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

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Town Meeting Highlights

Video will be up soon depending on how well Time Warner Cable holds up during this weekends snowstorm. Less than 230 people voted. Another disappointing voter turnout, about 6% or so of registered voters.

Article 8- This was to endorse the report of the Village Vision committee - The date of the report that was being voted on was amended to read February 19th 2015, the date the committee approved the final report. The amendment was approved as was the original article by a show of voter cards.

Article 29 - was voted on next as the petitioners made a successful motion to move the article up ahead of article 9. This article was a petitioned article to eliminate the position of Town Administrator. After a fair amount of discussion and a vote asking for the Town Moderator to step down for this particular article ( defeated by show of cards) the article was defeated by secret ballot vote of 182 No to 40 Yes.

Article 30 - was also approved to be moved up in the warrant to be addressed prior to article 9. This was for $85,000 for engineering and acquisition of rights of way etc for future construction of sidewalks in the village. CIPC chair Jordan Prouty spoke of the need for these large capital expenditures to come before  the CIPC as the final expense can be very large and needs to be programmed into the capital budget.  A secret ballot vote approved the article by 124 Yes to 104 No

Article 13- Seeking appropriation for two capital items that were not recommended by the CIPC, $20,000 for a plan  for the water supply at the highway garage and $15,000 for engineering work to determine what repairs are necessary for the Playground Drive softball field.
( It should be noted that no decision has been made by the BoS on how the water supply at the highway garage will addressed and the BoS have requested that experts in the field study the issue and report back with the results and best options. The softball field repair was  predicated on finding a cost effective solution short of an expensive rebuild. We asked for all options to be put on the table and not just the nuclear option of a complete rebuild) Passed b secret ballot vote 129 Yes  48 No.

The " hearts and flowers" articles 19 thru 28 and 31 thru 33 ( total just under $68,000) were approved to be bundled together. A discussion ensued after a question about how many Moultonboro residents benefit from these programs and if the BoS vetted each petition.
( The reality is that while we are obligated to place the articles on the warrant, we do have a vote on whether to recommend them or not. It is reasonable then that in the future we require more information from each petitioner before voting to recommend or not.) The combined articles passed by a show of cards.

Lastly, I had the honor of presenting granite mementos to our two outgoing selectboard members, Jon Toman and Joel Mudgett thanking them for their service to the community.


Anonymous said...

Thanks...but just more examples of out of control spending by a few. Disgusting........

Anonymous said...

SO....we voted to spend $ 15,000 to figure what's wrong with the softball field? Must be in pretty good shape, if we have to look that hard.
Another year of automatic passes for everything, even items not recommend by the CIPC. AND they worry about uninformed voters if we pass SB 2.

Hillary said...

The Town Moderator should have stepped down on article 29, Mr. Hopkins bias was evident. The Moderator was emphatic Mr. Taussig, the petitioner of article 29, speak to the article only, no background information was allowed. However the rules changed when Highway Agent, Mr. Kinmond, was allowed to give a tutorial on road salt application that was far too wordy and off point.

Article 13 was about approving a reverse osmosis water treatment system for the highway garage and money to study the softball field at Playground Drive, it was not about how to apply road salt. Another example of what many of us already know........the rules are not the same all.

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

"AND they worry about uninformed voters if we pass SB 2."


Nobody talks about the 698 voters last Tuesday, relative to the 230 that bothered to show-up at the town meeting ... still hoping for the snow.

The only snow-jobs were at the town meeting.

The 698 electing the new BoS members is pathetic for a town of @ 4,000, but still better than 230. Meredith only got around 1,000 for a town of 4,700, I believe. Maybe ignorance is bliss!

Maybe the low turnouts are testimony to everything is just fine?

Those that worry about SB-2 are the uninformed. The same arguing, bloviating, would still occur at the deliberative session of SB-2. The difference with SB-2 is you get to go to a voting booth and vote on all the articles without the torture of hearing nonsense being spewed.

Of course, SB-2 puts "the power" of the vote at the voting booth, where, for some reason, there seems to be better voter turnout.

I won't go into an Official Budget Committee ... it would be another way to stay uninformed.

Why upset the apple cart.

Ignorance will prevail!

Anonymous said...

Mr. Kinmond's so called tutorial was in direct response to a question asked by a citizen. It did not speak to a PERSONNEL issue, which aparently Mr. Taussig and others were having a hard time understanding. Where were all of the hundreds of supporters? Only 40 to support a pathetic attempt at blackmail. Kudos to Jean Beadle for being the only current selectman-elect to have a level head and the foresight to see the risk of potential law suits!

Stay on Point said...

Anonymous 9:37, Hillary's comment was not about a "PERSONNEL" issue it was about the Moderator being fair and objective and applying the same rules to all. He did not.

The Moderator made it clear he wanted discussion to be about the article. He allowed Mr. Kinmond to be off point but applyied a different standard for Taussig.

Anonymous said...

"All speakers must be courteous and must speak to the issues. All speakers must address their statements and questions to the Moderator, and NOT to or towards any other elected official or attendee to Town Meeting. The Moderator will not allow personal attacks or inappropriate language."

These riles were posted on this blog a week ago. Unfortunately for the authors, Article 29 targeted a specific person serving in the TA position, therefore any discussion directly about Carter was prohibited and the moderator (any moderator) has a responsibility to cut it off. That should not be hard for an attorney to understand. The overwhelming majority of the legislative body did not approve the article, period.

Anonymous said...

Kudos to Joel Cormier for NOT referencing an RSA in a post/comment!

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

"Kudos to Joel Cormier for NOT referencing an RSA in a post/comment!

March 15, 2015 at 12:26 PM"

It's Joe ... no L.
Case on point about ignorance!

Anonymous said...

In reference to article 29: There were recent cases in Alton and Gilford (I believe) where citizens who were not allowed to speak freely at town meetings sought redress in the courts and won. I think that Moultonborough may be in similar trouble.

Anonymous said...

“All speakers must be courteous and must speak to the issues. .... The Moderator will not allow personal attacks or inappropriate language.” This is a selection from the rules posted for the School and Town meetings. The Blogger posted them here earlier this month.

I looked at them again after the contentious discussion of article 29 at the town meeting and I think the term is not legal. Both the town and school meetings have to be thrown out.

What is a “personal attack”? The term is too imprecise. At the meeting “personal attack” was interpreted as anything unflattering to pretty much anyone. However, residents have a right to speak critically of town employees and in the case of this article, speaking critically is necessary to explain the background of the article.

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

Where's the guillotine?

But, need to calm down. Life's not fair.

" I. The moderator... may prescribe rules of proceeding; but such rules may be altered by the town. "


"Moderators aren’t always correct, and they can be overruled by the town meeting. Whenever a voter indicates a desire to challenge the moderator’s ruling, the voter should be recognized by the moderator and should be given an opportunity to state the rule he or she believes is applicable. The moderator should then poll the town meeting to determine whether that ruling is sustained."


Stop at 40:11 the rest is for SB-2.


Moderator and attorney:


We had a new select person, and a state rep. speak in error at the town meeting regarding Art.29, and no clamor. For the record, a Superior Court ruling is not necessary for a Special Town Meeting, if no appropriations are involved. The only lawsuits that might occur, is if the Select Board does not follow state laws, and they would probably be filed by a petitioner (not me ... an attorney ... and he'll win ... my opinion)

I'll refrain from placing the RSA's here ... don't want to relieve ignorance too much. Anyone who would like the RSA's, send me an email, and I will.

Grumpy said...

For those speaking about the extra work load, chaos and mayhem that would occur if the TA's position was eliminated, I would ask what will the BoS do when this TA or ANY TA decides to take a job elsewhere and gives the normal 30-60 days notice. It still takes months and months of searching to fill that position. So whether he/she leaves on their own term or the voters' terms it will be a period of adjustment.
That whole discussion was nothing more than scare tactics. You fill the position with someone capable on a temp. basis.

Another Dog & Pony Show said...

Karel Crawford misspeak?

Anonymous said...

What a precedent Article 29 would set! Don't like A Town Employee? Petition to eliminate their position! What the heck, we can always just call a special meeting the next day to recreate it! Fortunately voters saw through the bullying tactics by those who didn't get their own way.

Anonymous said...

Where does the first amendment to the constitution fit in the discussion of town meeting Article 29?

The people explaining the background of warrant 29 had a right and responsibility to explain this Article. Elected and appointed town employees’ actions are entirely appropriate subjects for discussion and any impediment is a First Amendment violation.

Anonymous said...

I agree that we should require more information and perhaps representation for the "Hearts and Flowers" articles, in order for them to be considered, and that they should be notified as such for any future requests. we've seen some go to $10k each with no questions asked. While we agreed with info for the ones represented, how do we know if we agree where the money goes to those that weren't?

Anonymous said...

Rumor has it Mr. terenzini has given his two week notice, as of April he will be gone. let's hope when they hire the next guy they choose carefully!

Grumpy said...

Now that the TA has resigned on short notice,(his decision) the town is in that predicament that I described a couple days ago. I will further predict that with cooler heads prevailing, things will go smoothly albeit not without help. A search committee, a temp. substitute from within or outside, and with the experience of the present BoS I see better days a comin'.

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

Town Hall already has competent staff, and the Select Board assistant position (TA) will have plenty of job seekers.

There is a new Select Board, taking the reigns, as well. The previous board did a good job, and had to deal with past sins, as well as guide the town through new circumstance and issues.

There will be a new Chair to the board.

I suspect a healthy (for the town) mix of differing views will make for healthy discourse.

I was having morning coffee and found this in an email. Maybe the BoS will review town ordinances again.


More Info Please said...

The Town Administrator resigned? When did that happen?

Twisted Logic said...

Joe, this fall under the can't make this stuff up category.

The town ordanace you referenced in your comment must have been written by a Progressive. Those that show initiative go to jail, those that loaf are rewarded. What a sad state of affairs.

Anonymous said...

Read it and weep or not.


Anonymous said...

Cooler heads prevailing on the new board? Time will tell, but I highly doubt that!