Monday, August 9, 2010

School committee: Watch where you step

Regarding the Cape Cod Times editorial last Saturday, as much as people here on my blog might think that the CCT’s opinion is counter to mine, it is not.

I provided a road map for cooler heads to work through this superintendent issue knowing that the distraction of a “nationwide” search would be detrimental to dealing with the current town budget problems. A lame duck superintendent is not going to be very useful for that task.

Since the school committee rejected my compromise plan last Wednesday and is pushing forward on the search, I completely agree that the town will be better served if the superintendent chalks this one up in the loss column and plans to move on to bigger and better things on July 1, 2011. So, on this point, I am in agreement with the CCT editorial.

The problem is: The school committee’s leadership refuses to acknowledge that there might be a valid contract for the current superintendent through June 30, 2013. They are thinking that the April 30th meeting being declared a nullity by the assistant district attorney automatically rescinds the signed contract.

Watch out. In my humble opinion, a judge is likely to see this as a bifurcated issue. That is, the question of whether the meeting was valid is one issue, and the question of whether the contract is valid is a second issue.

I could imagine several thought processes that would result in: No/No, No/Yes, and Yes/Yes. If either of the last two are the decision, then we’ll have two superintendents on the payroll starting July 1, 2011.

The school committee must 1) get a written agreement from the superintendent that she will not pursue payment under her contract beyond June 30, 2011 (which may involve a payoff), or 2) get a judge’s ruling before starting the process of hiring a new superintendent.

If the school committee tries to ignore this issue away, the taxpayers may well end up holding the bag.


  1. Randy: Along with 7 other current and former School Committee members, including 3 former Committee Chairs, we sent this letter to the CCT this morning.

    Your editorial of last Saturday, (Time to Move On) regarding the superintendent of the Sandwich public schools was as ridiculous as it was misleading.

    To claim that when 16% of voters go to the polls, and less than 9% elect critics of the Superintendent, that a “mandate” for change was “loud” and “clear” is silly and unsupportable.
    While we agree that a court fight would be messy, expensive and unnecessary; we believe Dr. Johnson does and should have a right to file claims to defend her contractual rights and her good name. In fact, we find the Superintendents’ claim to have a valid contract reasonable, fact-based and compelling.
    We believe that the Cape and Islands' District Attorney's office never opined on the validity of Dr. Johnson’s contract but instead expressed an opinion as to the status of Open Meeting laws.
    Likewise, we understand that the town's attorney said that the open meeting law may have been broken but, like the District Attorney, did not express an opinion on the validity of the voted and executed contact.
    Your editorial suggested that an individual (the Superintendent) loses or should relinquish their rights under contract law if “schools would be deeply wounded.” We ask: since when? And: why? Apparently, the editorial board of the Times thinks it is right and proper to deny certain select individuals rights and remedies granted to them by our constitution – we disagree.
    Lastly, you ask “what about her commitment to the kids?” Our answer: Dr. Johnson is a great Superintendent and despite lots of politically motivated nonsense has always remained focused on what’s best for our schools and our kids.

  2. Randy
    Sorry to ask a dumb question but if the meeting was illegal how can the business that was conducted be legal.

  3. Why are we in this mess? Outgoing board tried to pull a fast one. They knew the voters had had enough. (By the way: Let's drop the voter percentage, it was a non-state-wide or nation-wide election, so if anything, only the locally informed voters actually cast a ballot. This doesn't delegitimize the vote.) So now that lack of ethics--combined with the shady MEJ/Lubold vote--puts the current board in a very difficult position. These occurred under the old board majority. Now many of those same members are lobbying suggestions that the current board is unethical/illegal in their handling of a contract signed during a 11th hour illegal meeting. Comical....

    I look forward to a coming Carl “it’s all about the children” followed up with a Lubold “Sherry is behind the Kennedy Assassination” and smoothed over with a Guerin "James Madison would have wanted Dr. Johnson to stay."

    Ah, it’s fun to watch the machine at work.

  4. The letter back to the Times just proves what Randy and many others have said. The SC members who, with no notice to the public, randomly voted in MEJ as the superintendent are still trying to justify that very unprofessional decision. What other purpose could this ridiculous letter have? Sandwich once again looks moronic.

  5. When are we going to put our differences aside in the best interest of the kids and the town? The School Committee should have much bigger fish to fry? Lets stop with preschool behavior and move forward. Can the SC move together and face the tough budget decisions and the direction our town is going in? Can this committee come together?

  6. Bet the editor rushes to put that letter in the Cape Cod times fish wrapper. Majority of people find their news on the internet unless they are computer internet challenged.
    The reporters/editors main job is to keep their jobs to pay bills, is it really bad they destroy educations and reputations in the process? Karma can be a wonderful thing. What goes around always comes around.

  7. The last anonymous post is interesting and comical. First, the post completely ignores the facts in question both in Randy’s post and the letter we 7 added. Why let facts get in the way?

    Next, the poster acknowledges (belatedly), that the last 3 duly elected and qualified school boards all did and do support Dr. Johnson with the exception of Sherry, Nancy Marie and Jess but suggests that this fact doesn’t represent broad public opinion or perspective; instead it’s a conspiracy.

    And, lastly, the poster smears those bloggers willing to put their name alongside their opinions.

    How typical of how the anti- Dr. Johnson crowd has operated: nameless, faceless nobody’s spreading gossip and innuendo, slandering good and decent people, lying, deceiving and doing it all from the shadows and in anonymity. I would hope that these folks’ preference for anonymity has more to do with a personal sense of shame and guilt than with their cowardice; but I doubt it.

  8. Please why has the Chair Marshall refused to have the town attorney file in court to have a judge make a ruling on the validity of Dr. Johnson's contract? Why have they let months pass without filing? Proactive is always best, lawsuit is sure to follow if they don't get a ruling from a judge soon. Override is coming this issue needs to be settled soon.

  9. Chair Marshall and board,
    3 options: hire attorney to file for a judges ruling on contract 2. Get the checkbook out and buy Dr. Johnson out of 3 yr contract. 3. check the town's litigation insurance amounts and get a bigger check ready for the lawsuit damages.

  10. There was no fast one. The terms of the contract called for it to be renewed by June 30 of this year if it was to be renewed as of June 30 next year.

    Why would the outgoing committee NOT do the contract after they completed the evaluation? Should it have been left to new people who have had no experience working with the Supt?

    Personally, I think that would have been stupid.
    (for lack of a fancier word)

    The percentage of voters is relevant -- they won the election fair and square -- BUT if more people had paid attention, I am sure the outcome would have been drastically different. (But, if wishes were fishes ...)

    I don't think it's an ethics issue -- I think its poor judgement and shortsightedness on the part of the new majority.

    But ... I am sure you expected me to say that.

    I also doubt Sherry was behind the Kennedy assasination -- I worked with her for 4 years and even though we didn't agree on every issue, we got along very well and I always found her very pleasant to deal with. While we may take different positions, I have never doubted that she has always worked toward the best interests of the students -- not some other self-interest.

    The reason for the now infamous contract meeting recess was so we could get an answer to a minor legal question Sherry raised. If I did not respect her opinion, I would have called the vote and settled the issue that night -- and we wouldn't be having this conversation.

  11. Randy can we start a petition on your blog. The petition would demand that the school committee file for a judges ruling on Dr. J's contract asap. Of course, people would have to sign their names and addresses. Actually 2 petitions, one for judges ruling, another petition to recall Sharie Marshall and Jess Linehan. Maybe Bob Simmons site can set it up on his blog? It would be interesting to see what the response is.

  12. Randy,

    Thank you for inviting discussion on this very important topic. It is grueling for me to wrap my mind around the inability of some of my fellow board members to compromise. They are the one's that show lack of leadership, initiative and a clear deficiency in qualifications as an effective school committee member. Hopefully, some of them will be repayed for this come the May election. In the mean time, we have a responsiblity to spend the taxpayers money wisely and keep the district moving forward. To this point Dr. Johnson and her management team have done a good job balancing the budget, adding to the curriculm, and getting a couple of schools out of restructuring. As we look to cut approximately $370,000 out of this years budget (already and only 1 month into the year) and at least another $2.4 million out of next year's budget. I ask you Sandwich, what do you want in a Superintendent, someone that bows to the union or someone that is willing to ruffle a few feathers for the sake of a better school system?

    I encourage people that would like to further discuss this topic or any other to reach me at 508-539-4149 or I refuse to communicate with anyone that uses an anonymous e-mail tagline.

    Andrea Killion ~ Sandwich School Committee Member

  13. Good Morning Mr> Hunt going forward will be very difficult, under the present circumstances, no matter how this issue is resolved. The course of action has been pre-determined from the onset of those that voted to reject placing Dr. Johnson's contract in a favorable manner.
    The strenght of the union has once again prevaled in the Sandwich School district, showing they are only interested in themselves, irregardless of what they spout.

    You can see the control of the union each time severel members of the present school committee need to make some comment during the school board meetings. It some cases it has allready been prepared for them to respond in a scripted process.

    How do you, not accept a proposal that not only buys out excisting contracts , but saves close to 100,000 dollars a year in regards to copy technology? One bright one asks, if they could get a better price? It is a no brainer, but you need to have a few to process the facts and comprehend the outcome. That is unless you look down at your notes and read what the union leader has given you to state. It sure looks like that is happening with every idea or proposal DR> Johnson has submitted as of the past severel months.

    Getting back to having two superintendents of Schools in Sandwich. We could use one for the children[DR.Johnson] and the other for the UNION representative. That way,we are sure to at least resolve all the shadow complaints, from unknown magical statements and keep every one happy.
    The only question,is where will the school district find the money. Perhaps from the union dues all the teachers that belong to this union pay,to be ridiculed by the actions of its leadewrship.

    Carl Johansen
    A concerned citizen of Sandwich

  14. Let me understand. Start a petition for recall on this blog. Well, what have they done wrong. Should they be let go because they voted their conscience. Why did not Miss Killion, Miss Susko, and Mr. Cahill do anything other than ask Mrs. Marshall to get a ruling from a judge. Why don't they make a motion. Are they afraid.

  15. Mr. Johansen, with all due respect, what was in the water you were drinking when you wrote your last comment?

  16. Can't We All Just Get Along?August 10, 2010 at 9:27 AM

    "It is grueling for me to wrap my mind around the inability of some of my fellow board members to compromise. They are the one's that show lack of leadership, initiative and a clear deficiency in qualifications as an effective school committee member. Hopefully, some of them will be repayed for this come the May election."

    Andrea, please re-read this quote from your post and contemplate how it would feel if this quote was directed at you. Would you want to work with and compromise with someone who spoke this way about you? I think both sides need to listen respectfully to one another. Perhaps you will all learn something from one another!

    I agree that the School Committee should seek a judge's opinion with regard to the Superintendent's contract. I don't agree with the tone of the conversation that has been going on and the nastiness and name-calling. Time to cut it out and act like adults!!!

  17. Just so everybody knows, I'll be away from my PCs after 1pm today. I receive all comments via my smart phone and can clear them so that they show up on the blog. However, I need a program on my PCs to load the Recent Comments, so you won't see any changes to the Recent Comments until tomorrow, but the conversation will be updated as I clear the comments.

  18. It's tough being so popular -- will you be jetting to the Mid-East to work on a new peace accord?

  19. El Al. Tomorrow night from Kennedy. Departure 7:35.

  20. Seriously though, Bob, what I had hoped would be a reasonable compromise to walk us through this situation without creating a giant, and potentially expensive, distraction has fallen on deaf ears.

    My mission at this point is to try to protect the taxpayers by getting the school committee to do a little CYA before stepping into a minefield.

  21. I absolutely agree. There have been inumerable ignored warnings on this issue. This has all the makings of a very expensive train wreck with absolutely no winners.

    It certainly will be no benefit to the kids that everyone claims to be working for.

    Thank you for your efforts.

  22. Mr. Guerin can say what he wants, but the fact is the people have spoken. The people do not want the good Dr.

  23. Randy, why should the superintendent fall on her sword for the town? Would you be so quick to chalk it up to a bad experience if your professional reputation and livelihood were on the line? With Dr. Johnson I don’t think it is a matter of being spiteful, I think it is a survival reaction. I would do the same if I were in her situation. Her only crime is that she has performed her job to satisfactory expectations (see her evaluation).

    I appreciate your suggestion for a resolution to this. Sorry it fell on deaf ears.

  24. Sometimes, I can't decide if all this back and forth reminds me more of Dynasty or Falcon Crest.

  25. I was thinking of "The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight".

  26. Mr. Hunt, as Mr. Susko is too good to write to us directly, I will ask him, through you; does Mr. Susko realize that there were six school committee people that had deaf ears. Sometimes I think that Mr. Susko does not realize that the minority speaks as if Mrs. Marshalls makes all the decisions on her own. I did not hear anyone make a motion to a compromise at this last meeting. Perhaps Mr. Susko could find the absent school committee person and try to convince her to make such a motion.

    The minority does not put forward the motions that could save us, that way, reguardless of outcome, when Simmons and Guerin or the lackeys run again, they can state that they were with the minority and won.

    Lorenzo Lamas

  27. Some questions are not simply a matter of opinion.
    Your original post Randy remains the key issue. The attorneys consulted have answered very specific and narrow questions relating to Open Meeting law(s) and only Open Meeting laws.
    I don’t think that the Cape and Islands' District Attorney's office was ever asked to express an opinion on the validity of Dr. Johnson’s contract; AND,
    I’d bet that the Cape and Islands' District Attorney's office would tell you that they are not authorized or empowered to express an opinion on matters of contract law.
    Likewise, I’d bet that the town's attorney did not express an opinion on the validity of the voted and executed contact but instead presented options and alternatives.
    The validity of the contract is not a settled question as a matter of law and I’m sure that both attorneys would tell you that IF somebody, like the Chairman of the School Board, bothered to ask. The ONLY opinion that matters here will be a judges.

  28. where can I get a copy of the DA's decision?
    If Mr. Guerin is saying that there is a contract despite the fact that the open meeting law violated, then I guess we have a contract. What is interesting is how the former chairman, rather than admit he was wrong, as would be indicated in the old guidelines, as did the current chairman when someone on the board screwed up, we would be better served as taxpayers.

  29. To Anon 1:54
    I am saying only this: The validity of the contract is not a settled question as a matter of law - my opinion.
    To settle questions like this - ask a judge NOT a lawyer for their opinion. The difference? One is binding and the other isnt.

  30. NONE of this would be at issue if the 2009 SC had followed the rules. They couldn't manage that so this is what this town now has to deal with.

  31. sorry? what rules and where can I get a copy?

  32. Jeez, I think we can trust the lawyer's opinion who has been posting. He is just an interested citizen and clearly doesn't have a personal stake in this. I trust his opinion far more than biased people like the DA.

    Seems like those DA people can twist the law to say just about anything. We should do the right thing and keep the contract from the illegal meeting. Not because we want to win an old argument, or election, but because that is what real Americans would want.

  33. Bob Guerin is right, a Judge's ruling is binding. i.e. (Shari and gang can't wish the judges decision away no matter how hard they try.) As we all know, lots of lawyers run their bills up intentionally, some for 15 months or even longer, it depends on how stupid their clients are. The more stupid the client the more outrageous the billing. File with a judge, the school counsel has already advised them incorrectly. Bud Dunham, where the heck is our town counsel or the BOS on this issue? Shari is incapable of thinking this thru rationally, it's time for the town to protect us taxpayers!

  34. To union member: I couldn't post your comment because you implicated an individual in your allegation. Everything except your parenthetical was okay.

  35. I wish someone would answer my question. Why don't the minority school committee members bring forth motions?

    To Mr. Guerin-The rules say you should post meetings. If that were done on the night the vote was taken to extend her contract, then there would not have been all this "stuff". Mr. Simmons mismanaged the board all year long. He scheduled meetings away from camaras and beat up on public forum people. That Johansen guy would do best to defend the first amendment rights of those citizens who were told they could not speak "because it is on the agenda". If that stuck with everyone accross the board, then Johansen and Fernald would be unknowns.


  36. Okay, folks. I've rejected more comments this evening than I've put through. Believe me, I find them highly interesting, but a quick definition of libel might help out.

    It is only libel when a statement is not true, but I'd rather not spend my money to find out if X person is a nincompoop.

    li·bel   /ˈlaɪbəl/ –noun

    1. Law.
    a. defamation by written or printed words, pictures, or in any form other than by spoken words or gestures.
    b. the act or crime of publishing it.
    c. a formal written declaration or statement, as one containing the allegations of a plaintiff or the grounds of a charge.

    2. anything that is defamatory or that maliciously or damagingly misrepresents.

  37. Just saw the letter to the Times about Superintendent problem. Same old suspects at it again. The four school committee people who support Dr. Johnson and the losers of past elections.

  38. The big difference is that they signed their names on their statement and have consistently made their opinions known. (I was also very glad to see the current chairman of the Selectmen add his name to the list.)

    The critics have chosen to remain anonymous. Do they think people DON'T realize that they are the same union members (or their wife or lackey) who have gotten their butts kicked by the Superintendent for not doing their jobs?

  39. Superior court says the fee is
    $275.00 filing fee with the violations of the proper legal statues cited and violatied, also with the events and documents, signed contract leading up to the contract vote. How bout if MEJ's attorney doesn't file by next Friday, then the Sandwich Residents will file for our school district and children. A petition will also be signed with lots of Sandwich Residents. Forget the recall, we can dismount Sherry in May's election. Chime in if you support this plan!

  40. Why would MEJ's attorney file as he is of the opinion the contract is legal. Let the citizens pay for the filing and whatever other costs are incurred.

    As for the magnificent seven, who let Lubold in?

    Braless 32A

  41. To August 13th at 9:40. People who have written anonymously have been consistent also. People are afraid of retribution. Many times it involves their children. They don't want to get involved with this mess. MEJ is so disliked in this community that if she decides to fight and wins, it will be worth the fight. We are sick of secret summit meetings over her mistakes. We are sick of her bullying so many to leave. We are sick of her hiring and then firing people. We are sick of all she has done, is doing or will do. The current chairman of the BOS is a school committee person in disguise. He is with Grundman and Pierce. Those three should be ashamed of themselves. This board has done nothing consructive. The whole summer spent gearing up for an override which will not fly. They are not like most Sandwich people who must work for a living without big pensions.

  42. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

  43. Good Evening Mr> Hunt
    One can say with out question the longer this debate goes on, the worst it will become for the whole town. Budget season is now upon us and state money's are being denied to every school in the Commonwealth.
    Here in Sandwich the present school budget grows by over a Million dollars a year and no relief is in site .

    So we must contend with four members who not only do not care for the children of our fair town, but also those of us who all get to pay the bills.
    Where is the common sense in the approach they have taken to proove they have the power at some one elses expence?
    Where is the common sense in allowing these four members of the present School Committee to not establish a ruling of law that may or may not resolve these issues?

    Where is the common sense by the present leaders of our town in not questioning what this continued debate will cause for the municipal side of the budget as well?

    Time is running out and soon we will be at a point of no return and without a legal declarative statement that justifies the actions taken.

    Every citizen here in Sandwich are being held hostage and every citizen will suffer the consequences, the longer this process fails to come to a final resolve.

    Carl Johansen
    A concerned citizen of Sandwich

  44. There you go again Mr. Johansen. Every day you keep this thing going we are getting in trouble, that's what I think. If the majority, who were all voted in with a fair election (yes, including bullets)don't want to go to a judge. You, on the other hand, wine, complain, tell people they are cowards and un-American, could yourself get this to a judge, but you choose not to do so. This is your modes. You don't show up at Peter's Pond visitations, you don't go forward with the getting a judge's ruling. You only like it when you have an audience. Do something other than complain. Your time has come. Your time has gone.

    An unconcerned citizen, just a sick and tired of the complainers.

    Anonymous so that Mr. Johansen can talk to Randy directly on the blog. I do not want to hear him say anything to me directly.

  45. 8/14, 12:25,

    As a taxpayer and a parent, I'm sick of listening to anonymous union flunkies whining because somebody is finally telling them what to do.

    Do your job, or leave.

    Johnson certainly isn't perfect -- but she's making some progress-- which hasnt happened around here in years.

    She also drove out some people who should have been driven out years ago.

  46. To anonymous who is sick of listening to ANONYMOUS union flunkies: I am not tired of them, in fact, I agree with them most of the time. I am tired of anonymous people whining about anonymous people. I too am a parent, taxpayer, PTO activist, citizen who always votes. If you show me why these other people should have gone years ago, I might change my mind. I am with several writers who never get an answer about the statements by Randy Hunt on School Committee can you see through this. I am of a mind that thinks that all this supposed cutting by the Superintendent and then additional spending is some kind of a shell game. I remain unconvinced. I am not a union shill as I feel they should give back last years raise and not take one this year. I also think that teachers should punch out at the end of the day. I also think that they should teach more than three major courses per day. After all, for many of them, they are teaching the same thing. Teachers are the problem, but Dr. Johnson has to go. Now. Did you read the enterprise. You see, many Sandwich people know the true story of the things she has screwed up, the people she could not get along with and her work hours (16, I think not).

  47. To the poster sick of listening to union whiners. Move to another town or listen. This is the American way.
    Right Mr. Johansen?

  48. I just would like Mr. Guerin know that the 16% that voted for the two winners, most of whom really did not vote for the losing candidates, were the ones who had an opinion on the candidates. Most of the 84% did not care or know what is happening. Its like those who say that town meeting works (it should be thrown out for town council form of government) because those who don't go are in fact saying that those who do go can vote for them. Frankly, what are you saying that the 3200 people who cared to vote should not be heard because your arguments are better than theirs? If that is the case, then let's vote a three person dictatorship with you as chairman and Dr. Simmons and Dr. Lubold as your assistants. Note: if we can determine what Dr. Lubold has to do with the Town of Sandwich.

  49. 85% apathetic voters are already suffering the consequences of not being informed and voting.
    Sandwich teachers and parents not being involved have made their beds, now we are paying for that apathy and will continue to suffer until Marshall is voted out in May. That's if the voters wake up in May.
    Budget season will be uglier than usual, the fab four don't actually think the fired lame super will lead them and ask the town for 2.4 million override do they? When they fired her they declared her incompetant in their eyes and the towns eyes, now want her to lead them in asking the town for 2.4 override, with the teachers not taking a zero? Can they really be this incompetant?

  50. Just a quick question who wrote the supers contract,anyone

  51. Nobody is discounting the opinion of the folks who actually showed up to vote. I've said over and over that they won fair and square (no hanging chads!).

    My complaint is that those folks who didn't bother to show up effectively gave away their right to chose qualified leaders -- to the detriment of all (IMHO).

    We're facing a huge budget problem and all we're getting from the School Committee is blank stares and several weeks rest between meetings.

    In response to earlier question -- Supt's contract is negotiated between Supt & school committee with input from school counsel, Supt's counsel and frequently Mass Assoc of School Committees and Mass Assoc of School Superintendents.

    It is then reviewed and approved by entire 7 member school, committee --it's a public document, feel free to go get a copy.

  52. The the writer asked "Can they be this incompetant". Did you mean "incompetent"!!

    How do you know that the teachers will not take a zero? Did one of the negotiators tell you? I hope not, that would not be legal.

    As for the fired lame duck. Are you saying that Maryellen Johnson would not do her best to see that lead them during the budget season. If she doesn't then she would be incompetent or better still, not a good leader.

    I think Maryellen, to her credit, will continue to do good work. All you ever do is attack Sherry Marshall. Someone who is constantly attacked will not change their position. I see you did not sign your name this time.

    Jim Madison

  53. I think he meant "incontinent" -- which has nothing to do with geography.

    Glad to see we're looking at Big Picture.

    I think it's a safe bet that if the union was willing to take a zero, they might have at least casually mentioned it during the past two years!!

    I have no doubt many, or most, teachers are very concerned about the budget and WOULD take a zero -- but the MTA leadership would never let that actually come to a vote.

    Again -- not hesitating to eat their young.

  54. Bob Simmons,

    You are probably, and I say probably, correct when you say that those folks who didn't bother to show up effecrively gave away their right to choose qualified leaders--to the detriment of all, however, being on the streets of sandwich every day, participating in town activities including coaching, PTA, and chamber, I can honestly tell you that people are fed up with town government. It is the usual suspects who always appear at the podium at town meeting, open mike, and letter writing to newspapers. They all claim the moral high ground, and often don't work, but are retired with time on their hands. We have not done Jack Squat about getting some real tax base in this town. To the contrary, they have screwed up the property on golf course to where it can not be developed for significant income to the town like luxury senior apartments or condominiums. Nothing ever ever gets done for the people. Frankly, they don't care if Maryellen stays or goes, they are too busy with their lives. They are sick of paying taxes because of what others have failed to do. I will vote for an override because it serves the children, not because Maryellen is or isn't superintendent. I don't know if she should go or stay because its the same folks, those who benefited from her programs, got promoted, parents of special needs kids that were properly treated. You never hear from most seniors, most town workers, teachers who are not part of the benefiting teachers. They have a side of the story that is different. I would like to hear it so that I can make an informed decision. Too bad the won't do it. I would like to hear reasons for not voting a contract from the majority of the board. i would like to hear a lot less of the constant complaining from the minority. I vote, but why I don't know. My minister says its my obligation. Yes, Bob, you will have my vote for you as Selectman and I will vote for a school override, but please please help me and my family.We are sick of political promises. We are sick of getting nothing yet paying more, we are sick of bickering.


  56. Sandy,

    Nicely put.

    I appreciate your support -- but there's no danger of me running for Selectmen (or anything else!). I also couldn't ask anybody to support an override yet.

    You are right -- there are far too many things that have been "broken" for far too long. As important as Town meeting is (at least in concept) it has come to resemble the "The Gong Show".

    Unfortunately, there are far too many of the usual suspects and far too few new faces available to do the fixing.

    The only way out of the hole, I think, is to encourage more qualified/experienced people to run for office and then support their efforts.

    Regardless of the concept of citizen-run government, not every person over the age of 18 has the experience, education, or common sense to oversee an enterprise with a budget of $30 - $60 million, 500 employees, numerous large buildings & facilities, and a substantial vehicle fleet.

    OR -- to oversee the education that could be the crucial factor in the future of 3600 kids.

    Unfortunately, I have no doubt that criticism of the unqualified folks is probably discouraging qualified ones from getting involved. Why bother giving up time with your family, or personal business to put up with the nonsense?

    It's a vicious circle.

  57. I SECOND - NO MEETING - NO VOTE - NO CONTRACT! When will our SC come together and begin focusing on the kids we elected them to represent? Can this committee come together ever? At this point, isnt it important for all to focus on the positive change that our Super. was paid to create? THIS IS HER JOB - WHAT SHE HAS BEEN PAID TO PROVIDE to Sandwich Public Schools. I love the literacy program - I also expect my kids to be very literate well before graduating from HS. This should not be an "educational perk" in our system. Lets start working together to move forward.

  58. Why is this so very, very sad? Don't you work for a paycheck? Are people not paid to do a job?
    The people voted - move on!

  59. Mr. Sabetta,

    I was on your side, but now am wondering. What is so wrong for the committee to work together, both the majority and the minority?

    Phil deNaples

  60. I am all for the committee all working together....thats exactly what is not happening....the majority is not listening at all to the minority.....and what I referred to as sad is all the harsh workd and sniping that this whole situation has caused when to both sides all that really should matter is the kids.

  61. Mr. Sabetta,

    With all due respect, if you watch the school meetings, all that happens from the minority is barbs being thrown and telling what Mrs. Marshall what she should do rather than making motions to cause discussion. Say what you may and calling them names, as you do, the majority does not sling words and barbs back and forth. It is CLEAR to me that the minority is afraid to make a motion.

    I give Miss Killion credit, at least she speaks up often, the other two on the minority look like they have given up and hardly participate in any discussion even if it does not involve the Superintendent's job. For me, that is too bad because Shaun and Barbara have an awful lot to contribute. I will miss them when they do not run again.

    I hope that if you win, you will temper what you say a little bit. The kids don't need any name calling.

    Brett Ardisiliano

  62. brett

    It is interesting to note that we look at the same meeting and the same people in two different see a minority that have given up as you put it and I see three people that know they are banging their heads against the wall and are biding their time.........there is an old rod stewart lyric that comes to mind(if you will bear with my dj tendencys Mr Hunt) " There aint no point in talking when theres nobody listening."

    all in good time my friend, all in good time.

  63. Mr.Sabetta,

    It seems to me that the folks who voted for them want them to fight for what they believe. They are not.


  64. Very well put Brett. I voted for them and what are they doing? You do not run for a public office if you want to "give up, bang your head against the wall and bide your time" (to paraphrase Mr. Sabetta).

  65. The anonymous teacher who posted above seems to think money spent on curriculum and teacher training does not impact the class room. I say to you: time to retire.

    The anonymous teacher who posted above seems to think the school budget has been growing. I say to you: time to retire.

    The anonymous teacher who posted above seems to think the schools were better off before ELA, Everyday Math and written teacher evaluations. I say to you: time to retire.

    Your “good old days” resulted in declining MCAS scores, negative state evaluations of our school district and schools failing to meet standard. I say to you: time to retire.

  66. Randy I know this horse has been beat to death,but I thought the sc had to ok her contract. If there was no meeting because it was illegal therefore there was no vote.So is everyone still saying the contract is legal. I just don't get it. Sorry to rehash but no one has been able to ans.this question

  67. Doesn't it seem simple? Past and some present SC members are complicating the issue by promoting their own agenda. By promoting their agenda they reinforce our super. in her legal battles. Win win for them.
    Thank you Randy for posting comments that you may not agree with!

  68. If pointing out facts is the same "complicating the issue" I guess you're right.

    I understand your frustration. I always hate it when facts complicate my plans!

  69. It is not at all complicated for me to say that unless Ms. Marshall starts letting the rest of the committee know what is and will happen, Ms. Linehan ALWAYS being against whatever the Superintendent says, Ms. Killion ALWAYS scolding someone and pointing fingers (literally, watch the last sc meeting), and Ms. Susko and Mr.Cahill wake up and participate, that I shall not vote for any of them.

    Susan Antico


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