The recently approved Windham School District budget included diesel fuel for the school buses that was projected to cost $4/gal. Before the May 5th Windham School Board (WSB) meeting, the price had been locked in at a rate of $2.01/gal – thereby producing an anticipated savings of $82K.
Three members of the WSB, Chairman Ken Eyring, Vice Chairman Tom Murray and School Board Member Daniel Popovici-Muller were proponents of freezing the surplus money because it was no longer needed “for the purpose that was approved by voters”. Without any action by the Board, the surplus funding would have been added to the General Fund, where it could have been expended for any other un-budgeted purpose.
Another example of fiscal responsibility and the fulfillment of campaign promises is related to Education Adequacy Aid. Over the past five years, the Windham School District has received nearly $12M less in Adequacy Aid than we should have from the State due to a flaw in the formula that short changes Windham Taxpayers. On May 7th, Chairman Eyring traveled to Concord to meet with Senate President Chuck Morse and Senator Nancy Stiles to discuss modifying the law to address the shortfall – which includes a whopping $3M for this year alone. He was joined by Windham Superintendent Winfried Feneberg, Bedford Superintendent Chip McGee and Bedford School Board Vice Chairman Scott Earnshaw.
Chairman Eyring reported the meeting went well, stating “Both Senators expressed their commitment and resolve to find a solution to remove the funding cap and provide the proper funding for the education of our children going forward.”
Windham Representative Dave Bates must also be recognized for fulfilling his campaign promise to spearhead this extremely important issue on behalf of Windham residents. His extensive efforts to reach out to many State Representatives and Senators towards finding an acceptable Adequacy Aid solution has been included into the House version of the State Budget. It is expected the Senate will also include a solution into the Senate version of the budget as well. There is still a lot of work to do, but there appears to be a commitment by a significant number of our State Legislators to find a solution to this issue.
The Windham Taxpayers Coalition applauds School Board Members Eyring, Murray and Popovici-Muller, as well as State Representative Bates for their excellent leadership and representation of Windham voters. Their commitment to fiscal responsibility is a fulfillment of their campaign promises to be good stewards of our taxpayer money.
Chairman, Windham Taxpayers Coalition
The Windham Taxpayers Coalition is a grass roots organization of Windham taxpayers that collectively volunteer hundreds of hours of their time in order to help Windham Voters make more informed decisions via our annual Voters Guide, which was delivered to Windham residents on Saturday, March 7th. We’re please to provide you with this information in a factual document that will assist you in casting a more informed vote that is based on your individual values.
Chairman, Windham Taxpayers Coalition
The following letter was submitted by Windham School Board Member Ken Eyring.
When I ran for the Windham School Board (WSB), I promised transparency. Sometimes, that puts me in an uncomfortable situation when I disagree with fellow Board Members. Such is the case now, as I provide my insights regarding what I feel was a rushed 3-1-1 decision (Rekart/Joanis/Senibaldi – yes, Eyring – no, Breton – abstain) to sign a no-bid, $577K contract with Cenergistic, a “behavior-based” energy conservation company during the 1/6/15 WSB meeting.
The Windham School District (WSD) spends more than $45M a year, but unfortunately, not all of it is spent wisely. Maintenance of our buildings should be a priority and have been neglected. Here are events that led to the closing of the Golden Brook modular building last week.
Effective immediately, former NH State Representative Rick Okerman will assume the Chairmanship of the Windham Taxpayers Coalition.
When Windham Taxpayers overwhelmingly voted down the proposed two-grade, $50M school last March – it was an important first step in getting Windham School District (WSD) taxes under control. The next step is to find cost effective solutions to our needs. The most glaring (and potentially costly) need is to reduce the crowding problem in the Windham Middle School (WMS).
The Windham Taxpayers Coalition (WTC) will form a Committee to review the Town’s Annual Audit that will be published in August. WTC Board Member Bruce Breton will serve as Chairman of this committee, which will review the audit and then provide comments to the public and the Windham Board of Selectmen.