Published DateTo the editor,
After attending a recent Planning Board meeting in Alton (June 18th), I'm convinced that more citizens need to turn out for these meetings to see not only what transpires at them, but to view for themselves the character (or lack of it) of a couple of their town officials. These people are elected to serve the town, but their contempt for those who disagree with them is putting many of us on alert as to just what they hope to achieve for Alton.
Selectman David Hussey, dived into "old business" with a vengeance, insulting the taxpayers of Alton for having the gall to vote down those three sacred amendments he so wants. As if that wasn't alarming enough to the handful of us who turned out that night, he then proceeded to loudly attack a fellow board member sitting next to him, calling him an "idiot" for agreeing with those of us who voted down those amendments.
All across the country, in towns large or small, citizens are fighting against what is known as "Agenda 21," an insidious global agenda designed to strip us of our property rights. It comes under many guises with innocuous names such as Sustainable Development, Granite State Futures and others.
Many unelected regional planning commissions, including our own in the Lakes Region, are already on board to force these programs on the local towns. The names are constantly changing to try and fool the public. The amendments citizens voted down would open the doors and pave the way for Alton to be among towns designated to adopt plans many of us oppose. But it's not just property rights at stake here, Common Core also falls under Agenda 21.
Our town officials have had plenty of information placed in their hands by concerned citizens but some have chosen to ignore the information or pass it off as untrue. Maybe a couple have a vested interest in this program, in which case they should recuse themselves, or maybe they think this "just can't happen here." Well it can, and it has. It's been in the works for many years but only recently have people become aware of it.
Another board member, Thomas Hoopes, also seems to have contempt for people who disagree with him. Was it my imagination or did he not understand the meaning of the word "sovereignty?" The word must be foreign to him as he repeated it three times (sovereignty? sovereignty? sovereignty?) Suggested reading for Mr. Hoopes would be the U.S. Constitution and the N.H. State Constitution. Not only are states sovereign, but so are individuals! Shouting at the few citizens that night "you shut up, this is not your meeting!" when a few murmurs were heard after the "sovereignty" remarks was not the way to win an argument by our standards.
We do, to their credit, have planning board members and other board members who are decent, honorable people who will hopefully have an open mind and review the information that is being presented to them regarding this matter. It's our town, it's their town, and we as citizens of Alton are trying to protect our rights at the local level as it is becoming increasingly difficult to protect them at the federal level. In recent years we've seen our elected officials in Washington and some in Concord show nothing but contempt for the citizens of our great country and state. To see that contempt at the local level is very disconcerting. We are not, as some suggest, "disrupting" their meetings by disagreeing and presenting well-known and documented facts to back up our argument.
To his credit, at a previous meeting Scott Williams suggested a joint meeting of the Planning Board, Selectmen, and hopefully Zoning Board on the subject of Agenda 21, Granite State Futures Initiative and their effects on our town with both sides being represented. This meeting will be open to the public and we encourage all concerned citizens to attend. Let your voice be heard, it's your right, it's your future. Who knows, you might get some added entertainment if a couple of board members once again give us their impersonation of children who didn't get their way.
Phil & Chris Wittmann