6 - March 9, 2012 | Salem Community Patriot More Letters to our Editor continued from page 5
Tony wants to help to make a better Salem and will truly be a leader that our town is looking for as we move forward together. Finally, on March 13, please cast one of your two votes for
Tony McKeon on Election Day. Patricia Corbett – Salem
DeClerq Would Like Your Vote
At this time I would like to ask for your support and vote for another term on the Planning Board. I have been a member of the board for five years now. I first started out as a alternate member for three years. During those years as a alternate I had the opportunity to learn the planning process and gained valuable knowledge and understanding of what a traffic study , drainage plans, blueprint reading and design elements of a project. I encourage anybody that wants to sit on a land use board to first become a alternate so they will learn what the process is all about. Tese are detail plans and projects that require a level of understanding.
Two years ago I was honored by you the voters to become a full-time member. I have worked on projects such as the new Market Basket, Tuscon Kitchen Phase one and two, Ashley Furniture, CVS building on Hampshire Road, Jay Dee’s at the old Willow Tree site, State Line Plaza Phase one and two that houses the new Lowe’s , the newly opened Aldi Market and many mom and pop business. All these projects required a level of experience and knowledge. I encourage everyone to go out and vote on Tuesday, March 13, and please cast a vote for Edward DeClercq for a three year term on the Planning Board.
Edward DeClercq – Salem
Please Support the Collective Bargaining Agreements
On March 13, the residents of Salem will be voting to accept or reject the collective bargaining agreements representing the town’s negotiated contracts for its employees. Tose agreements have been approved and recommended by the Town Manager, Board of Select Persons, and the Budget Committee. It is important to vote to accept the collective bargaining agreements to promote and to continue employee competency, dedication, and positive morale. Te town employees have surrendered many benefits that
will decrease the town budget. Some examples are: changing to a less expensive health insurance carrier, increasing health insurance contributions, reducing the amount of sick time earned, and limiting the amount of vacation time for long term employees. We urge the town’s residents to follow the recommendation to accept the collective bargaining agreements as recommended by the Town Manager, Board of Select Persons, and Budget Committee. Your vote to accept the collective bargaining agreements will reduce the town budget and at the same time, ensure quality and delivery of services.
Michael DiBartolomeo and Dr. Jennie DiBartolomeo – Salem
Frydryck Asks for Your Support My name is Patti Frydryck and I am writing to ask the
citizens of Salem to elect me as Supervisor of the Checklist on March 13. I was appointed to this position last year after long- time Supervisor Janice Habib passed away. Sheila Murray, who has been Supervisor of the Checklist for over three decades, and Melissa Sorcinelli put their trust in me, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve this community in this role in an interim capacity. Now I seek the community’s vote to serve out the remaining
two years of the term. I have a long history of community service, including
serving on the PTA at Fisk School and on the Woodbury PTSA, in positions ranging from member to volunteer coordinator and finally President. With my children now in high school and college, I have the time and desire to continue my civic duty in this capacity. Te function of the Supervisor of the Checklist is to make
sure that every resident of Salem has an orderly and pleasant voting experience. It will be my job to keep the records accurate and up to date according to the laws of NH. I have
been trained on the state’s computerized voter registration system and election laws. I worked with the team of supervisors to prepare for the January primary and deliberative sessions. I’ve not only helped register many new voters, but have removed the records of residents who have moved from Salem and who have recently passed away. Experience will be of utmost importance this year as it
is a presidential election year, which typically draws many more voters to the polls, including new voters who may need additional assistance with the voting process. I have experienced the additional traffic that came along with the recent presidential primary and I am well prepared for the upcoming state primary and the heavy turnout expected in November. In summary, I bring to this position the benefit of training and experience, coupled with a long history of serving the residents of Salem in other roles. I humbly ask for your vote to continue serving as Supervisor of the Checklist. I look forward to seeing many of you at the polls on Tuesday, March 13.
Patti Frydryck - Salem Do it for the Kids: Vote “Yes” on
Articles 2 Trough 10 As summer ends and the seasons turn we all know it is time for the annual rite of passage for kids everywhere…back to school. While there may be a mixture of excitement and/or dread depending on the child, last August at the North Salem Back to School Picnic, it was nothing but excitement. As the children and families arrived there was a buzz in the air. Tis year it wasn’t about the hot dogs, the DJ or who their new teacher was, it was all about their new school. As students lined up to take their first look at the newly renovated North Salem Elementary School, there were squeals of delight and excitement as they walked through the front doors. Te entry way was bright and welcoming and secure. Now that everyone entering building would be seen by our front office staff. Every classroom looked and smelled new. Te floors, ceilings and walls freshly painted and new sprinklers were in place for fire safety. Te new gymnasiums took their breath away. One of the biggest questions of the day was when the kids saw the new Art/Music room, does this means that the teachers won’t have to bring their carts to our classroom anymore? Te pride the students, teachers, staff and parents had on that day has not diminished, but continues to have a positive and lasting impact on all.
I am a proud parent of two North Salem students and
they love their new school. I will be honest in saying that I worked hard for the first vote to renovate the school because it was something I felt important for my kids. After seeing the results of the renovations and the positive impact it has on our North Salem community, I am working hard again because every student in Salem should have the opportunity to attend a school that is safe, with space to learn and grow and to experience the pride in their school that my children have in their school. Please vote “yes” on School Articles 2 through 10 on March 13.
Robyn Glickel - Salem
Join Me in Voting for Declerq Residents of Salem, I ask you to join me by casting a
vote for Ed Declercq for Planning Board on March 13. Ed has served on this board as both an alternate and a full time member.
I’m supporting Mr. Declercq for Planning Board because he has demonstrated good judgment and used common sense before voting on matters before the board. He has never shied away from asking the tuff questions and always treats the applicants with respect and fairness. Please on March 13 cast your vote for Ed Declercq for Planning Board.
Jeff Hatch – Salem Current Enrollments and
Educational Adequacy Drive Phase 2 Renovations
We’ve been hearing it for months – enrollments have been declining recently. But this has happened in the past, and enrollments in Salem have always increased again. Case in point: Haigh School was closed in the 1980s for one year. When it reopened as an elementary school in 1987, there were
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about 1,440 elementary students in the district. By 1993, five years later, there were 1,770 students, and classroom additions were needed. Tirty-year enrollment figures and the local real estate climate strongly suggest that our current numbers will climb. Even today, elementary enrollments consist of several hundred more students than the 1,440 that prompted the reopening of Haigh in 1987. Enrollments will increase, and as they cycle, elementary
renovations will continue to be critical to house students adequately without class sizes becoming undesirably large and small group instruction further expanding in hallways and closets. Perhaps the most important thing to consider is the fact that Phase 1 and 2 of the elementary renovations are not being driven by increasing enrollments, but rather by the need to accommodate Kindergarten and adequately serve special needs, special education, and small group instructional requirements. Tere are currently over 1,000 special education students in Salem, and right now half of them are being educated in hallways, closets, stairwells, and portable classrooms that will continue to cost us $40,000 per year in lease costs until we add permanent space. Enrollments in different New Hampshire communities have declined recently, but many state statistics support the need for renovation and planning for enrollment increases. First, NH has an increasing number of younger people not yet married or in the child-rearing stage of their life. Second, even though enrollment in many school districts is currently down, these districts are still overcrowded. Tird, there are about 400 portable classrooms around the state, which indicates there is not enough space in permanent buildings. In some districts, enrollment continues to increase. Bedford gained 1,680 students over the past 10 years, and Windham increased by 1,085. Both districts implemented recent school renovations. Te conclusions? Facilities are still overcrowded, and renovated schools attract younger families and build enrollments. We already know that more families have been choosing Windham over Salem.
Te message of Salem’s naysayers is always the same: “Vote
No,” and support what is not on the ballot. But voting “No” on Phase 2 for the sake of it, or because someone suggested closing Haigh School, or because you’re hoping for some kind of different plan, keeps our town from moving forward. Realtors in Salem are telling us that young families are beginning to buy the homes that are turning over, and that the market is starting to turn around. It has also been circulated that Rockingham Park may be developed as residential units if expanded gambling doesn’t get approved. If that happens, we will be faced with more overcrowding, bigger class sizes, redistricting, and much larger numbers of kids being educated in hallways and closets if renovations do not occur. Fisk was built in 1958, Haigh in 1955, and Soule in 1962 – they need to be renovated just to accommodate the needs of the current student population, let alone those of additional students when enrollments bounce back. We finally have a plan. Renovations are inevitable and will enable our community to grow. If we plan for growth and vitality, we will get it. If we plan for deterioration, we will achieve it. Vote “Yes” for Phase 2 of the elementary facility renovations – it’s a good plan. Let’s give Salem a fighting chance.
Joe Hatch - Salem
Do Your Civic Duty and Vote on Tuesday
Voters, you live in a great country, state, and community.
If you watch the news, you will see how people live elsewhere. Many struggle for rights we take for granted. Tey want a say in what happens and they are willing to die for that right. We used to be that way but now are not even willing to take half an hour to vote. In the last election, it took around 1,400 to 1,700 votes to get something. I am told we have over 15,000 registered voters. Tere are excuses for apathy but not good ones. Please vote! One issue? A year ago, a bond was proposed for roads and bridges. It was barely defeated (63% in favor to 37% opposed – needed 67%) because voices declared bonding roads was not a good idea. Ten concerned citizens, at the second deliberative session, amended an article by $2.4 million (their right) and a majority voted in favor. Now you can vote for SB2 (still torn) and prevent that from happening again. No more second session, no more voice. I did not support the motion but I respected the system. Te bond would have spread this out over years (We lost State help too!). Oh, by the way, new rules only require 60 percent to pass a bond; a risk? Tirty-five hundred people are not really better than two hundred; still a problem. Another issue, contracts! For years, voices wanted contracts
restructured and concessions made. When this didn’t happen, voices said, “Vote down contracts!” Te voices were heard, for years. Cost of living up, health care costs up, paychecks down! Fair … no! Economical … sure! Now, after concessions, increased health care shares, more hours, fewer sick days, quarter million dollar savings, and much more, the voices still say, No! Vote down the town contracts-lose $250,000! Vote down school contracts slap school staff in the face again! Many issues! Arrogant voices are telling you how to vote! You are smarter than that; you don’t need direction! Te contracts may be the best deal you have been offered in years. Now what is the point? Te point is caring and positive
involvement. Observations: Parents who smoke are more likely to have children who smoke. Parents who drink heavily are more likely to have children who have drinking problems. Parent who hated school will pass that on. Parents who don’t read are not likely to encourage this habit. Tere are exceptions but not many. Tis also applies to voting. I learned the obligation and privilege from my parents and passed it on. We take care of the elderly; they took care of us and built this town. We take care of our children because they will take care of us. We take care of the needy because we might be them some day. We must also take care of everyone else because that is what we must do when we run for office. All citizens whether they voted or not! Please vote!
Paul G. Huard - Salem
You Can Make the Difference for our Schools on March 13
On March 13, we will have an opportunity to make a
difference in this community by passing School Article 2, the Phase 2 renovations, and Articles 4-8, staff raises. Making Phase 2 a reality would be a major leap forward for this community, bringing ALL of our elementary schools to adequacy. Tis renovation will build three more schools to last 50 years, meet educational adequacy standards and safety code, enable small group instruction and special education classes to leave the hallways and closets, move PE classes and recreational basketball from the cafeteria to appropriate gym space, and most importantly, create equal educational opportunity for all of our elementary school students. Approving the very modest staff raises is also imperative in bringing our staff closer to equity with surrounding districts after not receiving raises for three and four years, especially since cost-of-living increases have far outdistanced their salaries. Passing these modest increases will go a long way toward building morale and promoting a positive learning environment. Approving them will also enable our schools to continue to attract and retain the best teachers and staff for our kids, who spend almost as many waking hours at school as they do at home. Tere are a few who continually attempt to distract us from
the real reasons our schools need to be renovated. But casting doubt on the facility master plan or just voting “no” is not a plan. It will only hinder our community’s progress. Voting
down Phase 2 will not result in a 5-school plan because there are no plans to close Haigh. Enrollments simply don’t warrant it, and the primary driver behind the elementary renovations is providing adequate educational spaces. And voting down Phase 2 will not bring the high school renovations to the ballot any earlier. It’s time for us all to come together to do what’s right. Following our plan, and approving Phase 2, is the fastest, smartest, least expensive way to get all of our schools renovated. Te plan is already working, with three elementary schools completed on time and within budget. Tese schools are projected to last 50 years. By approving Phase 2 now, we could save as much as $6 million on construction and interest costs over the 20-year bond period. Rates are at an all-time low of about 3.5 percent as compared to more than 5 percent only a couple of years ago. Construction costs have already started increasing since Phase 1 construction was implemented, and all signs point to their continued increase. Delaying Phase 2 doesn’t make sense. It would only serve to increase costs of this and future renovations and delay needed improvements to the remaining schools. Now is the time to pass Phase 2 and our other school warrant articles. Tere are a few more days left before voting day, so please take this opportunity to do everything you can to help this community take an important step forward. We have the positive momentum to make a difference and a successful track record. Believe it, vote for it, and get as many other people as you can to vote for it. Tat’s the power of community. Please tell everyone you know: Vote “yes” to our schools on
March 13! Sherry Kilgus-Kramer - Salem
Te Other Side of Curbside Pick-Up
I am writing in response to the misinformation from the anti-curbside campaign. Te Solid Waste committee has tried to give the residents of Salem the information they need to make an educated decision. We have studied the issues of Solid waste disposal for over two years. Mr. Leccese labels himself as a concerned citizen; he is also a concerned businessman. Why has he not advertised his wealth of experience in the trash industry? Te facts are:
1. Te Solid Waste Committee never made a $100,000 error. Our initial numbers were based on the 2011 operating budget, the only numbers the committee had at the time. When the proposed 2012 budget came out, the line item for solid waste disposal was reduced $100,000 (C&D was removed from the budget). Once the budget went through the process and the committee was made aware, we did the right thing and made the voters aware of this. We could have left things alone since our original figures were correct and representative of our plan compared to the 2011 budget.
2. We have stated that the residents of Salem spend over $2.2 million for solid waste disposal, which includes the operation of the transfer station ($1.1 million) and the cost that residents spend for private curbside pickup ($300/year multiplied by 4,000 residents)
3. If everything is recycled at the transfer station, we would only be charged $27/ton for all the solid waste that leaves the transfer station. Again, if this were true, we would have a sweetheart deal and we would not be having this debate about “Curbside.”
4. Opponents believe we have miscalculated the amount of trash generated in town. Tere are a small percentage of residents who have their trash removed from town without ever going through the transfer station and we have accounted for this.
5. We agree with their statement that the recycling rate of Salem residents is 18.3 percent. It is also true that recycling rate of the residents who bring their trash directly to the transfer station is only 12 percent.
6. Opponents state that our numbers will generate a $216,000 short fall since we stated that the average $275,000 home in Salem will only see a $33/year tax increase for our “Curbside” plan. Te $0.12/$1,000 assessed value will be assessed to the entire tax base and this will generate the revenue needed to provide curbside service.
7. Most residents will not need an additional trash tote. Te average household generates approximately one ton of solid waste per year and our numbers in Salem are closely represented in those industry averages. Tat equates to about 40 pounds of trash per week. We will be providing one 96-gallon tote to all eligible households which will contain this amount with ease.
8. Opponents claim the intention of the target marketing is to fine residents and charge additional fees. If this was the intention of the committee, then we would not change anything. Te town currently has a mandatory recycling ordinance. If we don’t have a method of monitoring, we can’t continually improve the system
9. Mr. Leccese has claimed he has been harassed, bullied, spied on, and his character defamed. We have continually chosen the high road and only promoted the facts. Te committee is all volunteers trying serving Salem. We have continually been called liars by Mr. Leccese in his advertisements. He only tries to discredit the committee and the information presented.
Te committee has recommended the “Curbside” plan as the best plan overall for the residents of Salem. From day one, the committee was in agreement, let the voters decide.
David Kincman - Salem Tea Party (Mis)doings in Concord
A few bullet points re: the conservative Tea Party madness engulfing Concord since the 2010 elections. November 6 can’t come soon enough. Te widespread New Hampshire GOP effort to prevent college students from exercising their voting rights next election is in full swing, representing just another example of the so-called “party of small government” doing its level best to impact our lives negatively. House speaker William O’Brien’s modus operandi to halt student voting is to install new rules, including making picture college Ids as well as paying out- of-state tuition grounds for refusal. Te fact that O’Brien actually admitted during one of his kowtowing Tea Party group meetings that the reason for this obviously-unconstitutional legislation was that college students were “foolish” and “voting as a liberal ... that’s what ‘kids’ do” exposes the incredible hypocrisy behind this Republican end-around. And similar GOP attempts to restrict college student voting have already been installed in other states like Wisconsin and Maine. • CACR 6 - Tis proposed amendment, if enacted, will alter our state constitution, requiring a three-fifth supermajority legislators’ vote to raise taxes, fees and to borrow money. Under the guise of “fiscal conservatism” this would freeze the New Hampshire state budget, causing the collapse of many public programs, safety nets and infrastructure. Picture paying even more in college tuition than you do now, and watching over a period of years the decay and dissolution of local streets, roads and highways (already apparent and widespread throughout the Granite State over the past year) due to the drying-up of highway department dollars, while bearing ever-more spiraling health insurance premiums. Arizona was recently downgraded by Moody’s Investors Service for enacting similar legislation, in their case requiring a two-third supermajority to raise taxes/fees. • Te present New Hampshire budget of $10.3 billion,
continued to page 7 - Letters to our Editor
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