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

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Sidewalks for Moultonborough

When I was a Trustee or Board member of a large County Transportation Board, we put in a sidewalk that senior citizens could use that connected their housing facility to my nearby town, much like Moultonborough. It was a protected sidewalk made of asphalt that not only bordered a busy highway but also ran alongside a peaceful stream. We also constructed several wooden bridges that gave the walkway a rustic, country atmosphere. The seniors no longer had to worry about walking along the dangerous road or falling over the debris or snow on the side of the road.

You would think, all of the Town's residents would be appreciative of the County's efforts. Unfortunately, that was not the case. Some people said they did not want a sidewalk, it took away the area's country character and only served one part of town. About eight years have passed, and apparently just about everyone, now, loves the walkway. The local Lions Club, that I was a member, built a "Lions Park" on the path that all the people now visit and many use the sidewalk as part of their daily walk.

I relate this story for those who are considering sidewalks for the busy parts of Moultonborough. I hope you are not discouraged in your deliberations, because you can't please everyone at the beginning of the process. The only question should be, "Is there a need for the sidewalks that justifies the expense?"

Nick Vazzana
Democratic Candidate for State Representative

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

No!

Anonymous said...

I do not think it is appropriate for a candidate running for state office to chime in on one of our hot button issues. He will not get my vote.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Vazzana, your comments about sidewalks in Moultonborough show that you are incredibly uninformed about the issue and our town itself. As you should know since Sandwich adjoins Moultonborough, there is no residential area in the center of town, unlike Sandwich. A short drive around the two villages will show you the differences, which are major.

Moultonborough never had a "busy" downtown area that your example refers to. This ingredient seems to be a necessity in your view as to why sidewalks are needed.
Speaking of need, you do admit that there should be a need before there can be any justification for the expense. You may not realize it, but there was never any feasibility study of any type done to show any such need.

Many of us in Moultonborough are somewhat provincial and take great exception when outsiders tell us how we should run our town. Last I checked, you are not a Moultonborough taxpayer and yet you feel free to tell us how to spend our money on things such as sidewalks.

This attitude of yours scares me. The last thing we need in Concord is someone who thinks that Government knows best - especially when it comes to spending other people's money. It is doubtful if your political views will capture many votes in Moultonborough.

Anonymous said...

It appears that one of candidate Vazzana's first priorities when he gets to Concord is Moultonboro sidewalks.

Mt. Rattler said...

Another Progressive Democrat...stay in Sandwich, we don't need another one of you in Concord representing big Gov'nt. No vote here.

Anonymous said...

Somehow I think he will get to Concord only as a visitor. Please tell us where you are from so we can judge your comparison.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Vazzana, Moultonborough already has an asphalt sidewalk were seniors can walk. It's on Moultonborough Neck Road and it's called the Pathway. It's cost taxpayer close to a million dollars. So thanks but no thanks to sidewalks in the Village.

RINO said...

I would suggest dear friends that you seek the word of Rep. Crawford who is a Moultonborough voter as to how she voted regarding the sidewalks. For or against? Under whose watch was the pathwway boondoggle perpetrated? The Lions Club purchase? You can complain about a "democrat" but what about someone who acts like one?

Anonymous said...

I might be interested in Karel Crawford's take on sidewalks because she is a M'boro taxpayer and resident. Mr. Vazzana is neither; therefore, he should refrain from voicing an opinion on something that does not concern him. Doing so is probably not politically expedient.

Thank you for your point of view said...

Nick stepped on a landmine lodged among this blog's demographics, but not everyone in town was against the sidewalks. The vote was tied. The rabid reaction to kind words of advice, based on experience, is one of the reasons for everyone to carefully consider which party to support this November. Moderation and civilized discussion over automatic attacks against a "democratic candidate" will benefit us all. Thanks Nick, for your contribution.

Anonymous said...

I do not care what party affiliation Nick has, or anyone else running for office, and I do not care whether you are pro or con the sidewalks: if the topic does not concern you or your family, STAY OUT! This is not bashing...just a reminder to MYOB.
Let us move on.

202 Voters? said...

"Thank you for your point" makes the argument why SB2 is the smart alternative to Town Meeting for Moultonborough voters.

202 voters decided the fate of a half million dollar plus sidewalk project. A tie vote 101 to 101 should be a wake up call to all those that did not participate in the 2014 Town Meeting. 3400-3500 Moultonborough voters, were denied a vote because they weren't able to attend Town Meeting? Makes no sense in this day and age.

Half of the voters are away and many others are unable to sit through a 6 hour Town Meeting. These are voters who could have voted on how their tax dollars are spent with an absentee ballot and SB2.

Today only one third of NH towns still use Town Meeting as their form of government. SB2 makes sense, Town Meeting has gone the way of the horse and buggy.

Anonymous said...

the sidewalks on moultonoboro neck road are a joke. the town has spent a ton of $$ only to re-do it. yes people use it everyday. They just were not done right in the first place. They were half ass put in (still are). Why can't the town spend the money on fixing some of the roads that are in dire need of repair?

Anonymous said...

202, Moultonborough still has a Town Meeting because that the "core" town politicians, rec department and school budget supporters know that if the all of the retirees and snowbirds actually had a say things would be drastically different. sb2 is voted on during the town elections and an absentee ballot can be requested. people need to vote in sb2 rather than just complain about the spending. key words for those opposed to sb2 are retain local control. i would say two and possibly three members of our select board are opposed to sb2.

Anonymous said...

anonymous 11:24 many people, those who live near them, use the pathways. i live on long island so i have a good sense of the number of walkers. phase 1 is the most heavily traveled. naturally, since you can walk to jojo's and back. the problem with phase 2 is there is parking if you want to use it so those that live nearby use it while the remainder of the town does not. will i ever spend 25 minutes each way to travel to the village to use a facility there? no! i doubt that phase 3 connecting kona road to jojo's will not have much use if it is built. there is quite a hill to climb and the road is narrow. i believe the chairwoman of the pathway committee lives in close proximity to the path.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 12:34

There is no SB2 because it was voted down TWICE by voters on election day, NOT at town meeting. All the retirees and snowbirds DID have a say but they either voted against it or did not get an absentee ballot.

Your argument about people casting absentee ballots is wrong because of one major fact, VOTER APATHY !

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:44: you are 100% correct! Annihilating voter apathy is the answer to our pathetic turnout. SB2 is no magic fix.

Anonymous said...

It was defeated by voter apathy. It did receive 58% of the vote one time not the needed 60%. I am not sure about our town employees. My wife mailed in a request in the middle of October from out of state for an absentee ballot for the November election. The ballot arrived at our home address around the 20th of November. I couldn't request the ballot for her and she sure wasn't home to receive it or she would have voted in person. It was very subtle if it was intentional but many in the town have a mindset that voting is only done in person. I think it was the 2010 election.

Just another taxpayer said...

After the 30+ years I have been living in M'boro I have yet to see any appreciable number of individuals walking along Whittier Hwy to and from "downtown" - probably because there is nothing there that creates foot traffic.

So why do we need sidewalks again? Oh yea - so we can put a crosswalk in front of the school. It would be far less expensive to have a police officer assigned everyday to cross folks at the school At least they would be doing something of value instead of stopping "speeders".

Native Grumpy said...

Hey Nick, "peaceful streams, wooden bridges, rustic country atmosphere, seniors walking in safety in Utopia-ville"... ahhh what dreams of El Dorado or never-never land living in NH. Before you spend our tax dollars on another project that is filled to overflowing with the dirt and gravel of unintended consequences which will cost us more to fix than it did to construct (just 'cause that's how bureaucrats make job security) listen to those who really don't want it. I love it when you folks come to town (or just the area) and start making our town like the one you just left.
And the issue of SB2... As much as I think it is our RIGHT to vote in this modern age on things like spending articles, we worked very hard on that issue and it came a handful of votes from the Super-Majority needed. Town meetings worked well and fairly represented the residents and taxpayers when we were an agrarian society of the 18th and 19th centuries. In the industrial-digital society of the 21st century needs to adjust to more modern and proven methods of voting. Those on the left have accused the voter I-D effort for voter registration as a racial issue because of inconvenience. Well they should hear about the narrow-minded folks in NH who need to see the faces of all those voting AS THEY CAST THEIR VOTES.

Citizen Jane said...

"... the dirt and gravel of unintended consequences ..."

I love it. On several levels!

I do find Mr. Vezzana's remark "The only question should be, "Is there a need for the sidewalks that justifies the expense?" to be fairly fatuous. As if we hadn't looked at the issue from that perspective? Yes, we did. (And just in case anyone needs reminding, I would note that Mr. Terenzini was specifically asked about the potential usage of said sidewalks, to which he said he would respond with data, and to which he never did.)

Disenfranchised Voter said...

Anonymous 12:34 and 3:44, What don't you get? This is not about voter apathy. Many of the older population which by the way are the majority of residents that live in Moultonborough, can not sit for 6 hours through a town meeting. Those that are able head for warmer climates and aren't here for town meeting. Why should these folks not have the opportunity to say how their tax dollars are spent? Town meeting will not allow them to but SB2 will.

You can not deny the fact that voter turnout is by far much higher with SB2, absentee votes are allowed.

This is not about voter apathy.

Disenfranchised Voter said...

Anonymous 12:34 and 3:44, This is not about voter apathy. Many of the older population which by the way are the majority of residents that live in Moultonborough, can not sit for 6 hours through a town meeting. Those that are able head for warmer climates and aren't here for town meeting. Why should these folks not have the opportunity to say how their tax dollars are spent? Town meeting will not allow them to but SB2 will.

You can not deny the fact that voter turnout is by far much higher with SB2, absentee votes are allowed.

This is not about voter apathy.

Anonymous said...

Would 75 qualify as part of the older population? I am 75, can get away to the warmer climes, and would prefer NOT to have TO sit through 6 hours of town meeting. However, in order to vote, I am here for the painful event. I still think that voter apathy is the problem....whether here or in Arizona or Florida, people don't always exercise their right to vote. Maybe SB2 would help...who knows? I am not convinced.

Anonymous said...

I would like to comment on all the effort the village committee is taking to come up with a longer term vision for the Town. And sidewalks.

First, we now have a food pantry and thrift store operating 3 days each week. Today I rode through the village and observed kids toys and a pink bouncy thing out front. Is this what we will be viewing each week? It's our village! Do we want a permanent yard sale out front like the consignment store further down the road? I would guess not. Why is all this focus in the village when we allow this eyesore to continue?
Sidewalks, no matter who is buying, is a waste here. Why don't we focus on the services the summer exploding population needs instead of frivolous wasted money.
We need a town that plans better. Why is there daytime road construction during Bike Week and Fourth of July? Adjacent towns do it at night.
We need a Fire Department with qualified EMT's that can get to an emergency in less than 10 minutes. We need longer hours at the dump so it isn't so congested on the 4.5 days it is open. How about another day during the week or a full Sunday? We aren't in the dark ages anymore. We summer residents need a full service Town Clerk during the week that doesn't close at lunch hour.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anon 6:47.....some of your points are well taken. However, your last sentence negates the entire message. The SUMMER RESIDENTS are not entitled to one thing that is not offered to year-round residents. Please get over yourself!

Anonymous said...

Dear anon at 4:24, I did not mean to imply that summer residents get more privilege than anyone else. I should have worded it differently. It was just my frustration that the town doesn't work to consider the huge influx of seasonal folk and adjust department operations accordingly.

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:59, My 1st response was prickly, and I apologize. However, elected officials' hours cannot be regulated by the town. Some departments work very hard to accommodate everyone ( tax collector), while the town clerk insists upon closing for an hour during the lunch hour, despite the 3 or 4 assigned to that office. It is frustrating and infuriating to anyone needing to use the noon hour for licenses, etc.

Anonymous said...

No one's challenged the present town clerk in some time. Open 8-4, might get voter's attention.

Anonymous said...

I agree. The services need to be reviewed. What is with the dump hours? Same hours all year with the population going from 3,000 to 35,000? That is nuts. I see the head of the dump/Road Agent has a dumpster at his house. He doesn't obviously have to wait in line with the rest of us. Stupid. Stupid.

It isn't that bad said...

Staffing feast or famine is not easy, even though the rec department appears to be set up well for seasonal growth. In any event, the lines are mostly empty off season, so the staffing levels seem about right, on average.