MeredithMay2017

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Vote no on 8 to preserve checks and balances in Gilford

To The Daily Sun,

It's critically important for people to know that the recent letter to The Daily Sun submitted by Harry Bean regarding the Article 8 Citizen Petition is misleading and inaccurate. At the end of his article, Mr. Bean indicated that he believes that the Budget Committee should prepare the default budget. He stated that both the budget and default budget are created by the School Board. This is not the case.

This is misleading because it is the function – by state statute (RSA 32:5) – for the Municipal Budget Committee to review the School Board's proposed budget and to make revisions to the budget if they feel that they are necessary. After this review by the Budget Committee has been completed, it is the Budget Committee's revised budget – not the School Board's proposed budget – that gets placed on the warrant for the taxpayers to vote on. The School Board simply proposes a budget to the Budget Committee. Again, it is the Budget Committee's budget that gets placed on the warrant.

If the Budget Committee's warrant article is not approved by the voters, then the default budget, presented by the School Board, becomes the budget for the next school year. This is how each group – the Budget Committee and the School Board—has an equal role in a fair process.

If both the proposed budget and the default budget were to be developed by a single entity, the system of checks and balances would be removed for the Gilford voters. It is for this reason that I recommend we do not change the current structure. If warrant Article #8 is approved, then the Budget Committee alone will determine what the proposed budget number and the default budget number will be on the warrant article for the school district. This would not be a fair and equal process. Please vote NO on Article 8 Citizen Petition!

Wendy Oellers-Fulmer

Gilford

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Belmont, vote yes on 24 and 37 to preserve recreation trails

To The Daily Sun,

Belmont voters have two Town Meeting Ballot Questions that look for support to expand local recreation trails. Two recently opened Belmont trails: the Lake Winnisquam Scenic Trail and the Village Rail Spur Trail are proving to be quite popular. Here's the background to consider:

BALLOT Question #24
In 2016 Belmont opened the Lake Winnisquam Scenic Trail, 1.8 miles of paved trail which now connect with Laconia's WOW Trail to offer 4.5 miles to enjoy. And we're just getting started! To extend the "Winni Trail" another mile west along the lake's south shore. We need to build up 20 percent matching funds for a federal grant. The next mile could cost $800,000 (80 percent federal grant, 20 percent local match).

Belmont residents - VOTE YES on Ballot Question #24 to invest $30,000 for the Belmont Trail Capitol Reserve. There's $59,304 in the Reserve now. By adding to the Reserve each year, we can build it up to meet the required match and extend the trail.

BALLOT Question # 37
The Village Rail Spur Trail with the charming covered bridge below the Belmont Mill also was opened last year. In addition, the Town received a $73,440 State Recreation Trail grant to extend the trail improvement including another covered bridge section. To put these funds into action, matching Town funds are needed.

Belmont residents - VOTE YES on Ballot Question #37 to add $5,000 to the Village Spur Trail Capitol Reserve so the project can move forward. Currently, there is $25,000 in this Reserve. This is a Belmont Conservation Commission project.

Trail Supporters – If you love the trail, but don't vote in Belmont you can still help by making a donation to the Trail Reserve Funds or contribute funds for a bench, bike rack or other trail improvements or you can volunteer to help. For more information, contact the Belmont Recreation Trail Team at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or the Belmont Conservation Commission at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

We're just getting started! Whether you enjoy the outdoors walking your dog, strolling with friends, cycling, running, snowshoeing, cross country skiing or exploring with your family, Belmont's trails offer great opportunities. Help us make Belmont a special place to enjoy the great outdoors.

Belmont Recreation and Alternative Transportation Team – Chair, Ron Mitchell

Belmont Conservation Commission – Chair, Laurel Day

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