By Kimberly Morin
On Tuesday, towns across New Hampshire will be holding local elections, including Windham. While many elections can sometimes be petty, recent school board elections in Windham tend to be contentious. Certain people in the town like to have power and when they are on the cusp of losing it or when they have lost it to good people; they lash out with lies and deceit. Former Windham Selectman Al Letizio Jr. is a perfect example of this as is his sidekick Dennis Senibaldi, a current school board member.
Both Senibaldi and Letizio Jr. are supporting Rob Breton and Keleigh McAllister for school board. Breton currently sits on the board and McAllister, although they claim she’s been extremely involved, hasn’t really had much to do with the school board. Breton was on the board when Senibaldi was willing to shove an almost $600,000 contract with Cenergistic through a couple of years ago without even reading the contract first or researching the company. Breton abstained from the vote rather than voting no.
Breton, along with Senibaldi, also wanted former Windham Business and Finance Administrator Adam Steel to be the Windham School Superintendent. Steel, who worked behind the scenes to push Cenergistic also had many issues with severe lack of accounting controls that have been exposed thanks to board members Ken Eyring, Daniel Popovici-Muller and Tom Murray. Steel has since resigned from his position in Windham and now works for the Amherst and Mount Vernon school districts.
Flashback to 2015
If you recall, which many voters may not, the Windham School Board grew quite contentious back in 2015 when the board was going to vote on the Cenergistic contract without having actually researched and reviewed it. Senibaldi, Breton, Mike Joanis and Jerome Rekart were all going to simply vote an almost $600,000 contract through until someone from the audience, now school board member Tom Murray, called them out for it. It was former chair Rekart who told Steel to actually call the police on Murray. It was after this that the corruption on the school board started unravelling and Senibaldi was right in the middle of it.
It was discovered that Senibaldi was colluding with Cenergistic and even getting talking points from them to fight back against reports about Cenergistic that shined a negative light on them. Senibaldi also appeared to be violating New Hampshire computer crime laws and election laws. Tom Murray decided to run for school board and won but the nastiness of Letizio Jr. during that election was incredible.
Letizio Jr. made some ridiculous claims about one of Murray’s endorsements and was called out for lying about it. Letizio Jr. then threatened to sue both Examiner and Granite Grok for the articles if they weren’t taken down. Neither Letizio Jr. nor Senibaldi ever provided counter information as to what wasn’t true in any of the articles. Letizio Jr. never sued Granite Grok either despite all his puffed up grandstanding.
It seems neither man has learned that their corruption and nastiness have remained forever on the interwebs. It’s unclear what Windham voters were thinking when they actually re-elected Senibaldi to the school board. Apparently people have short-term memory loss. And now Windham voters are being once again lied to by the same two men who lied to them before in another school board election.
Flash forward to 2017
This time Letizio Jr. and Senibaldi have weaved a new tangled web of lies and deceit and their puppets over at the Windham LINK are helping them out. Windham LINK claims to be unaffiliated to any school board members but Heather Petro, one of the chairs of the site, actually endorsed Senibaldi during the last election. Danyelle Stuckart, also a chair of Windham LINK, actually pushed Senibaldi’s false claim that a visit to the superintendent of Windham Schools by Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut was somehow a board event but some board members weren’t invited.
The visit to the superintendent wasn’t a party that some people weren’t invited to. Edelblut was invited to visit with the superintendent by Ken Eyring because he knows Edelblut personally. Edelblut wasn’t meeting with the school board. That was never the intention and even Representative David Bates corroborated the story at a meeting in late February. But that’s not good enough for Senibaldi, Letizio Jr. and their minions. These people are claiming it’s somehow “lack of transparency” and have not only written about it on their website but got the Eagle Tribune to write about it as well. Of course, the Eagle Tribune neglected to post Representative Bates comments that he made at a board meeting in their article.
There are two school board members up for re-election this term, Rob Breton and Ken Eyring. In a recent ad by Windham resident Anthony Massahos, there are a list of things that happened prior to Eyring’s becoming a member of the board and accomplishments after he became a member of the school board. It seems this ad is what prompted Letizio Jr. to take out his own version, listing some of the very same former Windham School Board members who were part of the problem on the school board, including two who were voted out of office partially because of the no-bid, backroom Cenergistic contract, Joanis and Rekart.WINDY 2017 vote smart ad
Why is any of this important? Letizio Jr. and Senibaldi are pushing to get Breton re-elected and McAllister elected so the power of the school board is back in the hands of the corrupt. Eyring has a list of accomplishments that have not only shined the light on bad practices that were happening in the town but he’s clearly, along with Popovici-Muller and Murray, done things to make the schools better for Windham children along with making the school board more transparent to the taxpayers of Windham.
Given Letizio Jr.’s and Senibaldi’s checkered and questionable past history, it’s clear they prefer corruption, lies and deceit over honesty, transparency and truthfulness. Windham residents deserve better than the abhorrent behavior of these two who are once again dragging the town through the mud.