School Funds Misplaced – 170,000

 

The principal of the elementary School in Newport Center VT

 

Join in and comment on this is issue. The “Right to Know” from the constitution of Vermont and US. It keeps us free! We just want an explanation …..

Here is a link to report fraud of abuse to the state of Vermont auditor. YOU CAN REPORT this ANONYMOUSLY
State Auditor Tom Salmon Fraud abuse form

The principal of the elementary School in Newport Center VT was  made a request for documents relating to this issue. Here are the emails.  Her great reluctance to provide them was noted… read more below
Matrix with Vermont Stats on Voting with Floor and Australian Ballot.

2015 Town Meeting Turnout Statistics

May 1. 2016

Discussion of future plans in town government and questions of recent water committee update letter

Response to Denise Daigle

Feb 4th, 2016 Select Board Meeting

At this meeting we were going over some of the Open Meeting laws and Public Records Act. So in the course of our discussion while I had the floor, I mentioned my first experience on a Public Records request with the Town Clerk, Denise Daigle.

She was new to this as well. I asked for bank statements and she said the Selectboard wanted to remove the account numbers from the statements and it would take a day. So anyway I went in the next day to pick them up. I assumed the account numbers had been removed.

I mentioned this experience during the meeting not to criticize. I was pointing out how we were all adjusting to the new laws. She was getting a bit excited and said she never gave me bank statements with account number removed. Steve Barrup took it a little further out and said I was accusing him of falsifying documents. Denise demanded that I produce the Bank statements.. I agreed .. So I went back to my files and I see that she did not give me bank statements. She gave me the check warrants report which looks like a bank statement. When I got them from her, since I did ask for bank statements and told me the select board wanted the account number removed, I assumed that is what she gave me….So I apologize for the confusion on this issue. It all boils down to my original thought on the discussion. We were just getting used to the new laws.

Response to Albert Felker

Select Board Meeting Feb 4th, 2016

In one section of this Video, There was issue taken by Albert on the fact that I considered actions taken by Select Chair Steven Barrup as gross non compliance of Open Meeting Law and Public records Act at the Nov 7th, 2015 Selectboard Meeting.

The discussion grew heated and Albert argued that my opinion “gross non compliance” was severe. He demanded that I make a statement on this. Steven Barrup also agreed that I should publish my opinion on this.

So on Nov 7th, 2015 I attended my very first Selectboard meeting in Newport Center VT. There was a civil engineer on the agenda to speak at the meeting. Ernest Choquette, myself, my wife Jayne and two or three other residents were in attendance.

We were clearly not included in participation of this meeting. The Selectboard and Denise Daigle were discussing water solutions quietly among themselves. We could not hear what was going on. We were most interested because of the recent increase of the water bill. I interjected and asked who the speaker was, he was not introduced to the residents. We were excluded from executive session (first violation; Article 1 313 1(a).

The mans name was Wayne Eliot and stopped immediately somewhat embarrassed and introduced himself. I then asked questions about some of what I saw drawn on the blackboard. Wayne began to explain and Steve interrupted him and told me. He can not talk to you now because it is costing you (the people taxpayers, 250 an hour to pay the engineer) 2nd violation, 1 312 (h) and 1 314 (a)

Later I asked Denise about the 250 an hour. Denise told me that Steve was only joking with the 250 per hour quote. I confronted Steve in a heated debate at the next Select board with 30 residents present. I asked over and over “why did you lie to me” He finally responded by saying “I know now that I should not have said that. I only said that because it makes engineers and lawyers feel good when you tell them they charge a lot of money”. I thought this odd but was satisfied with his response and respect him for being honest on this. However we were denied to be included in an important issue I attended the meeting specifically for. Previous to this meeting when I received a notice for a water increase, it stated you could get more information by contacting the town clerk Denise Daigle. This I did and she told me if I wanted more information I would have to attend the Nov 7, 2015. To the date of this letter I have still not gotten a clear explanation for details for the increase. In particular the numbers that caused this. The expenses that Steve Barrup referenced to at the Select Board meeting Dec 3, 2015. This is on record video taped at that meeting.

Shortly after Wayne Elliot finished speaking to the select board. He left the meeting. At this time supposedly we (residents) were permitted to speak. Ernest raised his hand to be heard. Steve Barrup in a loud, very loud voice yelled “ERNEST SHUT UP” Steve went on spewing out more angry words something about revisiting previous disagreement they have had in past. He was not allowed to speak.
In my opinion, this was no less that bullying.

(violation 3 – 1 VSA 314 (a)

I felt for Ernest who I barely knew previous to this meeting. I leaned over and whispered to Ernest ” I can fix this” I thought after “did I really say that?” How the hell am I going to fix this? Thus the inspiration to become active in the towns business. Keep in mind all I have stated was witnessed by other residents.

Recap…Since I have started to video tape the select board meetings for the record, Steve Barrup has not acted like that since. So I guess that got fixed . Steve Barrup now treats now treats Ernest with respect. That has been fixed.

Steve did publicly admit he should not have responded to me the way I explained above when I asked to question Wayne Elliot for details. This has been partially fixed.

Ok, for this item there remains a need for a cure to make it whole. That would be that the residents did not get a chance to be heard and to hear Wayne Elliot speak of the details of our water system. At the Feb 4th, 2016 meeting, I took a minute and explained how we have heard a lot from the selectboard and Fred Barrow about the water system details and that they are well informed of course. I really wanted to hear from the experts on this. The select board paid thousands for the Assessment report the Eliot Aldridge prepared for the town on the water system. I suggested to the select board to have Wayne Elliot back so we could get some expert opinion on the matter that Steve Barrup denied us on the Nov 7th meeting..After I asked Steve ignored me and went on to another issue.

This would be the 4th Violation “RIGHT TO KNOW” So Albert, this is what I consider gross non Compliance of Open Meeting law and Freedom of Information Act. You can verify these details from the many residents who witnessed the events.

I hope this helps explain my reason for me considering this a GROSS non compliance. This is only my opinion and the term Gross is a vague term mostly define by opinion.

Barry Sahagian