Over the last week I have had the opportunity to speak with several residents who supported SB-2. After a brief, open and honest discussion of the pros and cons of both Town Meeting and SB-2 also known as RSA 40:13, I was horrified to discover how misinformed these people were on the matters of SB-2. I was told they were voting for SB-2 because they WANTED to keep Town Meeting! They understood the "deliberative session" in the SB-2 process to be the same thing as Town Meeting. There is nothing further from the truth!
SB-2's deliberative session is more like our current budget hearing, where we can expect between 35 – 50 people (the current year's attendance in surrounding SB-2 towns) to listen to the presentation of the Budget Committee and selectmen for the budget and warrant articles. Then at this meeting by majority vote of those in attendance everything is subject to change. Any article/warrant can and will change by the vote of those few people, even fewer than at Town Meeting. This will be the undoing of the 10+ months of work by those elected officials. A month following this deliberative session the voting of all issues and elected officials will happen in the voting booth, with "no opportunity" to ask questions regarding the meaning of any item.
Please make sure you understand for yourself the consequences of your vote. Make sure you get the facts! Don't vote for it because someone tells you the "deliberative session" is Town Meeting or is like Town Meeting, because IT IS NOT!
It may be time for us as a town to look at the options available to us in regards to governing; SB-2 is not the only alternative. It would make better sense to study all the options, as they did in Hillsboro, see what would be best for Sanbornton, and not just replace what we have with something broken. (One local town's default SB-2 budget was larger than the proposed current year budget. How do taxes decrease that way!)
Please do your homework and Vote NO to article 1, regarding SB-2, RSA 40:13. At Town Meeting ask for a study committee to review all the options.
Selectman Karen Ober