Author Archives: Chuck Denault

Kittery, The Candidates, become informed and then go vote.

KITTERY, Maine — Democrat Kristi Mathieson is running uncontested in the Nov. 3 general election to represent Maine House District 1, which includes the majority of Kittery. Education and career/professional experience: BS/MS University of New Hampshire, registered/licensed dietitian and owner of a small medical practice for the last 11 years.

For District 2 West Kittery and Eliot Maine

Michelle Meyers Democrat and Dan Ammons Republican
Dan Ammons
Michelle Meyer

for more information visit this link.

https://www.seacoastonline.com/story/news/politics/elections/2020/10/06/meyer-ammons-compete-for-maine-houst-district-2-seat/42728339/

for the Kittery Town Council

Ken Lemont

GARY BEERS

Cameron Hamm

I am an engineer, federal service academy graduate, and Eagle Scout.

I moved to Kittery in 2019 for a local work opportunity, which you can read about here from the Portsmouth Herald.
I earned a Bachelors of Science in Marine Engineering Systems at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in 2019.
I recently appeared at a candidate’s forum in Kittery, which you can watch here.

Education and career/professional experience: I received a Bachelor of Science in Marine Engineering Systems from the US Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, New York. I used my education to pass the Fundamentals of Engineering exam in 2019. I have been employed as an engineer at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard since graduation.

George Dow

George Dow

Education and career/professional experience: MBA in Accounting w/Certificate in Finance; Certified Treasury Professional (CTP); VP – Senior Government Banking Relationship Manager for TD Bank, N.A.

Civic experience/community involvement: Town Council Member (2007-2013); Currently: Chairperson Kittery Economic Development Committee; Kittery Parks Commission Member; Rice Public Library Corporation – Treasurer; Rice Library Building Committee – Vice Chair; Taylor Building Committee Member; St George’s Childcare Center – Treasurer; Fair Tide Board Member; Kittery Maine Improvement Foundation – Treasurer

To learn more about the candidates, follow this link.

https://www.seacoastonline.com/…/get-to-know-four…

KITTERY SCHOOL COMMITTEE

http://www.cormierforkitteryschools.com/

Education and career/professional experience: BS in Mechanical Engineering – University of Rhode Island; Minors in Nuclear Engineering and Physics; BA (German) – University of Rhode Island; BS in Professional Aeronautics – Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University; Minors in Aviation Safety and International Relations; Helicopter Flight School – US Army; Army Instructor Training Course – US Army; Equal Opportunity Leaders Course – US Army. I am currently a mechanical engineer and training specialist for an organization in Kittery. Prior to this I was an armored reconnaissance sergeant and later a helicopter pilot in the Army. My time in the Army includes two tours in Baghdad, Iraq. During my service in the Army I was selected to manage my unit’s Equal Opportunity/Sexual Harassment program.

Commercial: https://youtu.be/YEZoYsWDKWg

Eric Lemont

Education and career/professional experience: BS Finance Bentley University; Executive MBA University of New Brunswick; Senior analyst at Irving Oil for 13 years with experience in advanced analytics, financial analysis, pricing, management, operations and sales. Kittery Community Center Board of Directors, Kittery Athletics and Fields Committee, Traip Academy Boosters, Kittery Travel Basketball Board of Directors, Youth Soccer coach.

https://www.facebook.com/ericlemontkitteryschoolcommittee/

Karen Matso

Education and career/professional experience: I attended Colgate University where I received a BA in English, then moved to Los Angeles to teach third grade in Compton, through Teach For America. During this experience I met my husband and also figured out I needed more education in order to serve kids. I moved to NYC and in 1991, received a dual Masters degree in Social Work (school social work concentration) and Education through a combined program at Bank Street College of Education and Columbia University in NYC.

https://www.facebook.com/KarenMatsoKittery/

John Dorlean

Education and career/professional experience: Bachelor’s Degree in Telecommunications; Over 20 years in media production, animation, and creative direction; Adjunct collegiate teacher

Civic experience/community involvement: VP and coach of Little League, various neighborhood charity events.

www.DORLEAN2020.com

Search the web for more information or to learn more about each candidate, click this link.

https://www.seacoastonline.com/story/news/2020/10/02/kittery-school-committee-candidates-answer-questions/114205454/

Imagine if Mr. Robert Markel, the former Kittery Town Manager was still in Kittery

This election is like no other. These articles are about the Former Kittery Town Manager Mr. Robert Markel and the what if’s. Can you imagine? I can!

Only if we had a crystal ball. Kittery lost a superstar.

https://www.masslive.com/politics/2020/08/former-springfield-mayor-robert-markel-to-help-introduce-lifelong-friend-joe-biden-at-democratic-national-convention.html

For Robert Markel, an essentially ceremonial moment in presidential election history will allow him a special opportunity afforded very, very few people.

The former Springfield mayor will cast a meaningful vote for someone who is not just a name with a party affiliation, but a close friend whose relationship goes back more than 60 years. As a member of the Massachusetts delegation to the Electoral College, Markel will officially file his ballot for Joseph Biden to become president of the United States.

https://www.seacoastonline.com/article/20120907/NEWS/209070407

PORTSMOUTH — Kittery Town Manager Robert Markel will be among those at Strawbery Banke today, but the president is not the primary draw for him. Markel is going so that he can meet up with his high school pal, Vice President Joe Biden.

Markel and Biden were graduates of Catholic prep school Archmere Academy in Claymont, Del., Class of 1961, and have been friends ever since.

Why he decided to leave Kittery in his own words.

https://www.seacoastonline.com/article/20130126/NEWS/301260324

Robert Markel said “This is what I take away from a year in Kittery. In order to have a successful town government, the roles of the council and manager not only need to be carefully defined, but all members of the council have to understand the limitations of their responsibilities.”

His resignation letter.

https://www.seacoastonline.com/article/20121211/news/212110395

KSC to take on SRO TONIGHT. 8-18-20

SAVE THE SRO POSITION YARD SIGN

Take note: Those in Favor or Against the SRO position, The Kittery School Committee is meeting tonight at the Star Theater at the Kittery Community Center (KCC). The meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. and people are staging at the KCC around 5:00 to 5:30 pm.

Please practice social distancing and you are being asked to wear a mask. Posters are welcome and if you don’t have one, perhaps you can use your yard sign.

At 6 pm. It will be broadcasted on TOWNHALLSTREAMS (dot com). It will also available later on the same site as a streaming video. Also NEWSCENTERMAINE (dot com) has a spot.

TO RECAP: THE KSC voted on renewing the Memo of Agreement (MOA) on the SRO position currently assigned to Kittery Police Officer SRO Jay Durgin.

The motion failed 3 to 3 with 1 abstention.

Kimberly Bedard, Nicholas Chalupa and Danielle Hoffman voted not to renew the MOA. Julie Dow abstained and followed Maine Law by abstaining. Voting to renew it was, Rhonda Pomerleau, Anne Gilbert and Annie Cicero

KSC meetings. Emergency meeting 8-10 and Regular Public meeting 8-18

The Kittery School Committee is having an emergency meeting tonight August 10th, 2020 at 6:00 P.M. at the Star Theater for executive session. The next public meeting is scheduled for August 18th, 2020.

The Kittery School Committee is having a meeting on August 18th, 2020. As you are aware, the Kittery School Committee in  very controversial decision, 3 to 3 with the Chairperson Julie Dow abstaining as required by law. (She is the sister of Jay Durgin the SRO Officer.) voted to eliminate the SRO by not renewing the SRO MOA.

The three that voted against the renewal of the Memo of Agreement (MOA renewal) were

Stay tuned for any developing information.

Has Danielle Hoffman aka, Quigley Danielle deceived the residents of Kittery?

Before this article starts, I reached out to Danielle Hoffman on allegations she has another Facebook Account. Out of fairness, I had asked her to respond before I published this article and was going to wait some time. She has yet to respond but within 10 minutes or so of my email to her, the Facebook Site Quiglley Danielle and all the anti police posts disappeared from facebook.

A recent vote by Kittery School Committee was held on August 4th, 2020 at the Kittery Community Center. Kittery School Committee who voted not to renew the MOA and effectively get ride of the SRO position. These members that voted no are:

note: DANIELLE HOFFMAN also a MEMBER of KAFA or CAFA

Citizens are reporting that she is also aka. her alternate identity, Facebooks QUIGLEY DANIELLE. You should visit it before the posts are removed. oops too late. Deleted just after 12:16 p.m. August 6th.

It is the belief of many residents that these three individual made a grave mistake. These people voted not to renew the SRO officers Memo Of Agreement effectively removing the SRO officer from the school. Chairperson Julie Dow, the sister of the current SRO Officer Jay Durgin abstained. In the case of DOW, BY LAW SHE HAD TO ABSTAIN.

Danielle Hoffman and Nicholas Chalupa have terms expiring in November 2020. Bedard is up in 2022.

DANIELLE HOFFMAN is also a member of KAFA know known as CAFA. Kittery Advocates For All changed now changed to Community Advocates for All. DANIELLE HOFFMAN is also an elected public official and member of the Kittery School Committee.

Does DANIELLE have an agenda and other identify she needs to explain? I reached out to Danielle for her side but as of this posting, I have not received a response.

Citizens on social media say so. As reported by a citizen on a Social Media Website, she may have a hidden identify on FACEBOOK named QUIGLEY DANIELLE. A quick view of the posted articles on the pages suggest this person pushes anti-police and facilitates the spread of anti police articles that supports the removal of SRO officers from schools. Once post shots a gun masks suggesting wearing a gun on your face mask. Seriously A Gun FACE MASK. It was from a Satire Show but I feel it is still questionable.

Read the last post. STAND YOUR GROUND.

It is the concern of many that Danielle appears to have had an agenda and voted on something that the Kittery Schools Committee handbook and State law shows she should not have. She should set the record straight.

Bedard, Hoffman and Chaluppa should do the right thing and add it to the agenda to MOVE FOR RECONSIDERATION the vote on the MOA and Hoffman should abstain as well as Julie Dow. THEY HAVE HEARD THE PEOPLE SPEAK, NOW THEY SHOULD DO THE RIGHT THING.

CLICK HERE to EMAIL and ask CHALUPPA, HOFFMAN AND BEDARD to reconsider the vote .

The following are excerpts from Code of Ethics, Conflicts of Interest and Maine LAW

KSD WEBSITE School Committee CONFLICT OF INTEREST:link

School Committee service is a matter of public trust. In making decisions that affect the Kittery schools, School Committee members have the duty to act in the interest of the common good and for the benefit of the people they represent. A conflict of interest may arise when there is an incompatibility between a School Committee member’s personal interest and his/her responsibilities as an elected official in a matter proposed or pending before the School Committee. School Committee members have a legal and ethical responsibility to avoid not only conflict of interest, but the appearance of conflict of interest as well.

KSD School Committee ETHICS Link

Kittery School Department Policy
CODE: BCA
SCHOOL COMMITTEE MEMBER CODE OF ETHICS
Having accepted the challenge of service on the Kittery School Committee, I accept the principles set
forth in the following code of ethics to guide me in helping to provide free public education to all the
students of my school unit within the State of Maine.
A. I will view service on the School Committee as an opportunity to serve my community, state, and nation because I believe public education is the best means to promote the welfare of our people and to preserve our democratic way of life.
B. I will at all times think of students first and base my decisions on how they will affect students, their education, and their training.
C. I will make no disparaging remarks, in or out of School Committee meetings, about other members of the School Committee or their opinions.
D. I will remember at all times that as an individual I have no legal authority outside the meetings of the School Committee, and that I will conduct my relationship with the school staff, the local citizenry, and all media of communications on the basis of this fact.
E. I will recognize that my responsibility is not to operate the schools but to see that they are well operated.
F. I will seek to provide education for all students in the community commensurate with their needs and abilities.
G. I will listen to all citizens but will refer all complaints to the proper authorities, and will discuss such complaints only at a regular meeting after failure of administrative solution.
H. I will support a decision graciously once it has been made by the School Committee.
I. I will not criticize employees publicly, but will make such criticism to the Superintendent for investigation and action, if necessary.
J. I will make decisions openly after all facts bearing on a question have been presented and discussed.
K. I will refuse to make promises as to how I will vote on a matter that should properly come before the School Committee as a whole.
L. I will not discuss the confidential business of the School Committee in my home, on the street, or in my office, the place for such discussion being the School Committee meeting.
M. I will confine my School Committee action to policy making, planning, and appraisal, leaving the administration of the schools to the Superintendent.
N. I will welcome and encourage cooperation and participation by teachers, administrators, and other personnel in developing policies that affect their welfare and that of the students they serve.
O. I will endeavor at all times to see that schools have adequate financial support within the capabilities of the community and state, in order that every student may receive the best possible education.
P. I will resist every temptation and outside pressure to use my position as a School Committee member to benefit myself or any individual or agency apart from the total interest of the school unit.
Q. I will endeavor to attend every regular and special School Committee meeting recognizing that my presence means representation for my town. If I find that this is not
possible for an extended length of time, I will give consideration to resigning from my position on the School Committee.

R. I will recognize at all times that the School Committee of which I am a member is an agent of the state, and as such, I will abide by the laws of the state and the regulations formulated by the Maine Department of Education and by the State Board of Education.
Adopted: March 15, 2011

Kittery School District Policy 1
CODE: BCB
CONFLICT OF INTEREST

School Committee service is a matter of public trust. In making decisions that affect the Kittery schools, School Committee members have the duty to act in the interest of the common good and for the benefit
of the people they represent.
A conflict of interest may arise when there is an incompatibility between a School Committee member’s personal interest and his/her responsibilities as an elected official in a matter proposed or pending before the School Committee. School Committee members have a legal and ethical responsibility to avoid not only conflict of interest, but the appearance of conflict of interest as well.
Financial Interest
A School Committee member has a financial interest in a question or contract under
consideration when he/she or a member of his/her immediate family may derive some financial
or other material benefit or loss as a result of the School Committee’s action. The vote of the
School Committee is voidable if a School Committee member has a financial interest and votes
on that question or is involved in the discussion, negotiation, or award of a contract or other
action in which he/she has a financial interest.
In order to prevent the vote on a question or contract from being voidable, a School Committee
member who has a financial interest must:
A. Make full disclosure of his/her interest before any action is taken; and
B. Abstain from voting, from the negotiation or award of the contract and from otherwise
attempting to influence the decision.
The Secretary of the School Committee may verify in the minutes of the meeting the member’s
disclosure and abstention from taking part in the decision in which he/she has an interest.
It is not the intent of this policy to prevent a School Committee member from voting or the
school unit from contracting with a business because a School Committee member is an
employee of that business or has another, indirect interest but is designed to prevent the placing
of School Committee members in a position where their interest in the schools and their interest
in their places of employment may conflict and to avoid appearances of conflict of interest.
Code of Conduct for Federally Funded Procurements
When a Committee member participates in the selection, award, or administration of a contract
that is supported by a federal award, the Committee member shall also comply with Policy DJH
– Purchasing and Contracting: Procurement Staff Code of Conduct.
Appearance of Conflict of Interest
A School Committee member should do nothing to give the impression that his/her position or
vote on an issue is influenced by anything other than a fair consideration of all sides of a
question.
Kittery School District Policy 2
School Committee members shall attempt to avoid the appearance of conflict of interest by
disclosure and/or by abstention.
Appointment to Office and Other Employment
A School Committee member may not, during the time the member serves on the School
Committee and for one year after the member ceases to serve on the School Committee, be
appointed to any civil office of profit or employment position which has been created or the
compensation of which has been increased by action of the School Committee during the time
the member served on the School Committee.
Employment
A member of the School Committee or spouse of a member may not be an employee in a public
school within the jurisdiction of the School Committee to which the member is elected or in a
contract high school or academy located within a supervisory union in which the member is a
representative on the union committee.
School Committee Members as Volunteers
A member of the School Committee, or spouse of a member, may not serve as a volunteer when
that volunteer has primary responsibility for a curricular, co-curricular or extracurricular program
or activity and reports directly to the Superintendent, principal, athletic director or other school
administrator in a public school within the jurisdiction of the School Committee to which the
member is elected, or in a contract high school or academy located within a supervisory union in
which the member is a representative on the school committee.
Volunteer activities of a member of the School Committee or member’s spouse other than in
roles that are prohibited by this section may be prescribed by policies developed and approved
by the School Committee.
Definitions
For the purposes of this policy, the following statutory definitions apply:
A. “Employee” means a person who receives monetary payment or benefits, no matter the
amount paid or hours worked, for personal services performed for a school administrative
unit.
B. “Volunteer” means a person who performs personal services for a school administrative
unit without monetary payments or benefits of any kind or amount.
Legal Reference: 20-A M.R.S.A. § 1002-1004
30-A M.R.S.A. § 2604-2606
Charter of the Town of Kittery § 4.09
Cross Reference: BCA-School Committee Member Code of Ethics
DJH – Purchasing and Contracting: Procurement Staff Code of Conduct
Adopted: February 26, 1985
Revised: May 21, 1991; July 5, 1994; August 2, 2011; January 2, 2019

BIAS

On the other hand, a municipal official must abstain when there is a significant degree of bias for or against the applicant or claimant such that the official cannot make an impartial decision, thereby depriving the applicant of his or her due process right to a fair and objective determination. Because the presence of that degree of prejudicial bias can only truly be known to exist by the quasi-judicial officer, the decision to step down as a quasi-judicial officer for reasons of bias is a uniquely unguided, internal, and ethical decision most illuminative of a municipal official’s sense of the public trust.

State Law and Ethics

https://www.memun.org/DesktopModules/Bring2mind/DMX/Download.aspx?EntryId=5243&Command=Core_Download&language=en-US&PortalId=0&TabId=119

In a sense, all issues regarding governmental ethics boil down to the situation of the municipal official being motivated by conflicting or competing interests. Municipal officials are sworn into public office to serve the interests of the public as a whole, and in the municipal official there is vested a public trust.

A betrayal of that trust occurs when an official is motivated to action as a result of a self interest rather than a common interest. The legal concept of “conflict of interest” as governed by statute, however, is limited to interests of a financial nature only.

Kittery School Committee caves!

Kittery School Committee voted and said (by a three to three vote with the sister of the SRO officer, Julie Dow, abstaining), sayonara, astalavista, adieu, arrivederci, cheerio and thanks for nothing. Three votes and your out. Who cares what the Taxpayers, Teachers, Students want. What kind of message was just sent to the world from Kittery Maine.

Yes! Kittery Maine and it happened last night. You need to watch the School Board meetings and pay attention to the comments from the board members. Such a controversial topic and School Committee Member Nicholas Chaluppa (wow! cat caught his tongue). Wait till you watch Kimberly Bedard tell you about a book she read that opened her eyes to the problems in Kittery, (not to say there not any) but a problem with the Police in general and having a police officer in schools.

https://townhallstreams.com/towns/kittery_maine

Then there is Danielle Hoffman, A member of the KAFA Advocacy Group (originally a sub committee of the school district) that wanted to get rid of the SRO officer and has been quoted in recent articles and even last night called out not to vote because it was a conflict of interest. Not only is she a KAFA member (KSC subcommittee) but a school board member who had a clear and transparent agenda. Can you say Conflict of interest?

CONFLICT OF INTEREST? conflict of interest involves a person or entity that has two relationships competing with each other for the person’s loyalty. For example, the person might have a loyalty to an employer and also loyalty to a family business. Each of these businesses expects the person to have its best interest first.

Danielle Hoffman, who serves on the Kittery School Committee, said joining KAFA was not only a chance to address issues she’d been interested in talking about for a while, but also a way to bring such education back into the school culture. Pictured upper right.

All we can hope now is that one of these School Committee members come to their senses and listen to over 1200 or more people who signed the on line petition which was started by a Traip Academy Student and ask for a reconsideration vote.

Only a member on the prevailing side can make the motion and any other member including the Chair person Julie Dow can second it and have it brought up for a reconsideration vote and fix the debacle that was approved by the three amigos. See Robert Rules for Dummies. (No pun intended.)

https://www.dummies.com/careers/business-skills/roberts-rules-and-the-motion-to-reconsider/

Feel free to contact them all. Here is the link. One link for all seven.

MAIL THEM ALL

What else could they have done, well, they had the fix in front of them and it was under new business in the agenda. Essentially it was to form a task force, (FORCE, hmm! poor choice of words here.) with people of all backgrounds, and review the things that can be fixed, make recommendations and then report the findings back and let the community as a whole digest it and then take actions if they were necessary. Well, the three members decided to take the easy way out. SEE THE ACTUAL AGENDA ITEM: https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#search/schoff?projector=1

VII. NEW BUSINESS: Take action to adopt the Resolution to Convene a Task Force to Assess Role of Student Resource Officer in the Kittery School District

Problems? In Kittery, Let us flash back and look at this article in the Portsmouth Herald.

https://www.seacoastonline.com/article/20140321/NEWS/140329931

The article says about 22 percent of Traip Students consider suicides. 22 PERCENT in 2013. “Traip Academy Principal Eric Waddell is worried. According to the biennial Maine Integrated Youth Health Survey, more than one-third of Traip Academy students reported feeling depressed, and more than 20 percent said they have considered suicide.

in 2013-14, it was leaked, why was the report delayed, how would this KSC spin this report? What else does the Kittery School Committee hide from you? Have we forgotten how they treat teachers and ask how many teachers left the district and why! Well its over 80 during the past several years. Why can’t we fix these real problems in our schools?

Have you been curious or asked yourself, over the years, how many guns were brought to schools? How many Murder/Suicides and school shootings have happened in the world. 2019 CNN Story, In 2019, in 46 weeks, there have been 45 school shootings.

https://www.cnn.com/2019/11/15/us/2019-us-school-shootings-trnd/index.html

In america, There were at least 41 incidents of gunfire on school grounds in 2020, resulting in: 11 deaths, including 0 suicide deaths (where no one else was harmed) and. 17 injuries, including 0 self-harm injuries (where no one else was harmed).

What are the current stats of the YOUTH HEALTH SURVEY NOW? How many students brought or sold drugs in the Kittery School System.? How many kids talked to the SRO and got their life on track or found a way forward and perhaps changed their mind about drugs or suicide. If the answer is if one or more were saved, then wasn’t it worth having an SRO?

Have you talked to your kid lately? Will they open up to you? How fast is the police response now in Kittery now that there is not an SRO on scene. Who do you target for liability or for damages should a teacher or student get hurt. What are we doing to protect our kids? Perhaps KAFA can explore these real issues.

See the OURKITTERY article here.

http://ourkittery.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=1167&action=edit

The controversy was brewing for some time. First it was BLM and then Kittery’s own KAFA.

https://www.seacoastonline.com/news/20181007/kittery-advocates-for-all-working-to-create-inclusivity

Why go after the SRO Officer who has been a pillar in the school community. They all say he is perfect but since he is a Police Officer and they can’t have this and they needed to end the program.

KAFA says in the Portsmouth Herald, “We basically came to the conclusion that what we essentially want is to make the area inclusive, for the military families and their diversity, for the immigrants who work here during different seasons, for people with different economic backgrounds,” Wardell said. “We want to shorten those gaps and bring the community together, no matter their sexual orientation, their age, their race, their abilities.” Then there are the ones who mention BLM and defund the police. Oh yeah, there has been talk about this in Town..

The George Floyd death was a tragedy and no one is denying this. But it is wrong to assimilate the actions of one and stereotype them to others. Just as it is so wrong to remove an impeccable SRO OFFICER (Jay Durgin) because of a movement and justify it by using the actions of other police officers and communities. What works here may not work elsewhere.

Never lose site of the real meaning of a movement and any movement should not be turned into, hollow actions like, Hey look at me, I put a sign out in front of my house, I wear a printed shirt, I walk for the cause, I believe or I will go along because it is the trend right now and you don’t mean it. Here is an interesting article on GASLIGHTING.

Connect the dots and see who the players are and why they do what they do. Kittery is better then this. At least I thought so!

According to the Gospel of John, the Pharisees, in an attempt to discredit Jesus, brought a woman charged with adultery before him. Then they reminded Jesus that adultery was punishable by stoning under Mosaic law and challenged him to judge the woman so that they might then accuse him of disobeying the law. Jesus thought for a moment and then replied, “He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone at her.” The people crowded around him were so touched by their own consciences that they departed. When Jesus found himself alone with the woman, he asked her who were her accusers. She replied, “No man, lord.” Jesus then said, “Neither do I condemn thee: go and sin no more.”

WAKE UP KITTERY.

In NOVEMBER of 2020, Nicholas Chalupa and Danielle Hoffman terms are up.

  

Kittery School Committee to decide on SRO Officer’s Position.

School Committee meeting tonight at the Star Theater at 6:00 P.M.

As reported on earlier, the decision to send the SRO position packing or not will be tonight. Channel 22 should host it for those who can’t make it. Over 1000 signatures have been collected on CHANGE.ORG established by a Traip Academy Student to keep the SRO officer.

https://www.change.org/p/kittery-district-let-jay-durgin-be-our-resourse-officer

There is still time to sign the petition and send a message to the elected body of the School Committee.

As a resident just stated, “you don’t know when you will have a car accident, if a tree may fall on your house, if you or a loved one may get sick, when the next gun shows up at school or when a someone thinks of suicide and has no one to talk to and so on. You never know and that’s why you have insurance. An SRO officer is insurance. It cost money, people may not like it, but it’s that sense of comfort that comes to many parents and kids that there is someone there if needed.” he added, “better to need it and not use it then to need it and not have it.” (BC)

There are others who disagree and for one reason or another want the SRO position banned. Tonight, the School Committee will take up the matter.

Kittery School Committee readies for a BOMBSHELL decision.

During the public comment part of the Kittery School Committee Zoom meeting on Tuesday July 21st, Chairperson Julie Dow read multiple letters from various individuals, (which were not published prior to the meeting).

Due to Zoom Meeting restrictions, Members of the public who wish to offer comment may do so in writing by emailing them to Donna Schoff (dschoff@kitteryschools.com) by noon on the day of the meeting (July 21st ). Comments received by then will be read aloud during the Public Comment portion of the meeting. Be sure to include your full name.

The theme of these letters was wide spread and mostly directed at the elimination of the Kittery’s School Resource Officer’s position. Towards the end of the meeting, the School Committee then went into Executive Session for personnel. Then came out of Executive Session to take “take action to approve the Memorandum of Agreement between the Kittery Police Department and Kittery School Committee School resource Officer services for 2020-21 school year”. They moved thata no action be taken on this issue and it will be brought back up during the August 4th meeting to be held at the KCC.

https://townhallstreams.com/stream.php?location_id=68&id=24956

to watch the meeting for yourself, click the following link.

Listen carefully to the words and statements of these letters that were read by Chairperson Dow.

Ourkittery feels, “Although the schools have been closed, we should never forget the reason why these SRO officers are here in our schools in the first place. The safety of our kids and faculty. A first line of defense and a valuable resource. Kittery is not immune and bad things happen everywhere.”

“Many of the letters read by the Chairperson of the Kittery School Department don’t even have players in the game,” expressed one individual. “Why are we caving to pressure when the moral fabric of Kittery is not an issue?” said another.

As a Councilor, I received calls from parents and teachers and other Town Councilors expressing their concern that they were not made aware of the letters, the reading of the letters or the School Committee’s position on whether to eliminate the School Resource Officer program. As a grandfather of kids in the school system, I am equally concerned. As a retired Police Officer, I know all too well what goes on and the potential for what can happen and does.

Click here to EMAIL ALL KITTERY SCHOOL COMMITTEE MEMBERS.

To learn more about the Kittery School Resource officer, I included a link below.

http://www.kitteryschools.com/school-resource-officer

In case you are not aware, the Kittery School Department has had a school resource officer for many years. It began with Kittery’s Dare Program and Camp Postcard with Dare’s Greg Arbo and Russell French. Following them, the program was expanded to include Robert Creamer, Rachel Horning and now Jay Durgin. The SRO position is based on a MOA between the Town of Kittery Police Department and the Kittery School Committee.

Former SRO Rachel Horning’s article, printed in the Portsmouth Herald in 2014. Click the link.

https://www.seacoastonline.com/article/20140110/NEWS/401100387

In 2016, Officer Jay Durgin was selected to replace Horning as the SRO officer. Jay Durgin the current Kittery School Resource Officer is a Kittery Resident, Traip Academy Graduate and now has over 20 years of Law Enforcement experience.

Read SRO Jay Durgin’s full article in the Portsmouth Herald by clicking the following link. See this article in the Portsmouth Herald here.

https://www.fosters.com/special/20160812/resource-office-keeps-kids-out-of-trouble

Chief Short said at the time in the Seacoast online article, The SRO job, he added, “requires the balance of role model, mentor, adviser, counselor and police officer all rolled into one. There are times when police officers in these types of assignments lose their identity. With Rachel’s personality, there is no chance of that happening.”

When Durgin was selected as the replacement and new SRO officer, Chief Short stated” “The partnership between the school and the police department has enhanced safety and opened a strong line of communications between the two departments. This is an invaluable program, and the Kittery Police Department is honored to be a part of it,” Short said.

At the time of Durgins appointment, School Superintendent Allyn Hutton said, “The Kittery School Department is very pleased with the work of Officer Horning over the past year and appreciates her efforts to establish the SRO program in Kittery. We are looking forward to building on this excellent foundation and are confident that officer Jay Durgin is the best individual to enhance our efforts to provide a safe and secure environment for teaching and learning.”

Durgin stated in an article for the Portsmouth Herald:

Durgin said the safety of school students and staff is a priority for him, and he described that as “a big responsibility.”

“I want a safe environment for the kids to learn,” he said. “A lot of the kids, I went to school with their parents.”

Durgin said much of his job is playing the role of a guidance councilor, and he called his role “the root of community policing.” He said he worries most about “the safety of the kids, the buildings and the administrators,” but the students’ optimism outshines the worry.

The kids are so optimistic,” he said. “They have so much in front of them. I graduated from here; I was sitting in their place. Their optimism gives me the most hope.”

Above and below are link to all the email accounts of the members of the Kittery School Committee. Don’t wait until it is too late, I think it’s time they hear from you.

Click here to EMAIL ALL KITTERY SCHOOL COMMITTEE MEMBERS.

SCHOOL COMMITTEE MEMBERS
Kim Bedard 207-439-9548 kbedard@kitteryschools.com 
Nicholas Chalupa 781-473-3350
nchalupa@kitteryschools.com
Annie Cicero (910) 990-6181 anniecicero@kitteryschools.com
Julie Dow, Chair 207-439-7866 jdow@kitteryschools.com
Anne Gilbert, Vice-Chair 439-9067 agilbert@kitteryschools.com
Danielle Hoffman617-285-1155 dhoffman@kitteryschools.com
Rhonda Pomerleau rpomerleau@kitteryschools.com

DONT FORGET TO VOTE TODAY

Voting at the Kittery Community Center. Tuesday July 14th, 2020. 8 AM to 8 PM 

Candidates for House of representatives HD1 are

Kristi Mathieson Democrat

Write in for republican.  In order to vote for Kenneth Lemont, you must write in his name.

Kenneth Lemont. Republican   Write in Candidate

There are other questions on the ballot so please Vote.

HD2 is Part of Kittery and Eliot

Michelle Meyers  Democrat

Dan Ammons Republican

 for more information, visit www.kitteryme.gov