Doing the BOE Two-Step …



I’ve been watching the BOE budget process from my perch while knitting away. Facebook is all a twitter with posts of all shapes and sizes, loaded with interesting facts and figures extracted from Monsieur Zachary painfully. Beaucoup emails cryptique plus many privy messages and meetings. Videos of BOE and Finance Committee meetings.

Ah mon dieu, Quel désordre!! Has everyone forgotten what happened last year? The BOE, much to their surprise, asked for a $7 million increase and the newly installed Town Council lost their moral compass and gave the BOE and Harkins what they wanted without a fight. So the good Docteur Robinson and Monsieur Clarence got 2 years worth in one shot! C’est formidable!.

Now they want more? Initially 5% more or $112 million, but the BOE – under intense public pressure – “settled” on a 3.5% increase or $110.4 million. Let’s look at the “fun facts”:

  • Your tax bill will increase $120-150.
  • Administrator and custodian salaries up 37% and 42% over last 4 years.
  • BUT teachers salaries up only 7% over same 4 years.

What about “the children”? We thought – according to the good Doctor Robinson – that investing in teacher resources would have the greatest impact on student performance, n’est pas?

And what about this? Did you know that they OVER budget each year to the tune of $2-3 MILLION more than really need? That’s another $100-125 MORE in your tax bill every year for last three years. How do you say “slush fund”? Oh yes, they find a way to spend that money too. No wonder they have worked so hard all these past few years to keep the good people of Stratford in the dark.

And what about those BOE and Finance Committee members? Watch those videos of their meetings and you will see many heads in the sand while the superintendent and her COO pad their budget at taxpayers’ expense with hardly a whimper. Incroyable!

If those “fun facts” aren’t enough to turn your stomach, we hear stories of catered lunches at BOE offices on East Broadway most every day. Questionable 6-figure software systems that no one uses. And does anyone really know how much the good Docteur R and monsieur Clarence pay themselves? It’s been heard that the Docteur makes upwards of $250k in total compensation while Monsieur Clarence is pulling in over $180K. Plus town cars, unlimited expense accounts and god knows what else.

Heard enough mes amies? I’ve knitted many many rows with their names in the fabric. Remember. You mess with the Madame and you get the horns. We’re still listening.


9 Responses to “Doing the BOE Two-Step …”

  1. 1 RockAnnand

    I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. The picture is priceless, but the “fun facts” are mind-boggling.

  2. $2-$3 million extra? AYFKM? Who approves this? Feehan? Harkins? Robinson? It certainly wasn’t a voter or taxpayer.

    How can anyone justify $2-$3 million in excess funds year after year that are not returned to the taxpayer? Don’t parents need to feed and clothe their children as well?

    Obviously, the BOE and school administration are completely broken and out of control in Stratford. Someone needs to find the emergency brake on this runaway train and pull it.

  3. “I don’t know what we’re supposed to do when bathroom tissue runs short,” she said.” -Janet Robinson 8 March 2017

    Did she really say that?

    Yes. Yes she did.

    The BOE must buy a sh*tload of toilet paper because they certainly don’t buy a lot of supplies for children. According to Robinson’s “budget”, the entire amount of money spent on Kindergarten supplies for Lordship School, just as an example, is $402. That’s up $106 from the previous budget of $295 for the entire year.

    This is the amount to be spent on crayons, glue, paper,scissors, computer software, educational games, workbooks, rest mats, fiction and non-fiction library books for each session. Let’s see, twenty 5 year olds in each class…$402 should last a week, maybe two.

    I certainly have an answer to her first statement.

  4. You know what to do Monsieur Rock. Neither laugh nor cry. Do what I do and get even with ces batards!! Action you will feel so much better.

  5. Oh mon dieu!! Papier hygiénique?? I bet with the little ones that it must be a constant battle to have enough on hand. We noticed in one of the budget reports that Monsieur Clarence has $80,000 in the budget for supplies, so why do the teachers and parents always have to pay for them themselves? Where does the money go? A mystery. I guess those déjeuners approvisionnés cost more than we thought.

  6. 6 RockAnnand

    Loving the posts and comments today on Facebook after the CTPost article. Mr Burgeson finally gave the citizens a chance to tell their side of the story. What’s most intriguing is that all of the evidence being presented by Greg Cann and Tammy and Andrea and moi are pulled directly from their reports. They then put out updated reports with new numbers of the actuals and the conclusions remain the same. What I don’t understand is how the actuals from prior years could change. Didn’t we close the books on FY14-16 and have them audited? And how did the BOE and Finance Committee do a “thorough” review in all those budget hearings that Robinson mentioned without actuals? It was only the scrutiny by the citizens that forced the “actuals” to appear. How do you comprehensive reviews as they claim they have been doing the past 3 years without knowing how Clarence actually spent the money ? Did they just trust that what he was saying was the truth without verifying the data? Where are the metrics that show that the new programs are working? Who did they validate anything? Did they validate anything?

  7. Would you lie to us? HELL,YES!!! The wrong people are getting the money. Admins are getting waaayyy too much. Council – NO RAISE AT ALL THIS YEAR. THEY GOT IT LAST YEAR. REQUIRE METRICS BEFORE THEY GET ANY MORE MONEY NEXT YEAR.
    And if they run out of toilet paper, Robinson can pay for it out of her own pocket. The teachers already pay for supplies out of their own.

  8. Ah Kathleen, the toilet paper problems can be solved the way it is done in poorer countries where the children stand outside the WCs with rolls and charge money for a small portion. It would make for a good fund raiser for the classroom to pay for all those supplies that supposedly Monsieur Clarence budgets, but does not spend on supplies. We could do the same thing at Town Hall and other town locations. Sorta of like selling girl scouts cookies or other PTA fund raisers. Since the citizens, how you say?, “have to go”, they will be forced to pay for the toilet paper and we will have beaucoup money, n’est pas?

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