Monday, January 30, 2012



Board Members Present: J. Gile, T.Croteau, K. Whippie, C. Duquette, W. Hildreth
Administration Present: K. Dassau, P. Bigelow, C. Paulin, J. Lewis
The meeting was called to order by Chair, C. Duquette at 6:30 pm.

W. Hildreth MOVED to approve the public minutes of the December 15, 2011 Board meeting; SECONDED by: K. Whippie adding on Page 2, second to the last paragraph, the words “was handled with” decorum…W. Hildreth advised she had asked about Kindergarten and Readiness classes; wants to split it up to make sure it works. She feels should move Readiness along to make it successful; VOTED: 5-0, MOTION PASSED.

After discussion, K. Whippie MOVED to amend the RSA in the 12/15/11 non-public minutes to RSA91-A:3 II(a) only; SECONDED by: T. Croteau, VOTED: 5-0, MOTION PASSED.

W. Hildreth MOVED to approve the non-public minutes of the December 15, 2011 Board meeting as amended; SECONDED by: K. Whippie, after discussion, VOTED: 5-0,

Warrant Articles:
The Board reviewed the Warrant Articles drafted by K. Dassau.
C. Duquette brought to the Board the possibility of eliminating the Budget Committee in the budget setting process for the school.
K. Dassau discussed the Budget Committee’s proposal of setting the budget at $8,000,000 with a 10% rule which will not allow more than an $800,000 increase and restricts the public from any further increase.

After discussion, C. Duquette MOVED to see if the Winchester School District will vote to rescind the adoption of RSA32:14 which will result in the elimination of the Budget Committee’s role in future School District business; SECONDED by: W. Hildreth, VOTED: 3-2, (T. Croteau, J. Gile – no), MOTION PASSED.
K. Dassau will send the proposed warrant to Matt Upton. When done, they will finalize it and the Board will vote on the warrant articles at the next meeting.
K. Dassau brought the RSA 32:16 that says the Budget Committee has 20 days to give the budget to the School Board or the School Board budget goes forward on its own.
Default Budget:
C. Paulin distributed budget forms for Board signatures.
K. Dassau advised the Default Budget is on line.
Final Reading of Policies BB, BEAB, DGD, GCO, GDS, IC, JEC:
W. Hildreth, MOVED to approve Policies BB, BEAB, DGD, GCO, GDS, IC, JEC; SECONDED by: J. Gile, after discussion, amended policy BEAB changing the word communications to communicate on page 6; VOTED: 5-0, MOTION PASSED.

T. Croteau asked about last year’s deficit; who do we still owe?
K. Dassau explained there has been no one who has not been paid; they are using money from this year. It keeps rolling forward.
T. Croteau asked where do we stand as of today?
C. Paulin advised the numbers are accurate but in Oil, Keene tuition and Special Ed, don’t know what we might use. Also, there is transportation.
C. Paulin thinks all will balance out pretty well.
T. Croteau – Are the percentage of accounts where we should be?
C. Paulin – Yes, still some unknowns. Advised will be looking at each account so we will know, with some precision, where we will end up.
The Board asked questions on the budget, i.e., salaries and benefits.
K. Whippie feels a 51% encumbrance against the whole budget is pretty good.
W. Hildreth asked if there was a way to build a monthly chart showing students moving in and out, etc. so the Board can show it at the final stages of the budget.

W. Hildreth MOVED to approve the manifest in the amount of $2,087,474.33; SECONDED by: C. Duquette, VOTED: 5-0, MOTION PASSED.

The Board received J. Lewis’ report in their packets.
*NECAP scores will be coming out this month.
*Head Lice checks were postponed. Applewood will be doing them on the 11th.
*Received a check for almost $1,000 from box tops.
*Saturday detention. J. Lewis advised they did an analysis of high school kids; not a lot of kids
going. The highest number was five, the lowest was one. He feels it is something to consider.
The Board advised Saturday detention has been cancelled for next year.
After discussion, K. Whippie MOVED to eliminate Saturday detention and freeze spending in that line item of the budget effective 2/1/12; SECONDED by: W. Hildreth, VOTED: 5-0, MOTION PASSED.

The Board received K. Dassau’s report in their packets.
*The Board and Budget Committee received a pie chart showing the different percentages of
budget increases.. K. Dassau will be working on the budget summary.
*Letter to Congressmen Bass is on the website.
*Superintendent Evaluation – K. Dassau will look for the form that both he and the Board can complete. He will do a self-evaluation and then a committee will be formed of two School Board members, one person from Administration and one teacher, by March 1st. The Board will evaluate it as a Superintendent/Director of Special Education dual position then they will meet in non-public to discuss. T. Croteau and J.Gile, the Board reps. will give forms to the other School Board members for their input.
J. Miller advised they will be putting on Kids First! Winchester Summit on January 28th; looking at transition pieces for Kindergarten-Readiness, Middle School to High school and High School to Life Skills; including panel discussions and work groups. There will be a flyer coming out and registration. It will be held from 8:30 to 12:00 with breakfast and lunch. They are planning for 30-100 people. J. Miller hopes the Board will participate. Information will be included in the next Board packet, on-line, in the school newsletter, newspapers, etc.
T. Croteau asked about the pie graph; is the number for Food Service accurate or is it low?
C. Paulin explained they will be looking at changes in meals and possibly holiday meals.

C. Duquette asked C. Paulin to give the low-down on the kitchen; what is being spent, etc.
T. Croteau thinks pizza every Friday is too much.
J. Lewis advised they are working on an alternative.

T. Croteau hopes to attend the Delegate Assembly meeting next Saturday. He asked the Board what he will need to do.
C. Duquette advised he would represent the Winchester School Board and vote on their behalf.
K. Dassau knows attorneys with the NHSBA. Need to know that something on the IDEA will be done.

Community Relations:
There will be an open house at the Ashuelot Library from 6:00-8:00 pm.
K. Dassau advised no RSA is required to discuss negotiations.

C. Duquette and W. Hildreth presented the Support Staff Agreement. The Board approved the contract expenses up to $17,500.

K. Whippie MOVED to adjourn the meeting at 9:11 pm; SECONDED by: W. Hildreth,
Respectfully submitted,
Peggy Higgins
School Board Secretary


Scratching my head said...

It has been my experience that "unsupervised" employees have a great deal of self entitlement and are not as reliable.

Self evaluation and then only one board member and one teacher will evaluate him. Really?

Threatening the Budget Committee with a lawsuit? The State just passed an antibullying bill, did they not? I would say that Mr. Dassau should consider the ramifications of his bullying tactics. It appears he may have cut off his nose to spite his face. This one will come back to bite him in the butt!

the Winchester Informer said...

Well there you have it folks, plain as day, right there in black and white. The School Board has decided that they now know what's best for all of us, that they and they alone should have the power to set our tax rate depending upon how much money they want to spend and no one is going to stand in their way.
Talk about arrogance and hegemony, these people are bullies, tyrants, fear mongers who wish to rule the community. What a fine example they set for your children.
In every society there are rules to follow, a system of checks and balances; from the Federal Government all the way down to our local government. Our Budget Committee, citizens elected by you and me are one of them. Their job is to determine what is a fair and just amount of dollars from taxation, is used to fund our town and schools without destroying the economic balance of the town and it's citizens. Their goal is to provide assistance and guidance to the Board of Selectmen, School Board and staffs leading to the development, drafting and review of the Town's annual budget. It's a tough and sometimes thankless job, simply because they will never please either side. Some people will scream that taxation is too high, boards and department heads will scream they aren't being given enough money to adequately do their jobs and still others will scream that it's all unfair. But without the Budget Committee, we have no checks and balances, no one to watch over the hen house while the foxes circle and move in for the kill.
Collen Duquette, Kevan Whippie, Wendy Hildreth and Ken Dassau have made it perfectly clear what their intentions are, full control over the town. They have already proven they can not stay within their allotted budget and have broken the law this past year ( RSA 32:11 ) and their excuse was " we did not know" poppycock .. Don't let these people, pretending to be “the purveyors of truth” get their way and destroy our town with their fear mongering. Vote no on their warrant article to remove the Budget Committee from setting the School Budget.

Anonymous said...

So...any of these Bozo's up for re-election this year?

Anonymous said...

Winchester School Board members, let then know what you think about their scare tactics. Remember who voted NO

C. Duquette MOVED to see if the Winchester School District will vote to rescind the adoption of RSA32:14 which will result in the elimination of the Budget Committee’s role in future School District business; SECONDED by: W. Hildreth, VOTED: 3-2, (T. Croteau, J. Gile – no), MOTION PASSED.

Colleen Duquette
63 Elm Street
Winchester, NH 03470
Term Ends: March 2012

Kevan Whippie
Board Member
85 Stone Mountain Road
Winchester, NH 03470
Term Ends: 2013

Wendy Hildreth
Vice Chair
58 Old Chesterfield Road
Winchester, NH 03470
Term Ends: March 2014

Jennifer Gile
Board Member
5 Connor Court
Winchester, NH 03470
Term Ends: March 2012

Trevor S. Croteau
121 Scotland Road
Winchester, NH 03470
Term Ends: 2014

Anonymous said...

To all. Please be advised that there is a public meeting at the Ford building.6:30 It is a chance to ask the SAU questions about the potential budget and the potential default budget. Also Thursday night there is a public hearing on the withdrawal committee to withdraw from keene high.

If you think 3.5million dollars is alot to educate our kids in keene then we need to support the article and committee. We might research and find it would be more and we are getting a good deal. But we all know it will probably show us that keene is holding us hostage.

Please attend both meetings it is your tax dollars being discussed.

Wendy Hildreth said...

I have no reason to hide behind a fictious name or to explain my decisions or opinion on a "blog ". You can pick and choose what school board minutes to place on here but "all" school board meeting minutes are posted on the schools website as well as nonpublic minutes (unless they are sealed minutes. )I also want to remind our community that our meetings are open to the public and we do allow for "citizens comments" at every meeting. Come listen to the discussions, ask your questions. I feel its important to have your "own" perspective and understanding on what is "actually" going on in our schools.

Anonymous said...

Well said Wendy. The WI continues to screen out comments and only post negatives. This blog continues to go against its mission statement and personal attack anyone whose comments they dont agree with. Blame blame blame.

John C. said...

Seems you got your feathers ruffled Wendy, don't you like having people know just who you are and what you stand for? Go hide back on that school board and take your friend with you, we know exactly what's going on.

Stan ( not hiding my name either ) said...

Same old song by the same old group. If you don't like how they run this blog and have issues with the content, go read and post someplace else. Don't come here calling the kettle black, as the old saying goes, "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen". The WI posts facts for everyone and has allowed both of you to run your mouths so what's your problem? Not everyone can find content on the school site and like the town's website, not everything posted is exactly how the meetings went.

Anonymous said...

Someone already did set up another factual blog site.

Anonymous said...

Fact of the matter is that 6 people from the Budget Committee have stripped the rights from the voters. They have cut the budget so low that they have tied the hands of the voters.

The Budget Committee was designed to put a responsible budget in front of the people. It was not designed to reduce a budget so low that the people can only raise it to what they would have orginally thought was ok.

What Ted has proposed is a budget figure that is way less than even he thinks is the enough to run the school. It was also magically 20% less than the school boards budget.

The lawsuit that is being threatened is because the proposed budget is barely enough to cover the contractual obligations. We do have laws that govern our childrens it or not they have rights.

Brian motioned a budget of $8million dollars to "get the school boards attention".... job well done. Now we have lawsuit.

Through the whole budget process Bob motioned cuts of 20% with no concrete recommendations and randomly chose line items that never added up.

Remember deliberative last year. Brian Moser motioned for a $10.5 million budget and felt that was resonable to run the school and SAU. Now Keene has raised tuitions by almost $500k and he supported a $9.1 Million budget. Is there something wrong with his math?

How about the fact that every budget meeting is posted restricting what is discussed. Another tactic to control and ended up putting the town at risk of this lawsuit by not allowing the School budget to be revisited.

Or.... when budget information was witheld from the members by the chair. He allowed the members to vote on budgets and let them think they had up to date budget information when in fact he witheld it from them. That night the budget committed past several budgets that could have been less if the proper information was handed out... another tactic to remove the power from the process.

Lastly I wonder if this will get posted. It directly speaks against the people that run this blog.

Censorship... at its finest.

Anonymous said...

Lies and more lies, will it ever stop? The spinmeisters are out in force tonight trying to cover their azzes that they have been exposed to be the greediest bunch ever to serve on a public board. Keep using the excuse that you are required by law to break the town and drive everyone into the poorhouse all in the name of our children. You are so full of it ! It's all about making sure you all get rich while the town goes broke trying to keep up with a skyrocketing school budget and putting the blame on Keene or the people on the budget committee. You really are a fine lot of liars. Did it ever occur to you smartazzes that if we can't put food on the table or clothes on our kids backs they will suffer worse than if they have a few extra kids in their classrooms and a few less para's distracting them from actually learning? You people are so full of yourselves. But you aren't as smart as you think or are we as dumb as you hope us to be. The whole lot of you need to go, we're wise to your tactics and know the real truth in what is going on.

Anonymous said...

If I don't get my way I'm taking my ball and going home and tell my mommy. Doesn't this sound exactly like our school board members crying foul because our budget committee wouldn't let them have their own way and kowtow to their demands that they have their cake and eat it too at the expense of many of us whose suffering they could care less about, "homes are lost every day, says Ken Dassau. ". This is a mad group of power-mongers who will stop at nothing short of destroying the very families they claim they are working for. Just where do they think people are going to keep coming up with the money year after year to satisfy their greed? How many of us have to choose between feeding and clothing our kids or paying the 3rd highest tax rate in the whole state? I agree, we need a new school board from top to bottom and something needs to be done to get our school system back into the real world.

take a hike said...

This is a good factual blog and many documents have been provided to show proof on a number of the subjects we get to comment on. We don't need to go to another blog to find the truth, it is right here. I suggest to those few who come here to complain that you go post on your own blog and pacify yourselves.

what is going on? said...

I don't believe that these fools are using money from this years budget to pay last years debts. Are they nutz? Isn't this against the law, raising taxation to pay for debts incurred the year before without some kind of an emergency process approved by the state? What kind of foolishness is that? How do they expect to ever balance their budget or do they? Are we all to be the fall guys for this nonsense? I don't care what claims they make, this is no way to run a multimillion business.

cut the greed! said...

Every voter and tax payer should support budget committee member Ted Ryll who’s idea the budget committee should set a target town tax rate (say) at $25.00 a thousand and then the town and school can divide it up anyway they see fit but that is all you get. It will stop the greed and you only get to visit the pig trough only once each year..

Once the target tax rate is set it should only increase accordingly to cost of living index each year.

Scratching my head said...

Dear Cut the greed -

BRAVO! What a BRILLIANT idea! I support Ted Ryll 100%!!!! Instead of pointing the finger at the budget committee, the town and school will then have to work within their means.

What a novel idea. Perhaps then they would see that paying out $105 thousand for a Superintendent is a bit steep. Does he work a full year? Or does he work on a teacher's "school year"? The administrative salaries are a bit steep in my opinion.

Regarding the town, to start with - we could cut everyone to part-time and stop paying out benefits. That would cut a lot of money!

Anonymous said...

Strike 3 Moser your out! Seems like you guided the Budget Committee and Tax payers wrong. Seems like your mistakes have allowed the School Board to put their $11.5 Million budget on the ballot...

All you people that think him and the others that you voted for have your back... think again. Personal agenda's have again cost us tax payers millions.

Leadership is about getting the job done... He failed.

Anonymous said...

With regard to using tax rate targets for budgeting. The estimated tax rate target is connected directly to local conditions. It creates goals for the budget process . In particular it should analyze revenues, and take into consideration , factors such as declining property sales and valuations, unpaid municipal property taxes, foreclosures, and an eye on the state house bills. It gives stability based on the whole economic viability of predictable tax rates. The number one straw on the camel's back, that will lead to the demise of the future in Winchester will be the tax rate. Blind faith doesn't create wealth. Budget tunnel vision or more simply put "Old Dobbins Blinders" does not focus on the larger, whole, picture of preserving or encouraging economic well being. Wealth is held in assets, which is in a large part, property. The process currently in favor here encourages the decline of such. One does not have to be a psychic to predict what will happen when the birds come home to roost.

Anonymous said...

Dear Scratching:
Go to the deliberative make a motion and let's do it. Wonder if they can all live on "cuts" like the rest of us? Works for me!

Great Idea said...

Ted Ryll gets a GOLD STAR, as well as the budget committee members that supported the idea.

Anonymous said...

To the idiot blaming Brian Moser for everything, What a crass moron you are. Your dislike for Mr. Moser comes shining through in your comments.

Brian Moser has nothing to do with the greed and arrogance these people demonstrate and the bullying tactics of Ken Dassau and several members of the School Board. They and they alone are to blame for our high tax rate, not him or the budget committee.
What the School Board did last year and continues to do shows their incompetence and their total lack of respect for each and every tax payer in town. They have broken the law not once but now twice. They legally can not put their bloated 11.5 million dollar budget on the ballot, they have erred. look at these minutes for Gods sake, they are still working on their budget, so they never submitted a complete plan to the Budget Committee as the law requires them to do. Why are you blaming Moser, he followed the law and I hope the Budget Committee now sues them for acting illegally. We all know that our Select Board won't do a damn thing. And if you fools vote for this bloated budget, the onus falls on those of you who do because not only will it go against all common sense; but it will only add to the number of people who will not be able to afford their taxes and create an even larger deficit in the budget so there still won't be any money for the town to pay to the school. Wise up everyone, we're getting screwed by a bunch of greedy liars,

Education Lesson said...

Perhaps people should realize that the "spin mister” that the teachers and parents are listening to (Mr. Dassau) has a lot at stake. This includes his salary of $81 per hour plus full benefit package. He is employed to work three days a week as the Superintendent and 2 days a week to work as the Special Education coordinator (and somewhere in that he is required to work for Surry). Did you catch that? Two part-time jobs, but we are paying him FULL benefits. We could have hired two people, for less money and not being paying out benefit packages. Our School Board decided that we are better off this way.

Anonymous said...

Once again the board believes that they are dealing with the village idiots. However, that is not the case as we know that $81.00 per hour is more than most of us will make. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that we really are paying the bulk of his salary. If that is the case then he should treat us more respectfully. Perhaps we should all tell him that you had "better not bite the hand that feeds you." We have the power to eliminate his job and hire three people for less money. Think about that Mr. Dassau!

The Good Life said...

$81 an hour and full benefits, guess that tells the whole story. So what if a few people lose there jobs or homes, come on folks help this guy out.