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Deliberative Session Produces 16 Percent
Salem Community Patriot Tax Hike
by Connor Tremblay Salem was the scene of
Newly elected selectman Stephen Campbell, center, urges votes to cut spending
by Jay Hobson Voters have approved
– now that all is said and done – after two deliberative sessions and an election, a tax increase of 16 percent over what they are already paying so that roads can be improved.
Attendance at the meeting fluctuated, with some standing votes being recorded with 89-78 or 167 people and the road repair amendment showing 118 in favor with 92 objecting or a total of 210 voters in attendance.
One person came to the microphone to complain that voters were calling out into the hallway to gather voters, therefore “stacking the deck.” Moderator Chris Goodnow restated the rule that “any registered voter could come in or leave at any time.”
Article 16, the 2011 Road Construction and Engineering Program, had an original price tag of just under $3.4 million when Brent Whittaker, who stated that he has lived on Brookdale Road for 13 years, made the motion to increase via amendment that sum by $2.56 million for Brady Avenue and Brookdale Road improvements and repairs, stating that the roads “had failed and at times have been closed due to that failure.”
Selectman Elizabeth Roth said that a “knee jerk” reaction should not be the way to improve infrastructure; rather, a “well thought-out” road program was more important. A 10-year road
improvement bond was on the ballot on Tuesday, but failed to garner the necessary 66 percent to be implemented. “The posted speed limit on those roads is 30 mph. I dare anybody to travel 30 mph on those roads. They’d be in for a large, large auto repair,” resident Ken Ackerly said. The additional monies brought the total of Article 16 to nearly $6 million, or almost double the original amount.
Newly elected selectman Stephen Campbell voiced his position that if additional
funds were to be spent on roads, then the voters “should look to spend less” in other areas.
“If we do this, then next
year when we have to do things, a different group of people will come in and gut town spending,” Campbell said, citing past situations. “We need to think about those people who can’t afford an extra 16-percent tax increase,” he said. Moderator Goodnow, after a voice vote, called for a standing vote and 118 voters were in favor of the increase, with 92 against. On other articles, voters
approved to increase the amount of winter weather operations at the Department of Public Works (DPW) by $500,000 for plowing, snow removal, sanding, and chemically treating the roads. An additional $165,000 was also added to the DPW snow removal expendable trust fund on a voice vote. Article 18 passed on a
voice vote that would raise $385,000 for engineering designs and other associated costs related to the reconstruction of bridges at Bluff Street, Bluff Street Extension, and Providence Hill Road.
Attendees also approved
the purchase of a new generator for the central fire station on Main Street that is used for emergency command and to fund a replacement roof at Kelley Library. Nowell Court, a gravel
road, was approved to receive $91,000 for it to be paved and $95,000 was approved for drainage for an area of Martin Avenue that is plagued by repeated flooding. The four-and-a-half- hour meeting was not all business. Several presentations were made to residents who have served Salem in various capacities. Former selectman Everett McBride was honored with a standing ovation for his 18 years of dedicated service on the board, and former selectman Arthur Barnes also received acclaim and a standing ovation for his service on the board and as former fire chief.
continued to page 6- Tax Hike
murder, comedy, and love earlier this March, when the Salem High School actors’ guild enchanted their audience with their annual production of Pippin. The play was directed by English and Drama teacher Chris Bujold, choreographed by English teacher Sara Harrigan, and put on by the students. The music was performed by the high school pit band and directed by Marty Claussen. English teacher Bill Viau also helped and supervised the rehearsals, and English teacher Jillian Thiele was the technical director. The overall performance was tight and very well done, with Amy Desrosiers as the Leading Player and Tyler Gullbrand as Pippin. It was “successful and it had a good turnout,” according to Bujold. The play was about a young man, Pippin, who wanted his life to have a great purpose, and he found his spot in the most unlikely place. The exuberance and earnestness of the actors through their singing and dancing routines brought the play to life and drew the audience into the story. Amongst the seriousness, there was comedy and even the suggestive innuendo. It was very well balanced. Bujold described the play’s moral as “what’s on the surface may not be what it is you’re actually looking for.” “So much work went into creating the play. Rehearsals were five days a week for 10 weeks, three hours at a time,” said Bujold, ”It’s all worth it, though, because it exposes [the students] to dramatic literature, and also helps grow them as performers … Most of the students in the musical have an interest in pursuing the performing arts after high school.”
In order to make the play a success, “every minor detail had thought put into it,” said
Leading Player (Amy Desrosiers) and Pippin (Tyler Gullbrand)
Thiele. Light cues, stage props, timing, and costuming were just a few of the aspects that had to be just right. While the cast was working on the stage, even more students worked on the technical aspect off the stage. Even with so much work to do,
Gullbrand said, “I wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else.” Cast member Brandon Loureiro said, “Pippin was such a success because all the cast members put in every ounce of effort they could, and it really showed anytime we took the
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Volume 4 Number 34 March 18, 2011 12 Pages
Pippin (Tyler Gullbrand) stares at the aftermath of battle with regret
Most of the ensemble singing and dancing
stage together. I quite literally learned how to sing during the production, and the entire experience is something I’ll never forget.” “The show was a crystallized blizzard of awesomeness,” said Viau.
Governor Lynch Visits Salem High School
by S. Aaron Shamshoyan Students at Salem High School met with Governor John Lynch to share their thoughts on the school’s low dropout rate. Currently, the school has a dropout rate of 0.27 percent, which is one of the lowest in the country. “I don’t know if there’s another school in the country that has a dropout rate of 0.27 percent,” said Lynch. He said he has a goal of zero dropouts by 2012. He said the school’s dropout rate is low compared to some states with over 20 percent of students who don’t finish high school. The dropout age was recently raised from 16 to 18 in New Hampshire, where the original bill was passed in 1906 allowing for a 16-year-old to leave school. “It’s getting so that the high school diploma is the minimum you need to get a good job,” he said. Governor Lynch also said 80 percent of the nation’s prisoners are high school dropouts and there tends to be a higher rate of teen pregnancy and drug use among them. When Governor Lynch asked students for their input in why Salem has such a low dropout rate, students responded by saying there are many activities, both during and after school, to keep students engaged, and also the quality of the teachers. “All the teachers in our school are really good with having respect,” one student said. Sports were a big part of the discussion, with one student, who runs cross-country, saying it always gives her something to look forward to and allows her to connect with other people.
Students were asked what they would
Governor Lynch discusses the low dropout rate at Salem High School with students
change if they were principal, and responded they would encourage more teachers to get involved with extracurricular activities. Students felt when they had a teacher that was also a coach or leader of a group, they were more comfortable asking for help with class work. Students and teachers respect each other and this makes a more comfortable atmosphere. Ben Adams, the students’ American History teacher, shared his thoughts on Salem’s high student success rate, saying
they have a strong alternative education program, a popular vocational program, and a very supportive group of teachers. “We have a very strong alternative ed. program,” said Adams. Commenting on the vocational teachers, he said, “To their credit, they’ve helped save a lot of kids.” “You are a model school for the rest of the
country,” Governor Lynch said to students, and encouraged them to talk with peers who had thoughts about dropping out.
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staff photo by Jay Hobson
photos by Connor Tremblay
staff photo by S. Aaron Shamshoyan
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