To The Daily Sun,
While there has been a fixation on the Carroll County Farm and all its intricacies, I, as a taxpayer, would like to hear you expound in the Moultonborough blog on the issue of private road plowing.
I applaud Selectman Punturieri taking a stand to eliminate Policy 2, although in my opinion he could have been more forceful in the discussion to win over other selectmen. He made excellent points that failed to garner other support. But now let's hear the answers to the following:
1. Will our Board of Selectmen press to schedule a discussion on plowing before the local election? It is important for all of us to understand exactly where each member of the BOS stands on this issue. The BOS decided to wade deep into this situation, so now it is time to show their cards.
2. Where is the opinion from town counsel on this issue? When will the opinion be made public, or is it being purposely held until after the election? If the BOS does not have it, will our selectmen press the town administrator to ensure it is in hand and published as well as discussed by the BOS at a posted meeting — not a work session — before the election? What is the holdup?
3. Will our BOS press hard and do a "deep dive" as to why some residents feel the condition of private road plowing this year seems to be dramatically different, late after storms, and less complete from prior years?
4. Will the BOS aggressively press our legislators for changes, in the next legislative session, to RSA-231:59a under the Emergency Lane statutes to ease the requirements necessary for Emergency Lane designation? If not, why not?
5. Will the BOS make public, on the town website, a full list of all private and town roads? Concerning town roads, will the BOS provide the recorded deed book and page reference where town ownership occurred and will they provide the specific information from town meeting records where town ownership was voted by the legislative body?
Recall Laconia currently has a large issue with this. If the town cannot provide specific legislative votes and deed references, will they declare roads without proper documentation private and stop maintaining them, like Laconia may? Is the BOS in touch with elected officials in Laconia on their similar issues and what remedies are they seeing or seeking? If not, why not?
The BOS certainly have increased the temperature to a slow boil among a large slice of town folks over plowing/sanding as well as private roads policy. This note just scratches the surface on issues that I have on the overall subject. I would have discussed these points at an upcoming BOS meeting on plowing, but the new three-minute rule in Policy 33 eliminates the opportunity for citizens to adequately examine issues such as this. And the three-minute rule at last week's public hearing restricted me from getting into a number of points on Policy 2. In our small town, it is totally unreasonable in a democracy, in my opinion, to have such rigid restrictions on public debate. While the BOS is within its legal rights to limit debate, there is a time and place for everything. This topic does not seem to demand such rigid restrictions on discussion that the BOS has implemented.
It is time for the BOS to go on the record, and this is a good place to start. Right now, plowing of private roads matters a lot. In my humble opinion, the Carroll County farm blueberries, hay, fire wood, crops, etc. and associated profitability analysis being discussed locally in a blog moderated by a current selectman can wait. The snow is falling now.
Frederick Van Magness
- Category: Letters
- Hits: 251