Thursday, May 28, 2015

Got Lunch! for Inter-Lakes and Moultonboro

Got Lunch! is a collaboration of community partners coming together to provide free lunch during the summer break for children of both Interlakes and now Moultonboro who sign up for the program. 
Last year the Got Lunch team provided more than 5,000 lunches over the summer  for 150 children of Meredith, Sandwich and Center Harbor. This year they expect to provide lunch for an additional 75 children from Moultonboro. 
The food is acquired through food drives and monetary donations .
Each Monday morning volunteers pack individual bags which contain five days of nutritional lunches and two person teams  deliver the lunch bags to the children who pre- registered during the school year. The mission is to reach youth who get healthy lunches through school and government programs during the school year, but who might not eat as well at home during the almost-three months of summer vacation. The first delivery day will be June 22nd. 
The cost to feed each child for the summer is $120. 
To volunteer or to make a donation of food or money please contact Jim or Jane Gregoire at 603-677-7494 or via email:  or
You can also send donations with checks payable to St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church to: 
Got Lunch!
PO Box 237
Meredith, NH 03253

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

"NH Has Slipped from Mediocrity Into the Terrible Ten"

Charlie Arlinghaus
May 20, 2015
As originally published in the New Hampshire Union Leader
Recent college graduates and others trying to decide whether to commit to New Hampshire long term have every reason to leave and few to stay. I hope that by now it is universally accepted that New Hampshire’s prospects are, at best, mediocre. What seems increasingly likely is that those of us hoping for mediocrity are pie-eyed optimists. Things are bad and the state is losing pace. States don’t become backwaters actively. The rest of the world just passes by lackluster states while they go along pretending everything is fine. We’re pretending, doing little or nothing, and life is passing us by.
In the last week, the Pew Charitable Trust released data pointing out that recovery from the last recession is complete but robust in some states and pathetic in others. Guess which category we fall into?
Pew’s research service on state government policy Stateline found that “while all states have added jobs since their economies hit their nadir during the recession, some have added far fewer than others.” Pew went on to highlight ten states with anemic growth of 5% or less. In this group, which might well be dubbed the pathetic 10, is New Hampshire.
Consider a recent college graduate thinking about where to start his or her career. New Hampshire is a pleasant spot and has much to offer. But what is has little of and little hope for is job growth. Why on Earth would you start your career by shackling yourself to one of the pathetic 10 — the worst states in the country in which to hope to find a job?
The national average was growth of about 8%. But more likely, if you are just starting out, you want to go to one of the Top 15 states who all boast growth rates of at least 10%. Michigan’s growth rate of 11% is more than double New Hampshire’s of just 5%.
Did you ever think we’d reach the day when Detroit was the land of opportunity compared to the decaying former economic power of New Hampshire?
Actually, I grew up in Detroit. It’s nice to follow the remarkable progress they’ve been making in recent years — jettisoning me might have been the spark they needed.
States across the country are doing things to attract jobs, to make themselves more competitive, to make their economies more dynamic. While they act and act often, New Hampshire is content to rest on its laurels.
A very long time ago (in economic terms) we were a robust, thriving economy. People moved here in droves. Jobs expanded here so fast that at times the labor force couldn’t keep up. Unemployment was below full employment and jobs went unfilled ( a problem North Dakota now has because of the oil boom).
The experience colored us and changed the way too many people think. Too many policymakers had that vision burned into their retinas and have been very slow to catch up. These are not the 1980s and our economy is not attracting thousands of economic opportunity migrants every year. We resemble Maine more than we resemble the land of milk and honey.
We are not the envy of our neighbors — as the Federal Reserve wrote about us 15 years ago. Instead we are one of the pathetic 10 and the so-called New Hampshire Advantage is a mythological creature of the past not the present.
The two worst measures that doom us are taxes and energy. When industrial users of electricity would have to pay more than twice the national average price for the privilege of being here, don’t expect them to show up.
On corporate taxes, we are better in some areas than others but we’re 48th in the Tax Foundation’s Corporate Tax Index. Very high corporate taxes coupled with ridiculous energy rates weed out an awful lots of jobs.
While we stagnate, other states are making an effort to improve their position. States all around us are lowering corporate tax rates in an attempt to get out of the bottom 10. In contrast, even a pathetic little cut in our business taxes is controversial here.
Gone is the time when we needed to preserve a New Hampshire dynamism. Now we have to try to figure out how to create one. Mediocrity is something we can hope to achieve in the future. In the meantime we are stuck in the pathetic 10.

Moultonboro Zoning Board of Adjustment May 20th 2014

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Master Plan Process Continues

The Planning Board a few months back, acting upon the recommendation of the Town Planner,  formed a Master Plan Steering Committee. Committee membership is as follows: Kevin Quinlan, Planning Board; Josh Bartlett, Board of Selectmen; Brian Sanford, Conservation Commission; Norman Larson, Heritage Commission; Paul Punturieri, Master Plan Implementation Committee.

The purpose of the Steering Committee is not to produce a Master Plan or any report for that matter, but to assist the Town Planner ( who will for the most part be drafting the chapters) as a sounding board for possible Master Plan concepts. The committee charge is as follows:

"The purpose of this Committee is to work with the Town Planner, or other resources engaged by the town, toward the following: 
(1) to develop the Master Plan;
 (2) to review data, demography, findings and recommendations, maps and draft sections of the Master Plan; and 
(3) to oversee progress and provide input and guidance to the Town Planner; and
(4) to act as a sounding board for extensive public input on the data, demography, findings and recommendations, maps and draft sections of the Master Plan"

The committee has met three times and will meet again on Monday June 1st at 5pm in Town Hall. Item 4 in the charge above is key to a successful Master Plan development. "Extensive public input" is only possible if the public is engaged and provides input. I hear a lot of moans and groans when a new business wants to come to town that some believe to not be a good fit for Moultonboro. It would be enormously helpful to the Town and the Town Planner if the people for or against would come out and express their views.
We have all sorts of opportunities to determine what our Town will become, and if you have any interest at all in being a part of the process, come to a steering committee meeting and/or a Planning Board meeting and tell us what you think. You can also write a letter or send an email to the Town Planner  with your thoughts.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Yielding to Emergency Vehicles

As I as driving through town Friday, I saw flashing blue lights coming toward me. I immediately slowed down and pulled over to the right and stopped, as did the vehicles behind me. Unfortunately, three vehicles just ahead of the MPD cruiser did not pull over. It took the sirens to get the immediate attention of the first two vehicles, but the one just in front of the cruiser took a bit longer before finally getting the message and eventually getting out of the way.
According to th NH Division of Safety  "New Hampshire law states that upon the approach of an emergency vehicle, the driver of a vehicle shall immediately pull to the right as far as possible and come to a stop until the emergency vehicle has passed.
Yielding to emergency vehicles also allows for a quicker response by the police, fire or ambulance.
Remember these points:
  • If you are driving and see an approaching emergency vehicle, pull over to the side of the road as quickly, but as safely, as possible. 
  • Use you your turn signal,  slow down and pull as far right as possible. 
  • When the emergency vehicle passes, put your left turn signal on and pull back into traffic. Don’t rush to pull back into traffic. It is better to be safe than to keep your place in the flow of traffic.
  • When yielding to emergency vehicles, do not pull over and keep your speed at or near the speed limit.   This causes the emergency vehicle to take longer to pass you.   Also, breakdown lanes or the non-traveled portion of the road are usually strewn with rocks, dust and debris; the faster a vehicle goes, the more dust and debris gets kicked up leading to poor visibility and possible damage.   
  • If an emergency vehicle approaches on a curve or hill,  do not stop in the curve or hill. At a normal speed, get beyond this area to a flat or straight stretch of the road.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Town Planner to Convert to Contracted Role

The Board of Selectmen at yesterdays 5:30pm meeting discussed the impending resignation of Town Planner Bruce Woodruff ( effective July 1st, 2015) and how to proceed going forward with the Planner's proposal to continue on as a contracted Planner not an employee.
In the audience were the chairs of the Zoning Board, Planning Board and the CIPC who unanimously supported the concept and urged the BoS to agree to the contract. All were very complimentary of Mr. Woodruff and felt that his departure would leave a void in the Land Use Office and be of great detriment to the Town.
Selectmen Russ Wakefield reviewed the contract as he opened the discussion and was in full support of the contract as was Josh Bartlett and myself. I pointed out that the contract represents a cost savings to the Town of nearly $19,000 from his current compensation package and that not continuing with his services would be detrimental to the Town. Jean Beadle was concerned that we would be going from a full time to a part time planner and felt that the Town voted for a full time planner. Mr Woodruff explained, that while the contract calls for 30 hours per week, he will be obligated to perform the same duties he currently does as an employee with the exception that he will be in the office 3 days per week and will also work from home. He also pointed out that the warrant article did not mention full time
The proposed contract calls for a 15 day " out" clause by either party and annualized will cost $70,000 for his services. Josh Bartlett made the suggestion to pay on a bi weekly basis rather than monthly.
After some discussion, I made the motion to accept the contract offer ( subject to review by our employment counsel and a few minor changes such as bi weekly pay) effective July 1st 2015 for a period of six months with a review and reassessment after January 1st 2016.
Bob Stephens, Chair of the ZBA asked why six months and not the full year as we do have a 15 day out clause and I explained that I was very confident that after six months we will find that the end result was very successful and then we could continue to move forward.
The motion carried by a vote of  4 to 1 with Chris Shipp opposed.

Monday, May 18, 2015

“Those Who Gave Their All While Serving To Protect Our Freedoms”.

On Memorial Day,  Monday, May 25, 2015, Moultonborough will honor “Those Who Gave Their All While Serving To Protect Our Freedoms”.

Please join your friends and neighbors at the Annual Memorial Day Parade at 10 a.m.  The parade starts at Blake Road, near the Central School, continues on Route 25 to the Town Hall.

The ceremony at the Town Hall will honor those that gave their lives in service to our Country and, also, will honor Veterans from Moultonborough who served in WW II, Korean and Vietnam Wars, and later years.

The Celebration will include a Medley by the Academy Band, and Megan & Katie Duddy will lead us all in singing “God Bless America”

Our Keynote speaker will be Jim Duddy, US Marines.

Following the service, please take time to thank the Veterans, it will mean a lot to them.

And then, all may enjoy ice-cream provided by the United Methodist Church.

So, arrive early to get a good parking spot, and enjoy some very unique people.

Thank You,
Memorial Day Parade Committee