Paul working for you.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Alack and Alas

Alack and Alas
"Ill-fated" - bet your ass!
From DHB FB page:
Diane Haley Brooks
Yesterday at 2:17pm · Templeton ·
Thank you Kate Fulton, a member of the Advisory Commitee for this information:
Last night the advisory board voted 5 to 1 to send an email to the state Municipal Finance Oversight Board a letter bashing the elementary school project. The project is referred to as "ill-fated."
It stated that "the taxpayers were sold a bill of goods," that information given to voters "have proved to be false, as in lies." The letter was written by Julie and Peter Farrell and will be updated to include specific examples as requested by Paul Grubb. The names of five members of the committee will appear on the letter. I made it clear that my name was not to be included and Gordon Moore was not present.
I have also telephoned to Maura Healy and Deb Goldberg's office about the matter, both are on the oversight board. Let people know, make phone calls, attend the meeting, tomorrow at 11 a.m. in the state house room 230 and let the school board and selectmen know of your dismay at this interference to the elementary project.
Nicole Cormier LeBlanc

Nicole Cormier LeBlanc Thank you for sharing Diane Haley Brooks. Do you happen to have phone numbers that concerned citizens may call??
Like · Reply · Yesterday at 2:40pm
Maureen LeBlanc

Maureen LeBlanc I would like it as well
Like · Reply · 1 · Yesterday at 2:42pm
Kate Fulton

Kate Fulton Do a search on the internet for ph #'s, emails are also important.
Like · Reply · 23 hrs
Kate Fulton

Kate Fulton Give the name of the state officer; e.g. suzannembump@mass.auditor
Like · Reply · 23 hrs · Edited
Kate Fulton

Kate Fulton or Maura Healy@mass.attorneygeneral
Like · Reply · 23 hrs ·

TracyAnn Marie

TracyAnn Marie So this mean kids go back to templeton center school ???
Like · Reply · Yesterday at 3:51pm
Molly Brooks

Molly Brooks They can't.
Like · Reply · Yesterday at 3:55pm
Diane Haley Brooks

Diane Haley Brooks No absolutely not.
Like · Reply · 23 hrs

Stacey Greene Schultz

Stacey Greene Schultz So these TC kids will be SOL without a school! Gotta love this friggin town!
Like · Reply · Yesterday at 3:57pm
Lisa March

Lisa March What is the matter with these people. I can't believe they are still trying to block this project!
Like · Reply · 1 · 23 hrs
Molly Brooks

Molly Brooks I can. Having lived in this town most of my life these are the people who won't be happy unless everyone else is as miserable as them. No one should be able to move forward because they are so damned backwards that everything is too good for them. I e about had it with them and the others who support them. Selfish, useless hurtful people who only give a damn about themselves and their wants.
Like · Reply · 2 · 23 hrs
Lisa March

Lisa March Sad but true! 

Diane Haley Brooks
15 hrs ·
More PSA for Templeton Residents:
I would like to remind everyone that we are a Board that is trying. We have not been perfect, I know I haven't been and I will own that. Yes, mistakes have been made, but please remember we are fixing YEARS of poor financial practices,like using free cash to kep the tax rate very low and also using stabilization funds along with a lack of strong oversight.

We have been without a permanent Town Administrator since that position was voted. Yes, we didn't do a good job presenting the budget at town meeting, not once but twice. We failed you in that way. We spoke that at a public Selectboard meeting. We are a Board that is green except for Selectman Columbus. That is not an excuse, it's a fact. There is a lot to be undertaken when accepting this role in leading your town both fiscally and responsibly to ensure a better future. We have also made some errors and didn't listen to our Assessor when she said the new growth figure should be lower, our TA stated it was fine and then the Advisory Committee pointed out it was inflated and an email surfaced from the previous TA and we knew we needed to change it. Other figures were also not accurate and the accountant has found that and that is the reason for the current $200,000 instead of $87,500 ~ this board was not aware of that until AFTER the special meeting. When you hire someone to be in the position of Town Administrator (TA), I trust that they know what should be done and I say that with respect and I am not disparaging. Again, I no longer take things at face value any longer and I have been asking many more questions.

Every town does their budgetary process a bit differently. Some have a Finance Committee that prepares the budget, presents it to the Selectboard and then they vote on it. This way of doing it has never been the case in Templeton except for a couple of years prior to my election to the Board and that is the first thing I worked to change. There was a grave error that resulted in a deficit of $505,000 of which the only person to claim some responsiblity was Mr. Bennett. It would have gone a long way if someone stood up and accepted responsibility for that error. There is NO missing funds, I assure you.

With that being said, I still want to meet jointly with the Advisory Committee (it is by town vote and a by-law that we have this committee and we should honor that) when budget numbers and Dept Heads speak about the budget. I have spoken this, along with other Board members at several meetings. We have a workshop tomorrow evening to discuss budget. If we could come to more consensus than argument how can that harm our community. Do you want to go to town meeting only to be confused and hear adversarial commentary? I think not. Having the AC send out their letter to the MFOB that is NOT within the scope of their role of "fiscal watchdog" and "make recommendations to town meeting on the budget and other areas of finance", as stated in the Division of Local Services Guide to Financial Management, may have a very detrimental affect on having a better working relationship.

Our by-law states this;
Section 4. It shall be the duty of the Advisory Committee annually to CONSIDER the expenditures in previous years and the estimated requirements for the ensuing year of the several boards, officers and committees of the town, as prepared by them in such form and detail as may be prescribed by said committee. The said committee shall add to such statement of expenditures and estimates another column, giving the amounts which in its opinion should be appropriated for the ensuing year, and shall further add thereto such explanations and suggestions relating to the proposed appropriations as it may deem expedient, and report thereon as provided in section five of Article II.
It does not say PREPARE. However, I still believe that due to the mass confusion for the residents that come to town meeting we should work together as best we can for the benefit of our community.
I care. I am committed. I do my absolute best to read up, speak up, and be open, honest and transparent. It is an honor to serve and not a responsibility I take lightly. This is part of keeping you, the taxpayers informed. I will be posting all these posts on my Selectman page as well.
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Kate Fulton

Kate Fulton Well said; however, the presense of a financial advisory board for each municipality was legislated by the state in 1910. The advisory board does not need to prepare the budget but should be kept in the loop as the budget is developed. Thanks for all your work.
Like · Reply · 1 · 6 hrs
Diane Haley Brooks

Diane Haley Brooks There is a clear and definite need for a finance/advisory committee I absolutely agree. I want the relationship to be better for our community and THAT is what matters most. Thank you, Kate for all your work and that you speak out and inform.
Like · Reply · 6 hrs
Mary Curtis

Mary Curtis The problem is that the majority of "our" advisory committee is full of people that are bitter towards the town and are hell bent on proving it!!!
Diane Haley Brooks added 2 new photos.
17 hrs ·
Public Service Announcement for the residents of Templeton. I will tell you this is a very long post and I would encourage you to read it all.

My telephone, text messages and FB messenger have been off the hook since I shared what Kate Fulton posted. So I wanted to provide a the letter which is attached as a photo and also my two cents on this as food for thought for you. Also, since I moved back to my hometown in 2003 I have support a new school. I supported this school when I became more vocal and volunteered for various events and committee's and went to all the town meetings. I went to all the informational meetings as well and played a role in them. When I was elected I said I supported the new school AND our current school system. I have not wavered nor have I changed my mind. Your Board of Selectman voted UNANIMOUSLY to support the new school.

There were many informational meetings to explain the building and design of the new school and the location AND how the tax rate would be affected and how the taxpayer would feel the impact of their taxes being raised. I am not going to belabor that point as it's been gone over a year and 1/2. This project has taken much longer than expected as it has repeatedly attempted to be blocked. This is just one more way to try to stop it. We had a ballot vote and here are the results:
QUES. 1 - New Elementary School
Yes 806
No 597

That didn't just pass by a small margin.

My telephone, text messages and FB messenger have been off the hook since I shared what Kate Fulton posted. So I wanted to provide a the letter which is attached as a photo and also my two cents on this as food for thought for you. Also, since I moved back to my hometown in 2003 I have support a new school. I supported this school when I became more vocal and volunteered for various events and committee's and went to all the town meetings. I went to all the informational meetings as well and played a role in them. When I was elected I said I supported the new school AND our current school system. I have not wavered nor have I changed my mind. Your Board of Selectman voted UNANIMOUSLY to support the new school.
When the Advisory Committee voted on sending this letter, that vote was 5-1 with Kate Fulton being the only dissenting vote.

The Advisory Committee's agenda looked to be a very short and precise meeting. THIS was NOT an agenda item for last evening's meeting as I looked at the agenda and I would have gone if I knew this would be discussed. Was it discussed as old business/open issues or new business? The Open meeting law, right from the OPL guide states:
*****What information must meeting notices contain?

Meeting notices must be posted in a legible, easily understandable format; contain the date, time, and place of the meeting; and list all topics that the chair reasonably anticipates, 48 hours in advance, will be discussed at the meeting. The list of topics must be sufficiently specific to reasonably inform the public of the issues to be discussed at the meeting. Where there are no anticipated topics for discussion in open session other than the procedural requirements for convening an executive session, the public body should list “open session” as a topic, in addition to the executive session, so the public is aware that it has the opportunity to attend and learn the basis for the executive session.
Meeting notices must also indicate the date and time that the notice was posted, either on the notice itself or in a document or website accompanying the notice. If a notice is revised, the revised notice must also conspicuously record both the date and time the original notice was posted as well as the date and time the last revision was posted. Recording the date and time enables the public to observe that public bodies are complying with the Open Meeting Law’s notice requirements without requiring constant vigilance. Additionally, in the event of a complaint, it provides the Attorney General with evidence of compliance with those requirements.

If a discussion topic is proposed after a meeting notice is posted, and it was not reasonably anticipated by the chair more than 48 hours before the meeting, the public body should update its posting to provide the public with as much notice as possible of what subjects will be discussed during the meeting. Although a public body may consider a topic that was not listed in the meeting notice if it was not anticipated, the Attorney General strongly encourages public bodies to postpone discussion and action on topics that are controversial or may be of particular interest to the public if the topic was not listed in the meeting notice.********

Here is a copy of their agenda as posted on the website:
Information for Meeting of Advisory Committee
Monday January 16, 2017 6:30 PM EST
Town: Templeton, MA
Board: Advisory Committee
Time: Monday January 16, 2017 6:30 PM EST
Location: Conference Room Town Hall, 160 Patriots Rd., E. Templeton, MA 01438
Print Agenda
I. Call to order
II. Pledge of Allegiance
III. Approval of minutes from last meeting
IV. Budget report (Budget vs Actual)
V. Old Business / Open issues
VI. New business
Scheduled By: wilfred spring
Posted At: Jan 11, 2017 4:04 PM EST
Last Modified: Jan 11, 2017 4:24 PM EST
Minutes: Minutes are not on record with the Town Clerk's office

In closing I would like to say I am outraged by this letter as again, it's an attempt at blocking what needs to be done here in Templeton for the proper educational environment for our children, to adhere to the wishes of our voters and to ensure the stability and viability of our community. Yes, Templeton has financial challenges and we were aware that we did not have a bond rating and that free cash could not be certified. I resent the portion of the letter that our residents were "sold a bill of goods". 

We are working our way through that and we are on track for success in my opinion.
I have already sent emails to both Senator Gobi and Representative Whipps Lee. The meeting with the MFOB is tomorrow at 11am in Rm 230 at the State House. Please reach out to them to express your concerns.

Paul Jones

Paul Jones I wonder, do these people not have kids affected by this? I can only assume not.

Like · Reply · 17 hrs
Diane Haley Brooks

Diane Haley Brooks We should be thinking LONG TERM and not cutting off our noses to spite our face.
Like · Reply · 17 hrs
Paul Jones

Paul Jones Thats a novel idea in this town, it seems.
Like · Reply · 1 · 17 hrs

Dan Berry

Dan Berry Thanks for the post. I'm guessing your emails mirror much of what you said. Mine are on the way.
Like · Reply · 1 · 17 hrs
Diane Haley Brooks

Diane Haley Brooks I tried to simplify as they are aware of the challenges we have faced.
Like · Reply · 17 hrs

Kate Fulton

Kate Fulton The motion to send the letter has been posted as new business in the minutes of the meeting. As you can see from reading the letter, much of it is hyperbole while other statements while the fact that school buildings are not limited by the amount of debt that a town may carry at any one time. The debt on the high school and the refurbishment of the present middle school will be retired in FY'19, repayment on the elementary school debt will not commence until FY'20.
Like · Reply · 17 hrs
Mike Morgan

Mike Morgan


  1. Oh DHB, how vocal you get when you don't get your way.
    Please tell us HOW ARE WE GOING TO PAY THIS

    1. OH and WHY blame the Advisory board, The MFOB made their decision based on the FACTS that they had, There are WAY more smarter people that understand the financial aspect of a new school than people that just want a school regardless.

    2. What I wonder is why the big surprise ?? Julie did a show and tell for the Selectmen earlier last year. This presentation showed people what they needed to know ? What did they need ? Someone to draw a picture for them ? Well we did ! So what the hell is your problem.

  2. Just keep spending money we do not have, and see how things look in the next fiscal year ! What did the Lady from the Collins Institute cost us last night ? Oh yes, she suggested that the Town get a PILOT from the Light and Water. No kidding !! Gee, isn't that what the DOR suggested in 2009 ? Why did Doug sit there like he had never heard that before ? Is he waiting for someone else to do it for him ? Yes, Jeff, you better run in May.

  3. FUNDING FOR NEW SCHOOL IN DOUBT. That is the headline of The Gardner News.

    It's amazing how the people who support the school still cannot see that the funding is a real problem. These folks just dont care about the entire town.......

    1. Bob you got that right. I guess they think we can run this town on a credit card ! Spend spend ! ! Oh, what about the elderly, on a fixed income ? Maybe they don't care, but I do. What about these people who have big house payments, car payments, credit card payments, and two or three kids to feed ? What if it is not $1.74, and you can't make it ? Oh, that will not happen ! What if you don't have a dad to bail you out ? Think about it !