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Even I can figure out that a mobile home is not historical

To The Daily Sun,

I am writing to ask Gilmanton voters to please vote "Yes" and support Articles 5 and 6 on the Town Ballot. By voting "Yes" you will allow two Meeting House Road property owners to remove themselves from the Historic District zone. I am urging you to vote yes because I don't feel the Historic District should be placing a hardship on property owners.

One property owner at 533 Meeting House Road installed a beautiful white fence to keep his dogs from running around the neighborhood. The fence is attached to his house and is hundreds of feet off the road, yet the Historic District members find it to be offensive because it is made of vinyl and not wood. The district is requiring the owner to tear it down and erect a "historical" wooden fence. When the owner paints the wooden fence white it will look exactly the same as the vinyl fence, but he will have spent double for the same outcome.

Take a ride by this property at 533 Meeting House Road and decide for yourself if the fence is offensive. Looks beautiful to me, and I respect the homeowner for not wanting his dogs to run free and be a nuisance to neighbors.

The second property is at 485/493 Meeting House Road. This homeowner is trying to replace his attic windows and wants to install vinyl insulated windows at a cost of $168 each.

However, the Historic District is demanding that he use wood windows which he has priced at $673 each. Why would anyone want to demand this of someone when in the end they will both look the same at a fraction of the price? It seems as though you have to be wealthy to live in the Historic District with all the stipulations placed upon you.

The problem I see is the Historical zoned area on Meeting House Road must have been put in place without much thought. There is a mobile home situated between the two homes in question. Even I can figure out that a mobile home is not historical. So my question is, why include it in the Historic District? Many of the homes within this district are new homes and as far as I can see there are only three homes that date back to "historical times."

Why not change the boundaries of the Historic zone to include only the Smith Meeting House and Church grounds, as they are historic buildings with a great history and should be protected.

I know about the Historical District first hand. I grew up in one of the big old colonial homes in Gilmanton Corners. Many years ago my parents asked to be voted out of the District and were approved. They didn't want anyone telling them what kind of windows they had to put in their chicken coop.

Please allow the owners on Meeting House Road to install a fence and change their windows without having the Historic District deny them the privilege. Vote "Yes" on Articles 5 and 6.

Brenda McClary Currier

Gilmanton

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Selectboard still has time to not renew administrator's contract

To The Daily Sun,

Last year, after the unsuccessful attempt to remove two members of the Planning Board and a variety of other actions inspired by the town administrator that in the opinion of many residents exceeded his authority and totally lacked transparency, a petition with more than 85 signatures was submitted to the Board of Selectmen requesting that the town administrator's contract not be renewed. Despite the fact that there was an election pending, the Selectboard totally ignored the petition and without any discussion and public input whatsoever in a lame duck session, voted to renew the contract before the newly elected Board of Selectmen was even seated.

That effort, like the current Warrant Article 29, which will eliminate the position of town administrator, was motivated by his independent role in initiating an effort to remove two members of the Planning Board. The selectmen said they were acting in response to complaints from "several" residents, whom they refused to identify, but when the proceedings opened, the town administrator revealed he was the lone complainant.

After a public hearing, the selectmen unanimously rejected a motion to dismiss Josh Bartlett from the Planning Board and abandoned proceedings against Judy Ryerson, the second member who was to be removed.

Unfortunately the town administrator's conduct in promoting an agenda that is far from transparent and not in the interest of the town has continued. As a recent example, the town operates a monthly informational video to educate town voters to town services and issues. It is found on the town website and broadcast multiple times by the local cable company. February's video hosted by the town administrator had the town moderator review the 2015 town election and warrant in detail. When they reached Article 29 to eliminate the position of town administrator, neither the administrator nor moderator read or explained the article. Instead, the moderator noted that both the Board of Selectmen and the Budget Committee recommended against the article and then said, "I'll just leave that as far as my curiosity goes to those who want to read it."

When the Selectboard, to whom the town administrator reports, was asked why he omitted to provide any information on this article or recuse himself after hearing that the moderator failed to read and explain the article, they demurred stating that there is nothing they can do to remedy the situation. This is a typical example of the continuing pattern of avoiding transparency, this time by obscuring the content of the warrant article on the town's web site.

The Selectboard still has time before the March 14 Town Meeting to decline to renew the administrator's contract in which case this article would be unnecessary. However, if they renew the administrator's contract or take no action, which automatically will renew the contract, the petitioners will campaign for an affirmative vote to eliminate the administrator's position.

As the town's voters want a transparent and honest town government, please vote for Article 29 at the Town Meeting if the Selectboard fails to act.

Eric Taussig

Moultonborough

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