To The Daily Sun,
After reading the minutes of the Sanbornton town meeting, recent selectmen's meeting, and a recent letter to the editor by Earl Leighton, I thought it appropriate to write this letter. I would also remind readers that my opinions do not reflect those of the Tilton-Northfield Fire Department board of commissioners, facilities committee, nor any of its employees.
Reference Mr. Leighton's letter, I'm not certain where he obtained his information, but it is not based on facts.
The facts are, last year the T-N Fire District appropriated a sum of money to hire a consultant to explore options for a new fire station with the intent of replacing the Center Street station. Subsequently, a facilities committee was formed to explore all viable options with several factors in mind including response times, location, and cost to name a few.
To date, the committee has not determined a location, building size, etc., nor has it held any public hearings regarding the aforementioned. More important, TNFD residents have not voted to approve or appropriate anything regarding construction of a fire station. My intent is not to refute Mr. Leighton's letter, but rather correct an inaccuracy presented by him.
Regarding the Sanbornton meeting minutes, much requires to be corrected. I was in fact, called by Dave Nickerson and Dave DeVoy on separate occasions prior to the Sanbornton Town Meeting; I was asked my opinion regarding regionalization. The calls were more or less personal in nature, where we spoke of my willingness to speak on the issue. I did offer there are two other fire commissioners of which I could not speak to their opinions. I believe this is where Mr. Nickerson spoke to the assembly with regard to the TNFD's "doors being open" for discussion as written in the Town Meeting minutes.
At the T-N Fire District's annual meeting Selectman Ober from Sanbornton requested to address the assembly where she stated a warrant at the Sanbornton Town meeting was affected by the testimony of Mr. Nickerson and Mr. DeVoy. She asked the Fire Commission to confirm said testimony that we "specifically offered to be in negotiations with Sanbornton for regionalization and proposed a new building near the Sanbornton boundary."
Frankly, I felt blindsided a bit and was stunned this was the actual testimony of the individuals. I responded to Selectman Ober that it was false regarding what she actually asked. There was certainly no proposal for a station, nor had the TNFD commissioners offered negotiations as a body.
After reading Sanbornton's Town Meeting minutes, I'm curious as to how Selectman Ober formulated her question put to our commission. The minutes read Mr. Nickerson spoke to a "commissioner (myself) that discussed holding a meeting to propose regionalization and their door is open" to said discussion. Mr. Nickerson is guilty only of using the wrong pronoun, "their" opposed to "his." With regard to Dave DeVoy's testimony, "regionalization would happen as fast as the selectmen can make the decision." I'm not sure I understand the relevancy of his statement as it supposedly affected the "no" vote. I'm disappointed to see that Selectman Ober disparaged the names of Dave Nickerson and Dave DeVoy by permanently labeling them liars in a historical document.
Furthermore, upon close review of the Town Meeting minutes, I would offer that the other names which appeared prior to Mr. Nickerson's commenting on not being able to afford higher taxes, may also have contributed to the warrants failure. I will not speak to Sanbornton's politics, but I will offer to Selectman Ober, things (votes) don't always go the way one might prefer, and there's certainly no need for such a negative crusade.
Dennis Manning, Commissioner
Tilton-Northfield Fire District