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Please vote to protect the residential integrity of Gilford

To The Daily Sun,

A farm on Gunstock Hill Road, Timber Hill Farm, was recently given approval from the Gilford ZBA to hold catered commercial wedding venues, on conservation land, barely using their own food grown from their farm. This is in a Residential Zone and is in current use (this is a big tax break).

The Timber Hill Farm owners claim their events are "farm-to-table" and are an agriculture event.
The majority of the people on Gunstock Hill Road disagree with this opinion. Loud weddings with amplified music, increased traffic and alcohol should not be allowed in a residential neighborhood.

There has been a lot of controversy in Gilford about the definitions/meanings of agriculture and agritourism, and as a result, The Timber Hill Farm owners have petitioned to have two warrant articles on the Gilford town ballot. We need your help to defeat these warrant articles and to protect all Gilford residential districts.

Article 4 - Please vote "No."

If article 4 passes, the definition of "agritourism" will allow all sorts of commercial activities under that guise. Since "agriculture" is now permitted in all residential zones — not just on Gunstock Hill Road —  "agritourism" and thus, any commercial activity could then be conducted in all residential zones. (This warrant article was not supported by the Planning Board.)

Article 5 — Please vote "No."

If Article 5 passes, it would change the zoning on over 250 acres on Gunstock Hill Road from Single Family Residential to Resort-Commercial, where any commercial activity would then be permitted not only now, but in the future. (This warrant article was not supported by the Planning Board.)

The Gilford Planning Board then stepped in to try and counter the harmful effects of the two petitioned warrant articles. The Planning Board proposed Warrant Articles 7 and 8.

Article 7- Please vote "Yes."

This article severely restricts the ability of any property owner to conduct commercial activities on residential property in the town under the guise of "agritourism."

Article 8 — Please vote "Yes."

This article would define "agritourism" restrictively, making it subject to our existing nuisance ordinance.

Please help to defeat Warrant Articles 4 and 5 and vote "No" and to protect the residential integrity of Gilford.

Monique Twomey


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Better to elect two men with experience than two with none

To The Daily Sun,

In the nearly 20 years that I have lived in Gilmanton, I have known and respected David Russell. David has served our community with integrity and passion and I have the highest respect for him. Having said this, I am dismayed that he has misinformed Gilmanton's electorate in his recent (March 1) letter to the editor.

David, your letter, littered with inaccuracies, is beneath you, I am sorry to say. Please allow me to correct the record.

When the Gilmanton Board of Selectmen chose a new police chief, Brett Currier was not on the board. His term had ended some months before. Brett is not now running for "re-election." Because he is not currently on the board, he cannot be re-elected. Brett Currier is running for election, not re-election.

As to the choice of his son, Matt, as the new police chief, there was no impropriety. The board simply chose to promote from within. Nor was Matt Currier a patrolman at the time of his elevation to chief. Matt Currier was a sergeant on the force. His appointment to chief was simply a promotion, one that the board apparently deemed to have been earned and warranted.

Yes, it is typical that a position of this nature is posted and resumes are gathered and candidates interviewed. In this case, the Board of Selectmen believed that the best available candidate was already in their midst, so they promoted then-Sergeant Currier to chief.

Certainly over the past several months, there has been a good deal of squabbling in the Selectmen's Office. Let me point out that this is recent history only. When Currier, Guarino and McCormack served together, there was none of this. Perhaps the problem is not Don Guarino, nor Brett Currier, but an unfortunate mix of personalities currently serving.

It is my understanding that when Don Guarino spent the enormous sum of $72, he did so in order to correct an error that the other two selectmen refused to address. The $72 was, in my opinion, well spent. To have allowed erroneous information to be printed could, ultimately, cost the town far more. I applaud Don Guarino for his bold, yet unconventional action on behalf of the entire community.

Don has demonstrated time and again his willingness to serve the people of Gilmanton. He goes over and above in terms of service. At Tuesday evening's candidates' night he described his role in thawing out frozen toilets at Town Hall, on his own time. A longtime resident, Don Guarino is part of the fabric that is Gilmanton.

As to Brett Currier, he is not well-liked because he is tough and abrasive. Frankly, on a personal level, he's not my cup of tea, but I respect his hard work on behalf of the citizens of our town. I believe that Brett should be elected for the one-year term for which he is running.

These are complicated times. I believe we need experienced leaders in town government. For me, having two experienced men who have served this town with integrity is a far better choice than electing two others with no governmental experience whatsoever.

On March 8 I will vote for Don Guarino and Brett Currier.

Jim Barnes
Gilmanton Iron Works

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