Thursday, December 31, 2009

Audi photos on display at Red River

Photographer Tom Wright has a display of photos at Red River Theatres. His Web site also has some photos: Digital Vistas Imaging. Pretty impressive shots, if you ask me.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Concord residents should be able to control the school district charter

Guest perspective by State Rep. Rick Watrous

The Concord School District – the only autonomous district in the state – has managed to delay any legislative attempt to allow voters to have more influence over their school system.

A year ago, six Concord state representatives – at the request of their constituents – sponsored bills to give voters better representation and more say over the school district. District officials and past and present board members testified against the bills.

House Bill 33, sponsored by Rep. Steve Shurtleff, would have replaced the current at-large school board with district representation. It is expensive to run a citywide race, and, historically, Concord’s wealthier wards have been over-represented on the school board. This bill would have resulted in more representative school boards.

House Bill 319, sponsored by Rep. Jessie Osborne, Mary Stuart Giles, Bill Stetson, Candice Bouchard and myself, would have allowed school district voters to vote on the authorization of the school district borrowing money in excess of $5 million.

Both bills would have required voter approval at a city election. Along with many others, I testified in favor of both bills. The school district lobbied hard against both bills, not wanting to give Concord citizens the opportunity to vote on these issues.

Members of the House Municipal and County Government Committee, responsible for holding hearings on the bills, were initially confused by them, wondering why they had to deal with affairs specific to Concord.

The answer goes back to 1961. Up until that year, the Concord School District held an annual meeting at which residents voted on the school budget. According to the 1961 annual report, 1,130 residents appeared at the annual meeting and approved that year’s $2 million budget. After that meeting, school board members convinced Concord’s state representatives to remove the power of citizens to vote on the budget or to amend the district charter.

Since then, the charter has been under the control of the Legislature and the school board has had total control of the budget. Concord residents have the dubious distinction of being the only citizens who have their school charter effectively locked away in the State House.
Once the House committee realized this bizarre situation, HB 319 was amended to return the school charter to the citizens of Concord in 2009. Citizens would have the right to revise or amend their own charter without prior legislative approval.

The amended bill unanimously passed the House, but then something odd happened.

When the bill reached the Senate, five senators – none from Concord – rewrote the bill at the behest of the counsel for the school district. Attorney John Teague urged the Senate committee to not return the charter but to instead create a commission to study the charter. The Senate amended the bill according to Teague’s recommendations and the Commission to Study the Concord School District Charter was created.

The commission, of which I was a member, spent months studying the issue. Teague testified numerous times and presented another proposal: the creation of an election charter commission. Essentially, he was now testifying that his previous recommendation was not representative enough! By a slim margin, the commission recommended the creation of an elected charter commission. The school district’s attorney had moved the goalposts yet again.

Whatever this elected charter commission eventually recommends in 2011 or beyond must be approved by the voters in another election and then passed by the Legislature. Concord residents could go through this multi-year process only to have the recommendations disapproved and our charter still under control of the Legislature.

It has become apparent by their actions that the school administration and board are afraid of ceding any power to the public they are supposed to serve. I now realize why many people consider them out of touch. The school board’s pet reply to people who don’t agree with their governance is that we can always vote them out of office. But board members make decisions that impact our city and children for generations.

Right now the nine-member board is moving to end Concord’s system of neighborhood schools and saddle the community with over $100 million in debt. It’s small consolation to vote someone out of office after historic buildings have been torn down, massive debt incurred and our school system changed forever.

Voters need more say over what occurs in their school district. The Legislature should restore basic constitutional rights to the Concord school district voter – the right to petition, amend and revise our own school charter.

I have submitted legislation to return the charter and these rights to district voters in 2010. I urge citizens to speak up. This is not a Republican or Democratic issue. This is about controlling our own school district charter to attain greater input in district governance. After 48 years, it's long overdue.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Rhythm of the Night rocks Audi Jan. 17

Sunday, January 17, 2010 ~ 2pm

The Capital City is going “Green”, saving its energy every place and every day but one: the Concord City Auditorium on Jan. 17. That Sunday afternoon, the city’s theatre will be glowing with the red-hot energy of 150 prima dancers from seven area dance schools as The Friends of the Audi present the 19th annual dance extravaganza called
For the one big change to the traditional dance show we credit New Hampshire’s white energy – the snow. To accommodate “iffy” weather and youngsters in the dancers’ families, the show has been moved from Saturday night to Sunday afternoon at 2pm. “The time change to the afternoon is better for everyone, and the Rhythm won’t miss a beat,” say Co-Directors Lisa Drouin Goff of the Turning Pointe Center of Dance in Pembroke and Joan Kelly of Dancesteps Etc. in Epsom. The show is a benefit for the Auditorium’s Flyspace Project – which, in turn, will benefit the future performances of all Audi presenters.
THE RHYTHM OF THE NIGHT is the largest community dance show in the state, Lisa and Joan say, and the 2010 program promises to be the biggest and brightest yet, with 21 acts including tap, hip hop, ballet, jazz, modern, and production numbers.
Turning Pointe Center of Dance and Dancesteps Etc. will be joined on stage by dancers from Capital City Dance Center directed by Pam “PJ” White, Concord Dance Academy directed by Cindy Flanagan, Creative Dance Workshop of Bow directed by Bridget LeCompte-Edinger, Gen’s Dance Studio directed by Gen Woodward, and New Hampshire School of Ballet directed by Jennifer Reinert,
Not all Rhythm of the Night “numbers” are danced. Some are witness to Concord’s reputation as a “Dancing Town”. Since 1944 the Audi has hosted community dance shows, and this season 11 local schools will present over 2,000 students on its stage. In 19 years, the The Rhythm of the Night shows have showcased nearly 3,000 dancers, giving many the opportunity to polish routines to be performed in upcoming competitions leading to awards and scholarships. The directors of the seven schools in this year’s show have 192 years’ experience teaching dance.
THE RHYTHM OF THE NIGHT -- a fun-filled way for families to start the new year -- is a special gift to Concord audiences, for tickets are just $6 at the participating schools and, after January 2, also at Ballard’s Novelty Shop at McKee Square. The show will last one and one-half hours with an intermission and is suitable for all ages.
Add two more numbers: over 19 years, the schools participating in the show have helped to raise thousands of dollars toward the Auditorium’s upgrades and improvements. And, enthusiastic audience return annually to boost a sell-out house…so don’t delay getting tickets. Information and ticket reservations are available now from Producer David Murdo at 225-7474 or email to

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Lawsuit filed over Kimball, Conant footprint waivers

On Dec. 23, two Concord residents filed a declaratory judgment petition in Merrimack Superior Court seeking a determination that state Dept. of Education waivers allowing the Conant and Kimball elementary schools to be built on smaller parcels than the state allows were improper.
According to state regulations, new elementary schools must be built on parcels 10-acres or more, according to sources. The land Conant sits on is 8.7 acres, according to school district documents; Kimball is 2.8 acres. The state DOE granted Ed. 321.30 Waivers for Kimball and Conant, allowing them to be reconstructed on the smaller parcels. However, the lawsuit challenges these waivers, stating they are invalid and beyond the rule-making authority delegated to the DOE. In other words, a source stated, legislative delegation of power to make rules does not mean that the agency also has the power to waive those same rules.
According to sources, there are contrasting examples where the Legislature has delegated the power to waive administrative rules in certain situations to other agencies, but not in this case with DOE.
The lawsuit also challenges "the factual inadequacy of the two waiver application filed and granted previously."
As reported yesterday on, the Concord School District must reapply to the state Dept. of Education for new waiver applications to build new schools on the Kimball and Conant parcels since the waivers previously received were renovation plans.
I'll update this story as more information becomes available.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

School waiver problems arise plus, what's this about a lawsuit?

The Concord School District must reapply to the state Dept. of Education for new waiver applications to build new schools on the Kimball and Conant parcels, according to sources.
Not 24 hours after voting to demolish both Kimball and Conant elementary schools, the district found out that waivers it had requested and received were null and void, since they were based on plans to renovate the two schools, not demolish them. Since the schematic design for the new schools are completely different than the designs for the renovated schools, new waivers must be put in place (One person has already commented: "How can we trust this gang to get three buildings done on time and on budget, when they can't even get even shoot straight i.e. put in the proper paperwork?").
Matt Cashman, the director of facilities for the school district, reportedly sought new waiver applications today. The DOE will then have to approve the new waivers for both of the sites. According to the DOE, new elementary schools should be built on at least 10 acres of land. The School district sought waivers to this regulation since Conant is on 8.7 acres and Kimball is on 2.8 acres.
Dr. Virgina Barry is the head of DOE and has been since June of this year. She granted the original waiver but is accepting comments about the new building waiver, if residents feel that demolition is not appropriate due to size or historic preservation.
Readers can email comments to her at

And what's this about a lawsuit?
According to sources, there are rumors floating around that at least two members of the community have filed a lawsuit against the state Dept. of Education concerning the waivers, in an effort to halt the demolition of the Kimball Elementary School. The lawsuit was filed Monday morning. I'll have more information about this as it becomes available.

A very sad day for the city

Last night, the Concord School Board voted 7 to 2 to demolish the historic Kimball and Conant elementary schools in favor of building new schools on the current footprints. The two "no" votes were Eric Williams and Laura Bonk. Williams wanted to renovate the school while Bonk opposed the decision because she didn't think the site was big enough to accommodate the larger school.
It certainly is a very sad day for the city when so many elected officials can ignore our history (and fiscal status) and vote in such a way. As I have stated before, it's shocking that anyone in their right mind would vote to demolish two structurally sound buildings. Since when did the yuppies in our community decide they could throw out 80 to 100 years worth of history on a whim? Most of them don't realize that by the time the buildings are built, their elementary school children will be at Rundlett Middle School, which will soon need more work or need to be split because it is too big (but guess what? There isn't going to be any money left after this monstrosity). Our children will be corralled into massive "state-of-the-art" schools with no real educational improvements inside of the buildings. It's a damn shame.
All the information gathered by their own processes point to other conclusions. Even when they rigged the outcome, the studies don't lie. But, again, like I have said for a number of years, it was a predetermined outcome. Once the board voted for the initial concept of eight to four, instead of properly planning for the future from Day 1, there really was no turning back. There really was no true investigation of alternatives or planning to come up with the best possible outcome for everyone.
Here is what is most hilarious - or sad, if you think about it - even as they plan for the new buildings, they are already cutting corners in order to bring the costs down below renovation, in order to act as if they are saving us money! One of the architects admitted such the other night. Instead of allowing the creative people to plan what is best for our children, they worried only about costs. When you're blowing through $150 million, what's another million or two? So, all of you who wanted this monstrosity, guess what? You're not really going to get "state-of the art" or what is best, you're getting the cheapest version of the most expensive option. Slight of hand tricks and political bullshit. What a bunch of suckers.
Unfortunately, people who have to pay for this are the real victims here. They will be the ones creamed by this decision, especially when the state says, "Sorry, we're ending the school building aid program ..." You know they're going to too, don'tcha? That will be the laugh then, huh? Will anyone be able to afford Concord Monitor subscriptions after that taxes go up to make up the difference?
Bonk, who has been an engineer for more than 20 years, truly seems to get it. The Kimball footprint is too small and the school district does not have the capability to manage three building projects at once. While we may not agree with her on everything, she has been one of the lone voices of sanity in this entire thing. It's amazing that someone with so much knowledge about building structures could be so easily ignored.
There are so many reasons to be furious about this decision. The cost, the destruction of history, the buildings aren't truly as green as they can be, etc., ad nauseam. But, instead, let's just have a moment of silence for the sad state of our community. Lord, please, give us the strength and wisdom to get through the future in one piece. We're really going to need it.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The eve of Concord's elementary school consolidation votes

On Monday and Tuesday of this week, the Concord School Board will hold public hearings about the impending elementary school consolidation plan. On Monday night at 6 p.m., the board will vote to approve design schemes; on Tuesday night at 6 p.m., it will vote to authorize the bonds. Both public hearings will take place in the administration office building at 16 Rumford St.

Before the vote, here are some things for readers to ponder:

First, there is the project's true cost. This morning, the Concord Monitor did report that the project would cost between "$99.7 million and $124 million including interest over 30 years." I think this is the first or second time they have done that, which is good. But, again, they missed figuring in the state aid and stabilization money, which lowballs the true cost.
These estimates of between $99.7M to $124M assume that the state will make $29.8 million in small bi-annual payments for the life of the note. In addition, as Business Manager Michelle Croteau confirmed on Thursday night, the district plans on kicking in $2.7 million in stabilization money right off the bat.
This raises the true total cost of the project to between $133 million and $157 million based on current construction estimates. That is a much larger - and more accurate - figure than $100M to $124M.

If the state aid ends any day along the way in this project, the residents in the Concord School District will all be on the hook for the total price of the project. This will necessitate much higher tax increases, probably around 3 percent each year, for the life of the loan. These tax increases do not include any new operating cost increases that the school district may need. State representatives and officials have told the school board time and time again that the state cannot be trusted to fulfill its obligations on school building construction aid. They are already bonding payments into the future! They don't have the money! In other words, everyone in the Concord School District should be prepared: We will probably all be on the hook for the entire price.

No matter what anyone says, it is not eight to five - it's eight to four (or truly, nine to four, since Dewey was only closed about six years ago which prompted this entire process). The Dame-Eastman consolidation is not a new school - in its current design scheme, it is an addition to Broken Ground. It will have the same heating system, all the grades will share gym and performance space, and, probably, the schools will have the same (or very similar) maintenance, cooking, and administration staffing. It is not a new school. When this project is done, there will be four elementary schools; not five. Officials and the Monitor keep talking as if it is a new school - it isn't. Look at the schematics for yourselves. It's an addition to Broken Ground.

The Kimball footprint is too small for 500 kids. The state recommends that new elementary schools be built on at least 10 acres. The school district somehow managed to get a waiver to this in order to build on less than 3 acres. It is a mistake. Look at the designs posted here for yourself. There has been no traffic study for the new routes; the architects say the grade between Rumford and Spring street could be a problem; etc.
Then, there is the fight over whether or not to renovate the old building - which will mean knocking down Morrill and seven houses but basically keeping the front part of the building - or constructing a new school, again, on a very small footprint. As noted elsewhere here, there are other options for constructing a new school somewhere else in West Concord while selling off the other buildings to lower the debt. There are many parcels which are available to the school district. They say they have looked at them but they haven't really. They talked to the city planning department a few times. That's just not good enough when it comes to saving an important part of our community heritage AND building the best possible school for our children.

Personally, as I stated in the Monitor piece last week, I think the district should consolidate to six schools and make small renovations and additions to those schools to bring them up to code in order to just get by. That is the frugal and responsible thing to do for everyone, not just the school district but the city, its taxpayers, its retirees, and its renters. With all due respect to our community's educators and parents who want "state-of-the-art" schools, the community cannot afford them and the district is taking on a larger project than it will ever be able to handle. Mark my words: This is going to be a disaster. However, they are forging ahead anyway. This means that the only real battle that could be won is whether or not Kimball gets demolished (Conant is already going to be demolished even though it is structurally sound and much of it less than 80 years old). It is clear from looking at everything that Kimball should not be demolished (neither should the seven houses or Morrill either, but that's off the table too!). It is a historic building and a part of our city's character. It must be saved at all costs.

I urge all of you to communicate with board members via email or attend the hearing and speak. Due to previous work commitments, I will be unable to attend these meetings and this is a good thing, since I have had my name in the paper enough these days. But please, do get involved in the process and tell the school board to do the best thing for everyone.

Here are the school board member emails including current positions on the Kimball-Walker consolidation part of the plan, per previous reporting in the Monitor. (reportedly undecided) (does not support expanded school on Kimball footprint) (supports new school at Kimball) (reportedly undecided) (supports new school at Kimball) (reportedly undecided) (supports new school at Kimball) (originally supported renovation, now supports new school) (supports renovation of Kimball)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Taxpayers Association analyzes consolidation plan; offers alternatives

On Thursday night, members of the Concord Taxpayers Association and the general public met with school officials for about three hours to discuss the elementary school consolidation plan at the Draft in Concord.
Attending on behalf of the school system were Board member Jack Dunn (pictured at the left), Facilities Director Matt Cashman, Business Manager Michelle Croteau, and architect Pip Lewis of the firm hired to create estimates and schematic designs for the project.
The meeting was organized by both the CTA and school officials as another opportunity to get information out to the public.
The first part of the meeting was an extensive overview of the current state of the plan, including the state of the historic schools, enrollment numbers, financials, and schematic design. The second part of the meeting included a question and answer period, and the opportunity for members to offer alternative ideas to the proposal.
Dunn and Cashman presented the initial overview showing some of the problems with the historic schools. Croteau walked through the financing, noting that, depending on the scheme, there would in fact be spikes in the tax rate for between 13 and 20 years. The initial project costs are to be about $66.8 million although new estimates coming in earlier in the week put the project now at about $62 million. These figures are up from previous figures of about $57 million a few weeks ago. Croteau confirmed that about $2.6 million of stabilization funds as well as almost $30 million in state aid were being used to offset a debt load of about $99 million to $120 million. She also confirmed that the total cost of the project would be in the $130-plus-million to $150-plus-million range.
Many attendees questioned the figures and whether or not it was the best plan for the district to consider. One attendee asked why there was not more money put on the principle to lower the interest payments; another member likened the numbers to a car salesman trying to add on items to sweeten the deal. Another attendee questioned how the figures could go up so much in such a short period of time. Lewis stated that the architects had been trying to make the project as affordable as possible in order to not burden the taxpayers. Another attendee peppered questions about green design and why Concord's schools that were built in the 1970s were not holding up well compared to the historic schools which were structurally sound, even after 80 to 100 years. She also asked whether or not items from China, which often have lead and other hazardous materials, would be included in the new schools.

Towards the end of the meeting, I presented two rough schematic drawings using city maps and primitive scribbles via Adobe Acrobat which showed two potential alternative sites for a new Kimball School:

The first scheme is an area of about 18 acres across the street from the Bishop Brady High School playing fields, just off the corner of Columbus Avenue and Penacook Street. The area has a very small slope and more than enough room to build a proper elementary school, and potentially a new middle school, if needed. Of course, the plan doesn't take into account that part of this section of town is deem to be a stretch of the northern part of the Northwest Bypass. Although, city officials readily admit that the possibility of actually getting this road constructed is slim to none.
This scheme does require a bit of infrastructure by the city, including new sidewalks and more children would be bused to this location than probably bused to the current Kimball footprint.

The second proposed alternative location, at the corner of Rumford and Penacook street, is more of a walk-to, neighborhood school. Placed right in the heart of Concord's North End, this location is a mere four blocks from the current Walker School. It offers more entry locations to the grounds of the school, as shown by squiggly red lines, signifying potential driveways that could either be shared with Lincoln Financial or separate from that company's employee entrances. The level of the land allows for multiple entry points to a potential two-story school, even allowing the school to be set along a street corner, as shown by the red lines.

Both schematics are not laid out in the pictures to spec. The actual footprint will be slightly different than the primitive designs I put together. But the larger points, which I stated at the meeting, are two-fold:

First, the key point to finding an alternative location for a new Kimball-Walker School is the ability for the district to sell off Kimball and the seven houses the district owns on the Kimball footprint to offset some of the debt of a new school.
Currently, Kimball is assessed at more than $3.5 million. The seven houses were purchased at more than $2 million, granted, at the height of the market. Combined with the value of Walker, at another $3 million and change, about $9 million of potential asset revenue would be available. Some of this money, possibly as much as $2 million, would be needed for alternative site land acquisition and site development. But that would leave an additional $7 million (or more, depending on the sale of the assets) to be used to lower the debt.
In the end, despite press reports describing this scheme as more expensive, finding a new location for a combined Kimball-Walker School is less expensive than renovating or building a new school on the Kimball footprint.
And second, that instead of planning to a predetermined outcome, from Day 1, school officials could have taken some time to think outside of the box to do what is best and right for everyone, and not just what was easiest. Because this hasn't been done, the school board is about to approve a plan that has major flaws, is not the best location for the schools, and will knock down a beloved historic building in the community.

At the end of the meeting, I presented some other alternative locations, including numerous lots owned by St. Paul's School on Fisk Road, the Miskoe Farm on Little Pond Road, and the Liberty Street area near Grappone Park, about two blocks from Jennings Drive, that could at least get a cursory look as potential sites.
Cashman said that some of the sites had been looked at by district officials but not all of them.

Sidebar: A representative from the Miskoe family communicated with me this week and stated they were not interested in selling their property to the school district. It was also noted that the upper end of Little Pond does not have water and sewer. I regret any misconceptions that my writing was suggesting that the Miskoe's property be taken from them for a new school. I was just trying to suggest that other locations could be looked at.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Meeting reminder: Learn about elementary school consolidation plan Thursday

Just a quick reminder to let you know that the Concord Taxpayers Assoc. will be holding a forum about the elementary school consolidation project this Thursday, Dec. 17, from 6:30 to 9 p.m.
The event is free and all are welcome to attend.
The forum will be held in the upstairs meeting room space of The Draft, located at 67 S. Main St.
School officials will be presenting their plan and financial data and will answer any and all questions about the project.
Since the Draft is donating the room to the CTA, I’m asking attendees to consider either having dinner beforehand or joining some of us for a round after the forum.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Today's Monitor columns ...

This morning's Concord Monitor has published a column I wrote about the elementary school consolidation project: ["My plan costs less and preserves neighborhood schools"].
There is also another good column in the paper from Phil Donovan of the Heritage Commission: ["School board must save historic buildings"].
A few quick points.
First, I didn't choose the headline and I'm sorry I didn't. This one, unfortunately, comes across as a tad arrogant. It isn't really about "my plan," although it was my plan. It could be anyone's plan. It is a "better plan" and had this school district not come into this with a predetermined outcome, it could be one of many we would all get to look at.
Sometimes I offer my own headlines for submitted contributions; sometimes I don't. At my full-time job, I often pick headlines to letters or columns that contributors aren't too hot about. Most of the time, I just use what is suggested. Now I kinda know what it feels like to be on the other end of something that the writer didn't like!
Second, the editor of the newspaper did send me some edits before publication but I really didn't look that closely at them. I just changed a couple of things, like expanding the financials, and sent it back. I wish I had read the edits more thoroughly because the revised introduction reads as if I don't know what I'm talking about.

The original intro read: "The Concord School District is about to approve a massive plan to consolidate our city’s elementary schools."

The original was more accurate. The district is consolidating from eight to four (or technically, nine to four, since Dewey was closed not that long ago). It has never been eight to five unless something has changed in the last few days.
In the scheme of things, these problems are minor. The stories look great together on the page and I'm glad I was able to get it in before the votes. I certainly hope this allows people to give all of this a bit more thought and, hopefully, convince the school board to come to their senses about all of this.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

School board bond hearing Monday at 6 p..m.

The Concord School Board will hold a hearing about its $67 million ($100M to $124M, with interest) bond plans to pay for the elementary school consolidation project. The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. in the board's meeting room at 16 Rumford St.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Donate food Tuesday night

The Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours on Tuesday will be waiving its normal $7 fee with a food donation (at least four cans) for the Capital Region Food Program.
The event will be held at the Grappone Conference Center from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 8. The Duprey Companies will be hosting the event.
To RSVP, please call 224-2508.

Learn about the elementary school consolidation plan Dec. 17

As many of you have probably already read in the Concord Monitor or, the Concord School District will soon be making a decision on its elementary school consolidation plan.
The plan involves consolidating eight elementary schools to four, at a price tag of about $67 million (plus interest, for a total of somewhere between $100 million and $124 million). There is no consensus in the community about this plan but actually, a great divide between different interests.
Because there are many unanswered questions, the Concord Taxpayers Association has put together a forum to try and educate the public about the plan. The forum will be held on Thursday, Dec. 17, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at the Draft’s newly renovated upstairs meeting room at 67 S. Main St. School officials will be on hand to make a presentation about the plan and will be available to answer any and all questions you may have.
Unlike some of the school sponsored meetings, we have structured this to be a little bit more give and take. After officials show their presentation, you will allowed the time to comment on it, ask the tough questions that haven’t been asked, or even offer alternative plans, which they will then comment on. So bring your ideas and concerns to this meeting and let’s get some serious questions answered.
In addition, because we are getting the room for free, please consider having dinner or drinks at the Draft before or after the meeting. Many of us will be socializing afterwards too. I often say that a place that is truly a community is one where you can argue or disagree about the issues of the day, but still get together for a beer after the fight is over. So I really do hope that you’ll attend.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Upcoming bond hearings

FYI: These dates have been corrected
The Concord School District will be holding a number of meetings about the bonding of its $67 million consolidation scheme. Here are some dates where members of the public can attend and express their concerns or feelings about the project and its costs:

Monday, Dec. 7, 6 p.m.: Public hearing on the bond to finance elementary consolidation plan. 16 Rumford St.

Monday, Dec. 21, 6 p.m.: Special board meeting: Vote on elementary designs. 16 Rumford St.

Tuesday, Dec. 22, 6 p.m.: Special board meeting: Vote on bond. 16 Rumford St.
Concord School District elementary school consolidation plan.

Please come out and let your voice be heard about this very important issue.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

School project clarifications

I have received a whole slew of documentation from the school district about its elementary school consolidation project. There are some surprising and shocking things in all of the figures, which have gone from $57 million to $67 millions in just a few weeks. With interest, the project will come in at between $100 million to $124 million, according to figures and press reports.
I will have more data posted online soon, after I get a chance to check out the figures a bit more thoroughly.