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Selected Editorials from the Editor

Suns & Shields Christian Inspirational Writings by Rachelle Hamlin

Selected editorials from Dr. Katherine Albrecht, Ed. D.


The Roberts Trap is Sprung

By:  Bill Dunne
One of the most overlooked aspects of the year just ended is the vindication of Chief Justice John Roberts -- a vindication that showed up as the national catastrophe known as ObamaCare got rolling.  Roberts may have also doomed Hillary Clinton's chance to live in the White House again... click here to read whole editorial


FFHS Still Without Varsity Boys Basketball Coach

By:  David Deschesne

Fort Fairfield Journal, June 17, 2014


   As of their June 9, 2014 meeting, the MSAD #20 school board has been unable to come to an agreement for the position of boys varsity basketball coach, leaving Fort Fairfield High School with a continued vacancy in that position.

   Veteran Fort Fairfield High School Varsity basketball coach, Todd Alley had been nominated for that position at the April MSAD #20 school board meeting, but his nomination was not approved when two board members, Karen Reynolds and Joe Cassidy voted to approve; two board members, Scott Clark and Meagan Barnes, voted not to approve; and the board chair, Paula Perkins broke the tie by voting to not approve.

   Following the direction received during a public comment period of a recent school board meeting on the subject of hiring coaches in general, the board then formed a selection committee composed of members of the school's staff as well as members of the local general public who are familiar with basketball. One of the criteria for the coach selection committee was the stipulation that a student athlete also be a member.  "In this particular case we chose not to go with a student athlete," said MSAD #20 Superintendent Marc Gendron.  The committee would then make their recommendation for coach to FFHS athletic director, Tim Watt who would then present it to the school board for approval. 

   "Tim's in charge of the hiring process.  He had talked with Dave McCrea, Larry [Gardner], Joe Cassidy, and I believe he had a conversation with Paula [Perkins] and a brief conversation with Karen [Reynolds]," Gendron told the school board during their June 9 meeting in a prelude to their new vote for the boys varsity basketball coaching position.  "He also consulted with the MPA and MIAAA, concerning what questions to ask and to ask them for a list of questions that would be on the application process."

   "The actual committee was made up of Larry [Gardner], Bob [Osterblom], Ted Bowker, Paula Perkins, Chappy Clark - who is a recent inductee to the Fort Fairfield [Athletic] Hall of Fame - and Jim Carter," said Gendron during the school board meeting.  "This committee reviewed all the applications, chose who to interview and collaborated on what questions to ask.  There were four candidates that were interviewed, the final decision goes by paper ballot.  All four candidates were rated on a scale of 1 to 4 and the candidate that we're presenting to you today was the first choice on six of the seven ballots."

   Todd Alley was then presented to the school board as the committee's nominee for the position of High School Boys Varsity Basketball coach.  Alley's nomination was once again approved by Reynolds and Cassidy and not approved by Barnes and Clark, thus creating another tie vote.  But, this time the school board chair chose to abstain from voting rather than vote to break a tie.

   "I do not feel it's appropriate for me to vote.  I read my book, my book says that I should not," said Perkins.  Presumably citing from her copy of Roberts Rules of Order, Perkins reads, "When a tie occurs and half of the group is opposed to the motion if the issue is a divisive one perhaps it is best for it to be defeated; time heals and the same question can always be introduced at a future meeting."

   "It is very important for the chair not to cast a vote in the majority for one to break a tie.  I think it's really important for me to be impartial because I was on that committee."

   Gendron told the school board there were a couple of factors they needed to be aware of by not approving a coach for the position.  "Part of that is trying to get the summer programs going with varsity basketball.  We have a bunch of summer camps that we have the opportunity to attend.  We just need to know which way to go, that's all."

   Perkins then suggested they could reopen the discussion on the position.  Board member Reynolds then retorted, "We made a motion, we offered discussion, there was no discussion.  The selection committee was formed, I just learned that six of the seven ballots were for Todd Alley, there had been a rating system.  For discussion purposes, what is your problem with this selection committee or the process of the selection committee?"

   Reynolds' question went unanswered.

   Looking to the superintendent for direction, Perkins asked, "Knowing the rules, how do you suggest going forward? "

   "You have three options," answered Gendron.  "Vote yes, or vote no, or abstain.  If you abstain on a two-two tie, my understanding is the action item is tabled.  What I'm talking about from my point of view is I would like to have some direction about which way to go forward with this.  We've gone through the process.  If the motion is tabled, we've been around a couple times, then we'll go back to the committee.  But the committee was pretty clear and if we can't get approval on that position then going back to the committee - they do have a second candidate but I'm not sure how that would help us.  Opening it up to a different committee, I'm just not sure."

   "I just feel that it is inappropriate for me, as a member of the committee, and also the person who would be breaking the tie, not appropriate," said Perkins.  "I didn't ask to be on the committee.  It doesn't sit right with me.  I either vote for what the committee says then it goes forward or I do what the book tells me I should do as the chairman of this board and don't."

   "It's not going to help our basketball program by not doing something," said Board member, Cassidy.  "Because now we're done until November for summer programs and what-not.  That certainly isn't going to help the team any."

   "So, yes, no or abstain and if you abstain it gets tabled and then we'll have to revisit it at the earliest possible convenience," said Gendron.  "Unless somebody on the board has a better idea."

   Reynolds then offered the option of a written vote.  "I don't think so," said Gendron.

   The earliest possible time a meeting could be convened is one with a twenty-four hour notice.  "If we have a special meeting with one item on the agenda, that's minimum twenty-four.  To be fair to get the proper notice out twenty-four to forty-eight hours."

   Perkins held to her abstaining position, so the vote for Boys varsity basketball coach was tabled for a future and as yet undetermined date.

   In a follow-up email a couple of days after the board meeting, Gendron told the Fort Fairfield Journal, "As you know, Todd Alley's name was brought forward for the boys varsity basketball position. At the June 9th meeting Todd's name was not approved. At this time the process is back in the hands of the Athletic Director. He will either chose a candidate from the original selection pool or re-open the position and start over with the selection process. Timeline for approval will depend on which option [he] chooses."







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