Hudson - Litchfield News | April 13, 2012 - 5
More Letters to our Editor continued from page 4
before securing the trash in the dumper. Hopefully, the new recycle system will keep trash in its correct place. Let’s work together to make our roadways appealing to perspective visitors and new homeowners. Lastly, I would like to say “thank you” to my neighbors down the road; they spend time each year to retrieve bags, and bags of trash.
Patty Kittredge, Hudson Ulery’s Flawed Logic and Facts
Jordan Ulery’s column “Hard Decisions for Voter Equality” listed the arguments that the New Hampshire House Republicans are using to try to justify their recent redistricting plan, which was pushed through by Speaker O’Brien and his supporters. I do not have space here to debunk all of the many flaws in Ulery’s column, so I will focus on just two. First is the issue of fairness. Ulery attempts to argue that both Hudson and Pelham are better off under the O’Brien plan, since both towns now have 11 representatives instead of the seven and four they would have had under other plans. Elementary school arithmetic shows that if Hudson had 11 and Pelham had 11 that would be 22, not 11. Although the proposed district has 11 Representatives overall, they must each spread their time and efforts over two towns, so that each town will have only part of a given Representative’s attention. Since each Representative can more easily keep track of issues in his or her place of residence, the other town in the district starts at a disadvantage. Putting Pelham and Hudson together in a district also creates a big hurdle for Pelham, since Hudson has twice as many residents as Pelham. Even if Pelham votes almost unanimously for its residents, Hudson is likely to overwhelm them by supporting the people it knows best.
Te biggest flaw in the O’Brien plan is Ulery’s claim that “the Federal
Government has defined [“reasonable deviation”] at ±5 percent … Tere is an inherent conflict between the Federal Constitution … and the New Hampshire Constitution.” Mr. Ulery might have done better to look a little deeper into this issue before making this claim. A few facts: • Te US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) has treated a 5 percent deviation as a “safe harbor,” that is, a deviation of that or less will probably pass muster.
• However, the court has never said that this is an absolute cap. In fact, SCOTUS has several times approved plans that went outside this range. Indeed, they even approved one plan that had an overall range of 89 percent (!).
• Tis standard was devised for congressional districts, not state legislative districts, which use an easier standard.
• Te main exception to the 5 percent standard in legislative plans is “rational state policy,” which includes such things as preserving “communities of interest” (like different towns), and would most likely include a state constitution that requires that individual localities get as many dedicated Representatives as possible. Although we cannot be absolutely certain how a federal court might
rule on a plan that separated Hudson and Pelham, there is a good chance that such a plan would be acceptable. At the very least, the 5 percent limit is not the clear limit that Rep. Ulery claims, but a “red herring” put out by O’Brien and his supporters to try to paper over the fact that their plan clearly violates the New Hampshire Constitution.
John Knowles, Hudson
Here We Go Again, Spend, Spend, and Spend Some More
It amazes me to think that we are back to the old argument of building a new school or taking the time and less the funds that it would cost to build a new school, and repair the existing Griffin Memorial School. It seems to me that our newly appointed Budget Committee and School Board winners are going to make us all losers. I wonder what it’s going to take for this town to just say no, and stand firm in that stance. Can we as a town really seriously say that we can afford to be taxed any more then we are? Well I don’t know about some of you, but I know that my household can’t.
I’m not a very politically involved
person, at least not in the past, but as I’m reaching my 60s, I am realizing the danger that is existing in our town, state, and country. Te danger of over spending and owing horrific debt that will be passed onto our children and grandchildren, with no way out. I wonder if this town will even survive from bankruptcy. Are we paying attention? Are we paying attention to the trouble all across the country? How many of my fellow Litchfield neighbors can honestly say that they do not care that their taxes will be going up to meet the “new spending” that is sure
to be coming? How many can say that they can afford to pay more on their taxes, even though their homes are no longer worth what they were four years or even five years ago? We can’t even sell our homes at this point, and expect to get “what we know that they are worth” because the housing market is so bad. Hey look, if you folks think that I’m just making noise, and you have
no problem with adding more of a burden on your shoulders, then have at it, but did you know that the Litchfield population is down from years earlier? Did you know that the school’s enrollments are down by I think I’ve heard, about 150 or so? We need a new school, really? I am taking a stand. I do not support this move, if the new budget committee member feels that we should have a new school, maybe she should use her own money … and then, as one person mentioned in the thumbs up/down column, then the school can bear her name. Tat’s my take on this, and my voice, and I hope others in this town will pay attention to what is going on in the local politics, and the deceptions and the decisions on how to spend your money, because you’ll have no one else to blame if the taxes keep going up and your income keeps getting smaller.
Jo-Ann Catman, Litchfield
Hudson School Board Chair Responds to Tumbs Comment
Tis letter is in response to the recent Tumbs Down column. My biggest complaint is how a person can attack me personally and not look me in the eye. Te people of Hudson have sent me to the School Board to represent them. I have been elected twice, the first time I won with over 300 votes, the second time I won by 512 votes and received the most votes in the Town-wide elections. Te column suggests the School Board didn’t do the right thing. Until the passing of HB 1170, which was after the recent election, we were not allowed to put the tax increase on the warrant article. Recently somebody wrote a thumbs down about the School Board and the Board of Selectman having late meetings. We the School Board start our meetings at 6:30 so we have time with our children. If you ever want to address the School Board we have public input at every meeting. Te person who said we are all independently wealthy doesn’t know us very well. I know everyone of them personally and none of us are independently wealthy. Every day I get up and go to work running my own construction business and helping my parents run their property business. My wife and I have worked really hard on raising our children to be good citizens. My second job is being on the School Board and serving as Chair. Tis job I take very serious and try my best to do the right thing for the taxpayers and our students. My goal has always been to try to make Hudson a better place to live. I may not be perfect, but I always give 100 percent.
Lee Lavoie, School Board Chair, Hudson
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Many New Hampshire residents have long wanted to see an estimated tax impact statement included with warrant articles. However, governing bodies, i.e., towns and school districts, have not had the authority to include such a statement within a warrant article. Tat will change on May 21, 2012. Both the House and the Senate have passed HB 1170 and the Governor has signed this bill into law. Tis bill allows voters to vote on a warrant article that would allow an estimated tax impact included on future warrant articles. If voters approve the inclusion of such a statement, warrant articles will be able to contain that information.
to require that the annual budget and all special warrant articles having a tax impact, as determined by the governing body, shall contain a notation stating the estimated tax impact of the article. Te determination of the estimated tax impact shall be subject to approval by the governing body.”
Te bill states, “Any town may vote 2 inches by 1 column
Lynne and Russ Ober, State Representatives, Hudson
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VIOLIN NEW! New Hampshire Exports Holding Strong 882.8940
submitted by Department of Resources and Economic Development
Exports of New Hampshire products fared well in 2011, totaling nearly $4.3 billion despite challenging economic conditions in some parts of the globe, according to a report from the state’s Office of International Commerce (OIC). The 2011 statistics show that exports were
down 1.69 percent from a year ago, but, said Tina Kasim, program manager for the OIC at the Department of Resources and Economic Development, 2010 was a record year for New Hampshire companies that sell their products overseas.
“Considering tough economic situations in
many parts of the world, we were anticipating a dip in the 2011 numbers,” she said. “The good news is that New Hampshire companies are doing well with their exports and the drop was less than we anticipated.” New Hampshire goods sent overseas in 2011 totaled $4,293,384,673. In 2010, the record year, exports totaled $4,367,331,611, which was up more than 42 percent in 2009. Last year, New Hampshire’s largest trading partner was Mexico, where over $943 million worth of goods was sent. Canada was second, with over $648 million shipped and China was third, with $338 million shipped. Rounding out
the top 10 countries were Germany, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, the Republic of Korea, Japan and France. In the first month of 2012, Kasim said, Canada is New Hampshire’s leading trading partner. The top five commodities exported from the
Granite State are: Industrial machinery, including computers; electronics machinery, for sound and television equipment; medical devices; plastics and vehicle parts. Aerospace and aircraft parts are ninth. To further help promote the state’s aerospace
technologies, the OIC has secured a joint “Best of New England” booth with Maine and Vermont for the Farnborough Air Show in England this July, which is the world’s largest exhibition of aerospace, defense, space and security technologies. There is space available for New Hampshire businesses that deal with this sector. Trade missions are made available through the Small Business Administration’s State Export and Trade Promotion grant. Two other trade missions are planned this year; to the Montreal Aerospace Cluster in September and an effort is underway to coordinate a mission to China later this year.
New Hampshire companies interested in participating in the trade missions should call Kasim at 271-8444.
Highway Department to Replace Front End Loader
by Doug Robinson At the recommendation of the Road Agent,
Kevin Burns, the Town of Hudson has authorized the purchase a new front end loader “at the net bid price of $167,900” from Milton Caterpillar. Bids were also received from Chadwick-BaRoss, Inc., and Beauregard Equipment.
The Highway Department has $44,000 appropriation approved in the FY 2013 budget, which will be used for the first installment of a five-year lease purchase for the replacement of the front-end loader. The town’s purchase will be $8,208 under budget.
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