Wednesday July 3, 2013

Calls of misconduct
out of line

Editor of the Reformer:

At a June 25 meeting of the Rockingham Free Public Library’s Board of Trustees, an allegation was made by some Trustees that library director Celina Houlne had, last year, improperly and without Board approval made changes to the library’s personnel policy by granting pro-rated benefits to part-time staff.

In fact, in January 2012 the director proposed to the Library’s Personnel Policy Committee a new leave policy granting two days of pro-rated personal leave per year to all staff. This proposal was made in order to reflect usual library practices and to keep RFPL competitive with other libraries.

Four current members of the Library’s Board of Trustees were present at that meeting. The proposal to approve two days of pro-rated personal leave per year passed unanimously.

At a subsequent Trustees meeting on June 14, 2012 the Board approved pro-rated sick leave for all staff (not just full-timers who already had it). Five current Trustees were present at that meeting.

It is alarming that the Trustees appear to have no recollection of those votes and that they take no ownership of their individual and collective actions, falsely accusing the librarian of misconduct.

We invite the Trustees to explain their vote of June 24 to "freeze" the part-time staff’s pro-rated benefits regarding sick time and personal leave while the matter is further considered by several committees and then the complete board. We also hope they will apologize for publicly charging the director with inappropriate action when indeed none occurred.

Elayne and Arnold Clift,

Saxtons River, July 1

On our county’s child care

Editor of the Reformer:

The Reformer recently published two photos of young children visiting Lilac Ridge Farm in Brattleboro. It’s great for readers to see this important collaboration that exists in our community. Lilac Ridge Farm has been welcoming child care programs to learn about farming for many years.

If I could add a bit to the caption, I would’ve also named the other partners involved. The trip to the farm that day was funded by the United Way Fund for Quality Early Education. Windham Child Care Association administers this grant program. Last year, $15,000 was awarded to local child care providers seeking to increase the quality of their programs. The funds are used for program enrichment, professional development, and program improvements. This year, Lilac Ridge Farm partnered with Happy Hands (Kay Curtis), as well as family child care providers: Jen Rice, Judy Rosner, Lisa Harris and Melanie Zinn. This collaboration is an excellent example of how our community is committed to offering high-quality early care and education opportunities to children throughout Windham County.

Sarah DiNicola,

communications & events coordinator

Windham Child Care Association,

June 26

Why hide it?

Editor of the Reformer:

In response to the constructive suggestion by Norma Manning regarding the proposed solar farm off of the interstate, I offer the following comments as a further reflection on the project.

When will we start celebrating our alternative/sustainable/green energy projects? What is inherently wrong with seeing a solar farm from the Interstate? Let’s leave it visible, and only half jokingly, may I suggest the solar array be done in a pattern that spells out "Welcome to Vermont -- go solar."

We do not ask Vermont Yankee to hide itself. It is quite visible from the road and river. If we insist on the solar farm, should it be approved, being blocked from view, we should do the same for VY as a requirement of its continued operation.

Andrea McAuslan,

Marlboro, July 2