By Paul Punturieri. "A local blog with news, events and things that matter to all citizens of Moultonboro"
"Real liberty is neither found in despotism or the extremes of democracy, but in moderate governments.
The 6 million dollar question.....is there a new gym in Moultonborough's future? The "final" report will be presented to the Selectmen by the UNH committee at Thursday's Select Board meeting, June 18th @7pm, in the Town Hall.
"Final report" may be a misnomer.There was one presentation on the agenda and that was for the Virtual Town Hall presentation, not two. The UNH committee recommendation was listed as a "Review for Action" item as were the other 8 "Review for Action"; rubber stamps. Some may view this as a form of deception, to minimize turnout against the gym. I don't believe so. Just a poor agenda listing. There may have been a last minute decision by the BoS to have Paul make the presentation. There is no legal requirement for an agenda.Personally, the first four of the five UNH recommendations are not very controversial, and I'll skip. The exception is the proposed leasing of the Center Harbor school gym. I, also attended that "noticed meeting" and was impressed with the facility. It may not have all the "wants" that everyone has, but does have the "needs" ... if... really big if ... you believe the need for extra gym time/space. The fifth (#5) UHN recommendation about preparing a warrant article for a new indoor recreation center and gym facility is/will be the most controversial.The committee states a few times ... "It is clear to the committee that demand for gym space exceeds capacity for all activities".The presentation listed a Gym Utilization of 96% or 97%. Then it says Mon.-Fri. 5 hours per school day. Let's see 5 days X 5 hours x100 = 96% or 97% ... you're kidding right ... you're only jesting ... right!5 days X 5 hours = 25 available gym hours per week. Sure!It goes on to say there are 27 teams that use the MA gym. UhHUH!I accept it may be after "scheduled" school hours. Maybe the school hours should be rethought, if extracurricular activities in the gyms are so important! I guess gym time is important enough to build a Taj Majal, but not important enough to "do it" on Sundays and Saturdays, notwithstanding some "games" going on weekends. You know "games"!Nobody ... nobody ... has stated how many "kids" are we talking about!If the town is going to spend a lot of money on "gyms for kids", is it too much to ask how many. I'm not going to get sucked-in into the "adult/senior" needs for gym space. Back and forth ... Rec center ... ooops ... gym ... oops ... rec center ... gym ... ooopsHere's another pearl of wisdom: "The challenge we present to the Board of Selectmen is how to balance the needs of a minority in the community with the opinion of the majority. It is clear from the UNH report that majority of the respondents did not favor building a new facility." HUH HUH!I've got a solution ... put the damn warrant article up for a vote and let the one day MoBo is a democracy, as opposed to a republic, vote on it. The town employees are paid by the taxpayers. The governing body is supposed to govern. Once a vote is taken, and if the same "majority" prevails, terminate any town employee who brings it up. A resident voter may bring it up again, but stop with these insane studies. Want to vote sooner ... call a damn special town meeting, now ... it's legal! Careful ... the snow birds are still here and they might show-up to vote!At least the sidewalks have the town split almost fifty-fifty, not a majority-minority split with the wreck center.How much does the MobO taxpayer (not residents, nor those with kids)have to shell out to the "minority" (careful; PC police may be listening) I believe Paul mentioned the committee wants to present the committee's work to a joint board of selectmen and school board in August (2015).It's a good thing that NH is relaxing pot laws. You'll probably need a joint for that meeting!
Joe,Let me clarify a few things:- I put the UNH item on the agenda myself and I decided to make it a presentation. No one asked me to do anything and no one was trying to deceive anyone or keep the turnout low. I was actually disappointed in the low turnout. Maybe streaming has a downside. The agenda item was properly worded.- As the presentation stated, gym capacity was for when the gym is needed for sports activities during the school year. Of course it is used on weekends for games and is available on Sundays as well for anyone who wants to use them. Again, no deception. After school is when teams practice and play. That is M-F after school hours. There are two gyms by the way so there are 50 or so hours per week available. Should we ask teams to practice at 10pm? 5am? Of course not. - My mention of the needs of the minority is an attempt at finding a compromise. After careful and thorough review I sincerely believe that we need more gym space.- A very high percentage of kids participate in school sports and yes there are active seniors that partipate in sports as well. They can't use the gyms during school days as it is being used for PE and such. After school the teams use them.- Even though enrollment is less, it does not mean that there will not still be team sports. Maybe some will not have enough participants, but it is doubtful that will be widespread. Coaches will be very happy to have more time for practice for existing teams. - The schools have been very generous with sharing space which was built after all primarily for school use. - I do not support, nor have I ever stated that I want to build a Taj Mahal. We need more gym space. Tecumseh built their gym for just over $1 million a few years ago. - Lastly, this issue has been argued for 8 years or so. As my grandmother would say " shit or get off the pot." I have no problem with a warrant article next March or in a special meeting sooner should citizens petition for it.
Paul,I am a neighbor of Joe and we have frequent discussions. I am have a financial background, as well.The only presentations I saw discussed a 500 person septic system. That certainly is not modest.Secondly, saying 96 or 97% utilization without providing detailed backup would result in an immediate dismissal of the justification in the business world. We all want to know which teams are using the current gyms and how many participants that result in the almost near capacity utilization. These questions have gone unanswered for years.As for the after school hours, I worked with hockey dads (in northern Massachusetts) that were at the commercial ice arena at 4 AM because that was the only practice time available. I pity the Moultonborough young when/if they move away and find out what the real world is like.I think there would be less opposition to the gym (current name) if it were self-sustaining. Fees should cover the bond and operational expenses. I paid my dues for my children.I currently work from home but will shortly join the ranks of the retirees. I only see the retired population growing more quickly than the school children. You said you may not believe the predicted decline in school enrollment. There are always alternatives should it not decline, but once built, Josh would say "We own it, we have to maintain it" no matter what the numbers are. Just ask Meredith.
I am not for or against a gym and/or sidewalks for tax reasons. I just question the advisability of building a gym for a defining enrollment of students and a few parents who want Sunday pick-up games. I do wonder if a facility that provides the aging population with a facility as well as a basketball court might make more sense. After all , the school population is declining in absolute terms even if not as a percentage of the total population. I feel that the UNH study missed the boat and can't support its recommendations.With regard to sidewalks, I again look at the history of walkways, namely the usage that the Neck Road sidewalks receive and I question the need and future usage. The reason for my concern is that the commercial development is not Village-centric. The last new commercial development Moultonboro had was the Crumb and Cup and that is a good mile away from the village in a very inconvenient spot for any walkable Village development. In fact I find it ironic that Ms. Prause who owns the new bakery is advocating for sidewalks in the Village after establishing a business outside the Village zone.
Thanks Paul for the feedback. The comments I made were to the committee and were not directed to you. I stand by my comments and respect your forthrightness in posting on this blog.Lack of perceived gym capacity needs, doesn't create a necessity for the rest of the population.What is the number of students that are deprived of this pressing need?We all learn to live within our means or adapt to circumstance. Your efforts are admirable, and I'm being sincere in saying so. It's obvious you have expended personal time and effort in trying to make sense of this marathon of needing a Rec. center that may now be having a negative effect on a perceived gym need, in your eyes.That doesn't change the fact that a "majority" has spoken against. Taxpayers don't care if the school or the rec. dept. put a burden on them. Some, believe recreation sponsored by towns should be abolished. Look to the private sector to fulfill the recreation needs, notwithstanding MoBo has a low tax rate and plenty of money to be taxed.Precisely because this minority issue has been ventured in so many different ways it's time to take our heads out of our rectums and decided it once and for all ... at least by the governing body. The legislative body, whatever that happens to be at the time of the vote, is the legal decision maker on the issue.You may not have proposed Taj Mahals ... others have. All the "preliminary" studies and site surveys are not to create a hot dog stand.Bring-on the Special Town Meeting and save any other efforts. The BoS can call for a special meeting, as can a 50 voter petition. Waiting for the I.M leasing agreement.Commented with respectful disagreement, but still admire your efforts!How many students!
Mr. Blogger, I agree with your grandmother, to this extent: "let's get off the pot"! The gym has been brought up for years, has been voted down for as many years, and yet it keeps surfacing! As a retiree who moved to this lovely part of NH years ago, I wanted PEACE and QUIET! Many feel as I do. However, the subject never ever dies! Nobody has shown me that there is truly a need. If someone can show me/us REAL ATTENDANCE RECORDS for INDOOR FUNCTIONS REQUIRING A GYM, maybe I/we can be persuaded. There is simply too much tax $$$ involved to throw it away on an unnecessary expenditure, and I am SICK AND TIRED of HAVING TO CAVE for THE DEMANDS and WHINING of the MINORITY! SICK and ####### TIRED!
'voted down for as many years" There were exactly four different warrant articles regarding a community center. Only one was voted down. To Mr. Barrett- Talk to any parent with kids in school sports and they will tell you how much and how far the teams travel around this state, and not just for ice hockey. You are way ut of touch on that issue. Mass. parents need to come here to see the real world.
I agree with Mr. Barrett, who proposes a fee-based program. In MA and in other states, parents have to pony up the $$$ for the athletic programs. In the case of families who have children and can't afford the fees, there are funds to cover it. The taxpayer doesn't get tapped for the whole thing. That sounds reasonable to me. We pay plenty in school taxes, and I do not think the taxpayer should be responsible for activities outside of school 24/7.
Are you suggesting a fee for use model? On that rationale, if you don't have kids in school you could opt out of paying a school tax. What funds are you talking about that would pay for these activities? Have you knowledge of how many programs collect fees from participants? It would be helpful to try and understand and support your argument if you came in with some facts and figures.
My suggestion for fee-based programs outside school does not mean opting out of school taxes, which all property owners must pay. Our grandchildren are very involved in sports activities outside school (not in NH) and the parents pay, not the taxpayers. The children and parents in the community are involved in FUND RAISERS to defray some of the costs. Now...isn't that a novel idea???
Perhaps your positions would be more acceptable if you lose the gratutious sarcasm. There are indeed many fundraising events benefiting our youth. Do you agree that sports is an integral part of education?
"Do you agree that sports is an integral part of education? "Maybe! Probably should be another topic and thread; not intending to be sarcastic.For the record, I played high school football (wide receiver), baseball (third base), hockey (wing), second string basketball, and spent one year in NCAA wrestling, before going into military service. No, I didn't flunk out. My grades were in the upper 3.++ ranges.Yes, they were all parochial schools except college wrestling at a state school. Acquired three degrees at public universities, including post graduate, after military service (G.I. Bill paid right through to MBA).That doesn't mean the culture today is ... what it was then, nor is it better or worse; just changed and changing.http://harvardpolitics.com/united-states/sports-vs-education-false-choice/
"Do you agree that sports is an integral part of education?" Answer.....NO....not when it's going to cost taxpayers millions of UNNECESSARY dollars! Get real!
It is painfully obvious that some posters here are not truly interested in solving our problems. The arguments you have put forth are not reasonable. Close the schools? Sell it? No sports unless the parents pay for it? What then pray tell becomes of our town? One giant retiremnent home? Scholastic sports do not cost taxpayers " millions" of dollars and most in society would agree that sports is an integral part of education and yes, we adults should pay to educate our youth.As I said, if you truly want to have a dialogue and try to solve problems, you need to do more than just say no to everything and learn to present clear, cogent arguments. If you do not, you will continue to make fools of yourselves and guess what? Nothing will get resolved. The blogger asked about what we want to become. In your description, why woud anyone want to move here? Welcome to Moultonborough : We have no schools, no sports and no young people. Let me add one other thought. Don't younger people pay taxes to support the elderly? We are a society afterall. How about some real arguments that support your ideas?
Anonymous, 12:09, speaks as though our kids are neglected and folks haven't made good arguments to dispell the need for another gym. Moultonborough has one of the hightest per student costs in the State, $20,000+ per student, not chump change. Our students want for nothing. We most certainly are interested in solving the problem but you don't want to hear them unless it involves building another gym. Where did you learn math? Adding another gym will cost taxpayers million of dollars.
No one has dispelled the need for a gym with any facts, just $millions of dollars. That is not an argument, but rather hysteria. Once again you don't present any valid arguments. The schools are in great shape, but this is not about the schools, its about recreation for all ages. The schools are not asking for anything. You don't seem very clear on that very important point.
I didn't see a recommendation in that presentation to build a new gym. Why all the fuss? Mr. P has shown that he can put his personal biases to the side and has spent a great deal of time investigating this. Point of fact, the possible use of the property in Center Harbor is exciting news. He states that leasing this property will allow time to make partnerships, and develop programs. Not a dime was requested. Hats off to him and the committee for excellent work on behalf of taxpayers!
Consolidating the schools is not a bad idea and should be considered. It would actually help, not hurt, the students. There would be more class offerings and the sports teams would have enough players to field competitive teams, garnering more attention from college-level sport's programs. It would mean a longer commute to school, but not by much.If the elementary and middle school students moved on to the MA campus, that would allow for the central school to be utilized by the rec department. Hold on to the property, keep the facility maintained, and if enrollment increases in the future, update the facilities to accommodate the town's needs.With no high school sports utilizing the MA gym, it would open the facility up to outside groups to use it. Couple that with the gym from the central school and the town's rec needs may be able to be met without building another facility.
Dr. Joyce's presentation at the last School Board meeting listed a few NH towns close to the VT and Maine boarders that decided to tuition students across state line for schooling. Other towns have made the move Moultonboro should at least explore the idea of tuitioning students to Interlakes and Wolfeboro. Kingswood has some great programs for students who decide college is not for them.
Anon @ 3:07, you make some good points, but the fact is...the people who want a gym want new, state-of-the-art paid-for-by-lakefront-retirees, and not some relic from the last century. "Let's try to make do with an existing facility" is not in their vocabulary. It really is a shame.
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