Witch hunts prevail mostly in fairy tales of the past and oftentime relate to horrific events where persons who were thought to be evil are hunted and crucified in some form; but this ain't no fairy tale! And it certainly is not a witch hunt for if it were voters could expect that in the end someone would be held responsible, either financially or legally for this entire mess, but that also won't happen. In a real withc hunt taxpayers and voters might also expect in some way, shape or form the demons who allowed this to happen would be punished for this knowledgable wrong doing, or at least lose their pension benefits; but nope, we all know that is not going to happen either. So what is left is for everyone to simply examine or "hunt out" (because information was not shared openly) all details regarding how the future district budget process, administration of said budget and towns involvement in said processes will differ when compared to those from that of the past. Actually, if you read other MA town budgets experiencing similar problems with State intervention in both town government and school budget processes you may notice it is becoming the Nationally and State accepted norm, and practice by both Town and School officials to create budgets but then not to enforce the approved budget. This occurs mainly because after townspeople or member towns vote the approved annual fiscal operating budget town and district officials have the power, given them in State Staues and the power, given them through their respective official positions, to move funds between departments, without additional voter approval or even notification, as they see fit and without additional voter approval or tracking thereby causing the exact problem we have now with concerns as to when and where district money loss actually occured. No, this is no witch hunt for evil or incompetent people, that's a problem solved through the job applicantion, screening and contract negotiations process, this is just a hunt to find out how a budget process which was established by the district under guidelines from the State, overseen and expended solely by district and school committee members and prepared only by the district administrtion can acquire enough future credit or respect among town voters to be considered the voice of the district when they advocate for towns to continue funding a school district administration which has clearly chosen to ignore the voices of the townspeople who created it. Many persons speak of the district as some type of higher, more educated administration than that of member towns, but that is not true. However, in doing so the "district" has taken on a separate life, thus becoming an entity of itself without the requirement of answering to anyone, especially the towns, and that must be stopped. "The district" is not an equal or above any member town; the district was created by a membership of towns under guidelines set forth by the State which represents the combined effort of five towns to provide all children in Wachusett district with the same educational benefits, for a shared and presumable lower cost than if they were to do it alone. As member towns originally we all voted to follow the Stae guidelines regarding establishing a regional district and over the years some of those guidelines as originally presented may have changed or been amended, but two things did not change; the member towns are still five and their respective obligations to fund their childrens education through an annual town meeting approved budget is conditional to a majority vote. So, call it whatever you choose but in trying to subvert the focus of wrongdoing of certain administration employees by changing the subject matter to portray town taxpayers and voters of this district mess as demon hunters you have clearly demonstrated your inability to distinguish the basic principles between right and wrong, which by the way is a concept even most children can comphrehend!. View Comment
Yesterday or day before there was a new story about a public official (I think he was a mayor) in some MA town who is being proscuted for mis -managed public funds amounting to 1.5 million dollars. They are conducting a forensic audit and the DA is stating that criminal charges may be applied because this person was the administrator of public funds and therefore the person responsible . So what is the difference we have a public employee entrusted to manage public funds and bottom line is those funds were mis mananged ( who cares why) and now people want to overlook this error - well each of us owns a piece of that money and my vote for my piece is to fire him and find a person who will be more responsible with my money.
Yesterday or day before there was a new story about a public official (I think he was a mayor) in some MA town who is being proscuted for mis -managed public funds amounting to 1.5 million dollars. They are conducting a forensic audit and the DA is stating that criminal charges may be applied because this person was the administrator of public funds and therefore the person responsible . So what is the difference we have a public employee entrusted to manage public funds and bottom line is those funds were mis mananged ( who cares why) and now people want to voerlook this error - well each of us owns a piece of that money and my vote for my piece is to fire him and find a person who will be more responsible with my money. View Comment
Townspeople and taxpayers should demand a forensic audit if for no other reason than to clear away the cloud of doubt and uncertainty which is surrounding the question of exactly what the debt or cost will be to all of our towns when the all the smoke clears. View Comment
I would agree with everything the person who referenced the Nashoba incident spoke of, especially the State stepping in and the school committee members stepping down- all of them. Town taxpayers in all five towns should demand their Board of Selectmen request the State takeover and that no person sitting on the school committee or having a place in the current administration be allowed in any way to participate in the clean up of the financial mess. This is a disgrace to all the good things education stands for and an embarassment to all of the five towns that must now bear the additional weight financially of this preventable disaster. They say "money is the root of all evil and greed is the avenue by which evil travels" and it is a shame that our district had to prove that to be true, not just with one Superintendent but two nonetheless.This is surely a sad epilog for the Wachusett district, for its students, teachers and town taxpayers who provided the requested support and in turn got the shaft. View Comment
It would be refreshing if all five town Board of Selectmen issued a unified statement to the District & School committee that demanded the firing of Mr. Pandiscio and recall of all current sitting school committee members.
I think 3 million dollars lost or not accounted for or however you speak of it is deserving of a total change from Top to Bottom because something is not working. The current process of the district telling the Towns what they will or will not accept as money to run the district must stop.The fact that the district can without so much as a vote by the affected town dismiss a teacher or principal is simply wrong by any standard. The towsnpeople from all five towns comprise the "district". The district is not a separate individual or entity that dictates to us- we dictate the running of the district- or so it was set up when first the regional decision was formatted. As much as these shcool committee members want to think their positions are above the townspeole they are not - they are supposed to be our voice in making the budget but they are sidetracked by the many other thngs that are piled upon them and so the superintendent does their job. Well over time the district contract has been written to make towns only contributors to an ever growing, all encompssing business enterprise that no longer works alongside townspeople but only takes from townspeople. Through our own fault of not demanding more answers we have allowed this monster to grow and we should not be surprised that it may consume us. The district as it operates now has put neighbor aganist neighbor, town against town and used parents and their children to promote their agenda for bigger and better at the cost of all taxpayers. The regional school system of Wachusett should be dismantled and dissolved then redesigned with at least one member of the school committee being a town finance board member for each town involved. This district administration has no right to suggest any type of solution and especially should not be involved with any form of investigation. That is like putting the fox in charge of the hen house which is simply stupid! As for the children being educated - yes they are - educated that the truth and lies do not matter if the end result is what u want, that if u are hired to do a job and screw it up you can resign and get a handsome bonus by way of a severance pay and lets not forget how they are learning the in's and out's of legal manuvering so as to avoid any criminal action being taken. Money that belongs to taxpayers is missing and that is a fact. The superintendent has steped up to take responsibility and for that people want to let him help us find our way. An accountant who evidently did not have the schooling/experience needed to do the job he was hired to do when he was hired has been fired. This is the second time five towns have been taken for a ride by a greedy superintendent. School committee members have become puppets for the school administration instead ofthe voice for townspeople. And finally the simple fact that nobody can easily recognize right from wrong because that has been clouded by promises of more activities, more gadgets and better chances to go to college from an administration that preached only recently that perhaps the towns will have to dip into their reserve funds to help out the district with its funding inadequacies should send out a strong signal that they are about to conduct business as usual and their first line of action will be to ask for the towns to help them out. Many people involved in this scandal are good people but good people can do bad things and if they do they need to suffer the consequence of their actions and that should not include staying on idefinetely for benefits, salary or any other perks. View Comment