I’m writing to oppose the SB 2 votes in Gilmanton.
Our town has not done an in-depth study on the pros and cons of such
a measure. A quick review of SB 2 commentary on the internet shows
that many communities are unhappy with the process. It hasn’t
increased participation in the deliberative session, voters don’t
know what they are voting on and frequently a default budget wins.
In fact, most communities can’t get rid of SB 2 once it is adopted.
The result - starved government and school resources.
What’s dangerous about SB 2 is that in order to adopt it, there must
be a 3/5 majority of those voting to approve the measure. Because a
lot of voters don’t vote, a minority of voters of the town can enact
SB 2. Even worse, if a majority of voters decide they don’t like SB
2, the same 3/5 majority vote is required to repeal it – if 59% of
the voters want out, the vote fails and they are stuck with SB 2.
These cautions are not imaginary. Before we jump, let’s test the
water. Our town should study the issues and make an informed
decision. Voters may disagree as to whether or not it’s desirable,
but at least we’ll have the facts.
A number of recent letters from town residents have criticized
members of the school board for signing last year a letter in their
individual capacity opposing SB 2. They claim that they engaged in
"electioneering" in violation of state law.
These critics cite the provisions of RSA 659:44-a entitled
"Electioneering by Public Employees" which reads "No public
employee, as defined in RSA 273-A:1, IX, shall electioneer while in
the performance of his or her official duties or use government
property, including, but not limited to, telephones, facsimile
machines, vehicles, and computers, for electioneering. For the
purposes of this section, "electioneer’’ means to act in any way
specifically designed to influence the vote of a voter on any
question or office. Any person who violates this section shall be
guilty of a misdemeanor."
RSA 273-A:1,IX (which is part of a completely different statue that
deals with public employee labor relations) defines "Public
employee’’ as "any person employed by a public employer except . . .
Persons elected by popular vote." There are other exceptions not
pertinent to this discussion.
Members of the school board are elected by popular vote and
therefore are exempt from the law. They weren’t acting in their
official capacity, but as private individuals using their own
resources, which is their legal right of free speech. They wrote the
letter to educate the public about the dangers about SB 2.
The critics have misrepresented RSA 659:44-a and wrongly accused
those individuals of violating the law. These kinds of attacks have
no place in a small town like Gilmanton and leave lasting damage to
personal relationships. We may have differences of opinion, but
personal attacks should be left at the door.
Letter To The Editor
Beware the Magic Bullet - Defeat SB2
Again this year Gilmanton voters are asked to abandon their town
meeting and adopt the so-called SB2 system whereby voters get to say
yes or no to warrant articles, without the traditional discussion
and consideration provided by Town Meeting.
Under SB2, the final version of the warrant is decided at a
"deliberative session" at which those who attend may amend warrant
articles to meet their particular agenda. Unless You attend
that deliberative session, you will not know the basis for
amendments that will appear on the final ballot.
Towns that have adopted SB2 find that fewer people attend the
deliberative session than used to go to regular town meeting. So an
even smaller number of voters will decide what you get to vote on.
This is Not an improvement in the democratic process, but
actually serves to undermine it.
Gilmanton has consistently defeated SB2 in the past. There is no
reason to change that pattern in 2012. Please vote No on SB2,
both for the Town and the School District.
Zonta Club Awards Scholarships To 7 NHTI Students
Scholarships Support Women Returning To College
Seven NHTI students received $1,000 scholarships from Zonta Club of
Concord, including (left to right) Katie-Lee Hannon, receiving her
check from Susan Lombard, Zonta President, Beth Mickelboro,
receiving her check from Zonta co-Treasurer Janice Severance, and
Kristen L’heureux, receiving her check from Zonta Secretary Amy
The Zonta Club of Concord has awarded $1,000 scholarships to seven
students at NHTI, Concord’s Community College. The scholarships are
geared towards women who are returning to college after a break in
Awardees include Mary B. DeStefano (Fremont); Amanda R. Finney
(Concord); Melissa M. Gaherty (Springfield); Katie-Lee Hannon
(Nashua); Kristen M. L’heureux (Manchester); Beth A. Mickelboro
(Gilmanton); and Jenny L. Power (Biddeford, ME). All of the winners
carry a full college course load and maintain a grade point average
of 2.5 or higher.
Zonta has been supporting scholarships for NHTI students for 10
years. In 2011, the club received donations in memory of Janet
Copestakes of Concord, a 28-year member of Zonta, and the production
of the Mamma Mia Movie Sing-along in collaboration with NHTI,
according to Club President Susan Lombard.
"We are so grateful for Zonta’s support of our students," says NHTI
President Lynn Kilchenstein. "At NHTI, a $1,000 scholarship goes a
long way and can often make the difference in whether a student is
able to go to college and pursue their dreams."
The Zonta Club of Concord is the local chapter of Zonta
International, a global organization of executives and professionals
working together to advance the status of women locally and
worldwide through service and advocacy. The Zonta Club of Concord is
the oldest active Zonta Club in New Hampshire.
NHTI, Concord’s Community College, is a fully accredited, public
community college serving students, businesses and the community by
providing excellent academic, technical and professional education.
NHTI offers 62 academic programs to more than 5,000 students. NHTI
is a member of the Community College System of New Hampshire.
Dear Gilmanton voters:
My name is William Magee and I am asking you to consider me for
Selectman for the Town of Gilmanton.
I have lived in Gilmanton for about four years with my wife and 2 of
my 4 daughters. I believe not having been a long time resident can
be an advantage for me. I can view the issues from a different
perspective and owe no favors. I have the time and ability to give
to the community I have come to love.
I feel my experience in management, working with budgets and the
public will be beneficial to this position. When I worked for
Raytheon Company, I managed up to nine missile programs with over
600 employees, and was able to initiate many cost cutting measures.
As a taxpayer, I am frustrated with the increases to our real estate
taxes while our housing values are decreasing. As a selectman, I
hope to assist with budget management to save the taxpayers from
further increases. I will vote on all of the issues as I have no
conflict of interests. I will not have to excuse myself from
important issues unlike some elected officials.
I am in favor of SB2, as it will provide the community with a fair
vote on the issues, residents can vote in private without
intimidation. Also, I am not in favor of funding the Gilmanton Year
Round Library. The state has stopped funding the schools and this
money could be used more appropriately by the schools or to keep our
I will provide the Gilmanton residents with the representation that
they want. Please be assured that I will give 100% to this position.
I would appreciate your vote on Tuesday, March 13, 2012.
"Read Across America" With Dr. Seuss At Gilmanton Corner
"Read Across America" is an annual reading motivation and awareness
program that calls for every child in every community to celebrate
reading on March 2, the birthday of beloved children’s author Dr.
Motivating children to read is an important factor in student
achievement and creating lifelong readers. Research has shown that
children who are motivated and spend more time reading do better in
Dr. Seuss’s books have been translated into more than 15 languages.
At the time of his death in 1991, Dr. Seuss had written and
illustrated over 44 children’s books. Over 200 million copies have
found their way into homes and hearts around the world.
The Gilmanton Corner Library has over 25 Dr. Seuss books plus three
new DVDs: The Lorax, The Cat in the Hat and Horton Hears a Who!
Please join us in our celebration of "Read Across America" with Dr.
Seuss and receive Free hats, tattoos, badges and activity
Now is the time to take the family to a museum using the library’s
Free museum passes. The SEE Science Children’s Museum
(Manchester) pass lets the whole family in including the
grandparents! The Currier Museum Pass (Manchester) admits four
people per day. The New Hampshire Historical Museum pass (Concord)
also admits the whole family and is a beautiful museum to see and
learn about New Hampshire’s history.
Our beautiful 100th anniversary glass ornaments (blue, green, amber)
are on sale at the library for $10.00 and make a wonderful gift any
time of the year.
Please call 267-6200 or stop by the library Mondays and Wednesdays 3
- 5, or Saturdays 10 - 12 for more information.
If you want to know how to evaluate your candidates for Selectman
this March, here are some tools I recommend:
First, look at how much time a candidate has already spent serving
the community. Look for someone who has attended all meetings, done
their homework, worked well with other board members, and had a vote
disappoint a friend or neighbor.
Second, test whether the candidate has substantial personal
interests in the town. If the candidate routinely does material
business with the Town, or if an immediate family member is a town
employee, these are red flags to be avoided.
Third, see if the candidate has a reasonable approach to management.
Does the candidate show frugality in his or her own personal
conduct? The largest single category of expense is not in the vendor
list, it is in payroll. A candidate who knows how to get the most
out of people is the most desirable candidate. Someone who will
"stir the pot" is likely to damage morale, and that translates into
lower productivity and either poorer performance, or higher cost.
I think Perry Onion is the most suitable and qualified candidate
this year for these reasons:
1. He has served the town for years on different boards and
2. He has no conflicts of interest.
3. He has a steady personality and a reasonable attitude.
4. He is frugal and he does for himself what other people buy from
5. He has had a distinguished career as a teacher and craftsman, and
he has shown himself to be a capable thinker and collaborator.
Please vote for him on Tuesday, March 13. Please mark your calendars
Gilmanton Iron Works
Letter To The Editor
In reply to the recent letters about SB2 and the Gilmanton School
Board… John Funk states that the School Board wrote their letter as
individuals, but in the very first sentence of their letter it
states and I quote, "As members of your School Board". When they met
as a group and composed and signed that letter, was that a posted
meeting of the Board as it should have been?
Another writer states that SB2 has been defeated before but doesn’t
state that it was defeated by a very small margin. Results of the
School Ballot, March 8, 2011: 290 voted yes, 216 voted no. Three
hundred four (304) yes votes were needed for the 60% majority. SB2
lost by 14 votes.
Most of the reasons given as unfavorable to SB2 are simply scare
tactics and are not documented or proven. It’s easy to say that
voters will not attend the School deliberative session and thus will
be uninformed. Voters do not attend the school district meeting
either and our school budget gets passed by a small attendance.
Majorities of those attending either work for the school or benefit
from the school in some way other then education.
It’s broke and we need to fix it. Please vote yes for SB2 on the
Gilmanton School Ballot on March 13 and go to your last School
District Meeting on March 24.
The Gilmanton Boys 3rd and 4th grade team was just crowned Suncook
Valley League champions after winning their league tournament. The
boys finished with a record of 10-3. Pictured in the front row is
Kyle Kimball, Griffin Plourde, Gavin Siravo, Brett Clairmont, and
Derek Wirth. In the second row: AJ Smith, Coach Steve Siravo, Noah
Bolduc, Coach Sean Hayes, Adrian Siravo, Coach Kim Hayes, and Brady
Hayes. Missing was teammate Nick Kordas.