Letter to the Editor:
It's time for the DY Silly Season Dance!
So over the years DY does its annual "Mark it up to Mark it down" dance! This year the players have fragmented! There is still the D vs.Y (Dennis vs Yarmouth) specifically the Finance and Select Boards.
However, this year Teachers, School Commitee leaders, as well as, Administration including the Superintendent , the Assistant Superintendent , the Director of Pupil Services and even many rabid conservative community members have all made some strange bedfellows!
Double Agent Elected Officials playing both ends!
Then there is the double agent history of elected officials, and a new dimension of parent involvement. People who never spoke for Carol Woodbury, are. Those who never said peep against her are colluding against her. Previously the sides were decidedly marked. Loyal DY defenders including parents who worked, had kids and we're friends of School Committee members as well as the annual nepotistic accusations are standard spring fodder. This years silly season, even with less controversey making the media, there seems to be more pushback from regular parents questioning the District and more rank and file questioning management!
The More Things Change! The more it's not chump change!
The problem is that this years $1.6 Million marked down to $1.3 Million for the Yarmouth Assessment, which includes the $800k they (The Yarmouth BOS-Board of Selectmen) presented to the board (39 student increase responsibility and the CC Tech reduction of the same number) and the 500k plus as it currently sits at after Monday's School Board Vote is in Yarmouth's view, their money, in the first and last place! They are adding what they usually hold til the end and technically the 68% or more of the E & D that they also feel is Yarmouth's. (Many think they never ahold have offered to the District because if you give 'em an inch they take a mile). It could be argued that the excess from last years budget is excess from last years ( Yarmouth )override that past by a few votes. It's their (Yarmouths ) override that got the District even. It was incorrectly predicted by the District on state reimbursements expectations, however difficult to guess. So even though there was a Yarmouth override, again, the argument persist and the question remains "How does Yarmouth Stabilization fund affecting bond ratings, get raided and DY gets refunded . (The argument is that it is all Yarmouths money) !
Even this Devil's Advocate is having trouble seeing the Black Hats from the Green and White Hats!
Politics does make strange bedfellows but this is ridiculous! The above arguments are coming from different grassy knolls and they are being made by very different players than usual.
Nevertheless, these are the arguments that will be made going forward. So to not make the hard cuts right now, make the override passage much harder. Then it makes the next cuts even more drastic! It will be stated in many ways of being palatable for Yarmouth voters but it will be stated! Inside of a tent or outside!
The game of kick the can turns into Dominoes!
The Cape Tech vote, the MMS (Mattachese Middle School) building , the regional agreement and no formula or regional help from state and federal partners make things different than other years . In previous years where the $500k was only thing on the ballot or horizon. Now you can add, the Wastewater Issue and the Regional Coordination back to the list ,with Golf Enterprise Loans and Capital, DPW HQ Capital and other Capital expenses on the horizon!
Then there is always next year either way, that makes the school budget rise. The step raises and all that makes per pupil cost goes up means that even if numbers of those exiting stay the same the money out goes up! The can kicked down the road add more dominos to fall and the raw dollar figure with higher student sending number increases going out!
The Proverbial Can is really Five Cans and it is a Kick in the Can for many!
The proverbial can kicked down the road for one year is really about last five years cans and four more cans aforementioned. There are people who are against the overide are jumping up in excitement because Dennis people threatening to influence Yarmouth elections motivates Yarmouth operatives to mobilize.
Law of Diminishing returns of educators mobilized!
There is a ceiling of teachers who always show up to vote vs controversy rallying many more to vote. If there is more than a 10% increase in voter turnout, the overide fails in my opinion . Either everyone will come out or no one will!
Dennis F Troop treat Yarmouth Selectmen like Little Rocket Man!
Yarmouth Selectman and Finance Boards can not be happy about the response their good faith $800k was treated by Dennis Leaders, especially the comments from Dennis Finance Chair.
This is different kind of voter override fatigue!
The previous $500k overrides or more did not have the Selectman and Finance against it, all the time and not this dynamic difference! Last years vote, was an overide with low turnout! The year before the vote was free cash by the Selectmen and the year before that was a debt exclusion. All Imaginative math, or at least innovative. (Innovation School Shell Game a different story). Teachers Union have discovered flaws in State Innovation School Process and parents are questioning teachers and the teachers the District. That NEVER happened!
Those are all cumulative problems , and again after the yearly budget battle resolutions. Before that, I think it was a smaller number with no contested races and turnout of 300 for town election out of 20k ! The last time there were no challengers and no Joe Glynn on the Ballot!
Selectman on Tuesday will be interesting and if people try to intimidate them or speak out disrupting they may find an opposite response!
I will not reveal what I think but if people think there is a sure footing for an overide by this time Wednesday I will be very surprised! I will say there a lot more sides than the usual two sides.
Override Fatigues, Army Fatigues, Battle Dress Greens and DY Greens are all mixed up!
There is a lot of Camo Green and seems like everyone using kids for cover. I do believe everyone is sincere in there concern for the kids but not sure any of alleged leaders have a clue how to fix it! I wish all leades would make a commitment that if there is not improvement by a date certain and with significant accountable results they would promise to resign!
Please make sure EVERYONE gets out to VOTE!
This may all sound all mixed up and haphazard, because the Problem is it is all convoluted intentionally , to favor one side or the other and as I said there are 25 sides this year. Bottom line is it will not be in vein if it drives better turnout!
I am pretty good at breaking down motives and know the history but this year there are weird dynamics. However if you have watched this soap opera for anytime, there is always the D vs Y and the SC (School Committee) vs Yarmouth Selectman / Finance . There are many White and Black Hats depending on perspective interspersed! This year if you scratch an itch you have to check to see if it is your hand!
Survey says:? See Attachment
This year parents, administration, community leaders, community at large, Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent and Director of Pupil Service are more blurred than normal. I think because there has been more honest discussion and therefore people have been driven off the fence or from a different perspective in the civil war. Some parents who might have been historically all DY, are now talking about concerns, communications and leadership. A fantastic survey and graphic breakdown laid it all out for the first time. This made for honest discussion from unbiased concerned members from all factions of the community!
Takeaways or getaways!
So regardless of being from Dennis/Yarmouth, or having kids in the DY District there are some common themes. Like the real civil war, the Mason Dixon - Bass River has been blurred. It is not brother vs brother! It is propaganda vs Communication! It is like what happened in forced busing in Boston. All races decided enough was enough and exited the District until the issue did not exist. Everybody lost! Nobody was right everybody wrong! Those who stayed had to be invested in the solution and Ed reform, charter schools and formulas that helped the City flourished!
Call the School Nurse! Affluenza perception and voter apathy a deadly combination esp for DY /Regional Districts!
Unfortunately this is more complicated because people can be noble and honest in their defense of what is right. When boards fight for housing money, or economic development, recreation or police, fire money that can all be directed to the welfare of children without reference to other populations or departments.
Chicken or the Egg District vs Town Services!
Just think if kids get good housing, recreation with other services like a youth center with nutrition programs, guidance from coaches with discipline and an outlet away from drugs etc. Imagine police can be proactive and the Fire Dept. can stop a traumatic loss of life from drugs, fire or by prevention! Think if economic development can provide teenage,/ post high school and career jobs? How much does all that save the social worker in a school?
Extended family and Community Assets!
That does not count senior services. If grandma is saved, she can work longer in life to help a grown child with family ! Think how much does that help Mom and or Dad with grand kids with child care etc.?
Quality of life for all!
This is all with out saying that those who have been supporting for years in good faith that deserve a plowed road for fire rescue or even a golf course or pickle ball court.
$60 Million Plus and growing, for unsustainability?
I think this year is just the cans of previous mismanagement but it is also the cans for future years of unsustainability . I hope this year is different but if I took a catnap and woke up this time every year, Rip Van Glynn would be seeing the same things. At least this year there is somewhat different feel but I think the outcome will just alienate even more. I remain hopeful but one of these years it might even be me!
Hope springs eternal? You remember Spring!
My running joke is : "How do you know it is spring?" "Joe Glynn runs for office"! "How do you know hell freezes over?" "He Wins"!
All politics is local!
The fact remains it is hard to beat incumbents, favored sons, and connected insiders! It is harder if there is a combination of some or all of those. People complain about term limits but vote who they think will win, or the guy they like even though the problems haven't been fixed! They complain but get so alienated they don't show up. I literally have heard from those incumbents that the reason no one shows up to vote for town meeting and elections is because they like the ways things have been going. Despite it being semi hard to find my voters I can't find the guy who says he is happy with the annual DY budget mess, the controversey with all the boards. I hear all over the dismay and the threats to rally action but 8% crickets on Election Day!
If it is easy, you are going the wrong way!
I run and keep plugging to get a few more than that 300 who turned out when all positions were unopposed. I submit my signatures first and every year people turn in the last hours so I keep my papers in. I say hey you choose! I have no control who gets in the last minute but you can protest vote, you can send a message with your vote despite your handicapping of an incumbents win. You can take my resume like I am submitting a talent bank form for volunteer committees. If you think I am good for either one but you have no clue how others would vote you gotta vote twice. You can not blank regardless and you have to vote! I win when numbers go up as more get to know me without spending tons to do mailings etc.. I win when town influence goes up by turnout in politicians eyes. We all win when everybody has a voice and uses it! Voice your choice!
Vote in Yarmouth Strong Elections !
Town Meeting Saturday May 5th!
Town Elections-Override/Bond DY and Cape Tech -Tuesday May 15th
Absentee ballots available soon for Town Elections check with Town Clerk and remind College Students/Military to submit request for absentee ballots now!
Joe Glynn, Yarmouth