold public officials accountable who have a fiduciary duty to manage tax dollars appropriately. Education, after all, is not a for-profit business.
Molly A. Gosline, Ed.M., M.A.
Last Updated on Thursday, 17 April 2014 10:55
To The Daily Sun,
I would like to publicly thank Joe Newton, commandant, and members of Tilton's American Legion, Post 49, for making it possible for me to accompany my father to Washington, D.C., with Honor Flight. Honor Flight is an organization devoted to providing airfare for as many surviving World War II veterans as possible to view the Veterans Memorial.
My dad, 87-year-old Donald A. Bickford, is a 60-plus year member of Post 49 and, as his daughter, I am excited and proud to be able to accompany him on this once-in-a-lifetime trip. The trip will take place on Father's Day in June.
The generosity of Post 49 has made this possible.
Last Updated on Thursday, 17 April 2014 10:51
To The Daily Sun,
The following businesses in the town of Meredith would like to thank the Greater Meredith Program (GMP) for putting together a fun and successful event, Meredith Cabin Fever, in an attempt to wake up our beautiful town during its cold and sleepy months. We appreciate your dedication to enhancing our town and community, in turn bringing economic energy during our quieter months. Please keep doing what you are doing.
Those grateful businesses are: The Frog Rock Tavern, The Ballard House Inn, Mame's, Edward Jones Investments, Waterfall Café, Kara's Café, Adornments, The Mug Restaurant, The Bay Restaurant, Davidson, Cozy Cabin Rustics, Meredith Bay Colony Club, Consignors Avenue, Lady of the Lake, The Fitness Edge, Sacred Waters Yoga, Threads - A Fashion Forward Boutique, Bonita D. Story Antiques and Estate Jewelry.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 April 2014 10:18
To The Daily Sun,
The philanthropic Koch Brothers and the McCutcheon Supreme Court decision are both examples of why there is still hope for positive change in America. They offer hope for a stronger and healthier republic.
Conversely, progressive liberal types, epitomized by the likes of Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, are apoplectic at the prospect of a slowdown in the 90 percent incumbency rate and an increase in fair and competitive political races. Pelosi laments the turning of politics into a "money war." Nancy, my dear, have you forgotten that unions have poured a mountain of cash into super PACS in recent decades? AFSCME ($60.6 million), NEA ($53.5 million), UAW ($41.6 million), SEIU ($38.3 million) in political donations from 1989 to 2014 according to OpenSecrets.org.
The ever-so-evil Koch Brothers were far down in 59th place with $18 million.
To be fair, the Koch Brothers contributed tens of millions to GOP causes while the unions spent about half a billion for Democratic causes in the 2012 election cycle. The Koch Brothers are an example of entrepreneurship, capitalism and charity at its finest. That Harry Reid has the audacity to attack them at every turn is a very nasty take on Democratic hubris and hypocrisy.
Star Parker asserts that the McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission Supreme Court 5 to 4 decision is a shot of adrenalin to American democracy. While Pelosi, Reid and the NY Times claim that this gives those with the most money a corrupting influence over political elections, the opposite is true when viewed through the lens of objectivity.
New candidates do not have the money, fringe benefits, freebies and visibility of incumbents which explains the 90 percent rate of the same bunch getting re-elected time and time again. Ms. Parker notes that "limiting the amount of funds that free citizens can contribute to candidates, or how much those candidates can spend, just stifles competition and protects incumbents."
Betsy McCaughey reminds us that "members of Congress will favor self-serving rules that protect their own re-election and their big government agenda. The constitutional rights of opponents be damned."
When the progressive clouds have cleared, we can clearly see how the political culture of greed actually rests more within the confines of the liberal left than it does within the conservative right. The Washington "power scene" has become intellectually, morally and ethically corrupt. Let's get rid of Democrats and Republicans who have failed to live up to their constitutional obligations.
The "Supremes" got this one right. Had they voted against unfettered competition and free speech, we would have had "Nothing But Heartaches." But now, I think "I Hear a Symphony." Throw the bums out, throw the bums out. Here's a song for Harry Reid when his senatorial bullying ends after the November 2014 elections, "Love is Here and Now You're Gone." Let's be done with that vile incumbent theme song, "You Just Keep Me Hanging On."
Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 April 2014 10:07
To The Daily Sun,
There is something desperately wrong with the system when a supposedly non-profit hospital will turn you away if you do not have health insurance, or if you do have insurance but cannot afford or have the co-pay. You may as well just roll up and die because they will not take care of you.
Do not let this shock you, it is the new norm to turn people away. But and this you will not believe: they will do a sex change on you free of charge and my tax dollars will pay for it.
In the last few weeks, a young woman went to the hospital because she was so sick she thought she was going to die, and because she was uninsured, they made her sit in the lobby for seven hours waiting for help, finally telling her to go to Dartmouth for help as they wouldn't see her. An 85-year-old woman went to the hospital with pneumonia, and because she had insurance but didn't have the co-pay with her, refused to see her. This is now the norm.
Pay your co-pay and they will take care of you, but your co-pay must be paid first. We all knew this was coming, or at least the people with brains knew it. So perhaps only people with brains should be allowed to vote?
As for the sex changes being paid by the state with our tax money, as soon as this is known to all the people desiring this operation, there will be a flood of people moving to New Hampshire demanding their free reassignment. Are you just going to sit there and let the state throw away money on non-life threatening operations, while the elderly and poor go without help? Perhaps some of you with a little more income could help with the co-pays. But for God's sake, do not give it to the state, we all know how foolish those spendy people are.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 April 2014 09:58