Friday, March 28, 2003
Committee for Tax Fairness clarifies views and apologizes
To the Editor:
We have purposely avoided responding to the letters taking the Carlisle Citizens for Tax Fairness (CCTF) to task for our ad (Mosquito, 2/28) and our "Report to the Citizens of Carlisle and Concord." However, they contained comments that warrant clarification:
Our ad and report makes it very clear that we hold our regional school committee (RSC) responsible for the negotiation and approval for the current contract. Nowhere in any of our information have we attacked our teachers. Indeed, our teachers are extremely dedicated, hard-working professionals. Our issue is with certain points of the RSC-approved contract. Just as with our recently approved police union contract, we can choose to disagree with certain points of the contract while holding our law enforcement professionals in the highest esteem. We apologize if the information presented regarding the contract provisions was viewed as an attack on the teaching profession.
All of the information we have presented had to be obtained by formal request through the Freedom of Information Act (and $200). It's unfortunate that our RSC and administration forced taxpaying citizens to have to resort to such measures.
We stand behind the facts as we have presented them. Our facts clearly make a distinction between salaries and total compensation. We see the two as apples and oranges. Although each teacher may benefit from some of the provisions for additional income, it's clear from the averages that, as a group, the increase in total compensation is the primary budget driver.
With the new contract negotiations presumably underway, we ask both the regional school committee and our teachers' union to eliminate or modify the restrictive work rules imposed under the current contract and ensure that a raise in total compensation does not exceed the Consumer Price Index. We also ask the school committee to present the proposed contract in a public forum before it is approved.
Our report contains a summary of the current contract along with administration provided compensation data is available to all by e-mailing ReportReq@aol.com for a Word document. We have also provided the reference section of the library with a copy for you to review.
We appreciate just how hard most departments have worked to help provide a balanced budget this year.
Chairman, Carlisle Committee for Tax Fairne
Keep teachers' salary increases in line with today's economy
To the Editor:
There have been a lot of comments on the CCHS teachers' contract.
It is informative to compare teacher's salary increases with those of other professions. Where I work, the salary increase last year was about 4.5%. That means that the total salary budget increased by 4.5%, including all raises and promotions. There is no separate cost-of-living increase. The salary budget increase has not been above 5% for over a decade, with most years having 0% to 3%. People in this town are working for companies which are having a 0% increase for the second year in a row with no cost of living increase. The present teachers' contract would have a budget increase of 7% per year if no teachers changed ladders and no teachers received a longevity raise. People cannot afford to have the teachers' salaries increasing at a rate which is greater than their own. I hope that any future contracts will be more in line with today's economy and presented as a total budget increase, not an increase of the ladder structure.
Barbara E. Pauplis
CEF/CSA auction a great success
To the Editor:
The first-ever CEF/CSA Auction was a tremendous success and there are so many people we would like to thank. First and foremost, we would like to thank the many parents who volunteered hundreds of hours; without you, the evening would not have been as special and as successful. You helped us find a lovely setting for the evening, secure items and services to auction, writeup and print a catalog, arrange a dinner dance, with a live band, for 278 people, run a silent and a live auction with over 250 items, decorate, move furniture and tables and then, clean it all up in the end! Additionally, we want to thank the administration and staff at the Carlisle Public School; their commitment, creativity and enthusiastic support of this event helped make it so special. Parents, teachers and the students worked together to create beautiful class creations for auction. These items were the highlight of the night, delighting all who saw them and reminding everyone what the evening was really about · our children. We would also like to thank Cambridge Trust from Concord for volunteering their time to act as our "bankers" at the event and the Middlesex School for allowing us to hold the event on their campus. We want to sincerely thank all of you who generously donated to the auction; your services and items, as well as financial contributions, made the evening a success. In this effort, Carlisle once again came together as a community. We received contributions from many different members of our community, including those who have no children in school in Carlisle and from businesses in neighboring communities (consider thanking these businesses the next time you shop.)
Finally, we extend a special thank you to all of you who attended the preview, the evening event or bid online. You brought to us an enthusiasm, positive attitude and a willingness to support our children and our public school. Though we are still counting and paying bills, together we have raised at least $75,000 for our school · an unprecedented success!
The CEF/CSA Auction Committee
Rabies Clinic volunteers thanked
To the Editor:
Last Saturday, the board of health sponsored its annual rabies clinic where 57 cats and dogs were vaccinated. This clinic would not have been successful without the assistance of Dr. Peter Morey, who administered the shots; Bob Dennison, who licensed the dogs, two CCHS students · Jenn Fantasia and Annie Knopf · who registered the animals, and Sally Lakness, in charge of "crowd" control. The board wishes to thank these volunteers for their hard work and all of the cat and dog owners who take their responsibility seriously to keep pet vaccinations up to date.
Carlisle Board of Health
Students thanked for school yearbook fundraising
To the Editor:
I was glad to read in last week's Mosquito, the letter from Emily Fritz-Endres and her fellow eighth-graders thanking all the families who contributed money to their campaign to save the middle school yearbook. Last spring, all monies for middle school extra-curricular activities were cut after the failed budget override. Over the summer, Emily and her friends took the initiative to try to raise money for the middle school yearbook. Over the past year, I have had the pleasure of speaking with Emily several times and have been greatly impressed with the maturity and commitment of these young women. I must just add a correction: the Carlisle Education Foundation (CEF), not the CSA, donated the money to restore the middle school activities, as a part of their successful fund-raising campaign to fund the school library. When the CSA Board convened in September, we were pleased to learn that the CEF was able to step in to save these important school activities. This enabled us to be able to make a contribution towards reinstating the choral music program.
I want to thank these young women for their efforts and wish them the best as they enter high school.
Debbie Dawson, President of CSA
Thanks to Cambridge Trust Co. volunteers
To the Editor:
I walked into the Concord office of CTC, "my bank," last December and asked Andy Mahoney, vice president, to help at the CEF/CSA Auction in March. Without blinking he said, "Sure!" With the leadership of Carol Bartalussi, vice president and branch manager, and Deborah Mulcahy, assistant branch manager, a total group of seven enthusiastically worked late into the night of the auction. Andy greeted the 275 guests while Carol, et al., registered and invoiced the 300-plus items purchased at the silent and live auction. Then it was checkout where all guests descended upon them at once to pay up and gather their winnings; CTC kept cool and calm during this frenzied process.
This was the school's two organizations' first auction which turned out to be an overwhelming success. Teachers, parents and local businesses all chipped in to make it happen. As a local business, your employees' participation was instrumental in exceeding our goals. Thank you for caring about Carlisle's School!
Invitation to farewell party for the Hambletons
To the Editor:
In the many years since she and her husband Bob moved to Carlisle, Beth Hambleton has been active in multiple town committees and organizations, including the garden club, youth commission and finance committee. She served as liaison from the finance committee to both the Carlisle School Committee and Concord-Carlisle Regional School Committee, serving on building committees at both schools for nearly a decade.
Now, sadly, Beth and Bob are moving to Maine. If you are among the many townspeople who have known or worked with Beth, please join us at an informal farewell get-together for her on Wednesday, April 16, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the First Religious Society's Union Hall.
For more information, you may contact any of us. Feel free to share this invitation with any who may have worked with Beth over the years.
Tricia Reed, Russell Street
Nancy Pierce, Westford Street
Verna Gilbert, Pheasant Hill Lane
Concord/Carlisle program for pre-school families at risk from state budget cuts
To the Editor:
At a time when quality early childhood education is increasingly being recognized by educators, researchers and child development specialists to be a critical component of later school success, programs that support pre-school families and school are at risk of being cut from the state budget.
The Concord Carlisle Community Partnership for Children (CCCPC), a state-wide agency of the Department of Education, is one of the programs eliminated completely from the Governor's proposed budget.
The Community Partnership for Children is a nationally recognized model for allowing local communities the ability to improve the quality and accessibility of early childhood programs. Community Partnership programs around the state offer low cost / high quality training to parents of young children, early childhood teachers and pre-school tuition assistance to low and moderate income working families.
The CCCPC has collaborated with the Center for Parents and Teachers to offer workshops each year for early childhood educators. Community Partnership funding supports the Center for Parents and Teachers in its efforts to bring together elementary and pre-school educators to facilitate the transition of children from pre-school to kindergarten. Workshops for parents that cover issues ranging from parenting your challenging two-year-old, to teaching your young child the skills they need now to become a healthy adolescent are the products of the support from the CPC.
The loss of the funding for the Concord Carlisle Community Partnership for Children would eliminate these programs which served over 200 parents and 115 educators this year and impact the families who currently rely on CPC for tuition assistance.
Those who value these programs for young children, their families and their teachers can register their support by making a phone call or writing to the following people and encourage them to maintain funding to line item #7030-1000. It is also an important time to call Governor Romney's office to express the community's need for this program.
State Representative: The Honorable Cory Atkins: State House, Boston, MA 01233 (1-617-722-2080)
State Senator: The Honorable Susan Fargo State House, Boston, MA 01233 (1-617-722-1572)
Governor: Mitt Romney: State House, Boston, MA 01233 (1-617-727-4005.)
Coordinator Center for Parents and Teachers, Concord
Thanks to those who participated in Community Planning Day
To the Editor:
The Community Development Plan Steering Committee would like to thank everyone who participated in the Community Planning Day held Saturday morning at the school. It was a great first step in the planning process. There was a lot of positive energy and many great ideas were put forward which will help shape a vision for the future of our town.
The Committee would also like to thank David Flannery and everyone at the Carlisle Schools who helped us by providing the space to hold the meeting (and even found some easels for us to use) and the teachers whose classrooms were used for small group discussions. We also appreciate the invaluable contribution of the volunteer facilitators from the Concord-Carlisle League of Women Voters who helped make this such a successful meeting. And a special thanks to Jeff Brown and Welch's for generously donating fruit juice drinks to complement the coffee and donuts supplied by the Planning Board.
One town asset identified at the meeting was our great local newspaper. We appreciate the articles by Mosquito reporters who help us keep citizens informed and educated about this process. We are fortunate to have such a great venue in which to announce meetings and to run our questionnaire. Finally, we'd like to thank the Gleason Library and Daisy's for providing space for displaying additional questionnaires and Ed Fields, webmaster of www.carlisle.org for posting the questionnaire and meeting announcement on the community website.
The Community Development Plan Steering Committee
Jack Bromley, David Freedman, Louise Hara, Art Milliken,
Caren Ponty, Kate Reid,
© 2003 The