Boothbay-Boothbay Harbor CSD

Solutions for CSD network buffering; charter talks continue

Thu, 08/11/2022 - 1:15pm

Community School District network access is improving, Alternative Organizational Structure (AOS) 98 Superintendent Robert Kahler told committee members Aug. 9. Darrell Gudroe of Who Broke It and engineers from Blue Spruce Technologies have been working together on solutions and Maine School and Library Network is redesigning the AOS 98 network so Boothbay Region High and Elementary schools have separate networks.

Gudroe and Blue Spruce have identified better ways to segment the network within the schools; rather than reducing the number of access points, they are increasing them and having separate access points for teacher and staff, student and peripheral device traffic, said Kahler. Peripheral devices include fixtures like vape sensors in the bathrooms, cameras and door buzzer network traffic. Communication between access points will also improve making devices traveling through the halls and classes connect to new access points rather than bogging down connectivity by attempting to keep connections out of range.

“Some of that was tried this year, but working together (Gudroe and Blue Spruce) identified ways to segment that even more ... That should help demand on the network."

Kahler said though solutions are near, a true test of the network will not be possible until there is maximum traffic, so there will likely be some more bumps in the road after school starts.

Discussions on CSD charter changes, which began in February, are now bouncing between CSD attorney Bill Stockmayer and Boothbay attorney Sally Daggett. Boothbay and Boothbay Harbor selectmen want changes for holding budget referendums instead of the longstanding town meeting-style budget vote.

Since charter changes go before the Maine legislature, selectmen asked the CSD to weigh in on changes in a combined effort to prevent the need to further amend the charter later. Stockmayer suggested repealing and replacing it with all the statutes governing CSDs except for carve-out agreements by the towns, Kahler said. Stockmayer also advised the committee and trustees to makes their positions on the carve-outs clear since this is an attempt to change a CSD charter, not a municipal one.

Kahler said selectmen can bring charter changes to the legislature, just like other residents can. “Any citizen who lives in town can request a special law or changes, so (selectmen) don't have a power over and above that, but they have the same right anyone else has.”

Boothbay Harbor resident Tom Perkins read aloud his recent letter to the editor to the Boothbay Register asking the committee to ensure the Building Exploratory Committee identifies and prioritizes the needs of  students and teachers. He said the CSD needs to set a good example for fiscal responsibility and for questioning needs versus wants, something “so fundamental that all of us should ask before every single potential spending decision.”

Perkins said BEC meetings seem to be run by Lavallee Brensinger architects and the “needs versus wants” question is never asked. Potential donations for a new school should not preclude focus on a common sense solution of need balanced with fiscal responsibility, he said.

“I'm concerned that reaching for anything more might be negatively perceived by voters that you are all being cavalier and irresponsible with the taxpayers' money. Once you lose the voters' trust, their answer will likely be 'no' whatever the final referendum questions end up being ... I just don't want all that (effort) to be wasted in the end because too much focus was on what donors wanted rather than what we really need.”

The committee hired Paul McGovern as director of technology, Annie Bolduc as a fourth grade teacher and Hannah Johnson as a Spanish teacher. McGovern replaces Brynne Roseberry who resigned July 22, Bolduc replaces Ashton Harvey who resigned Aug. 31 and Johnson is switching from college and career access coordinator. The Spanish job was vacant about a year.

Boothbay Harbor committee member Ruth Macy resigned effective Aug. 5. Kahler said nomination papers are available at the town office.