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Important issues for Sanbornton voters to settle on March 8 & 9

To The Daily Sun,

In December, we had our special Town Meeting and overwhelmingly voted for return of swap shop and metal pile access at our Sanbornton Transfer Station/Recycling Center. Some had an "intro to town government" and consequently questioned our selectmen and our town legal counsel.

Now, voting will happen on Tuesday, March 8, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Old Town Hall, with a race between incumbent Selectman Nickerson and challenger Olmstead. Other ballot questions are in play, too. Come to exercise your vote.

On Wednesday night, March 9, starting at 7 o'clock in our elementary school, but come earlier for a seat, will be Town Meeting.

Warrant Article 12 is about our metal pile. Submitted by petition, it promotes townspeople paying for metal from the metal pile. This changes what we voted at special Town Meeting. On this night budget items are accepted, or amended, or not accepted. Tax rate gets determined accordingly. The fire auxiliary sells sandwiches, beverages, snacks.

Our town's 2015 Annual Report is available in several places, including town offices. Pick one up and study it, to be informed before voting.

I am especially impressed with the pages showing Recreation Department activities, serving so many, especially but not restricted to families with children.

I've seen a newspaper article interviewing our Fire Chief, Paul Dexter, making the case for two full-time fire fighters who can also deliver emergency medical services. We've become a town with an aging population and increasingly a retirement population. Daytime calls increase with populations being at home rather than away at work. (Something) to think about: one full-timer (Chief Dexter) to get out on the road for a home-based emergency, or waiting for available but on-call crew — or having new, on-site firefighters/EMTs at the ready?

Lynn Rudmin Chong

Sanbornton

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SB-2 vote for Shaker District is your chance to level playing field

To The Daily Sun,

On March 4, voters of the Shaker Regional School District will have the opportunity to "vote to adopt RSA 40:13 (also known as SB-2) to allow official ballot voting on all issues to come before the Shaker School District." This is an extremely important issue to the voters.

I reviewed my file on SB-2 (information collected over the years) which has facts, figures, pros, cons and many Letters to the Editor from around the state expressing the opposing viewpoints on this issue. I could list the many advantages and how this voting method change would help the voters, but this list is long. (There would be many opponents who would list their own reasons why it shouldn't be adopted.)

I believe the one most important reason why this change is important to many Shaker School District voters: convenience. This fact cannot be denied by those who do not support this change.

Shaker District Meetings are always held on a Friday night, are always "festive," with entertainment, award ceremonies, retirement announcements/gifts etc. Babysitting services are even offered for the convenience of parents, and refreshments are available to all. However, not all citizens have the ability to attend at night due to jobs, age/disabilities, or other factors beyond their control. Many voters move south during the winter months.

With SB-2 in place, all of these people will be able to exercise their constitutional right to vote by absentee ballot. (XII. Voting at the second session shall conform to the procedures for the nonpartisan ballot system as set forth in RSA 669:19-29, RSA 670:5-7 and RSA 671:20-30, including all requirements pertaining to absentee voting, polling place, and polling hours.)

And then there are people who just do not wish to participate/sit through all of the "divergence" offered at a typical meeting. They know what decisions they have made and only wish cast their votes. Typical School District meetings are very long and the events scheduled during them only delay the voting process, the main reason why many voters would attend.

With SB-2 in place, a deliberative session occurs before the voting session. All articles are discussed, as they are now, and any changes to them can be made at that time. (This session would be a more appropriate time for all the usual festivities that take place each year.) Voters could use the time between the first and second sessions to study the proposed budget and expenses; consider their decisions in the comfort and convenience of their homes, and cast their votes anytime during the (whole) day that the polls are open for the second session.

SB-2 would also prevent last-minute motions from the floor to add $500,000 to the final budget. This was a devious, unfair and underhanded tactic that was employed last year.

There is one more very important fact about this year's vote on SB-2. The polls are open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on March 4. For the first time, citizens will have eight hours to cast their votes regarding the adoption of SB-2.

This is your chance to level the playing field. Adoption of SB-2 will provide you the choice of what your votes will be, and the convenience of a whole day to cast them.

Please vote "Yes" on Article 01: SB-2 Petition Warrant Article.

Ken Knowlton

Belmont

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