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Closing of the Year-Round Library will be a very sad day for me

To The Daily Sun,

The closing of the Year-Round Library for me will be a sad day and I believe it is a sad day for Gilmanton, too.

Gilmanton has a small population, large geographical area and few job opportunities so the majority commute away from town for their work activities. Gilmanton does have its churches, town halls and schools. It has its clubs, youth sports organization and other associations. We also have our special days, Fourth of July parade, Old Home Day and fireworks.

All of these groups and events are important and serve a purpose, but they also have limitations by age, faith, or other interest. So, while they bring some of us together they do not address the whole.

I felt the Year-Round Library bridged some of these gaps in its openness to all town members. The children often were the main focus of programs, but anyone during operating hours could stop, check the latest Consumer Reports, use the computers, have a cup of coffee. It was a place for all and we need more places in a town that does not have a community center, few restaurants or other spaces to come together.

Following SB-2, we no longer have our town meetings. Those meetings offered a time and place to come together. Community places are very important, otherwise we are the proverbial bedroom community with not just work but many personal activities taking place away from Gilmanton.

We now will have one less place with the "no" vote on library funding. So, for now I will pay my $20 to Gilford Library for a two-year card and miss very much what we had at the Year-Round Library.

Betty Mitchell

Gilmanton

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Underlying theme at Sanbornton meeting was don't expand services

To The Daily Sun,

My grandfather used to put a ring in bulls' noses and he said the trick to it is, after you make the hole and insert the ring, to take them for a walk using it while the pain is fresh in their minds or else once it is healed they will forget and when you try to walk them with it they will tear it out.

It is important to review what happened last night's Sanbornton Town Meeting and come to our own conclusions while the evening is fresh on our minds.

Several things that got my attention. First, that was the largest number of citizens I have seen attend Town Meeting "about 315", when generally 160 +- is the norm. Second, talking to a supervisors of the checklist, they indicated that only 30 percent (+ -) of the people showing up last night voted the day before, which tells me 70 percent were interested in spending issues. Third, the largest difference was for warrant article 3 (full-time firemen), where the vote was 95 "yes" and 191 "no."

I would guess that this was their motivation to come out and vote and probably if the chief had not been pushing that issue so hard they might have been more supportive of his pay increase. The only spending issue I personally was not in support of which was an amendment offered by Dick Gardner of the Planning Board to restore the town planner's pay to an increased level of hours recommended by the Planning Board and Selectboard. The Budget Committee level funded the planner for the hours he was approved for in the past, and the amendment was approved by an eight vote margin.

Budget Committee member Roger Grey's amendment to article 1, "removing the 2 percent pay raise to all town employees, removing the fire chief's pay increase and level funding the liibrary to last year's operating budget" was

passed by a "20 vote margin." I felt Ralph Rathgen. Budget Committee member, made a good argument in favor of charging the public for metal out of the metal pile at the dump (article 12) as well as the police Chief Hankard explaining the benefit of having it — so individuals breaking in after hours to take from the metal pile would then be considered to be stealing from the town. Brian, the DPW director, also brought up the loss of revenue due to the metal being pick (rough weights from when the metal pile was closed opposed to when it was picked), but there was that residual memory of the special Town Meeting carried over with many of the people.

Regardless of whether you believe the issues were properly or not properly presented the underlying statement that was made by most is: "We don't want to expand services!"

"We believe our taxes are high!"

"We are not happy but we realize the roads need to be fixed!"

This is an opportunity to consider different approaches on how we do business, I was glad that Selectman Karen Ober spoke up in favor of privatizing some of the plowing routes and trucking for the DPW and there was discussion about regionalizing fire service.

This year we will have some fresh faces on both boards bringing new perspectives. Let's take this opportunity, if we can figure out how to provide good services cheaper. If we can reduce taxes that would be the best tool for economic development!

Earl Leighton

Sanbornton

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