Hello Again Timberlane Community:
I hope everyone enjoyed the winter break and was able to spend some quality time with their families.
It is that time of year again; to vote on our budget proposal for the 2013-2014 school year. I want to again thank Michelle O’Neill, our Budget Committee Chair, the Budget Committee, the Timberlane Regional School Board, George Stokinger, our Business Administrator and the general public that participated in the Deliberative Session on February 7th. It is my hope that more residents will participate in future Deliberative Sessions as much time and energy has been spent to propose a budget that meets the needs of our school district and is mindful of the taxpayer.
Lyndon B. Johnson is quoted as saying “We preach the virtues of democracy abroad. We must practice its duties here at home. Voting is the first duty of democracy.” I ask that you take the time to follow your hearts and heads and vote for what you think will serve our community the best. I would never tell someone how to vote, but would strongly encourage you to vote.
My intention is to briefly explain each item that will be on the March 12th school district ballot:
Article 1 – Elected Officials: We currently have three open seats with contenders on the School Board. We also have five open seats on the Budget Committee with no contenders, thus write ins are most welcome. The work of our Budget Committee continues to be challenging and it warrants public input.
Article 2 – Operating Budget: Our default budget is slightly lower than our proposed budget due to an amendment made on the floor at Deliberative Session. The budget was amended by increasing the athletic budgets bottom line by $150,000. Although specific line items may not be amended on the floor, I will honor the spirit in which this amendment was proposed and adopted.
Article 3 – Capital Reserve Fund: The Capital Reserve Fund represents good planning for future projects. Capital Reserve Funds are acquired from the annual surplus and can only be spent at the approval of the district voters.
Article 4 – Collective Bargaining Agreement for the Timberlane Teachers Association: Our goal is to invest in the professionals that teach our children, which in turn, is an investment in our children. Keeping the brightest and best teachers in Southern New Hampshire is a top priority.
Article 5 – Authorization for Special Meeting on Cost items: This article would save the district legal expenses if a special meeting is needed to address the cost items in article 4 in the event that article fails.
Article 6 – Fund Balance Retention: This article allows the district to retain up to 2.5% of the fiscal year’s net assessment to address any emergency expenditures. With sequestration and other budget uncertainties looming, this new state provision would protect the district. Any request for emergency expenditures would need to be approved by the Department of Education.
Article 7 – General Acceptance of Reports: Approval of the reports of agents, auditors and committees as written in the annual report.
Article 8 – SAU Budget on Warrant Petition by Donna Green et al: This article would allow the residents to vote exclusively on the School Administrative Unit Budget. Currently, the School Administrative Budget is approved by your elected officials in Timberlane and Hampstead, and inserted in the Timberlane and Hampstead budgets as a line item.
In closing, there are many challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for us in Timberlane. I can assure you that Timberlane will be ready to take on every challenge and embrace the opportunity to lead the learning in Southern New Hampshire.
Please see your towns for polling hours and location. And remember to have your voices heard and vote on March 12th. Please feel free to contact my office with any questions and concerns. I can be reached at 603-382-6119 or Email. Thank you
Dr. Earl Metzler
Superintendent of Schools