To The Daily Sun,
Warrant Article 30 has become a hot topic on our Gilmanton ballot this year, so please come out to vote on Tuesday, March 11.
For the last several months the vacant FF/EMT-I position has been filled by part-time employees. Because we have such a high turnover of full-time employees, the selectmen have come to realize this is a great savings to the town as we are no longer paying for benefits or retirement.
Safety and services will not be compromised. When you call 9-1-1 the persons responding to your emergency still have the very same qualifications that full-time employees have. The only difference is you will be paying a lot less for the same service.
We have looked at all departments equally and have made some cost-saving adjustments without cutting services. The only department to balk has been the Fire Department, and instead of being reasonable they had a petition warrant article (#30) put on the ballot and are using scare tactics as a way to circumvent the recommendation by the Board of Selectmen.
This is in no way an attack on the Fire Department. We are attempting to save money in places that do not affect services or employees, and this is one way to accomplish it. It would be a lot easier to say "yes" to all the departments' requests, but this is the time to say "no." My job as your selectman is to be frugal with your tax dollar, and it is up to you, the voter, to decide if you want to support our efforts.
Please support your selectmen and vote "no" on Article 30. As one of your selectmen, you have my assurance this will not negatively affect the services provided by our Fire Department.
Selectman Brett Currier
Last Updated on Friday, 07 March 2014 09:54
To The Daily Sun,
As we see the political Town Meeting signs start to pop up within the community of Ashland, I find it difficult to comprehend why the Ashland Water and Sewer Departments have taken the initiative to expend user fees to cover the costs associated with the signs asking Ashland voters to vote "no" on warrant Articles 22-25.
Voting "yes" on these warrant articles will reduce the burden of taxes for all of Ashland taxpayers.
We live along a roadway with several other voters in this community who do not have water and sewer services offered by these departments. For the most part those of us who are not users of these departments do not get involved or attend the water and sewer commissioners' meetings. We do not ask anything of those departments and have not since the creation of the services. We pay for our personal systems to be pumped and have our wells tested as needed — again, at no expense to any of the users of these departments.
The time has come for a change. It's time for these departments to accept and pay their own way by accepting responsibility and paying for the infrastructure bonds that are being paid by the taxpayers. As a wise person once stated, it's time for the monkey to get off our backs.
During the 2014 Deliberative Session, a presentation was given showing that these departments combined had over $900,000 in savings accounts, whether it is with the town Treasurer or the Trustees of the Trust Funds. They indicate these funds are allocated for specific purposes/infrastructure. What about paying for the infrastructure that has already been built and financed through these bonds?
Ashland Warrant Articles 22, 23, 24 and 25 will mandate those departments to place $48,400 into a special revenue fund to offset the expense of the bonds that you the taxpayer (whether a user or not) are footing the bill for. If all taxpayers had the services they offer or were informed that in the near future it would be available to us, it may be easier to ask us all to pay our portion of the bill. This is far from the case. The registered petitioners of these warrant articles believe that the user fees should be appropriate to cover the expenses of the departments these bonds included.
The bonds that are currently on the town's books are not bonds for town roads, buildings or equipment. They are all for water and sewer infrastructure. All departments have infrastructure that needs attention. Take a ride around town, look at our buildings, our roads and our equipment. What would the costs of these bonds pay for within the infrastructure of the town? We cannot afford many of the necessities needed for the individual departments of the town because the taxpayers are carrying expenses that should be paid for by the water and sewer user fees.
There is a chance that the user fees may need to be adjusted to compensate for the additional expense. Those users of the system should be advised that the tax rate has consistently been adjusted to compensate for the cost of the bonds. The time has come for the users to pay their fair share.
Please consider voting yes for warrant articles 22, 23, 24, & 25.
Anne M. Abear
Last Updated on Thursday, 06 March 2014 10:55
To The Daily Sun,
As we are all no doubt aware, March 11 is town meeting day in New Hampshire. This year, in addition to the usual elections, warrants, and articles, another really important race will be on the ballot, the Executive Council seat in District 1.
This Special Election is needed to replace Ray Burton, who, sadly, passed away last year. While we don't often hear about the Executive Council in news reports and everyday conversation, it is a vitally important part of the executive branch of New Hampshire's government.
The Executive Council approves all nominations from the governor for judges, commissioners, notaries public, justices of the peace, and commissioners of deeds. It approves all State contracts with a value of $10,000 or more, and it hears requests for pardons. All these responsibilities are critically important to ensuring that the New Hampshire government runs smoothly.
That is why I am supporting Mike Cryans in the Special Election, and asking you to do the same. Like Ray Burton, Mike began his career as a teacher, so he knows the challenges that educators face. His current career working for a non-profit that helps people recover from substance abuse issues proves that he is always looking to help those less fortunate. He knows the importance of the constituent services that executive councilors provide and is passionate about providing those services to the North Country.
Working side by side with Ray as Grafton County Commissioner, Mike has shown that he is a thoughtful, compassionate man, fighting hard for working class families. It is no wonder that the Burton family has endorsed Mike Cryans for the Executive Council seat in District 1 as the candidate who will carry on Ray's legacy.
Over the last 35 years, the District 1 has come to expect a councilor who puts constituents first, and party affiliation last. I believe that Mike will continue that tradition, and that is why I am asking you to join me in voting for Mike Cryans on March 11.
Last Updated on Thursday, 06 March 2014 10:51
To The Daily Sun,
Registered voters in the seven towns comprising of the Newfound Area School District should be careful in the voting booth on Election Day, Tuesday March 11th. Whether or not you wanted to increase the proposed budget of the School Budget Committee, it was increased by the majority of those present at the Deliberative Session on February 1. If that action distresses you, don't consider voting against the increased budget, for if the increased budget is defeated in the voting booths of the seven towns, we will be stuck with the default budget that is $319,120 HIGHER than that already increased budget! So hold your nose and vote "yes" on the operating budget given in Article 7 on your School District ballot
We do encourage you to vote "NO" on the Teacher Contract Agreement, Article 2 on your ballot. Over the next three years of this agreement, teachers, on average, will receive raises of $5,000 while only being held responsible for 13 percent of their health insurance. The majority of our district's tax paying residents will not see a raise in salary or Social Security, nor have the luxury of paying 13 percent of health insurance costs. We DISAGREE with this agreement as it does not respect the financial inabilities of most taxpayers.
Slim Spafford & Sherry Nelson
Last Updated on Thursday, 06 March 2014 10:46
To The Daily Sun,
I am writing in support of Steve McCormack for selectman in Gilmanton. I feel we need a strong, independent voice in town.
I have known Steve since we went to Belmont High School in the 1960s. Steve was active in many extra-curricular activities in school. After graduation Steve joined the Army and retired with the rank of major. This in itself speaks of just the type of person Steve is.
Steve's track record as a military man and a senior field representative for the State of New Hampshire Employees Association has provided him with exceptional experience for dealing with people and problems. Steve is intelligent, articulate, energetic, hard-working, great sense of humor and is genuinely good with people. He is respectful of other the person's point of view and wants to research the facts before making a decision. Gilmanton would be well served to have him on the Board of Selectmen.
Steve wants to find ways to bring more business to Gilmanton in order to share the burden of our taxes. In addition, Steve wants to make our town services more efficient by listening to the town employees' ideas as well as our own and to give our residents a reason to be proud of this community. Let's return to our best instincts of community spirit and cooperativeness and elect a man who can help move us in that direction.
Vote for Steve McCormack on Tuesday, March 11.
Paula L. Gilman
Last Updated on Thursday, 06 March 2014 10:42