Friday, January 15, 2016

Take a Deep Breath

If last nights extended discussion on recreation scheduling, which quickly became a debate about the proposed  Community Center is any indication, the way forward will be a bumpy road.

I do need to address some misinformation I heard last night. I did try to correct these at the meeting, but it is worth repeating here:

MCS 6th Grade: There was discussion last night of the impact of moving the MCS 6th grade to the Academy. At the Rec. Advisory Board meeting last Monday, SB member Celeste Burns was emphatic that no decision has been taken by the School Board to move the MCS 6th grade to the Academy.

There were not three votes against a Community Center, just one.  Below is the sequence: (it includes the 2009 soccer field vote for a Lions Club field and the change to the Playground Drive soccer field rebuild voted on in 2012.)
  • 2008 Town meeting voted to not appropriate the sum of $375,000.00 for architectural, engineering, and related fees relative to the eventual construction of a community/senior center, fields, and related outdoor improvements,  but...  at that same meeting, the Town voted to appropriate $100,000 for a future Community Center: "To see if the Town will vote to establish a capital reserve fund, with the Selectmen as agents to expend, under the provisions of RSA 35:1 to be known as the Community/Senior Center Fund for the purpose of constructing and/or developing a community/senior center and related expenses and to raise and appropriate the sum of $100,000.00 toward this purpose.”
  • 2009- Town Meeting approved a "Community Center Field and Playground Drive Field (field construction, drainage design and associated design costs) $300,000" The article was voted on by a secret ballot. YES - 246  N0 - 77 but in 2012.....
  • ARTICLE 22 appropriated funding  to provide sufficient monies to undertake the rehabilitation of the Playground Drive soccer field and to prohibit the expenditure of any monies remaining in the original article ( from 2009)  or new monies appropriated under this Article - on the proposed new soccer field at the Old Route 109. 
  • In 2013- ARTICLE 10 "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.” This article was voted in the affirmative by secret ballot. YES – 156 No- 55
  • 2014- ARTICLE 13 "To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of Seventeen Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($17,500) to carry out the site study in follow-up of the recommendation of the Blue Ribbon Commission on Community Services and Facilities, that 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.” This article was voted in the affirmative by a secret ballot. Yes - 171 No - 68. 
Taking all these various votes together over the past six Town Meetings, it should not be too difficult to accept that we need as a community to make a final decision and move forward.