Friday, February 16, 2018

from the updated Open Meeting law effective October 6, 2017

(4) Requirements Specific to Regional School Districts.
(a) The secretary of the regional school district committee shall be considered to be its clerk. The clerk of the regional school district committee shall file notice with the municipal clerk of each city and town within such district and each such municipal clerk shall post the notice in the manner prescribed for local public bodies in that city or town.

(b) As an alternative method of notice, a regional school district committee may post a meeting notice on, by majority vote, adopt the regional school district's website. as its official notice posting method. A copy of each meeting notice shall be filed and kept by the secretary of the regional school district committee or the secretary's designee in accordance with the applicable records retention schedules. The regional school district committee shall file and post notice of the website address, as well as directions on how to locate notices on the website, in each city and town within the region or district in the manner prescribed for local public bodies in that city or town.

If you go to Templeton Town website, you will find a link to the NRHS website.

Go to Town website  look to left for box titled Town resources - click on useful links and you will stumble upon a ink that will direct you to the Narraganset district website, where you should find the meeting postings you are looking for.

Then again, you might not find them and if they have not been posted properly, the district will be notified.

The district reorganization advisory committee is an open public meeting. Required to be posted, it is how ever a district rather than a Town committee so do not look for it on the Town website. There should also be minutes of the meetings. You can tape, record etc., those meetings. While you do have a right to attend any open pubic meeting, you do not have a right to speak or ask questions. That is at the discretion of the chairman, per the Massachusetts Open Meeting law.

Remembering that the selectmen already do not routinely take questions at workshops and they recently discussed limiting questions and public input at their regular selectmen meetings, stating that residents could reach out off line and residents can have their say at Town Meeting seems to be indicating the current selectmen want less input and questions from residents, meaning just where and when are residents/taxpayers suppose to be able to have their say?

As for finding the posting, all members have have been emailed informing them when, where, etc the meeting will take place.

I posted "the what if" item (s) concerning the placing of the students - assignment of students resulting in more than 10% of the pupils of the whole school being from out of town requires approval of the school committee by a 7/8ths vote, per the regional school agreement.

Per the same agreement, pupils shall be assigned by the superintendent of schools, who shall take into account but not be bound by any recommendations of the school committee, consistent with the educational reform act of 1993. So the superintendent could assign all Phillipston students to Templeton elementary school, but if that results in more than 10 % of students being from out of Town (excluding school choice) the school committee could vote in favor of that, hence al Phillipston students could end up in the new school. Since the subject of a regional elementary school was brought up several times at a meeting, I thought it was worth mentioning, as I feel people should be aware of what could happen per the school agreement that many have probably never seen never mind read. That is not a conspiracy, that is a possibility.

There is also a proposed committee to discuss moving the Town's election and I have received an email from the school district informing me of such. Templeton Advisory Committee received an email (2) from Templeton T/A concerning this committee requesting who the representative will be from Advisory. If you are to pan for things, you should be aware of all the possibilities, whether you think they are realistic or not, they should be considered or at least be aware of.
The regional school district agreement involving Templeton and Phillipston was supposedly last updated in 2004. It is quite possible that this change or update is not even on file with the state.

Within this agreement, East Templeton school is listed, when in fact, it does not exist any longer (in the capacity of a school) Baldwinville Elementary will soon follow. The agreement also contains language stating each lease term shall be for a period of twenty years and additional terms shall not exceed twenty years.

The agreement states it was first executed in 1955, as amended through 1975.

One interesting item is if at anytime, there are students more than 10% of the pupils of the whole school being from out of town, then the reassignment will require a 7/8ths vote of the school committee to vote in favor, school choice students shall be exempt from this.

I have to wonder what would happen, if per this current agreement, the school committee voted all in favor of reassigning all of Phillipston students to the new elementary school, if that would hold up legally? Of course, we could just stay focused on the hemp debate.
Tis the Town budget season and Templeton selectmen want to move elections and Town Meeting around so the people who put together a spending plan can or are there to defend said spending plan.

One reason given is because the selectmen receive things late and they are working on the spending plan right up to Town Meeting date so if we move Town Meeting back, selectmen have more time. A Phillipston resident suggests beginning work on the spending plan sooner, as in earlier in the year and since the state spending plan, that includes chapter 90, chapter 70 and unrestricted general government aid is usually not available with hard numbers until around June 30, most, if not all cities and Towns are in the same boat. Does not seem like the Templeton selectmen's argument holds water, seems more like an excuse to hold information back that could and should be available to attendees of Town Meeting at an earlier date! Why do we have a special Town Meeting in the fall if all the spending plan numbers are good before our current Town Meeting date?

Watching the joint meeting of Templeton and Phillipston selectmen, one cannot help watch the Templeton selectmen falling all over themselves trying to swoon Phillipston selectmen into some "deals" and different scenarios. Does not look like Phillipston was taking the bait.

On another front, a point has been made that with Templeton having a new elementary school, Phillipston students could now be at a disadvantage, because Templeton elementary students will have "all the new stuff" and teachers in Phillipston school may have to work harder or put more effort into their task at hand and that seems unfair. Also, subject of a regionalized elementary school mentioned as a way of getting all kids into a new school.

Note that those subjects are things just being tossed out there and most will be up to the school committee in the end, having said that, people should pay attention, as in attend, the meetings of these advisory committee and sub committee groups. Other wise, you may find your self behind the proverbial eight ball when things are rolled out.

Once again, Templeton Town Administrator and selectmen Richards were absent from last evenings meeting of the district reorganization advisory committee.

Next meeting for that entity is suppose to be February 26, 2018, at 5:00 P.M. (a Monday)