This letter was in one of the local papers, found this posted online. I am saddened by this letter in many ways. Mostly because once again the No voters have used scare tactics, slandering of the superintendent and misinformation to bring this Newmarket resident to the vote No side.
I am also saddened that this individual has "more than 35 years of professional classroom experience" and cannot see the writing on the wall as to the condition of the school building and all that has been done over the past twenty years and more that this issue has been dividing the town. I also wonder if he has taken a tour of the Junior/ Senior High School because the size of the classrooms alone is a scary factor to come face to face with.
Read on and I will dissect the points after-
Let us start with the statement "that Newmarket dropped the ball when it took steps that leave the town quite alone in dealing with the needs of our students." I am wondering how the entire town of Newmarket did this? Was it failing when there was a Facilities Committee formed years ago to look into all possible options dealing with the Junior/ Senior High School situation? Was it failing when every option that was brought up was looked into thoroughly by the school board and the superintendent (both current and previous)? Or was it the No voters who failed Newmarket's children when cheaper options were presented which included State Aid were voted down?
Speaking to "many long-time residents of the town" and the conclusion reached by all is "that the superintendent of schools failed in his responsibility to press the potential Oyster River resolution to a satisfactory conclusion". There were NUMEROUS meetings between both districts since the previous years deliberative sessions and there were chances for these long-time residents to speak out at these meetings as well as school board meetings yet they did neither of these. The School Board of Oyster River voted NOT to accept our students as it would push their numbers too close to their maximum capacity whereas Barrington's students would not do so, I think that "conclusion" is wishful thinking on the part of the No voters. Get off of the bandwagon that Dr. Hayes did not do everything he could to get our students to Oyster River. There is paperwork to prove that the agreement was signed and ready to go to Oyster River- even if those with "much good sense" do not want to believe it.
We are a "relatively small demographic based" community, yes we are. However our tax rates in previous years were well over $40/ $1000 and that was BEFORE the town approved the building of these three and four bedroom neighborhoods. I don't see anywhere the dire straights that the No voters are speaking of by having an increase in the tax rate at this time. The town allowed those homes to be built to reduce the tax rate. Now these houses have families with children who MUST BE EDUCATED. Time for Newmarket to pay the piper and do what is legal and necessary to uphold their contract when they built those homes. Let's remember that the golf course is also getting ready to be turned into housing which will in turn bring in revenue for Newmarket as well as more families with children who will need an education. It is a vicious circle to invite families into your town yet not have a plan to educate them.
"Ideally, one solution is to return to a possible relationship with Oyster River." Again I say- they refused our students as it would bring their student population to the maximum capacity for the facility which they are not comfortable with. Returning to hound them will not change their minds on accepting our students. "Ideally" it would be great to hop into the DeLorean and take the state aid from 2006 (and earlier) to build a new school. That isn't happening either.
"An alternative solution must be found for Newmarket in relationship with another high school." ummm.... hello McFly. Been there done that. Exeter voters gave us a resounding NO to accepting our students. Epping as well voted NO to us. We reached out to other towns but they are happy with their current arrangements with their schools of record. How many more times do you think we can keep asking these towns? How much more waiting do we have to do before we can get a new school built? I'm sure you have heard from those "long- time residents" how much time they have wasted by putting things on the back burner; for example the water treatment plant, the dam, and the pipe from the well to main street.
Bernard K. Gordon- if you were truly a part of the Yes vote, you would have all these answers to your questions. All of these items that you point out have been thought of and investigated. Just because the No vote side does not like the outcome of all of these options - meaning Newmarket is on their own in this situation- does not mean we can keep revisiting them. You also have to understand that the No vote is anti- Dr. Hayes at all costs. No matter what he says, they say he is lying. No matter what information is distributed- it is not all there or not the truth. For whatever reason- the No voters will never believe anything from him or the school board. Maybe if they were as vocal at an actual school board meeting as they are on Facebook, they would have all the answers they demand.
Do I want my taxes going up? Heck no. But if they have to go up (and they will as we try to band aid the current school into a working condition) I would much rather have something to show for my money than an old, run down, too small for DOE standards building. The children of this town deserve it. Continuing to do nothing will cost this town much more in the future. How will the No voters feel when the town is bankrupt due to parents suing Newmarket for failure to provide necessary services promised when Newmarket approved those housing developments? I bet they will wish they had voted yes to a new school.