To The Daily Sun,
Would someone please tell me what's going on in Gilmanton? I mean, honestly, I consider myself a fairly observant and relatively intelligent person but I have no clue.
At the April 13 selectmen's meeting, the posted minutes read: "On a motion by Selectman McWhinnie and seconded by Selectman Bishop it was voted unanimously to freeze Fire Department chief, Police Department chief and Road Agent pay, including COLAs, for two years, for the years 2016 and 2017. (3-0 Voice Vote – Chairman Jean -ye s, Selectman McWhinnie - yes, Selectman Bishop – yes)." Okay, so then there's a footnote added that states: "These motions were made on this date and rescinded on the following selectmen's meeting on April 18, 2016 which will be reflected on the minutes of that meeting." So, I thought it would be informative to read those minutes to, you know, just get an idea of why they were rescinded. Well, wouldn't you know, there are no on-line posted minutes for April 18. This is May 4. Three weeks, and no minutes? I suppose I could complain and remind the selectman of their responsibility under RSA Section 91-A:2 "Minutes" . . . but why bother. After the poorly handled "Gilmantongate" minutes debacle of the April 4th selectman's meeting, who knows how they would respond.
While I'm on the subject, though, I wanted to share that I'm relieved that I will never have to vote again. Why bother! I voted for those COLA wage increases and the selectman rescinded my vote. Mine and 640 others. Of course they eventually rescinded what they rescinded but is it wrong for me to point out that even a 4th grader knows enough about the democratic process that you just can't take away the public's vote? Honestly, I understand that two of the selectman have absolutely no experience in governing a town, but to go against a legal vote? There's no excuse for that.
The big question though, is: Was this really just a mistake, or was this board and town manager maybe publicly flexing a little political muscle and testing the waters for, let's say, other pursuits? What I'm asking is, what other issues that were legally voted for, or against, does this board intend on undermining? When a warrant is drawn up and is voted on . . . that's it! If the majority of the voters say no . . . it's no. If yes . . . it's yes. Just as an example, there was a particular warrant article this year that required a super-majority vote. It lost. Are we in Gilmanton to expect then, that when the majority (super-majority, in this case) vote no on something four people have the right to push it through irregardless, without giving it to the voters again? I'm sure the selectmen and town administrator wouldn't be foolish enough to do that, but really, who knows after this COLA flip-flop and the April 4 mess.
So, I'm asking the Gilmanton selectmen and town manager: Please fix your minutes, and pay better attention to the not-so-complicated rights that embody a democratic vote.
- Category: Letters
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