Incumbents seek re-election in Meredith

MEREDITH — Three sitting selectmen, whose terms expire in March, have filed for re-election. Nathan Torr, the current chairman of the Board of Selectmen, and Jonathan James, who is serving his first term on the board, are candidates for three-year terms. Michael Pelczar, who is also serving his first term, has filed for a one-year term.

Stephen Nedeau has filed for re-election to a two-year term as Moderator.

The filing period closes on Friday, January 29.

– Michael Kitch

Belmont Town Meeting to discuss groundwater protection Saturday

BELMONT — The deliberative session of the annual Town Meeting is this Saturday at the Belmont High School at 10 a.m.

Voters will be able to discuss and make changes to warrant articles, including Article 8, which is the the town's operating budget request of $7,345,399. If this fails, a default budget of $7,427,658 will go into effect for 2016.

The one article submitted by petition can be discussed but not changed at the deliberative session is Article 2 which, if passed, would prohibit all industrial uses in the Aquifer and Groundwater Protection District. The Planning Board does not recommend this article.

Article 3 is a bond for $375,000 for the purpose of reconstruction a box culvert on Hoadley Road. Because this is a bond, this article must pass by a 3/5 vote and is supported by both the Board of Selectmen and the Budget Committee.

Article 4 will allow the selectmen to enter into a long-term lease for a new pumper truck for Belmont Fire and Rescue for up to $560,000 payable over a term of 120 months. The article allows the town to raise and appropriate $63,507 for the first years payment and further authorizes that this money come from the Fire/Ambulance Equipment and Apparatus Special Revenue Fund which was established for the purpose of purchase large equipment. Because the lease does not include an escape clause, this article must pass by a 3/5 vote. The Budget Committee and the Board of Selectmen recommend this article.

Article 5 proposes to amend a vote taken in 1999 that restricts all ambulance billing revenue to the Fire/Ambulance Equipment account to restrict all but the first $45,500 to the account. For at least five years, the town has been using a small portion of this account for training expenses, medical and supply expenses and ambulance billing fees. A 2/3 majority is needed to pass and both the Budget Committee and the Board of Selectmen recommend passage.

Article 6 proposed to use the same Fire /Ambulance equipment account to purchase a new command vehicle for $40,000. The selectmen and the Budget Committee recommend passage and since this is a one-time only expense, a simple majority is needed to pass.

A number of warrant articles seek to add a total of $855,950 to seven capital reserve accounts including bridge repair and highway reconstruction.
Voting on the articles will take place on Election Day, March 8. The Town Clerk/Tax Collector's Office will be open until 5 p.m. today to take filings for office, as it is the last day to file.

Sign up now for Gilmanton town offices; Town Meeting is Saturday

By Gail Ober - Laconia Daily Sun

GILMANTON – With today as the last day residents can sign up to run for town offices, there are still two positions with no candidates for the Budget Committee and and one one-year position for the selectboard with no candidate.

Town Clerk Tax Collector Deb Cornett said as of Thursday incumbent Selectman Donald Guarino has signed up for re-election, Rob Burdette is running for Trustee of the Trust Funds, J.R. Stockwell is running for Cemetery Trustee, Deb Chase is running for Library Trustee, Mark Sisti is running for Town Moderator and Glen Waring is running for Town Treasurer. Cornett said the Town Clerk/Tax Collectors Office will be open until 5 p.m. today for election sign-ups only.

When voters go to Saturday's deliberative session of Town Meeting at 10 a.m. at the Gilmanton School, they will have 24 warrants to discuss.

Of the more controversial, petitioned Article 3 asks voters to eliminate the use of Class A and Class B bio-solids or sludge in Gilmanton. The Planning Board does not recommend this article.

Article 4, which is also by petition, asks voters to authorize the selectmen to enter into a three-year agreement with the Gilmanton Year-round Public Library in the amount of $150,000 with $50,000 to be raised by taxes in 2016. This article needs a 3/5 majority to pass and is recommended by both the Selectboard and the Budget Committee.

Article 5 is the general appropriation budget of $3,576,702. If this budget passes, the default budget will go into effect at $3,536,569. The Budget Committee and the selectmen both recommend its passage.

Articles 6 through 15 ask voter to appropriate money for various items including a Fire Department command vehicle, a new police cruiser, a six-wheel dump truck, a compactor for the transfer stations, a generator for the academy building, and money for municipal document restoration. Many of these expenditures are offset by money being held in respective capital reserve accounts and all are recommended by selectmen and the Budget Committee.

Voters are also being asked to rescind the provisions of SB2 or RSA 40:13, the Official Ballot Law. If passed by three-fifth of the voters, the town will return to the original Town Meeting form of government, where the warrant articles are voted upon at the meeting, rather than during Election Day.

There are two anti-nepotism articles for consideration on Gilmanton's ballot, both of which were added by petition. The first is Article 23 which, if passed, will prevent individuals for serving on the Budget Committee or the Board of Selectmen while a member of their immediate family or household member is a department head employed by the town of Gilmanton.

The second, Article 24, is also submitted by petition and asks voters to prohibit individuals from serving as members of the Gilmanton Budget Committee or Board of Selectmen while employed by the town or school district.

Both of these articles use N.H. RSA 31:39, a conflict of interest statutes,  to support the petitioners' requests.