Wells vs. Nickerson: lots of experience in race for Sanbornton Selectboard

SANBORNTON — It's deja vu all over again in Sanbornton as former Selectmen Patsy Wells challenges incumbent Selectmen Dave Nickerson for the three-term seat on the Board of Selectmen.
Nickerson won the seat six years ago after Wells served one term and decided not to seek reelection because she was helping her family start a business.
Incumbent Nickerson said Tuesday he was seeking a third term because he wants to see the total completion of the "Y" or Lower Bay Road project, which will go into its "punch list" or finishing details phase after a meeting scheduled for Friday.
Nickerson said he is retired and "has the time to put into being a selectman." "I also like giving back," Nickerson said.
Accomplishments that he said occurred during his six years are the near completion of the "Y" Project including the extension of the project to Steele Hill Road, the completion of the new highway garage, the Blackbrook Road and Maple Circle road and storm water runoff projects and the purchase of a new firetruck and ambulance.
He said the town was able to do many of the above projects largely with federal money and keep the amount to be raised by local taxes consistently around $3.2 million annually.
"Our budgets have been conservation," he said, noting that many taxpayers are struggling in this economy and his role is to keep the tax rate in the future as low as possible.
Wells, who is the town moderator — she assumed the role when former Moderator Liz Merry moved and was elected to complete the two-year term last year — is like-minded in her concerns about the tax rate and the tax burden on Sanbornton's residents.
One of her primary upcoming concerns is the use of the former Bodwell land behind the Sanbornton Town Library and Old Town Hall.
"When we bought the land it was to protect it," she said adding that in the seven years since the purchase there is still no walkway for the Sanbornton Central School students.
"We have to get our children off of the road," she said.
She said the vision for the property was for a town park with the relocation of the towns war memorials and the aforementioned walking path.
She also said she has heard some talk about building a new town office building between two of the existing buildings. "Those are the most photographed buildings in the area," she said noting the library, the church and the town hall represent the three pillars of what Sanbornton represents — learning, church and government.
She also said she doesn't want to see the money currently spent on retiring bonds get rolled over into the general fund. "These monies should go back to the taxpayer," she said.
Wells also said she was familiar with the "Y" project as she sat on the Board of Selectmen when the project was first conceived.
As to reducing the overall tax burden, Wells said she would want to work closely with the Winnisquam Regional School District, Belknap County and the state to keep the tax burden as low as possible.
The town election is Tuesday, May 14 and polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Old Town Hall. Annual Town Meeting is Wednesday beginning at 7 p.m. at the Sanbornton Central School.