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

Monday, June 20, 2016

Carroll County Farm Committee Kickoff Meeting

The minutes of that meeting held on June 3rd, can be found here on the County website. The committee was formed by the Commissioners and the members are: Steve Knox, Susan Wiley, Frank Riley, Becky Mason, Mellisa Seamans, Wendy Scribner, Olivia Saunders, and Henry Spencer.
In terms of objectives, the committee listed the  “Save the Farm Coalition” list of objectives:
1. Identify and validate Farm benefits to the community
2. Assess Farm revenues versus expenses versus benefits
3. Devise a means of quantifying intangible benefits
4. Identify, analyze and improve key farm processes and outcomes
5. Benchmark regional farm models
6. Develop a best practices document for Farm operations
7. Develop a plan to maximize Farm earnings
8. Assess production capacity of Farm and forest land
9. Evaluate the effects of expanding and/or downsizing on Farm revenues
10. Assess the Delegation’s expectations for the Farm and the level of current
public support
11. Document team results and recommendations to the county delegation

The committee asked for for a statement of commitment from the commissioners and delegation for the work of this committee at the suggestion of Andy Kendall of Kendall Foundation during the farm tour earlier this year.“Is the County committed to owning and being a good steward of the land?”, “A commitment to owning the land and being a steward while trying to find a path forward to being a responsible owner for the benefit of the County”. The Commissioners at their June 8th meeting agreed to give Steve Knox a letter in support of the Farm Committee.
The committee expects a rough draft report by the end of the summer and a final report in the fall to coincide with the county budget process. A survey is also in the works. The minutes are very informative and a worthwhile read.


Fred Van Magness said...

How about a Committee to study why Moultonborough is subsidizing other communities that have no police force. We continue to be ROBBED by the County Government and NOBODY cares about it. So now we get a committee to study the farm ON A PRIORITY BASIS while Rome (aka Carroll County) burns with out of control expenditures, surpluses that cannot be accounted for and that disappear, forensic audits that never take place, etc. etc. Seriously, does anyone in Ossippee have a clue ?? Yep, lets all study the farm to divert attention from other more pressing issues. Bet there will even be a survey forthcoming. Again, clueless in Ossippee and elsewhere around the county.

Moultonboro Blogger said...

Fred- Speaking for myself, I care a great deal about how Moultonboro is overtaxed by the county and under represented. The only way we can achieve some sort of equitable arrangement is to have a strong voice at the table. A few years back the idea of towns paying only or services they use was broached and quickly discarded by the majority of towns that benefit from our tax base.
The farm is a prime example of what needs to be fixed in Concord and Ossipee. We need to work together or taxpayers will continue to suffer.

Fred Van Magness said...

Blogger, I agree that we need strong voices that advocate for Moultonborough at the county level. That said, it would seem to me that if the majority of towns want a solution on things LIKE the county farm, we should put the concept of equitability in assessments based on needed services into the negotiations. Since Moultonborough pays some 27% +/- of the county costs, we certainly could have some sway in what services we should pay for and what services we do not need if we leverage our situation properly. Despite all the issues with our former Town Admin., his study data on the allocation of the Sheriff and Dispatch costs was an excellent starting point. I believe he did this work by direction of the BOS but I could be corrected. This effort should not be dropped but rather dusted off and pursued vigorously, including the coalescing of representation with Conway and Wolfeboro who also would have no apparent need for these services. Rather than backing down when the small towns apparently trashed our proposal, we should have been even more focused and aggressive in pursuit of the solution. Instead, it seems we caved. Not good for Moultonborough taxpayers. It all boils down to leverage and we certainly have some. What we are missing is an outright aggressive approach to the problem. I see this in other areas such as the lack of forensic audits and the pursuit of where the disappearing surplus money went. Maybe we need a change in laws so that we are proportionally represented in voting based on our share of the expenses. In the meantime, we need to leverage our votes on any farm proposal to include the reallocation of Sheriff and Dispatch costs. Just my opinion.....