Pelham - Windham News | September 16, 2011 - 3
The Word Around Town... Letters to our Editor
Rockingham County’s High
Sheriff to Meet with Windham Republican Town Committee
Te Windham Republican Town Committee is pleased to welcome Rockingham County’s High Sheriff, Mike Downing at their next regular meeting. Te event will be held at the Windham Senior Center at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, September 20. Mr. Downing, formerly the NH State Senator from
Salem, was elected to Sheriff last November after a contentious primary. He will discuss his first year in office, particularly noting how he is managing the budget cuts that have affected his department. Tis program is presented as a public service and is open to all, no matter what party affiliation. If anyone has questions or wishes further information, they may call Margaret Crisler 595-7625.
Margaret Crisler - Windham
Editor’s note: In response to the article, “Catholics ask Romney to Reject Bettencourt’s Offensive Statements about Catholic Bishop,” that ran in last week’s paper, Representative DJ Bettencourt has requested that the following letter, written by the Director of the Romney for President Catholic Coalition based in Northern Virginia, be published.
Another Liberal Catholic Trap Borrowing a famous phrase from President Reagan,
“Well, there you go again.” Tis time the Catholics United is at it again, demanding Governor Mitt Romney distance himself from an endorsement of the New Hampshire House Majority Leader. Te Republican number two man in the New
Hampshire House, DJ Bettencourt, recently endorsed the Governor. He stated, “I think Governor Romney’s experience in Massachusetts best suits him to take on the challenges of the country.” Te average reader would probably conclude just another state representative endorsement. Enter Catholics United, liberal front organization that attacks traditional Catholics and regularly engages in partisan activities. A simple search on their website reveals the group is nothing more than opportunists looking each day for ways to take down Republicans. Tey were vocal attack dogs against the Wisconsin legislature and stood on the side of union bosses and against working families and taxpayers. Tey have repeatedly endorsed the failed policies of Barack Obama’s administration. Tey pushed for a universal healthcare takeover, supported the Supreme Court nomination of activist judge Sonia Sotomayor, pushed
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Cap and Tax legislation, and worked to advance other job killing measures. Terefore, it was no surprise when the so-called Catholics United group dug up a statement from April of this year when Representative Bettencourt called the Catholic Bishop John McCormack a “pedophile pimp.” Te full statement read: “Would the Bishop like to discuss his history of
protecting the ‘vulnerable’? Tis man is a pedophile pimp who should have been led away from the State House in handcuffs with a rain coat over his head in disgrace. He has absolutely no moral credibility to lecture anyone.” His comments were in regard to the Bishop’s public
lobbying against the recently passed state budget, which cut government spending by 11 percent. New Hampshire, like most states, had to make hard choices in its state budget. Representative Bettencourt statements about the Bishop were about the ongoing New Hampshire Attorney General’s numerous cases and audit agreement about the Diocese of Manchester covering up priest abuse cases. Representative Bettencourt has apologized for his comments. Catholics United does not mention this apology. Tey have decided to use this statement as another liberal trap for Governor Romney. Representative Bettencourt, a Catholic himself, feels that Bishops who cover up priest abuse cases are not above the law. Representative Bettencourt is not alone in those regards. Te vast majority of Church going Catholics would agree with him. His language was strong, but this issue strikes a raw nerve in every Catholic. He should be applauded for his stance. Should Governor Romney distance himself from this endorsement? No way! Te Governor should realize that most Catholics feel as Representative Bettencourt does. Te Governor should know that Catholic Priests who abuse others should not be wearing collars, but should be in jail, and those that cover up such cases should be in adjoining cells.
Steve Kramer – Alexandria, VA
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Windham’s Upcoming Special School District Meeting
Tis letter is to update the community on plans for a permanent kindergarten addition at Golden Brook School and to explain the upcoming Special School District Meeting. On Tuesday, October 4, 2011, the Windham School Board will ask voters to decrease the original appropriation for the kindergarten project from $2,900,000 to $2,522,191. Due to lower-than- expected revenue from the State, the kindergarten project has been revised in order to preserve the local tax impact as presented in March 2011. Voters must approve this reduction; otherwise the local tax impact will be slightly higher than anticipated. Background and Timeline • 2007- Te New Hampshire State Legislature included “public kindergarten” in its definition of an adequate education and required Windham to offer a kindergarten program by the fall of 2009.
• September 2009 - Due to lack of space in our District’s facilities, Windham welcomed its first kindergarten class in portable classrooms at Golden Brook School. Te State paid for the set-up of the portable classrooms and the rent for the first three years.
• March 2011 - Windham voters approved a $2,900,000 appropriation for a seven-room addition to Golden Brook School to house kindergarten students. Tey also agreed to allocate any unreserved funds from the current school year to the project. At that time, legislation (RSA 198:15-R.) provided for 75 percent funding for kindergarten classrooms from the State of New Hampshire. Te School Board’s commitment to Windham taxpayers was to build the kindergarten addition with no more than a one-time $900,000 local tax impact. Based on the current Town property valuations, this equated to an estimated tax impact of $.42/1,000. (A one-time tax impact of $148 for a $350,000 home)
• June 2011 - Te State of New Hampshire approved their final budget allocating only $1,000,000 to Windham for the kindergarten project – this was less than half of the expected dollars from the state per the legislation.
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• August 2011 - District Administration and construction teams presented the Windham School Board with a revised kindergarten plan and budget in order to cap the local tax impact at $900,000. While the capacity and footprint of the addition will remain intact, several items were eliminated from the project to reduce the cost. With this revised proposal the kindergarten will open as planned for the 2012-2013 school year.
• August 2011 - Te Windham School Board voted to hold a Special School District meeting at which the voters will be asked to decrease the appropriation. o A “yes” vote will reduce the appropriation to $2,522,191 and maintain a local tax impact of $900,000.
o A “no” vote will leave the appropriation at $2,900,000 and result in an estimated one-time local tax impact of $1,277,809. (For a $350,000 home a one-time tax impact of approximately $210.) Te additional $377,809 could either be returned to the voters at the end of the project or could be used for some of the items that are being eliminated from the original plan.
Recognizing the impact on communities resulting
from changes in State funding for education this year, the State Legislature passed special legislation (HB 650 - FN-L Chapter 211) to allow school districts to forgo a conventional polling election and hold votes through a School District Meeting format. Trough the School District Meeting format, we are able forgo election costs, compete this process in 22 days, and provide the Town with tax information in time to set the tax rate. Te revised revenue schedule for the project is as
Item State of NH Reimbursement Unreserved Fund Balance Local Taxation
Total Amount $1,000,000 $622,191 $900,000 $2,522,191
Upcoming Dates • Tuesday, September 20, at 7 p.m. at Windham High School Public: Hearing of the proposed Warrant Article to decrease the appropriation
• Tuesday, October 4, at 7 p.m. at Windham High School: Special School District Meeting. At that time, all registered voters may attend and cast their votes for or against the warrant article. As with any vote, we hope that all registered
voters will take this opportunity to participate in the process and join us on Tuesday, October 4 at 7 p.m. at Windham High School. Please visit the District’s Website at www.windhamsd.org
for more information on this project and the Special School District Meeting.
Windham School Board - Windham “Just another day at the office…”
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