Advisory #8

See the letter from an NKTA member, and School Board member, in support of Jamie Fitzpatrick for the Newton seat on the School Board.

Voting is March 12, 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM. Your vote will impact your schools, your taxes and your town!

Absentee ballots are available through town hall.

NKTA has worked to restrain tax growth over the past 5 years. The rate of property tax increase is lessened, and much more needs to be done.

Title: Reasons to Vote for Jamie Fitzpatrick for Newton Seat on School Board

Dear Newton Voters,

Please vote YES for Jamie Fitzpatrick to represent Newton on the School Board.

Mr. Fitzpatrick brings years of business leadership and problem-solving to our community. We are fortunate he is willing to serve in this capacity.

Jamie has two children, one at Penn State and one at Sanborn. His kids are amazing, and it’s in part due to the quality of parenting Jamie and his wife provide. He is very invested in working cooperatively with his fellow School Board members in delivering the highest quality education, with fiscal common-sense.

Often, very important School Board work is done in public meetings of subcommittees that are then reported out in the School Board meetings. Mr. Fitzpatrick’s opponent frequently misses the meetings of the subcommittees to which he is assigned, often without notice and excuse. Missing meetings creates an extra burden for other school board members.

Furthermore, Mr. Fitzpatric’s opponent is continually heard to say, spend more, to almost any cost. For example, in a recent board meeting where a professional made a presentation on a new alternative accreditation option, the opponent recommended doing both the former and the new option, not even recommended by the professional. This lack of looking into the costs, advantages and outcomes to the District before throwing out “Spend More” was ill-advised in my opinion.

The opponent continues to advocate for the hiring of a “Public Relations Director” or “Communications Coordinator” for the District, at an estimated, annual cost of $103,000 including benefits. He has done so consistently for 3 years, even though the Administrator contracts include Public Relations responsibilities and the School Board has a Public Relations subcommittee. Unnecessary spending reduces funds otherwise available for improving learning options for students and needlessly increases the tax burden. As most know, carefully scrutinizing budgets and rebalancing to eliminate wasteful spending along with improving academics continues to be very needed.

Electing Jamie Fitzpatrick will bring additional, thoughtful, seasoned, fiscal responsibility and effective leadership to the existing Board.

Mr. Fitzpatrick has been known to ask some tough questions that some find challenging. He asks questions to seek answers that will be consistent with continually moving in the direction of excellence in education.
Jamie Fitzpatrick will be a strong representative of Newton on the School Board to work with the rest of the Board and with the Superintendent toward best practices for improved education at fiscally sound and sustainable costs.

Please give Jamie your vote on March 12 for Newton School Board Representative.

Thank you for your time and consideration.
Jim Baker, Newton