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Instead of focusing on teacher pay, let's look for funding sources

To The Daily Sun,

I am submitting this letter in response to the two letters Belmont resident Don Irvin submitted last week.

Teacher pay isn't the problem. One of the largest expenses of any business is personnel. You contend we are among the higher-paid teachers. You could investigate this at http://education-places.startclass.com/l/2521/Belknap-County-NH. It shows that teachers in Belknap County make less than average for the state of New Hampshire. The last link is prepared by the State Department of Education. Shaker ranks 94th, Inter-Lakes ranks 37th and Gilford ranks 49th. Look at both starting and top-end salaries comparisons. (https://www.education.nh.gov/data/documents/teach_start15_16.pdf)

I agree property taxes need to be addressed. Wouldn't a better use of time and energy be how we can improve funding sources? There is a bigger problem we may soon face. School choice will funnel these same tax dollars from public to private institutions. We will be forced to make do with less. I use to work for another district in New Hampshire. Every year they sent a bill to the U.S. government to pay for their mandates. They never received any compensation. The point is we need to find alternative ways to alleviate the tax burden. SB-2 isn't the answer. It allows ill-informed, sensationalized letters to provide information.

Sharon Hampton

Belmont

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I pledge to continue fight to reduce Sanbornton's tax burden

To The Daily Sun,

Comparing Sanbornton total town expenditures from FY-2014 with the proposed FY-2018 budget of $5.3 million yields an increase of 40 percent, a number many times higher than what one would expect from the rate of inflation during this same period. As a Budget Committee member I have tried unsuccessfully to get my fellow committee members to take positive measures to address this high rate of increase.

Obviously, if the rate of budgetary increase is the only criteria, then my five years as a Budget Committee member may appear to have been singularly unsuccessful. However, per RSA 32:14, the general role of a budget committee is to provide taxpayers with sufficient knowledge that they might be able to "vote intelligently on certain budgetary problems," and in this regard I believe I have been successful.

During the five years I have served on the Budget Committee, I have been able to educate myself on the finer points of our municipal budget, and then to use this knowledge to help keep Sanbornton taxpayers better informed. I believe this is one reason voter turnout doubled at last year's Town Meeting.

I am running for re-election to the Budget Committee. I pledge to continue my effort to reduce Sanbornton's tax burdens while providing taxpayers the essential information necessary to make informed decisions.

I am asking for your vote so that I can continue this important work on your behalf.

Roger Grey
Sanbornton

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