Dear Oyster River School District Voters:
My name is Dean Rubine. I live in Lee, and I have two children in the Oyster River School District. I’d like a few minutes of your time to talk about the school board elections this Tuesday, March 13th. I’m urging people to vote against those running for reelection, and to vote for Maria Barth and Dr. Ed Charle. Maria was chairman of the Kittery school board for 11 years, and by all accounts they were sorry to see her go. Ed founded Salmon Falls Family Health Care in Somersworth 25 years ago, still works there as family physician and medical director, and has experience on several boards. They’ve both campaigned on trying to heal the district, being good listeners, improving education, and reducing taxes.
Running against them are board member Jim Kach and board chairman Henry Brackett. There’s really not enough time in a short message to even just list all the ways they’ve caused turmoil in the district. Mr. Kach, you may recall, is the infamous tweeter who refused to resign after his bigoted and hateful tweets embarrassed and divided the district last summer. Most are too vile to repeat here. Tellingly, Mr. Kach tweeted: “It starts now at the lowest level: School board … cut the legs from the beast.”
In two separate cases, the New Hampshire courts have declared that the board twice violated the right to know law, each time in multiple ways. The first time the board had illegal secret meetings to avoid public scrutiny of their plan to pay superintendent Howard Colter $185,000 not to work this year. The judge found "the Board and Brackett knew or should have known their conduct violated the Right-to-Know Law." The second time a different judge imposed the harshest penalty available: He issued an injunction and now if members of the board again violate the law they face contempt of court and even risk jail time.
Mr. Kach and Chairman Brackett have had their chance. Their reign over the last year and a half has resulted in an unprecedented loss of seven administrators and a principal candidate whose search was so botched by the board that it led to a student walkout. The candidate denied by the board has since been hired as principal of Hanover High School, the number one rated high school in the state. All this turnover costs us money for severance, for searches, and for lawyers. Taxes are still going up, the new high school is falling apart, and this board still has no plan for the future. Let's start fresh with a law-abiding board. On Tuesday, March 13th please vote for Maria Barth and Dr. Ed Charlé.
You can find out more about the candidates at their websites, and at my website ORCSDcleanslate.org. Thank you for your attention.
Very truly yours,