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.
Last Updated on Friday, 06 March 2015 08:20
To The Daily Sun,
I am a candidate for the Gilford School Board. At this time last year, I was honored to be appointed by the board to fill an unanticipated vacancy. During the ensuing year, I have discovered something special is happening in the Gilford schools. Led by a talented, dedicated staff of teachers and administrators, our students are receiving a first class education. I am running because I believe in what the Gilford schools are providing and wish to continue to support, direct, and advance this education excellence. All Gilford residents should be proud of what has been accomplished in our schools.
Although I am running unopposed, I want my views and opinions to be known to so that I may earn your confidence and your vote.
Thank you and whoever you support please be sure to vote Tuesday, March 10.
Last Updated on Thursday, 05 March 2015 12:24
To The Daily Sun,
The average Sanbornton resident has seen their town tax increase 86 percent over the last 10 years ($1,053 to $1,956). This rate of increase is, in my view, unsustainable. Fortunately the upcoming March 10 election will provide every resident an opportunity to do something about taxes by voting for candidates that are capable of counterbalancing town services with town income.
Earl Leighton, the current Budget Committee chairman, has been a tireless advocate of fiscal responsibility and should be re-elected. Craig Weisman is also running for the Budget Committee and, as a successful businessman, has proven that he has not only an in-depth understanding of the budgeting process but has the necessary intestinal fortitude when trying to balance income and expenses. He is an excellent choice for Budget Committee.
As for selectman, the current incumbent is running for re-election on a record of not being frugal with the public purse. For example, her endorsement of the Fire Department's request for two new full-time firemen at an overall annual cost of $159,000 demonstrates a disregard for the already overburdened taxpayer. Mitch Lewis is a much needed replacement and as a business consultant, will bring not only a new focus on spending, but also a much needed new approach to management of town resources. Mitch deserves your vote for selectman.
Last Updated on Thursday, 05 March 2015 12:21
To The Daily Sun,
Bristol is lucky enough to have three very qualified candidates running for Selectboard this year. Each of these candidates offers experience and stands for what they believe to be the right direction for Bristol. We each have a choice for sure and it is our hope that voters will turn out in mass to vote their choice.
We the undersigned will be voting for Paul Manganiello for Selectboard. We will do so for a variety of reasons personal to our own beliefs, but we all agree that he is the best candidate for the following strengths he will bring to the position:
— An open mind, balanced with strength of conviction.
— A commitment to fiscally responsible decisions.
— A consideration of taxpayer burden in decisions on spending.
— A common sense perspective to deliberative process and decisions.
— A promise of open and transparent governing.
— Respect for staff, departments, and fellow officials.
— Dedication to community and economic development efforts.
— Determination to weigh all decisions based on what is in the best interest of the town.
Join us with a vote for Paul Manganiello on March 10.
Burt Williams, Bill Phinney, Mason & Jane Westfall, John & Eleanor Morrison, Arthur Casey, JP & Elizabeth Morrison, Scott Doucette, Bill & Janet Cote, Mary Jane Rivest, Paul Simard, Betsy Schneider, Boake & Betty Morrison, Ray & Fran Parkhurst, Ernie & Nancy Richards, Rebecca Boudreau Margaret Hoyle
Last Updated on Thursday, 05 March 2015 12:15
To The Daily Sun,
It is that time again when we voters of Belmont are preparing to go to the polls to vote for the position of selectman for a term of three years. I have placed my name on the ballot to represent you, as I have represented you in the past. I am a common-sense person and that has served me well in my personal and business life. I am, and have always been, an independent thinker and I can listen to both sides of an argument.
Most people lose sight of the fact that the voters are the people in charge because they are the ones who make the final decision in the end. A leader's job is to keep the voters informed as to what is being planned and to advise them regarding the best course of action.
I am a voter and a concerned citizen and I am not happy at all with the leadership in the Town Hall. For example, did anyone in this town vote to approve the construction of a pavilion or the purchase of a bridge? Were the voters informed of the fact that meetings were being held at a time that no working person could have possibly attended regarding the mill building? The present leadership does nothing to encourage voter participation.
Advertising in the newspaper or writing a news release to all 3,000 voters that a Town Meeting is going to be held to vote on the Town Warrant Articles on March 10 at the high school from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. would inform voters and encourage greater voter turnout.
I aim to change this type of behavior with your help.
I am going to vote against the $3.4-million bond issue (Article 3 of the Warrant). I am also going to vote against Article 12 of the Warrant for $125,000 to go into the capital reserve fund. The selectman have $500,000 in that fund already. They use that money to build pavilions and bridges without your approval.
To all the 3,000 voters in Belmont, you have the opportunity to take a few minutes of your time to vote on the proposed $3.4-million bond issue. How much time will it take, 20 or 30 minutes? If that bond issue passes you will be married to that bond for 20 years and wondering why your taxes keep going up every year.
I respectfully ask for your vote as selectman so that I can represent the taxpayers interest and seek greater participation through transparency.
Last Updated on Thursday, 05 March 2015 12:12