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

Friday, October 10, 2014

Some Clarifications

I want to be crystal clear on a few things I read in some recent comments and in emails regarding the BRC UNH Feasibility study.

To begin, all surveys, all of them, will be compiled by the UNH team. They have sole access to the computer results and they alone will input the paper survey results. No one in town hall, no town employee and no town official will have any influence or control of the surveys.

The "sense of the meeting" warrant article that voters approved at town meeting did not come from the BoS or town staff at the time ( 2012 Town Meeting). It was originally proposed by the ABC to first determine if the town had interest in  the recommendation of the Blue Ribbon Commission for a new gym/recreation facility before spending money on any studies.

The Town Wide meeting on October 22nd (5:30 to 7:00PM at the MA Cafeteria) is open to the general public. There will be 200 or so electronic clickers and at the last town team meeting it was determined that the priority if there is an overflow of attendees will be for taxpayers and voters. We are hoping for a good mix of attendees of all ages and opinions to get the best possible results.

44 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the clarifications. Too bad so many of us are touchy when it comes to which entity is in charge. I am relieved that the proper people will have a crack at the buzzers on the 22nd.

Anonymous said...

Proper people, ha ha, don't make me laugh again, it hurts.....

Name the Gym said...

Blogger... I fail to see how the voting will be by the residents and/or taxpayers only. These meetings (Town Wide or whatever you choose to call it)are never well attended except for those with an agenda. The out of town folks (with an agenda like teachers, town employees who have been told the importance of being there etc) will be the majority.
The new gym is a done deal. All that is left to do is put someone's name on it as a "forever memorial".

Anonymous said...

What's gonna hurt is the 4 or 5 % increase in your property tax. Laugh now, pay later.

Blog Sunlight said...

Good explanation....take it one step further, and explain how we got dragged into the site study ? ? Done without a building committee, and per the towns landscape engineer, misplaced.

Grumpy said...

We're are supposed to trust the impartiality of a town wide meeting to the same folks who brought us the mostly secretive Lynching of the Planning Board volunteer members last year? From the five BoS members and the ever confrontational TA(complainant) ONLY ONE offer an apology.

Anonymous said...

Name the gym, hey if you are concerned about who will turnn out, then get your people out also. If they can't be bothered to spend 90 minutes then stop complaining. I would like a new recreation center. so what if we borrow the cost? we are talking about less than 100 per year, way less than membership fees in a private gym. It would greatly enhance the town and improve the quality of life. If the majority that turns out wants this then the majority rules.

Very Skeptical of the Process said...

Mr. Blogger,

What prevents multiple completion of the survey to influence the result one way or another?

Can one take the survey on line more than once, or have your friend relative, nonresident do so?

Can't one take the survey on line and the retake it in a hard copy?

As a voter, before I even consider the results of the survey, I would like answers to the the above questions.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:48...At the risk of being a mean old curmudgeon, I would like to suggest that not everyone wants a gym membership. So....why must we all pay megabucks so that you and your cronies can meet your needs at taxpayer expense???

Anonymous said...

To Anon @9;48. It may be less than $100 per year for you, but it is many times that for a lot of us. Please give us a good explanation why we need to contribute tax dollars so you don't have to pay for a private gym membership. Would you like to pay for my health care with your property tax dollars?

True Cost said...

9:48 AM... $ 100. Cost. WOW Moultonboro Math.

That is the Per Captia KoolAid-aid..like 25,000 people are all going to pay for it. That was the. Metric the UNH professors preferred to sell us, but it does not speak to the source of funds, the TAXPAYER.
Bond out a $ six million dollar building over 10 years, add in the increased yearly staff and maintence and energy costs, and you will ADD about 4 1/2 % to an annual tax bill.
$ 540.00 per yr on a $ 12,000 annual tax invoice. This is where the rubber meets the road...NOT per captia.

Anonymous said...

I would really like to know what the true results of the poll are? Very skeptical has it right. We need a true answer.

Cater To You ? said...

Posted at 9:48. Did you ever think about paying your own way? Your " you owe me " attitude is shallow. The quicker you learn we owe you nothing...ZIP...NADA, the more sucessful you will be.
If you took all of your energy that is going into your perceived " pep rally " and considered private fundraising, you would be on a surer path. Raise 25% of what you wish to spend???you would be more convincing.

Anonymous said...

True Cost, that assessment is correct. For those who feel entitled to anything and everything tax dollars will buy, the sentiment frequently uttered is "Let the waterfront people pay...they have plenty of money." This theme is echoed with regard to non-resident taxpayers. This attitude is pathetic!

Anonymous said...

wow. amazing how much some of you read ( misread) my comment at 0948. Such anger and terrible math.
I don't belong to a health club and don't expect you to pay for it. While you may not like it, many DO want a new community center and town meeting said pursue it a few years ago. Cry and complain all you want, those are the facts.
Moultonborough math? if we borrow $600,ooo for 10 years, the added tax burden is about .22 cents.Nothing to do with per capita. Its about property value. For a million dollar home that is about $220 per year. for a 250,ooo home about $55 per year. If private money is raised to offset some of it and if we use some money already in savings, the cost will be even less.
final point: we will be out there voting and speaking and so will those that oppose this project, but please bring real facts and not hyperbole. The end game is that we will vote at some point and one side or the other will win. That is what is called democracy. Get out your vote and we will get out ours. Best of luck to you.

Anonymous said...

This is not about a community center; but that is where the survey is leading. This is about a REC. center, to be used primarily by the kids, and we do not need it! School population has declined more than 25% in the past ten years, and that's real math!

More Moultonboro Math? said...

Hey, Anonymous 1:10, before you throw stones at people for "terrible math" get yours right. You forgot to add 3 additonal zeros....whoops! Projected cost is 6 MILLION not $600,000.

Anonymous said...

If we voted the Rec/Comunity Center down once before when school enrollment and Moultonborrough's population was higher, why would residents vote for a Rec/Community Center now when enrollment and population is in decline?

Anonymous said...

Big oops. I posted at 1:45 today, and meant to say that this is not about a community center; it is supposed to be a feasibility study about the need for a GYM, not a rec. center. Big difference. However, it would be primarily for the kids, who already have three gyms. Let us please try to spend our money wisely!

Anonymous said...

anon at 3:41- a community center is for the community not just kids. seniors and adults need a place to congregate and I am willing to pay a little bit more in taxes to get it.

Anonymous said...

UNH is doing a feasibility study for a gynmasium NOT a commnuity center.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 9:22, The cost of this GYM, not community center, has gone up to SIX MILLION SMACKEROOS! This would not translate into paying a little more in taxes.

Josh Bartlett said...

If the seniors or others want to congregate, what is wrong with the Lion's Club?
Did we not buy this as a community center?
Were we not told that "this is the last good place left in town" for the purpose?

How Many Do We Need? said...

For a small town there are many places to congregate aside from the Lion's Club. Library, Life Safety Building, Rec. Center, Churches, School auditorium, Town Hall. The Historical Society also has a meeting room.

Anonymous said...

Meredith's CC is not fully utilized especially during the day. Many of Meredith's programs are available to Moultonborough residents. A win/win for both towns.

Anonymous said...

what i actually wrote was "if we borrow $600,ooo for 10 years". 600 thou x 10= 6mil. Read the whole comment.
While you are at it, read the warrant article from 2012:“To see if the Town will vote
that it is the ‘Sense of the Meeting’ that, as recommended by the Blue Ribbon Commission on
Community Services and Facilities, the Town should ‘… pursue development of a facility that
includes an indoor gymnasium, Recreation Department office, program and storage space that
would be on existing school land or property adjacent to school facilities.’”
Sure sounds like a community center to me.

Anonymous said...

Math was not my strong suit, but my calculator indicates a $6 mill. loan, amortized over 10 years @4% is $60,747 per month, or $728,965 per year. That's before staffing, maintenance, and all else associated with it. That's a HUGE TAX BURDEN, IMO.BK

Just the Facts said...

Anonymous @ 9:27 & 1:10, You are hanging your hat on out dated information. The BRC report is based on data that is no longer relevant.

Enrollment & population are DECLINING. The oringinal RSTP report was done durning a boom when the economy was good and the town was growing.

The BRC report was written in 2011 before we learned school enrollment was declining and projected to decline (the New Normal) not just in Moultonboro but across the State.

The results of the 2010 Census showing a 10% decline in Moultonboro's population was not known until after the BRC report was published.

Perhaps it's you that needs to bring facts to the table.

Facts.. said...

Posted at 9:27 AM. You are blowing smoke on a shaky soapbox, and do not know it. Your business math samples are from your own little world.
A picture is worth a 1,000 words, and the most recent floor plan was shown on the cover of the brochure prepared for the site study.. It is early....not cast in stone, but it is a gym, and Rec office. The 25,000 sq ft proposed allows 800 sq ft for a kids game room, pool table, Pingpong, foosball.... And 2500 sq ft for ONE meeting Project room. No way is this a community center.

Anonymous said...

Consideration should be given to rehabbing the present Rec. Center before taxpayers are burdened with more debt.

Anonymous said...

Not a community center? but it could be.
Folks are getting older , the school decline is irrelevent. How will we provide these services and where is relevant. why not think forward and prepare for it. we can work together and figure a way without being so nasty and polarizing. Anything is possible if we would all cam down and look for a middle ground.

Devil's in the Details said...

For us relevant is living within our means. Some might think a "a few" dollars added to their tax bill is not relevant but to those living on fixed income a few dollars here and a few dollars there add up.

Chris said...

Reply to Anonymous 11:48, you're so cavalier with other peoples money. if you're such a champion of this cause get out and do some fund rising and put your money where your mouth is. The library raised private funds why can't you?

Anonymous said...

Would Meredith be willing to let Moultonborough join in the use and costs of their community center?

Jim said...

Sharing resources is a smart idea. Why are the Selectmen not pursuing this avenue before burdening taxpayers with another facility and more debt.

Citizen Jane said...

Re: Why are the Selectmen not pursuing this option ...

Because the T.A. is (for all practical purposes) running the show?

That is my guess. Especially given the lack of response to the petition last year to remove said T.A.

With any luck, this possibility will crop up during the focus groups and town-wide meeting and maybe even at Town Meeting.

Nancy Wright said...

The Moultonborough Recreation Department offers pickle ball at the Meredith Community Center 3 times a week. Tuesday and Friday mornings and Thursday evening. Players come from Gilford, Meredith, Moultonborough and Tuftonboro. Seems to be a good cooperative effort and a win/win for all.

Moultonboro Blogger said...

Many of the questions raised will be answered by the UNH study. We don't know what the outcome will be so planning regarding funding or potential cost is not on the radar. There are many possible outcomes of the study including sharing and better utilizing services and facilities within and outside of the community. Nothing has come before the BoS yet asking for anything. The process will run its course and we will see what is on the table.
There is much speculation because of the site study, but recall please that the voters asked the town to do that at last town meeting.

Anonymous said...

So am I reading this correctly? Costs are not part of this phase? We won't know total cost and ongoing maintenance and staffing until after it is determined that it is needed or not? Ah, makes perfect sense. Are these folks for real?

Anonymous said...

costs for what? feasability for what it is we actually need or dont need. how could cost be part of this study. you are projecting you own bias in the comment.

Cost NO Object said...

Early on, when the T A was trying to get the BOS to approve this UNH sales pitch, they were told that they would speak to cost, and financing. After the BOS allowed this study, the coat aspect was eliminated.. The T A knows you are not ready for the sticker shock. This has happened on previous projects....they want a town meeting vote before they drop that bomb. Kind of offensive, being taken for stupid.

Anonymous said...

Some of us actually do make decisions based on projected costs. What does it cost the town of Meredith to maintain and staff their Community Center? Anyone know?

Moultonboro Blogger said...

I would refer readers to the actual scope agreement with UNH ( http://www.moultonborough.org/Pages/MoultonboroughNH_BComm/BRCGymstudy/Scopestudyfinal082114.pdf).I n reference to cost this is the pertinent section:
"Based on feedback on the Draft above, a final report will be delivered by UNH (in electronic
form) and presented to the Select Board and community at large on its findings with respect to
need and its recommendations as to how to best meet those needs particularly with respect to
potential collaborations with others, the benchmarking findings with respect to revenues and
expenses, and an analysis of potential operating costs (gross and net) of any facilities proposed to
be constructed. "
Please be aware that nothing was removed or changed from the scope after the BoS approved it. This was very thoroughly reviewed by the BoS and the town team.
The confusion seems to be about the site study which included a cost estimate per square foot.
I don't know who the "they" is that you are referring to, but the BoS are very much on top of this study. We reviewed the proposal and made significant changes in the scope agreement. The draft report will come to the town team directly from UNH. We have not set any timeline for any decisions for whatever the report recommends. My own opinion is that there will be a lot of public vetting required no matter what the recommendation and that will take significant time. I am not in favor of any rush decisions and see no need to fast track anything.

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

Why the hurry to get "this" into this year's budget cycle??? Just what is "this"?

By "this" I'm alluding to after the approved $17k for a site study, ... not buiding study. Yes, they can be kept separate ... and probably wouldn't have caused the Hatfields and McCoys to reload!

Why not the 2016 budget or 2018 budget or 2020 budget ... or never budget for a build. Probably will be anyway, if this goes through ... and will surely be more than present day $6 million app.(present/future values of money).

I don't suspect the new swimming pool, gym, rec. space will be the size of McMansion outhouse!


"Extract of BoS Minutes of March 27, 2014"

"... described a listing of potential projects and goals ... compiled from the recent evaluation process, ... and BoS
comments. As a best practice this should actually be getting generated in August as a
prelude to the preparation of the annual budget and legislative package. That then drove
the goals for the departments starting with the Department Heads and then down to the
staff members themselves."

The town voted, in the affirmative, Article 13 at the 2014town meeting to:

(Selectmen 4 yes 1 no
ABC 1 yes 4 no)
(now have different BoS)

"raise and appropriate the sum of Seventeen Thousand Dollars9$17,500) to carry out ...the site ... study in follw-up of the recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Commission ..."

That recommendation being"... pursue development of a facility that includes an indoor gymnasium, Recreation Department Department office ..."

The "pursuing" was for $17k for a site study not facility study. They're not the same!!!!!

Get the site study done first, for sanity. Then pursue, further, the facility study, if the legislative body approves.

Not trying to split hairs ... only read the words voted on.

Maybe "available sites" should have been enough.

Is Kona Farm still for sale :)