MONTPELIER — Here are some of the things happening around town this week. It’s a mixed bag of movies, music, politics, and birding.
Tonight at Kellogg-Hubbard Library at 7 p.m. the film “Heima” will be shown. It’s a film documenting a series of free, unannounced concerts by the Icelandic band Sigur Rós in out-of-the-way Icelandic communities. Michael Moynihan will introduce the film and lead a discussion about it.
On Wednesday, the Montpelier Board of School Commissioners is scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. The agenda for the meeting has yet to be published.
However, one item that’s supposed to be on the agenda is a discussion, and possible vote, regarding the Recreation Department.
The City Council formed a committee to look into possibly changing how the Recreation Department functions, and perhaps whether it makes sense for the department to continue reporting to the School Board or whether the City Council should take it over.
As it is now, the Recreation Department is sort of its own separate entity with its own un-elected board that reports to the School Board.
Some city councilors, mainly Tom Golonka and Angela Timpone, are concerned the City Council is not doing enough in terms of oversight of the Recreation Department.
While the Recreation Department reports to the School Board, its nearly $600,000 budget comes from the municipal tax rate rather the school tax rate.
At last week’s City Council meeting School Board Chair Sue Aldrich, School Board Commissioner Ken Jones and folks from the Recreation Department discussed the council’s concerns.
Emotions ran high as Jones and Aldrich think that the current system is working fine and fail to see the need for the City Council to stick their nose into it. Golonka and Timpone think more oversight by the City Council is warranted.
“I think this department needs some direction,” Timpone said.
Aldrich said that the department is healthy and functions well. She said that it’s insulting to imply that the Recreation Department and the School Board aren’t functioning as they should.
In an interview Thursday, Timpone said that there’s not enough tracking of the department’s finances. “It seems too fuzzy to me,” she said.
“It’s the only city department,” Timpone said, “that’s outside city oversight.”
“We asked the School Board and the Recreation Department to take this seriously and they didn’t,” Timpone said. “They came (to the meeting) with sticky notes.”
By just continuing with the status quo, Timpone said, “We’re not being good leaders.”
“I don’t understand their motives,” Aldrich said of the City Council in an interview Thursday. “The budgets are always coming through well.”
On Thursday at Bagitos, Allison Mann and Ira Friedman are scheduled to perform jazz and blues standards from 6 to 8 p.m.
On Sunday at the North Branch Nature Center at 9 a.m. there’s a “Great Backyard Bird Count” scheduled. It’s part of a nationwide science project in which participants can both get some birding in and collect data for scientists studying bird populations.
Also on Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m. there’s dramatic reading of the play “The Con Artist” on the schedule at Bethany Church. The cast is to include Jack Bradt, Ron Lay-Sleeper, Peter Young, Jon Glascoe, Stephen Falbel, Vince Rossano and Vince Broderick.