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.
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