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Volume 7 Number 37 March 26, 2010 24 Pages
A Tale of
by Lynne Ober
Last week, Pelham had two ballot recounts
on two consecutive days. It was a picture of contrasts between conflict and harmony—a tale of two boards and their struggles. On Thursday, the school district’s recount
was held. Town Moderator Phil Currier ran the recount at the request of School District Moderator Ken Dunne. With an open case pending in the Attorney
General’s office, Assistant Attorney General Anne Edwards attended the entire recount. The open case is a result of a complaint of criminal wrongdoing filed because of alleged election violations. State law requires that all election materials carrying identifying information identify the person or group behind those materials. In Pelham, many homes had anonymous flyers about the new high school placed in their mailboxes. The flyers got dubbed “liar flyers” because they contained inaccurate information about the school proposal and carried no identifying information about the person or group passing them out. Diane
Chubb said that members of ACES went to Ms. Carrier’s store on Route 38 to pick up the anonymous flyers after learning that she was distributing them. Some residents claimed that these flyers were delivered with flyers supporting failed School Board candidate Madeline Carrier. Others said they got only the flyers. Some reported seeing a vehicle dropping off the flyers, and others did not. Ultimately, a complaint was filed and an active investigation is underway. Additionally, it is against federal law to place
any item in a mailbox that does not have a valid postage stamp. Neither Carrier’s flyers nor the “liar flyers” had postage. The School District contacted New Hampshire Secretary of State and asked for assistance and oversight. Assistant Secretary of State Dave Scanlon, who oversees all state recounts, attended. He praised Currier and the efficient way he organized and ran the recount. The School District also had their attorney, Diane Garrow, present during the entire recount.
continued to page 8- Recount
An Evening in
HUDSON, NH 03051
PERMIT NO. 33 Postal Customer
Te cast, front row: Jonathan Kamal, Brynn Yeaton, Grace Rose Vaillancourt, Kelsey Vinciguerra, Emma Tompson, Emily Sullivan. Back row: Jenny Marcoux, Emily Paquette, Lydia Safford (holding Elise Sullivan), Allyson Muller, Lydia Lewis, Haley Vinciguerra, Hanna Vaillancourt, Jonathan Kamal
by Gloria Sullivan
Pelham Community Theater and Arts performed their production of The Wizard of Oz on Wednesday night. Proud parents, siblings, friends, and local residents filled the seats of Pelham’s Sherburne Hall for a one-night only performance. For the past six weeks, Janet Daigle has been directing a group of over a dozen local children who are participating in the town’s ongoing theater and arts program. “They have worked so hard,” said Daigle. She explained to the crowd how impressed she was with the children’s performances in the brief time they had to memorize their lines. The costumes were impressive and the actors were able to use new cordless, headset-style microphones, which enabled their tiny voices to be heard throughout the Hall. The children delighted audience members, and
A pair of counters sat at each table with one observer for the yes votes and one observer for the no votes. In the back of the picture are Assistant Attorney General Anne Edwards and Assistant Secretary of State Dave Scanlon
Video on Demand Available on Cable TV
by Barbara O’Brien
Windham Cable TV Coordinator Anastasia Sofronis is very excited about one of the latest additions to what WCTV has to offer those who view its programming. Referring to Video on Demand (VOD), ”It’s a really, really cool thing,” Sofronis told selectmen.
Video on Demand is “an incredible asset,” Sofronis told town officials during the board’s March 15 meeting. At that point, VOD had only been “up and running” for a couple of days. Although there were still a few glitches to
work out, Sofronis emphasized that VOD, which is available online through a computer, is a terrific alternative for those people who don’t have a cable television hookup. Among the programs to be offered through VOD viewing, Sofronis plans to include Planning Board, Selectmen, and School Board meetings. She plans to cycle these programs for about a month before replacing them with newer meetings. “WCTV is one of only a very few stations in New Hampshire that offers VOD capability at this point in time,” Sofronis said.
Sofronis also had another surprise for those attending the March 15 meeting, one in which
she had to “trick” two cable TV volunteers to be on hand for the evening. Presenting a much-deserved plaque to Tom Case, Sofronis said, “He is the heart and soul of WCTV. This station would not exist without him.” Case has been providing volunteer services to Windham’s cable television station for more than 20 years. “Tom is there on every occasion,” she said. “He does tremendous work and is a very special individual.” The second person recognized by Sofronis is best described as “the face of WCTV.” Barbara Coish can be seen at nearly every town and school meeting, as well as various other events, videotaping and making sure that these meetings are made accessible to the residents of Windham in a timely manner. “Barbara goes above and beyond any ordinary
volunteer,” Sofronis said of Coish. “She covers every event when asked to do so.” Standing next to Case, Coish said, simply,
“We do it because we love it!” For more information on accessing Video on Demand, go to www.WCTV21.com and click on the link for VOD.
Check Out This Weather!
the child thespians even seemed to be unable to hide their delight as they spotted friends and family in the audience. The 20-minute production was followed by light refreshments and a chance for the cast to mingle with the attendees. For more information on Pelham’s Theater and Arts
programs, go to the Parks and Recreation section of www.pelhamweb.com.
Lydia Safford as Dorothy and Elise Sullivan as Toto
Workforce Housing Ordinance
Defeated in Windham
by Barbara O’Brien
When the majority of Windham voters defeated
two proposed warrant articles that relate to Workforce Housing, it didn’t make the issue disappear. Now, instead of a local ordinance setting the guidelines for such developments, those decisions might be left up to the state government to determine. Workforce Housing is a relatively new term that is increasingly popular among planners, government administrators, and housing activists, and is gaining popularity with homebuilders, developers, and lenders. Workforce housing can reference almost any type of housing, but always refers to “affordable housing.” Workforce Housing includes a broad range of both owner and renter housing, that which is intended to meet the needs of both families and individuals who represent the majority of New Hampshire’s diverse workforce, and whose income is significantly less than the area median. In Western Rockingham County, which includes
Te great weather found the Pelham Memorial School Chess Club holding their game out on the school’s lawn. Playing with the jumbo pieces were Kevin Whelan, Josh Wiswell, and Richard Hardy. Te Chess Club meets on Tursdays and has 37 members.
the town of Windham, the median annual household income for 2009 was $95,200. For a family of four, that would translate into an “affordable” residence costing no more than $289,000. Also in Western Rockingham County, during 2009, if a family of three individuals, earning a median annual household income of $51,410, wanted to rent a place to live, an affordable monthly rent would be no higher than $1,290. Workforce Housing is permanent housing that is intended as a primary year-round residence available to owners/renters, regardless of age. Following the defeat of the two proposed zoning ordinances in Windham on March 9, former selectman Alan Carpenter attended the next scheduled board meeting on March 15. Carpenter spoke about the ramifications of that defeat. The zoning amendment proposed by the Windham Planning Board and referring to Workforce Housing was defeated by a vote of 1,665 to 608. A second proposed ordinance, submitted by citizen petition, was defeated by a vote of 1,502 to 787. “Both proposals were defeated by a three-to-one ratio,” Carpenter noted. The result of those defeats, Carpenter explained, is that any proposed workforce housing developments brought forth in Windham in the next 12 months will have to go to the State for arbitration since Windham does not have the required ordinance in place. Based on State Statute, each municipality in New Hampshire was
required to have regulations in place as of 2010. “The majority of Windham residents have not paid attention” to what constitutes workforce housing and what the State was requiring, Selectman Galen Stearns said. “When they saw [Workforce Housing] on the ballot, they just said ‘no,’” Stearns said. “Since we have no ordinance, we have no way of dealing with the issue.” In order to help determine how Windham officials will attempt to deal with any proposed Workforce Housing within the town, Carpenter asked that selectmen meet with Planning Board members to discuss how best to handle the issue. Carpenter also suggested that selectmen engage an experienced land use attorney to handle any cases that might arise within the next year. Carpenter said he doesn’t feel that anyone currently in the town’s employment or on any of the town boards has sufficient expertise to deal with this critical issue.
Selectman Ross McLeod, who also serves as a prosecuting attorney, agreed with Carpenter, saying the situation calls for representation by someone with “specific expertise.” One proposed Workforce Housing development has already been sent to Concord for arbitration, Carpenter reported, and two or three others are expected to move forward in the not too distant future. State officials are saying that any proposals sent to Concord for arbitration will be heard within six months. Selectman Roger Hohenberger said that there are a lot of towns in New Hampshire that don’t have a Workforce Housing ordinance in place at this time, and that he feels “the State will be inundated” with cases to be arbitrated. “The town of Windham had ample opportunity to respond,” Selectman Charles McMahon said. McMahon also serves as one of Windham’s State Legislators. “Other towns did move ahead,” McMahon said. “Sadly, Windham did not.” McMahon clarified that this is a State mandate, and that “under the present situation, others will be making decisions for us.” According to the Workforce Housing Council (WHC), a statewide organization that promotes ways to increase and diversify the supply of housing so businesses will view the State of New Hampshire as an attractive place to live and work, “Workforce Housing” is defined by four principal factors:
Affordability – Based on criteria set by mortgage lenders, the U.S. Department of Housing and
continued to page 8- Housing Ordinance
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