NH voters prepare to have their say at town meetings
March 09. 2013 9:20PM
Across New Hampshire this week, voters will be going to the polls or to traditional town meetings to make their voices heard on a wide variety of issues and races for elective office. Here are some of the key issues expected to be decided in the communities listed:
Select board incumbent Brenda Ferland is running against two challengers, Raymond Buisson and former Selectman Doug Ring.
A project to replace the town office's oil-fired furnace with a pellet-fired boiler and interior pellet hopper, as well as install a high-efficiency, propane-fired boiler as a backup to the pellet system, would cost $45,000.
In a change from years past, funding for several town nonprofits will come before voters as a separate article and not as a budget line item. The request for $6,246.25 is recommended by the board, but not by the budget committee.
A petition article asks voters to adopt an official ballot form of government, which would rescind the traditional town meeting format. A three-fifths majority vote is required.
Robert J. Kemp and Francis Fournier are seeking a three-year term on the select board, Charleen Hoefsmit and Barbara Guelcher are seeking a three-year term as library trustee, and Robert Hebert and Todd Carter are seeking a three-year term as first deputy fire chief.
Usually included in the town budget, the $7,000 expense for town membership to the Peterborough Town Library is to be discussed and voted on separately this year.
Contoocook Valley School District
Voters are to decide whether to keep two middle schools or close Great Brook School in Antrim so that middle school education in the district would be solely focused at South Meadow School in Peterborough.
A petition article asks voters to fund $80,000 for a school resource officer at ConVal High School.
A $1.5 million bond article would soften the blow of funding the town's transition to an 18-month budget, but an article that would rescind last year's vote to change from a calendar year budget to a fiscal year budget is also before voters on Tuesday.
SAU 6: Claremont, Cornish and Unity School Districts
A long discussed renovation of Stevens High School is coming before voters again, this time as a $12.5 million bond to renovate and expand the school, addressing many of its code deficiencies, including new code compliant electrical wiring, fire safety and ADA compliance for handicap accessibility for all doors, bathrooms and building levels.
It would also include the removal of hazardous waste including lead paint, asbestos on pipes and asbestos tile flooring.
There is also a request for $6 million for wood pellet boiler systems for all district schools.
About $1.6 million would fund the construction and equipping of a new police station built on town land on Main Street.
Gordon Webberand Doris "Shelley" Nelkens are seeking a seat on the select board.
Christopher Condon, Wesley Enman and Jesse Lazar are seeking two seats on the planning board.
Voters on Tuesday will be asked to approve a town operating budget of $11,414,625.
A separate warrant article will ask residents to establish a capital reserve fund to repair the truss roof structure system at the Amherst Town Hall and to appropriate $200,000 into the fund.
A police union contract is also being recommended at a cost of $17,379, and the creation of several capital reserve funds are being suggested.
Four candidates will seek two selectman seats: Marilyn Peterman, Dwight Brew, John D'Angelo and Reed Panasiti.
Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Soughegan High School.
Voters on Tuesday will be asked to approve a town operating budget of $2,020,770.
A separate warrant article will ask residents to spend $40,000 to repair and maintain the McCollom Building.
Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Village School. Warrant articles will be voted on at 7:30 p.m. at the Village School.
Voters will have the final say on the proposed construction of a $1,821,515 dual-use senior center/cable television facility to be located at Benson Park.
Residents will also be asked to approve a $250,000 feasibility study to determine the district's future needs and map out necessary improvements.
Norman Martin, Randy Brownrigg, Roger Coutu, Richard Kahn and Richard Maddox are vying for the two three-year terms on the board of selectmen.
Michael Truesdell, Lars Christiansen, Laurie Jasper, Patty Langlais and Lynn Morin are vying for two, three-year terms on the school board.
On Tuesday, voters must decide whether the town should obtain a $2,330,000 bond to renovate, construct and equip the Old Town Hall. A three-fifths majority is required for this Article 12 to pass.
On the school side, Article S-7 would allow the district to set aside unassigned funds at the end of the school's fiscal year as a contingency, as long as the amount doesn't exceed 2.5 percent of the current year's fiscal assessment.
Becky Kula, Michelle Veno and incumbent Moira Taylor are seeking two three-year vacancies on the school board.
Article 3 will ask residents of Oyster River Cooperative School District - which also includes Durham and Lee - to accept a three-year collective bargaining agreement to raise the salaries and benefits of support personnel by $22,330 in 2013-14. On the town said, Article 3 will ask residents to amend the existing Racetrack Ordinance by defining "race car education" as a full-licensed and insured school.
Carole Dennis, Henry Brackett and Scott Bugbee are in a three-way race for a three-year term on the board of selectmen. Thomas Newkirk, Carl Piedmont and Kenneth Rotner are competing for the two at-large seats on the Oyster River Cooperative School Board.
Article 3 will on Tuesday ask residents of Oyster River Cooperative School District - which also includes Durham and Lee - to accept a three-year collective bargaining agreement to raise the salaries and benefits of support personnel by $22,330 in 2013-14. On the town side, residents will decide Article 2 - which would allow nursing homes, assisted-living facilities and hospices on major roads - at the polls and whether to set aside $201,175 for future purchases during their annual Town Meeting.
Robert Sterndale and Julie McCabe are seeking one three-year seat as a selectman. Thomas Newkirk, Carl Piedmont and Kenneth Rotner are competing for the two at-large seats on the Oyster River Cooperative School Board.
Residents are being asked on Tuesday whether the school district should study the feasibility and suitability of withdrawing from the AREA agreement with Farmington, which was enacted in 1972, and whether they should replace three school buses this year.
On the town side, residents must decide whether to accept Senate Bill 2 and do away with the traditional Town Meeting format. Article 2 requires a three-fifths majority to pass.
School board member Janet Kalar and Joseph Bailey are seeking the one three-year term as a selectman.
Todd LaPierre, who is not seeking another term as selectman, is challenging incumbents Andrea Bowden and Kalar for one of the two three-year seats on the school board.
A three-fifths majority will be required on Tuesday to replace the town's aging fire station. Article 2 would allow the town to acquire a $2.7 million bond to build a fire station.
On the school side, voters will be asked whether the district should form a planning committee "to study the organization and reorganization" - including the potential withdrawal - from School Administrative Unit 64, which oversees Milton and Wakefield.
Mike Beaulieu and Chip Gehres are competing for a three-year term as selectman while James Smith is challenging incumbent Michelle Beauchamp for the three-year position of town clerk/tax collector. Laurence D. Brown and Reginald Crone are challenging incumbents Candace Cole-McCrea and Ann Walsh for two three-year seats on the school board.
On Tuesday, residents must head to the polls to decide on Article 2, which would allow the town to take out a 10-year bond for $750,000 to pay for road improvements. On the school side, Article 9 petitions residents to implement a tax cap which would require the district to propose a budget that would not raise taxes - based on the prior fiscal year's actual amount - by 2 percent. Both articles require a three-fifths majority to pass.
Babette Morrill is challenging Selectman James Hadley for a three-year term. W. Edw. "Spike" Bryant Jr. is defending his post on the police commission from challenger Richard Wolf.
Article 12 will ask voters on Tueday to privatize the district's food service program.
During Town Meeting on Wednesday, Article 3 will ask residents to enter a seven-year lease/purchase of a new rescue pumper truck for the fire department and draw $58,792 from the Fire Vehicles and Equipment Capital Reserve Fund for the first year's payment.
The remaining payments - which total $352,752 - would come from taxation in the future.
Six candidates - Richard Cochran, David Connolly, Paula Proulx, Matthew Scruton, Douglass Steele and incumbent Joan Funk - are seeking two three-year slots as selectmen.
Another six people - Joel Chagnon, Steven Durrance, James Horgan, Heidi Earle Mitchell, Brandy Sanger and incumbent Kathy King - are vying for two three-year seats on the school board.
At the polls Tuesday, residents will vote on two zoning articles and matters regarding the Gov. Wentworth Regional School District.
At Town Meeting on Wednesday, voters must decide whether to transfer $175,000 from the unassigned fund balance to offset taxes.
David Swenson and Robert Kroepel seek a three-year term as selectman.
There are two seats open on the Gov. Wentworth Regional School Board. Julianne Cardinal and Ellen Phillips are seeking the two-year seat to represent New Durham; Ernest Brown and Andrew Shagoury are vying for the three-year at-large position.
On Tuesday, residents will consider a 5.7 percent increase to the operating budget. If it fails to pass, Article 6 would be used to purchase $48,500 worth of new math textbooks and related materials.
At the polls Tuesday, residents must decide whether to withdraw from the Authorized Regional Enrollment Area (AREA) with Somersworth, which has been in effect since 1968, and send older students to Marshwood School District - which includes the towns of Elliot and South Berwick, Maine - in the fall of 2015.
During Town Meeting on Saturday, Article 9 would appropriate $50,000 to build a temporary bridge on Old Mill Land to replace the existing structure which was deemed unsafe by officials from the N.H. Department of Transportation, who recommend it be closed for all traffic.
At the school district's annual meeting Wednesday, voters will decide Article 3, which would appropriate $53,000 to buy equipment to upgrade the security in the Strafford School.
During the annual Town Meeting on Saturday, residents will decide whether to hire a new police officer and a paramedic while considering a petition article to start saving to improve the library.
Voters at the polls on Tuesday will consider a $2.3 million plan to build a new public library and a $2.5 million land purchase.
A $6.4 million proposed town budget and a proposal to hire a school resource officer to work full time in the elementary, middle and high schools will also be up for a vote.
On the school side, voters will consider a $17.3 million school budget, a new two-year-contract for paraprofessionals, and a $181,246 plan to install new playground equipment at the elementary school.
Residents will vote Tuesday on several warrant articles, including a $14.5 million bond that would fund renovations at the town's two elementary schools.
One of those articles includes road work that could result in a third roundabout in town, at the intersection of Pleasant and Main streets.
Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Goffstown High School for Ward 1, and Bartlett Elementary School for Ward 5.
Voters will decide on Tuesday whether they want the town to maintain a dog park on Nashua Road, as well as a $61.8 million school budget and a collective bargaining agreement for teachers, which, combined, would add 49 cents to the tax rate.
Voting will take place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Bedford High School Tuesday.
Water is a key issue this year. Warrant Article 6 would help take the town to the next step in securing future groundwater sources by authorizing a $500,000 bond for locating, testing, permitting and/or construction of new wells in town.
Warrant Article 7 asks voters to approve a $100,000 bond to investigate and define the limits of groundwater recharge areas in town.
Five candidates are running for two seats on the board of selectmen: incumbents Wayne Welch and Lee Weldy and challengers Greg Bemis, Harry McClard Jr. and June Hartford.
Three residents are vying for a one-year seat on the school board: incumbents Kelly Lehman and John Stewart and challenger Kyle Scofield.
Four people are running for two three-year seats: Diane Naoum, Steve Wallerstein, Steve Reardon and Daniel Chouinard.
The polls will be open at Iber Holmes Gove Middle School from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday
Voters on Tuesday will be asked to approve a town operating budget of $5,045,145.
A separate warrant article will ask residents to spend $12,500 for engineering and design plans for a sidewalk on Pinecrest Road, which could connect to the existing bike path that leads to Litchfield Middle School.
Four candidates will seek two selectman seats: George Lambert, Kevin Bourque, John Brunelle and Jason Guerrette.
Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Campbell High School.
A $31 million bond for the construction of a new middle school and high school athletic fields will head before voters.
On the town side, residents will have their say on $75,000 in upgrades to the municipal computer system and $84,600 toward new communications equipment for the police department.
Al Letizio Jr. and Alan Carpenter will vie for a three-year seat on the board of selectmen.
Dennis Senibaldi and Bruce Anderson will vie for a three-year seat on the school board.
A $5,336,899 bond for road reconstruction will head before voters, as will a $16,205,213 bond for district-wide renovations and improvements,
If passed, the school construction bond would allow for additions to be built at Fisk and Soule schools and renovations at Haigh School, including a new sprinkler system and security upgrades.
Incumbent Patrick Hargreaves will run against Stephen Kelly for a three-year seat on the board of selectmen. Kelly said he had a change of heart after filing for the seat, and said he plans to step down if elected since it was too late to have his name taken off the ballot.
Patricia Corbett, John Manning and Peter Morgan will vie for two three-year terms on the school board.
A $1.7 million kindergarten addition built at Pelham Elementary School heads before voters this week.
School officials said $1 million of those costs would come from state kindergarten building aid.
On the town side, voters will decide on a $895,00 bond for the renovation of former classrooms inside Town Hall to serve as the new SAU office.
Acting selectmen Chairman Ed Gleason will run for another three-year term, challenged by former Selectman Victor Danevich.