Monday, August 27, 2012


(For those who can’t decode this, it stands for Post Script to Public Servant Paul Perzanoski’s Public Political Pronouncements.)

It occurred to us that the recent, ill-considered official staff memo by the Brunswick School Superintendent could be construed as political harassment, to suggest a variation on the widely recognized notion of sexual harassment in the workplace.

As we see it, the formal memorandum presupposes complete unanimity among all staff members on political matters and agendas.  And that in a not so subtle way, if you don’t agree with the stated administration/department position, you risk being ostracized, or a political outcast, or worse.

In so many words, the memo creates a hostile political work environment, in which employees are assumed to align with the partisan inclinations of their superiors, rather than keep their political lives to themselves, unfettered by workplace pressures.

On a different note, some of you may know Brunswick resident Jim Bouchard (there may be more than one!), who is a Black Belt Champion and Motivational Speaker, among other things.  You can learn more about him here.

We have seen Jim from time to time in public roles, but have not had the pleasure of meeting him, though we hope to do so very soon.  We discovered via mutual acquaintances that Jim had drafted an inspired response to Mr. PP’s official memo, and he has graciously agreed to let us post it here for your edification:

Dear School Board Member:

It seems that it’s Brunswick school superintendent Paul Perzanoski who needs a lesson in “civility...diplomacy” and common sense.

Granted- it’s an internal memo, however, Brunswick school superintendent Paul Perzanoski is, by his own lament, a horribly abused public servant. His words are open to public scrutiny.

Forget what he said about Governor LePage. The governor is a big boy and he can handle the criticism. I’m even more troubled by these words:

“We endure enough pathology just by making the choice to work in public service.”

Well then, Mr. Perzanoski...quit.

I’ll assume that as an educator, Mr. Perzanoski is intentionally applying the secondary usage of “pathology.” That is to indicate “any deviation from a healthy, normal or efficient condition.” Even giving him the benefit of the doubt, his words are a gross insult to those of us who pay his salary and the salaries of those in public education who, according to his memo, must now endure the “annoyance that the (two month!) break so desperately needed is close to completion.”

In other words, his memo seems to imply that working in public education is a terrible burden and onerous personal sacrifice in which one endures unhealthy, abnormal and inefficient working conditions. Given the current state of public education at large, we may have to concede the point on inefficiency.

I admire, respect and appreciate the dedication of our educators both in the public and the private sector. Having said that, let’s look at some facts:

Please correct me if my math is wrong, but according to the Brunswick school budget, 172 full-time and 4 part-time teachers were paid about $9.5 million in salaries not counting benefits and stipends. This means an average salary of $54,000, slightly higher than the $53,000 mean salary of everyone in Brunswick according to pay

...and of course teachers enjoy two-months paid vacation.

Mr. Perzanoski’s salary is $127,800. According to, Governor LePage makes just over half of that.

This is not, however, about the money. The finances simply put things in perspective.

Mr. Perzanoski, you’re making a damn good living! Your teachers are paid in proportion to the people they serve. You have a brand new elementary school and a beautiful high school. The people of Brunswick have sucked it up consistently to maintain your budget as much as possible despite the tremendous losses we’ve all suffered as a result of the recession and the BNAS closing.

It’s not the governor’s job to educate the students of Brunswick, Mr.’s your job.

If you’re concerned about competition from private educators, then compete with them by improving your results, not by complaining about the competition. If your concern is a shrinking budget; welcome to our world.

We’re sick of it too, Mr. Perzanoski. We’re sick when we make personal sacrifices to support our community and invest in public officials who seem to offer little other than to bite the hands that feed them...ours.

If you’re so overwhelmed by our “pathology,” then for the sake of your own health you should consider another career.


Jim Bouchard
Brunswick Citizen

Side isn’t into tennis, but if we were, we’d be moved to declare ‘game, set, match to Jim Bouchard’ after reading his response to the Superintendent’s unforced errors. Not to mention the balls involved in making those errors.

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