To The Daily Sun,
The Alton School Deliberative Session is this Saturday at 1 p.m. at Prospect Mountain High School. If you have a sincere interest in how much you pay in property taxes or how the money is spent then you need to be there. You have an opportunity to comment on every dime being spent at the town and school level. If you do not agree with the amount, all you need is one other voter who agrees with you and then move to change the amount on the floor. You cannot zero it out, but you can do the next best thing and change it to whatever makes sense to you.
Last year a local couple moved a motion to add $100,000 to finish off the senior center. And guess what? It passed. Citizens of Alton New Hampshire sometimes use real ammunition. I did not agree with them, but I loved watching the process. Then after all the warrant articles have been accepted, rejected, or adjusted; they are presented to the voters for a majority vote on Tuesday, March 8.
These are what I feel are the most important issues that we all need to favorably consider:
— Vote for the school and town operational budgets. We have one of the lowest and most efficient tax rates in the state. Alton is soundly managed by people who care. We are losing a superb town administrator in Russ Bailey, but the bar has been set in terms of professionalism and good management systems. The school budget is lower than last year. It is important to note that I have found only one other school district in the state that is asking for less money than last year. We are doing this without cutting any programs while at the same time adding instructional time for every student.
— Vote for a new metal roof for the high school. Why? It is leaking. Yes, it shouldn't be. Yes, the contractor did a lousy job. Yes, the school board should have hired someone else and watched the work more closely. Yes, we should have won a lawsuit, but couldn't. But the roof is still leaking and if it was your house you would fix it. If we just keep on fixing the latest holes as we have been, the price goes up about 20 percent per year. Yes, back in 2003 someone screwed up, but we still have to fix the roof.
— Vote for eliminating the antiquated water commission of which I am a member, and turn this critical utility over to the town. The Water Department is broke. The Water Department lacks the vision or expertise to anticipate the next disaster. The town has the management experience, financial resources, infrastructure support, and care as much as anyone because the town is made up of everyone. If you choose to leave things as they are and if you are a business owner on town water you better have a Plan B. If you are a residential subscriber you may want to consider an emergency supply of water. Just because the Water Department does not have a Capital Improvement Plan — or a Plan B — does not mean you should not have one.
— You should vote for the teachers' contract because they deserve a raise and they consented to add 20 minutes of instructional time per day which means we are able to schedule an entire extra period per day. This is the equivalent of going from 183 instructional days per year to 189 instructional days. Does anyone disagree that more instructional time translates to more and better competencies?
— Vote For the planning and zoning articles. They are designed to follow your Master Plan, grow our tax base, and manage our tax dollars.
— Vote For improving the town sidewalks. You cannot complain about the look of our town and not approve of improving it.
— Vote For adding to the milfoil fund. The litmus test is whether you would do everything you could to eliminate milfoil on your property. Well Alton IS your property.
— Vote for fixing the lake wall. Again, you would if it was your property.
— Vote For the Highway Reconstruction Fund. Would you fix your own driveway or road? Of course. It is a much larger amount, but it is a lot more driveway.
— Vote for the library building improvement fund. Every good town values its library. Think about those towns who do not.
Steve Miller, Chairman, Alton School Board
Member, Alton Water Commission & Zoning Board of Adjustment
- Category: Letters
- Hits: 210