Comments for: Students being hardest hit by failed RSU 19 loan proposal after $750,000 budget cut

Posted Nov. 08, 2012, at 8:09 p.m.
Last modified Nov. 09, 2012, at 10:27 a.m.

NEWPORT | Many students of Regional School Unit 19 immediately felt the effect of the district’s failed $3.6 million loan proposal. Due to serious errors in previous budgets — including the fact that member towns were not billed for their obligations to the school district, RSU 19 has a …

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  • Anonymous

    I live in dixmont and I know how bad it is right now I am so worried my son dont go on a regular school bus he has other transportaion is that next to be cut and I would love to see them go from a 5 day school week to a 4 day school week it would cut out cost of food of  one day and gas for buses and i know the days would have to be longer for the kids but they could do more activities in school than after school I know a school were all the kids all the age groups does activities as a school there is less bullying and the kids get along so much better cause they get to know everyone the time could be utilized to get more work done in fhe 4 days and to unite the kids together to make a great school just my thought cause its better than the kids loosing all their activities mabe that way they can still have some and by increasing the days a little the teachers wont loose their pay either or at least not as much as they would if they lost their jobs just saying 

    • Anonymous

      spiceyfox, thanks for your input, but please use punctuation so the rest of us can read it.

  • Emmaline Greensward

    I know this kind of situation isn’t easy for today’s parents, teachers
    and students to understand, but in fact, the cuts sound exactly like the
    kind of education I received myself, some 40 years ago. Really, people,
    you will live without all the after-school programs and free busing
    for those after-school programs.

    Many of us did just fine without all the “extras” in today’s school programs, and
    as the economy continues to suffer, parents and teachers are going to have to get used
    to the “new normal.”

    • Anonymous

      Did you read the fullarticle article? There are a lot more cuts than just after school activities and bussing. If this is the “new norm” of education in this district, this state, then it is a sad state we’re in.

      • Anonymous

        it is a sad state but what else do you people expect from deficit spending and extending services and programs beyond our means to pay for them without debt?

        you can’t just keep acruing debt with no end in sight and with no ability to pay it off

        whether people like it or not, this IS the new norm

        • Emmaline Greensward

           Thank you. That’s what I meant.

        • Anonymous

          Except it wasn’t deficit spending that put the district in this position. It was an accounting error that caused the district not to bill the towns for thier obligations. Their spending was within budget.
          I understand peoples frustrations with property taxes going up, but what most people are failing to understand is they are going to go up regardless of the loan, property values are going to decline as well, as others have stated.
          I’m not protesting cutting the budget, but a balance needs to be struck to make sure the kids are getting a quality education. Nobody is winning with this situation now.

    • Guest

      ….

      • Emmaline Greensward

         That’s all great, when it can be afforded by the people paying the bills. This is no longer possible due to all the money increases over the years. It’s time to go back more to the three Rs and have kids that can read and write and make change when they get out of school.

        • Guest

          There is no going back. 

          • Anonymous

            LOL….there is going back and you will either willingly accept to live within your means or natural economic market forces will force you to do so

            whoever told you this current system is in any way, shape, or form sustainable was either lying to you because they have an economic vested interest to do so or they are simply ignorant of basic econmic reality 

          • Emmaline Greensward

             The people hit by Sandy in NYC and NJ are figuring it out. When the power goes out, all those gadgets are paper weights.

          • Guest

            ….

          • Emmaline Greensward

             I support parents paying for their own kids and their needs, not expecting the public to fund a Cadillac education when we can only afford a used car. You must be a union member, seriously.

          • Guest

            …..

          • Emmaline Greensward

             I think I “know” you the same way you do me, in your other comments.

            No, children to not have a “right” to an “above par” education. They have a right to a decent education that meets state and federal laws. That doesn’t include cheerleading, endless sports and after school activities.

          • Anonymous

            your right there no going back but as families do every day we must learn to live within our means and so must the schools

          • Emmaline Greensward

             About time, too!

      • Anonymous

        You actually believe that children are better off today?   This idea that we all have to march in one direction is reminicent of lemmings. 

        You jump off the cliff, I will happily take a step backwards.

      • Anonymous

        The “modern world” has changed, I agree.
        People have to pay for their own retirement these days, pay for their own insurance, and many people have to pay their own medical bills, etc.
        Parents are also going to have to step up and pay to take care of their child’s education. The rest of us just can’t afford it anymore.
        30 years ago companies provided full retirement, full health insurance, etc. and that’s no longer the case, we pay for it. All this is in addition to normal household bills that we didn’t used to have.
        If people can’t afford to feed, clothe, and educate a child then shame on them, they shouldn’t have them in the first place. Many people are in survival mode, and that means that they are going to worry about the people that they care about first, and people that you care about with what’s left, not vice versa, as the government expects.
        You should ask yourself how many children you’re paying to educate who’s parents pay no taxes, therefore contribute nothing to educate their own child. Then imagine how it would be if everyone contributed.

        • Guest

          • Emmaline Greensward

            Yes — and it’s the schools a lot of the time. The public is finally saying enough!
             

          • Guest

            No dear. People are tired and disgusted with attitudes such as yours.

          • Emmaline Greensward

             Public education means academics, not after school programs, sports and big salaries nobody can afford. Look up what the state says schools have to provide. You won’t find daycare on the list.

            The voters spoke, and it had nothing to do with the Tea party.

          • Guest

            …..

          • Guest
          • Anonymous

            Well there is the problem, we “are” worried about how much taxes we pay.
            There is nothing selfish about trying to survive and take care of our own. Selfish is expecting others to provide for you. Selfish is taking what other people earn to provide for their own family and expecting it to provide for yours.
            We all have to provide more and more for ourselves these days, so people should think about it before they decide to start a family. You may actually have to be responsible for your child’s welfare.

          • Guest

            You are not an island.

    • Anonymous

      I wasn’t going to reply to this, but I feel I must.. (there’s a surprise!)  I posted this on another article about the loan not passing, and edited it for this one…

      This is directly from a 17 year old Junior going to Nokomis Regional High School that was
      posted on Facebook 8 Nov 12.  For those of you who don’t know, AP stands for Advanced Placement…          

      “They gave out pink slips to staff today. They also informed us that
      they no longer have a way to pay for kids to take the AP tests. Those kids are now taking classes that involve a lot of dedication for nothing.  Also, our computers will all be taken if some kind of budget does not pass.  Nokomis is a very sad place right now”.

      EXTRAS?!?!?!  WHAT EXTRAS?!?!?!?  They are basically cutting classes!!!!!   You people are killing me….  So now my younger children can’t even take AP classes that my oldest son was able to partake in so you can save $6.33 a month?  WOW!!!  Have you ever been to Newport, or have you just gone through it on your way to Greenville, or Sugarloaf?  Let me tell you, it is not a rich area, it would be a stretch to call it middle class….  I would LOVE to get into how important those sports and extra curricular activities are to children in the district, and how this WILL affect the voters who voted no in the long run, but it falls on deaf ears to the selfish people of the community, and news readers who aren’t even apart of the community…  I can’t tell you how many times I heard that the reason more kids in the outer communities of RSU 19 (St. Albans, Heartland, Etna~Dixmont) didn’t participate in sports, ROTC, Show Chorus etc,  is because their parents couldn’t afford to drive to pick them up.  And now the kids who could barely afford being in sports and other activities in the first place, have to find rides to and from games and events?  Some of those games and events are past Gardiner, or all the way up in Houlton!!!!  That’s over a 100 mile round trip!!  What about those kids that need extra help after school and were able to take the late bus home because their parents are either still at work, or cant afford the gas to come get them?  Are they supposed to fail, because the school district can’t afford the gas to take them home?  The kids in Newport barely have anything as it is,  and now you’re taking away the reasons they want to go to school!!!  It’s always fun going to somewhere like Ellsworth High School for a music festival and have the kids look at their brand new facilities, or Hampton at their state of the art football field, and have them ask why Newport can’t have this?  What are you supposed to say to that?    

      Nokomis is now most likely THE poorest school district in the state Maine, it was apparently #2….  You can blame the Budget short fall on a clerical error, or Braun all you want, but in the end it’s the children who are the ones suffering right now, and in the long run,  the entire community is going to suffer…  I guess they don’t deserve to work hard and get good grades in order to be in the Advance Placement classes, because the voters need to save that $6.33 a month!!!  So, on behalf of all the children in RSU 19, let me say THANK YOU!!!  Thank you for voting no!!!  I certainly hope you’re enjoying ALL that money you’re saving!!!  Now, why don’t you head on over to Dunkin, and get a doughnut to celebrate your accomplishment!!!!

      Bring on the critical responses…..

      • Emmaline Greensward

        This is the same thing the public has heard every single time a cut is suggested. Every single time. The sky is falling.

        Parents can buy their own computers for their own children. If they can’t afford gas for after-school activities then keep them home and teach them yourself. Schools are not babysitting providers.

        How do you think this country managed before the big spending over the last 45 years?

        • Anonymous

          Yup, the sky is falling!  How many people will want to move into this area with a horrible school district?  Try selling your house now.

          Teach them myself? Are you kidding me?  I have a job, I have to work so I can pay for my child to have a less than sub-par education now…  What century are you living in?  Computers are here to stay.  So our children are going to be so far behind the times, its going to be a miracle  if they can even get into college, let alone graduate.  But hey, hopefully McDonalds will still be there by then, because we all strive for that awesome $7.25 hour job at McDonalds!!!

          Why are you punishing the kids for grownup’s mistake? 

          • Emmaline Greensward

             Exaggeration of the real situation.

          • Anonymous

            Oh, please enlighten me to the REAL situation, because you obviously know what’s best for the RSU 19 children.  

            The REAL situation is you people kept a superintendent in a district for 20+ years and did NOTHING, then when he made a mistake, you make the innocent children suffer…  Childhood is so short, they deserve better than this.  

          • Anonymous

            Nobody is punishing kids. We are making the parents responsible for their children. So, you have a job. Did you not figure that when you decided to start a family?
            If you want your child to have a better education than “we” can afford to provide for them, then you should be willing to provide it. They are your responsibility.

          • Anonymous

            Look at the demographics.  The averave Mainer is past the child baring years.  If I have no children (which most people moving to maine do not) I’m going to look for the low taxes, and not care about the condition of the school. 

            I’ve found in selling real estste that the property must match the owner.  Many more buyers (in rural areas) want lower taxes.

            Nobody likes to admit they are poor, BUT that’s the case. Lots of folks are out of work and out of money. What’s your plan, to take their houses for property tax, sell them, and spend money on after-school programs and cheerleading?

            You seem to have lots of sympathy for parents of school age children, but little for older people on fixed income.

            Shame on you.

      • Anonymous

        Why would we throw more money at a school system that has already proven they do not know how to manage money?  Fix the money management issue first.  Show us that those responsiblle are gone and convince us that it will not just happen again.  It is our money and we really do care if you don’t know how to handle it.

        • Anonymous

          Again, make the kids pay for the grownups mistake… 
          I’m sure you enjoyed Heat, toilet paper, tissues, books etc, when you went to school…  I guess those are “extras” my children can do without… 

          • Anonymous

            If you don’t fix the problem before you throw more money at it your kids will still not get the benefit from our money.  As a matter of fact I’m willing to bet your kids were already short changed by mismanagement in this case long before they let us know how bad they screwed it up.

          • Emmaline Greensward

             Wow exaggeration.

          • Anonymous

            Your child doesn’t have do without anything that “you” can provide for them.

      • Anonymous

        If parents can’ afford gas to take their kid to school or activities do you really think retired people and people working mcdonald jobs can afford to pay for the after school activities and by the way yes and thank you to all the people that voted no

        • Anonymous

          Nope! BTW, that’s where all the graduates of Nokomis will be working after they graduate, because they won’t be able to get into college…  

          • Anonymous

            not if they are educated ,but not in sports

      • Anonymous

        I would not call this area middle class and you said it right we are one of the poorest districts that why we can afford no more taxes

      • Anonymous

        They need to format the day different. When I went to school there you had a study hall at the end of each day for students that needed to see teachers for help. Not everyone gets  a study hall with the longer class times they have. We had the same amount of student 30 yrs ago that they have now and didn’t have all of the extras such as an activity bus etc. Make the classrooms  downstairs back into 2 classrooms by hanging the diving doors again. The kids can sit at desks in rows not in a large circle which takes up room. Close off the modular buildings, move the superindents office back to the high school and sell that building. I for one can’t afford to pay any more in taxes. If you can afford more than you pay what I can not. I have a fixed income. My husband hasn’t had a raise in 5 yrs but everything we need a daily basis has gone up. We make do with less as the district will now have to do. When a teacher retires they should be retired and not substituting. That is 2 pay checks! “Double Dipping” as I see it. Sorry for the rant……I can just not do more than I already am.

    • Not everyone is so enamored with living in the past as you are. The future moves FORWARD, not backwards. It’s cute to be a Victorian-Era buff and all, but that isn’t going to help this state compete 5-10 years down the road, unless there is a latent economy for doilies and parasol’s that I am unaware of.

      Those of you in the community that are stuck in old ways of thinking have no concept of how connected everything is nowadays. Parents are not going to buy houses in school districts that cannot compete with others in the State. If no one wants to own houses in the district, property values go down, businesses decide to build elsewhere (taking their property and income taxes with them), and eventually, ten years down the road, we all end up being required to pay an amount that makes this look like a sound investment.

      Not all kids can have parents that can afford to buy everything for them. I’m pretty sure that back in 1970 things were quite a bit different.

      40 years before you went to school was the Great Depression. You enjoyed plenty of “extras” in 1970 that people in the 30’s would have loved to have, but because of their generosity and struggle over those four decades, you were able to do “just fine”, and contribute to the world you were presented with upon graduation.

      To state that computers and such are not necessary education tools in todays day and age displays a gross lack of perspective on what the outside world is like in 2012. Your 1970’s education no longer cuts it. And if you are not able to see that, you cease to be part of the solution.

      • Anonymous

        I don’t think anybody wants to go back to the old days and i don’t think anybody implied computers are not necessary what most people want is their children to be well educate for the future and sports will not find the good jobs for our children and yes good schools are a necessary but good jobs bring people to the area this area has no good jobs and if you call extras going to a one room school with wood heat and brown bag lunches i can see you did’nt do well in your history classes 

        • Emmaline Greensward

           Thank you goldbird. There is a difference between a decent academic education , and having cheerleading and sports teams and endless after school programs when taxes are so high already. When times are tough, the frills have to go. That’s the way it is at home, and that’s the way it will be at more schools.

          • Anonymous

            Have you ever lived anywhere other than Maine?  These are the cheapest property taxes I have ever seen.  Oh wait, Cheap people…..  Kind of a trend, don’t you think? 

          • Anonymous

            Lived in Louisiana, Idaho, Utah, West Virginia, and depending what Maine town you inhabit you can pay MORE than any of these. 

            But that really doesn’t matter does it?  I would think that a genius like you would be concerned about the ability to pay these taxes.  The average wage in Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and California (all States with higher property taxes) is up to four times the average Maine wage. 

            If you are doing better than that, have a little concern for your neighbors who may not make your wages.

      • Anonymous

        Well said Chris!

  • Anonymous

    Cut out the classes and the teachers and save the sports and the coaches. That’s how UMaine operates, and it works for them. Compare the athletic bldgs. and inside facilities with many of the deteriorating classroom and office bldgs. that, if they were in athletics, would have been repaired immediately. 

    • Anonymous

      That’s the Maine Maritime Academy way.  Super-sized gym.. and athletic fields, a winter cruise, and summer programs galore.  With a $10,000 per student per year taxpayer subsidy, recruiting jocks from out of state (which comprise near 1/2 of the student body) is made easy. Augusta insiders insist that this is a great business plan.. most should believe that it’s a economic drain and long-term financial disaster.   

  • Anonymous

    That $3.6 million could have hired a good CPA with at least $3 million left over.  It looks like when we are playing with so much money, good accountants will pay for themselves.

    • Anonymous

      They are already paying a full accounting department.  I think it’s time some people were let go before we hire more people.

  • Old Bear

    How about having the teachers teach and letting the Ed Techs go. When we went to school teachers taught and you never saw a Ed Tech. Whats the cost of for the techs each year. I forgot that alot the teachers are over worked for 5months a year.I kind of wonder what kind of money Potter make.

    • Anonymous

      Ed. Techs. are an integral component of public education today. The special education population and child is much different than he/she used to be.

    • Anonymous

      Well Old Bear, back when we went to school, you didn’t need Ed TEch’s because if a student was disruptive and interrupting the education process of the whole classroom, their butts would be booted from school, often sent packing mid-day to walk home, and parents had to deal with the discipline issues. That no longer happens. ALL students are kept in school and that sometimes necessitates having a one-on-one Ed Tech. I’d rather pay for the Ed Techs to keep the rotten apples in check so MY kid can actually be taught and learn something in class. We actually home schooled one of our kids because she was in a barrel full of rotten apples, and packed over 25 full into a classroom meant to hold 15 to 18. I’d rather hire those Ed Techs and look elsewhere to cut. 

    • Guest

      This is not when “WE” went to school this is 2012. Times have changed.
      Teachers are priceless, Potter is an administrator.

  • Anonymous

    All sports and activities should be cut. The school should focus on only education so they can get through the year. I understand and value sports and activities, but the sole purpose right now should be education based expenditures.

    • If you understand an value sports and activities, why should they be cut?  Figure it out and get back to me.

      • Anonymous

        umm, because cutting teachers, but keeping sports doesn’t make sense

        • They didn’t HAVE TO cut either.

          • Anonymous

            Well yes, yes they did. They are 3.9 million in the whole. They had to cut. They didn’t get the revenue in another form, So, yes they had to cut.

          • No, actually they could have voted to approve the loan.  They CHOSE to cut.  So no, they didn’t have to cut either.  

          • Anonymous

            ahh, I apologize, I thought you meant the schools didn’t have to cut, but I see what you are saying, the towns could have approved the loan and the cuts wouldn’t have happened.

          • Guest

            Exactly. These people are hurting their own children.

          • Emmaline Greensward

            These people are paying their own bills at home, which hurts no children at all, more the opposite.

          • Emmaline Greensward

            The voters said no. It’s their choice.  

  • Anonymous

    ….

  • Anonymous

    Congrats to the voters. They just secured their kids futures. Alcohol butts drugs kids having kids and settling in to the homeless shelter in Bangor. Nice job you showed them!!!

    • Anonymous

      You really expected the voters to throw more money at a school system that has shown itself to be unable to handle the money.  How about we fix that problem first.

  • Anonymous

    And so it starts……………..

    WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN?
    WHAT WILL WE DO ABOUT THE CHILDREN?

     Meanwhile, the teachers havn’t offered up any of their union benefits to help the situation.

    • Anonymous

      Yes, because teachers are so grossly over paid. Good grief.

    • Anonymous

      The administrators are the cause of this problem not the teachers.  Find out who carried forward monies that did not exist in the past 2 budgets and prosecute those people for fraud.  Once the problem is fixed so that it will not happen again, then we can talk about more money.

    • Anonymous

      So its only up to the teachers to fix the WHOLE towns education money issues?

      • Emmaline Greensward

         All the money is in the teachers salaries.

        • Anonymous

          Nope, not but considering its a SCHOOL, and the main people that do the JOB is TEACHERS, then use their salaries would have a large line in the budget.

          • Emmaline Greensward

             Lion’s share of the budget is salaries and benefits. Read the budget. That’s why they only have 17 percent they can cut.

          • Anonymous

            Which makes sense considering its a school, and they are there to teacher, you have to pay them. That is why salaries are a big part of the budget, its the things they do.

        • Anonymous

          All the money is in the teachers salaries? Well, do you expect them to work for free. Is it not enough that they work for a 4+year education to bring the best they can to our students. Now,   the teachers of this district are spending their own salaries to provide supplies for thier students. Trying to prevent the students from feeling the weight of this in the classroom. They are soon to run out of what little supplies they have. But, oh yes…I forget they make the big bucks. They can spend their gas to make trips to Bangor, walk into Staples and load up the damn cart and plunk down the wads of cash at the check out counter, since you seem to think they are rolling in the dough. Less we forget our teachers took 2 days without pay already in the last year to help with budget deficits. How many of you would be willing to work a couple days without pay if it benefited someone other than yourselves. From what I am reading on here, not many. The average teachers salary starts at about $30, ooo. On top of that they are paying student loans, rent or mortages, perhaps supporting their own children and YES paying taxes. YET…are willing to pick up the slack for those not willing. Thank you to all the teachers who go to work in spite of all this negativity and lack of support. And still try to greet your students each day with smiling faces and warm welcomes. Encouraging them to perform their best and leave your class feeling successful with such limited materials.

        • Anonymous

          ..

        • Anonymous

          do you realize this is one of the districts with the lowest paid salaries to teachers?  You should look up the comparison… I have tolerated your other comments but to say that all the money is in the teachers salaries… do you KNOW any of them personally and do you know what each one makes… I realize you can look this up so considering it appears you have a bit of extra time on your hands, go do that, compare the salaries… then spend a day with one of the teachers… see how many hours they put in.. before, during, after school.. I bet you anything … it would be more than 10-12 hours a day… according to MEDMS the average salary in RSU 19 for a teacher… around 46,000… divide that by 182 days they are required to work in their contract… = 252.74 per day… divide by 8 hrs… looks like a hefty 31.59/hr… on the surface… so lets add in the 1.5 hours most of them work past the 8 hours in their contract.. we are up to 9.5 hours per day so 252.74/9.5  – 26.60 per hour… then lets figure in the time they get on the internet and research new exciting things to do with their students to keep them engaged… say even an hour each day (I’ll tell you I know for certain it’s more than that but I’ll be generous) so 10.5 hours per day.  252.74/10.5 … down to 24 per hour… well this still seems like a lot right… well… lets move on to summer time, alllll that time off right?  Hardly… I can easily tell you that at the end of the year many teachers rather MOST teachers stay after about a week to really pack their room away and start planning for the next year.  Then, they do the same before the beginning of the next year… AT least 5 days of time goes into setting up, planning ahead etc… and I’m being cautious with my very educated guess on this)  … so now we are going to rethink this whole thing… 192 days of work for the same 46000 = 239.58 per day… with 10.5 hours per day (or more)  so 22.81… so wait… what DO they do with all that time off between June and the end of August… hmm… planning, researching, organizing, …. none of this time is in their contract either so technically, they are not getting paid for it… 

          IN any case … shouldn’t this be where the bulk of the budget is anyway?  As you have so clearly pointed out this is a SCHOOL. What WOULD you have the bulk be for?  and Benefits… ha… would you like to see those benefits really in action?  Continuing education.. only on paper, INsurance, no better than anyone else’s… what else is there that is so mind bogglingly expensive to you?  

          Lets compare that to a town not so far…. one that people THINK is a lot richer but isn’t… 58000 per year is the average there… and in reality, there are more people in that area not paying taxes towards their “broods” than in the RSU 19 community…. people in the RSU 19 community I think you will find actually do pay taxes of some kind more often than you think… In an area like that without public housing, someone not working and requiring services for income really can’t survive there, so they generally move elsewhere with public housing…  

          and Your comments in regards to many people in the area paying for taxes to send everyone else’s kids to school… well… someday those people are going to be the generation that takes care of you… by filling the jobs that provide you with services you might need… so think outside yourself for a minute and realize that contributing to a child’s education that isn’t your own still benefits you and the communities as a whole not just that child… and you know what. So what if it did just benefit that child.  Isn’t that what the goodness of the people is about… even if you don’t agree with their parents having ‘tons of kids’ with no means to pay for them… fact of the matter those kids are here… and they are going to follow right in the same footsteps as the parents you seem to abhor for their choices if no one helps them along… or are you for survival of the fittest in it’s most barbaric terms; if the parent can’t provide… well, too bad… let them starve, get sick and die?  Less for the rest of us to share and provide…because that is how you are coming across. 

    • Anonymous

      What “union benefits” would you be referring to?

    • Anonymous

      This is a silly comment. Have you done your research to see what teachers around here make? Obviously not!

      • Anonymous

        Thank you for your comment. I can help with this one. I can tell you a teacher with a  masters degree and 12 years of experience makes about $46,000 per year in this district. But, could travel 30 minutes south and make about $10,000 more. So why do they stay, because they are dedicated to their students and parents.

  • Anonymous

    What is a little perplexing here is that, they should have balanced their budget at the end of the year.  Now all of a sudden they are 3.6 million in the whole because of previous practices.  Based on the articles which don’t explain the whole problem it appears that some house cleaning needs to be done.  The model for funding is pretty simple the state says you get this much from us and you raise the rest at the municipality.  Anything over that you also request through referendum.  going to the well every time there is a financial problem is going to be harder and harder.  So maybe these school systems need to start looking harder at cuts of programs that weren’t always there. and to the father of the kids that just go to school to play sports guess you will have to home school them.

    • Anonymous

      They did have a balanced budget, The issue was they though certain money carried over from year to year, that did not. So it was the actual budget that was wrong, not the spending. They spend according to budget, but the budget was the issue. 

      • Anonymous

        This what they get for thinking and not knowing how the budget works.  Maybe the voters need to change the makeup of the board next election.

    • Anonymous

      SomewhreinME, it’s not simple at all. A lot of spending gets refunded in future budget year, and there is a lot of complicated reporting that has to be done to get that money in from the state. The subsidies don’t simply come in as one big check every year at the beginning of the year. There are all kinds of hoops to jump through. You have to have someone very experienced with school finance to keep it all balanced or you can quickly run into cash flow problems, or worse, huge budget gaps like RSU 19. They are not the first district to have this problem either. Belfast just a few short years ago, and Waldoboro about a decade ago are two that come to mind quickly who have been through this. Potter has absolutely no blame in this because it was all done BEFORE he was hired. The real test will be how he digs RSU 19 out of  the hole. I wouldn’t want his job right now. No matter what, someone is going to be peeved at him big time.

      • Anonymous

        Not to blame the current superintendent.  No one was minding the store.  My reference was just basic info and naturally there is more to the management of this program.  But that is the point of this whole issue.  Who was minding the store.  To point fingers to previous administration is one thing but i don’t think that their whole school board changed overnight.

        • Anonymous

          They still have the same finance director and somehow we can’t blame him either.  How is that possible?

  • Anonymous

    I attended the RSU 19 meeting held in August and was amazed with the number of people who showed with pitch-forks and torches!   Many attended that meeting with only one goal.  That goal was simple: Who Do We Blame?

    While I understand the need to answer that question . .it is not the most immediate and imperative aspect of this problem.

    Voters made a choice on election day to turn their backs on the kids of RSU 19.    For most tax payers another 30 cents a day is all that was required to keep the RSU afloat.

    It is absurd that residents of RSU 19 would hold the education of it’s children hostage while the search for someone to blame continues.

    If you think education is expensive,  you should see what ignorance will cost!

    30 cents per day . . .C’MON MAN !

    • Anonymous

      Everett Dirksen once said (when replying to someone with a similar argument)  “A million here, and a million there, and soon we’re talking real money.” 

      The thirty cents a day is on top of what?  Tell me this, how much does the average citizen (some without children) pay in taxes for the RSU 19 school budget alone.  Please add the “State and Federal money to that as that money does not come from the tooth fairy.

      • Anonymous

        If this comment was intended to justify your position.

        Color it lame.

        RSU 19 needs immediate help . . not someone parsing tax liabilities in a manner that appears to justify not paying an additional 30 cents per day . .$2.10 per week.

        Please . .spare me!

        • Anonymous

          What does “lame” mean to you?  Seems to me that since more than half the citizens voted NOT to spend your figure of $2.10 a week, this issue has got strong legs.

          It is frankly amazing that folks like you always know exactly how much money other folks have to spare. 

          I have an idea for you.  Why don’t you write a big fat check to help cover the difference, OR would that burden hurt your own family?

          • Emmaline Greensward

            Thank you!!!! Everyone that wants more school spending, should spend their own money to make it happen. Go down and make a donation. ASk for a receipt, maybe you can claim it on your taxes.

        • Anonymous

          You’ve already been spared, and now the time is up.
          My property taxes have gone up over $1240.00 in the past 4 years, my house and property looks exactly the same it has been for the past 13 years, and I don’t, and have never had a child in the school system that I pay for.
          The time has come for you to take responsibility for the children that you decided to have. If it means getting a second job to pay for the type of education that you feel your child deserves, then it should be you who does it, not me. 

          • Emmaline Greensward

             Same here!!!

          • Anonymous

            Sounds like your house was way under valued by the town.

          • Anonymous

            Oh I see, it wouldn’t be because 78% of the taxes in this town go to schools?
            My house is valued the same as it always has been, even when home values dropped the town still valued it the same.

          • Anonymous

            You have short term myopic thinking!  My kids are now adults . .both with college degrees and one with a Masters.  So . .I no longer have kids in the system . .and that IS NOT the issue!

            Where do you think the next group of leaders and scholars are going to come from?  

            Your line of thinking is so short term and all about YOU!   All of us need to support the schools in our community . .it’s wise locally, Statewide . . and for the long haul . .the best thing to do FOR OUT NATION!

            I’m so grateful that people in my home town where I grew up as a kid did not think like you!

            You complain about your taxes . .well heads up mister . . cause the day after this was voted down, the value of your home just took a dive!  Do you think a young family looking to locate to this area is even going to consider buying a home with a school system in disarray?  I think not!  :-(

            So enjoy that $100 to $200. a year savings.   And thanks for supporting the young people in our community.

      • Guest

        ….

        • Anonymous

          why shouldn’t they be?

          why should people with no children be subject to taxation that simply subsidizes YOUR kids’ education?

          nobody forced you to have children, why are you forcing them to pay for their education via the tax code?

          your proposition is immoral, as it is theft through government….always has been, always will be, regardless of whatever meaningless defensive ‘argument’ you can muster

          • Guest

            …….

          • Emmaline Greensward

             Arrogance is immoral? Boy the unions had better watch out if that’s true.

          • Guest

            arrogant |ˈarəgənt|adjectivehaving or revealing an exaggerated sense of one’s own importance orabilities

          • Anonymous

            Becausee a well educated populous benefits the whole community.

          • Emmaline Greensward

             Cheerleading may be nice, but it’s not better education.

          • Anonymous

             Unless your parents paid for you to go to private school YOU were privileged to have a free public education provided by the taxpayers of this country!

        • Emmaline Greensward

           Because that cost has done nothing but go up up up. With the cost of gas and oil and groceries, it had to happen some time. Nobody has more to pay.

          • Guest

            Everything in this life goes up in cost. Get used to it.

          • Emmaline Greensward

             Not always, as the district just found out.  If you want extras for your kids or gkids then pay for it yourself.

          • Anonymous

            Do you know the last time your mill rate went up because of the school budget?

          • Emmaline Greensward

            Every single year. For decades.

        • Anonymous

          I have grandchildren in the district and I want to see them educated so they can have a good job in the future that I am more than happy to pay for but playing base ball basket ball hockey and 20 other sports will not help them in the future

          • Guest

            ooo

          • Anonymous

            your right it about education that what we need to contrate on not after school activites 

          • Guest

            After school activities have their place.

          • Emmaline Greensward

            And the parents have the right to provide them and pay the cost. Not the taxpayers.

          • Emmaline Greensward

             Some graduate not able to read and write but boy, do they feel GOOD about themselves. I guess that’s supposed to make up for illiteracy.

        • Oh no… The loudest, the ones screaming for more, more, more, more, more are parents with litters of children that don’t even pay property taxes.

          • Anonymous

            I find my self wondering after the comments you have made about the monk family and this comment here if you have ever had a child and wanted the best for that child?  I also wonder how it might be that you feel so compelled to judge so readily people you obviously do not know.  Who do you think you are and who gave you the right to say such hurtful things about people?  

          • I made ONE comment directly referring to Monk, that was removed because it was flagged I assume. When someone seeks out the media, they invite scrutiny. I don’t know them or care to. But, if someone sticks their face in front of every camera and beat writer they can find , they better be ready for all the attention, good and bad. Or, they can run around internet forums and flag everything that questions their situation. I’m done with this, because you’ll just flag it and get it removed anyway. 

      • Emmaline Greensward

        Boy are you right, Tux. That’s the problem … one day it’s another $20, then another $50, then another $150. All that money adds up. After 35 years it’s $4,000 more a year, and no end in sight.

    • Anonymous

      Why would you give them more money when they have shown they have no idea how to properly manage it?  They have had the same financial manager for all of these years and he is still there.  You want him to manage this next batch of cash too?When your boat is leaking the first thing you do is fix the leak!

      • Anonymous

        Look . .I “get” the people issue.  There is an old management saying in the business world:  The team that took you down will never be the team to build you back up!  I get it.
         
        So . . get the funding needed by the RSU and then if heads need to roll . .maybe  the Maine Attorney General needs to do a forensic audit to establish culpability and accountability  of the PREVIOUS RSU 19 Administration.

        Take care of the kids FIRST!   Then go after those that were trusted with our money starting in 2009!

        • Anonymous

          In the business world when the accounting manager and the CEO screw up to this level (business bankrupt for the most part), the business must first regain the confidence of the stockholders (US) before they ask for them to pony up more investment money in the failing enterprise. 
          The past CEO is gone, I get that.  Have investigations start to show a good faith effort to look for criminal wrong doing.  His Assistants would be expected to have some level of oversight here otherwise what are they getting paid such huge amounts for.  We need to find out which of them dropped the ball and send them packing.  The Finance Manager can not and should not survive this.  Sorry but I can’t give my money to someone we know to be inept at handling it.
          Once the house is clean again we can start with a new relationship.  This all should have been doen before the vote and we would not be having this problem.
          It seems the school system only exists these days to protect itself.  That’s why so many are turning to alternative systems.

          • Emmaline Greensward

            You can thank the unions for this big spending mess. They demand more spending and protect the employees who screw up.

          • Anonymous

            I belive potter hired the finance manager after he started and learned of the financial problem. It’s already been looked at and there was no criminal wrong doing. There was no mismanagwment of funds. It was an accounting error. It all happened on paper. Braun is to blame. He is now gone. Time to move on from this argument.

          • Anonymous

            According to what I have the guy on the website listed is the same guy collecting paychecks there in the past.  Seems to be like you are assumming too much
            2011Doyon, DouglasRSU 19Business Administrator/Manager745772010Doyon, DouglasRSU 19Business Administrator/Manager71434

          • Anonymous

            “Nault said the district incorrectly estimated a budget surplus of about $830,000 at the beginning of the 2011-2012 school year, and that as a result reduced the commitment of the towns in the district by the same amount, producing an overall $1,660,000 in anticipated revenue that did not exist. It also failed to bill towns last year for a $363,00m0 debt service that voters had authorized, leading to an overall balance of just more than $2 million owed this fiscal year”

            From today’s Morning Sentinel. Not an asumption.

            “Greg Potter introduced Jerry Nault, Business Manager who started work the first of August and Greg Potter started the 1 st of July. ”

            From the town of St. Albans selectman’s meeting minutes dated September 24th. Here is the link if intrested:

            http://www.stalbansme.govoffice2.com/index.asp?Type=B_BASIC&SEC=%7B12E5FFEA-CDAA-4F59-8ABA-AED0767514A2%7D&DE=%7B8853B4D2-A764-4B58-A4C9-F61D990AEF55%7D

            I had the finance manager confused with the business manager. My apologies.

          • Anonymous

            No need to apologize.  The problem people are still there and they are not being held accountable.  Creating a new paid position to fix the incompetance of the Finance Department does not seem to be a fix to me.

          • Anonymous

            I just read the link and thanks for the info but it only ticked me off more.  There are no measures to go after a school system employee for mis-management as there are for all other government employees.
            We should tar and feather the lot of these crooks and start fresh.

          • Anonymous

            I agree with your sentiment, but it does nothing to fix the financial problem. I believe in a later selectmans meeting they had requested Dean and Doug bring forth legislation about extending the mismanagement penalties to school system employees as well. If you check under October’s minutes I believe you will find it.

            Also keep in mind the towns bear some responsibility in this well for not recognizing that they were not being billed properly by the district.

          • Anonymous

            Why are all of the meetings taking place with St. Albans council?
            As for town responsibility I just don’t see that.  If you fail to bill me for a few years in a row and then come back wanting it all at once I’m going to tell you to pound sand too.  If these people in the RSU bear no responsibility and the are no penalty to their actions they should not be making 6 figure salaries.  I also noticed in the RSU page that they are all good with cutting Custodians and cooks but they are leaving their 3 secretaries each out of the financial cost cutting measures completely.  I really believe we can get rid of the useless 6 figure guys and keep the Admin Assts at half the cost and get these sort of results.

          • Anonymous

            Because they requested it. I’m sure if other towns had asked they’d have gotten the same.

            The responsibility they bear is not asking the district why they weren’t being billed properly. Budget committees should have realized things weren’t adding up.

            I agree with you on admin personnel…

          • Anonymous

            Actually you may be right and their website listing may be wrong.  Mr. Nault may have replaced the former Finance Manager and they may have given him a new title due to an upgraded job description.
            If the guy handling the cash has ceased to be I will be much happier about things but the people really should have known the house was clean before the vote.

        • Emmaline Greensward

           The kids will live without cheerleading and endless sports. They have an education, which is what school is intended to provide. Academics.

          • Is to say but without sports or after school activities to hurts your chances of getting into college . My senior class rank (GPA)was much higher than a lot who were members of the national honor society . 

        • Anonymous

          No, you have it backwards.

  • Anonymous

    “Potter said last month that only 17 percent of the district’s budget is capable of being cut because salaries, insurance and many other expenses, by law, must be paid.”
    There should not be a law protecting the pay and benefits of the people responsible for this problem.  These people fudged the books and these people should be the ones who see the cuts not the kids.  It is irrational to ask me to give you more money because you couldn’t properly handle the money you had to begin with.

  • Anonymous

    As parents and grandparent we seem to have forgotten that children need a good education there 3.5 millions jobs unfilled because citizens do have the qualification to fill the its time we contrated on education sports don’t ge a good job foe our children and grandchildren the citizen of rsu19 can not afford to more taxes and watch education be second to sports yes good schools bring people to the area but without good jobs people will not come to the area   

    • Anonymous

      Why would you give them more money when they have shown they have no idea how to properly manage it?  They have had the same financial manager for all of these years and he is still there.  You want him to manage this next batch of cash too?

    • Unfilled because of supply and demand.  If an electrician can make more driving truck than he can doing electrical work do you think he will be an electrician? 

  • Yawningattrolls

    This shows a lack of priorities – schools are about education, not sports; several adults need to grow up and realize this simple fact.

  • Anonymous

    Well if they want to play sports or other activitys at school let them pay the whole cost of there activitys Like football would cost at least 550 bucks if not more  /

  • Anonymous

    anyone with children should try to get out of these towns.   

  • Anonymous

    To the tax payers that voted against the increase, shame on you! Our children are our future and they deserve an education and school experience that involves sports, music and extra cirricular activities. It is not the books alone that build character and teach life lessons, it’s the entirety of it. It sickens me to think that those of you whom voted against the loan proposal put yourselves and your wallets before the children. Shame on you! I bet not one of you thought about the fact that the value on your home would, and has, dropped because of this? I wish RSU 19 District luck in resolving this grim and unfair situation that will affect all the children of your district.

    • Emmaline Greensward

       Yeah sure. Residents falling behind on their house payments should pay more so parents have free bus service for the daycare given out by schools.

      • Guest

        ☆ミ

        • Emmaline Greensward

           After school.

          • Guest

            When my kids were young there was a sports bus. That was a while ago. Nothing wrong with it then or now.

          • Emmaline Greensward

             If the schools have to make cuts, the after school activities should be first to go. The law requires academics, not cheerleading and soccer.

      • Anonymous

        If I was falling behind on any of my payments I would get a second or third job.

        • Emmaline Greensward

          Some people can’t. Easy to say, harder to do for some. Still does not make it right to tax people out of their housese on school costs.

    • Anonymous

      Why would you give them more money when they have shown they have no idea how to properly manage it?  They have had the same financial manager for all of these years and he is still there.  You want him to manage this next batch of cash too?

    • Anonymous

      your right our children are our future but not all will become sports stars they need to be educated for future jobs

      • Anonymous

        I never once said any of them will become sport stars. I said it helps round them. It teaches them repsonsibility, determination, how to push themselves, how to face competition, sportsmanship, etc. But believe it or not, some of them will be sports stars, and those that are, will make wages beyond those people vetoing the proposal.

        • Anonymous

          yes if a football player and they make it to the big leauge they can look forward to a big salary and most probally major head injury i don’t want that for my grandchildren i would would mutch rather see them as a computer geek or software programmer and say we started learning this in rsu19   

      • Tell that to Betsy Webb who thinks Bangor need a $7 million dollar football field. 

        • Emmaline Greensward

           Unreal, they want every high school to be just like a university these days. Nuts and unworkable.

          • When it is not there money they do not seem to care what is in the best interest of the kids.  

  • Anonymous

    So we’ve got a big black eye.  We know where it came from and we’re very clear on how we’re going to prevent it in the future.  At what point do we got to move forward from wanting revenge or prosecution (which we won’t be getting) to trying to repair this as best we can for our children.  We can all continue to be angry – I know I am, but anger gets us nothing positive.  Let’s figure out how to channel that anger into something that is helpful and useful to the kids.  Mr. Potter is doing the best he can in a terrible situation that he inherited from the previous administration.  How he didn’t walk out on day 2 I’m not sure.  I wouldn’t have blamed him.  Please, let’s move forward and turn the energy we’re using for hate and anger into something that will help our district and the children in it.

    • Anonymous

      Why would you give them more money when they have shown they have no idea how to properly manage it?  They have had the same financial manager for all of these years and he is still there.  You want him to manage this next batch of cash too?

      • Anonymous

        The people who made these errors are gone.  They have left a big wake of damage to clean up.  It’s not about managing money.  It’s about sending proper bills to towns so that their share is paid and not accounted for as money that already exists.  It’s basic accounting, and apparently the last administrative regime lacked the abilities to do it properly.  You can’t manage money you don’t have.  And now because we don’t have any money, and aren’t willing to pay back the money we should have been paying anyway, our children are going to pay the consequences.

        • Anonymous

          The people who made these errors are not gone!  Check the website.  The whole finance Department is manasged by the same person it has been managed by for the last 5 years.  The finance manager should ahve and would have known there were problems.  He should be fired.

          • Emmaline Greensward

             I do not understand why the finance person is still there.

          • Anonymous

            Exactly my point.  What about Asst. Supers?  Have you ever been at a place where the Assistants didn’t have as much to do with what went on as the primary guy? 
            How do you like still having them perform oversight?

          • Emmaline Greensward

            Not much, I can tell you that.

  • “you can’t expect the parents to pay it all”….really why not? I was in band from 3rd grade all the way through high school. Trips and competitions were paid for by us the band member. We had boosters that would set up fund raising programs so that our share of the costs were not as high as it could have been.  These programs that are considered “extra-curricular” and thus outside the umbrella of the school budget. If the board is looking to make cuts ask them why they need a $78, 000 buffer in the fuel budget when they have contracts to cover the cost of diesel and heating fuels. I would imagine that there are other areas that they could cut if they really wanted too.

    • Emmaline Greensward

      Same here. We also didn’t have endless counselors and PT at school, and classes about self esteem. Our parents and families taught us those things.

  • Anonymous

    If the district didn’t bill the towns for some services they should have, I want to know what the towns did with the “extra” money that should have gone to the school. It must have been in their budgets as an expected expense.

     Someone should have known that this was happening, either in the town offices or in the business office of RSU 19. The first year the numbers didn’t add up should have been the time to fix this.

    • Anonymous

      I’ve been saying that all along. Its not just the administration that’s to blame in all this.

  • Anonymous

    how about going back to each of the district communities that didnt pay and start seizing their assets or better yet make them take out a Tax Anticipation Note and pay from that? why did the previous supt. not do this? just let Newport pay and think everyone else should get a free ride? oh and dont give me the excuse that would raise our taxes- the interest on a 6 month note is around 2% based on what you withdraw–which would be a few thousand vs. the cluster#### we are in now—sad day around here

  • Melissa Snow

    I hope I’m half the parent as Kelly is, when I have kids of my own.  She is nothing but a wonderful mother who cares about all her children.  And for all you ignorant people out there.  REMEMBER ALL YOUR CHILDREN, FUTURE CHILDREN, GRANDCHILDREN THAT ARE EFFECTED BY ALL THESE CUTS. 

    • Emmaline Greensward

       Yeah, so will they be by endless debt nobody can pay. Parents need to figure out there’s no money left. No more tax increases.

      • Guest

        ☆ミ

        • Emmaline Greensward

           No tall tales here. I read the school budget info and I know.  Schools aren’t supposed to be babysitters and daycare services. Education is not after school programs.

          • Anonymous

            Read what i said about my daughter in VA an thats money well spent

          • Guest

            Your compassion towards your fellow humans runneth over.

          • Emmaline Greensward

            Your lack of common sense with regard to money is apparent.

  • Anonymous

    It’s NOT just 30 cents a day. I own properties in two of the towns and  40% of my tax bill is for the schools! When do you think we should start cutting from the budget? By law we can’t cut salaries,ins,etc..,so it HAS to be programs. School is about EDUCATION,not solving a comparatively small problem of “what are my poor kids going to do after school?” One lady in the article says how hard it is for HER to take HER kids to after school activities,how hard do you think it is for TAX payers who haven’t used the school system in 20,30,40,50 years!!!!!!

    • Anonymous

      You ought to see some of these salaries.  Some teachers make almost what Principles make and Principles and up make a lot.  Please consider what the average tax payer makes when you consider what those who serve us make.
      This is a short snippet of RSU 19
      Superintendent Of Schools124272Superintendent Of Schools123986Asst Superintendent Of Schools107394Asst Superintendent Of Schools94500Dir Of Serv-Exceptional Child89541Principal86742Principal86696Principal86472Supervisor Of Instruction86472

      • Guest

        Teachers are not overpaid. Apparently you’ve never stood in their shoes.
        Some deserve combat pay…….

        • Anonymous

          So you think $90 thousand a year is an acceptable pay for a teacher?

          • Anonymous

            Read what   Mother and a teacher said an do you want her to stop what she’s doing  so the kids will fail  ?

          • Anonymous

            I’m not sure what you are trying to say in this post but our children do not perform better as teacher pay increases.  I think we have already proven that.

          • Guest

            You reap what you sow. Better pay= better teachers.

          • Anonymous

            Feel free to show me the data that proves that.
            I would however believe that better education = better teachers but considering that a GenEd degree is the degree that most who can not handle math and science go for I think you owuld have a hard time proving we are getting better teachers that way as well.

          • Emmaline Greensward

            You are right. More money does not mean better teaching and tests scores.

          • Anonymous

            Go and read what that person said thats her name on here

          • Guest

            ugh

          • Emmaline Greensward

            There are lots of Maine people who would be glad to have that wage.

          • Anonymous

            Well by all means, go to college and become a teacher. 

      • Emmaline Greensward

        PLUS HEALTH CARE AND OTHER BENNIES

  • Anonymous

    Maybe the re-elected savior can pump some money into your liberal indoctrination center…pleasantly ironic this. 

  • Anonymous

    I am a teacher, a parent and a tax payer in RSU 19. 

    – I work another job. 
    – I pay my taxes. 
    -I have $50,000 worth of school loans. 
    -I buy winter clothing for my own children as well as children in need, in my school and other schools. 
    -I provide snacks to students who come without. 
    -I purchased supplies for my classroom because the district has not for two years. 
    -I purchase supplies for individual students. 
    -I provided sneakers for students whose soles were falling off. 
    -I live modestly in one of the lowest paying districts in the country. 

    Please don’t believe the misconception that all teachers are rich, for they provide much more to their students than an education.   Thank you to those of you who go out of your way to support teachers.

    • Guest

      Thank you for making it your choice in life to be a teacher!
      People do not realize how much of their own money a teacher spends on the kids.

    • Emmaline Greensward

      Teachers are great. So are residents and seniors and families. It’s not all about the schools, but sometimes the teachers make it sound that way.

      • Anonymous

        Tell that to the children who receives the only two meals they get a day, at school.  I agree with you.  Families are very important.  People are important.  Unfortunately, some people choose  to make choices for their children that are not always in their best interest.  When I went to college, they didn’t tell me that I would also have to be a parent to my students, but in some instances, I am.  I know that this is something I choose to do, but it is what is needed for the physical safety and well-being of children.   I will not look the other way when children are in need. 

  • FELT

    I’ve site visited a number of Catholic schools where I thought I had walked into a welfare housing project. Old equipment, old facilities but polished so much the finish is off them.

    Yet despite the lack of frills, laptops, etc. these schools turn out super students and athletes.

    Once all the whining parents fade out; sensible ones should take a hard look at how Catholic, Christian and a handful of public schools can produce superior scholars and athletes on far less than the public schools cost, including children of faith with special needs—-I remember a fight with the govt. over lack of handicapped facilities. The one student in a chair was hand carried up and down the stairs by other students willing to make sure she was included.  That’s real love that all this borrowed money can’t buy!

    • Emmaline Greensward

       I agree with you Felt. Kids in other countries out perform ours and they have NOWHERE near the kind of schools and equipment that ours do.

  • Just to make sure that I have both positions clearly defined in my head, let me lay them down for everyone, and they can feel free to clarify for me. Grab your pipe and pull up an extra cushion, because I tend to be long-winded.

    VOTED NO ON BUDGET PROPOSAL-Most of those that voted against the budget are saying that they already pay too much in taxes, that at some point the government and school system needs to stop soliciting funds from them to pay for increases in operational expenses and/or screwups by those in charge. They are drawing a line in the sand against increasing taxpayer burdens, which in and of itself isn’t an awful thing. We are taxed too much in Maine, and it’s been that way for a long time.

    VOTED FOR BUDGET-Those that voted for it (full disclosure, I did vote for it) either have children in school or do not feel that the children should be punished for the mistakes of others.

    THAT is what the decision was ultimately about. Do you think that the children should have to go without the same opportunities that their older siblings have enjoyed for years. Yes, the world will continue to turn if sub-varsity sports programs are cut. Property values in this area are already in the tank, so what’s another $5-10,000 drop in property value due to people not wanting to live in a district with a school system that is unable to offer as much as another district one town over? These are all things that, depending on your position, you might not care about.

    I personally don’t believe the line that people took a stand on the tax increase because they simply don’t have the money. If that was the case, they would have blocked the rest of the referendum questions as well. Our county passed those as well, except for the other education question. We approved (forgive me if my math is off a little) $75,7000,000 in new spending on highways, sewage treatment, and conservation efforts? But a little over three million to bail the school out of a mess that admittedly was due to poor management was too much?

    People, we live in MAINE. Our roads are always going to be awful, it’s just the nature of our climate. I’ve lived in Florida for almost a year, and their roads are spectacular. Of course, their temperatures fluctuate a total of around 30 degrees all year, so it’s inexpensive for them to keep them that way. Frost heaves? Not there. We ALWAYS pass transportation bills without question, no matter how big the price tag, but have a hard time justifying kicking in a little more for the schools in the area. The roads have to be completely repaved every two to three years. Anyone want to complain about why this is still necessary in the 21st century? No. They just sign on the dotted line. Is it just that we are building new roads every year? If so, we need to stop paving them with gold and use the same stuff the older ones are repaved with, I remember those being cheaper.

    And nearly $8 million for sewage treament? Anyone here coming down with dysentery? Didn’t think so. Waste of money.

     $5,000,000 dollars to buy up land to use for parks, etc? Any of you feel particularly cut off from nature in Maine? Me neither. You want to get in touch with nature? Step out through your back door, and keep walking. Totally free. You can thank me later.

    All of those passed. So I don’t buy that it was just about the money. Which, by process of elimination, means that it has to be about the principle. I am sympathetic to those that say that the school district needs to be held accountable. I think they understand that, HAVE understood that by hiring the new Superintendant. The people ultimately responsible are gone, and no matter what you do, you will never be able to punish them for misappropriating our taxes. Get over it. I hope that everyone that needed to see their little “Tea Party” stand bear fruit is satisfied now, because we still have a problem to fix. We happen to have the only school of it’s size in Maine with this poor of after school and sports programs.

    I understand that you think that your pride for the community is less important than your bank account. Plenty of people have had to make difficult decisions, it’s called a recession. I am posting this because despite your belief otherwise, this problem will not go away. It will manifest in unforseen ways that will not show up until years down the road. Everyone wants to complain about the downfall of civilization, the fact that kids nowadays have no respect, that they don’t appreciate their elders, etc. Every generation thinks that of the next generation.

    Do you want to continue to complain about it, punish the children of today and tomorrow with a future that is bleaker than the one you enjoyed, or do you want to be part of the solution. Why do I speak as if the situation hasn’t already been resolved? Because it hasn’t. This problem will come back, there will be another vote, and I think that just as those that are against tax increases (unless it is to sink money into things that are already well funded via other means) have sought to draw a line in the sand and make a point of their dissatisfaction with the manner in which the school district has been managed, those of us that want to be part of the solution will take a second look at this and ask which is the best investment in our state and country?

    Do we spend more money on preserving property for wildlife in one of the least developed states in the union, in kicking in money to sewage treatment plants that are predominantly run via corporate interests? (Oh yeah, aside from a few municipalities that still operate their own, they are now becoming increasingly run by companies on a for-profit basis. So, you pay for their service, then vote to give them more?)

    Or do we kick a little more in for the kids, holding our nose at the reason that has made it necessary? I agree that there needs to be a line drawn against relentless tax increases, but believe it or not, there are parts of the system that are under-funded, prominently our public school system. If you don’t want your kids to have a better life than you did, feel free to disagree with me. If you think that, since your kids are out of school, thus making the general intelligence of the area secondary, feel free to disagree with me.

    If you don’t think that after school activities and sports teach our kids to be better people, feel free to disagree with me. If you don’t think that our kids deserve a taste of success and frivolity before being thrown out into a world that is increasingly trying to make that impossible for all but a select few that can afford it (You know any millionaires? Me neither), feel free to disagree with me. I happen to believe that sports and activities are more than just fun and games, they teach kids self-confidence, a desire to compete, and the most important thing-Hard work pays dividends, even if you have to put in work over a period of time before you see them. A letter on a corrected homework assignment or report card doesn’t teach them this in the same way the appreciation of their peers for hitting a big shot or surpassing of a personal best does.

    Kids need hope, they need to see what is possible if they work hard and dedicate themselves to something before the training wheels fall off at graduation. If we have to swallow your pride a little to give that to them, I think it’s worth it. It’s the only way things in this country are ever going to get any better, to teach the children of our community that they can do more than just fill their parents place at the same low skill-low pay jobs that the rest of the country thinks we are good for here in Maine.

    It’s good that so many of us are good at fishing, hunting, and surviving, because that is going to become more necessity than recreation if we keep going down the path we are on.

    • Anonymous

      Some of us voted no on all bonds for a reason.  I never have understood those who think the piggy bank is never ending and I never will but otherwise I agree with most of your rant.
      One point I do not agree with though is this one.
      “The people ultimately responsible are gone, and no matter what you do, you will never be able to punish them for misappropriating our taxes.”
      The only person gone is the Super.
      There is at least one Financial Manager but for some reason last years books show two names for that position and either or both would and should have been trained to prevent this or at the very least spot it and throw up the flag.
      Fire and replace all.
      Assistant Superintendents?  What is their purpose and did one of them have oversight on accounting?  They are still there and like the financial department I do not trust them with my money and I will not give them more.
      Put in new people and then come back with your hand out again.
      Stop protecting people who do not seem to know how to do their jobs.
      If on the other hand they were stopped from doing their jobs then show that and go after the former super on a criminal basis.

      • I said “ultimately”, as in the Superintendent, but if others are found to be just as guilty, I doubt there will be a problem replacing them with qualified candidates with employment where it is. If someone is that bad at their job, they should be replaced anyways, and I assumed that this had already taken place. It sounds like there needs to be an inquiry, actually, NEEDED an inquiry. It should have already happened before this vote. I don’t believe this amount of money can go missing in a public school budget without someone knowing about it. I still think it should have passed, but if this can be quickly straightened out, with replacements put in place that will keep it from happening again, perhaps we can minimize the impact on the kids. Its already too late for the perfect solution. Thanks for the info.

        • Anonymous

          Yeah the real problem is they didn’t know how to react to give people confidence in them before the vote.  I guess they just believe that we will always provide no matter how poorly they do their jobs.  There is a meeting on Monday about this.

  • Anonymous

    My daughter works at a school in VA  at a before an after school program  . Yes she PART baby sitter PLUS she does PE an she tutors the kids too.  The math is not done the same  way when she was in collage  so as you can see the kids need  help  with there school work an there parents can’t help then because they don’t know the ways that the schools teach the kids  . A lot of that stuff is way over the parents head .

  • Anonymous

    I’ve seen people on here say it only cost 30 cents a day or 8 dollars a month then you add in town office cost the community center the winter roads summer roads road repairs rubbish disposal recycling and all the other things this 30 cent a day or 8 dollars begin to add up seniors retired on $12,000 a year people working McDonald jobs can not afford these 30 cent a day increases 60% of the citizens in rsu19 on some sort of goverment program most not because they want to be but just to suvive    

  • Anonymous

    As the mother of a Nokomis student who takes all honors classes and earns straight A’s, a well rounded education is about more than what can be taught in the classroom.  Competing to get into a great college is hard enough but now it will be even harder for these kids who will be going up against kids who have been lucky enough to obtain a well ROUNDED education.

    And for those of you who say you haven’t used the school system in 20+ years so why should you have to pay….who do you think helped pay for your education back then? 

    • Guest

      That was a wonderful point and one people are missing here.

      • Emmaline Greensward

        Nobody is missing that point. What modern parents forget is that education today costs 1000% more than when I was a kid, and the programs are far more. Who the heck ever heard of physical therapy or emotional counseling at schools back then? Nobody! We went to school to learn academics, not about self esteem. All those new programs have driven the cost very high.

        • Anonymous

          and your education was 100% more expensive than the adults before you…. it is progress. Wow I really don’t understand you people.  

        • Guest

          If I weren’t sure you aren’t Amish I’d question your reasons.
          Shunning all things modern won’t help children succeed. Living well is successful living, living in the days of the past is dangerous.

    • Emmaline Greensward

      You need to remember that education “back then” wasn’t all frills and extra programs that people cannot afford today. We learned Latin and mathematics and reading, science and writing – if we did cheerleading or played soccer it was at home or on the weekend. Elementary schools these days are more like a college campus. High schools are trying to be universities. It has to stop.

  • Emmaline Greensward

     Why are those people not gone?

  • Emmaline Greensward

    If you want sports and after school programs, then pay for them. Simple. Don’t ask others living on nothing much to pay for your kids to have sports and babysitting after school. The schools need to live witnin their means like the rest of us have to do.

    • Anonymous

      Please live within your means.  But I hope come next voting opportunity that means you have to adjust your budget. You obviously don’t get it.  You reap what you sow.  I think you need to stop preaching about “babysitting”  you have no idea what these activities do for children and “babysitting” is not even close to what they do.  These programs teach  team work, tolerance, problem solving, as well as keeping the kids fit and healthy.  Complain about the fact that the area is “low income” but do you realize that colleges look for the number and types of extra curricular activities children take part in?  Colleges determine the kind of jobs a person can get and guess what??  Some of those kids just might open a business that can make and support jobs in the community.  How short sighted and self serving to think that investing in the children now will not benefit you in the future. And YES, I am still here.  Thank you!

  • Emmaline Greensward

     Why are those people still there?

    • I ask the same about Jack Cosgrove . Let make a deal no sports at RSU 19 but please no sports at UMaine.  

    • Anonymous

      because WE support the community and if you don’t then maybe you should be the one to leave.  Just saying.

  • Guest

    Those are all esoteric things that have nothing to do with the budget.

  • Guest

    is

  • So its $750k  Umaine spends $10 million more on sports than it brings in. How much tax money does UMaine get???  Lets go after the real criminal . A man or woman in college is not a kid.

  • Anonymous

    After Obama’s re-election, and the democrats take control of the state, educating our children will be the LEAST of our troubles.

    • Guest

      The sky is falling! The sky is falling! And you folks wonder what went wrong!

  • Anonymous

    ·                    
    If I went to my neighbors, and said: Give me $100 a year, or my
    children will make trouble for you, including (but not limited to) taking
    drugs, and dropping out of school (which both cost taxpayers money) I would be
    rightly charged with extortion, threatening, and if the D.A. was creative,
    terrorism. Kelly Monk (with seven children) said this to taxpayers, (Through
    this story) and no one is outraged? The other parent interviewed for this
    story, Barb Mower who is listed as an advertising executive for the BDN says
    “You can’t expect the parents to pay for everything.” Oh really? Who,
    Ms Mower, should pay for your children?

     

    It is long past time that society stopped subsidizing people who have children they can not afford
    to raise. I am in favor of public schools, but they should be places of academic learning, not day-care centers. If Kelly and her friends want a facility which provides after school sports, let me suggest the Y.M.C.A. of course she would have to pay the freight on this.

    • Emmaline Greensward

       I agree with your points on this Tux.

  • Sara Packard

    I feel like most people don’t know how bad the situation is. We have no tissues, ink, paper, toner, etc. There are not enough text books for students. There is no heat. If the situation doesn’t improve, certain classes not required by the state will have to be cut. Sports and music transportation has been cut. Educational clubs such as latin club and math team have been cut. There is no longer detention or after school help sessions. The JORTC program is receiving help from other schools in order to travel to their competitions. It’s ridiculous. This year is going to be very difficult but we will make do. However, if things are not handled, they will only get worse. 

  • Anonymous

    I have read through all of the comments here and all I can say is that I have grown up in the now RSU 19 district, (it was SAD 48 when I was a child).  I have since moved away and am raising my children in a different state and had hoped until today to some time soon move home and raise my children in my home town.  After reading all the comments made here about the Monk family and the fact that children are NOT entitled to the best education possible.  There was even a comment about cutting Ed Techs because back in the day when children were “bad” they went to the principal, and didn’t have the Ed. Tech to baby sit.  As a parent with 2 special ed children I am here to tell you that the Ed Tech is not a baby sitter but an integral part of educating some children.  I wonder what the drop out rate would be with out the ed. tech’s. Really people, think about the real issue here, is it about the money or about investing in our future. As for Yowsa’s comment, if you don’t like who is in control of the country right now, you definitely should not invest in the children and see what you have in about 15 or 20 years, that is what we should fear the most.

  • Anonymous

    I am so disappointed in the community I was raised in, that they could be so so short sighted as to think that by not investing in the education of the children they will be better off in the long run.  Might I remind you that at some point in your child hood some one stood by you and helped each and every one of you to achieve the goals you had in life to make you the people you are today. These children are the future of our country, they will be the ones to support all of you in your old age, working and being part of society.  Extra curricular activities teach children how to work as a team, how to come together with different personalities and make use of everyone’s strengths.  They teach children how to win and loose gracefully and be good sports about both.  They keep our children healthy in both mind and body, keeping their interests in healthy directions and off of drugs and dropping out of school and not pregnant.  So for the price of a pack of cigarettes,  and I am going to go out on a limb here and guess that a number of the people that opposed this increase were smokers, and YES I am going to go there, all the children in the community could have the education they deserve and need.  In closing I am going to say that I am for the first time in a very long time glad that I no longer live in that community of bigotry and short sighted individuals.  

  • Anonymous

    I am a former student of SAD48 (RSU19), from over 20 years ago.  I struggled with personal issues, and sought out and recieved great support from the teachers, guidance counslers, and support staff at the school.  I was never an athletic child, but got great joy from watching and cheering on my fellow students.  Anything other than going straight home after school, I was up for.  If I didn’t have those outlets back then, I am not sure where I would be today.

    As an adult, I no longer live in the district.  I have no children of my own, but I have family, and friends that due, and live in the district.  I also know that many of the dedicated teachers that I once had from my childhood are still teaching there.  As are many of my fellow graduates, have moved on and are now teaching in the district.  As I believe that the school is to them, as it is to me, a great place of support, caring and pride. 

    I have read many of the comments on this artical.  I am so appauled by most of them.  I keep seeing over and over, that most of you feel that it’s ok to cut all the programs, and to let dedicated teachers and staff lose their jobs.  I don’t care if it’s a school, a factory, or any other type of local business, it’s not alright, and it hurts the surronding communitee.  If we all had the “it’s ok to cut” reaction to these problems, the world would be a very very sad place.

    Most of us still live in the state of Maine, because of the tight knit communitee feeling, and because this is were family is.  Every day you can pick up the paper and read about public benifit suppers, auctions, and fund raisers to help out those who need their communitee.  That is what makes this state great, and a great place to raise kids.  It makes me think of the old saying “it takes a village to raise a child”.  I am no longer living in the village of RSU19, but would love to do my part.  According to the posts, the average tax increase would be around $100.  Please let me know where to send my check.

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