Mass. Supreme Judicial Court to hear church-state funding challenge

When you subsidize something, you tend to get more of it.

Massachusetts has a Constitutional prohibition against funding churches, yet many towns have used their Community Preservation Act (CPA) funds to financially support churches when doing things like building renovation. They have justified these expenditures by saying that the buildings themselves are historic, and their present use by private religious groups are not relevant. The money is following the building, not its current use.

So for years, this type of funding has been growing across the state.

School Committee's May 24th meeting in 47 seconds

In an amazing editing job, Acton Forum has created an incredible 47-second video clip which completely and totally summarized the May 24, 2017 AB Regional School Committee meeting.

This was the meeting held in the high school auditorium to answer questions from the public about Dr. Glenn Brand's abrupt resignation, and the reasons behind it. This video is just about all you need to know about the School Committee's response.

The clip boils down the entire meeting into one question and answer.

Free speech 101 and the AB School Committee's violation

A few days ago, some neo-Nazis and White Supremacists tried to hold a march in Charlottesville, VA, and were prevented from doing so on a pretext. The pretext was the concern over crowd control, but the real reason was to suppress their members' and supporters' free-speech rights. Americans must be allowed to speak freely, not only because it is in the Constitution, but also because it is the right thing to do.

Free speech makes democracy work. It ensures that when you vote, you have heard (if you cared to listen to) all available arguments.

Mr. Fantastic

"Hey Clint, how have you been?"


Fantastic was Clint Seward's favorite word, and one which I now use, but not with the same relish and enthusiasm. Nobody could "out-fantastic" Mr. Fantastic himself.

Clint was an eternal optimist. No matter what was going on in his life, Clint was fantastic. Fantastic also describes Clint, in a funny way, although he would have been too modest to accept the label.

Acton Power Choice

At the April 2016 Acton Town Meeting, voters approved the Town pursuing a municipal electrical aggregation program. The fruits of this vote will show up, for most of us, in our October electricity bills, in which the energy supplier will change from Eversource to Dynegy, the supplier for the new Acton Power Choice program. That “supply” rate will go down from 10.729 cents per kWh to 10.720 cents per kWh. That's a small drop in the rate, but the price is good for two years — at a time when Eversource rates are going up steadily.

Improper coercion

Two weeks ago, Acton Forum released the unredacted minutes to two secret executive session (ES) meetings of the AB Regional School Committee. The School Committee (SC) met to criticize Superintendent of Schools Glenn Brand's professional performance and to pressure him into resigning or risk being terminated. Since Dr. Brand did nothing wrong, according to the minutes, he held his ground and ended up resigning but with full salary and benefits for the remainder of his contract.


The School just released the Executive Session minutes for the two meetings in which Glenn Brand was apparently forced to resign. These are the meetings of April 26 and May 2, 2017.

$200 per hour gym teachers

Yes, you read the headline right. We have gym teachers that are getting compensated at the equivalent of about $200 per hour, give or take a few bucks.

I'm sure they are well worth it. After all, it is for the children.

How did I come up with this outrageous amount? I will carefully break it down in the following article. Feel free to post your disagreements below as comments. But if I am off, I'm surely close enough for government work, as they say.

We have gym teachers in Acton who are making over $100,000 a year.

Acton Forum files SECOND Open Meeting Law complaint

Acton Forum filed a second Open Meeting Law (OML) complaint with the Acton-Boxborough Regional School Committee on June 29, objecting to its June 22 vote to expand a Subcommittee charged with searching for the Interim Superintendent.

The Subcommittee was formed at a prior School Committee meeting and consisted of five School Committee members. Its charge was to conduct a quick search for an Interim Superintendent while a permanent Superintendent search committee would begin work in the Fall.

Foxes guarding Acton's henhouse

Acton taxpayers, be prepared for more property tax increases, as our town leadership and elected officials refuse to stem the tide in rising employee salaries and benefits, while School officials are seemingly planning a Proposition 2 1/2 override to pay for some new school buildings.

Boxborough residents will see more moderate tax increases, as the School regionalization formula starts to more heavily tilt in Boxborough's direction as temporary payments to reduce Acton's share of school costs are phased out.