4 - February 3, 2012 | Hudson - Litchfield News
The Word Around Town... Letters to our Editor
Area News Group’s Policy on Letters to the Editor
With town elections just around the corner, we
would like to inform our readers about our Letter to the Editor Policy. The policy will be strictly followed in order to be fair and consistent with everyone: 1. No third party letters 2. Maximum word limit is 600 3. Candidates may submit one 600-word letter and one 400-word candidate announcement (photo optional)
4. While asking Letters to the Editor to be published anonymously, the writer’s name, home address and telephone number must be provided for verification purposes. Not providing the required information will result in the letter being discarded. Publication of “Anonymous” letters will be at the discretion of the Editor.
Vote Barka for Litchfield School Board
My name is Derek Barka and I’m excited to be
running for a seat on the Litchfield School Board. My wife and I both grew up in Southern New Hampshire and have lived in Litchfield for seven years. During this time, we’ve volunteered in different capacities and have enjoyed being involved in this great community. I take great pride in our town and our schools. I look forward to helping build on the great things we are already doing and improving where we can do better. I currently work as a Chief Software Architect at
a fast growing local software company. In that role, I’m responsible for analyzing complex problems and designing solutions that can be effectively executed using available resources in tight schedules. I have experience managing both local and distributed teams and working closely with people of varying viewpoints and experience levels.
I’m a team leader who knows
when to delegate responsibility and lets others excel in their areas of expertise while still maintaining oversight to ensure ours goals are met and everyone is accountable. Great ideas only work if we can execute them and I have years of experience turning ideas into reality. Conversely, no one has all the answers and I often seek out opposing arguments and alternative ideas.
However, these discussions have to remain respectful and constructive in order to be productive and lead to solutions. Negativity without recommendations isn’t helpful and criticizing without offering solutions is counter-productive. I have experience working with varying viewpoints and building consensus and I look forward to bringing this to our School Board to benefit our town and schools. We need a unified school board working on behalf of the students, staff, and taxpayers to make our school system as extraordinary as I think it can be. For the past six months, I’ve attended the majority of School Board meetings as well as the Budget Committee’s school budget meetings. I am very familiar with the board’s current issues, policies, and budget. In addition, I’ve had the pleasure of volunteering with the district in the following opportunities: 1) Griffin Memorial School (GMS) Playground Committee that raised over $25,000 to build and install a new playground at GMS. 2) Bullying Policy Committee that helped draft the Bully Policy to help meet new state laws. 3) Full Day Kindergarten Committee, which was tasked with exploring the feasibility of offering tuition based full day Kindergarten in the Litchfield School District. 4) And finally, the Homework Task Force which is currently studying the benefits, effectiveness, and best practices concerning homework and K-12 students. We are responsible for providing a recommendation to the School Board on a new Homework Policy for the district. I am confident I will be ready to hit the ground running should I be elected. I look forward to talking with the citizens of Litchfield and I encourage you to visit my Website, schoolboard.derekbarka.com
, over the next few weeks to hear more about myself and what I think we can do in our great town. I appreciate your time and I hope to earn your vote on March 13.
Derek Barka – Litchfield It’s Your Values
On Saturday, February 4, the town and School
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District will be holding our annual deliberative sessions on the same day. Tis is a difference from previous years of having them on separate days. Tis is arguably the most important day to taxpayers in our town. Tis is the only opportunity for you the taxpayer to actually have a voice on individual and specific spending inside the budget. In March, all you will have is an up or down vote on two very expensive options. If you wait until the election in March, you will have no choice to reduce the already huge tax increase you will see as a result of the two ‘choices’ the ballot will offer you. As it exists, without your deliberative input, a home valued at $300,000 can expect an increase in your taxes of about $3 on the tax rate. Tat’s nine hundred dollars. Unless you are willing to spend an afternoon in the cafeteria at CHS on Saturday, and believe that you will just show up in March and vote “no,” you absolutely will suffer the increase. Te choices in March that you will be given are virtually identical. Tere is no option to wait for in March when it comes to the taxes you pay. Please do consider coming out
this Saturday to speak your voice and tell the Boards what you want your tax dollars to be spent on. Please also realize that a good
number of these folks you will see on Saturday will either be up for re-election in March. So please pay very close attention to the positions they take on Saturday. Watch the way they vote on stage. Listen carefully to their priorities. I am certain it may not align with yours but without your input, they believe your silence is your acceptance of their expensive agendas. You will also hear about warrant articles asking the
voter to grow programs by asking for more government employees. More programs, and more shifting of costs to the taxpayer. All disguised as “good for you.” I remind you of a famous quote by Ronald Reagan - “I’m from the government and I’m here to help you.” I do have to admit that I am always slow to warming up to any idea that is sold to me beginning with “this will make it easier” or “this is good for the community.” I have found that usually it is good for only the Board that is trying to have you accept their ideas. What is being asked of us is to blindly trust that three people on these respective Boards have the taxpayers’ interests at heart. Seeing this from the inside as a member of the School Board has me saying to you. Do not trust us. We do not have the taxpayers’ interest in mind. We have everything and everyone but you presented to us as interested parties. Tis is your town. Tese are your schools. Please come out and protect your rights and your tax dollars.
Jason Guerrette - Litchfield Ye Olde Library
I imagine a lot of folks won’t believe it’s a coincidence
that I’ve been wondering what our Reprehensibles on the Board of Selectmen are doing with Ye Olde Library; a beautiful and historic building. I go past Ye Olde Library numerous times every day and night and at times it appears there is some type of activity there; but it surely isn’t used to its best advantage to the Town and to its full capabilities. Senior citizen sponsored dances and other social events there would be a huge benefit to the community of Hudson around the Town Common. I am an old guy who believes that a classic building
like Ye Olde Library, should have become the first phase of a Senior Citizens Center; promptly after the Rogers Library was open to the public for their use. I mean it as a compliment when I suggest that Ye Olde Library is perfect for Ye Olde Residents of Hudson; because it would then be in the hands of those folks who know how to best care for such a historic building. Just as Ye Olde Residents of Hudson have cared for the families that they started and raised, as well as the community of Hudson they are part of; so to will they care for Ye Olde Library. It’s time for the Reprehensibles on the Board of
Selectmen, to turn off the music and get off the dance floor; then over to their desks to sign over Ye Olde Library to Ye Olde Residents of Hudson for their use. Tat area around the Town Common, where Ye Olde Library stands, in the daytime and especially at night, is absent of any real signs of life in the center of Hudson; other than the nearby small businesses. Around Christmas time is the only real time when it appears there are signs of life in Hudson, around its Town Common. Te parking area around Ye Olde Library and the adjoining school parking area, could be well used for parking for many more events around the Town Common in a joint venture with Ye Olde Residents of Hudson. I will close with, if I have in any way offended any
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of Ye Olde Hudson Residents, it wasn’t intentional; but my opinion on Ye Olde Library becoming the Senior Citizens Center are intentional. Ye Olde Library stands ready to become an
almost instant permanent Senior Citizens Center, with the funds they raised turning it into an immediate sign of life around the Town Common. Don’t pass up an “Elephant in the Room” opportunity.
Jerry Gutekunst – Hudson
Right to Work Should be Stopped Like many of my neighbors, I’m tired of the right-to-
work fight. Despite opposition by Republican and Democratic legislators, right-to-work paralyzed our Legislature for months. But at the end of the day, the only people rooting for right-to-work were right-wing groups like Americans for Prosperity and the National Right-to- Work Committee, who flooded our airwaves and our Statehouse with the lie that Granite Staters want their rights taken away. I don’t want my community, my Legislature, or my state to go through that again. But right-to-work is back this year. Tis isn’t about economics anymore - it’s about
power, pure and simple. Speaker O’Brien doesn’t care that right-to-work is wrong for New Hampshire. He doesn’t care that 41 Republicans in his own caucus have repeatedly told him that they don’t support it. He doesn’t care that his own constituents are tired of this bill.
I do care. Passing right-to-work will hurt workers, local businesses and communities. It will hurt my family. HB 1677 is the same old tired legislation that we saw last year. If this is the best that the Republican leadership has, then they need some new ideas.
Deb Howes - Hudson
More Cool Runnings … Let the Countdown Begin!
Only one week left until the second Annual Cool
Runnings Cardboard Sled Races on Saturday, February 11, at Hills Garrison School! So start gathering up all the cardboard you can find, grab some duct tape (lots of it in some bright colors), get a friend or family member to help, and start building! Tis year’s event is sponsored by Mal’s Pals and Hudson Memorial School’s PTO and is sure to be as much fun as last year! Prizes will be awarded for the Best Teme, Fastest Sled, and Most Creative. Registration begins at 12 p.m. in the back parking lot of Hills Garrison and the races will begin promptly at 2 p.m. Tere will be refreshments available. Mark your calendar so that you don’t miss the fun this year and Tink Snow! But stay tuned to our Website in case we don’t get any - www.malspals.org
. Mal’s Pals is a non-profit group dedicated to building an amphitheater at Benson Park. Mallory Gray was a life-long Hudson student who attended Hills Garrison and Hudson Memorial Schools before passing away in the fall of 2009. She was an avid reader and loved spending time with her family and friends. Although Mallory never was able to visit Benson Park, she heard many stories from her mother and other relatives about their visits and fun as children. Mal also proudly wore a Benson’s Wild Animal Farm charm bracelet that was her mother’s as a child. It is with this memory in mind that Mal’s Pals is working so hard to fulfill this dream. For more information or how to help out, check out our website at www.malspals.org
Sherri L. Lavoie - Hudson Letters to our Editor - continued to page 5
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