Hudson - Litchfield News February 4, 2011 - 3
The Word Around Town... Letters to our Editor
Town Salary Increases At the Budget committee’s wrap-up night
of the Town’s budget, a motion was made to decrease the operating budget by $32,516, which represents an increase to the following salaries. There are nine positions that are affected and they are the Police Chief, Fire Chief, Finance Director, Recreation Director, Town Administrator, Assistant Town Administrator, IT Director, and the Administrative Assistant to the Board of Selectmen. These are increases that were placed into the Budget lines for all of their salaries that the Budget Committee felt should be on a warrant article. The reason they should be on a warrant article is that the voters should have the opportunity to vote on raises that are not contractual. The Budget Committee then voted to recommend to the Board of Selectmen that the committee would support a warrant article for the increases to those salaries, if they so choose to bring one forward. The people in these positions are very deserving of a raise and the committee recognized that and recommended a warrant article that we would support. No warrant article has been brought forward at this point and the raises are not in the budget. The committee wanted voters to know that we removed these raises because they would have been lost in the budget and the voters would have never known that these positions had gotten an increase in their salaries. We could see this item as discussion at town meeting on February 5.
Remember to come out and support your tax dollars at the deliberative session.
Normand G. Martin, Budget Committee Chairman - Hudson
Deliberative Sessions Can Change It All
In Litchfield, we have lost $2 million from the State for our schools due to the new funding formula; as a result, 31 positions are being eliminated. We have been to the School Board community forums and School Board meetings to save courses and positions that we as parents felt were important for our children’s education. However, it does not end there. The budget that the School Board and the Budget Committee are proposing can change at the deliberative session. It only takes one person to make a motion to add or subtract money from the budget. With another person to second it, the motion can be discussed and a vote taken. With a majority vote of those citizens present, the motion is passed or rejected. This is where changes may take place before the ballot vote in March. Items and amounts may be added or subtracted from line items or the bottom line. If money is cut from the proposed budget and if that budget is subsequently passed by the voters of Litchfield, the School Board will have to decide where to further reduce the already-lean budget. If more money is taken out of the budget, those classes you fought for could be cut in order to balance the budget.
If something has been recommended for elimination that you feel needs to be put back in, the deliberative session is where you need to amend it. We do have a say in the process, but you need to be there to have a voice. There is information on the School District Website for Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and the moderator will explain the process at the beginning of the meeting. The Litchfield School District Deliberative Session will be held on Saturday, February 5, in the Campbell High School auditorium at 2 p.m. Every vote counts and every resident has the right to be heard. To quote a line from the SAU Website, “All residents are encouraged to attend.”
Cathy Snyder - Litchfield
down the barn. Another unsigned piece of gossip was in Thumbs up - Thumbs Down today, January 28. The ignorant, uninformed person who wrote this one said, “Thumbs up to the barn that was demolished was of no historical value. The owner had every right to take it down. Pam, you should choose words more carefully.” Now, everyone in Litchfield who is bored enough and has nothing else to do but read these nasty comments—listen to this. My name is Pamela Hale Lane. I grew up with Jill, Steven, and Jo Ellen Calawa. We played together; our mothers Candace Hale and Roz Calawa were best friends. Our families went skiing together and to the beach often. I am friendly with all of them to this day. So are my sister Heidi Hale Miller and my brother Jay Alan Hale. We hold no grudge against them. The barn was sold to Rick and he told us a year ago he was going to tear it down because it was rotten beyond repair. Neither my family nor I have sent any nasty letters to this newspaper. If I have something to say to someone—I will say it to their face. I wrote this letter and only this one to this paper and I have the decency to sign it. I don’t sneak around using your disgusting gossip column to say what I feel. Whoever wrote that line using my name is a sneak and a coward. Furthermore, you have hurt many people’s feelings, and greatly upset me and caused me great sadness. You have barked up the wrong tree. Yes, I was very sad to see my father’s old barn torn down; I grew up on that farm. I worked side by side with my mother and father many long, hot days in the fields. My father bought me a beautiful horse that I galloped many a time through those fields, which are now part of the course. Maybe that barn had no historical significance to the Historical Society, but its post- and-beam construction replicated the old barns in town and was very special to us. Whoever blamed me for writing that letter is a mean- hearted troublemaker. You are the one who’d better be careful what you write. I think the whole Thumbs Up - Thumbs Down should be taken out of the paper.
embarrassment to this town. All this has done to me is to bring up the terrible memories of watching my father, a kind, fair, and loving man, die an agonizing death one year and three months ago. I hope this sets things straight. Whoever you are that has a gripe with the Charbonneaus—let’s see if you have the grit to write your letter now and sign your own damn name.
Pamela Hale Lane - Litchfield
and federal actions also have an impact on education, and many times, those are not positive. It’s important to be informed about what’s happening at the state and federal level to make sure Litchfield’s educational needs are represented. As a School Board member for over 13 years, I have gone to the statehouse and testified on Litchfield’s behalf on a number of occasions. In 2006, I was invited to interview for a position on the NH School Boards Association and subsequently elected. As the current President, I have been able to bring Litchfield’s story, NH’s educational needs, and the value of local control to our state and national representatives. Over the next several weeks, I hope to
Re-election to the Litchfield School Board
I am pleased to announce my candidacy for re-election to the Litchfield School Board. I began volunteering in the community shortly after moving to Litchfield almost 19 years ago when our oldest child was entering first grade at Griffin Memorial School. I have volunteered in a number of capacities throughout those years, but anyone who knows me knows that children and education are particularly important to me. My children all went to the Litchfield public schools; two have graduated from Campbell High School. Our oldest is now in a Ph.D. program for marine science, the middle child earned a degree in engineering and works as an engineer and the youngest is still in the school system. Having children go through the public school system provides firsthand
Historical Barn in Litchfield About three weeks ago, I received a call
from my sister asking me if I’d read a letter in the Thumbs Up - Thumbs Down about our late father’s barn. I said, “No, I don’t read that paper, and I dislike that gossip column.” She read the article over the phone to me, and the gist of it was “shame on the local golf course owner and local paving company for tearing down an old historical barn of Litchfield.” In the following week’s paper, Dr. Steven Calawa sent a Letter to the Editor explaining his point of view about the barn, which stated the barn was not a historical barn, but just a replacement structure built in ‘43. Now, Steven Calawa is Jill Charbonneau’s brother, so perhaps he was trying to defend their decision to tear
experience in understanding the impact of our school programs at each of our three schools on the lives of children and their families. Informed decisions are critically important to providing a quality education to the
In addition to local decisions, state
provide more information about why I am running and what I have accomplished as a current School Board member. Being a long-time volunteer illustrates my commitment to education and not something that I have just recently noticed. Change just for the sake of change is not necessarily a good thing. Experience, knowledge, the ability to weigh all information to make informed decisions, and a belief in the role of the public schools in the community all play a very important part in being a good School Board member. I ask for your vote on March 8.
Cindy Couture - Litchfield Consignment Shop continued to page 6
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