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SB-2 would create even a smaller 'few' ruling the 'many'

To the editor,
Mr Grey's letter supporting SB-2 for Sanbornton is mostly about numbers. He thinks that 149 at Town Meeting as opposed to the 570 at the election booth is "the rule of the many by the few". I look at it differently. The 150 at Town Meeting could speak about and amend warrant articles. In other words,  participate directly. With SB-2 it will be 50 or so speaking and amending at the deliberative meeting and 570 voting on what the 50 decided. I think 50 versus 570 is an even smaller few ruling the many.
As to the many excuses for why people don't go to Town Meeting, well I've heard them all. Betcha if I offered free Red Sox tickets many could find time to go. I wish more would attend Town Meeting but I defend their right to choose whether or not they attend. There if one of his listed excuses that angers me. The "aren't comfortable speaking up in public" or as others often say voting in the comfort and privacy of the voting booth. No one 'has' to speak at Town Meeting. Others don't want to raise their hand to vote and let people see what they voted. When I think of the many people who have fought and were maimed of killed to give us this right it really puts raising a hand to vote in perspective.
Please vote NO to SB-2. Town Meeting has worked for over 200 years and it's not broken. SB-2 is 20 years old and the Legislators are still trying to get the bugs out of it.
Evelyn Auger

Last Updated on Saturday, 11 May 2013 01:16

Hits: 424

Guns used to commit Chicago crimes are almost all bought elsewhere

To the editor,
Recently Steve Earle claimed of my letter, "James gives a clutter of statistics of which I will not endeavor to challenge because they are insignificant to the point." Oh really? A clutter to Steve maybe. The statistics in my letter — http://www.laconiadailysun.com/index.php/opinion/letters/68016-james-veverka-5-3-685 — clearly negated his claims in the first letter that background checks don't work. They do. The statistic were from Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research, not Breitbart, Fox, or the NRA liars. The data clearly said that in the states that had universal checks and forbade anyone under a domestic abuse order to possess a firearm, the intimate partner homicide rate dropped 19 percent. That is a significant number of lives saved. The study also showed that states with loose gun laws undermined the states with better laws. It also noted that gaps in federal laws drastically weaken intelligent state gun laws.
Take Chicago, the right wing's favorite punching bag. In other parts of Illinois, the gun laws are looser. That is why 43 percent of the guns seized by law enforcement in Chicago were originally purchased in other parts of Illinois, particularly Cook County. Illinois does not license or otherwise regulate firearms dealers which opens the door to Chicago's gun trafficking. The remaining 57 percent of Chicago guns all came from out of state, most significantly from nearby Indiana and distant Mississippi. (http://www.theatlanticcities.com/neighborhoods/2012/08/where-chicagos-guns-come/3090/) Here is a NYT article complete with map on where 50,000 Chicago crime guns came from. (http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/01/29/us/where-50000-guns-in-chicago-came-from.html?_r=0)
The next time I read a sentence with "law abiding citizens" from a gun nut I am going to throw up. The whole idea of gun checks is to find the one's who AREN'T law abiding citizens. 700,000 people have been denied guns since 2000. Unlicensed dealers at gun shows who don't run background checks open the door to criminals, terrorists and the mentally dangerous. Just ask al Qaeda.
As far as the fast and furious program goes, it was a Bush plan, not an Obama plan. The Obama administration inherited it just as it did Bush's terrible economy and his miserable foreign policy.
James Veverka

Last Updated on Saturday, 11 May 2013 01:09

Hits: 474

Biggest drain on our tax dollars is explosion of Pentagon budget

To the editor,
In all 50 states, people are telling Congress to end the sequestration chaos. This involves over 70,000 people, but also, in time for Town Meeting in Sanbornton, involves a May 15 Town Meeting warrant article, #15, about cuts that could and should be made, to the Pentagon budget.
Why did the economy and the federal budget go off the tracks? Two wars, tax cuts for the rich, corporate tax loopholes and a runaway Pentagon budget that has never been audited.
What is the biggest drain of our tax dollars? It is the explosion of the Pentagon budget since 9/11 on new weapons, military bases around the world and nuclear weapons that serve no purpose except to generate international tensions.
Voting "yes" to article #15 essentially says, "We need to move the money from wars and ever-newer weapons to fund human services and jobs needed in our communities instead!" Last year Sanbornton's citizens, through IRS payments, gave $5,015,129 to the Pentagon. Now it's time to bring home that money and use it for town personnel needs, homeless and hungry needs, roads and bridges. Reads the warrant article: "Even 18 percent of that Sanbornton tax money would be roughly $1 million redirected to our local needs."
Sanbornton Town Meeting voters, if staying to the end of May 15's meeting, can add to the outpouring of public pressure on Congress. Thirty-plus Sanbornton voters got the article onto the warrant by petition. As one Sanbornton resident, I ask that it pass.
Christine Hobby

Last Updated on Friday, 10 May 2013 12:17

Hits: 366

Cost to Sanbornton for Kaulback Rd. improvements will be $13k

To the editor,
Sanbornton voters should be aware that Article 9 for funding a Black Brook Watershed Protection project will be on the Warrant for consideration at the Town Meeting on May 15. Article 9 is recommended by the selectmen but not recommended by the Budget
Committee. Adopting Article 9 at the Town Meeting is wise.
In Article 9, the sum of $38,366 is proposed for road improvements on Kaulback Road, which will include sediment traps to reduce phosphorus bearing road sediments that are now polluting Lake Winnisquam by way of the north tributary of Black Brook. The cost
to Sanbornton taxpayers is only $13,406. A 2013 chapter 319 Federal Watershed Assistance Grant, which the Selectmen have applied for and has been granted is subject to town approval of Article 9, will provides more than half of the funding.
Separating phosphorus bearing sediments from Black Brook Watershed roadways drainage is a major goal of the recently completed Black Brook Watershed Management Plan and includes multiyear affordable projects to bring phosphorus in Lake Winnisquam under control using state and federal assistance grants to minimize local costs. It is to Sanbornton's advantage to participate in this program.
Many applications are submitted each year for limited grant funds; to be a part of this ongoing program is smart.
Sanbornton's selectmen are to be congratulated for their initiative and foresight in providing voters with this opportunity. Participation via the grant proposal at this time is prudent since there is no assurance that grants will be readily available in the future.
I believe that appropriate action by the Budget Committee is to advise the Town Meeting that they have dropped their "Not Recommended "position and join the selectmen in recommending passage.
In any case, Sanbornton voters should vote in favor of Article 9 as proposed.
Donald Foudriat, Project Coordinator
Black Brook Watershed Management Plan

Last Updated on Friday, 10 May 2013 12:12

Hits: 331

The world calls it democracy; we call it town meeting

To the editor,
Roger Grey notes numbers of votes cast in the voting booth, as he argues for SB-2 and discontinuation of Town Meeting. A more meaningful number: 12 times our town's voters have turned down SB-2.
The discussion at Town Meeting this year starts with the operating budget and differences between the budget committee's recommendation and the selectmen's recommendation. Fire and emergency management, highways and streets, and the library will all get aired and the gathered meeting will reconcile the proposed expenditure differences. We'll get to a modified "total" cost. How would that modification happen in the voting booth, per lone voter? Or, if a small, elite number of 20-40 people attended the budget hearing/meeting required by SB-2, they could so alter the total line to cause the whole budget, worked on by budget committee and selectmen, to get a "no." No action on the eleven itemized costs that Town Meeting, by contrast, would care about and reconcile.
We have two different dump truck articles/options. Equipment decisions almost always require weighing of presented facts and points of view. Collective wisdom rules. Grey uses tired and fraudulent charges, when he says Town Meeting is the "rule of the many by the few." Collective wisdom is not that.
This year's article 9, "Blackbrook Watershed Protection" is recommended by the selectmen but not by the Budget Committee. We'll hear both sides then decide. What does the lone voter in his voting booth do? Just look at the $13,406 more in taxes and say "no"? Dismiss the work of the Watershed Assistance Grant applied for and received?
Finally, article 15 is mine and others, submitted by petition. Nothing to do with expenditure of our taxes, but asking our Congress and president to reduce Pentagon spending "in order to address domestic priorities." Without the discussion that several of us will offer, the lone voter will not give us a fair shake, but check off "no," because by then he's wearied his head with fourteen other articles and is ready to be done. How fair is that? How democratic is that?
The world calls it democracy — we call it Town Meeting. Sanbornton voters — keep Town Meeting. Vote on May 14, no to question 1. Have no regrets.
Lynn Rudmin Chong

Last Updated on Friday, 10 May 2013 12:08

Hits: 270

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