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Jobs May be Cut To Fund Roads Selectmen’s Request will Impact Services
by S. Aaron Shamshoyan Town employees and
residents filled the Salem High School TV studio to listen as Town Manager Keith Hickey presented his 2012 proposed budget to Selectmen. As a result of a $5.25 million road improvement and maintenance plan, and Selectmen’s request to keep the tax rate at $5.40 per thousand, Hickey proposed eliminating some staff positions and reducing others from full time to 25 hours per week, along with outsourcing the entire IT department. “To meet the goals outlined in the $5.40 (tax rate) and $5.25 million (road program), there was a necessity to reduce spending or increase revenue by $4.149 million to meet that goal,” said Hickey.
Cuts in staffing include reducing one full time support staff in assessing, one in community development, and one in finance to 25 hours, outsourcing the four person Information Technologies department, eliminating two school resource officers from the schools, two police support staff, crossing guards, a prosecutor, a DPW mechanic, lifeguards at Hedgehog park along with a maintenance position at the park, and outsourcing town hall’s custodial services. Additional cuts will be made in many of the town departments. Hickey proposed reducing
the Fire Department’s replacement pay from just under $900,000 to $595,744. “Reducing firefighters was not an option that we could look at,” said Hickey, referring to a federal grant accepted in 2005-2006, which would be required to pay back if staffing was reduced. He did however recommend that shifts be allowed to have only 13 staff members on duty, leaving a second ambulance not manned at central fire station. Hickey also recommended deferring new vehicle purchases. The DPW would be facing cuts including $100,000 reduction in the winter weather maintenance fund.” That will have an impact on the winter maintenance in the town,” said Hickey, adding that main roads would be maintained as previous years, where as side roads, would be maintained less often. Fourth of July Fireworks
would be eliminated as part of cuts to the Recreation Department, along with funding for the Salem Holiday Parade and Mosquito control. In 2011, $2.5 million was used from the general fund to balance the budget. “There were some significant moneys taken from the unreserved fund balance to fund some projects that have to be addressed on a regular basis,” said Hickey. He proposed using $400,000 to ease the cuts in 2012. Hickey said additional cuts were necessary to cover the entire $5.25 million road
Salem Community Patriot Patriot
project including eliminating funding for CART, the animal control officer and kennel, the recreation department staff, and requiring residents to pay to dispose of construction debris.
Selectmen were surprised at the necessary reductions to meet the proposed tax rate. “I was shocked when I first seen this,” said Selectman Pat Hargreaves. Selectman Susan Covey disagreed with severity of the cuts. “Those cuts are just too deep in my opinion,” she said, “These are cuts I wouldn’t feel comfortable with.” She also commented on the board’s proposed tax rate. “I am not stuck on the $5.40 tax rate, and seeing the cuts that are going to result from that, I don’t think I will be close to that…some of these really effect our quality of life in Salem.” Selectman Michael Lyons felt some cuts to be reasonable. “If we can do the same thing for less money, we should be doing it,” he said. Lyons also favored funding the entire road project saying, “I think when people have the opportunity to make the choice between taxes and roads, they will choose roads.” Chairwoman Elizabeth Roth worried as to the impact of the cuts on the town. “I’m not willing to give up the way of life we’ve grown accustom to,” she said, “I don’t think any of us are comfortable with what this looks like.” Town IT department
employee Anthony Arnold addressed the board, asking they reconsider the town manager’s proposal to outsource the IT department. “The board and the town manager doesn’t really have a full understanding of what the IT department does for Salem,” Arnold said, adding that he spend Sunday maintaining equipment necessary for the town’s Emergency Operations Center during the hurricane. “The first responders had absolutely no reduction in service,” he said, despite town hall being without power. “You can’t outsource things that are unknown.” Salem Police Department Community Liaison Matthew Norcross, A former school resource officer, spoke on the importance of the position. “I’ve had parents over the years thank me, saying I’ve saved their child’s life.” Norcross currently said he visits elementary schools, giving presentations to the children. “Salem Police is making more of an impact with the kids today then ever before,” he said.
Selectmen will continue the budget process hearing proposals from each department. Selectman Roth asked that residents provide input to the board with their thoughts regarding the budget. “Let us know as we go through these deliberations if we are on the right track,” she said.
Joe and Jameson Summerfield having a “Pirate” moment!
Justin Choquette taking aim at the Archery Range
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Volume 5 Number 8 September 2, 2011 12 Pages Cub Scouts ‘Scouting the High Seas’
Rhys Edwards enjoying the rope swing at Webelos Woods
submitted by Janet Choquette, Cub Scout Pack 160 Cub Scout Pack 160 of Salem once again attended summer camp at Camp Carpenter in Manchester. Participating were 19 boys, seven dads and one den chief. This year’s camp theme was “Scouting the High Seas.” Activities included archery, BBs, water sports, canoeing, biking, arts and crafts and more!
Summer Festival Hosted by Saints Mary and Joseph Parish
Father Fitzpatrick with Sandy Lamay
Jose Moreno, Dick Callopy, Dave Tompson, Ali Fauder helping out (Kiwanis)
Arianna Gerrone, 2
Anne from St. Joes entertaining the kids
Ronald RJ getting his face painted
by Robyn Hatch The parishioners of Saints Mary and
Joseph Parish hosted a Summer Festival at Brook Village West. BBQ chicken,hot dogs, hamburgers, were all on the menu. There were many activities and face painting for the kids. The cost for
Father Fink preaching to all
all was free and keeping with the parish tradition, all were welcome. If interested in holding a similar event contact the Parish Office to hold a festival in your neighborhood. This was definitely a fun time for all right before school starts
David Piles and sister Sophia
up again! As a community, use an event like it to benefit the neighborhood. Good job to all who participated and a special thanks to the Kiwanis for the cooking and help they gave.
Piano Bar Tues. & Weds. Evenings
Winner Best of NH 2008, 2009, 2010! Gift Certificates Available
From Napoli, Italy to Salem, NH How Italian Food Should Be!!
Breckenridge Plaza 264 NO. Broadway, Salem, NH 603-898-1190 Brady Shea-Lucas and David McGrady
staff photos by Robyn Hatch
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