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Let my outline my priorities if I'm elected Sanbornton selectman

To The Daily Sun,

My name is Dave Nickerson. I am running for selectman in Sanbornton.

Previously I enjoyed three years on the Budget Committee and nine years as your selectman. I feel that it is imperative to be transparent, fiscally balanced, and responsible to our taxpayers with our policies and answering all questions.

In a Sanbornton Budget Committee survey, 63 percent of those responding felt that their property taxes were too high and that infrastructure (roads and highways) was the most important issue.

Rather than spending $50,000 on a road inventory, as the current selectmen want to do, I think that the money would be better spent going toward working on the roads and hiring two full-time DPW employees. I also feel that the cost of the requested second ambulance ($260,000) and two full-time firefighters ($140,000?) would be better spent to offset the cost of hiring the two full-time DPW employees which would free up the DPW director to do a road inventory and other duties that a manager in charge of a million-dollar budget could be doing. Our roads need ditching, gravel, in some cases complete rebuilding, and we have an unsafe bridge on Hermit Woods Road. The Highway Department needs more help.

Our fire chief's rationale of making more revenue with a second ambulance, in my opinion, is the wrong thought process. We shouldn't be making money on the backs of the taxpayers who have already paid a great deal for the ambulance. We pay $30,000 a year to belong to Mutual Aid. If the scenario arises when we need a second ambulance we have one from them. It's not to say that in the future when the town grows to a certain point we wouldn't need another ambulance, but I feel that we are not there now. We have an excellent Fire Department as it is for the size of our town.

Please support me for selectman. If elected, I will respect the wishes of the taxpayers. My phone is always on and I'll listen to any questions or concerns.

Dave Nickerson
Sanbornton

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SB-2 towns find deliberative session no substitute for town meeting

To The Daily Sun,

In a recent letter to the editor, Janet Cote recommended that Bristol adopt SB-2 and do away with the Town Meeting. I suggest to you, the voter, that this proposal receive a resounding "No."

Many towns grabbed hold of the SB-2 proposal when it was first enacted and since then have seen greatly reduced participation in what is called the Deliberative Session. In some towns, the only non-board members of the community present are the Supervisors of the Checklist. Why is that? Voters don't think they need to be there because the vote comes on voting day.

The Deliberative Session acts largely like a budget hearing. It gives those present a chance to hear what the selectmen have proposed for the coming year. At this meeting, a person unhappy with the proposal could bring enough friends to outnumber the board and other attendees and vote to cut the police or other department budget to zero by passing it on a voice vote. You would have no recourse except to vote against the total budget on voting day and revert to last year's budget. There's no chance to go back and amend it. It is finalized at the meeting and no changes are allowed afterward.

I am not suggesting that there is anything legally wrong with SB-2. What I am saying is don't be fooled into thinking that large numbers will come to the session. It just doesn't work that way. Town after town has seen attendance fall off and such a lack of interest has caused problems. When you're participating in Town Meeting there's a give and take, a chance to hear out the position of the opposing sides and to judge where you stand on the issue. This is the essence of the Town Meeting. It might be considered an inconvenience by some, but isn't one night a year spent on town business well worth it?

Don't give it up. Town Meeting is one of the great treasures of New England self-government.

Fran Taylor

Holderness

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