"Real liberty is neither found in despotism or the extremes of democracy, but in moderate governments.
Alexander Hamilton

Friday, May 25, 2018

Community Development Advisory Committee Still A Work In Progress, But A Worthy Idea

There have been concerns expressed by members of the community and some on the BoS that the  Community Development Advisory Committee (CDAC) is "political" and exceeding it's charge.
There is some history of course as to why this committee came to be and how the charge and composition was finalized. Numerous discussions about this committee were held by the BoS, Planning Board, Zoning Board and the Master Plan Steering Committee. Should there be a member of the BoS on the committee? Should it even be a public committee, but rather a working group of members of the community? Critical to its success was a hands-off approach. No external influence or agenda. In this manner, they could be free to express opinions and concerns.

My recollection of events was that this committee would identify the barriers to development in Moultonboro from a business person point of view. Say for example that someone wanted to build 20 units of starter housing for first time buyers or seniors who want to age in place, what is preventing them from considering Moultonboro? Or A CruCon type business from building a headquarters here? The committee could identify those barriers, and make recommendations to the appropriate board.
Given that this is somewhat of a unique concept, it is still a work in progress and the committee needs time to grow and develop.
Some history:
The genesis of the CDAC began in a joint Planning -Zoning Board work session on August 30th 2017. At that meeting, one of the topics of discussion was lack of affordable housing in Moultonboro. Planning Board Chair Scott Bartlett suggested that an advisory group be formed to “pre-qualify” areas for development of commercial, mixed use and/or affordable housing development.
The committee formation was discussed with the BoS  at their work session on September 28th 2017.
Town Planner Robert Ward presented the concept to establish an economic development advisory group.  The purpose would be to assist potential new businesses and developers of commercial and residential property to choose Moultonborough by identifying the benefits, advising about the land use process and regulations, and assessing potential development sites for possible obstacles and challenges to development.
The committee would then provide feedback to the BoS, Town Planner and land use boards regarding local regulations that may need to be changed in order to promote a more development-friendly atmosphere.
Over the next few months, a charge for a CDAC was approved by the BoS:
"Provide input and advice on matters relating to the Town's community development and to develop and recommend strategies to the Select Board that will promote the Town's development of business, housing, community facilities and infrastructure.  Inventory businesses seeking ways the Town can support and encourage existing businesses to grow and recommend strategies to attract new economic and residential activity.  Inventory available properties and opportunities for community development and develop recommendations on how to promote those properties and employment and house opportunities .Support Moultonborough's community brand and help strengthen Moultonborough's identity as a wonderful community to live, work and play in the region and state."
The CDAC kicked off on January 10th 2018. At that meeting, Town Administrator Walter Johnson clarified the committee charge: "CDAC’s charge is to address and hopefully stabilize Moultonborough’s demographic situation which is that of an aging population with younger, school-aged families no longer coming to Moultonborough. He stated that CDAC’s charge was to attract new businesses to town and to support expansion of existing businesses and also to attract young families to town." That is consistent with the BoS more formal and broad charge. 
The CDAC has met three times since that kickoff meeting and are still finding their way so speak in terms of how to move forward. One glaring issue is the lack of a committee chair. The committee has put off the election of a chair in all the meetings to date. It is unclear why there has been a delay, but a chair would help solidify the goal of an independent committee. 
I would hope that the BoS continue a hands-off approach to the CDAC and that the CDAC elect a chair  as soon as possible. As to concerns of it being " political," these are appointed citizens who volunteered. All of have different viewpoints and ideas. And that, in my opinion, is a good thing. Remember, they are not elected and also have no authority to do anything but recommend. The elected BoS and Planning Board have the choice as to whether to act on any pertinent recommendations. 


Select Board Approve Location of Moultonboro Academy Emergency Access Road. Town Green to Follow?

" A stake in the ground" in the words of BoS chair Jean Beadle. The BoS decided yesterday to advise the school district that an emergency access road to the Academy can be built alongside the Taylor property building as close as possible to the Bank of NH property line. In addition, they will ask that an area is set aside to allow for limited public parking at the site as a possible first step in the area being used as a town green.
The BoS will also ask a forrester to evaluate the site and then remove any dangerous hanging trees and perhaps clean up some unwanted growth.
While no decision was made on the Taylor property as a whole, it was the consensus that the Charette planned for July will provide some clearer direction. It seemed that the BoS are open to the idea that a portion of the Taylor building could be saved and then possibly repurposed maybe with public bathrooms etc., for use as part of the park.
A starting point at last.



Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Sidewalk History: Just the Facts

Facts do matter. Taking no opinion here, I want to outline the history of the sidewalks warrant articles in response to a question and comments during citizen input at last Thursday's BoS meeting. The gist of it was why do we have to go to Town Meeting every year and voting down the same thing? The implication was that the BoS keep putting this on the ballot. They haven't and sidewalks weren't voted down every year. Of the five sidewalk votes over the past five years, three were approved and two were defeated. Whatever your opinion of village sidewalks, citizens by petition took the initiative utilizing their legal right to petition warrant articles and the BoS did what was required of them by voters. As I wrote at the beginning, facts do matter.

(Note:  Petitioned warrant articles require the signatures of 25 duly registered voters. It is the right of every citizen to petition warrant articles and bring it to Town Meeting.
The BoS are then required to put the article on the warrant. )

 Here is a timeline summary, followed by the minutes for the specific warrant articles.

Timeline:

  • 2013- A petitioned warrant article 27,  seeking $45K for planning/designing of sidewalks in the village area , plans to be considered for 2014 Town Meeting. Approved by show of voter cards
  • 2014- As required by 2013 Town Meeting, a report outlining a plan for sidewalks, article 2 was approved by secret ballot. Yes- 153 No-65 .2014 
  • 2014- Article 27, a petitioned warrant article seeking $590,000 for the purpose of design, acquisition of land, rights of way or easements, construction, construction oversight, acquisition of required equipment for the maintenance thereof, and the costs associated therewith of constructing sidewalks in Moultonborough Village. Defeated by a secret ballot vote. Yes – 101 No – 101.
  • 2015-Article 30 a petitioned warrant article To see if the Town of Moultonborough will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of Eighty Five Thousand Dollars ($85,000) for engineering, acquisition of rights of way or easements, legal costs, preparation of plans and specifications, and bidding for the purpose of sidewalk construction in Moultonborough Village. The article was voted in the affirmative by a secret ballot vote. Yes - 124 No -104 
  • 2018- Per approval of 2015 Article 30, the BoS placed this question on the warrant: To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of Six Hundred Seventy Thousand Dollars ($670,000) for the construction of sidewalks along Route 25 in the village area from Blake Road to Holland Street. The design is per the instructions of warrant article #30 approved at the 2015 Town Meeting.This article was defeated by a secret ballot. YES - 122 NO - 275  



2013
ARTICLE 27 To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of Forty Five Thousand dollars ($45,000) to be expended by the SelectBoard on the surveying, planning and designing of a sidewalk or sidewalks in the village area, for the purpose of presenting a plan or plans for

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Plan NH Charette Application Approved.

A Village Area Charette will most likely be held on Friday, July 20th and Saturday, July 21st. Per Town Administrator Walter Johnson at last Thursday's BoS meeting, it is very likely these will be the dates.
Plan NH approved the Town's application for the Charette and private funds will need to be raised to cover the $6,000 or so cost. The 2012 Charette will be the basis for what is being considered a  follow-up charette.
More to come on this, but please mark your calendars.




Friday, May 18, 2018

Garage Sale

Garage Sale 
Rain or Shine!
Sat May 19,  8-3pm
61 Colonial Drive 
Something for Everyone
near downtown Center Harbor

June 5, 2018 Deadline to Change Party Affiliation for Voting in the September 11, 2018 State Primary Election

News Release
For Immediate Release
May 16, 2018
Contact:
Matthew Broadhead, Assistant Attorney General
Matthew.Broadhead@doj.nh.gov (603) 271-3650
David M. Scanlan, Deputy Secretary of State
David.Scanlan@SOS.NH.GOV (603) 271-3242
June 5, 2018 Deadline to Change Party Affiliation for Voting in the September 11, 2018 State Primary Election
Secretary of State William M. Gardner and Attorney General Gordon J. MacDonald remind voters that June 5, 2018 is the deadline for a voter to change party affiliation or to become unaffiliated with a party for voting in the September 11, 2018 State Primary Election. Generally, voters are affiliated with a political party when they previously chose to vote in a political party’s primary or when they affiliate with a party while registering to vote. Unless the voter changes his or her political party affiliation after voting and before the next primary, the voter is limited by law to voting on the ballot of the political party he or she is affiliated with. By contrast, unaffiliated voters may choose to vote in either party’s primary on Election Day. We are providing this guidance because Local Election Officials have in the past reported that during State Primary Elections some voters who are registered as affiliated with one political party seek to vote on the ballot of a different political party in a subsequent election but are surprised when they cannot do so.
The attached Special Notice provides further information.
SPECIAL NOTICE
Tuesday June 5th is the deadline for changing your political party affiliation before the
September 11, 2018 State Primary Election.
New Hampshire will hold a Primary Election on Tuesday September 11, 2018. Voters at a Primary Election vote by official ballot to nominate their party’s candidates for federal, state, and county offices. Republicans also elect delegates to the state party convention.
At a Primary Election a voter may only vote in one party’s primary. A voter who is registered as affiliated with a specific party may only vote on that party’s ballot at the Primary Election. A voter is registered as affiliated with a political party if:
• He or she indicates they are affiliated with that party on the voter registration form when registering to vote and have not changed party affiliation; or
• He or she, if previously registered with no party affiliation (undeclared), chooses to vote in a state or presidential primary and then does not change his or her registration back to undeclared.
An undeclared voter may vote in a party primary by choosing that party at the polling place. Only voters who enter the polling place as undeclared on Primary Election day may choose to change back to undeclared at the polling place after voting on Primary day. Voters who are affiliated with a party may change affiliation or to undeclared on or before
June 5, 2018 or after the state Primary Election day.
Voters should verify that they are either registered as affiliated with the political party in whose primary they plan to vote on September 11, 2018 or that they are registered as undeclared.
You can verify your voter registration through the Secretary of State’s Voter Information Look-up web site: http://sos.nh.gov/ (Click on the Voter Information Look-up link) or http://sos.nh.gov/VoteInforLook.aspx to go directly to the Voter Information Look-up page.
It is important to verify your current voter registration status. At each Primary Election voters seek to vote on the ballot of a party other than the party they are affiliated with and the law does not permit them to do so. Many of these voters were at one time registered as undeclared, voted in a state or presidential primary which affiliates the voter with the political party whose ballot they chose, and the voter did not change back to being undeclared.
If you would like to change your party affiliation you may:
• Complete a change of party affiliation form at your town or city Clerk’s office no later than Tuesday June 5, 2018 (RSA 654:34-a); or
• Attend the session of the Supervisors of the Checklist for your town on Tuesday June 5, 2018, between 7:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and change your affiliation with the Supervisors. RSA 654:32. RSA 654:34.
If on primary election day you are registered as affiliated with a political party:
• You will not be able to change your affiliation on primary election day and vote on primary election
day; or
• Vote on the primary ballot of a different political party.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Moultonborough Womens Club to Host Mega Yard Sale to Benefit MWC Scholarship Fund

 The Moultonborough Women's Club will conduct a Mega Yard Sale at the old Lions Club on Old RT 109, Saturday, May 19th from 9 AM to 3 PM.  

It will be a family-style yard sale with individual tables, a jewelry sale, and a bake sale all to benefit the Scholarship Fund. Last year, $7000 was awarded to local students from various fundraisers.

There are many MWC members participating and the items for sale are too numerous to mention in one place. It's a rain or shine event since it is being held indoors. 

Since 1960, the MWC has awarded over $168K in Scholarships

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Capital Improvements Program Committee Meeting Video On Line

The BoS through our current vendor Town Hall Streams were able to record and delay the broadcast of certain meetings by 24 hours. (The BoS meetings will still be broadcast live). The CIPC meeting on May 8th was recorded and is now available here on Town Hall Streams.