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SB-2 vote for Shaker District is your chance to level playing field

To The Daily Sun,

On March 4, voters of the Shaker Regional School District will have the opportunity to "vote to adopt RSA 40:13 (also known as SB-2) to allow official ballot voting on all issues to come before the Shaker School District." This is an extremely important issue to the voters.

I reviewed my file on SB-2 (information collected over the years) which has facts, figures, pros, cons and many Letters to the Editor from around the state expressing the opposing viewpoints on this issue. I could list the many advantages and how this voting method change would help the voters, but this list is long. (There would be many opponents who would list their own reasons why it shouldn't be adopted.)

I believe the one most important reason why this change is important to many Shaker School District voters: convenience. This fact cannot be denied by those who do not support this change.

Shaker District Meetings are always held on a Friday night, are always "festive," with entertainment, award ceremonies, retirement announcements/gifts etc. Babysitting services are even offered for the convenience of parents, and refreshments are available to all. However, not all citizens have the ability to attend at night due to jobs, age/disabilities, or other factors beyond their control. Many voters move south during the winter months.

With SB-2 in place, all of these people will be able to exercise their constitutional right to vote by absentee ballot. (XII. Voting at the second session shall conform to the procedures for the nonpartisan ballot system as set forth in RSA 669:19-29, RSA 670:5-7 and RSA 671:20-30, including all requirements pertaining to absentee voting, polling place, and polling hours.)

And then there are people who just do not wish to participate/sit through all of the "divergence" offered at a typical meeting. They know what decisions they have made and only wish cast their votes. Typical School District meetings are very long and the events scheduled during them only delay the voting process, the main reason why many voters would attend.

With SB-2 in place, a deliberative session occurs before the voting session. All articles are discussed, as they are now, and any changes to them can be made at that time. (This session would be a more appropriate time for all the usual festivities that take place each year.) Voters could use the time between the first and second sessions to study the proposed budget and expenses; consider their decisions in the comfort and convenience of their homes, and cast their votes anytime during the (whole) day that the polls are open for the second session.

SB-2 would also prevent last-minute motions from the floor to add $500,000 to the final budget. This was a devious, unfair and underhanded tactic that was employed last year.

There is one more very important fact about this year's vote on SB-2. The polls are open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on March 4. For the first time, citizens will have eight hours to cast their votes regarding the adoption of SB-2.

This is your chance to level the playing field. Adoption of SB-2 will provide you the choice of what your votes will be, and the convenience of a whole day to cast them.

Please vote "Yes" on Article 01: SB-2 Petition Warrant Article.

Ken Knowlton


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Medical waste certainly not a benign substance to spread around

To The Daily Sun,

I see that, once again, the issue of spreading biosolids, also known as sludge, is on the ballot in Gilmanton. There are very few times in our lives where we have the opportunity to right a wrong and change the course of the future — this is one of them.

There has been much written about this issue in recent memory. For those who may have missed the information, I will give a quick summary. Sludge, as the name suggests, is a toxic cocktail made up of human, industrial, and medical waste. This mixture is offered up to farmers as an economical alternative for fertilizer for crops. When spread on land, this poisonous "bloody Mary" of wastes, has been demonstrated to not only pollute the soil, but also sicken humans and animals.

I am a registered nurse with decades of experience working in hospitals. I can assure my neighbors that medical waste is certainly not a benign substance that I want spread around on our vegetables or animal feed! Unfortunately, the sludge industry and local partners spreading this poison have clouded the issue of present and future damage to the town by insinuating that farmers must use sludge to maintain their livelihoods. The real fact of the matter is, as my father would have said, "Your right to extend your fist ends where my nose begins." This discussion is NOT an attack on the agricultural way of life, but a letter of support for the citizens of Gilmanton who bear the negative effects of living near the land where this toxic product is being used.

I beg the residents of Gilmanton to vote "YES" on Zoning Warrant Article #3, to ban the spreading of biosolids, in the voting booth on March 8 or by absentee ballot — which is available now at the Gilmanton Town Clerk's Office.
June Garen

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