Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Now for Something Less Controversial...

SB2. Okay, maybe not so benign, but every time it is on the ballot, it does get out the vote. I've been asked a number of times about whether I would support SB2 if it were to be petitioned to be put on the ballot next March. My answer is the same as I stated at candidates night in 2014: the majority of citizens in Moultonboro do not want SB2 and I would not support it.

Let me share a conversation I had with a co-worker who has lived in Gilford for many years and votes at each and every election. Gilford has been an SB2 town for quite awhile, and yet when I asked her about the deliberative session, she had no clue what I was talking about. I did my best to explain how SB2 worked as well as traditional town meeting and it was news to her. We then got to talking about voting. I asked about the controversial articles relating to zoning and agritourism. Her response was surprising: she did not know. She told me that there were 5 articles that she did not understand so she voted no on 4 of the 5 and thinks that agritourism was defeated. ( The outcome can be found here in the Laconia Daily Sun.) "It was so confusing, I wish I could have asked someone to explain it." I advised her that she could have done that over the previous month, but like most people, she just didn't have the time and got most of her information from the local papers. With that in mind. at least anecdotally, one has to give at least some credence to uniformed voters.

Here is the history of SB2 voting for the Moultonboro( town only)  since 2007:













To pass, SB2 requires a 60% super majority. Of the four times it has been on the ballot for our town ( not including 2004 which also failed by a substantial margin) the SB2 question has gained a simple majority only once in 2008. Of the four votes, a total of 5,194 votes, just 44.6% voted in favor.

As some people have said following this past town meeting and the article 2 vote, the people have spoken. Shouldn't the same be true of SB2? The people have spoken and they spoke at the ballot box with all day voting.











46 comments:

Anonymous said...

So who's pushing SB-2 this time?

Anonymous said...

Blogger:


Quote from Fosters' Daily Democrat on February 11, 2009:

"Resident Paul Punturieri made a presentation on behalf of the Moultonborough Citizen's Alliance in favor of SB2.
The presentation cited that there are around 4,100 registered voters in Moultonborough and in 2008 1,307 cast ballots while 484 attended the first part of the meeting for the articles on the proposed community center while 285 remaining afterward.
Punturieri said this year's deliberative session in Barrington, an SB2 town, drew 400 voters and had to be moved to a larger location on the order of the fire chief.
The presentation included the points that people who would not be able to vote at town meeting, such as those sick, traveling, in the military, working, or unable to attend for any other reason, would have the option of voting through absentee ballot if unable to come to the polls.
It also disputed the idea that SB2 can "destroy a school district" or lead to a change in town government."

Care to explain your change in position?









Moultonboro Blogger said...

Anon at 1:33- Did you not read the post? Do you have nothing better to do with your day than find whatever you can as a " gotcha"? If so, I will keep you in my prayers in hopes you will find a purpose in life. I suspect that you are one of the deceivers that continue to spread the lies that I fabricated data or that I flip flopped. In your world, no one can ever change a position or have a change of heart based upon the facts. Maybe a second prayer that you will find enlightenment. Perhaps you could show some integrity and stop hiding behind " Sue doe-nyms". Doubt it was you as she is not an SB2 fan.

Anonymous said...

Blogger, it is a deal as far as I am concerned. No more petitions for SB2, no plans for a gym or community center and no grandiose plans for the village.

Moultonboro Blogger said...

I don't know what grandiose plans for the Village means, but I am in favor of the Village Vision report that the Town endorsed and will be part of the Master Plan. I have no control over citizen petitions for SB2, community center or anything else. SB2 does get the people to the polls though and that is good thing so maybe it will be petitioned once again.

Tom Howard said...

The story of the Gilford voter who was totally in the dark heading into the voting booth is a good example of SB2 in action. I was involved in assisting the Gilford Land Conservation Task Force with a land acquisition a few years ago. The purchase was to be funded by a bond issue. The attendance at the deliberative session (other than Select Board and Budget Committee) was about 10 people. No discussion occurred on the $1M bond question. Ultimately, the article failed by 6 votes, but upon recount passed by one vote. Interestingly, had Gilford not been SB2, the project would have failed to receive the 2/3 vote necessary; but under SB2, only a 60 percent vote was required to pass the bond issue.

Our own Town Meeting was a perfect example of how SB2 works (except for the voter turnout mentioned below). Voters came, many having heard only one side of the story. Many others (sorry, the five-hand "straw poll" was ludicrous grand-standing) wanted to hear more about the pros and cons. Because debate was quashed by a premature call of the vote and inappropriate allowance of that call by the moderator, we saw a vote taken without the opportunity to present all viewpoints.

I frankly have mixed emotions about SB2. Yes, I would like to see more votes cast; yes, I believe those poor souls who choose to spend our glorious winter in their second homes or on extended vacations in warmer climates should have the opportunity to cast their ballots in absentia; yes, those residents who are unable to physically attend the meeting for health or work reasons should get to vote...

But, having no requirement that everyone sit in the same room, debate, and actually listen to and consider each other's viewpoints leaves wide open the potential for votes being cast with no info (like Blogger's Gilford friend); or worse, the opportunity to spread mis- or dis-information in advance of the vote; or worst, cast votes for the sole purpose of seeing how low we can set our tax rate before our town is no longer a great place to live.

Anonymous said...

I am sure the word endorse was carefully chosen and used in the warrant article instead of accept so it could be used against us. It will go something like this, well, the legislative body endorsed all of these plans. The respondents to two of the master plan updates rejected sidewalks but a town meeting "endorsed" the plan. Town officials are out of touch with reality in my opinion.

Moultonboro Blogger said...

Anon @ 6:37- your comments epitomize the problems and conspiracy paranoia that is an epidemic nationally and locally. " So it can be used against us" pretty much says it all. Who is us? Your facts on the sidewalks are incorrect. Endorsing the VVC had nothing to do with a separate warrant article petitioned by citizens. The warrant article passed, the will of the people once again. Some times you win, some times you lose.

Eric Taussig said...

I appreciate that voters and/or politicians can change their minds after hearing arguments both pro and con on an issue. In fact, years ago I was ambivalent about SB-2 and actually ended up voting against it in 2008, but thereafter changed my mind because I did believe that there were too many voters shut out by the Town Meeting system. I also am an advocate for transparency and see SB-2 as providing more information and time to decide issues once they are placed on the ballot.

I can't evaluate the Gilford experience as there is too little information to reach a conclusion, but I do believe that if the initial Town meeting in an SB-2 venue is attended to the same degree as the average Moultonborough Town Meeting, with a proposed set of Warrant Articles, that the time between the initial meeting and the actual vote should provide sufficient time to educate voters, assuming some minimal publication of the ballot issues in local newspapers, video of the meeting, blogs, etc. Thus, on balance, in this technological era, where video recordings of meetings are available, considering the current Town Meeting process that limits the number of voters due to health, work, need to travel, laziness, etc., I am convinced that SB-2 would increase voter participation both on Election Day and via absentee ballots. Thus I favor SB-2.

Finally, whether true or not, many residents perceive that the Town is run by a relatively small cabal of favored insiders who are loathe to open up the decision making process to those they don't know or like. They see a BoS and other Boards with little turnover and those that do run against incumbents almost always defeated. In my view, the voters in an SB-2 Town do provide a check on potential cronyism via the potentially larger group of voters SB-2 provides. Thus SB-2 constitutes a better check and balance on the BoS and the the perceived insider group.

Anonymous said...

I believe that the comments of Mr Taussig makes the case for having SB2. Having been both a two home and full time Moultonborough resident I believe he has captured the 'perception' issues and issue educational timelines accurately. Taxation with representation sounds like a decent notion.

Anonymous said...

I don't think concern about the word endorse is paranoia. The definition of the word is declare one's public approval or support of. How many at the town meeting actually approved of the report? I think almost everyone there acknowledged the report but did they support the conclusions? Did a town meeting endorse the Blue Ribbon Commission?

Moultonboro Blogger said...

Anon at 6:39- you need to focus on the facts. The commenter used the words " endorse so they can use it against us". That is paranoia. The fact of the matter is that the legislative body voted to appropriate $85K for sidewalk engineering and ROW acquisition.
Your conclusions are unsupportable.

Anonymous said...

Facts like we voted for a surplus truck. Blooger you twist the the truth.

Moultonboro Blogger said...

Anon at 7;44- give it a rest. The facts are the facts. You just don't like them. And people wonder why their comments don't get published?

NO to SB2 said...

Got any buddies in Conway? A whopping 88 people showed up at their deliberative session last month. Gotta be more than 10000 people in Conway. Ignorance is bliss.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Blogger, an article to spend 85K was approved. So wasn't an article to spend 15K on engineering for a new gym and then the funding of it was resoundingly defeated. So what is your point? My point is voters at the town meeting pay little attention to the small dollar and non-monetary items which can later come back to bite them.

Moultonboro Blogger said...

"can later come back to bite them." Yes anon, more paranoia.And wrong info. $17,500 was approved for a site study. Think voters will pay more attention after thirty days?

Anonymous said...

Why is a low deliberative session turnout surprising. If the electorate is not ignorant of the facts, all that is needed is to vote. Debate and amendments can be done at the deliberative session, but if minds are made up, just vote. That's a plus, not a minus.

If someone isn't aware of the issues, they've got several weeks to find out before voting. That doesn't exist with the annual meeting.

Anonymous said...

So how did the town go from purchasing the Lion's Club property since it was the last sizeable tract of land near the village to a warrant item to build a gym on it within a year or two? Who was the driving force behind that? Voters are ethically owed the courtesy of full plan disclosure by officials, not a piece meal one. Every person has an agenda. There is nothing wrong with having one. Elected officials should disclose theirs. My agenda has absolutely no impact on the town.

Moultonboro Blogger said...

Anon a 8:47- if you don't know the progression of events that led to this years warrant article you really are not well informed. I do not have a personal agenda other than to represent all constituents, whether you agree with me or not. There is nothing to disclose. No hidden plans or agendas. Just volunteers doing the best they can.

Anonymous said...

Blogger, I am well aware of the progression. The question is did the voters at the 2015 Town Meeting that approved the 17.5K site assessment think it would lead to a 6.5M bond warrant item? Are you missing the contradiction? Many of the same voters approved one but not the other.

Moultonboro Blogger said...

You continue to miss the point. It is not at all a contradiction , it is an outcome. The proposal is what voters asked us to do.

Just say no (again) said...

SB2 is scary. In Moultonboro, truth twisters participate in political events more so than others. If there is a way to gain political power through SB2, this group would welcome it, and they do. Support for SB2 coming from skilled political spinners strengthens my opposition to SB2. Town meeting is the final defense against a vocal minority.

Anonymous said...

I think you both are making good points, Blogger/Anony 9:46, and it appears that you're in somewhat of an agreement; that what is missing is the input from the voting legislature to shape what’s included in the proposed article, notwithstanding efforts made to gather input.

It appears that the majority agrees that there are several needs that this proposal addresses, but also feel that there might be areas that may not be necessary cost. Until the voting legislature can have real dialogue to discuss what should or shouldn’t be included, and hear backup to items in question, it’s difficult to shape this article and budget into one with greater concurrence.

I don’t think that many realize that this proposal was preliminary, (first pen to paper offering visual information to digest and respond to) requiring much further input and development. Had that dialogue occurred at Town Meeting, many would not had left with unanswered questions, and perhaps a direction from here.

But some folks prefer to stifle our voices to get their way, as they would with SB2. It’s these same folks promoting SB2, segregating the process of our determining the article language, from the process of voting. Just as we observed at Town Meeting with the call to vote, interrupting other voter(s), demonstrates how disingenuous they are about fairness. It also demonstrates that what they are interested in is manipulation.

Anonymous said...

If SB-2 were in effect, it would give the Board of Selectmen about a month to set-up many, many, forums, meetings, and any other mechanism to make known the facts and issues. They wouldn't have to be the good guys or bad guys. Each, has one vote, as a voter.

Those that are interested, could attend and lobby for their view. With the town streaming, even the snowbirds could be informed and involved. One day of grand standing in comparison, is more fair? You'd still have the deliberative session, which is the same mechanism under the annual meeting to be heard, if you so feel.

A secret ballot, with absentee ballots, on all articles, could then be voted on, in a few minutes. Now is that unfair?


Anonymous said...

What a shame that the quote in the paper is being denied.
Why not just own up and say that now that you are part of the establishment, you are going along with their crazy schemes for regionalism and those schemes would be subject to public scrutiny with SB2?

We can see what is going on here, make no mistake.

Moultonboro Blogger said...

OMG! I published ANON's comment of 1:08pm to highlight just how wacky some people are. You really think there is some secret society( "establishment") that performs mind control on us and that " they" have a plot to control society AND we are opposing SB2 to make certain that we keep the public from voting against it?
Please write as soon as the aliens land. Or if you spot big foot.

Anonymous said...

Or as soon as the Chinese shut down the electric grid.
Get a grip.

Anonymous said...

Is there an SB2 petition anywhere?

Anonymous said...

Hope not. We will never be able to attract young families if SB2 should ever pass,. the town meeting fiasco will look like a tea party.

Anonymous said...

So why is there 200 less children in the school system? Did the young families leave for jobs? It is endemic of all of central and northern New Hampshire, not just Moultonborough. The poster at 10:30 certainly buys into the rhetoric hook, line and sinker.

Anonymous said...

They will continue to leave here if we don't start acting like we want them here. The negative letters and the rhetoric didn't come from young folks, but the oldies

Anonymous said...

I don't agree, 12:38. Read the Voice of Reason post telling the seniors to move to Florida with the rest of the retirees.

Anonymous said...

What is there to keep all three of them here?

These postings!

Anonymous said...

Listen friends, people who want SB2 don't want it so that every can vote, they want it so that every can vote NO! Don't be fooled.

Anonymous said...

Moultonborough does not understand SB-2 enough to pass SB-2. It is ignorant of what it is, and what it does. The Annual Meeting is just fine. It keeps the snowbirds from voting, and the present voters stay with their power. Close to 4000 potential voters, with 200-300 controlling the town. Why upset the apple cart? If a controversy shows up, and 400-500 show up, don't want any other voters heard. They aren't here and shouldn't be allowed absentee balloting.



Anonymous said...

Moultonborough does understand what SB2 is and does not want it. You are insulting the intelligence of the citizens of Moultonborough.

Anonymous said...

Comments like the following about why we should not have SB2 are VERY TELLING: "...or worse, the opportunity to spread mis- or dis-information in advance of the vote" and "Listen friends, people who want SB2 don't want it so that every can vote, they want it so that every can vote NO!" are very telling.

You won't have SB2 because (GASP) someone might get some information about something you don't like, and/or, they might vote NO on it!

Wow, so much for the democratic process!

Anonymous said...

Anon at 651pm is so negative. People can vote no any time they want. SB2 is not going to guarantee a 'NO!' vote. Not everything needs a 'NO!' vote. What if there were,heaven forbid according to Anon, a middle ground. What then? Can there never be a compromise? Not according to the Anon poster. SB2 in not necessarily a bad thing, but this town does not want it. So, it would be better if we worked together instead of being so nasty and unwilling to accept a middle ground.

Anonymous said...

It appears that a Huge problem is that people do read the opinion pages of the local papers and assume that because it's in the paper, or not rebutted that "it must be true". Town meeting (TM) provides opportunity to discuss what's out there and to question and learn the facts prior to voting.

I suppose SB2 is like TM where if someone (who's against dialogue and factual input) can call for the vote, there's no more discussion, no more questions, no more opinions, no more facts, only the language in the article.

The folks that we all saw at TM who did not want to hear your opinions are also for SB2. Why do you suppose? So more folks can vote and be heard? I believe that what we saw at TM tells a different story.

They want SB2 because they want to do the same on every article. They want to write the language of each, at a separate session, with the intention of manipulating votes that best suit their interests. They didn't want dialogue at TM, because what if we amended the article into what the majority wants, and it passes?! Why take that chance, when you can just shut everybody else up?

These are mostly retired folks with nothing better to do than to spend their time hijacking our towns meetings. They know that the deliberative session (where the article language is discussed/determined) would be another midweek evening, when the majority of us are at sports games, feeding their families and living our lives.

Anonymous said...

It's unfortunate there's not this kind of involvement leading up to town meeting, in whatever form.

I'm not going to defend, nor castigate the blogger. I'll quote him:

"As some people have said following this past town meeting and the article 2 vote, the people have spoken. Shouldn't the same be true of SB2?"

This appears to be a reasonable position. He's aware that most of the posts are emotional, with little truisms.

You'll note blogger is not addressing SB-2, per se. He's addressing bringing SB-2 up again.




Anonymous said...

Wow it seems like some people just want to blame the retired. I guess I'll just have to use the Meredith rec facilities,and while I'm there I'll spend my disposable income in that town, as they don't have a gripe with retired folks. I'm pretty sure if article 2 didn't have so many issues it would have passed. Take what we have for plan and refine it. Answer all the questions with facts and numbers to justify the expense. Or maybe just build a community center and add the gym later. The notion that families Will not move here because we don't have a 6.5 million dollar rec center and may get SB2 is a stretch.There are lots of other things that Mobo doesn't have that young families are looking for and we might need some of that 6.5 million to proved those services.

Anonymous said...

Anno 4:51. Don't blame the elderly or retired citizens! Nobody is blaming our retired citizens. However there are a few in town that feel that they know better than the rest of the town voters of all ages. These select few chronically manipulate and lie with the intent to persuade votes to suit their best interest, disregarding the town voters voices that voted in these elections. These select few are the ones who preferred to stifle open dialogue about the article, as they were afraid that the outcome would suit others more than them!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 4:51

LOL, I don't believe that anyone has a "gripe with retired folks", as you put it. Folks do have a gripe with nasty, selfish groups that spread lies and shut down conversation from happening in the appropriate forum, because it doesn't benefit themselves!

"I'm pretty sure" So we can all hang our hat on that you're pretty sure! What are the "so many issues" you speak of? We don't know because it wasn't discussed. The attorney who got up to speak to it was proposing amendments, that would make the proposal acceptable to him and likely others. How many others wanted to speak and what would have been the outcome? We don't know because of the few smahter ones than the rest of us, who closed the discussion to the rest of the communities input!

I don't believe that the intention for a community center is to attract families, as you've reduced it to. I also think that with discussion, perhaps the cost could/would have been also adjusted.

I also think that's what these few, much smahter than the rest of us were afraid of!

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 12:27. I was in favor of an immediate vote. I had a memorial service to attend but I wanted my vote counted. Based on the total vote of 548, 145 people would have had to be swayed by probably hours of discussion. It was a democratic process. As for your suggestion the cost might have been adjusted, to what based on what? There were no engineering plans.

Moultonboro Blogger said...

4:17 anon- it has nothing to do with swaying votes. It was about a democratic debate. We were denied that.