To The Daily Sun,
In New Hampshire, the Town Meeting is all powerful. It orders the running of each town and its business. This has been so since colonial days and the Town Meeting form of government remains vital today in towns like Sanbornton. The Town Meeting is the ultimate in self-selected representative democracy. Those who attend decide.
Sanbornton's voters are reminded that the 2015 Town Meeting will be held in March this year. After an few years' experiment with May meetings, last year's town meeting chose to return to the traditional March date. On Tuesday, March 10, we voters will go to the polls at the Old Town Hall for the ballot voting portion of Town Meeting. We will elect town officials, decide on zoning measures and vote on school issues. Also on the ballot is the proposal to expand the Select Board from three to five members. The polls will open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.
The next evening, Wednesday, March 11, we will gather at 7 p.m. at the Central School for the Town Meeting when warrant questions are discussed and voted in public. The town operating budget and several warrant articles will come to the floor.
Annual Reports are available at the town office building for those who wish to read over the articles to be voted prior to the meeting. Sample ballots are also available. Citizens of Sanbornton, please take a few minutes to vote your opinion at the polls on Tuesday and donate three hours of your time on Wednesday night to give direction to your town. Come and participate.
Last Updated on Friday, 06 March 2015 08:47
To The Daily Sun,
Are you happy with the level of Gilford property taxes?
There is only one practical way to take control of your property taxes, and that is to elect fiscal conservatives whenever you can do so. You will have your chance on Tuesday, March 10.
Our property taxes are determined by two components: (1) the assessed value of your property; and (2) the tax rate. There is little or nothing you can do to control the assessed value of your property, but you have a lot of control over your tax rate, if only you speak out and put your vote where your money is.
The Gilford Board of Selectmen routinely trims budget requests from the various town departments and sends their views of the budget to the Budget Committee. The School Board and the SAU send their budget requests for the schools to the Budget Committee.
The Gilford Budget Committee stands as the taxpayers' watchdog over the budgets, and its focus should be on adequately funding essential town services and trimming and cutting out non-essential expenditures.
Few, if any, taxpayers attend the Budget Committee or School Board meetings unless they have a special issue on which they want to be heard. And in the Deliberative Sessions, taxpayers, who are usually not present in great numbers, often add back to the budgets some items previously cut. But the ultimate tax rate is determined by the voters in the town election: the votes on the budget and special financial request articles and for those who are to serve on the Budget Committee, the Board of Selectmen, and the School Board, all of which have contested races next Tuesday.
If you vote to approve special warrant articles that provide for expenditures for non-profits, no matter how good they might seem to be, you are, in effect, forcing your neighbors to support with property taxes something that they may or may not actually support. The best way to support a non-profit that seeks funding is for you to send them your own contribution and encourage your neighbors to do so, rather than forcing your neighbors to pay higher property taxes for something you believe is beneficial to our town.
The simple but central economic issue is always present: We have limited resources (taxes) to allocate among numerous competing uses. I do not believe that any of our taxpayers want their property taxes raised to pay for everything that at least someone thinks would be nice to have in our town. We must live within our means, and that means making hard choices. We must concentrate on properly funding essential services, and reducing or eliminating wasteful spending.
The only practical way to take control of your property taxes is to elect fiscal conservatives to the Budget Committee, the Board of Selectmen, and the School Board next Tuesday. We need strong, fiscally conservative, leadership in all of those positions.
I am an experienced fiscal conservative who does not enjoy paying high property taxes for non-essential services, I have served you well in the past year, and I ask for your vote on Tuesday to return me to the Budget Committee to enable you to take better control of your property taxes.
Norman J. Silber
Last Updated on Friday, 06 March 2015 08:42
To The Daily Sun,
For several years (and to the great relief of both organizations) Ray Moritz's volunteer work has included running computer systems for the Friends of the Library's annual 5K race and the Great Rotary Fishing Derby. No matter how hectic the situation, Ray is always there, an oasis of calm and competence.
I am also impressed with Ray's preparation for the two "meet-the-candidate" events held at Wicwas Grange on Feb. 28 and the Meredith Community Center on March 5. Clearly, Ray knew the issues. He had reviewed town budgets and finances. He was familiar with the Capital Improvement Program and projects in process.
I believe Ray demonstrates qualities which will serve Meredith well if he is elected to the Board of Selectmen. Ray studies, he listens to what is needed, he turns up and he does all he can to enable good work to go forward.
Please vote on March 10.
Last Updated on Friday, 06 March 2015 08:39
To The Daily Sun,
I am writing this letter in support of Harry H. Bean as candidate for a seat on the Gilford Budget Committee. I have occurred seats of similar responsibility in the Lakes Region for 40+ years. I understand and recognize the essential characteristics of a community leader. Harry has them. I have know and worked closely with three generations of the Bean family. He and they all represent much of the best qualities required of leadership: strength of character; community pride, work ethics and integrity. He will be tireless in honest and faithful support of the best interests of the residents of the town of Gilford.
I ask for your vote in support of this fine candidate...Harry H Bean.
Karl P. Reitz
Last Updated on Friday, 06 March 2015 08:34
To The Daily Sun,
There is a conundrum in Gilmanton. The selectmen are apparently against the repeal of the SB-2 Deliberate Process because the "old" Town Meeting system supposedly did not provide adequate access for voting. Yet the same selectmen want to take away the voting privilege of electing a public roads agent, and having it become an appointed position. So goes the privilege of voting.
Then the selectmen endorse a $50,000 subcontract for the "ditching of roads", which apparently cannot be done by our Public Works crew, but decline to recommend a similar sum for the Year-Round Library. Dirt before literacy?
Then one of our selectmen (who implied he would serve for one term) is declared a write-in candidate after the Candidates' Night speeches of March 2. Do the voters deserve the opportunity to know why?
It would be great to have the opportunity to discuss these and other issues in a public forum, where the voters could, but. Oh, yeah, the "old" Town Meetings did provide this give-and-take before the voting. Sadly, it seems that a more informed voter is not a priority as shown by the poor attendance at the SB-2 Deliberative Sessions.
Apathy! Definitely a conundrum!
Frank M. Weeks
Gilmanton Iron Works
Last Updated on Friday, 06 March 2015 08:30