4 - March 9, 2012 | Pelham - Windham News
The Word Around Town... Letters to our Editor
Vote “No” on Canobie Lake Watershed Article 4, Citizens Petition 3
Last week a slogan was suggested, “if you don’t know, vote
no” on the many zoning issues. Tat fits for the Canobie Lake Watershed. On this one, even when you do know, vote “no.” Of course water should be protected, there are protections
around the lake, but this goes too far. Do you know how big an area this covers? Tis affects
more than 400 properties. Squire Armor and the roads off of it, Cristy, and Settler’s Ridge Roads are included. Route 93 separates those roads from Canobie Lake, and must have its own water mitigation plan. Look at the map http://www.windhamnewhampshire. com/2012TownMeeting/CanobieWatershed.pdf. Do you know the added costs? Modifications to your property are restricted, and to give one example “must include an erosion and sedimentation control plan prepared by an engineer licensed in the State of New Hampshire or a qualified professional familiar with erosion control measures and procedures and acceptable to the
Town Engineer.” (616.6.2 Zoning Ordinances and Land Use Regulations) Erosion control plans will add thousands to your addition. Tere’s more to the Ordinance, more restrictions, time and costs. Te Ordinance, section 616, can be read at: http://www.windhamnewhampshire.com/updated/policies/
Zoning/ZoningOrdinance2011.pdf. Vote “no” on Article 4, Citizens Petition 3 so next year a modified version can be submitted instead.
H. Bingham - Windham
Article 6 is Above and Beyond What is Needed
I urge all Windham voters to vote “no” on School District Michael Joanis for Windham School Board
Article 6, a.k.a. the school budget. As many already know, the budget as prepared by our School Board was amended at the deliberative session by a teacher-affiliated faction to add $550,000 for teacher raises. Te clear intent was to circumvent ongoing contract negotiations between the school district and the teacher’s union. Our Superintendent has stated that the default budget, which would take effect if Article 6 as amended does not pass, is sufficient to meet the school district’s needs. Accordingly, our School Board voted unanimously to recommend “against” adopting the budget with the amendment. Windham wants excellent public schools, which requires excellent teachers. But the teachers can either negotiate their contract or legislate their contract; they cannot adopt a “best of both worlds” approach. It’s bad policy now and sets an even worse potential precedent in the future. Vote “no” on School District Article 6.
• My motivation to run for School Board comes directly from my children’s education, pride in the town, and property tax. I am active in the community. My three daughters are in the school system. I am dedicated to ensuring an exceptional education for our students while managing cost.
• My experience includes WHS Building and
Strategic Planning committees. I will use that experience and my firsthand knowledge of the high school construction project to inform and improve the process if voters decide to move forward with a second major school construction project.
Travis Blais – Windham
• I am a licensed professional engineer with experience working with architects, engineers, and contractors. I am experienced in finding creative solutions to complex problems and implementing projects in the most cost effective way possible. I know how to conduct detailed analysis in order to make informed decisions.
• I support Articles: 2, 3, 4 and 5.
• I do not support Article 6 as ammended at deliberative session.
Please Vote “Yes” on Pelham School Warrant Article 8
On Tuesday, March 13, the people
of Pelham will be voting on the School Warrant Articles. If passed, Article 8 appropriates $31,262 for only the 113 Pelham children currently attending St. Patrick’s School. Tis money not only would fund a school nurse for St. Patrick’s School, but also funds the materials needed for the standardized state-mandated testing for these Pelham children. None of the funds provided by the town will be used for religious education purposes. In addition, it would not only be
Protect Canobie Lake School District Article 5 Reviewed
To summarize the reasons set forth by the withdrawal study committee as to why they voted 7-0 to recommend that Windham withdraw from SAU 28 and become an autonomous unit, I list here positive bullet points in support of withdrawal. • Local control over the budget for Administration- the administrative budget will appear in the operating budget and not in a budget decided upon in October that can never be changed by the voters.
• Local focus by the Superintendent and staff upon a single district.
• Administration will no longer be dealing with differences in curriculum in the two towns.
• No other combined districts are comprised of two high schools.
• Windham owns and maintains the present SAU building. • Te formula, which determines the percentage of financial contribution toward a joint SAU is shifting toward Pelham’s benefit. Now that all four grades are housed at WHS and no longer any students are in Salem, Windham’s population numbers have increased. Te other figure in the formula is the valuation of property and Windham’s property values are considerably higher than Pelham’s. Presently, Windham’s share of the cost to operate the SAU is
approximately 55 percent to Pelham’s 45 percent. Tere is a lagging year in the formula so that next year the
percentages will move closer to 60 percent for Windham to 40 percent for Pelham. If more Pelham students decide to attend private high schools the numbers will shift further. On the warrant, this question is number 5. I plan to vote
yes. Te question needs a vote of 60 percent to pass. Barbara Coish - Windham
Risks to Windham if it Does Not Have A WFH Ordinance
Please vote YES on Citizen Petition 3, on the Zoning ballot.
This petition extends the
Cobbetts Pond Watershed Protection Ordinance to include Canobie Lake and its watershed.
It is working for Cobbetts Pond. Let's extend it to Canobie Lake.
For more information, please visit our website at www.canobielake.org
This ordinance is recommended by: NH Lakes Association
NH Department of Environmental Services Salem Public Works Department Windham Planning Board 7-0
Paid for by the Canobie Lake Protective Association Treasurer: Betty Dunn, 30 Woodvue Road, Windham NH
Yet again, the Windham Planning Board has worked diligently to compose a Workforce Housing Ordinance which will meet the Town’s legal obligations to allow greater opportunity for moderate priced housing to be built. If we do not pass this ordinance, developers can go to the courts to obtain permission to build, without being compelled to comply with Windham’s regulations, and with no say by abutters, or concerned citizens. Without this ordinance, even the Planning Board, ZBA, and other Town officials could be denied an opportunity to participate. Without this ordinance, projects utilizing the workforce housing statute could be built with many full price housing units crammed on a parcel barely big enough for one home (by our current zoning), with just a token few actual workforce units.
Te ordinance being put forward by the Planning Board has
been carefully crafted; through a lot of research into what other Towns have done, through consultation with legal advisors, and always keeping in mind the spirit and intent of our existing zoning ordinances. Tis ordinance provides serious developers with opportunities to build quality housing but does not allow rampant overbuilding which would negatively impact our housing values. Interestingly enough, the type of housing actually required
by statute and specified in the proposed ordinance, is not low cost, “affordable” housing for those on welfare, or unemployed, or working for wages below the poverty line. Instead, it is housing for families who can qualify for a mortgage to buy a house for $260,000, but whose income is not above the median. In other words, it is housing for our children when they are starting out, our teachers and other public employees, business owners/entrepreneurs who (hopefully!) will start businesses in Town. Te Planning Board needs this ordinance to have a say in what is built in Town, where it is built, to listen to citizens’ testimony, and impose appropriate conditions on construction. We urge you to vote “yes” on Amendment 10 of the proposed Zoning Amendments.
Margaret Crisler – Windham
Bob Skinner Cares About Our Town, Not Politics
I have known Bob Skinner since the early 1980s. I can attest to the fact that he is a hard-working, competent Town Treasurer who deserves an earned re-election. Bob’s agenda is not political, as is his opponent’s. He simply performs his job well, and deserves another term. Please vote for Robert Skinner for Windham Town
Treasurer on March 13. Anthony R. DiFruscia – Windham
cost effective to approve Article 8; but it would also bring a substantial savings to taxpayers vs. the much higher cost of educating these113 Pelham students, if they were enrolled in our public schools. For example, there would be a need to purchase more books, and we would likely need to hire four to five additional teachers. Depending on a teacher’s experience and education, the estimated salary, with benefits, for these newly hired teachers would be approximately $60,000 a year. Keep in mind, that the cost of educating a child in the public school system is estimated to be $6,000 per child, per year. Tank you for your consideration, and we urge all residents
of Pelham to come together Tuesday, March 13, and join us by voting yes on School Warrant Article 8; to insure and guarantee that all of the113 Pelham children attending St. Patrick’s School are treated equally and fairly.
Don and Diane Brunelle - Pelham
Please Support Pelham High School
In 2010, a total of 2,781 Pelham voters signed up for a big commitment. By voting for the new high school on new land, the “yes” voters in Pelham agreed to take on a 25-year long tax increase that would have cost the average homeowner $637 in 2012. Well, it’s 2012 now, and we never got the school, and we never had to commit to paying for that bond. On this year’s warrant, there are three articles that can significantly improve Pelham High School. Te total cost for articles 4, 5, and 6 is $1.4 million. Te tax impact of those articles is less than $300 for the median home in Pelham. Te tax impact for the fire station is about the same. Together, the requested improvements at PHS and the construction of the new fire station will be less than the commitment we made in 2010. We can accomplish all of this without taking on debt, with a simple one-year commitment. I’m asking everyone to please vote for articles 4, 5, and 6
on this year’s school warrant. I’m asking everyone to get out and vote, and make a one year commitment, not a 25-year commitment, in support of Pelham High School. It’s less sacrifice than we signed up for in 2010, and it will have a real, tangible impact on our town. Let’s make the commitment, and improve our schools and
our town. Tis is the year. Brian Carton – Pelham
Re-Elect Ross Mcleod and
Roger Hohenberger for Board of Selectmen
Please join me in voting for Ross McLeod and Roger
Hohenberger for Board of Selectmen. During my fist year serving as a Selectman, I have had the honor and privilege to serve with Ross and Roger and am continually impressed with the knowledge and expertise they bring to each issue presented to the Board. Each comes fully prepared to the Selectmen’s meetings. Each reviews all of the information presented and takes into consideration the short and long term effects of every decision, determining what is in the best interest of the Town, how it will affect our infrastructure and how it will impact our Town finances. Fairness and reasonableness are an integral part of their decision-making process. As Selectmen Chair, Ross first elicits input from each of the Selectmen before stating his opinion, the mark of exemplary leadership. Both Ross and Roger have been advocates for the competitive bidding process for Town purchases and contracts and supportive of impact fees which offset capital costs: sound practices for good fiscal management. Having served with Ross and Roger, I know that they put the interest of all Windham residents first and foremost; they have no hidden agenda, their decisions are not politically motivated, they have no stake in any Town project or development and are not beholden to any special interests. Roger, as a member of the Capital Improvements Program (CIP) and Ross, as the Selectmen liaison with the Planning Board, understand the need to manage the Town’s residential and commercial growth while maintaining a level tax rate. Tey have demonstrated that this can be achieved with smart growth and sound fiscal policies: fiscal policies that provide for essential services, for maintaining the Town’s infrastructure, for public safety and for safeguarding our irreplaceable Town resources. Tere is no doubt that re-electing Ross and Roger will continue ensuring that a sharp eye is kept on decision- making and spending processes. Both support a collaborative relationship with our Planning Board, Conservation Committee, Zoning Board of Adjustment and School Board to keep informed on the many complex issues facing our Town. Your vote on March 13th for Ross and Roger will keep the
Town on course, a course of proven and capable leadership needed during these challenging economic times. I welcome the opportunity to continue my service to the
Town with these two experienced, knowledgeable, committed and outstanding Selectmen.
Kathleen DiFruscia – Windham
In Support of Victor Danevich I support Victor Danevich for Pelham Selectman and ask
that you consider supporting him as well on Tuesday March 13. We need stronger leadership in this Town and with all he was able to accomplish during his last two terms, I look forward to hearing from him again.
Jeanee DiRocco - Pelham
Join Me in Supporting Selectman Ed Gleason
In this year’s election for the Pelham Board of Selectman, I will be supporting Ed Gleason. Ed has done a great job chairing the board and is always looking to improve our community. I am impressed with his ability to bring the board together and work toward the goals of the town. Ed is always looking at how decisions today will affect the town and our tax rate years down the road. It is critical that we as a town follow a plan to make capital improvements in a smart and cost- effective way. He has been at the forefront of this planning. Ed Gleason has been an asset to the board and has provided me with helpful information and a platform to communicate with the town about the issues affecting Pelham in the state legislature. As chairman of the board, he has been proactive in communicating the board’s opposition to the state legislature’s redistricting plan. Te current plan leaves Pelham without any guaranteed representation, despite deserving four members based on our population. Ed has made sure all of the officials involved in the process know our opposition to the plan. He has pledged to join me in continuing to fight for adequate representation for Pelham in the legislature. Tis demonstrates his ability to follow all issues affecting Pelham, even those at a state and federal level. Ed Gleason is honest and serves our town with a high level of integrity. He is tireless and devotes an incredible amount of time to this job. I ask you to join me on Tuesday, March 13, in voting to re-elect Ed to the Pelham Board of Selectman.
State Representative Shaun Doherty – Pelham
Re-Elect Robert Skinner for Treasurer
Bob has been Treasurer of Windham since 1994. His
ability over these many years to work with town employees for the benefit of all residents through his record of honesty, selflessness, devotion and commitment is one to be admired. When moving to Windham because of Bob and his family’s love of this Town and State, 32 years ago, the population was approximately 5,000 residents. Over the years the town has grown considerably to approximately 16,000 year round residents. During that time the office of Treasurer increased dramatically in funds and time. Bob has always approached this position with determination in whatever needed to be done and whatever time was necessary to complete his job that’s what he would put in. I have known Bob for 49-plus years and can attest to his forthrightness and his honesty in any endeavor he approaches. Te Town of Windham has benefited by Robert Skinner as Treasurer - please vote with our family in re-electing Robert Skinner, Treasurer.
Clare C. Dowd - Windham
Re-Elect Dunn for School District Moderator
I have served as your School District Moderator since 1993 and I ask for your vote on March 13 so that I can continue to serve you in that role. A School District Moderator has three areas of
responsibility; to run the Annual School District Deliberative meeting, to oversee the annual School District elections, and to appoint committees as directed by the voters. When conducting the annual meeting, my goal is that all
voters understand what is happening and what it is that they can do to affect the outcome. Before the meeting starts, I outline the procedures that will be used. I always state that the voters have the right to ask questions, make amendments, and make motions, including motions to overrule the moderator. I strive to make the meeting efficient, productive and respectful. Te meeting must also be conducted within the state
statutes. I am always aware that if there is a procedural error during the meeting, the subsequent votes could be ruled invalid by state officials or the court.
continued to page 5 - Letters to our Editor
political ad paid for by Michael Joanis, 15 Settlers Ridge Road, Windham, NH 03087
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