by Ed Naile
Breaking new ground in the ever evolving world of school board political activism, we have the “Gilmanton Five.”
Facing down another attempt at the adoption of SB2, by some people who pay for all the millions the Gilmanton School Board spends, the Board went and pulled the only despicable stunt they could think of – a “private last minute letter.” (Dated February 22, 2011)
“Dear Gilmanton School District Voters:
As members of your School Board, we are writing to let you know that on this year’s ballot there will be a proposal to adopt SB2 voting for the School District. We strongly oppose this measure.”
I’ll bet they do.
There is NOTHING more aggravating than more voters having a say on school spending. Ask any liberal tax and spender.
At the bottom of the anti-SB2 letter is the phrase: “P.S. This mailing is paid for entirely with private funds.”
I kinda doubt that because anyone willing to misuse their position on a school board would probably find a way to use the mailing lists of the school as well.
But what is obvious from the campaign material sent out “privately” by the School Board is the fact that they had to meet somewhere for this “private” venture.
Under RSA 91-A, anytime a quorum meets to conduct business related to their elected position it is a public meeting. I would say five members is a quorum.
Now, do they meet and discuss other public business – beside the “private’ mailings?
They seem awful comfortable avoiding the Right to Know Law when it serves their purpose.
AND they have the dream situation all school boards look for: unanimous consent – nobody with any ethics on this board!
Mike hatch – No ethics.
Renee Kordas – I do what I please.
Phillip Eisenmann – Go pound sand.
Frank Weeks – Weasel.
Ella Jo Regan – Do what I say, not what I do.
Here is the relevant part of the Feb. 8 Gilmanton School Board Minutes where they publicly and quite privately vote to electioneer:
SB2 “Ella Jo Regan made the motion to send out a letter of opposition to SB2. The motion was seconded by Renee Kordas. Chairman Hatch called the motion to a vote. The vote was four in favor and one abstention.
It was noted that all of the cost and labor associated with the mailing will not come out of district funds but will be paid for by private funds.”
Was the letter printed at the school?
And how do you guarantee private funds unless you have it arraigned ahead of time?
Who drafted the letter and when and where did the individuals sign it – on school grounds?
There is a case in NH called, Derry Taxpayers V. Derry, where the town was required by the court to provide equal space in a publication paid for by the town when it took a side rather than inform. It is called a compelled speech case.
The Gilmanton School Board lawyer certainly knows this – unless they ran it past him first.
See how complicated it gets.