School officials will meet with boards of selectmen
June 02, 2010
MEREDITH — A few representatives from the Inter-Lakes School District will attend a discussion between the three towns, though some board members cautioned against getting too involved.
Superintendent Phil McCormack reported to the School Board last week that Meredith's Board of Selectmen decided not to pursue a withdrawal study.
McCormack said he received correspondence from Meredith Town manager Phil Warren inviting the boards of selectmen in Sandwich and Center Harbor as well as School Board members for a discussion on any issues interested parties might have.
School Board Chair Richard Hanson said he was not aware the School Board was going to be invited to the meeting and said members of the School Board who wanted to attend the meeting were welcome to do so.
"We can spend forever trying to put this thing to bed," said School Board member Jack Carty. "I think as a School Board we've got other things to do besides meet and greet on an issue that is dead."
Board member Lisa Merrill said she agreed with Carty.
"We don't want to open this discussion any further," Merrill said. "I do think in some way we do want to keep good communication."
Merrill said she agreed with the idea of one or two representatives from the School Board going to the meeting.
"It's an opportunity to get on the ground floor with a discussion on options," McCormack said, saying the meeting could have just the Superintendent and School Board Chair present. "We should keep the door open just so we can hear what's being said."
Carty said he did not want to see it turn into a repeat of the way discussions went during the budget process and district meeting.
"I see this as a great opportunity to run off the tracks really quickly," Carty said.
Carty said the district spent half a year on its court case with Center Harbor and the Board should not get involved in any more distractions from its business.
"I think it's a good faith gesture on their part to reach out," Hanson said.
Hanson said he would be willing to go with McCormack to the meeting. Carty said he wanted to go as well.
"It's going to be a very interesting meeting and I suspect there's going to be a good deal of public interest," said board member Howard Cunningham.
Cunningham and Merrill said they would like to see an audio transcript of the meeting, a request McCormack said he would pass on.
"I think it's a good idea to show up, but I would caution about trying to solve the problem," said board member Dan Cunningham. "It's not our problem the way the three towns work together for the school district. It's not our responsibility how the three towns work together. I certainly would caution against making any sort of recommendation. Three towns make the cooperative; we're the result of that."
"Education is our responsibility, not the selectboards," Carty said. "I'm not willing to give an inch on who's responsible for the education (of our students)."