PAGE4LONDONDERRY TIMES ◆ Editorial Window of Opportunity
By the time you read this, you may be thinking you’ve earned a break from politics. Think again.
Because no sooner do the results of the first-in-the-nation presidential primary go down in the history books than the political campaigning for town and school seats begins in earnest.
Jan. 25 opens the filing period - it ends Feb. 3. And if you somehow passed through the months of presi- dential campaigning without getting drawn in, you owe it to yourself not to let your town elections pass you by.
Democracy, like parenthood,
doesn’t offer vacations. You may be tired, work may be a mental drain and family needs may be consuming, but you don’t get a break. The March election will be here before we know it.
While the race for Town Coun- cilor or Selectman or School Board member may not have an impact on the national debt or universal health- care, it weighs heavily on our quality of life and the dwindling buying power of the middle class. And in terms of how it will affect your home and your wallet, local elections have far more impact than what happens nationally.
If incumbents file for reelection, go see them in action or check out
the meetings on cable access TV. Do you like what you see? Or do you find yourself talking back to the TV screen, or muttering under your breath at the meeting? If so, consider a run for office yourself - or have a persuasive talk with a friend who might take on the challenge. Perhaps the most important eval- uation is whether your local elected officials are working for the better- ment of all, or have personal agendas that rule their actions. By virtue of living in New Hamp-
shire, we had an opportunity this week to influence the course of the nation, and indeed, the world, in the next four years. We hope you made the most of it. Now it’s time to get local, and demand the best candidates for a better tomorrow. Could that be you? In a country founded on a tradi- tion of citizen participation, in a state where the voice of the individ- ual is honored, and in towns that are still small enough to hear the needs of individual citizens, elected office is a possibility for anyone who cares to spend the time and make the effort.
Democracy is calling yet again.
We urge you to listen and replace words with action, rather than berate from the sidelines. Take a chance and throw your hat into the proverbial ring.
Thanks from Lions
To the editor: The Londonderry Lions Club would like to thank the generous people of the Londonderry area who sup- portedour annual Christmas Tree sale project. We sold our trees, and in many cases to people who come back year after year. Every dollar of the proceeds from the sale goes to Lions charities, which include:
• Sight and hearing: local eye exams and glass- es for those less fortu- nate.
• Turkeys and food
programs at Thanksgiving and Christmas. • Support for “Warm Homes” heating program. • Local food pantry and soup kitchens.
• Scholarships for Lon-
donderry students. • LAFA (Little league teams sponsorship.} • Leach Library and various youth programs at Londonderry High School.
The Lions Club is ex-
tremely grateful to the people of Londonderry for helping us help others. Ray Dion Londonderry Lions Club President ––––––––––––––––
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To the editor: The upcoming Town Meeting will be no differ- ent than previous years. The Budget Committee and School Board and the Town Councilors can’t seem to find the back- bone to simply tell the various unions that this year there can be no increase in wages and/or benefits.
These contracts are not rights but are negoti- ated. This and other towns consider an in- crease in the budgets
JANUARY 12, 2012 Letters
over the previous year as a success, some agreeing to a 1 percent increase the first year, then 2 per- cent the second year and 1.5 percent the third year. Why do I say this
year’s Town/School vot- ing will be no different? These boards know by placing these contracts on the ballot that the majority of individuals who show up to vote on them are the very people who stand to benefit from their passage. We have 12 hours in which to take the 5 min- utes to vote, and with the exception of the afore- mentioned individuals, we don’t show up. These expenditures are forever. How can one not be aware of the impending disaster in attempting to fund these retirements as well? The majority of the taxpayers are facing working to 70 years old, but not those still receiv- ing pay increases. The military of this country who certainly put their lives on the line daily and face forced separation from their families will receive a generous 1.6 percent for this (And their salary is far less than town employees). The State determined that the outcome of a re- cent tragic fire could not have been different with more personnel. This did not stop those who have, prior to this tragedy, attempted to add to their roster by convincing Town Councilors to place this in the budget. The use of such emotional issues to increase staff is just wrong. I know the Nation- al Fire Fighters Manual calls for this or that. I did not read anything that addressed whether smoke detectors were present and/or working. I recently contacted one of the Town Coun-
cilors and asked if the overnight shift of the fire department was required to be awake all night, as is the case in most every other business, especially the military. He has yet to call me back. Overtime seems to be something we cannot get a handle on. I was respon- sible for budget and pro- ductivity in my years in the workforce. Let me provide a little help here. Weather forecasting is pretty good these days. How about when a storm is forecasted to hit at say 11 p.m. Friday, we not schedule the plow drivers until just before that, rather than have them on all day Friday and pay the dreaded OT. One more thing that would enhance the image of this Department in my eyes is not to have two of them riding around in a truck with apparently no real goal in mind. Use one to open the dump a cou- ple of times during the week.
Joe Maggio Londonderry
————————— Right to Work
To the editor: I hope your readers understand that the Right to Work law helps big business more than the man who labors. For the most part the law allows business to pay whatever it pleases. Who will work for the low- est wages?
It is a nice title for a bill in our legislature and it has been put forward by our Republican folks in Concord. Betsy McKinney says, give her a call. Her number: 432-5232. Thank you. Andy Mack Sr. Londonderry
Londonderry Times welcomes letters of up to 500 words on topics of local interest, and prints as many letters as possible. Please e-mail your letters to the Londonderry Times at firstname.lastname@example.org
. All letters must include the writer’s name, address and phone number for verification if needed; name and town of residence will be printed. Londonderry Times reserves the right to reject or edit letters for content and length, and anonymous letters will not be printed.
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