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Moritz & Lapham top field in Meredith

LACONIA — Ray Moritz and Bev Lapham topped the field of eight candidates to claim the two seats on the Board of Selectmen. Moritz, yesterday, polled 410 votes and Lapham 371.

Michael Pelczar finished third with 320 votes, followed by Rosemary Landry with 260 votes, Jonathan James with 192 votes, Michael Hatch with 113 votes, David Bennett with 90 votes and Roland Tichy with 22 votes.

Altogether 945 voters cast ballots.

Calling himself "a high-tech vagabond," Moritz who served as chief executive officer of several companies, made Meredith his home in 1995 and retired there in 2006.He is treasurer of the Lakes Region Visiting Nurse Association, a director of the Windy Water Conservancy, the successor to the Waukewan Shore Owners Association, and volunteers with the Executive Service Corps, a group of experienced professionals who offer expertise and advice to nonprofit organization for little or no cost.

Lapham moved to Meredith 26 years ago after leaving a career in banking to own a small business, Village Canvas Company, which is now operated by his son. Ever since he has been an active volunteer, as a Rotarian, director of both the Greater Meredith Program and Chamber of Commerce. He led the volunteers who financed and built the boardwalk between Scenic Park and Hesky Park and most recently chaired the created the Sculpture Walk.

Duncan McNeish, Ann butler and Paul Eldridge, all incumbents, were re-elected trustees of the Meredith Public Library without opposition and were joined by Miller Lovett who won the fourth seat unopposed.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 March 2015 01:11

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$22.7M Inter-Lakes budget passes without debate

MEREDITH — Without debate voters unanimously approved the entire warrant at the annual meeting of the Inter-Lakes School District on Wednesday.
The budget of $22,715,206 for 2015-2016, represents an increase of $648,073, or 2.94 percent.

Increases in contributions to the New Hampshire Retirement System of $119,581, heath insurance premiums of $67,761, and special education tuition of $64,600 were the major expenses driving the increase. The replacement of the roof at Inter-Lakes Elementary School, costing $340,000, was offset by $250,000 drawn from an expendable trust fund.
Voters readily approved the cost items included in thenew collective bargaining agreement negotiated with the Inter-Lakes Education Association (ILEA), which represents the 112 individuals, or 104.8 full-time equivalents, employed by the district. The salary schedule would be increased by 2 percent and employees would advance one step on the salary schedule in each of the two years of the agreement. The average increases would be $2,178, or 3.73 percent, in 2015-2016 and $2,190, or 3.6 percent in 2016-2017. The total cost of the increased salaries and benefits would be $222,233 in the first year and $306,612 in the second year.
The agreement will also double the stipend for professional development from $1,200 to $2,400 to encourage staff to seek Masters degrees. The life insurance term policy would be raised from $10,000 to $50,00 and the maximum annual benefits of the dental plan would rise from $1,000 to $1,250.
Proposed increases in expenditures, together with a reduction of $86,543 in revenue represent an increase of $734,616 in the amount to be raised by property taxes, which would raise the net tax burden from $20,532,902 in 2014-2015 to $21,267,518 in 2015-2016, an increase of 3.6 percent. Approval of the collective bargaining agreement with the ILEA would add $222,233 to these totals, increasing the net tax burden in 2015-2016 to $21,489,751, an increase of 4.6 percent.
The total amount to be raised by property taxes is offset by an state adequacy grant to Meredith of $248,981 and an allowance for forest land of $7,706, leaving $21,524,205 to be apportioned between the three towns. Meredith bears approximately 73 percent of the cost, Sandwich 14 percent and Center Harbor 13 percent.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 March 2015 12:52

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PSU interns at Belmont PD complete course - 199PSU students complete interships with Belmont PD

BELMONT — Two criminal justice majors from Plymouth State University have each completed a 300-hour internship with the Belmont Police Department and have been awarded their certificates of completion.

Jeff Plympton is from Wrentham, Mass. and is graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice, with a minor in child welfare. He is a member of Alpha Phi Sigma — the Criminal Justice Honor Society, the Plymouth State University Republicans, and the Criminal Justice Ambassadors.

Plympton plans on returning to Massachusetts to pursue law school and politics.

Brandon Brown is from Rindge and is graduating with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in criminal justice with minors in anthropology, sociology and psychology.
He is a member of Alpha Phi Sigma and is the Vice President of the Criminal Justice Organization.

Brown plans on pursuing a career in law enforcement in New Hampshire.

The two students spent most of their time accompanying officers in patrol cars. They also observed court, spent some time at Shaker Regional High School with the School Resource Officer, and in the dispatch center.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 March 2015 12:46

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‘Culture committee’ formation approved at Shaker School District meeting

BELMONT – Voters at Shaker Regional School District's annual meeting decided to create a "culture committee" to look into how the district interacts with the public and staff members that would include two members of the School Board, two parents, and two members of the administration.

The warrant article, which was added at the end of Friday's meeting and not included in the posted warrant, was overwhelmingly supported by the people who remained for the latter part of the meeting.

Attorney James O'Shaunessy said the warrant article was "advisory only" and does not bind the district to create the committee.

It was first proposed by Jim Miller of Canterbury who also suggested an anonymous culture survey to get a sense of the working conditions at the school district. His motion directed the moderator (Roy Roberts) to choose the members.

It was seconded by Daniel Sperduto also of Canterbury.

According to Sunday Dearborn, a Belmont parent who tried twice to read a prepared statement into the record at the district meeting but was stopped both times by Roberts, the School District administration is not listening to the people.

Dearborn, while speaking in support of the teachers' contract, she said that Shaker was once a "destination" district – meaning parents deliberately moved to Belmont and Canterbury so their children could attend the schools.

"We no longer have that," she said.

When she starting speaking about communications, Roberts cut her off and told her the teachers' contract discussion was not the place or time for what he thought she was going to say.

Dearborn sat down.

At that point Roberts temporarily turned over the moderator's gavel to former Moderator Tom Goulette, who took the microphone and said, "I am convinced we have a culture problem here."

He said he has heard there are letters and phone calls and that, in his opinion, the perception is true.

Dearborn against stood up and said that, in her opinion, there is some staff "intimidation" and the sense of the district is, "If you don't like it you can leave."

Dearborn continued by saying some teachers are choosing early retirement and that there seems to be a lack of support for the teachers and parents.

At that point Roberts again told her to stop and said the district meeting was not a "witch hunt."

Gail Price of Belmont said she thought the "culture committee" was a good idea as did a few others.

During Miller's initial motion, he suggested the moderator (Roberts) be the one to appoint the members of the committee. But O'Shaunessy said that once the meeting was over, the moderator's duties are done.

He described the vote as "sense of the meeting" vote and reiterated it was non-binding.

The School Board meets tonight at 6 p.m. in the library of the Belmont High School and the culture committee is likely to be a topic of conversation.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 March 2015 12:34

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