Library has to change hours after board vote
by Jack Deming
May 16, 2013 | 3959 views | 28 28 comments | 35 35 recommendations | email to a friend | print
READSBORO- At a special school board meeting with library trustees on May 7, the school board decided with a 2-1 vote to restrict public access to the community library for the remainder of the school year. The public will now only be able to access the library after school hours, while a permanent solution is found. The library will feature normal summer hours, after the school year ends in June.

The special meeting was called to resolve issues concerning a Vermont school board of insurance audit, which listed access through the community library as the school’s number one security concern. The library has raised concerns because it can only be accessed from inside the school by three doors: one in the main hallway, one in the main classroom hub, and one that connects to a classroom. Fire code does not allow for any of the doors to be locked. According to Readsboro Central School principal Michael Heller, patrons have attempted to leave the library through the classroom door on three separate occasions this school year alone.

The situation came to a head at a selectboard meeting on May 1, when library trustee Priscilla Margola turned in, and later rescinded a resignation letter, after an altercation with school staff regarding security measures. Margola had attempted to access the library from the classroom hall without checking in at the school office and being issued a badge. Margola said she was “manhandled” and “humiliated” by school officials, while Heller said Margola was uncooperative about following security measures the public must abide by.

While the decision is considered a temporary solution, some believe it was a rash decision. School board member and school director Dana Rapp voted against the change of hours, wanting a better solution than keeping the public out. “There are ways to work around this, and the solution didn’t need to come immediately,” said Rapp. “I voted against it, because I think the school and library trustees should work together and come up with ways to access the library in the interim, before a long-term solution is made.”

Rapp voted against the measure while school board members Larry Hopkins and Karen Boisvert voted for it.

The hours went into effect on Monday, and allow the public access from 3 to 7pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 3 to 5 pm on Wednesdays. The new schedule will eliminate Monday’s hours of operations joining Friday as days the library is closed.

The decision infuriated library trustees, who accused the board of being close-minded and not working with them to come up with a solution. “I’m really disappointed they decided to give us just five days notice to close the library until 3 pm,” said Mary Angus, library trustee chair. “I know that security is an issue with incidents that have happened all over the country, but I just would rather be able to work with the school board and find a way that would not limit use of the library.”

Angus said the trustees had begun looking into creating a separate entrance to the library from outside the building, but the school board turned them down. “The school board asked the trustees for recommendations to solve the problem, and ours was to have the separate entrance. We’re looking at ways to fund it, and they said it would take too long, so they voted for a short-term solution and to restrict the hours, instead of a new door and a long-term solution.”

Hopkins agrees that the only suitable long-term solution would be the construction of an outdoor access, but Hopkins also warned the short-term hour restriction could become long term if the trustees can not come up with a plan. “ We (the school board) told them to expect changes in March,” said Hopkins. “We shared the hard copy of the security audit with their chairperson in April, and said they would need to come back and talk about it.”

Hopkins said that the trustees had four weeks to come up with a solution, but came up empty-handed at the meeting with no solid long-term solutions. “They pretty much had nothing about what to do after four weeks.”

Angus said the trustees had tried to bring in a contractor to look at the building and perform work and cost estimations, but the school board became angry when they did, saying they had no right to bring in contractors. According to Hopkins, this is because the school board is solely responsible for the building and must be notified before anyone comes in to address alterations to the building. Hopkins also said that since the meeting, the schoolboard had informed Principal Heller that the trustees are now allowed to bring in contractors to do estimates.

Angus still hopes that the school board will work with the trustees to come up with a permanent solution, because she is concerned about the community that uses the library daily, including home-schooled children, a preschool day care in town, and the elderly who can’t always make it to the library later in the day. “We would like to have a separate entrance by the time the next school year begins,” said Angus. “They dropped it in our lap and we have to come up with a solution if we don’t want our hours permanently cut.”

Angus said the trustees are looking into funding measures as well as grants.

“We satisfied the school’s needs for the short term,” said Hopkins. “The ball’s in their court.”

Heller said that for safety’s sake, this was the right decision, but he hopes a mutual long-term decision can be made by the beginning of the next school year. “This forces everyone to address it and yes, the emotions are high, but I think as far as the safety of students it’s the right decision. We don’t want to cast a negative light on anyone, we just need to have an open discussion and make a solution.”

Comments
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clarence2
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May 24, 2013
There cant be significant interest in town on this topic as there is far more discussion here than about town.

Still seems like no progress actually being made so i better consult the Mayor of town and leave the Major blogging to you..lol

clarence2
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May 24, 2013
What is a Major of Readsboro?

Never heard that one before. Maybe I need more library time and a lesson in literacy?
Serenity1978
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May 24, 2013
Clarence2...

from Merriam-Webster

1)ma·jor adjective/noun \ˈmā-jər\

a : one that is superior in rank, importance, size, or performance

1: greater in dignity, or interest

: prominent

A few choice Related Words... fatal, fateful, strategic; grave, serious, distinctive, exceptional, impressive, outstanding, prominent, remarkable; valuable, distinguished, eminent, great, illustrious, noble, notable, noteworthy, outstanding, preeminent, prestigious; famous, notorious, renowned; all-important, central, critical, crucial, essential, key, pivotal, seminal, vital

...and for laughs and giggles...taking over the town would allow you the Major of your life...

: of or relating to a subject of academic study chosen as a field of specialization

: to pursue an academic major

Serenity1978
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May 24, 2013
Clarence2... If you want to Major of Readsboro so bad why don't you have the regulations changed for that and just take over the town.
Serenity1978
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May 24, 2013
*be
Cyndi1961
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May 24, 2013
To Clarence2,

The trustees did not decide to shut the lights off and lock the doors. Look at the numbers there is not money in the budget to do anything different I do work my allotted hours. No it is only a paycheck to me I enjoy my position and am passonate about literacy. I hate the stress and the fact that it has become a struggle ..... I am and have been willing to work as one which is how it should be.
clarence2
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May 23, 2013
I have read post after post and all i see is wining and complaining by what appears to be self serving puppets. Maybe if you used some of your ill directed energies towards solving the problem instead of just adding to it, maybe the hours could be restored? To me, the school has not eliminated hours of operation to the public, but rather just set a window of hours to be open. The reduction in hours and services is solely the result of the trustees decision. They have decided to be open 3 days a week. what happened to the other 2 days and weekends? I bet its because their labor doesnt want to work those hours so they just lock up and turn lights out. What have they done to restore services to the community? Nothing ! Its about time the school and its administration takes steps to insure our childrens safety and not cower down again to self serving workers who apparently only care about there own pay check.
VTLocalPal
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May 23, 2013
If I'm so pitiful,VtLocalPal2, then how come you copied my name?! Sounds like you're the pathetic one!!!! Clarence has been the only person to make sense with his comments. Although I do enjoy reading Hithardintheheads comments simply due to the fact that they never even come close to making sense, and I love a good laugh!! Keep em coming!!
VTLocalPal2
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May 25, 2013
Do I really care what you do? Your answer to that is NO! I will purposely write what I want and when I want to! You are not my boss, so you can't tell me what to do.. I do things on my own terms and I have been successful at what I've done! You're the only one here that is attacking me, maybe you need to take that long look in the mirror. You just poke yourself around until you see a poor innocent person, then you attack with all your might! You can cut manure and go bully someone else because its not working!
Really2013
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May 23, 2013
How exactly does the school try to stress the rules and guidelines referred to in the handbook that the school board wrote and that each parent signed?

From the Handbook:

4. a school that recognizes the value of parents and the community;

To find ways to include and integrate parent and community participation

in our school and classrooms as we:

• create and maintain an active PTG that plays a meaningful role in

supporting students and staff in our journey towards the fulfillment of

our vision

• establish a parent volunteer program

• foster community and business partnerships

• encourage service learning in a supportive community

• participate in

cooperative events

• establish connections with senior citizens

• create parent partnerships

• involve community in celebration

The entire Hand Book then is quite worthless as it can all be taken as guidelines not law. So we truly don't know what is being followed and what isn't. The Hand Book serves best to boost the appeal of the board and the school or for wood stove starter fuel.

As noted by others, it was said by others that the recommendations made by the insurance company were just that; only recommendations, yet their recommendations are being followed up on. Apparently their "guidelines" mean much more than ours do! Are we to shelter our children so as they are ill equipped to deal with the real world in fear that something might happen some day?

You can place all the protection and security you want on them but they are still going to be exposed to dangers and unethical goings on. Why is it the children are allowed personal cell phones and such and are accessing Face Book during school hours? I'm sure most parents weren't allowed walk-mans, portable CD players, Ipods, pagers, cell phones, and such when they attended school; if they were caught with any of those items they would've been confiscated. No one can predict incidents such as the school bus driver whom was intoxicated while driving the children to school. Children see and hear more then they're given credit for, how about rumored affairs between staff that is public knowledge? To me all of this is as important; if not more so then someone coming in to simply read a book.

So community is stressed when? When they're asked to attend an event and then donate money to the school? Why would they want to attend an event if they're so unsafe to be allowed around the children? "Foster community and business partnership" the board/school is doing a great job modeling this by bringing in contractors from every area but our own community! What an insult.

All that's happening here is people allowing scare tactics to win. The Trustee that day was caught off guard and it was a bad situation. Are all of you perfect, never having made a mistake or having said something you wished you could take back? People in glass houses shouldn't be the first to throw stones. No one could say for sure how they would react in a situation and she has taken a lot of heat for this. The directors/board/administration were waiting for a chance like this for a couple years now. This was a calculated move and so is the continued stress regarding safety. Scare the parents and then issue solved period. This is what they wanted, a feeding frenzy, and now they have it. In this day in age I'd be more concerned with children moving on to Drury than being exposed to a community member in Readsboro, but hey what do I know? We'll just let the school be run by A.)a board that doesn't believe in it's people or contractors and B.)a leader whose biding their time until a job closer to home opens, leave their mark; making all these changes, and leave us again. Then what?

ZRyderRSox
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May 24, 2013
Really: Your post sure is full of assumptions....nor does it have any logical basis. Get your facts straight you moron! I bet you would be the first person to blame the school if something went wrong and accuse them of not doing too much. Grow up and get a life......really??
Serenity1978
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May 23, 2013
If it is okay to allow the community to enter the library at 4 pm when the after school program is running or when children are there in the summer how is it truly different then when they occupy the school at 1 pm? Is their safety less of a concern at 4 pm then at 1 pm... no it is an insurance issue, so let's call a spade a spade Clarence2! Who are you working for- big business and satisfying them and their demands and suggestions.

Does the town really need a Community Library? Hmmm, Let's think about this for a minute- this is a small community- many frequent the library to use the computers for school purposes (i.e higher education), arts and crafts with their children, borrowing books, attending the events, socializing, job searches, and much more. For many people the library is within walking distance and it can open up a whole world of opportunities on any given day. How many people would lose out on this if the library was gone and they had to drive to North Adams?

Quite honestly I would be much more concerned with the door leading from the town office into the gymnasium. Everyone knows that it is there, and anyone who has a beef or wants to do harm to a child is more apt to use this entrance then the Community Library route, but this safety measure isn't a concern in the least? Why is that, you have every Tom, Dick, and Harry waltzing in and out of the town office paying the utility bill, tax bill, and so forth- these are the people that may have issues or be upset and then "want to take it out" on the children to make a statement. To walk through that office with one or two women is a lot easier then being buzzed in, walking past an office, and then doing the harm.

There is obviously more to this issue and other agendas- as usual. It's all about who works for who and what serves who's purposes.

We have people running the town that don't trust their own townspeople to bid for the contracts on the school renovations. People who are licensed to do the work. Really? Contractors that have been doing this all their life "and can't be trusted with steel" or "you want them to do that". Instead of supporting a small town and the people within it, we will bring in outsiders who will blow up the quotes to include hotels and/or gas/mileage. This is the mentality we are working with, my thoughts are if you don't trust the people here then perhaps you should be the one to leave.....
ZRyderRSox
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May 24, 2013
Serenity: Please get your facts straight. I will not even waste my energy on 90% of your posting. I will pose this question to you:

If you're so concerned about the library being open can you please tell me why you are not complaining about their summer hours? I would think being closed Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday would be troublesome for someone such as yourself. Or are you one of those individuals simply jumping on the bandwagon and complaining for the sake of complaining?
clarence2
|
May 21, 2013
To Cyndi1961,

Everyone knows the situation and realizes no one can force an elected official to resign. What you fail to acknowledge is the fact the trustees found her actions unbecoming and found the need to ask her to resign. There is a huge difference between asking and forcing. It appeared to be a good faith effort on behalf of the trustees to support the school in there efforts to make it a safe learning environment for the students. The reversal by the trustees to support her rescinding her resignation was a slap in the face to the school and its administration. Maybe that lack of support led to the directors taking it into there own hands?

The handbook you refer to is just that, a handbook that shows rules and items that the school tries to stress in its daily activities. Simply put, guidelines, not law. The school is bound by statute and law to provide a safe learning environment for the students and that leads me to ask " do you put a higher priority on a community member who can not come in the library at 1:00 but has to wait until 4:00 to read a book above the safety of the students"? If you answer yes, you are obviously slanted in your opinion of the overall focus of schools in general. All the items you listed in the handbook are still being done just as completely as they were before within the school, but just because they were forced to adjust or limit the hours of the library, the library doesnt want to adjust to insure they can provide the same level to their clientele .

My understanding is the conference room is a library room, but not the library's? Its a room dedicated to the Community sector but still not a possession of the community library. Do you pay a tax, water, sewer, electric, heat and insurance to be there? I dont see that in the town report under there budget.

As far as working together, from what I have read in minutes and newspaper articles, the school has given the trustees every chance in the world to work together but the trustees have nothing to offer. Seems like they just sit and complain and do absolutely nothing. As far as I would be concerned, the school was quite easy on the library. They could have said only hours after 3:00 until the end of this school year and "out" by Sept for the next school year.

Are you not also the Community Librarian but also the school's Asst Librarian?

Seems like someone working for both would refrain from dissing one in favor of the other. If you do not like part of your job because of your employer's action and diss them publicly, maybe its time to resign that position?
rustybolt
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May 19, 2013
After hearing all the facts I believe the trustee should resign along with some of the others I believe this whole thing was preplaned.They must understand times are changing.With the internet today does readsboro really need a library?Whats the daily head count ?Or do certain people keep it open with false numbers to create a job?
clarence2
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May 18, 2013
I been listening to peole talk and have asked a few questions and read minutes of meetings and I will maske a few comments on what Ive seen and read.

The trustee in question who is the root of all the problems feels a sense of entitlement, will not sign in, will not wear a badge , feels the trustees own the conference room, accuses people of manhandling her and being rude and unprofessional. She also called the students "little B******s" within earshot. Supposedly the Principle wrote a letter to their board, they met and asked for her resignation and agreed the trustees actions were unprofessional and unbecoming of the position. She agreed to resign and submitted a letter to the select board for action. Instead of accepting the resignation without question, they polled the other trustees who attended the board meeting if they were okay with her rec=scinding the resignation and according to the select board minutes of May 1, 2013, the trustees agreed to taking her back.

If my information is correct, and I beleive it is, there was a very unprofessional action by a trustee, verified by other trustees, a resignation was asked for, agreed to, then they did a complete 360 degree turn and supported the reinstatement?

Thats some great support the trustees gave the school.

From what I know of the Phatman, this probably played more into his position than the door itself.No doubt someday it will all come out.

VTLocal, this guy is every name under the sun.Hit this Hit that, anyway its obvious hes been Hitonetheheadtoomanytimes?
VTLocalPal
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May 19, 2013
Clarence I couldn't agree more. This whole thing is taking a turn towards ridiculous, like so many other local issues. I'm wondering why anyone who has the audacity to call students (STUDENTS!!!) names (that can't be repeated due to inappropriateness) is still on the board of trustees? All of her actions are beyond ridiculous, and its disgusting that she even be in a position that would put her in close proximity to kids with her level of immaturity. Did she ever even apologize?! I mean I am pretty disappointed that she wasn't immediately removed from the board on the spot! And I am even more disappointed that her peers on the trustee board essentially wouldn't let her resign. The title " trustee " has the word trust in it, which is something I have none of for none of them! The only thing they seem to be good at, surprise surprise, is complaining!

WHERE IS THE ACCOUNTABILITY?!?!

Geez!!! I think they all have been hit hard in the head! Especially Priscilla!!! Maybe her and Hithardinthehead spend time just knocking their dumb skulls together!!!!! Anyone who calls students nameswhile in their school, and anyone who believes someone like that should be apologized to have DEFINITELY been hit in the head one too many times!!!! Haha! Too bad tar and feathers went out of style hahaha because they are two perfect candidates!!!!!

And on another note-

Oh but I better not say any of this because then I'll be accused of being a bully. If I don't agree with Hithard, then obviously I am a bully. When I was growing up, it was ok to call people out on their stupidity. Not anymore though, thanks to hyper sensitive people like that. When I was a kid we called it like it was, and if you couldn't handle it, like Hithard, then guess what, you're a WUSS!!! Hahaha but heaven forbid I say these things, here come the wolf criers!!!
clarence2
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May 18, 2013
Mr Stephens, did you know that HittheNail volunteered his services on this same website to act as superintendent of schools until the position was filled?

If you follow his rants you will clearly see he has no clue.
VTLocalPal
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May 18, 2013
I think it was Mr. Hithardinthehead who volunteered himself for superintendent. Is hit nail on the head the same person or are these two different people?! I tend to think it's two different people cuz at least Nail on the head uses correct grammar!!!!

Either way,Clarence, I'm really glad to see I'm not the only one who thinks hithardinthehead is in NO way qualified to be superintendent!!!! Yes!!!!.!
hithardinthehead
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May 22, 2013
Did you also seem to think you have no clue what you're talking about!
VTLocalPal2
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May 22, 2013
So even at the last appointment I went to when I talked to the psychologist, she commented that I did seem very intelligent but seemed rather uncomfortable about it...and its not the first time I've had people make that comment while seeming a bit intimidated it seems. I mean is it possible the combination of what seems to be high intelligence and a lot of mental issues needing sorting out is somehow threatening. Just not sure what to think about it. Also when she left after the appointment was over she seemed kind of self conscious about that I seemed to know more about psychology than her and I don't even claim to at all.
HittheNailRightontheHead
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May 17, 2013
In order to have an effective government in place those elected officials should take better notice of their respective jobs.

School administration should take a more active role rather than meet just once a month to delegate all responsibilities onto one individual whom might be unfamiliar with small town ways. (Ever think the one individual might be interpreting directives in different light?)

Shame on the school directors for passing the football too eagerly and endorsing the practice of cancelling the summer month meetings to accommodate certain employees.

Shame also lands on the Library Trustees for meeting in the same fashion rather than stepping it up a notch to avoid the appearance of dragging their feet.

Shame most of all on the townspeople of Readsboro for allowing this nonsense to transpire and accepting one way answers from their elected officials.

Heed this warning...... Beware of those who make the rules, position themselves to be the only source of assistance and more importantly the only outlet to implement those rules. I think H.L Mencken summed it up the best with a quote "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule"
JStephens15
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May 18, 2013
To HittheNailRightontheHead:

People like you make me laugh. You formulate a conclusion without knowing all of the facts. Have you paid attention at all to what is happening at the state level? Have you ever been in the library? Don't place the blame on the people of Readsboro place the blame on our elected officials at the State level and the individuals that do not think school security should be at the forefront.

You have clearly hit your head one to many times. Actually with what I already know about you.... it all makes sense!

John

JStephens15
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May 18, 2013
To HittheNail: Is there a reason you quoted an author who was against a Representative Democracy and satirist? When you are making uninformed comments you might want to choose someone else to quote. Just a thought!
VTLocalPal2
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May 23, 2013
Clearly you fell down the stairs and hit your head on the nail to many times. You clearly know nothing at all and would rather complain and moan about the problems at hand. Think for a minute will you? There are bigger problems here then what local officials do, you seemed to have no intelligence at all. Please run for office so you can mess up our wonderful life and so people like you can rule the world with your stupidity. God forbid you and hope you rest a natural life. Peace be with you!! Lucky thing I don't listen to all of your whinny voices on here, this online paper is such a joke. Maybe this paper should just stop allowing comments on here, get rid of it all.. Its a complete waste of time to here VTLocalPal, Clearance2 and everyone else.. what a waste of time! I could really give a world a care what you all say, because it doesn't mean nothing to me. Y'all are such pitiful sick people and need help bad!!
TFV
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May 16, 2013
IT IS ONE THING TO PROVIDE A SEPARATE ENTRANCE TO THE LIBRARY AND IT IS ANOTHER THING TO ALLOW THE PUBLIC INTO A LIBRARY FILLED WITH SCHOOL CHILDREN - WE KNOW THEY OCCUPY IT FOR A GOOD PART OF THE SCHOOL DAY AND WE ALSO SHOULD REALIZE THAT THE TIME HAS COME FOR A PUBLIC LIBRARY FOR TH ETOWN OF READSBORO. FUNDING COULD BE AVAILABLE FOR THE PROJECT.

I KNOW OF THE PERFECT LOCATION AND WILL SHARE IT WITH ANYONE WHO WANTS TO HEAR.

TOM VET0 - WAITING FOR YOUR CALL OR E-MAIL 413 -250-7812
Cyndi1961
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May 21, 2013
A few clarifications~

First if you know about elected officials you would know that boards have no say in asking someone to resign. Secondly I guess if you feel the trustees are foolish then you must believe the select board is too. When the people that support the school through tax funds are not welcome what does that say about your community?

Taken from the school handbook:

A school that recognizes the value of parents and the community;

To find ways to include and integrate parent and community participation in our school and classrooms as we:

*create a maintain an active PTG that plays a meaningful role in supporting students and staff in our journey toward the fulfillment of our vision

*establish a parent volunteer program

*foster community and business partnerships

*encourage service learning in a supportive community

*participate in cooperative events

*establish connections with senior citizens

*create parent partnerships

*involve community in celebration

Each parent is asked to sign this and hand in at the start of each year. Sounds like to me that they have no regard for this but it sure sounds good doesn't it.

****Also for the record the so called "conference room" is the library.

Why not consider working together?



VTLocalPal2
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May 23, 2013
Really are you serious Tom? Just how much money do you really have??? someone call the IRS!