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Now is perfect time to invest in M’boro community center

To The Daily Sun,

I continue to read all the reasons why not to support the Moultonborough warrant article for the new community center. What I don't understand is all of the negativity, insults, name calling and innuendo of intent to mislead. If you are not in favor, I respect that opinion. So vote no.

I am in favor and not just because of the added gymnasium. I have lived in Moultonborough for the past 20 years and raised two girls in this town. My family moved here at the time for the quality school system and yes, for the low tax rate. In my opinion, we have been slowly cutting into that quality of the school system, reacting to the declining enrollment and in an attempt to keep our taxes low. I would go so far as to propose that we become proactive, not reactive. We should be adding curriculum and spending more on the school system. Make it the best in the state so that young families want to move to Moultonborough. Give our kids the very best possible education and experiences that money can buy! Just my opinion, I understand and respect the fact that some may not agree.

I coached my daughter in rec basketball and also assisted at the Academy on the boys' varsity basketball team for six or seven years. I have some direct experience and knowledge of the facilities, their schedules and actual usage. There is a need for better facilities. The gyms at MCS are inadequate and unsafe in my opinion. We do need to invest in the facilities for the benefit of the recreation department, school system and community members.

I support the warrant article because I see this as an investment into our community. You see, I am a commercial banker by profession and I believe and have witnessed the fact that if you are not continually investing into your business, you are slowly dying. Yes, the municipality of Moultonborough is a business. We have revenues and expenses just like a business and need to invest into that business on a regular basis, with new ideas and new capital projects to retain and attract new customers (residents).

Certainly you can also spend your way out of business, so the decision is not always easy. It requires some analysis of the costs and projected benefits, but you must continue to invest and promote yourself to remain healthy and grow. As I see it, we can continue to invest in and work to revitalize our community or take the path of many towns in New Hampshire that are slowly dying on the vine. Keep everything the same; it was fine the way it was 20 years ago; keep cutting back on programs at the school; lower school budgets; don't spend any money, lower our taxes and we will continue down that slippery slope of a decaying community and higher taxes anyway. Thank goodness we have the lake to help prop up our tax base. If we want to attract new residents, young families, like mine was at the time, then we need to build and promote certain amenities that appeal to that group.

By the way, Moultonborough still has one of the lowest tax rates in the state.

From a financial aspect, I have read from some that the numbers are misleading. That this proposed warrant article will cost pennies on the dollar or is free with the pending maturity of an existing bond. Certainly nothing is free, but this scenario is favorable to me as an investor/resident as it does have limited impact to the overall tax rate. Not to mention, that interest rates remain at an all-time low. Now is the perfect time to invest into a project like this, in my opinion. The tax rate is impacted only in the first two years of the project and then are offset by the maturity of the previously mentioned school bond. It is not misleading to say that the cost associated with that maturing note offsets the projected cost of the newly proposed note. There is no impact to the tax rate after the first two years, simply put. I make the analogy that for the cost of dinner to one of our local restaurants for two, once per year for the next two years and you will have a wonderful new asset in the town, a community center for all residents. Yes, it will take money to operate the facility and I am okay with that.

As I said, I am in support of the project and will be voting yes. It is okay if you disagree and plan to vote no. I respect your decision and would hope that my vote yes is not viewed as an attack to your way of life. As it will require a two-thirds vote to pass anyway, I think the chances are remote. I hope that I am wrong. I hope that there are many others like me who want to add value to our town. My family has grown up and moved away, so I don't expect to get any immediate benefit, but I still consider this investment into the town of Moultonborough to be a good one.

John Malm


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Candlelight Stroll committee asking Gilford taxpayers to help

To The Daily Sun,

Members of the Gilford Village Candlelight Stroll committee urge residents to vote "yes" on Article 28 on March 8. The Candlelight Stroll has been a Gilford Village tradition since 2012, when it was the culminating activity for our town's bicentennial celebration. This is the first time the committee has asked for financial help and the sum of $750 is requested. It costs $500 to book the horse and wagon that carries strollers between the library at one end of the stroll and the Rowe House at the other. We have discussed not offering the wagon ride, or charging a fee, but because it is so popular among families with children we would like to keep it free.

The Stroll Committee is very grateful for the dedicated volunteers and the stroll partners and sponsors that make this event possible. There are approximately 1,000 candles that light the street and they need to be replaced. A local family donates their time and wood to make the holders for the candles and a local business has been donating the waxed white bags to put them in. Volunteers meet at the library to put the sand and candles in the bags, and many, many volunteers place them along the street, light them, and pick them up afterward. Volunteers spend hours on their phones and emails contacting people and businesses for donations — and have done a marvelous job — but more is needed. We are now asking the residents of Gilford to show their financial support for the event.

I would like to emphasize that as a member of the Candlelight Stroll Committee, I do NOT consider the committee to be an outside agency, I consider the work we have done for the past four years to be as much a part of Gilford's recreational life as is the town's Park and Recreation Department. I have lived in Gilford for 49 1/2 years and have been to Gilford Town Beach only once, have never used the tennis courts and have had no children to make use of all the wonderful activities that are provided for Gilford residents. I do not begrudge a penny that has been spent on the above mentioned activities. I would hope that even if you never come to the stroll that you would still support it, just as we support the Parks and Recreation Department. In fact, I would hope that you plan on coming next year, the second Saturday in December, to experience the stroll first hand.

Every year more and more people have come and enjoyed the free cider and cookies that the Historical Society provides, the free crafts and activities that the Friends of the Gilford Library provides, the free chowder that the Bickfords provide, and the goodies that town homeowners provide along the route. Strollers also enjoy various activities such as Santa at the bandstand, a chance to make "samores" at the bonfire, and the music at the Community Church and at the Meetinghouse.

In conclusion, please vote "YES" on Article 28 on Tuesday, March 8. We have a great group of volunteers who donate their time and energy to make the Candlelight Stroll an enjoyable experience for all, but we need your financial support to continue the event.

Kathy Lacroix


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