We publish, in its entirety, the text and supporting documentation of the complaint filed by Arthur and Donna Green with the Attorney General’s Office of Public Integrity against Superintendent Earl F. Metzler and the Timberlane Regional School District. Donna is a member of Timberlane’s school board. Arthur is on Timberlane’s Budget Committee.
November 24, 2014.
Office of the Attorney General
Public Integrity Unit
33 Capitol Street
Concord, NH 03301
Dear Sir or Madam:
Our complaint concerns the actions of the Timberlane School District and SAU #55. The complainants are Donna Green, an elected member of the Timberlane Regional School Board representing Sandown, and Arthur Green who represents Sandown on the Timberlane Regional Budget Committee. We are high-profile advocates to lower the Timberlane district budget We have experienced a repeated pattern at Timberlane School District and at SAU 55 of withholding public information for political purposes and charging people in elective office for that information.
On July 26, Superintendent Metzler made a politically motivated police report concerning Donna Green to Lt. William Baldwin of the Plaistow Police department. Lt. Baldwin is a former chairman of the Timberlane School Board. Lt. Baldwin then subsequently investigated Mrs. Green for harassment of an SAU employee based on a simple difference of opinion between Mrs. Green and Superintendent Metzler’s executive assistant. Mrs. Green filed a Right to Know request to obtain the security video that recorded the so-called incident at the SAU office. The school district refused to provide this public information to Mrs. Green until she obtained the services of a lawyer. After much unnecessary delay which served to undermine Mrs. Green’s reputation in the community, Lt. Baldwin closed the case for lack of evidence. Lt. Baldwin should be known to your office since he is currently the subject of an AG investigation.
Before and after this time, the SAU administration has been withholding vital financial information about the district’s operations. Arthur Green has been repeatedly forced to make Right to Know requests to obtain financial information necessary for his deliberation on the budget committee, and to pay 50 cents a page for this information.
Monthly Expenditure Reports Had to Be Demanded by RTK
Arthur Green has been forced to submit numerous Right to Know requests to obtain standard financial reports from the Timberlane School District. Below is a list of his RTK requests for monthly financial reports including revenue and expenditures, and the fee the SAU charged for these documents. Mr. Green was required to pick the documents up at the SAU office during their restrictive business hours because the SAU refused to provide them in electronic form.
- RTK submitted on April 21, 2014 for March 2014 financials: $8.00 fee
- RTK submitted on June 12. 2014 for May 2014 financials: $8.00 fee
- RTK submitted on July 13, 2014 for June, 2014 financials: $8.00 fee
- RTK submitted on July 13, 2014 for NESDEC enrollment projections [provided electronically for free after Mr. Green gave push back on paying the $21.00 fee]
Current Year Tax Allocation Information Had to Be Demanded by RTK
Nov. 2, 2014: Requested by email of George Stokinger, Business Administrator, SAU 55. No reply.
Nov. 9, 2014: 91-A request submitted to Dr. Metzler.
Nov. 17, 2014: SAU 55 replies that information is ready for pickup at SAU office.
Nov. 19, 2014: 8:30 a.m. RTK information picked up for charge of $20.00 for 40 pages.
Nov. 19, 2014: 9:21 a.m. Complete tax allocation information posted to SAU 55 website.
The information request was very specific and was fully satisfied by a single page in the 40-page package provided by the district – the “FY2015 Cooperative Apportionment” document issued by the NH Department of Education, Bureau of Data Management on Oct. 20.
Complete Year-end Financials for 2013-2014 Had to Be Demanded by RTK
Oct. 23, 2014: Promised date of release of full year-end information for 2013-2014 year ended June 30, 2014.
Nov. 6, 2014: Incomplete financials posted to the district website.
Nov. 13, 2014: At a public budget meeting, Mr. Green pointed out that the posted year-end information lacked encumbrances, actual final expenditures and revenue.
Nov. 16, 2014: Right to Know request submitted to SAU 55 for above information.
Nov. 19, 2014: SAU makes documents available.
Nov 21, 2014: Documents collected at the cost of $7.00. The documents produced were not compliant with the law as they were missing the total final revenue and expenditure amounts.
Mr. Green filed the RTK request because of the lack of cooperation displayed by the administration at the Nov. 13 meeting.
Budget Law Violations
During the 2013-2014 year, the district has violated four Municipal Budget Laws.
- They have expended of funds in excess of appropriated for a specific purpose without proper authorization in violation of RSA 32:10 I (c).
- They have expended funds for which no appropriation has been made in violation of RSA 32:8.
- They have accepted unexpected revenue without holding a public hearing in violation of RSA 198:20-b III (a).
- They have changed an appropriation amount on a warrant article after public hearing and included the change at town meeting without disclosure in violation of RSA 32:5 II.
A detailed complaint on the budget issues with supporting documents is attached. The budget complaint has extensive supporting documents that can be accessed here: https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B5mvZIGMcM2ka245VDd3UkFnMVk&usp=sharing
Nepotism and Conflict of Interest
In March, the Timberlane School Board hired Superintendent Metzler’s wife as a consultant for a Kindergarten Spanish program at a cost of $50,000. The consultant’s contract was discussed in an illegal non-public session, and only in non-public, on March 6, 2014. There is no provision in 91-A permitting non-public sessions to discuss consultant contracts.
Irregularity in Public Bid
The Timberlane district put out a Request for Proposals for a Public Relations Specialist in mid-October, 2014. This taxpayer funded position then became a subject of controversy. The district published public announcements emailed to many as well as website notices that the bids would be opened at 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 6, 2014. Instead, these bids were opened at 3 p.m. on Nov. 5 without any prior public correction of the previous notices.
Illegal Non-public Sessions
In addition to the above mentioned illegal non-public session to discuss the Spanish consultant’s contract, the School Board willfully mischaracterizes and misinterprets RSA 91-A:3 Para. II (i) as follows: “Consideration of matters relating to preparation for and the carrying out of such emergency preparation to prevent wide spread injury or loss of life [security].” This is a quote from a sticker on meeting folders supplied by SAU#55 at school board meetings.
The actual RSA is a provision to allow local governments to enter into non-public sessions to discuss emergency measures relating to terrorism.
Under the guise of this bogus characterization of the RSA, the Timberlane School Board has repeatedly discussed the state of facilities, a topic that should absolutely be discussed in public session. On June 20, 2013 the board invoked this bogus RSA to discuss the condition of modular classroom units in the district. You can see this meeting on the Vimeo online service: http://vimeo.com/album/255898/sort:preset/format:detail. The provision was cited at 1:55:00 on the recording, (one hour, 55 minutes) followed by a unanimous vote thereafter. Clearly the board was invoking safety, very broadly construed, to avoid speaking about the condition of the units in public, information the public has a right to know. They again invoked a bogus RSA to discuss the state of facilities,at a school board meeting on Nov. 6, 2014. You can see the motion here at 3:11:19 http://vimeo.com/album/255898/video/111417958.
We ask you to investigate these actions which we believe are deliberately coordinated to hinder legally required transparency and to thwart the discharge of our duties as elected representatives to Sandown. We urge you to stop these abuses for the integrity of the whole system of elected authority over SAUs.
Donna Green Arthur Green
Here is the additional information submitted by the Greens with their complaint:
As of August 2014
The Petitioners, members of the Timberlane Regional School Board and the Timberlane Budget Committee, are very concerned that the School Board and the administrators of the district are persistently failing to comply with New Hampshire budget laws governing the school board, are demonstrating poor financial management, and are engaging in a pattern of obstruction and misinformation in responding to public concerns about these matters.
This Petition claims that Timberlane School District has failed to comply with the following financial RSAs during the 2013/14 year:
- RSA 32:10 I (c) – expenditure of funds in excess of appropriated for a specific purpose without proper authorization;
- RSA 32:8 – expenditure of funds for which no appropriation has been made;
- RSA 198:20-b III (a) – acceptance of unexpected revenue without holding a public hearing;
- RSA 32:5 II – Changing an appropriation amount on a warrant article after public hearing, and including the change at town meeting without disclosure.
Relief sought by the petitioners is:
- Timberlane school district be publicly admonished by the competent authorties for the specified actions out of compliance with NH budget law;
- TImberlane school district be placed under proactive oversight by the comptetent authorities to verify compliance in the future;
- The competent authorities consider whether administrative or legal sanctions are merited for the specified compliance failures.
- Arthur Green, Sandown NH, member of the Timberlane Budget Committee
- Donna Green, Sandown NH, member of the Timberlane Regional School Board
- Cathleen Gorman, Sandown NH, member of the Timberlane Budget Committee
Specifications for Item 1: failure to comply with RSA 32:10 (c)
Petitioners claim that expenditures exceeding the appropriated amount by over $5,000 were not “properly approved” as required by RSA 32:10 (c) because the Board failed to comply with its policy DBJ for approving such overexpenditures.
RSA 32:10 on Transfer of Appropriations provides considerable flexibility to the school district to expend funds where required, and the petitioners do not contend that there is anything untoward in the fact that “changes arise during the year following the annual meeting that make it necessary to expend more than the amount appropriated for a specific purpose” (32:10 I).
The principal constraints applied by RSA are that
- suitable records be kept of such changes ( 32:10 I (b)),
- a statement be prepared comparing all appropriations against all expenditures, showing that the total of expenditures does not exceed the total appropriation (32:10 I (c)) , and
- every expenditure has been properly authorized and classified (32:10 I (c))
In addition to the requirements of RSA 32:10, Timberlane School District had adopted Policy DBJ Transfer of Appropriations (Funds) which applies an additional constraint (reproduced here in full):
Policy DBJ – Transfer of Appropriations (Funds)
It is the intent of the School Board to limit its spending to the amount specified for each line item. However, the Superintendent is authorized to transfer funds between line items when necessary to achieve School Board policy goals, except that excess funds may not be transferred from the Unemployment Compensation line item.
Any transfer of non-grant funds between object codes (expense code) that is $5,000 or more requires School Board approval in advance.
Statutory Reference: RSA 32:10; RSA 282-A:71, III
Petitioners provided the District on June 5, 2014 with a list of budget line items overexpended by amounts exceeding $5,000 (Exhibit A), and called on the district to comply with its own policy (DBJ) on financial oversight (Exhibit B). As of April 30, there were 10 budget lines showing expenditure exceeding appropriation by more than $5,000. As of June 30 (preliminary financial results pending full year-end processing) there are 25 such cases (Exhibit C). The dollar amount of the unapproved overexpenditures is $853,000.
The Petitioners contend that Policy DBJ requires approval in advance by the School Board for such spending. Absent this approval, the spending on these items was not “properly authorized” as per RSA 32:10 I (c).
Further, the Petitioners contend that this failure is more serious than a passive lapse of attention. A complete timline of the issue is attached (Exhibit Q), but the highlights are:
- March 11 – Municipal election day, and Petitioner Donna Green was elected to the Timberlane School Board.
- March 20 – April 10: Petitioner Donna Green made repeated unsuccessfull attempts to have the School Board discuss the possibility of having a review of monthly financials as a regular agenda item. The Board declined to discuss the matter. Petitioner Arthur Green moved that the Budget Committee act under RSA 32:22 to request monthly financial statements. This was defeated.
- April 10 – April 28: Petitioner Arthur Green pursued a request to the administration for monthly financial statements, first as an informal request at the invitation of Superintendent Metzler, and finally as an official 91-A Right To Know request. The request was satisfied only after presentation to the district of a draft complaint to the Attorney General.
- May 29: Petitioner Donna Green alerts a regular School Board meeting during the “Other Business” agenda item that there are several budget line items which are overexpended out of compliance with Policy DBJ, or which have encumbrances which could signal overexpenditure. The board declines to add this matter to the next meeting agenda.
- June 5: Petitioner Arthur Green addresses the School Board during the public comment portion of the meeting, questioning whether the Board is meeting its financial management responsibilities under policy DBJ. The Board did not respond to this presentation.
- July 16: The School Board held a special meeting to deal with public conerns about the financial issues raised on Petitioner Donna Green’s blog. At this time Board Chair Mrs. Steenson stated the Board’s position on Policy DBJ compliance. This position will be discussed below.
The timeline demonstrates that the School Board majority adamantly resisted any routine oversight of financials, and once potential issues were brought to the Board’s attention, refused to take notice of such issues until the public began to show concern, resulting in the abrupt calling of an unscheduled meeting on July 16, 2014.
School Board Response to the issue of non-compliance
At the July 16 meeting, Board Chair Mrs. Nancy Steenson read a prepared statement on the issue of Policy DBJ non-compliance (Exhibit D). The Board’s position may be summarized as follows:
- A “Transfer of Appropriation” under Policy DBJ would result in a change to the amount shown as budgeted for a particular line item, thus erasing any variance between what is budgeted and what is expended
- The policy of the board is to show such variances for purpose of public transparency and to support future budgeting. Hence Policy DBJ is not used.
This interpretation of Policy DBJ conflicts with common sense and with the plain wording of the policy. It also conflicts with RSA 32:10, and with the Board’s own recent action.
- Policy DBJ explicitly cites RSA 32:10 as a statutory reference. Therefore, the meaning of “Transfer of Appropriation” must be the same in Policy DBJ as in the RSA. Section I of the RSA states:
If changes arise during the year … that make it necessary to spend more than the amount appropriated for a specific purpose, the governing body may transfer to that appropriation an unexpended balanced remaining in some other appropriation …
This makes it plain that “transfer of appropriation” descibes the use of funds for a different purpose, and not a change to the legally binding appropriation established at town meeting.
- The RSA explicitly requires that the original appropriation and the actual expenditure be reported line by line (subsection c quoted above), so Mrs. Steenson’s statement about a transfer of appropriation erasing the variances is a fiction which, if applied, would be contrary to the RSA.
- According to Mrs. Steenson’s interpretation, the Board has an approved policy which it is the policy of the board to ignore. However, Policy DBJ still requires board approval in advance for spending which exceeds the appropriation by more than $5,000. The board cannot excuse itself from complying with a policy by arguing that it does not like the policy.
- At the July 16 meeting, following this explanation and some discussion, Petitioner Donna Green moved to change the wording of Policy DBJ to what the board agreed would conform to the common sense approval of variances over $5,000. This motion was defeated, with only Mrs. Green voting in favor. Why would the board overwhelmingly re-affirm a policy which by the Chair’s explanation is never to be honored?
- As recently as Feb. 20, 2014, the Timberlane School Board voted to approve a $6,271.04 variance to a budget line item under policy DBJ, as brought before the board by the Business Administrator for the District. There was no erasure of variance. Steenson participated in the unanimous vote in favor. All of the present members of the Board were present with the exception of Petitioner Donna Green who was not a member of the Board at that time.
It is clear that the purported explanation for the lack of approvals under policy DBJ was an ad hoc fiction created to cover the Board’s embarrasment and irresponsibility in overseeing the financial affairs of the district.
Specifications for Item 2, failure to comply with RSA 32:8
RSA 32:8 provides that no school board shall pay or incur expenditure for any purpose for which no appropriation has been made. “Purpose” is defined in RSA 32:3 V as a line on the budget.
Petitioners can show by reference to the June 30, 2014 preliminary report of Expenditures released by the Timberlane district (Exhibit E provides actual expenitures as of the year end, voted budget amounts are obtained from Exhibit F Timberlane Annual Report pages 38-43) that three budget lines with no appropriation have had actual expenditures. These are:
- Budget line 1600 115 Alternative/Continuing Education / Office Salaries – Amount budgeted: $0, Amount expended to June 30: $6,348
- Budget line 2620 441 Operating Buildings Services / Rental Land and Buildings – Amount budgeted: $0, Amount expended to June 30: $34,785
- Budget line 2660 737 Security Services / Replacement Equipment – Amount appropriated: $0, Amount expended to June 30: $55,791
The total amount at issue is $96,924.
This matter was brought to the attention of the District by Petitioner Arthur Green by presentation to the June 5 School Board meeting (Exhibit A). At that time, two budget lines showed expenditures on zero appropriation. The June 30 financial report which was made available to the petitioner on July 21, exhibited an additional instance of this issue.
The School Board did not respond to, or even acknowledge this issue at the time of the presentation, or even at the July 16 School Board meeting in which disputed financial management practices were claimed to be explained to the public.
Petitioner A. Green wrote to the District on July 27 (Exhibit G), asking to be informed if the district had taken any of the statutory steps required by RSA 32:11 to allow expenditure on a zero-appropriated budget line, namely:
- Copy of the budget committee minutes approving application to the Commissioner of Education
- Copy of the application made to the Commissioner of Education, showing transmittal to the Department of Revenue Administration
- Copy of the Approval by the Commissioner of Education
- Dates of the expenditures in order to validate that the listed approvals had taken place prior to such expenditures.
The district’s response to this was provided by the Business Administrator, Mr. Stokinger on August 4 (Exhibit H). The response in its entirety (excluding dates and salutation):
The documents you have requested below do not exist as the district’s expenditures do not exceed the total amount appropriated.
Petitioners are of the opinion that RSA 32:9 means what it says.
Further, the idea that the voters’ “no means no” is a core ethic of the town meeting democracy in small-town New Hampshire. Acquiescence in this high-handed declaration to override the town vote on zero-appropriated lines would fundamentally change how we live.
Further, the School Board and District exhibited a contempt for the serious concerns raised by a member of one of its governing bodies by refusing to respond or even acknowledge these concerns until under threat of higher authority (refer to Exhibit G).
Specifications for Item 3, failure to comply with RSA 198:20-b
Timberlane School District is in receipt of $1,054,000 from the LGC HealthTrust Return of Surplus during 2013/14, revenue which was not included in the budget approved in the March 2013 vote, and was therefore unanticipated. The Return of Surplus is documented by letter from LGC to SAU 55 (Exhibit M) and the calculation of the Timberlane component is detailed in Exhibit N.
RSA 198:20-b III (a) requires that:
For unanticipated funds in the amount of $5,000 or more, the school board shall hold a prior public hearing on the action to be taken.
Petitioners contend that the RSA means what it says, and that a public hearing should have been held. This is a substantial amount of money, has had a material impact on the 2013/14 year, as well as on the 2014/15 year via the Unreserved Fund Balance. There is a clear legislative intent to treat windfall revenue as a “mini” appropriation activity with public input comparable to the Deliberative process.
Timberlane School District has taken the position that no public hearing was needed because the funds were not expended but were applied to the Unreserved Fund Balance for 2014/15. At the July 16 School Board meeting, the District produced a legal opinion dated June 23 from Attorney Gordon B. Graham (Exhibit I). Key points in this opinion are:
- The revenue is described as “the District’s receipt of approximately $855,000 in net funds for the overexpenditure of health insurance premiums the District paid on behalf of employees.”
- The law does not require a public hearing if the District “does not anticipate expending that revenue.”
- The RSA requires a public hearing “only when the District intends to accept and expend revenue received.” (emphasis in original)
The Petitioners make the following arguments in rebuttal to this opinion:
The Petitioners argue that a public hearing is required regardless of the intent to expend the revenue received.
- The phrase “accept and expend occurs only in Section I of the RSA which gives school districts the right to adopt a Warrant Article which permanently (unless rescinded) vests the power to “accept and expend” with the School Board. No such Warrant Article has been adopted by the Timberlane district.
- Section III of the RSA, applying to districts which have not adopted a Section I warrant article, requires a public hearing prior to receiving the funds on the “action to be taken”. The need for a public hearing cannot logically be conditioned on what action is ultimately taken, since the hearing takes place prior to receipt of the funds, and it is the hearing which will determine the action to be taken.
The Petitioners further argue that a portion of the refund was expended, thus requiring a public hearing even according to the legal advice of Attorney Graham.
- The refund is described in the letter of opinion (item (i) above) as “$855,000 in net funds”. This phrase begs the very issue which the letter claims to address, because the gross refund was $1,054,000 (Exhibits M, N). Since approximately $200,000 was expended, then by Attorney Graham’s advice a public hearing was legally required. Petitioner Donna Green wrote to the District on July 18 (Exhibit K) to ask their position on this matter, but no response has been received.
- Petitioner Donna Green has requested several times that the district provide a full accounting of this transaction, most recently by motion (defeated) at the July 16 School Board Meeting. As a result it is difficult to confidently lay out how the money was expended. (The complexity of this transaction and the lack of transparency is discussed in Exhibit L.) Petitioners anticipate that the District will argue that any money not placed in the Unreserved Fund Balance was treated as a pass-through refund to contributing employees and retirees.
- Petitioners argue that the distribution of the funds to employees and retirees, together with any required FICA contributions, is no different from the original payroll transactions out of the General Fund, and constitutes expenditure.
- The District has never documented the actual amounts distributed to employees and retirees. The Business Administrator has stated informally that this is approximately 15% of the overall Return of Surplus, an estimate consistent with the range of contribution options in the collective agreements. A 15% percent allocation to employees and retirees amounts to $158,000 of the $1.054 million Return of Surplus, meaning that approximately $41,000 was expended from the General Fund, which would trigger the need for a Public Hearing as stated in Attorney Graham’s letter.
- Petitioners point out that Attorney Graham’s letter was dated a few days before the 2013/14 year end, and thus needs to be read, not as a recommendation for the best course of action, but rather as an after-the-fact rationale for his client’s position after the course of action can no longer be changed. The letter quotes no case law and barely quotes the RSA.
As with other matters in this petition, the District has exhibited obstructionism and lack of transparency in dealing with a matter of public concern. In advance of the July 16 School Board meeting, it emerged from correspondence that several members of the Timberlane School Board had read Attorney Graham’s letter of opinion. Yet this was withheld from Petitioner Donna Green, despite repeated requests (Exhibit J) and her equitable privilege as a member of the Board and a representative of Sandown voters to be privy to information available to other members. The opinion letter was played in public at the July 16 meeting as a trump card, with no effective opportunity to be critically examined or rebutted in real time.
Specifications for Item 4, failure to comply with RSA 32:5 II
RSA 32:5 II states that
All purposes and amounts of appropriations to be included in the budget or special warrant articles shall be disclosed or discussed at the final hearing. The governing body … shall not thereafter insert … an additional amount … without holding one or more public hearings.
Timberblane made a material change to a Special Warrant Article between the presentation at the January 16 Public Hearing, and the February 5 Deliberative Meeting. This change was not announced or acknowledged in any way at Deliberative.
As presented at the January 16, 2014 Public Hearing, Warrant Article 5 read:
Shall the voters of the Timberlane Regional School District raise and appropriate the sum of $335,412 to renovate the kitchen at Sandown Central Elementary School and to authorize tha District to withdraw up to the sum of $335,412 from the existing School Building Construction, Reconstruction, Capital Improvements and Land Purchase Capital reserve Fund? (MAJORITY VOTE REQUIRED)(The funds for this article come from existing money in the District’s Capital Reserve Fund, not from additional taxes. This article, therefore, will not increase the 2014 tax rate.)
At Deliberative on February 5 2014, Warrant Article 5 read:
Shall the voters of the Timberlane Regional School District raise and appropriate the sum of $385,412 to renovate the kitchen at Sandown Central Elementary School and to authorize the District to withdraw up to the sum of $335,412 from the existing School Building Construction, Reconstruction, Capital Improvements and Land Purchase Capital Reserve Fund with remaining funds ($50,000) to come from the 2014-15 operating budget? (MAJORITY VOTE REQUIRED)
Recommended by the School Board 8-0
Recommended by the Budget Committee 8-1
The changed elements are signified by above in boldface not in the original. The dollar amount of the warrant is changed, thus breaching the RSA.
If this Warrant Article required a change, this should have been acknowledged and brought to the floor at Deliberative.
Petitioner Donna Green (at that time a member of Budget Committee) noticed the day after deliberative that there was a difference from what had been presented at public hearing, and she queried the (then) Board Chairman Robert Collins about how the change had occurred, and with what legal foundation. The dialog (Exhibit P) shows a now-familiar pattern of obstruction, as Chairman Mr. Collins initially attempted to deflect the concern by writing that the original version of the warrant article was merely a typo on a presentation slide. This was followed up by the claim that the version presented at Deliberative was what had originally been approved by the board (disproved by meeting minutes and video). Only after a 91-A Right To Know request was filed did Mr. Collins concede that the Warrant Article had been deliberately changed between Public Hearing and Deliberative.
Petitioner Donna Green further points out that the vote taken by the Budget Committee immediately following the Public Hearing was presented at deliberative as though the Budget Committee had voted on the new wording. This Warrant Article was defeated in the March 2014 vote.
Donna and Arthur Green
3 Cranberry Meadow Rd., Sandown NH 03873
Donna Green publishes a blog on Timberlane issues: timberlaneandsandown.wordpress.com
27 Grandview Terrace, Sandown NH
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1053, E. Hampstead 03826
EXHIBITS REFERENCED IN THIS DOCUMENT CAN BE ACCESSED ON GOOGLE DRIVE AT THIS ADDRESS:
UPDATE AS OF NOVEMBER 23, 2014: The district has subsequently provided more information concerning the HealthTrust Return of Surplus after one of the petitioners contacted HealthTrust directly. The Timberlane School Board recently adopted a new policy DBJ so that transfers of approrpiations of $25,000 or more need be approved by the board. These changes do not erase the fact that municipal budget law was knowingly and willfully violated in the 2013-2014 budget year over the objections of those in public office who were charged with oversight.