Pittsfield NH News

March 8, 2017


 

REMINDER

Pittsfield Youth Baseball/Softball Sign-Ups

 

Wednesday March 8, 2017 from 5:30-8 and Saturday March 11, 2017 from 10am-1pm at the Community Center.




The Merrimack County Stamp Collectors will hold its monthly meeting at the Bow Mills United Methodist Church, 505 South St., Bow, on March 21st  beginning at 1 pm.   All who are interested in stamp collecting are welcome to attend   Meet other collectors and learn more about their hobby and varied interests in Philatelic resources and issues.  For more information call Dan Day at 603-228-1154.

 


 

Letter To The Editor
SB2 will not save us money!

 

I attended the selectmen’s public hearing on SB2.  I heard over and over how it how it would reduce our taxes.

 

Epsom, Gilmanton, and Northwood are all SB2 communities. So, I went to the NH Dept. of  Revenue Administration website to compare some tax history.

 

From 2009 to 2015, all four towns lost assessed value.  Pittsfield about 63 million, Epsom 41 million, Gilmanton 29 million and Northwood 104 million dollars.  In that same time frame, Pittsfield reduced the amount of money spent to operate the town by $278,067, while the other three towns went up. Epsom is up $1,219,929, Gilmanton is up $398,649, and Northwood is up $347,930.

 

How is this going to save us money?  Vote NO for SB2 for both the town and the school.  Please get out and vote and attend the School District Meeting, as well as the Town Meeting.

 

Mike Wolfe 

 


 

Letter To The Editor
Vote Yes on SB2

 

The school board letter and ad against SB2 in the March 1 SUN prompted a reply. My experience of politics in Pittsfield does not come close to the nirvana expressed by the school board in their letter supporting the traditional town meeting. Anyone who believes that meetings are a place “..where we respect the opinions of others, where we can express our own opinions in a civil process.” has not been to a selectboard meeting this fall and definitely did not attend the February 8 budget hearing. I find that politics are tough in Pittsfield and the traditional meetings have done much to disenfranchise voters. But the traditional meeting has been very good for the school board - they always get what they ask for.

 

The school board does not want “uniformed voters making decisions for us.” I find this argument very insulting and disturbing. If you google “uninformed voters” you will find many hits as an excuse by political groups not getting their way. Who is to judge who is uninformed? The school board would like you to believe that a discussion by a few individuals without any fact checking rather than a month for open discussion from both sides of the issue with fact checking is “informed.”

 

Please vote for SB2 for both the town and school. SB2 has the potential to have the best of the town meeting as well as the best of the flexible, private vote. We can transfer the school board’s “neighborliness and warmth” (their description of the traditional meetings) to the SB2 deliberative sessions.

 

Clayton Wood

 


 

Letter To The Editor

 

Don’t like being intimidated, then vote Yes on SB2.  Have you ever gone to the town meeting and been afraid  to vote yes or no because of fear of repercussions? Some are saying that the old way of doing things is the best way to be informed, I don’t believe this is so. You can still go to the school board meetings and be informed and still vote in private. Be intimidated no more, Vote Yes on SB2.

 

Scott Jackson

 


 

Letter To The Editor
VOTE YES - SB2

 

I find the arguments against SB2 unconvincing.  The age-old ‘uninformed voter’ argument is frankly an insult to fellow residents.  I believe those who take the time to vote annually on the second Tuesday of March know exactly what they’re doing.  Uninformed???  As if to say that an ‘uninformed voter’ will attend the current town/school meetings and become sufficiently educated to correctly vote on the spot, as opposed to attending the SB2 deliberative session??  At least the uninformed voter, after attending the SB2 session, can review the facts at home BEFORE voting!!  At least those who cannot attend can research the facts BEFORE voting.

 

Another argument involves the potential takeover of the deliberative meetings by ‘special interest groups.’  We all know that special interest groups are already alive and well-entrenched in Pittsfield.  Their influence is felt all year long at monthly meetings and the annual town/school meetings.  In fact, the current low-voter turnout at these meetings is largely a result of the harsh tactics of some interest groups.  It WILL, however, be important to have balanced voter representation at the SB2 deliberative sessions – voters ARE encouraged to participate in the SB2 sessions.

 

Since first introduced in 1995, the number of SB2 town/school districts is growing - not shrinking.  As of 2015, there were 70 SB2 towns and 79 SB2 school districts.  It’s very difficult to find a town or school that has rescinded SB2.  I’ve only found one.  Modifications are constantly being made to improve SB2, not eliminate it.

 

A 60% majority is required to pass SB2 on the town ballot and also on the school ballot.  Please vote on March 14th in favor of SB2 on BOTH BALLOTS.

 

We are way past some feel-good nostalgic attachment to a town meeting format.  Voters have a right to a private ballot.

 

God Bless Our Troops
Rachel Wood

 


 

Pastor’s Corner
Submitted By Mike Mavity, Grace Capital Church

 

We are all familiar with Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). A lawyer approached Jesus asking him what it takes to have eternal life. Jesus then asked him a question, “What does the law say?” The lawyer gave the right answer; loving God with all our hearts, soul, strength, and mind and loving your neighbor as yourself. Jesus affirmed that the lawyer’s answer was correct and told him to ‘do this and you will live’.

 

Then, the story takes a different turn and says that the lawyer, wanting to justify himself, asked a follow up question. “Who is my neighbor?” It’s interesting to note that the lawyer asked this in order to justify himself. Justify himself for what? There must have been some thought or action that the lawyer did or wanted to do that he wanted Jesus to justify. Maybe he had created in his mind a category of people who he didn’t want to love. It seems he was wanting Jesus to give him the answer he was looking for so he could feel justified. He wanted to know exactly who it was he should call neighbor and who it was he should love.

 

It’s here that Jesus tells the story of the Good Samaritan. The story of the despised Samaritan who helped out this poor man who was beaten and robbed on the roadside. Jesus then asks the lawyer, “which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among thieves?” Of course, the lawyer answered that it was he who showed mercy on him (notice the lawyer wouldn’t even utter the word “Samaritan”). Jesus tells the lawyer to go and do likewise.

 

In this story, Jesus never told the lawyer who his neighbor was. However, he did show the lawyer how to be a good neighbor. Jesus didn’t tell the lawyer who he should love but he did tell him how to love. Maybe the point of this Good Samaritan story isn’t just that we should help folks in need. Maybe the point is that instead of justifying ourselves by having a narrow list of folks we should call neighbor, we could go and be the good neighbor. Maybe instead of asking God who we ‘have’ to love, we ask God how we can love better.

 

Too many times we try to justify ourselves by creating categories of people who we think don’t deserve to be our neighbors and don’t deserve our love. If we can only turn the question around from ‘who is my neighbor’ to ‘how do I become the best neighbor’ then I think we can see neighborhoods, towns, cities, and countries changed for the better.

 


 

Letter

 

Dear Pittsfield Voters,
Because of an unexpected personal matter, I must withdraw from the race for the one year seat on the Zoning Board of Adjustment.  I give my best wishes to my opponent, Philip Boncer.

 

Thank you,
John Buatti

 


 

Letter To The Editor
SB2

 

Like I said last week - breaking town meeting into a discussion/work session and a private voting time is a good thing for Pittsfield. Lots of time to research and get informed on the issues and then come out and vote. This allows more voters, more time to consider matters and truly understand them and all implications without the pressures and rushing that happen at Town Meeting.

 

We have everything to gain with SB2. All who like the traditional meeting will still get the discussion time on all articles. The only difference is we can then vote in the privacy of the voting booth - the American way! The “purest form of democracy” folks still have their way and we add a component to the mix that allows the rest of us something important - private voting. I really like that and hope you do too.

 

Vote yes on #7 March 14th.

 

Most sincerely,
Sharon Matras

 


 

Letter To The Editor

 

To The Editor, Suncook Sun,

I write in favor of Eric R. Nilsson for Selectman.

 

Some here may recall my stint as Interim Town Administrator. In that role, I was the selectboard’s day to day representative of the Town. As we all know, we have five (count ‘em, Five!) selectmen. But only one came into the office on a near daily basis to check on things, and that was Eric Nilsson.

 

This struck me. We then had this one selectman who was always on top of things, another who showed up two or three times a week (but knew his stuff), one who came in maybe twice a week, and two others who only seemed to show up Tuesday late afternoon, just before the meeting, to ask what’s up.

 

Eric is not a man of few words. He has opinions and is not hesitant to express them. I, for one, would much rather have such a mind on my selectboard, fully knowledgeable on the issues and prepared to work hard on resolving them, than the half-informed and half-interested souls I’ve sometimes seen behind the nameplates.

 

The Town of Pittsfield is a $4 plus Million Dollar corporation. If you were on the Board of Directors of a $4 Million Dollar corporation, you’d be sure to hire someone who knew what they were doing. In Eric Nilsson, you have such a person.

 

Respectfully Submitted,
Earle “Sandy” Wingate

 


 

Pittsfield NHS 2017.jpg

On Tuesday, January 31st 2017, Pittsfield Middle High School’s Chapter of the National Honor Society inducted ten new members bringing the total membership to twenty-one students. Congratulations to the new and existing members for your outstanding achievement! Back row left to right: Emily Fisher, Jessica Rainville, Emily Dunagin, Colby Wolfe, Gabe Anthony, Noah MacGlashing, Fred Pantis, Tucker Wolfe, Cam Darrah, Mackenzie Desilets, Casey Clark, Sydney Booth, Emma Smith, and Kaylee Brooks. Front row left to right: Brie Hill, Jordyn Pinto, Lindsey Massey, Savannah Godin, Meredith Smith, Katie Rollins, and Alyssa Sullivan.

 


 

VA Study Highlights Benefits Of Enhanced Aspirin In Preventing Certain Cancers
Submitted Via Merrill Vaughan

 

WASHINGTON — Researchers know of aspirin’s benefits in preventing certain ailments — from cardiovascular disease to most recently colorectal cancer. But while the link to those two conditions was made, researchers also questioned how and if this “wonder drug” could work to ward off other types of cancers.

 

Thanks to a team led by Dr. Vinod Vijayan at the DeBakey Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center in Houston and Dr. Lenard Lichtenberger of the University of Texas Health Sciences Center, new studies verify their theory of cancer-prevention benefits based on aspirin’s effects on platelets—blood cells that form clots to stop bleeding. The findings appear in the February 2017 issue of Cancer Prevention Research journal.

 

“Along with clotting, platelets also play a role in forming new blood vessels,” Vijayan said. “That action is normally beneficial, such as when a new clot forms after a wound, and new vessels are needed to redirect blood flow. But the same action can help tumors grow. It’s this process that aspirin can interrupt.”

 

Their lab tests showed how aspirin blocked the interaction between platelets and cancer cells by shutting down the enzyme COX-1, thereby curbing the number of circulating platelets and their level of activity.

 

Some of their experiments used regular aspirin from a local drug store. In another phase, the researchers used a special preparation of aspirin combined with phosphatidylcholine, a type of lipid, or fat molecule. The molecule is a main ingredient in soy lecithin. The product, known as Aspirin-PC/PL2200, is designed to ease the gastrointestinal risk associated with standard aspirin.

 

The enhanced aspirin complex was even stronger against cancer than the regular aspirin. Summarizing their findings, the researchers wrote: “These results suggest that aspirin’s chemopreventive effects may be due, in part, to the drug blocking the proneoplastic [supporting new, abnormal growth, as in cancer] action of platelets and [they support] the potential use of Aspirin-PC/PL2200 as an effective and safer chemopreventive agent for colorectal cancer and possibly other cancers.”

 

In collaboration with researchers at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, the group said they plan to test the lipid-aspirin complex for safety and efficacy in people at high risk for colorectal cancer. Meanwhile, they said their results, so far, “support the use of low-dose aspirin for chemoprevention.” They added that Aspirin-PC/PL2200 has “similar chemopreventive actions to low-dose aspirin and may be more effective.”

 

The research study was supported by the National Institutes of Health.  For more information about VA research on cancer, visit www.research.va.gov/topics/cancer.

 

Lichtenberger is a professor of integrative biology and pharmacology at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center. Vijayan, an expert in platelet biology, is with the Center for Translational Research on Inflammatory Diseases at the DeBakey VA Medical Center. He is also an associate professor at Baylor College of Medicine.

 


 

Letter To The Editor

 

To the Editor,
Citizens of Pittsfield, please vote no on SB2. This is not the answer to lowering our property tax burden. I am confident that Selectman Anderson and the other members of the Board of Selectmen have shaved the budget as much as they can without crippling needed services to our Town. Likewise, the School Board has lessened its tax impact by cutting a number of positions that we in the past have approved. To further scrutinize these budgets, our Budget Committee (a diverse group of fellow citizens) has studied and questioned the Town and School Budgets for the last three or four months. The Budget Committee’s recommendations are made with thoughtful study, consultation with the Town and School officials and public input.

 

I believe that the traditional Town and School District meetings give each of us a greater sense of community. If we feel that we need to decide a question by secret ballot, it only takes the request of five voters to make that happen.

 

Our property taxes are not just the result of our spending habits. Our local property taxes have increased by the State imposing a state education property tax. They have increased because the State no longer has revenue sharing. They have increased because the State has reduced the local share of the rooms and meals tax. Voting on Tuesday in a voting booth will not allow us to decrease this portion of our local property tax burden.

 

Enacting SB2 will cause us to lose much more than we will gain. Please vote NO on SB2.

 

Art Morse

 


 

Medicaid Expansion’s Positive Impact Is Real And Shouldn’t Be Repealed
By Senator Maggie Hassan

 

As the President delivered his address to a joint session of Congress, I was honored to have a guest – Ashley Hurteau from Dover – who is living proof of the positive impact the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion are having for tens of thousands of people across New Hampshire. 

 

I first met Ashley at the Farnum Center in Manchester, and I have been inspired by her story ever since. Ashley struggled for nearly a decade with heroin addiction, in which time she was arrested, her husband overdosed, and she lost the custody of her child.

 

Ashley’s story, however, is one of progress. She has been in recovery for over a year now. She’s employed, has moved to employer-sponsored insurance coverage, and is working to rebuild her life. All of this was made possible because of her hard work and perseverance and because she received treatment for her substance use disorder under coverage through New Hampshire’s bipartisan Medicaid expansion plan.

 

From the stories I’ve heard from the Granite Staters like Ashley, to the experiences I’ve had as the mother of a son who experiences severe disabilities, I’ve seen the strengths and flaws of our health care system firsthand. And I am committed to strengthening our health care system so that it works for all Americans.

 

As Governor, I was proud that we came together to pass and reauthorize a bipartisan Medicaid expansion plan that’s providing coverage, including coverage for behavioral health services and substance use disorder services, to over 50,000 hard-working Granite Staters.

 

The business community – including the Business and Industry Association – strongly supported this bipartisan Medicaid expansion plan because it is critical to our state’s budget and economy. And Medicaid expansion is reducing cost-shifting onto our families and businesses and helping make our workforce healthier and more productive. 

 

Unfortunately, instead of working across party lines as we have in New Hampshire to promote healthy communities and a stronger economy, many in Washington are focused on a partisan agenda of repealing the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion – an agenda that would pull us backward. There’s also been talk of turning the traditional Medicaid program into a block grant or instituting per capita caps – which is really just code for a massive cut to the federal support New Hampshire’s Medicaid program receives. These dangerous cuts would shift costs to states, forcing them to cut eligibility, services, and provider payments. And the cuts featured in proposals to cap Medicaid spending would worsen over time, inflicting even more damage down the road.

 

We can’t afford to slash federal support for Medicaid or undo the progress the Granite State has made due to our bipartisan Medicaid expansion. And we can’t go back to the days before the Affordable Care Act when insurance companies could deny coverage to people because of pre-existing conditions, charge women more based on their gender, or refuse to let parents keep their kids on their plans up to age 26.

 

We all agree that there is work to do to improve our health care system and build on the Affordable Care Act, but repeal is not the answer, and neither is cutting and capping the Medicaid program.

 

As Ashley’s story demonstrates, repealing the Affordable Care Act would set back our efforts to combat the heroin, opioid, and fentanyl crisis, and threaten the thousands of people in our state who are benefitting from coverage that includes substance use disorder and behavioral health services. It would also create chaos and uncertainty in our insurance markets and for our business community.

 

I have joined with many of my colleagues in calling for common-sense changes to improve affordability and access, while protecting the parts of the law that have enabled Granite States to access critically needed care. And to help keep health care costs down, I’ve co-sponsored legislation to reduce the cost of prescription drugs, as rising prices are leading to increased health care spending and out-of-pocket costs for Granite Staters.

 

We know that there are areas for constructive, bipartisan solutions, and I am ready and willing to work with anyone who is serious about making health care more affordable and accessible.

 

This isn’t about partisan politics, it’s about the lives of people like Ashley and millions of others across New Hampshire and America. These are the stories I carry with me every day – and the reason we cannot stand by and allow a partisan agenda to pull us backward.   

 


 

Pittsfield Dinner and a Show.jpg

Scott Partridge (left), owner of Main Street Grill and Bar, 32 Main Street, Pittsfield, consults with Mike Hobson, director of Pittsfield Players’ “Eat Your Heart Out,” on menu selections in preparation for their opening night special at the restaurant.  To tie in with the play’s restaurant theme, a special “dinner and show” deal (three course dinner at Main Street Grill plus ticket for the show after dinner at $35) will be offered for the play’s opening night, March 24.  Performance

 


 

Letter
Vote NO on SB2

 

Dear Pittsfield Voters:
I DO NOT support SB2.
I understand the lure of the SB2 voting method – voting for town and school candidates, both budgets and all warrant articles in the voting booth instead of at the traditional school and town meetings, but I do not think it is right for our town of Pittsfield.

 

I am not convinced that most people will take the time to attend the deliberative session or to research the issues, budgets or warrant articles ahead of time and they will vote without really understanding what they are voting on.

 

At the traditional school and town meetings there is time to ask questions and more importantly to hear other people’s opinions or ideas and then vote.  We may think we know everything about an issue until you hear the other side of the story or see the facts.  Secret ballots can be done at Town meeting so your vote can be private. 

 

Towns, states and our country were founded on this purest form of democracy.  I think the Town meeting format is an important part of getting to know your neighbors and being a community.  I feel strongly that we should continue with the traditions of these meetings and NOT support SB2.

 

Please vote NO on SB2.
Andrea Riel

 


 

Letter To The Editor

 

To the Editor:
Ready for another court fight over public education funding in New Hampshire?

 

The Statehouse is pushing property-poor communities into the same inadequate-public-education hole that they started crawling out of a generation ago.

 

Two decades ago, Pittsfield and several property-poor communities sued the state over inequity in public-education funding, which is drawn mainly from local property taxes. The so-called Claremont lawsuit was fought to the N.H. Supreme Court, which ruled in the property-poor communities’ favor.

 

The state’s highest court found taxpayers in property-poor communities could not adequately fund public education for their children and required state aid.

 

As part of the remedy, the state Legislature adopted “stabilization grant” aid money for property-poor communities. Now, the stabilization grant aid is being eliminated over a 25-year period.

 

Why should N.H. citizens care about the stabilization grant rollback?

 

First, taxpayer-supported public education has been a keystone of democracy and equality nationwide for more than a century.

 

Second, if you live in a property-poor community—like me—you are probably facing huge annual tax hikes this year and beyond.

 

In Pittsfield, my family is facing a tax increase of more than $600 this year. The biggest portion of the proposed tax hike that will go before Town Meeting next month is for the local schools. Part of the reason the school district is seeking more local taxpayer dollars is this year’s $86,000 cut to the town’s stabilization grant aid. If 86-grand does not sound like a big town-budget hole, consider the gaping $2.15 million chasm in the town’s budget once the 25-year stabilization grant rollback ends.

 

Pittsfield and the other property-poor communities that joined forces to sue over public-education funding two decades ago need to go back to the courts, now!

 

Christopher Cheney
Pittsfield

 


 

Pittsfield Senior Center News

 

There are a couple of events happening at the Pittsfield Senior Center for the month of March. These events are not only for seniors but are for everyone in the community that wants to come. On Tuesday, March 14, at 10:30am Bill Parker is back. Bill plays at a number of different venues across southern NH that includes senior centers, senior homes, and community events. Bill puts on a great show by playing the harmonica, keyboard, and singing at the same time. He sings a wide variety of music from the Great American songbook, the show is free, so please come enjoy the show and stay for lunch. Please call 435-8482 to reserve your spot.

 

Come and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on Friday, March 17, at 1:00pm. The senior center is co-hosting an event with the Josiah Carpenter Library with a returning performance by Ramblin Richard. In celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, he will be performing an Irish music and stories program. The illustration will include songs, stories, and their relationship to the Irish heritage. He sings the songs, while playing the guitar, 5-string banjo, and baritone ukulele. The presentation will be held here at the center and is free. Please call 435-8482 to RSVP.

 

On Wednesday, March 22, at 1:00 PM we are going to laugh our way in to Spring here at the senior center with Laughter Yoga. As the saying goes, “Laughter is the best Medicine” this is a great way to reduce stress and anxiety in your life and feel happier. Marcia Wyman, a certified Laughter Yoga instructor, will show you how to laugh your way to better health. Laughter Yoga is a gentle mind body aerobic exercise that promotes physical and emotional well-being while discovering inner peace and joy. No Yoga poses are involved and the cost is a donation of your choice. Please call 435-8482 so space can be planned accordingly.

 


 

Letter To The Editor

 

No Select Board meeting 2/28/17. The School Board had a letter and an ad in this paper describing traditional Town and School District meetings as “the purest form of democracy” (a utopian phrase first coined hundreds of years ago) voicing their opposition to a change to SB2, which would put all questions on a secret ballot for election day.

 

Back in the 1700s, I suspect most everyone attended Town and School meeting- perhaps looking forward to a chance to talk amongst themselves and catch up after a long winter. Before the days of social media, tv, and even a local newspaper, the only chance you probably had to come to a conclusion on how to vote was to listen to your neighbors at the annual gathering. It would be nice if it all still applied today- but it doesn’t. The problem? Darn few people show up. Consequently a small handful of voters, who often attend specifically to achieve a goal that wouldn’t stand up if put before an actual majority of townspeople, are able to succeed in getting what they want.

 

The school board’s ad asked “What kind of town do you wish Pittsfield to be?” Well I’d like Pittsfield to be the kind of town where the wishes of a TRUE majority of townspeople prevail- and that often doesn’t happen at the Town and School meetings of today. A vocal few can end up ruling. We should accept that it’s no longer the dark ages and make a change to accomodate the busy lives of the people of our community and give all voters a much better chance to be heard without intimidation. To infer that voters who don’t attend town or school meeting would be “uninformed” is inaccurate and unfair. Please vote YES on SB2.

 

Carl Anderson

 


 

Letter

 

Dear Pittsfield Voters,
I would like to share my thoughts on SB2 with you.

 

SB2 was established so large municipalities such as Manchester could help citizens participate in warrant article voting. The problem being no facility could hold the crowd wanting to attend.

 

SB2 creates a “Deliberative Session” in early February where warrant articles are discussed and amended. All articles are placed on the ballot for citizens to vote on in the voting booth.

 

An analysis of 27 of the towns that are under SB2 reveals: Attendance at  deliberative sessions has dramatically decreased (23 towns have attendance of under 2% of voters). Note - Attendance at Pittsfield’s Town and School District Meetings is 5-7%.

 

Pittsfield’s Town and School District meetings are the glue that holds our town together. It isn’t just us voting on warrant articles, it is a social gathering. Neighbors reacquainting ourselves with one another and reaffirming our commitment to the Town and each other. Without these meetings it is likely distance between one another will grow. Civility, tolerance, sharing of ideas/points of view will begin to erode away, making Pittsfield a less friendly place.

 

Look at Washington, DC. Decades ago lawmakers socialized with members of the other political parties. Families got together for cook outs. Couples went to dinner and concerts with political opponents. Lawmakers golfed together. There was mutual respect that led to legislation compromise  moving America forward. They no longer get to know one another personally. Civility? Gone. Everyone vilified. There is little compromise. I don’t want to see that as a possibility for our Town.

 

The study also shows NO appreciable change in budget expenditures (increase or decrease).

 

I ask you to maintain Pittsfield’s Town and School District Meetings and vote no on SB2.

 

Sincerely,
Ted Mitchell

 


 

Letter

 

To all voters in the Town of Pittsfield,
By state law (RSA 40:4, I) the Moderator sets the rules and procedures of the meeting. We will not follow Robert’s Rules of Order or any other complicated rules of parliamentary procedure. Instead, we will follow my rules in order to create a pleasant, productive, and efficient meeting. I cannot promise to run a perfect meeting, but I will do my best to run a fair meeting. Ultimately, though, this is your meeting. By majority vote, you can change my rules, or overrule any decision I make.

 

The Rules of Procedure for Town Meeting have been published on the Town Website. Please take the time to read them. If everyone is familiar with the rules before the meeting starts, we can make the meeting flow better and get done earlier.

 

Fred Okrent,
Town Moderator

 


 

Letter To The Editor
Candidate Gerard J. Le Duc

 

Let me introduce myself. My name is Gerard A. Le Duc. I am one of your selectmen currently seeking your vote for another three year term.

 

I am a lifelong resident  of Pittsfield, where I have lived for 61 years. I am married to my wife, Jane. We have four adult children. We also have six grandchildren. I served for two years in the US Navy. I also served eight years in the US Naval Reserves.

 

Here is an example of my service to our town of Pittsfield. I started.with serving on Pittsfield’s Planning Board for nine years. I served as the Planning Board’s Rep. to the Housing Standards Agency for five years. I am currently serving in my second three year term as your Selectman. I have served on four boards as the Select Board’s Rep.

 

I am very proud to serve the citizens of the Town of Pittsfield. I am asking you to re-elect me to another term as your Selectman.

 

Gerard A. Le Duc
Pittsfield

 


 

Statement Of Department Of Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin On Acting Deputy Secretary

 

We welcome Mr. Scott Blackburn, to the role of Acting Deputy Secretary for the Department of Veterans Affairs, effective February 26, 2017. He is currently the Executive Director, MyVA Taskforce. Scott is a strong advocate for our Veterans and VA employees.

 

In 2014, Scott was inspired by the call to action and joined VA to lead us in our transformation. As an Operation Enduring Freedom Veteran and VA employee, he is committed to our success. With his help, we will build upon the progress we have already made together. Scott is a trusted leader and I know he will do a fantastic job.

 

David J. Shulkin, M.D.
Secretary, Department of Veterans Affairs

 


 

Letter

 

Pittsfield Voters:
I encourage Pittsfield voters to vote NO to SB2 on Election Day, March 14.  This will be question #4 on the school district ballot.

 

SB2 is being supported by some as a method of controlling spending.  Supporters will have voters believe that school district spending is out of control.  This is far from the truth.

 

The school district budget has increased a mere 2.8% over the past ten years.  This is far below the cost of living increase over this same time period and added only $1.05/thousand to our property tax rate over this ten-year period.

 

Across the state, the overall increase was 6.5% for these same years, with many of our neighbors experience more significant increases:  17.8% for Chichester, 20.4% for Barnstead, and 35.5% for Epsom, and Epsom is an SB2 district!  (Doesn’t look like SB2 saved many tax dollars there!)

 

SB2 is also supported by some as a method to get more people to vote.  However, without the opportunity to discuss the issues and debate the numbers at district meeting, voters will have less information, fewer facts upon which to base their votes.

 

SB2 is finally supported by some because it allows for private voting.  District meeting attendees will recall the set-up of voting booths for the meeting and also recall taking private votes at the request of five voters; private voting can be made for any vote at district meeting.

 

Let’s face it, the arguments for approving SB2 just don’t stand up to close examination.  That’s why SB2 has been rejected for the voters of the school district four times already!

 

We don’t need SB2.  Vote NO on SB2 on the district election ballot on Tuesday, March 14

 

Thank you for your time and consideration,
Bea Douglas
Pittsfield School Board

 


 

Letter
Please Vote No On SB2

 

I question the idea that there will be more time to “research” ballot questions between deliberative session and voting day. What about the time between the Budget Public Hearing and Town Meeting? It would appear there’s plenty of time already built in for anyone to look further into the ballot questions.

 

What doesn’t exist in that time period within the constructs of SB2 is the opportunity to openly ask questions after the deliberative session has adjourned, after you’ve done your research, before you’re asked to cast a vote.

 

Many times our town’s registered voters have looked to department heads from the floor of the Town Meeting for insight/direction into what needs are immediate and what needs can be shelved. We have seen budget committee members alter their stance before the vote, alerting voters to alternate approaches to meeting the needs of our town that have presented themselves after the public hearing. None of these scenarios can be played out in a voting booth on election day using SB2. You see, with SB2 you only get a chance to vote yes or no. At traditional Town Meeting you are able to amend to adjust to that newfound information.

 

Town Meeting presents itself as the last opportunity, for some, to ask the burning question, to challenge the bottom line, to amend figures and lessen the burden on the property owners. All done in an open forum, for all to hear and better understand the “why?”

 

I don’t want to simply vote up or down based on decisions made at the deliberative session. I’d rather attend a Town Meeting and retain the opportunity to cast my vote after hearing from my neighbors, department heads, those who have done their research and made the amendments to serve our community’s best interests.

 

Ross Morse

 


 

Letter To The Editor
Vote Jim Allard – Selectman

 

After being appointed to fill a vacant selectman’s position in May of 2016, Jim Allard has proven he was a worthy choice, and has been a valuable addition to the current select board.  Along with other board members, he has been faithful at representing the wishes of the people, reducing taxes and being fiscally responsible. Although taxes will be rising again this year, most of this is due to decisions made by former boards.  As many of Pittsfield’s residents have stated, we cannot sustain continual tax increases.  A vote for Jim will enable the current board to continue their good work.

 

As a veteran of the US military, Jim served his country for 30 years, now he is serving his community.  He is a property tax paying citizen, a responsible, fair-minded man, with the best interest of the taxpayer in mind, not the special interest groups.

 

Vote for Responsibility – Vote for Jim Allard!

 

Thank you,
Paula Belliveau

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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