Published DateTo the editor,
I'd like to address this opinion to the voters of Meredith and the Inter-Lakes School District. After reading letters from former state Rep. Kate Miller and former selectman Peter Miller I feel compelled to chime in with my own opinion in regard to the upcoming local election. Normally I try not to publicly endorse a particular candidate (or candidates) in this fashion. Kate and Peter can both vouch for that fact that I am not the sort of person who votes "the Party"... I vote "the Person". Character and accountability is everything to me, since I have been dubbed "quite the character" and have all my life been held accountable for my actions. Therefore I do my feeble best to chose the candidate who, in my opinion, holds the best character as they will be representing my community and our tax dollars as a whole.
I too ran for the office of selectman... as a first timer who didn't pollute the landscape with campaign signage, I am proud of the fact that I took 20 percent of the vote since I was running against Nate Torr, who even I voted for. The Pope couldn't have beaten Nate! What I feel I truly accomplished was sending a clear message that Meredith was tired of the "Good Ole Boy" politics and was ready for a change.
At that time, Chris Mega was also running for the school board seat against the incumbent Jack Carty, whom I clearly supported. As I sat through the "Meet the Candidate" interrogation process, I was blind sided by Mr. Mega, as he underhandedly dragged myself and my son (a former student of Diane's) into his campaign by pointing out his wife's educational triumph as if it were his own. This was only topped by his campaigns personal video attack on Jack's good character, which proved to the district he could not be trusted as he had a vested interest as the spouse of an I-LHS teacher. I feel it was a strong, yet foul, example of his computer engineering skills that sent a poor message to the student body. I truly hope I am not the ONLY voter in the district that remembers this fiasco... I'm pretty sure the Carty' swon't forget it!
Mark Billings, however, has proven himself a champion to our hard earned tax dollars. As a financial consultant and economist, his knowledge of facts and figures has already proven to be an asset to our district as he has stayed on top of the budget and publicly questioned the wasteful spending at every turn. His belief that EVERY student has their own different and unique learning style will serve as an asset to our children and ensure a positive and productive future for each of them. And after all isn't it suppose to be for THEM! they are the ones who are going to be carrying the tax burdens we put in place now... like an increase to pay for the teachers and support staffs "ObamaCare"... why do they need "Obama Care", we already pay for their insurance?... AND... Whose gonna pay for OUR "ObamaCare"?
Now, though it appears that former selectman Peter Miller and I agree on the school board seat... we completely DISAGREE on the selectman's seat. Although I agree Lou Kahn is an upstanding member of our community, I find him to be the most pompously unapproachable candidate to run for the Selectboard in my entire lifetime! (AND, like selectperson Horne, my lifetime has been right here in Meredith).
Mr. Miller mentioned the generous "gifts" Mr Kahn has given our town... again my mind rolls back and I find myself questioning the sincerity of these "gifts". However generous his land "gift" may seem, in reality, it relieved him of a property tax burden which in turn amounted to a personal gain. His "CONDITIONAL gift" to Childs Park is also questionable to me. It is my personal opinion that this was actually a gift from his AMAZING wife, Bobbi, who was taken from us too soon, as she had fallen in love with our little corner of the world known as Meredith Center.
Either way, actions speak louder than words, and the way Lou, as town moderator, treated Peter Verrill in a public forum regarding "the Boynton Road Project" has stuck in my craw and left a very bad taste in my mouth toward him. I left feeling Lou was extremely disrespectful of Peter and Jackie's efforts, their pride in their home, or how hard they work ... he looked down his nose at them because they lived on Boynton Rd and their tax dollars weren't green enough for him. Again this is only my opinion.
Jane Greenmore is, as well, an extremely upstanding member of our community. She and her husband have been small business owners in our town for many years which to me means she knows how hard those tax dollars are to come by and how important it is to protect them. Her warm and welcoming personality encourages approach ability. She doesn't judge a person on were they live or what type of "hat" they are wearing, her money is no greener than anyone else's. She doesn't sit on the hill in her Ivory Tower and look down her nose at the common folk... SHE IS COMMON FOLK! One who works for a living just like we do and want what we all want... for our community to prosper and flourish without choking our wallets.
Therefore, I encourage the voters in Meredith and the I-L School District to vote for Mark Billings to the school board and Jane Greenmore to the Selectboard since they are both strong pillars of our community and champions of our hard earned dollars.