The most relevant portion of this video begins at about 5 minutes in with a discussion of a letter our BoS sent to the LRPC requesting a more equitable apportionment of member fees from the heavy reliance on property valuation to a more common formula used by most of the regional planning commissions of population. Our argument is that using a formula of property valuation causes us to subsidize just about all the other 29 member towns that are members of the LRPC. Of interest to me in watching this video is that the chair of the executive board, Warren Hutchins who represents Laconia ( population 15, 951 per 2010 census) was strongly opposed to our request as his city would have to pay more ( about $3,000) annually. In addition, 20 of the 30 member communities would see there fees increase. He suggested that if we want to make a formal request we do so to the full commission and at a meeting when there is a large turnout of member communities. Hard to imagine that those other communities would vote willingly to be weaned off of our subsidy. The cash cow scenario is alive and well.
A clarification is in order here. I did on behalf of the BoS bring the request to the full commission back in September and was advised then that the issue would be taken up by the executive committee. That same commissioner now believes it should be taken up by the full commission.
The end result is that we can expect a letter advising us that the executive committee rejected our proposal for a more equitable member fee formula and offered to once again come and speak to us.
The choices then are that we continue to pay the full fee of approximately $10,000 or withdraw from the LRPC as a full members and become associate members that do not pay fees , but have no vote at the table. The LRPC is holding the " we will no longer represent you" card over our heads, but we are holding one over there heads as well: if we withdraw, they lose not only the full $10,000 fee , but they also face a public relations issue as the premier town in the lakes region may no longer be a member of the club.
I suspect that there will be a lot of discussion on this matter in the coming months. The LRPC made a number of valid arguments for their position and I look forward to hearing all sides of the argument.