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

Friday, January 8, 2016

Warrant Article for " Community Center" to be on 2016 Town Warrant.

After much discussion and public input, the BoS decided last evening to place a warrant article to finally decide the long open community center issue.
In 2013, the legislative body directed  the BoS  by a 65% majority, to pursue development of a facility per the 2011 Blue Ribbon Commission report. In 2014, voters approved $17,500 by a 61% majority to fund a site study for such a facility "on or adjacent to school property."
A UNH team was brought  in to perform a feasibility study for a gym facility in 2014 and a Town team performed a detailed review of their report and recommendations. They recommended that the BoS authorize a financial study to determine the real cost to build and operate such a facility so that a warrant article can be put to the voters in 2016 to finally decide this issue.
The BoS in September 2015 also directed that the facility be all inclusive and be called a community center encompassing the Lions Club building functions.
The conceptual design was for a 19,600 square foot building at a cost of $215 per square foot and the estimated cost of the project is $6.5 million. More discussion by the BoS will occur in the very near future as to the final wording of the warrant article. A bond will be the main mechanism for proposed payment and that will require a 66% yes vote to pass at Town Meeting. Municipal bonds must be acted on prior to any other business at Town meeting with the exception of the election of officers and zoning questions. Voting must be by secret ballot and voting must be open for at least an hour after discussion on the article has ended.


Joseph Cormier said...

Not weighing-in for, or against, the building of the Community Center (but am opposed to moving the Rec. Center there). Here are some considerations (not mine) for a bond for the financing.

"For what purposes may NH municipalities borrow?"

" What are the statutory procedures for approving a bond or note? (Note: These procedures, set forth in RSA 33:8, apply regardless of the amount of the borrowing. Additional requirements for a bond or note in excess of $100,000 are listed below.)"

"How should a long term debt warrant article be worded?"

" What happens if the Budget Committee does not recommend a bond in its entirety?"

"... if a bond request is not recommended in its entirety by the budget committee ..."

Maybe we can have another debate (argument) about what the statute means when it says "budget committee". Does it mean advisory budget committee or official budget committee ... or both (doubtful)? The main difference is the official budget committee presents (does) the budget, not the BoS. There are other statutes regarding "budget committee" where the legislature was not specific enough ... maybe.

I can remember when I petitioned for the fireworks ordinance, and wondered, what-the-hell does a budget committee have to do with a fireworks ordinance. Don't bother responding ... I haven't forgotten the response, nor the vote. The legislative body saw it differently, voted in the affirmative, and passed the ordinance. PS: don't bother with the inane comment that everything can be budgetary.


RSA 32:18

RSA 33:8

Where Do We Send Our Checks? said...

A suggestion was made, at last nights meeting, residents who want the facility have some skin in the game. The figure mentioned was 1million dollars, Fund raising in other communities is very common. This past year Wolfeboro residents raised private funds for renovations at the Town Hall. The Moultonborough Library raised private funds for the addition. Meredith raised private funds for their Community Center. Sounds like a great idea.

For Intelligent Answers said...

The basic questions are -

Do we need a Community Center (CC)?
What purpose will it serve?
Are the services it will provide already available?
Ho much will it cost as a capital expense?
What will be the annual maintenance cost?
What personnel will be required?
Who will use it?
What will our town's demographic outlook be for need for the facility in 5 years; 10 years; 20 years?
What will be the costs to taxpayers over the next 5 years?
How will the CC impact Town real estate values and assessments?

I hope that the BoS has answers to these questions as they are needed ignorer to decide whether to support this proposal.

Anonymous said...

To 'Intelligent Answers'

The answers to 'the basic questions' were in the presentation last night. It's unfortunate that you are so closed minded, suspicious and looking for a conspiracy theory.

Dave A. Rossetti said...

We as a community need to have a referendum vote as to the desire of the tax-payers to implement a community center. Not just the input of a select few who would spend other peoples $ for a white elephant that will require maintenance, staff, a reduction in tax revenue on the proposed property, etc.
As many of you are aware I like Swedish automobiles. The interesting component of a Swedish automobile is that they are all equipped with a "ski door" in the trunk that allows you to feed your skis from the trunk through the back seat. This is because in Sweden they have snow and the unified people generally keep fit by skiing. This community has two ski areas . although I realize they are not fully functioning at this time. Perhaps if they were put back into service we could charge to use them and augment the operational costs. We have a dedicated ice skating rink, numerous beaches, Miles and miles of hiking and snowmobile trails, and of course summer fun with sailing, water skiing, fishing, and a shooting range.
This sounds to me much like our "dear leader" telling me I should have my gun rights restricted due to radical islamic extremists shooting me and my neighbors.
Let's just bring back common sense and do the right thing.....

An Old Skier said...

Dave, Where are the two ski areas? I like to ski and not drive miles.

Anonymous said...

An old time skier should remember....however, you may not have grown up or visited this area...

The two in M'boro are: Red Hill Ski area (run by the Red Hill Ski Club) and Ossipee Mountain Ski Area (operated by John Viano from approximately 1977 to early 1990's). I believe that that Red Hill Ski Area is still open and run by the Red Hill Ski Club. Back in the day (1960's), after Penny Pitou (from NY, then Center Harbor, then Laconia) became the first American skier to win a medal in the Olympic downhill, the Penny Pitou Ski School (from Gunstock) used to provide lessons at Red Hill during the weekends.

Further at intersection of Route 25 and Route 16, was Mt. Whittier ski area. The youth season pass for Carroll County residents cost $25 for the season and many folks from M'boro skied there and also at Gunstock.

There was a skating rink behind the old firehouse which was located near the present library and town hall parking lot. The firehouse would flood the rink and all could go and skate. Folks also skated on the pond at intersection of Route 25 and old Route 109 south. We also sledded down the hill by the skating rink at the old firehouse and on the hill by the skating pond.

Fond memories of times gone by. I would love to see someone document the history of the town and its people before it is lost.

No Skin in the Game said...

Not surprised no one's answered the question posed by, Where Do We Send Our Checks. Fund raising takes a bit of effort, much easier to ram it through at Town Meeting where only a fraction of the Town's voters have a say.

Joseph Cormier said...

"No Skin in the Game" ...

It depends (you might need a Depend) for the wording of the Warrant Articles.

"Anonymous Where Do We Send Our Checks? said...

A suggestion was made, at last nights meeting, residents who want the facility have some skin in the game. The figure mentioned was 1million dollars,"

I believe the dollar amount isn't yet determined by the BoS. Paul's presentation was meant to submit a fund raising factor. He and Walter kicked around a 10% number amongst others, as well. 10% is a familiarity, mentioned in budget statutes, and may not be a real number. They were highlighting a funding contribution for "some skin in the game". Obviously, 10% of $6.5 million is around $650,000. I may be mistaken, about the intent.

The critical reality is:
Accuracy of formulation and wording of:

Bond article (Walter's got experience)
Community Center build article

Other articles, like creating a massage parlor out of present Rec. center, sale of Lion's club property, refurbishment of Taylor property, sidewalks in front of new Center, pop corn machines on the new adjacent greens park, sidewalk cafes near Arties, WIFI hotspots, are not that critical, and will probably be separate articles; not necessarily this year.

Moultonboro Blogger said...

There was a referendum vote in 2013 directing the BoS to pursue development which passed by a 65% majority. In 2014 61% approved funding for a site study. As to fundraising, there will indeed be a fundraising effort, but it is premature to solicit contributions unless the legislative body approves the bond article.

Anonymous said...

The over 55 make up the majority of towns population. 19 and under age bracket roughly 16% of Moultonboro's population. Children have great schools or so we are told. Why does the town need more gym space? Isn't enrollment going down?

Joseph Cormier said...

Quiet, rainy Sunday afternoon, and cleaning out year-end files, and going for another coffee. Thought I drop another line.

There's been no comment, on my several comments in posts about Advisory Budget Committees, as opposed to Official Budget Committees, so I will add another relevance to the warrant. I know the blogger knows. My previous comments have been valid, however. Besides the difference or who works the budget, there's another that influence town votes ... "Recommendations".

Anyway, look for the ABC's recommendation vote on the warrants, as well as the Bos's. Doesn't mean any of their recommendations are better than yours. Stay away from the lemming food, though, and vote your own way. We're all ignorant about something. Doesn't mean stupid. There's a cure for ignorance. The warrant comes out in plenty of time, to get educated on the issues.

RSA 32:5

V-a. The legislative body of any town, school district, or village district may vote to require that all votes by an advisory budget committee, a town, school district, or village district budget committee, and the governing body or, in towns, school districts, or village districts without a budget committee, all votes of the governing body relative to budget items or any warrant articles shall be recorded votes and the numerical tally of any such vote shall be printed in the town, school district, or village district warrant next to the affected warrant article. Unless the legislative body has voted otherwise, if a town or school district has not voted to require such tallies to be printed in the town or school district warrant next to the affected warrant article, the governing body may do so on its own initiative.


Nancy Wright said...

Town Meetings big ticket item this year is a Warrant Article for a 6.4 million dollar gym/Community Center. What last minute twists and turns will proponents toss at voters this time?

The year the Lion's Club property was on the town warrant, proponents told the Legislative Body, it was the last best piece of land in town. Many familiar with the parcel called it a swamp but that was discounted by the Selectmen. Voters learned, after the fact, the property does in fact have a high water table and would be expensive to develop.

To sweeten the deal on the Taylor property voters were told if the property was bought by the town the sellers would set up a scholarship for MA seniors. The day of Town Meeting the Legislative Body was told some in the Taylor family decided not to contribute to the scholarship fund but.....not to worry. The Legislative Body were led to believe there would be a scholarship fund. It's been almost 3 years and no scholarship fund has been announced.

You can be almost certain there will be a ploy this year. Will voters fall for it again? Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.

Fred Van Magness said...

I posted earlier on this item that we needed to have the report available on line. I now cannot find my post listed. Either I missed it or it was lost. However, my point is still valid. Where is the full report presented to the BOS? I just went through the entire town web site and cannot find it. To lend credibility and openness to the process, we need to see the data. And it is also time for the BOS to publish their weekly data packets and include all reports in their weekly minutes.

Nancy Wright said...

Of all the studies on recreation, it's a shame the Brenley Report was so quickly dismissed. Michael Brenley, who's the Town Administrator in Swanzey, NH recommended the Recreation Department move to the school. In light of declining school enrollment, Michael Benley's report makes even more sense than it did four years ago.

Rec. Department proponents made sure it ended up in the circular file, pronto!



Moultonboro Blogger said...

For the record: The purchase of the Taylor property was never tied to the scholarship money nor were the BoS the responsible parties to set up the scholarship.It is also important to remember that this purchase was supported by some as it would prevent something " undesirable" coming in that location and hopefully preserve an old main street property.
As to the Branley report as these minutes attest, not one vote in favor by either the BoS or School Board.
Time to move on.
http://moultonborough.org/Pages/MoultonboroughNH_BOSMin/2011bosminutes/11-15-2011.pdf. Not a single vote in favor.

Nancy Wright said...

For the record: Mr. Blogger, what I wrote was, "to sweeten the deal on the Taylor property voters were told if the property was bought by the town the sellers would set up a scholarship for MA seniors."

The offer to donate the proceeds was discussed at a Public Hearing.
According to the BoS minutes of September 5, 2013 Public Hearing #2 Land acquisition and Sale. Joel reported this Public Hearing was to consider the property acquisition at 970 Whittier Highway, map 052, lot 014, known as the Adele Taylor property, for $240,900. Ed recused himself. Joel added that the asking price was based on a 2012 assessment. The trustees of the property have offered to donate the proceeds to a college scholarship to Moultonborough Academy students. Jean Beadle asked if there was a different buyer would the seller still donate the proceeds for the scholarship. Joel replied that this offer was made to the town only.


Joseph Cormier said...

I'm not one to argue with blogger. I believe he genuinely and honestly is concerned about MoBo. We'll debate, however, and I believe he welcomes it, and knows it's nothing personal.

I could've cared less, back then, about the town squabbling, although I've been a taxpayer since the 70's, resident since 1996, and could start to vote. I didn't attend a town meeting till 2013, and that was because I had a petition on fireworks; "skin in the game".

I've only read the blogger's URL/link about the Nov. 11, 2011 minutes and not "studied" it.

What strikes me is the minutes have nothing to do with the Community Center. Some partisan background, maybe, on the about the need for another gym.

From the minutes:

" ... stated that the purpose of the joint meeting was to discuss the two studies done; one regarding the merger of the Moultonborough Academy's Athletic Director position with the Assistant Recreation Director position and the second on the After School Program."

" ... necessary to see if there were any savings to be realized and if efficiency can be improved."

"... the ABC, commented that the proposals made are not just about saving money, but to offer better programming for the children."


"... Hollis Austin wondered if the scheduling problems and asked if it existed prior to the desire to build new facilities or is it just that they are using this as an argument to build new facilities. Mark stated that this topic is not up for discussion at tonight‟s meeting, and asked that the public stay on the two topics before them."

Seems, to me, it was a legitimate question. I interpreted it as more rhetorical, than cause for retort.

I guess this retort can be used for the present debate on the Community Center. The minutes have got nothing to do with it ... maybe!

Whether the town wants to do something with the "village", I have no problem with. Let the town meeting vote on it. Do I think SB-2 would get more
voters ... undoubtedly. Does it make for a better vote ... don't know. It would depend of what kind of lens you look at the world through. Which form of gov't has the least ignorance or the most enlightenment?

There is no doubt, in reality, the ballot voting and absentee balloting would allow more votes on ALL articles. This cannot be legally done without SB-2.

I've often wondered why there hasn't been a statement on recreation facility: "This is what is available ... deal with it". This is not to be confused with school programs. Parents will always want more for their kids, and I guess they can't be blamed.

The bigger adult kids can pay for their own recreation ... revolving fund or not.

So get to the Annual Town meeting and vote. Vote one way or the other. Yes, the deck might be stacked. Try for another card dealer, then.

Branly report RE: Recreation


Branly Sept. 22, 2011 memo RE: after school programs


Rick Heath said...

I have been a supporter of this blog from the get go. Along with the morning paper, weather reports, cup of coffee and emails I have gone to the "moultonboro speaks" as part of my early AM routine for a long time. I even supported him in his bid for selectman. And now he says it is time to move on. So with all that said this is not a personal condemnation, rather personal comment. It is also however, some history.
In March of 2008 we soundly beat the warrant article (9) to build a pointless and expensive community ctr. We beat this effort by a 23% margin. On Oct 27th of 2011 The blogger said "454 people voted on that one article. There were loud and continued cheers and hoopla about this decision. It was over, we said NO." After some comments about the trust fund (art. 10) he continues to say "No folks, there was no split vote or confusion as to what really happened. The battle was supposed to be over but it continues today." He further speaks of "revisionism in progressive Moultonborough". Then he concludes by saying "I've heard Russ W. state that town meeting is always correct. Well Russ, we had it right in 2008, why are you against the will of the people?"
Now, after being elected to the BoS as a supporter of the taxpayer, I am told by the blogger "It's time to move on".
I have sent a number of comments that do not get published. So I will try to be as polite and PC as the blogger is allowing on these pages these days. There was AT THE TIME we voted to buy the Lions property (for nearly half a million$$) an agreement. This agreement was contrived, supported and signed by the buyers (BoS) and the sellers (Linos). If you ask the town hall by way of the 'right to know laws' you too can get a copy of this agreement. It calls for the town to provide the LIONS with a facility that is sufficient for their purposes IN PERPETUITY. It also allows the Lions to sublease the property that WE OWN and be the benefactor of that income. Remember they also live at the property FREE OF CHARGE. So now you know why we are in such a situation once again... an un-needed, unwanted community ctr. His comment in paragraph 4 of the above entry says ".... a community ctr. encompassing the Lions Club building functions".
Are we to expect that the BoS (and school board) are willing to listen to all sides when they handily reject any report (Brenley) that goes against their need to comply with a little known agreement that we all have to I've with? Hell no.
So, just send me my tax bill. The fight is over. We have no control. An advisory budget commit that is never taken seriously (only lip service), per student costs that are absurd if you look around the rest of the country, and now we are to believe the BoS, blogger and Rec Dept that we are harming our children by not spending the $6-7 million on what we soundly rejected a few short years ago.
I am no longer reading this pablum we are being fed in this blog... I am moving on.
Rick Heath

Anonymous said...

Nancy, You are spot on! I hope someone in town wins Powerball and donates the whole building with pool so we can move on. I cannot afford this and to bail out Carroll County and continue paying for our extensive school system. When are we looking into regionalization?

Fred Van Magness said...

Rick, do not move on....the challenge is way too important !

Now I see there are two informational meetings being posted by the TA...Jan 21 and Jan 28 for one hour. I made another pass at the town website this afternoon and still no information from the presentation posted at least visibly. So we can post meetings but not post information that is vital to have. We need to get this resolved before we get a new brain thought from Recreation to enclose the ice hockey rink for year round play as well as a roof over the ball & soccer field !! And where is the pool for swimming while the lake is frozen?? While this stuff is brewing, we hear absolutely nothing about the Carroll County Delegation or Commissioners......guess the continuing wasting of taxpayer money is in their realm as well. Millions seem to get tossed around like nickels everywhere without sound reasoning or need.

Moultonboro Blogger said...

The financial presentation can be found on the Town website ( Major Projects):

Anonymous said...

Are you anti-whiners paying attention? You only need 34% of the vote at town meeting to defeat the bond. Duh! Stop drinking at the Tea Party happy hour and use the part of your brain that isn't brainwashed.

Joseph Cormier said...

Closer to 33% not 34% !

The statute states 2/3 affirmative vote, not 66% to win.
2/3 = 66.66%, unless using new math! That's less than 34% to defeat; e.g. " < " if you want a symbol for "less than". Maybe the symbol will show up as wording in the warrant article: < genius!

Does defeating the bond article, kill the Community Center warrant article! Legally, I believe it depends on the wording ... or not wording ... of the article.

How about the rest of the warrant articles that SHOULD be presented by the BoS regarding a Community Center.

Will the Recreation Center ... ooopppsss ... Community Center warrant article be worded so that the BoS will not bring up again, in the near future, as some have stated?

Doesn't stop 25 registered voters from putting on the warrant every year. The Bos could stop nickel-diming the issue, though. That goes for the School Board members, as well.

Why isn't the RAB disbanded? There's a School/Bos sub-committee agreed to! The RAB Chair does well to keep her sanity, God bless her. I was watching last night's stream of the RAB meeting and wondered, why. The Rec. Dept. reports to the BoS. Where are their numbers? Especially confusing is having an RAB member (not BoS rep.) as Chair of the BoS. Or, the other way around. Isn't that conflict of interest?

Maybe some remedial reading classes can be supplied by the Town. They may be needed to discern the wording of the warrant. If not, then maybe, some lawyers will!

Wording, conveying meaning and communication ... anti-whiners, should be whiners? Tea Party happy hour ... brain ... brainwashed ... used by January 12, 2016 at 9:21 PM.

Maybe, the words are from the old Biblical adage:

"God said brain ... thought GOD said train ... will take the next one ... and still waiting!"

Laugh a little ... go to a BoS meeting!