To The Daily Sun,
As some voters of Bristol may know, I am candidate for re-election to the Budget Committee in Bristol. I have served the past three years with some wonderful people who take Bristol's fiscal matters seriously and dedicate their efforts accordingly. I strongly believe that the town's budget should be deliberated with an open mind, but with strength of conviction especially when it comes to prioritizing the needs vs. wants of departments. I believe you will find that I have balanced this well with my voting record these past three years and hope you will support me as I seek another term.
Serving with me on Budget Committee these last three years was Paul Manganiello. He is a now a candidate for Selectboard. I fully endorse his desire to make a difference for Bristol so I want to share with you my reasons for supporting Paul as our next Selectboard member.
He is his own man. He votes his own conviction. He is mindful of the costs of running the town. He strives to balance the needs of town government with the taxpayer burden. He understands the impact of taxation on households and businesses and its threat to economic development.
I am voting for Paul Manganiello for Selectboard. I hope you will, too.
See you at the polls on March 10.
William "Bill" Cote
Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 March 2015 11:57
To The Daily Sun,
I am running because I am "for" stuff. Some people who are asking for your write in vote are simply "against" stuff. They are "against" attending Alton School Board meetings unless they find the one issue they can rally against. Some are "against" the proposed business model, some are "against" Superintendent Lander, some are "against" former principal Leggett, some are "against" the short time frame used to make the decision, and some are just "against" me. I get it. But where were they when we needed to decide on a $4 million addition, or a $1 million roof, or whether or not to have a lottery for our pre-K, or what our $15 million budget should consist of, or what should be our priorities in developing a long-term strategic plan. They have been "against" attending a single Prospect Mountain High School Board meeting or JMA meeting, or policy meeting? That is a lot of meetings they chose "against" attending.
I am "for" working my posterior off for the kids in Alton. This year I have attended 14 ACS School Board meetings, 13 PMHS School Board meetings, 14 Finance Committee meetings, 12 Building and Grounds meetings, 28 construction meetings, two Selectboard meetings, five or six Budget Committee meetings, three public hearings, two deliberative sessions, 14 contract negotiation meetings, three attorney meetings, one workshop, and 24 manifest reviews. The 98 meetings alone total well over 250 hours not including manifest reviews, preparation time, and three seminars on school board governance. You should not elect me because I work hard, you should not elect me if I didn't.
I am "for" putting our Alton kids first even if that means running our own high school with one superintendent, one business manager, one secretary and Alton's own educational vision. I am also absolutely "for" educating Barnstead's kids at Prospect Mountain through tuition reimbursement. I am "for" paying our teachers a competitive salary so we can retain the best and the brightest. I am "for" protecting our children from fire and abuse. I am "for" a zero no tolerance policy against bullying. I am "for" one-to-one technology in the hands of our kids K-8.
I am "for" not wasting one penny when it comes to making a budgetary decision. I am "for" improving the nutritional value and quality of our lunches by looking at non-traditional models. I am "for" improving our mediocre comparative state test results. I am "for" teaching our kids handwriting and raising the bar on math competency. I am "for" increasing the number of actual instructional days for grades 1 through 8. I am "for" teacher accountability based with thoughtful visionary evaluations. I am "for" nurturing creativity in both art and music. I am "for" getting rid of the lottery and giving every Alton child a seat at the educational table. I am "for" project based learning I am "for" putting a civics curriculum in the middle school. I am "for" giving ACS students the ability to take high school classes and earn high school credits. I am "for" dual college enrollment at PMHS. I am "for" using excess teacher improvement funds to help needy seniors pay for SAT or college application fees. I am "for" making ACS and PMHS the schools of choice for any family contemplating moving into southern or central New Hampshire.
I am "for" highlighting my positions whether popular or not. Most important; I have always been "for" and will always be "for" Alton's kids.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 March 2015 11:53
To The Daily Sun,
My name is Raymond "Mickey" Daigle and I am running for Gilmanton Road Agent. I have lived in Gilmanton for 40 years, operating RM Daigle Excavating here for 38 years.
I was a member of the Gilmanton Corner Fire Department, a member of the Gilmanton Budget Committee and chairman of the Gilmanton Roads Committee. I plowed and worked as a subcontractor on Gilmanton roads for the past three road agents during the 1970s and '80s. I have been active in other town organizations and affairs volunteering time and equipment.
Today the Gilmanton Road Budget is close to $1 million and it is important that the department be efficient, responsive and accountable, and that the value received from existing funding is maximized. I will work cooperatively with selectmen and other departments and encourage support from the roads committee, experienced residents, the Municipal Association and other administrators. I will respond in a timely manner to all contacts.
Working cooperatively with the Roads Committee and other resources we will evaluate existing road infrastructure to develop a long-range plan of work for the community placing the town in a proactive rather than a reactive position. Employees will be supported with appropriate training and licensing. Town facilities will be repaired and maintained. An inventory of town equipment, tools and supplies will be created and maintained.
I would commit the town roads crew to regular/preventative road maintenance and equipment and facilities upkeep. Major equipment repairs would be performed by a qualified, experienced provider. Road reconstruction projects would be adequately designed, proposed through a warrant article for the voters to approve and accomplished through the bid process by companies with the right experience and resources to complete the work efficiently.
I would propose a non-capital reserve fund, expendable by the selectmen, to cover the expenses of unusual winter weather, like this year, so that the funds are not drawn from other important project line items in the budget.
Lastly, I also support Warrant Article 21 to change to an appointed road agent for the purposes of continued accountability and transparency in this key town position. The appointed position would be accountable to the people and the selectmen every day.
The job of road agent is not an easy one, and my choice to run for this position is not a reflection on the existing department administration, but it is my belief that changes are necessary to meet the future needs of the community.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions. I would appreciate your consideration on March 10. Voting will be held at the Gilmanton School from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Raymond "Mickey" Daigle
Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 March 2015 11:50
To The Daily Sun,
Three skills summarize what is needed in the choice of a selectman: (1) creation and management of a multimillion-dollar budget, (2) balancing public and private interests in all issues coming before the Selectboard, and (3) ability to be a team member of the Selectboard, listening with an open mind to the views of the other members and then, with critical thinking, take positions and being able kindly to explain one's position. The town budget is clearly the most important but the success of the board requires the other two!
Eight candidates are running for two openings on the Meredith ballot, three of whom meet or show high promise of meeting these criteria: Ray Moritz, Bev Lapham and Jonathan James.
Ray's business experience and success depended on team leadership and financial skills and he is valued in bringing those skills to our community.
Bev Lapham is also highly qualified by his many years as a top bank manager, enabler to small-business people by granting of loans, and his financial management skill evident in his ownership of a local business.
Jonathan James managed the $2-million property operation budget of Tilton School, and shows promise of a short learning curve in municipal fund accounting required on the Selectboard. These three are "heads and shoulders" above all the other candidates in the basic requirement of being a Selectboard member.
Listen carefully to what each of the eight candidates say about themselves and their qualities. They have already sorted themselves out in terms of financial management skills, and only Ray, Bev and Jonathan prevailed. They have also in public given clues as to their stance in terms of public and private rights, ability and experience in team building, and skill in critical thinking. Again, Ray, Bev and Jonathan rise to the top on these qualities.
In conclusion, consider the skill of critical thinking that is central to what is required of a selectman. Critical thinking requires that a person look at every issue with an open mind. This means that we must each be aware of our own biases and not allow them to pre-determine what our conclusions will be. It requires that we refrain completely from thinking how stupid are people who differ from us; and, conversely, to listen to and learn from those with ideas different from our own. In this way, better ideas emerge, we grow in understanding that there are intelligent views beyond our own, and this mutual respect heightens the team work that leads to better results for the community.
Political life in our country, and world, is characterized by a lack of critical thinking, and the use of code words that reflect distrust of the open discussion required in a democracy. People with a lack of critical thinking tend to foster "anti-team work", and polarity in our society. Ray, Bev, and Jonathan give great evidence of thinking critically.
In Meredith, there are only two openings on the ballot. I have decided who gets my votes. I ask each citizen to vote with critical thinking and then to use their influence to get the third "musketeer" appointed by the new Selectboard for one of the two remaining openings.
Miller C. Lovett
Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 March 2015 11:46
To The Daily Sun,
As a recent fire commissioner and retired call captain of the Tilton-Northfield Fire District, I would like to express my support for Merek Weisensee for the open position of T-N Fire Commissioner for this upcoming election on March 10.
Weisensee has always been a contributing member to the community, serving with the Navy, as a police officer in the town of Tilton and working for local business. His family is growing in the district and he has expressed his eagerness to assist with the Fire District's safety and financial responsibility as way to continue to give back.
I wish you would join me in supporting Merek Weisensee for fire commissioner. It is clear his knowledge and experiences will be beneficial to the residents of the Tilton-Northfield Fire District.
Retired Captain, past T-N Fire Commissioner
Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 March 2015 11:42