To The Daily Sun,
This letter is to support my husband, Ralph Rathjen, for Budget Committee in the town of Sanbornton. Ralph has more than 30 years of experience in finance and has worked on numerous school and church committees as treasurer. Ralph is a man of integrity. He has taken the time to analyze the town budgets over the past 10 years.
Yes, the budgets have increased, but not because of unfettered operational increases. On average the operating budget has increased less than 2.5 percent over 10 years. The bump comes when you add in the warrant articles that Sanbornton has implemented to fix its roads.
The Selectmen of Sanbornton should be commended for the work they have done to balance the needs of the town and minimizing tax increases. Ralph will bring his experience of research and planning to help keep Sanbornton on the right track. Ralph believes that operating budget matters should be largely resolved before town meeting. Town Meeting should be a time to discuss important Warrant Articles, not for each department to struggle to get money returned to their budget to work effectively for the residents of Sanbornton.
Ralph and I have resided in Sanbornton four years and find the people in this community to be friendly and helpful. Sanbornton has been a great place to call our home. Please take a moment and speak to Ralph at the polls on Election Day and cast your vote for Ralph Rathjen.
Last Updated on Friday, 09 May 2014 09:58
To The Daily Sun,
I am writing this letter to urge the voters of Sanbornton to take time to vote at the Town Hall on Tuesday next. There are lots of candidates to choose from, but two in particular stand out in my mind.
Johnny Van Tassel, running for selectman, knows the town, the roads, and the people of our town, lives here year-round, and will attend our weekly meetings in person. I think he is an outstanding candidate for the position.
Ralph Rathjen would bring to our Budget Committee some new ideas about how to work through budgets and years of experience with number crunching.
Both these candidates are also personable, approachable, and willing to listen to the people they serve.
Last Updated on Friday, 09 May 2014 09:52
To The Daily Sun,
On Saturday, May 17, we will be hosting the 11th WOW Sweepstakes Ball at the Lake Opechee Inn, Spa and Conference Center. This event, presented by Meredith Village Savings Bank, is our most important fundraising event, helping to fund the on-going expansion and maintenance of the trail. The WOW Sweepstakes Ball has raised almost $300,000 to date to help fund this exciting project.
What is the WOW Sweepstakes Ball? Well, it's not a ball in the "wear fancy clothes" sort of way. It's a ball in that it is super fun, has great food and entertainment, and you will be supporting a great cause: The WOW Trail. In addition, the WOW Ball offers you a 1 in 300 chance of winning $10,000.
Casual attire is cool. Shorts and flip-flops are fine with us. Your $100 ticket includes admission, buffet dinner for two, entertainment with Paul Warnick & Phil 'N the Blanks, and one entry into the sweepstakes. Only 300 tickets will be sold. You do not need to be present to win.
Please show your support of the WOW Trail by purchasing a ticket. Tickets are available at the Laconia Athletic & Swim Club, Patrick's Pub & Eatery, or on-line at www.banknhpavilion.com.
For more information about the WOW Trail go to www.wowtrail.org or become a friend of the WOW Trail's Facebook page.
Hope to see you at the Ball and out on the trail!
WOW Ball Chair
& the WOW Trail Board of Directors
Last Updated on Friday, 09 May 2014 09:48
To The Daily Sun,
One of Sanbornton's candidates for selectman, Jeff Jenkins, is not as well known to many folks as is candidate Johnny VanTassel our past Road Agent, so I thought I'd like to share what I know of Jeff.
I've served on several town boards with Jeff and found him to be very fair, honest and knowledgeable. He always does his "homework" and comes to meetings prepared. I have never seen him treat either the public or other board members with anything but respect. He also knows and has been involved with highways, their building, their maintenance and their budgets for many years and that background would be very advantageous to a Sanbornton selectman as our highway budget is one of the largest amounts of money the town spends.
At Candidate's Night, Jeff was questioned about the few winter months he spends in Florida. His answer was clear and concise. He could and would be available, not only for meetings, but at any time, using technology. Nearly everyone today uses some form of technology and state law recognizes this and allows its use in government. I felt a number of people at the meeting were quite disingenuous when they applauded loudly when two candidates recommended the use of technology (use of credit card payments to town) but found fault with its use as Jeff suggested. We should not fault someone for suggesting the use of the same technology that most all of us use daily. Much of what selectmen deal with comes in the form of written documents so the flow of information would not change. Discussions, motions and votes can take place just as openly as they are presently and information would be just as available.
Wouldn't Jeff, who is free to be at meetings electronically, perhaps be more available than his opponent, who may miss meetings during the winter months because his job, dictated by Mother Nature, keeps him from attending? The answer given was that if he was working because of storms the selectmen's meeting would have been canceled. The selectmen seldom cancel meetings. Once a year perhaps? Because selectmen also have to serve on other boards as well, many of those could be missed due to snow and ice. Jeff in Florida won't have that problem for his phone and/or computer wouldn't be snowed out. Jeff's opposition says he also can take calls at any time because he is on salary in Northfield. Northfield's Selectboard might not agree. They may feel Sanbornton phone calls during his Northfield working hours is being done on their "dime and time."
Jeff Jenkins has my vote and my recommendation for Sanbornton selectman.
Last Updated on Friday, 09 May 2014 09:46
To The Daily Sun,
Warrant Aarticle 10, to create a capital asset fund in the amount of $5,000 to be used by the Sanbornton Selectmen to control pollution in Lake Winnisquam, is on the May 14 Town Meeting agenda. It is proposed by the Sanbornton Board of Selectmen but not recommended by the Budget Committee.
The purpose of fund is allow the selectmen to deal with outbreaks of noxious weeds like milfoil and also to apply for and accept matching grant funding from state and federal agencies to construct pollution control installations that were recommended by by the Black Brook Watershed Management Plan study, completed in 2012.
The Watershed Management Plan found that water draining into Lake Winnisquam from the 3,000 acre Black Brook Watershed in Sanbornton has 2 1/2 times the concentration of phosphorus now present in the Lake. This drainage is polluting Lake Winnisquam and adding to the probability of algae and noxious weed growth. The plan forecasts that future housing development in the watershed will increase this concentration by a factor of five. (Phosphorus is a nutrient that stimulates the the growth of noxious aquatic weeds such as algae and milfoil that destroy the recreational value of lakes and ponds).
The Watershed Management Plan identified more than 30 specific sites along with individual projects that could be completed in a timely, affordable, multiyear, program. Projects would qualify for matching federal and state grants to minimize the impact on local property taxes. Most of the projects are for Class V road drainage improvements, which concurrent with removing pollutants will lower town costs of maintaining existing unstable road shoulders and unpaved gravel roads.
Last year, Sanbornton's selectmen applied for matching Chapter 319 funds to begin correcting Kaulback Road drainage problems. Matching Chapter 319 federal funding was approved and on the "table," awaiting our appropriation of local funds at our Town Meeting. Led by the opposition of the Sanbornton Budget Committee, the motion for local funding was defeated. Regrettably, despite the efforts of our selectmen and state agencies, the hard-sought federal funds didn't go to Sanbornton but were given to another applicant. Thus Sanbornton was not able to begin correcting drainage problems pinpointed in the plan.
To defend its opposition to the Kaulback Road work, Budget Committee members claimed that no other towns were active in abating pollution. This was not true. For 2013, the dollars expended for Chapter 319 projects completed in the Merrimack watershed exceeded $700,000.
Again this year the Budget Committee recommends against approving the $5,000 recommended saving measure to lower property taxes. However, the cost of this approving this appropriation as recommended will impact a property owner, with an average assessed value, less than a $2 increase in total property only $2 this year. In its zeal to save, the Budget Committee is obviously going overboard.
Why is Article 10 on the Warrant as a special article for consideration? Taking Town Meeting time for debate and voting for a measure with negligible taxpayer impact is dumb. (We hope that in the future the Budget Committee will discover meaningful cost saving issues to address).
The issue of keeping Lake Winnisquam free of pollution is important to all Sanbornton taxpayers. Lakeshore residents pay high property taxes. Lake Winnisquam pollution issues jeopardizes our property tax income stream. Lack of support for selectmen's initiative by the Budget Committee and their action to defeat it is unwise, petty and poorly considered. It is hoped that the Budget Committee will not mislead Town Meeting voters again. Voters should support the selectmen's recommendation and vote "YES."
Don Foudriat, Project Coordinator
Black Brook Watershed Management Plan
Last Updated on Friday, 09 May 2014 03:25