Finance Committee Votes 2-6 Against Nauset’s $6.5M Surprise
One town can stop the Nauset Superintendent's sneaky end run
Eastham’s Finance Committee has once again exemplified the common sense of rural folk when they voted 2-6 against recommending funding of the $6.5 million renovation at Nauset Regional High School.
Amidst the wreckage of Tropical Storm Irene, Eastham officials yesterday released the warrant for a special town meeting on September 20, 2011. Article 5 presents the question of whether or not to fund the surprise request from Nauset superintendent Dr. Richard Hoffmann, which blindsided Nauset’s member towns of Eastham, Wellfleet, Orleans and Brewster. Eastham’s share of “Hoffmann’s Folly” would be $806,441.
At a recent public hearing, FINCOM members criticized Nauset for not having a capital plan that outlines upcoming expenditures to maintain Nauset’s buildings. In the statement by the majority of the FINCOM, members said
…historically there has been no capital plan that provides an evaluation of each building’s major plumbing, electrical, and structural systems. Such a plan should be professionally prepared before investing taxpayers’ dollars in these facilities.
This article was presented on an emergency basis in order to take advantage of a State grant. Our research shows that state funds for school improvements are available on an annual basis with approximately the same reimbursement rate.
The majority of the Finance Committee will be happy to consider a new proposal, submitted in a timely manner, including an adequate capital plan for all district facilities and funded in a way that is fair to all the towns.
The minority opinion of the Finance Committee was such that we question their very fitness for office. “We believe substantial deference is owed to the district superintendant (SIC) and to his assessment….” (In which school did this duo study spelling?) They obviously aren’t offended by the superintendent’s failure to mention this “opportunity” that arose over a year ago. Meanwhile, the town never knew this “$800 surprise” was coming as they voted an override for the regional school last spring. Moreover, Eastham still has a potential $4.5 million library allocation hanging over its head, if the state frees up money to fund that deferred project in the future.
A common sense approach by once-fooled town leaders
The FINCOM majority exemplifies the common sense that we have come to expect from the good people of rural Eastham. Once the turnip capitol of the Northeast, Eastham has time and again set an example for accountability and transparency in government.
We hope the voters of Eastham, Orleans, Wellfleet and Brewster will “just say no” to the Nauset Region’s dastardly attempt to extort an extra $6.5M from the taxpayers.
Read Dr. Hoffmann's other recent foibles here: