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Without 'yes' vote on Article 28, Year-Round Library will close

To The Daily Sun,

The Year-Round Library is Gilmanton's only full-service library offering books, periodicals, CDs, DVDs, as well as programs for all age groups. Computers are also available. The library matters to our town because the it also functions as a community center providing free services and activities.

Without the library the town would be giving up many services that are free to patrons including:

— A free library, including Inter-Library Loans, which is open 29 hours per week.

— Three friendly and professional library staffers who offer personal attention.

— Public programs featuring topics such as local wildlife, some offered with grants from the NH Humanities Council.

— Story hours with accompanying activities for moms and children encouraging literacy.

— Free meeting space for a variety of groups such as Crafters, Energy Share, and Book Club.

— Activities, including Lego Club, Magic the Gathering, and teen nights.

— Movies for seniors as well as after-school movies for children.

— Artist-in-the-library receptions and exhibits.

— The opportunity to communicate with local authors via Skype.

— Free internet access, and free Ancestry.com access.

— Seasonal events such as Summer Fling and Christmas Cookie Contest featuring Santa.

— Monthly newsletter update and website www.gyrla.org with calendar of activities.

Without town funding the library will close immediately. Please support the Gilmanton Year-Round Library by voting "yes" on Article 28 on the town ballot on March 11. Voting is at the Academy Building from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Please keep our library open.

Gilmanton Year-Round Library

Board of Directors

Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 March 2014 10:14

Hits: 147

Do you want to see Alton spending increase to Wolfeboro level?

To The Daily Sun,

Regarding Alton Warrant Articles 19, 43 and 44:
The Alton Selectmen majority approved an Operating Default Budget of $6,743,391 for the March 2014 ballot.
A "no" vote on Warrant Article 19 approves the Default Budget that is an increase of $286,035 over the $6,457,356 amount voters approved by ballot vote in 2013. The Default Budget includes $133,408 for Personnel Administration plus other "adjustments." A "yes" vote will approve an increase of $354,679 over 2013. Voters are not offered a choice to keep the operating budget amount the same as voters approved by ballot vote in 2013.

Warrant Article 43 shows the town planner 2012 salary of $64,040. The 2014 budgeted salary of the town planner is $67,886, with benefits of about $20,950, for a total amount of $88,836. Alton also has a full-time planning secretary at a salary including benefits of about $42,000 for a combined amount of $130,836.

The town planner assists the planning/zoning boards. In 2006, there were about 200 Alton site plan applications, subdivision applications and new lots formed. In 2013, they have substantially decreased to only about 17 in year 2013.

People who want to make changes to their property, such as starting a business or subdividing, are often required to hire professional surveyors, civil engineers and lawyers. As professionals, they independently read and interpret the town regulations in order to represent their customers appropriately and produce documents that comply with the legal and technical requirements for submission to town boards for review and approval.

A recent editorial shows that some people think the town planner should be involved in Alton's housing, recreation, and industrial development. Do we need more housing market controls that cause foreclosures? Alton already has a Recreation Department with a budget of more than $90,000.

How has the town planner influenced industrial development in Alton?

Many towns combine positions such as a planner/building inspector.

Warrant Article 44 shows the town assessor 2012 salary of $68,599. The 2014 budgeted salary of the town assessor is $72,720 with benefits of $37,000, for a total amount of $109,700. Alton also has a full-time assessing secretary at a salary including benefits of about $42,000 for a combined amount of $151,700.

Alton has a population of about 5,200 people and 5,800 parcels for taxation, of which 1,300 are waterfront properties on Lake Winnipesaukee.

The Town of Wakefield compares closely with Alton with a population of about 5,100 people and 5,700 parcels for taxation, of which 1710 are waterfront properties.

Wakefield's total budget for assessing is about $127,000 per year, which includes $52,000 per year for assessing contracting services with Rodney B. Wood & Assoc. Alton's total budget for assessing is $176,000, including benefits.

Wakefield employs an assessing technician with a salary of $60,400 including benefits, much less than the Alton assessor with a 2014 proposed salary and benefits of $109,700. Wakefield's assessing technician also serves as the assessing secretary.
Some Alton town officials like to compare Alton with Wolfeboro, Meredith and Gilford. But these towns have over 1,000 more people, with town budgets of $11 million to $24 million, two to four times the amount of Alton. These towns are very different from Alton and are not good comparisons.
Do you want to see Alton's spending increase toward Wolfeboro? Or would you like to take steps to reduce or at least maintain the amount of spending?

As so often done in politics, some are trying to convince you that these Alton petition Warrant Articles are a personal attack against government employees. Our conservative state representatives are facing the same tactics as they try to get labor costs of county employees under control. Too many government officials think their primary responsibility is to support and protect government employees instead of truly representing the people by managing government affairs prudently.

Voting "yes" on Alton Warrant Articles 43 and 44 will require the Alton selectmen to seek lower cost alternatives to carry out the functions of assisting the planning/zoning boards and assessing properties for tax purposes.

Selectman Robert Daniels

Alton

Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 March 2014 10:10

Hits: 147

Vote for Kenney or face consequences of the liberal agenda

To The Daily Sun,

Reality check after this gas tax was just raised because they don't use it for the purpose for which it's intended in the first place.

So, vote for Joe Kenney or face the resulting consequences of continuing this insanity of the liberal agenda, period.

Judy Krahulec

Laconia

Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 March 2014 10:05

Hits: 104

David Strang represents a new voice for board that needs one

To The Daily Sun,

Voter turnout is critical to the democratic process.

Locally, I hope that the voters who have thanked Gilmanton selectmen for managing the town well will see fit to support them by defeating Article 30.

David Strang represents a new voice for a Gilmanton School Board which has a long history of nepotism and poor management. Please cast your vote for Dave Strang for the School Board.

Dick Burchell

Gilmanton

Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 March 2014 10:03

Hits: 95

They never tell us how we are going to lose our property rights

To The Daily Sun,

Alton has a small group who would have us believe our property rights are at risk. They do this through innuendo or by alluding zoning amendments are "slyly" crafted to dupe Alton citizens.

Last year the scare tactic was conservation subdivisions. If someone chooses to put in a conservation subdivision how would that affect my property rights? The conservation subdivision was simply a different way to build a subdivision and those who purchased into the subdivision would make the decisions of what happened to their property just like any other subdivision.

This year it's workforce housing. I favor having regulations in place to keep workforce housing under control. But even then, how will building affordable houses affect my property rights? Even if someone built an apartment complex which I am totally against, how would that affect my property rights? The fact is by voting against workforce housing we are actually stepping on someone else's property rights.

A gentleman in Wolfeboro said Mr. Whittmann is the only one who will protect our rights. I'm a property owner, why would I be in favor of regulations that would take my property rights away?

When this small group or its members say we are going to lose our property rights notice they never tell us how. They will gladly offer to explain it to us as if we are not quite intelligent enough to understand by quoting vague lines in even more vague agendas. These are the people who are making the Kool-Aid they hope we will all drink.

Please don't fall prey to these scare tactics. Support the warrant article on workforce housing because it is the right thing to do, and it was developed for the right reasons. This warrant article was developed to keep workforce housing under local control and to keep Alton from excessive expansion due to a state law many of us disagree with.

Lou LaCourse
Alton

Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 March 2014 09:59

Hits: 107

 
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