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Newfound voters reject pay raise proposal for teachers

BRISTOL — The towns making up the Newfound Area School District rejected a three-year teacher contract that would have provided step increases plus 2 percent cost-of-living increases in the first two years and step plus 2.5 percent in the third year, as well as a 2 percent increase in co-curricular stipends, in exchange for significant changes in the district's authorized leave policy.
While the Newfound Area School Board supported the new agreement, the budget committee did not recommend the article, pointing out that combining the steps and the COLAs would increase teacher pay by 15 percent over the three-year contract period for teachers now on Step 1, while those at Step 10 would see a three-year increase of 17.5 percent.
Bridgewater, Hebron, and New Hampton voters supported the agreement while Alexandria, Bristol, Danbury, and Groton voted against it. The final tally was 1,053, or 46.7 percent, for the agreement and 1,201, or 53.3 percent, against it.

Voters supported all other articles on the ballot except for the one calling for a school resource officer. During the deliberative session, voters had reduced the funding for the position from $51,840 to zero.

Last Updated on Thursday, 13 March 2014 12:49

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Alton voters agree to spend $4.2 million on school

ALTON — School District voters here approved a $4.2 million plan for renovation, repairs and an addition to the Alton Central School by a 611-340 vote Tuesday. The proposal, which required 60 percent approval, earned 62 percent of the vote. But an article which would have appropriated $500,000 for a $1 million metal roof at Prospect Mountain High School, with the other half of the money coming from Barnstead, fell short of the required 60 percent even though it was supported by a 526-427 majority. Voters did approve a new two-year contract with the Alton teachers by 575-359 vote. The contract adds $96,472 in salary and benefit costs in the first year and $95,599 in the second year.

Last Updated on Thursday, 13 March 2014 12:44

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Workforce housing ordinance passes in Alton

ALTON — An amendment to the town's zoning ordinance which would identify areas where so-called workforce housing is permitted was adopted by an overwhelming 634-297 vote Tuesday.
Petitioned warrant articles which would have had the town not pay $7,000 in fees for membership in the Lakes Region Planning Commission and would have eliminated the positions of town planner and town assessor were also defeated by wide margins.
The LRPC article lost 558-370, the town planner article 650-283 and the assessor article 658-282.
An article to combine the offices of town clerk and tax collector was adopted 609-326.
Cydney Johnson (517) and Lou LaCourse (503) won three-year terms as selectmen, edging out Phil Wittmann (503).


Last Updated on Thursday, 13 March 2014 12:39

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Regional planning commissions dodge Cormier bullet in House

CONCORD — The New Hampshire House of Representatives last week scuttled a bill, sponsored by Rep. Jane Cormier (R-Alton) to do away with the nine regional planning commissions by a margin to 238 to 91.

The Municipal and County Government Committee unanimously recommended the bill "inexpedient to legislate." Reporting for the committee Rep. Kris Roberts (D-Keene) noted that municipalities are not required to join or fund regional planning commissions and said that abolishing them would be "foolhardy."

A majority of the 18 representatives from Belknap County supported the bill as 10 of the 13 Republicans on the delegation voted against the motion to kill it. The 10 were Reps. Richard Burchell of Gilmanton, Guy Comtois of Barnstead, Cormier and Stephen Holmes of Alton, Charles Fink and Michael Sylvia of Belmont, Bob Greemore, Herb Vadney and Colette Worsman of Meredith and Bob Luther of Laconia. Vadney chaired the Meredith Planning Board and served on the board of the Lakes Region Planning Commission for nearly a decade before becoming a state representative and selectman.

Two Republicans — Reps. Frank Tilton of Laconia and Dennis Fields of Sanbornton — joined the five Democrats — Reps. Beth Arsenault and David Huot of Laconia, Lisa DiMartino of Gilford, Ruth Gulick of New Hampton and Ian Raymond of Sanbornton — voted with the majority to reject the bill. Rep. Don Flanders (R-Laconia) was absent and did not vote.

Last Updated on Thursday, 13 March 2014 12:32

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