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Pelham - Windham News | November 18, 2011 - 5 More Letters to our Editor


Pelham Good Neighbor Fund 42nd Annual Drive


Te Pelham Good Neighbor Fund committee is asking for your support during these difficult times so that we will be able to help individuals and families during Christmas with food, clothing and toys for the children. Tere are so many families in Pelham that are going to need our help so we are asking individuals, families, businesses, organizations, schools, civic and church groups to be as generous as possible. Volunteers will be accepting food and cash donations on Saturday and Sunday, December 10 and 11 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the parking lot at the Pelham Plaza. If you would like to make a donation online, please visit our Website at www. pelhamgoodneighborfund.org or you can make your check payable to the Pelham Good Neighbor Fund, P.O. Box 953, Pelham, NH 03076. Your cash donation is tax deductible since we are a 501(C)(3) charitable organization. Tere is also a drop off area for food donations


at the Food Pantry located behind St. Patrick’s Church and a regular basket in the exit lobby at Hannaford Supermarket. If you would like to make a donation of a turkey or other food items, please call Jim Roche at (603) 893-1713 or Frank Sullivan at (603) 204-5299.


Te committee also uses the money collected


during the drive to provide financial assistance 52 weeks a year for food, heating, rent, electricity, and other household expenses. Your support would be greatly appreciated by our Neighbors In Need. If you need help during the holidays or would like to sponsor a child or family for Christmas, please call one of the people listed below or you can go to the First Congregational Church or St. Patrick’s Church to pick out a name tag(s).: Nancy Vachon, (603) 521-4045; Darlene Michaud, (603) 635-9117; Linda Pace, 603) 635-3774; Marcia Sweezey, (603) 635-3390. Please call no later than Monday, December 5. Your call for help will be handled in strict confidence.


Frank Sullivan, President, Pelham Good Neighbor Fund – Pelham


Stage Director, Musical


Director, Choreographer for Windham Actors Guild Windham Actors Guild is looking for a


Director, Musical Director and Choreographer for spring 2012 show Te Music Man Windham Actors Guild is the latest and


greatest new theater group in Southern New Hampshire! With the huge success of our first two shows under our belts, “Windham on Broadway,” and Arsenic and Old Lace” fall 2011 … and as the momentum continues to build, we are looking forward to our third production, Meredith Willson’s Te Music Man, in 2012! Show dates will be April 27-29. We are currently seeking a Stage Director,


Musical Director and Choreographer for this flag-waving, feel-good, musical comedic Americana Classic! Individuals will be accepted for each position or you may apply as a team. If you feel you possess the energy, drive and talent needed for any of these positions, and would like to join an amazing group of individuals, please send a letter of intent and resume to Richard Bouchard, President. Windham Actors Guild, info@windhamactorsguild.com by Friday, December 2. For more information about auditions,


productions, or Windham Actors Guild in general, please visit our Website www. windhamactorsguild.com


Michelle Joyce, Windham Actors Guild - Windham


Windham’s Helping Hands Food Drive in Full Swing Windham’s Helping Hands (WHH) is


currently collecting food items for its annual fall food drive. Each year WHH distributes Tanksgiving food baskets in the community to ensure that everyone is able to enjoy a happy and filling holiday. If you care to help, please drop a non-perishable food item(s) at Golden Brook School, Center School, Windham Middle School, or Windham High


School by Monday the 21. Tank you for your continued support!


Patti Letizio – Windham Budget Reductions


Will Hurt Windham’s Town Services


I am a resident in the town of Windham and


recently read in the paper that the selectmen want to cut the overall town budget to reduce the 2.6 percent increase that is proposed for the 2012 year. Over the last three years the town departments have level funded or reduced the budget. It is ridiculous to think that they can continue to do this and still operate properly. Selectman Breton and Lochiatto want to reduce the budget more help the tax base. I hate to tell you this but if you continue to reduce the town budget then there will be no one to protect the town residents, its schools, and the children that attend them. I am sure most town residents are not aware


they are already getting less protection due to budget issues caused by poor budgeting by the selectman. Te fire department over the past several months has been running down a man when someone is out for any reason. Te reason for this is a budgetary shortfall. Te department has had several long-term disabilities, which has put unforeseen strain on the department’s budget. I remember as a taxpayer I voted for 7/24 coverage of five firefighter/EMTs back in 2008.


I would like to know whom the selectman think they are not carrying out the will of the taxpayers in this town. At no time do I remember saying it would be okay to reduce staffing and put my family or me in danger. If they feel that a change in staffing is needed then put it on the ballot and ask the taxpayer to vote on it. I know I will be asking each one where they stand on this issue and will vote for their re-election based on their answer. I urge the rest of my fellow town residents to do the same.


Patrick Robertson - Windham


Outdoors


Charlie Chalk “Grampa Grouse’s”


with


Classic to be Republished Looking for a gift for a bird hunter? ‘Partridge Shortenin’ by Gorham “Grampa Grouse” Cross. The rare, old classic is back from the grandfather of ruffed grouse hunting! Originally printed in 1949, Upland Publishing Inc. is proud to present this very special reprint of this rare, old classic. This reprint contains photos of the “Grandfather” not included in the original, a foreword by his grandson, John Cross, and a handsome slipcase. Both the book and slipcase are bound in luxurious book linen. As it was with the original, only 100 copies will be printed! Available on or about December 1! Hardcover, slipcase, approximately 200 pages. Re-printed with permission from the Gorham Cross family by Upland Publishing Inc. Price: $65 plus $5 S&H. Upland Publishing Inc., Fairfax, VT, 802-849-9000 or info@uplandalmanac.com.


Charlie Chalk can be reached at outdoorswithcharlie@areanewsgroup.com


Spending Freeze In Store for Windham?


by Barbara O’Brien Windham Assistant Town Administrator and Financial Director Dana Call reported that the condition of the 2011 town-operating budget is “not great news,” although most departments are still in line with the time of year. Call’s report focused on the first three-quarters (75 percent) of 2011, a period that ended this past September 30. Since that time, however, the region was forced to deal with an unprecedented October snowstorm. “The storm certainly didn’t help the situation,” Call said, referring to the need for unanticipated winter highway maintenance.


Adding to the financial pressure is the higher than anticipated cost


of vehicle fuel, which is currently about $1.20 more per gallon over what was planned for when the current budget was formulated this time last year. “Heating costs continue to trend high, as well,” Call stated.


News Pelham Town Hall


The October 29 storm caused a considerable amount of damage and inconvenience to Pelham residents. Fire Chief James Midgley worked closely with National Grid to see service was restored to Pelham in spite of the numerous downed trees and closed roads. The Highway Department was initially hampered by the number of live wires but continued their clean up as soon as possible. They are still chipping limbs.


Our special thanks to all the members of our emergency services who worked round the clock. Communications were difficult as power, telephone and Internet were off line. There were also times the cell service was down. Complicating matters were numerous accidents involving live wires


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and an above average calls for fire services. Our people were spread thin but were able to respond to the critical needs of the community. The tax rate was set for Pelham at $21.41 per thousand. Because the overall valuation of the Town decreased by 3.6 percent to $1.377 billion. The increase in taxes for the Town share was 1.5 percent thanks to lean budgeting and improving local revenues. The School’s share increased by 8.25 percent; driven primarily by the reduction of State Catastrophic Aid and increased employee health and retirement costs (the latter another pass down by the State). The average homeowner should see a tax increase of $305 per year. In the past few weeks, the Police Department has been handling an increase in criminal activity. Fortunately, several criminals were caught within minutes of their crime by neighbors calling in suspicious activity. One of the recent favorites is for the criminal knock on neighborhood doors pretending to sell something. If you answer the door, they offer a sales brochure or restaurant menu as if to promote the business. Contacting the Police will quickly dispatch an officer to verify their credentials. Left unchecked,


these criminals wait to find an empty home. Thanks to our many alert citizens, these criminals don’t last long. The Senior Center is concentrating its recent efforts on informing the public on the open enrollment for Medicare Part D. Specialists from Service Link, a State sponsored agency, are available for private appointments to explain this sometimes confusing program. Knowledge and making the right decisions can save thousands of dollars and this program will help. Please call Senior Affairs Director, Sara Landry at 635-3800 to make an appointment. Additionally, the Recreation program has moved its Session 1 Yoga program to the Center from the school. The program runs Mondays and Wednesdays from 6 to 7 p.m. for those up to age 60. There are 17 participants of all ages. Automatic opening doors have been installed at the Town Hall and the company is just finishing a few programming details. Although not ADA required, the automatic doors will be a blessing for many including mothers with several children, those with baby carriages (those with both!) not to mention those with disabilities or who find the darn door too hard to open.


Call said town officials continue to track salary expenditures on a week-by-week basis, due to a significant amount of overtime being used. The police department’s overtime line was reported to be 89.2 percent expended three-quarters through 2011, while the fire department’s overtime account had reached the 99 percent mark with 25 percent of the year still remaining. There were some compensating savings in the regular salary lines for both the police and fire departments, however.


Property maintenance has also been running higher than anticipated. The reason? Multiple old buildings needing unanticipated repairs and the replacement of equipment. This year has also been a bad one for legal expenses, Call continued. “In general, this line is running over budget due to general legal matters, as well as workforce housing lawsuits,” she said. In addition, union-related legal expenses are running high due to grievances and arbitration. Call estimates that legal expenses could go as high as $20,000 to $30,000 over the amount budgeted for 2011. “There’s not a lot of control over these issues,” Call said. As of September 30, $48,339 of the total $52,400 had already been spent on legal issues (92.3 percent).


Referring to concerns about being able to keep the budget in line for the remainder of the current year, Town Administrator David Sullivan said, “We may wind up with a spending freeze in the next couple of weeks.”


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