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

Monday, June 16, 2014

"Quaint" & "Charming"

According to Merriam-Webster quaint is defined as "having an old-fashioned or unusual quality or appearance that is usually attractive or appealing" Charming is defined as "very pleasing or appealing : full of charm"
In discussing the village and hearing people describe what they like about it or what they would like to see, the words "quaint and charming " are often used. Many people have commented that they like the rural charm and quaintness of a small New England town. So do I, but it may be a bit of  a stretch to find a lot in our village area one would call "quaint" and "charming".
Okay, there are some spots that would qualify as both of course, the Old Country Store with it's people friendly porch is perhaps the very definition of small town New England. The Grange Hall, the Historical Society properties also qualify along with the Methodist church and a few others, but interspersed in between however are some ordinary buildings, nothing to be ashamed of, but not exactly screaming New England small town. People don't stop in the village to tour two four unit apartment buildings or a cement block convenience store and gas station. Great to have a gas pumps close in town  and it does bring in some tourist traffic, usually for a fill up and some quick snack, but is it quaint? Or charming?
 In a summer there is a bit of a transformation  and a kinda-sorta  small town feel as the flowers and landscaping reach their peak and the farm store is open, but it doesn't last. And we still have a few vacant properties, one of which is now owned by taxpayers.
A question we need to answer is what are the characteristics that make a town quaint and charming? What are the architectural elements and scale we want to encourage and promote and which are the ones we don't want? Maybe equally important will be how to integrate existing elements into this new vision. I'm not speaking of tearing anything down or requiring significant  reconstruction, but looking for ways to better blend the village so that the overall look is appealing and inviting and conducive for people to visit.
I think that incremental changes in a thoughtful , well planned manner can go a long way to transforming the village into something more visually appealing. I don't see massive all at one change nor does that appeal to me, but we do need a well coordinated plan.


B. Dunn said...

This town will never be quaint and charming. Period.

So move on.

Disband all of those committees trying to make this town something it is not.

Let the Dollar Store move in. And be done with it.

Let the donut coffee shop open and be done with it.

Move on and get a life.

Anonymous said...

Oooooh, another downer. Keep the committees and let's move onward!

Christy McDonald said...

Thank you Ms/Mr Dunn.
This town does not need anymore groups attempting to make this town something it is not.
And to boot attempting to stop all business growth.
This town does not have a main street. All it has is state route 25 going right through the center. This town will never be quaint nor charming. And all attempts with so many citizen volunteer committees cannot change this fact.

Anonymous said...

Meredith is quaint, charming, and has a Post Office that is open from noon until 1 PM.

Anonymous said...

We're going to miss you. Bye bye!

Don Gile said...

Get off your high horse you b**bs.
Meredith has a main street.
Meredith has a history of mills and factories.
Meredith has a railroad track going through town.
Moultonborough has or had none of this.
Stop the madness.
Disband all of the committees trying to make this town something that it is not.
Enough already.
Every do gooder wants a committee to do something to this town that will change this town in a meaningless way yet cost the local taxpayer hundreds of thousands of dollars. For what?
Leave the town alone.
Get a life.
If all of those volunteer do gooders want to do something then they can volunteer at the Humane Society, the Loon Center, Laconia Hospital, the Veterans Home. There is plenty to do for all of those do gooders. Just leave the town alone.

Watch Him Closely.. said...

Vols--- DON'T leave the town alone...if you do, you will get sidewalks, a $$ 3 million dollar gym, Mud Pond, and a portfolio of real estate. Until we get a Town Administrator that thinks in sync with the ( damn silent ) majority, we have to be all over it, like a cheap suit.

Get in the game said...

Don, volunteers are part of how local governments work. In order for committees to be successful they require good representation from the community.

Sitting on the sidelines, criticizing the efforts of volunteers is counter productive. You'd be better served to become a volunteer or an elected official and have some say and influence on the issues.

Don, instead of complaining, get in the game and support the position of the volunteers that aren't interested in Moultonborough becoming another Meredith or Wolfeboro but who like and want to preserve Moultonborough's small town appeal.

Anonymous said...

Watch him closely, If the damn silent majority was represented, we'd have many of those things. It is the loud minority that runs this town.

Joe Cormier/jcormier2@myfairpoint.net said...

Looks like you hit a home run "Don" on stirring the pot ... man or woman after my on heart!

You got further than first base on this post!


Unless renting, there is no "Don" on the town GIS/tax maps!

More creative than "anonymous"!

Don Gile said...

"Get in the game said...
Don, volunteers are part of how local governments work"


Well your name states it all.

Just for all, I have been a volunteer my entire life.
Just not at some meaningless local government committee.

And yes, all of these committees is a GAME.
Useless endeavors with the only intent is to spend the taxpayers money - attempting to put lipstick on a XXX !

And WE taxpayers pay for the lipstick !

Anonymous said...

Don, many of us serve on committees for the express purpose of trying to keep the town from spending constantly for things we don't need. Granted, we are not always successful but we have to keep trying. Did we lose the battle against the Taylor property, the pathway, the Blue Ribbon Commission, etc., yes, but the sidewalk project was stopped for this year.

We need support instead of people refusing to get involved.

Don Gile said...

Listen up my good neighbor.

The committees are stacked with people who "want'.
They want 'more'.
More of anything.
More spending of taxpayers money knowing perfectly well that most taxpayers don't vote. In fact, most registered voters do not vote.
All committees are an exercise of gimme 'more'. More stuff.
More. More. More.
Disband all of these committees and be done with all of this madness.

Anonymous said...

For Don, who is obviously clueless: if the town didn't have committees, such as ABC and CIPC, there would be runaway spending on things the town spenders want, want, want, such as sidewalks, a multi-million $ rec. center, and much more. Review the facts.

Leave Well Enough Alone said...

The "village" has survived in its current form for 200 + years. It will continue to survive. It is not Sandwich, not Wolfeboro or Meredith.. Leave well enough alone and stop trying to change black into whit. Rte 25 is going nowhere but through Town. The State won't move it and we have to live with it.

Leave the Village area alone and let basic economics, not altered by incentives, subsidies and tax credits, govern.

We don't need sidewalks. If we need utilities let the private sector provide those services and let the rate payers pay the price.

Anonymous said...

Disband all committees? What than? Let the Town Administrator make all the decisions$$$

Citizen Jane said...

Re: "committees are stacked with people who 'want'."

That is a gross exaggeration, mischaracterization, and plain old untruth.

There are exceptions, of course. Some individuals in this town do seem to have no problem with spending other peoples' money (hmm, seems to be a national malaise) but at the committee meetings I've attended, most of the committee members seem to be on the cautious side and weigh matters coming before them with considerable care.

Don Gile said...

"at the committee meetings I've attended, most of the committee members seem to be on the cautious side and weigh matters coming before them with considerable care."

You live in a fantasy world.
Do you really think that these good people are there to STOP something?
No, these good people are there to "improve" this community with your tax money.
The "improvements" are all not needed. They may be nice. But not needed.
There is no one on any committee that is there for the purpose of saving taxpayers money. That concept is mutually exclusive.

Anonymous said...

D.G., you are soooooooo wrong about this. I am beginning to see that your closed mind won't allow a small chink for light to enter. I know many of these committee members, and I KNOW for a fact that their main objective is to stop the insanity of needless spending! You are the one living in a fantasy world.

Anonymous said...

D.G., you are soooooooo wrong about this. I am beginning to see that your closed mind won't allow a small chink for light to enter. I know many of these committee members, and I KNOW for a fact that their main objective is to stop the insanity of needless spending! You are the one living in a fantasy world.

Make the Effort said...

I suggest Don Giles focus on who the really big spenders are, the department heads and school system. They are the ones who drive our tax rate not committee members.

One of the big town spenders is the recreation department. Over the next few years the Recreation Director is asking for millions of tax dollars for projects, some arbitrary, such as 3+million for a new gym, $500,000-$600,000 to rehab the baseball field at Playground Drive and install lights, $600,000 to complete phase 3 of the Pathway on Moultonboro Neck, $? for a 20 passenger coach bus, and a million + dollars to rehab States Landing Beach.

Mr. Giles if you feel requests like these are not necessary. I suggest you contact the Selectmen and express your opinion to them. Also keep in mind the 5 Selectmen and Town Administrator may run the town but ultimately it's the voters who make the final decision at Town Meeting in March.

If you want a say in how your dollars are being spent than make the effort and get yourself, your neighbors and friends to the March Town Meeting and exercise your right to vote.

As for the snowbirds and voters who are unable to attend Town Meeting or would rather vote on Warrant Articles in the privacy of a voting booth or by absentee ballot. I suggest the next time SB2 is on the ballot, vote for it so that you may have a say in how your tax dollars are spent.

The Seat Seat Of The Problem.. said...

Make The Effort Said....that was a well written piece, but trying to convince a person strong on convictions, but short on facts can be a hopeless task. I feel two issues need clarification tho. We have a few department heads, most doing a good job on justifying budget requests. Only one, Recreation, has stonewalled presenting records that justify budget requests..
Stating that the town Administrator ( along with BOS ) runs the town exacerbates the problem. He is NOT elected, and has a job description that says he is the BOS clerk- secretary. When he thinks he runs the town, we get in trouble. A great example of this is his continued touting of the Blue Ribbon Committee, a group of five, that several years, before the slowdown, came out for a gym. Last year, near 700 voters-residents answered a Master Plan update, and said, by a near 2 to1 margin NO more land for recreation..NO more facilities. Our Town Administrator totally ignores the wish of the 700 If the BOS does not reel him in, or replace him, our town will look like his vision for us. We do not want it, and can not afford it.

Anonymous said...

Well said, poster 8:54. We have some reining in to do.

Don Gile said...

"but ultimately it's the voters who make the final decision at Town Meeting in March."

You're joking right?

0.02% of registered voters actually show up at the annual Town Meeting.
So we allow this small percentage of registered voters decide a budget of over $20,000,000 - over 20 million dollars.

This is not democracy nor nothing close to democracy.

Give me a break !

Anonymous said...

Please stop responding to Mr or Mrs Gile. Keep on topic

Anonymous said...

To anonymous 3:24. SB2 instead of a 6 hour town meeting would solve that problem.

Anonymous said...

Born and raised here, never was a real "village", stop trying to bring it back to what it NEVER was.

Be Counted. said...

Reading he 27 posts above really plushes out the issues. You will not see this coverage in the Meredith paper, or on the town website. One lead question is how do we get a large enough percentage of the town to come out and state their wishes, to have a compelling majority decide these issues. Remember the 100 to 100 tie vote at town meeting on sidewalks...so many had to leave before that vote was taken..
The Master Plan update surveys , if distributed to all, draw a big enough response to represent a valid majority.
The 2008 survey, mailed to all, drew 1386 responses..the 2013 update survey, using more of a computer based poll had a not so hot return of 685
So far, this survey system seems to be the only way to draw enough votes to have a respectable opinion. NOW, to get them to listen to the survey is another matter. The 2013 update results have yet to be completely released as promised...nothing on the demographics of survey response that may discredit the computer approach by cutting back response from the older folks. The content of surveys must also be closely watched...you will be fed a Hobson's Choice in surveys designed to sell a project. MOST important...when the town administrator tells you that $ 5,000 is too much to spend, for a public opinion survey, as he sells the $ million dollar sidewalk, or the three million dollar gym, protect your voice in the matter.