To The Daily Sun,
I am writing to object to some content of an article in the Thursday, Dec. 22, Daily Sun written by Gail Ober. That article reported on the Dec. 21 evening meeting of the Gilford Board of Selectmen, where the forthcoming warrant article to endorse the tentative Gilford teachers' union contract was on the agenda.
In the news story Ms. Ober wrote, "discussions between the School Board and the Budget Committee about the (School District) default budget issue have been nothing less than acrimonious, hostile, and personal."
I first object to this on the grounds that it is an editorial opinion being expressed in a news story. I object secondly to this being just excess baggage verbiage that in total, way overstates the nature of the discussions the Budget Committee has been having with the School Board and its representatives.
One member of the Budget Committee is in fact also a member of the School Board. The statement is therefore an oxymoron in and of itself, as "have been ... personal." It implies that somehow a board made up of 11 members can collectively have a personal bone to pick with any representative of or the School Board in general.
For the purposes of reporting the news it may have been more appropriate to cite the process of determining a proper default budget more simply as being contentious. To my knowledge no one has been ruled out of order and asked to leave or cited for disturbing the peace at any recent public meetings of the Gilford Budget Committee. No one has been ordered arrested and no one has been told at a public meeting that they cannot take an appropriate amount of the board's time to address it, as to any issue that they may be concerned over.
The members of the Gilford Budget Committee have taken an oath to be fair and impartial. As evidence of this I would point to a recent letter complaining of a request to approve a motion to have a School District administrator present budget calculations and account for some transfers, under oath. The Budget Committee voted down that motion as likely being inappropriate or "hostile." Many on the Budget Committee feel they are bending over backward to be fair and even-handed and are not seeking confrontation at all.
I intend to abide by that oath so as to support the best interests of our community's residential and commercial property taxpayers, residents who rent and pay surrogate property taxes, the increasing population of elderly taxpayers, and the children and young people who may be matriculating through our generally well respected school system. Many of that last group also being grandchildren of our elderly taxpayers.
I am loathe to write this letter, so will clarify that I am not in any way here attempting to express any opinions or consensus on any issues before the Gilford Budget Committee as those can only be appropriate for the chairman to comment on.
Timothy Sullivan, Member
Gilford Budget Committee
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