Have a comment to make? Want your opposing view heard? The GRA welcomes your opinions!
The Goffstown Residents Association welcomes letters from readers and will print as many of them as space permits. Unsigned letters cannot be used, but names of the writers will be withheld on request.
To have your letter considered for publication, send an email to letters@GoffstownResidentsAssociation.com. Please type "Letter To The GRA" in the subject field, and include your name, hometown and daytime phone number (we won't publish your phone number).
The GRA reserves the right to edit for legal considerations, and to select letters for publication at our discretion.
|HIRING FREEZES AND CUTBACKS NEEDED|
|April 17, 2009
As a concerned citizen of Goffstown, I wish to impress upon our town leaders, our school district and our school committee just how bad the current economy is.
In February, there were nine new residential foreclosures in Goffstown. That number is 30% higher than the statewide average!
In March, the statewide unemployment rate was 5.3%. This is an increase of 20% since just last four months ago. In a recent TIME magazine article, the respected personal financial expert Suzie Orman forecasts that this troubling period will continue until about 2015.
Town and school officials, if the financial prospects for Goffstown are significantly better than general trend, please explain in detail why and how. If you cannot clearly articulate a path out of this mess, please start doing what other communities are implementing: hiring freezes, wage freezes, cutting back, and hunkering down concentrating on the core missions.
On a positive note, I firmly believe Goffstown's schools and town departments do an excellent job performing their core missions and are fully capable of providing these services at less cost.
103 Center Street, Goffstown
|THANK YOU TO GOFFSTOWN VOTERS|
|March 16, 2009
To the Editor:
I would like to personally thank all the residents of Goffstown who voted on Tuesday, March 10. Democracy is served when people learn the issues and participate in the process.
|BILL GORDON, A COMMONSENSE KIND OF GUY|
|March 5, 2009
To the Editor:
Politics is the art of compromise. My stand was and still is that the school budget is on high side - many of the excesses in the budget are above and beyond the stated mission of the schools - plain and simple The $400K compromise I presented and supported is a number I believed the School Board would be able to also support, they did, and it became the number you will be voting on March 10th - please support that number.
|DOUBLING N.H. PROPERTY TAXES|
|December 22, 2008
To the Editor:
According to the Tax Foundation (taxfoundation.org/taxdata) the overall tax burden in NH has increased substantially every 10 years. The “Total State and Local Per Capita Taxes Paid,” according to the website are as follows: 1977 -$650; 1987 - $1,563; 1997 - $2,405; 2007 - $3,612.
|RESIDENT ASKS FOR SPEED LIMIT ORDINANCE|
|December 1, 2008
To the Editor:
At Mondays Board of Selectmens meeting on Monday 11.24.08 I submitted an email request that dead end streets be included in the pending speed limit change ordinance recommended by the Highway Safety Committee from 35mph to 25mph for the following streets, one which is a dead end: Cinnamon Drive,Ginger Drive,Coriander Way,Peppermint Drive,Sage Court,Thyme Drive. It was read into the minutes and discussed and decided that the Highway Safety Committee would look into a new speed limit ordinance that would lower the current speed limit from 35 mph on some or all dead end streets in Goffstown.
|THANKS FROM THE GOFFSTOWN HISTORICAL SOCIETY|
|To the Editor:
The Goffstown Historical Society had a successful turkey dinner the evening of Saturday, Oct. 18, thanks to those who very generously made donations of one kind or another to the Society.
A big thank you to Devriendt Farms, Ace Hardware, Sully’s Superette, Bill and Sandie Peabody, John and Cathy Peltonen, Elizabeth Merrill, Howe’s Pharmacy, Apotheca, Jo-Marie’s, Jacques Flowers, Darlene Coutu and Hannaford’s – all of Goffstown. Thank you, too, to Robbie Grady and members of the Main Street Program.
Thanks also to Greanies and to Woodbury Flowers of Weare, Sam’s Club of Manchester, Wal-Mart of Bedford, and the local Rainbow Girls, including April Hotchkiss, Kendra Hotchkiss, Jordyn Hotchkiss and Brianna Kelly.
And deep appreciation to those members of the Society who worked so hard to make this dinner a success.
Marie Boyle, Secretary
|HOLDEN RESPONDS TO EDITORIAL|
|September 12, 2008
I want to
applaud the voters of Goffstown who took the time to vote in the Primary
Election on Tuesday. The primaries are an important part of choosing our
elected leaders; we should not let this choice be left to others to
decide for us.
I also want to
reply to the Goffstown Residents Association "special guest"
editorial of September 8. In
that editorial, I was falsely accused me of not telling the truth about
my opponent’s filing the August 20th Candidate Receipt and Expense
Form. I contacted the
Secretary of State’s office on three separate days (August
25th, 26th; and 27th).
Each time I was told that there was no record of her
filing. I wrote the press
release stating that "I believe
that my opponent has not filed."
It is important
that the citizens can see where money is coming from and how the money
is being spent. Despite
what the editorial stated, this report was still not available to me
online on September 11th, but this is not the fault of my opponent.
I have since learned that she did file the report on time
using the new online system. There appears to be problems with the
online system. The problems
have prevented the public from accessing the information.
I acted in good
faith and relied on information from the Secretary of State’s Office. If
the editorial writer had contacted the Secretary of State’s Office or
me, she would have learned the facts before accusing me of not telling
writer also misunderstood the facts around the sale of two parcels of
land to Irving Oil. I consistently fought against the sale of the main
parcel of land. The vote of the Board of Commissioners was to recommend the
sale of the first parcel by a
2-1 vote (Charbonneau and Pappas - YES and Holden - NO).
The second parcel was a narrow strip of land that was needed for safety
reasons so that line of sight for motorists would be appropriate. Since
the main parcel had already been approved, there was little reason for
me to vote against a measure that would improve safety. The County could not use this strip of land and would receive
a fair price for it.
|AN OPEN LETTER FROM PAM MANNEY|
|September 4, 2008
My name is Pam Manney and I am running for County Commissioner of Hillsborough County, District 3.
I am running for County Commissioner because I believe I can do things in a different way that will lead to better results for the County, County employees and the taxpayers who foot the bill.
My campaign will focus on Open government; Efficient County Operations; Respect for the voters, taxpayers and employees of Hillsborough County; and being a team player with those who work for, do business with, and pay for County Operations.
As County Commissioner, one of the first items I'd initiate to benefit the taxpayers would be to advocate for all services provided to the people by the County to be posted on the County website. These are tough times for some folks. Wouldn't it be nice to know that there are services available to taxpayers such as fuel/rent assistance or help with family issues' Or to learn how to weatherize your home to save fuel cost in the coming winter months' These are services paid for through your tax dollars; why not let your money work for you? I'd also advocate the County website post both the Board of Commissioners and County Executive Board minutes. This would allow residents find out more about county government as well as participate if they so desired.
It's time for a fresh perspective in County Government and you can depend, that when elected, I'll be just that. And, as your County Commissioner, you'll know what's going on in your County Government and what services are available to you because I'll make sure the services are posted on the county website in a clear and user-friendly fashion and I'll make sure the minutes and agendas are posted on the website so you'll know how your County tax dollars are being spent.
As your County Commissioner, I will use the experience I have gained over the years in Municipal, State and County Government to provide the most efficient County services, ensuring equity for county employees, while maintaining fiscal responsibility.
Please vote Pam Manney on Tuesday, September 9, 2008.
For more information on County Government and what I believe in, log onto www.pammanney.com.
Pam Manney is a Republican candidate for County Commissioner and a Goffstown resident. She serving her second term in the NH House of Representatives and is a member of the Hillsborough County Executive Committee charged with the oversight of county finances and expenditures.
46 Knollcrest Road
Goffstown, NH 03045-1836
|SPEED LIMIT ON DEAD END STREETS SHOULD BE LOWERED|
|March 27, 2008
Do you live on a dead end street in Goffstown, Grasmere or Pinardville?
There is a proposed change of the speed limit ordinance for all of Goffstown before the Board of Selectmen. I would like to comment on one section in this letter. As it stands now all unmarked streets have a 35 mph speed limit . The new proposal would be 30 mph on all unmarked streets. That means the the speed limit on all dead end street is now 35 mph and will possibly go to 30 mph, unless you make your opinion heard. There will be 2 public hearings and Selectmen Gross has encouraged people to send email comments. If you cannot attend the public hearings this is your chance to have your voice heard.
I would like a make a suggestion for a change of the speed limit on unmarked dead end roads in Goffstown and giving two options. The change I am suggesting is for dead end streets only.
I would like to see it lowered to 20 MPH on all dead end streets in Goffstown, Grasmere and Pinardville. I am suggesting that the ordinance be changed to read " the speed limit on all dead end streets in Goffstown would be 20 mph unless otherwise marked " or my second option " the speed limit on all dead end streets in Goffstown would be 25 mph unless otherwise marked"
If you email them, may I suggest that you make sure it is addressed to all 5 selectmen so they all will know how you feel as they are 5 different members that may have different opinions on these request.
The dates are Monday April 7 and April 21 and times of the public hearings can be found on the town website. You can contact the selectmen's office at 497-8990 or email email@example.com for more information.
Selectman's phone numbers can be found at the town website. I have listed their email address. http://www.town.goffstown.nh.us/boards/selectmen.shtml
Nick Campasano is the new chairmen and Scott Gross is the new vice chairman of the BOS.
Please send a copy of this to a neighbor who lives on a dead end street, so that all our opinions can be heard.
|SUPPORT GARY HOPPER FOR STATE REP|
|March 6, 2008
On Tuesday, March 11th please vote for Gary Hopper, NH State Representative, Hillsborough District 7, serving Goffstown and Weare NH.
Gary Hopper is a former state representative who never shied away from the hot-button issues of the day. He always fought to protect the rights of parents to parent without government interference; children to be born; second amendment issues; God and the NH way of life. His record of fiscal conservatism, while balancing the needs of his constituents, is without match. When elected, Gary Hopper can hit the ground running just in time to vote on upcoming Senate bills dealing with matters such as education funding; minors; elections; business; taxes and other issues that affect our day to day lives. Please vote for Gary Hopper on March 11th. Youâ€™ll be glad you did.
Rep. Pam Manney
NH House of Representatives
Hillsborough District 7
Serving Goffstown and Weare NH
46 Knollcrest Road
Goffstown, NH 03045
|VOTE NO ON ARTICLE 25 !|
|March 6, 2008
Please be sure you turn out and vote NO on Article 25 on March 11th - it demands that candidates dump the Pledge.
Here is a copy of our Pledge which we proudly purvey and hope every candidate will sign on July 5th 2008 at our Annual Picnic!
Also, we'll be meeting on March 8th in Concord at 9 AM, in room #8.
Coalition of New Hampshire Taxpayers
|PLEASE VOTE LECLERC FOR TOWN CLERK|
|March 6, 2008
My name is Felice Dandurand and I worked for the Town of Goffstown for eighteen plus years as a clerk and Deputy Town Clerk. I’m writing this letter to show my support for Karen Leclerc who is running for the office of Town Clerk in Goffstown.
I worked alongside Karen after she came on board in the Town Clerk’s office in October 2001 until my retirement in June 2005. Karen has the experience and personality to do the job as Town Clerk. Karen always greeted customers with a smile; she is courteous and knows the business and has gone the extra mile to help in any situation that has arisen in the Town Clerk’s office.
Karen sheds sunshine in that front office in Town Hall. I know this because as I previously stated, I worked with Karen and it was indeed an honor and a pleasure.
Again my name is Felice Dandurand and I urge all of you Goffstown voters to please cast your vote for Karen Leclerc for Town Clerk on Tuesday, March 11th, 2008.
|DEARBORN VILLAGE WILL CAUSE A TRAFFIC NIGHTMARE|
|March 6, 2008
I am writing to follow up on the petition I circulated last September 2007 regarding the Dearborn Village development being proposed near the intersection of Mast Rd and Route 114, one of the busiest intersections in town. The current proposal is again being put forth before the Goffstown Planning Board during the meeting of March 13, 2008.
During the last meeting of February 28, 2008 when this development plan was again continued and failed to gain approval, an important concern regarding the development’s proposed access way to Mast Rd was raised by one of the board members. This concern regards the traffic stacking at this intersection and the proper use and marking of the middle lane currently being used by westbound travelers turning left onto Rte 114. Is another lane necessary or will we make the current lane into what they referred to at the board meeting as a “suicide lane”?
The State of NH offered the developers entry onto Danis Park Rd, which has much less traffic and a better intersection with Mast Rd because of the traffic signal. The applicant was unwilling to work with the State on this issue. Terrace Lane residents will be competing with Dearborn Village residents head-on to gain access to Mast Rd under the current proposal. The rest of the town faces traffic problems in the future for the sake of the developer’s convenience. To compound the problem a school bus stop and the state plows turn around directly opposite the proposed entry-way of Dearborn Village.
Does this seem as foolish to other residents as it does to me? Once this development is complete we will be stuck with the problem. Now is the time to slow down and work out some of these more difficult issues, not later. Interested Goffstown residents should make the Planning Board aware of their concerns before or during the next meeting, March 13, 2008.
You may contact the planning board at the following address:
Goffstown Town Hall
16 Main Street
Goffstown, NH 03045
(603) 497-8990 x117
George Jones, 62-year Resident of Goffstown
453 Mast Rd
Goffstown, NH 03045
|HELP BUILD A SENSE OF COMMUNITY - YES ON ARTICLE 11|
|February 29, 2008
When our children are involved in an organized sport, they experience the challenges of that sport. And the payback for their efforts comes in many forms. Being involved with the Goffstown Screamin' Eagles for a number of years, I can say that the children are not alone in getting something back from youth sports. I have seen parents that have created lasting friendships and have gained a sense of community. I have seen non-parent volunteers that are willing to contribute after their children have become too old to participate. The advantages of having youth sports in a community start with individuals and continue into the businesses and the community in general. This should all be obvious. So why am I writing this letter? I want to inform the residents of Goffstown that a very important vote is coming up on March 11th. With Warrant Article 11, we have an opportunity to reduce the challenges of running youth sports and to increase their benefit to the community. Field space is a consistent challenge and will get worse over the next few years if we do nothing. Warrant Article 11 gives Goffstown the opportunity to purchase and develop a centrally located parcel of land for the use of the Goffstown community. The plan is to build youth sports fields as well as other recreational facilities on this property. The opportunity to purchase a property that can provide such use does not present itself very often. I am asking Goffstown residents to vote yes on Warrant Article 11 so that we can improve youth sports for the foreseeable future; but more so to help build a place in Goffstown where the sense of community will grow for everyone.
David Gagne (President of GYFA and resident of Goffstown NH since 1989)
|TIS THE SEASON FOR LYNCHVILLE/DANIS|
As a resident of The Parks area of Goffstown, I am grateful to all who have worked since the Sewer Commission’s project proposal in 2004 to bring the water/sewer project in the direction of some resolution. My goal, as I’ve participated in public meetings, assembled and shared information on the project, talked with my neighbors and stated my opinion, has simply been to move the project along toward some resolution between the residents and the Town so that property owners can stop being in limbo, our crumbling roads can get patched and the Piscataquog can remain clean and protected. Some assume I or my husband speak for the neighborhood - we certainly do not and could not - we are both simply acting as neighborhood residents and active citizens. It is the full neighborhood, through action or passivity, in coordination with the Town along with the cost estimates and available funding that will determine the final resolution. Town voters play an important role as well.
The entire project started as an initiative of the Town and State in the 1970’s to improve and protect the Piscataquog all through Goffstown and much of the sewer work listed in those old Master and Capital plans was accomplished. Lynchville, Danis and Mooseclub sewers were recommended during Phase I of the response and sewer delivery to these three neighborhoods was a key component of the 1976 Sewer Facilities Plan. Engineering went so far as to design the Lynchville Park sewer pump house in 1976. Recently it seems the project has been a real chicken and egg problem. While the Town, through its bond authority, sewer commission authority, agreements with Manchester Water Works, and access to professional engineers, has responsibility to initiate, plan and manage the project, it has been looking for nearly unanimous, full and active support by this large and diverse neighborhood. It seems that a high level of project participation and interest is "the egg" the Town has been seeking from the neighborhood. However, both public hearings in 2004 and 2005 witnessed standing room only crowds at Bartlett gym, with many demanding sewer asap, even when engineers made it clear that water lines would be advisable along with the sewer as there was risk to the many shallow wells in the area. Balloting done by the Sewer Commission in 2005 showed that over 170 homeowners in Lynchville, Danis and Dumont Parks cast ballots with 83% in favor of sewer and 80% in favor of water. The overall return rate on ballots was a healthy 70% (wouldn’t we like to have that high rate when deciding on a town budget!). In past neighborhood sewer projects like Knollcrest and Mooseclub majority ruled. Yes, every homeowner had to pay for sewer if the majority was in favor – kind of like deciding on local, state and federal budgets – you pay your taxes even if you don’t vote. But this was back through the Spring of 2006 when the total project costs were $1.5 million for water and $5 million for sewer ($3.5 million for sewer in Lynchville only).
So... here comes "the chicken" - the recently escalated cost of the project and the residents’ willingness to accept it. As of December 2006 project costs skyrocketed to $2.5 million for water and $7.2+ million for sewer. Furthermore, it became clear that the sewer commission could not participate by covering any costs of the project as it had for past projects like Knollcrest and Mooseclub, leaving 80% (after a NH DES allocation) of the costs to be covered by residents and any grants the Town could find. It was becoming very clear to residents that Lynchville/Danis Parks were only going to get sewer by a set of very different rules than other neighborhoods even though it had been scheduled to get sewer before the others. (For perspective, sewer costs for Lynchville/Danis in the 1991 Sewer Capital Plan were estimated at $1.5 million and scheduled for 1994).
It seems to me that in 2007, despite having no public hearings on the sewer issue, the Town was looking to the residents for some demonstration of total commitment (egg) while the Residents have been looking to the Town to bring the costs to a reasonable level (chicken) before committing. It appears that recently the Town DPW Director did try to seek engineering alternatives that would bring the sewer portion of the project down. At a recent selectmen’s meeting however, the news was not good, sewer costs are unlikely to come down and only a small federal grant allocation of $300,000 has been identified as a potential source to help the residents cover their 80% of sewer costs.
So, I think the Selectmen wisely decided on 11/19 to move forward once again with a special article for public water bonding authority only. When drafting the article, Selectmen should have direct discussions with Manchester Water Works to fully understand the current estimates and try to find ways to bring costs of the water line construction closer to the $1.5 million estimates just a few years ago. In addition, the bond authority and grant match requirements have to be carefully crafted to ensure that the bond authority is, above all, actionable. Last year the water article came close to success, needing only another 26 votes to pass. Hopefully this year the town voters will have a better understanding that there is no tax rate impact in passing this article. Town approved bond authority for the water system is needed to allow affected residents to spread their costs over a decade or more –essentially, the neighborhood pays back the bond, fees and all.
The full project remains very expensive and I imagine the Selectmen wisely don’t feel as though the neighborhood can swallow the entire pill at this time. The cost to owners for both water and sewer was recently place in the $23,000 to $27,000 ball park (probably 70 - 80 percent sewer costs). This is a huge amount of money for any homeowner to face before even hooking up homes to the lines in the street and paying sewer bills. With a voter approved water bond article in March of 2008 the neighborhood and town can move to the next point of deciding if they want to keep trying to pull the sewer numbers together or to resolve most of the neighborhoods’ needs in 2009 with public water and simultaneous road patching. Without voter approval, we can’t move forward.
|RESIDENT APOLOGIZES TO SELECTMEN|
I apologize for being disruptive at the October 29th Board of Selectmen meeting by speaking outside of Public Comment during the Selectmen’s discussion period. I was not properly observing Robert’s Rules of Order.
A Statement of Absolute Fact:
After hearing public comments and having discussions on Occtober 8th and October15th, the Goffstown Board of Selectmen voted for requesting a Special Election to replace Representative Bruce Hunter as soon as possible. A request was forwarded to the Governor’s Council for consideration at their October 31st meeting. One of the several points considered during the discussion prior to that vote was the position that Weare was taking – they were against the request because they had budget issues because they were operating on a default budget.
On October 29th, the Goffstown Board of Selectmen entertained a plea from Weare that Goffstown might reconsider their position and opt for timing the elections so that the Town Meeting voting would be the second of the two elections to replace Mr. Hunter because the Town of Weare is having the abovementioned budgetary problems.
It is a matter of record at no decision of the BOS is absolute and final. Conventional wisdom says otherwise to a great extent. That is: once an executive decision is made, it is held as a direction to proceed upon.
I contacted the Council and the Secretary of State and got the answers that I put in upper case.
Can we make such a radical change to our request to the Governor’s Council after the October 18th submission date or do we have to completely pull our request and resubmit for the late November meeting? SADLY YES
Has Weare even submitted a request to the Governor’s Council asking for no special election? YES
If the only request only request for a special election is Goffstown’s and it is granted, are we then bound to hold the election? NOT ASKED OR ANSWERED
What is the timeline by statute considering all factors (filing period, primary, general election) as now proposed? SEE ABOVE
There was no new information presented on October 29th that was not previously discussed when making the decision of October 15th. The vote of the board on October 15th was the only correct response to Weare’s request for reconsideration because there was no new reason to sway our board presented. By what stretch of parliamentary procedure would a chairman entertain putting the question on the table on October 29th?
If the Board of Selectmen can so quickly and with no apparent compelling reason reverse their prior decision, how can any decision made by the board be taken seriously?
This example is not the first flip-flop by the board. Such actions have already had a debilitating effect on the town departments – planning is much more difficult and employee moral is lower than ever. How can a citizen, a business, a vendor, a town employee, a town department function effectively when the executive body of our town does not function properly, efficiently and economically? It cannot! This Board of Selection is a disgrace to our community.
|DEARBORN VILLAGE PROJECT WILL CAUSE TRAFFIC PROBLEMS|
The proposed Dearborn Village intersection at Routes 114 and 114a presents an interesting issue for Goffstown's planners.
The property is bordered on one side by my land and on the other by NH State owned land. The easiest and cheapest way to provide access to this property is to go through the local planning board, as they have done, with an inferior plan and access proposal to avoid long and costly delays dealing with the State by having to seek an easement to have access onto Danis Park Rd. However, this initial proposal comes at a great cost to people who travel on Route 114 as it presents a new entrance just before the existing intersection if it were to come to completion. Every time I have attended a meeting, the consensus among planning board members and attendees at meetings is to get home ASAP. What about the thousands of travelers who will experience additionally long travel delays coming and going to work every day through this intersection?
Aside from being an already existing accident prone area, this North/South route has NO provision for cars turning into the project from the North side and there has been NO discussion of the creation of a fourth lane. It is my belief that traffic would be similar to the Dunkin Donuts fiasco near the intersection of Daniel Plummer Rd and Mast Rd. I believe we should wish the developer good luck but be honest and clearly state that if one wishes to be involved in a multimillion dollar project, be prepared to deal fairly with the town's best interests, even if it is not as problem-free and as profitable as desired.
The Danis Park road provides access to Mast Rd, is already developed for that purpose, and is the most logical way to go. However, an abutting development, Morgan Estates, has community members who already have concerns about traffic flow from their homes on to Danis Park and Mast Rd. Any arrangement that is inconsiderate of the traffic situation at this intersection is pulling the wool over the eyes of paying taxpayers. If it goes through, then all residents should expect the same support for personal development and profit. What a precedent!
I would be remiss if I did not point out there was talk about a sidewalk going from the project towards Danis Park Rd (about 200 ft). HELLLOOOO, the sidewalk should be headed towards Pinardville, Shaw's, the Banks, Hannaford's, etc. should it not? Also, where else can anyone see a Street (or is it a Driveway, the planners are not willing to state the status due to concerns about rules and regulations regarding both) that wraps around a barn and provides absolutely no safe way for walkers, bicyclists or other travelers. This proposed entrance to the community from Mast Rd is expecting to handle over 100 cars a day, yet misses an existing building on the property by winding around it by only a few inches. I can only urge the residents of Goffstown to visit the Planning and Economic Development office and review the plans for this development themselves. They will surely be struck by the folly of some aspects of the plan.
There are to be short spots in the retaining wall propping this road up as it winds precipitously onto Mast Rd, but based on the stated construction method it is impossible to understand how one drives the corrugated pilings through solid ledge. Quite a triumph for a project which does not relish putting forth any expense.
A statement by the owner to Manchester News reporter states she is just trying to get the most out of her property. Let us wish the same for all of us. Commercial and residential all jammed together with the real estate office and existing home and barn. Is it possible that not every square inch of Goffstown is ripe for new overdevelopment?
|ALLOW PARKING AT GLEN LAKE SCHOOL|
I think Goffstown residents should be able to park at the school, we paid for it! How hard is it for the Police dept. to run the plates and make that determination?
Name withheld upon request
|ANOTHER MESS THE ROUNDABOUT HAS CREATED|
After a call to the Selectmen's office to ask why Henry Bridge Road was closed AGAIN the week school started and I feel I was again given multiple excuses. AGAIN poor planning on the part of DPW.
I understand that different groups of people (i.e. utilities company's, contractors) have to be scheduled to do their part of the work on Henry Bridge Road, but that should have been part of the original planning and pre-scheduled during the summer months when traffic in the town is decreased. Then they not only close Henry Bridge Road, they block one lane of Goffstown Back Road with equipment to work on the sidewalks. Now you have traffic backed up all over this town. What a mess the DPW has created!
As a taxpayer I like know if the cost of ALL the police officers (counted 5 this morning) needed to move the traffic in the village was part of the original cost to build this roundabout and are these officers on OVERTIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We have a right to know. At the rate this roundabout is going to cost the taxpayers double if not triple what was original budgeted.
What usually take me 10-15 minutes has been taking me 45 minutes to 1 hour to take my child to school. Yes the school buses could be used and that would put one less car on the road but the buses are arrived 15-30 minutes late to school daily. In fact at 8:30am today I saw many groups of children that had not even been picked up yet by their buses.
As a resident of this town I have to drive into Manchester and back into Goffstown to get my child to school on time.
|RESIDENTS OBJECT TO DEARBORN VILLAGE DEVELOPMENT|
I am writing on behalf of George Jones, a 62 year resident of Goffstown.
We are currently opposing a development going in at 443 Mast Rd (16 unit complex and an office park on only about 2 acres of land). In addition to overdevelopment and poor use of land it also stands to put more pressure on an already over-pressured intersection at State Rte 114 and Mast Rd 114a. This development will make for a new 4-way intersection only a few feet from the current intersection (perhaps the busiest in town already).
I thought the residents of Goffstown should know what they are about to have implemented, perhaps without their even knowing. I have attached a petition document with some more considerations. You may ask the Planning Board for more info. Thank you.
Daniel Horan (George's Nephew)
P.S. - George's phone number is (603) 623-5314 and his e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org. He would be glad to answer any questions.
|ANOTHER RESIDENT TAKES ISSUE WITH GLEN LAKE WATERFRONT USAGE|
I wanted to express my disappointment with the parking availability, and enforcement, at Glen Lake Waterfront.
This past Saturday, when it was 95 degrees outside, we were not able to get any parking, and the Goffstown police were moving people along that were not in an "official" spot, and issuing parking tickets for people parked at the kindergarten.
This is a public school paid for with our tax money, and should be available for parking when the school is not in session.
Either way, we were prevented from getting to the lake, and had to go elsewhere to cool off. And very discouraged that, as a Goffstown resident, I could not get to the public water.
Perhaps the town should consider limiting access to town residents only, or expanding the parking so we can all enjoy the lake on a hot summer afternoon.
|ROUNDABOUT WILL HELP REDUCE CONGESTION AND FUEL USAGE|
A recent article in "The Economist" (August 11) pointed out some interesting facts about roundabouts. "There are no costly traffic lights to build or maintain. Unless something is coming round, cars need not stop, so congestion is reduced and fuel is saved."
There is also a safety issue: "About 45% of all crashes in America occur at crossroads, often because of misjudged left turns...a 2001 study by the IIHS found that roundabouts have 80% fewer crashes with injuries than ordinary intersections."
America is lagging behind other countries and "has 1,000 modern-style roundabouts..." and "...is adding perhaps 150 to 250 new roundabouts a year, not counting mini-ones in suburbs." Britain has 10,000, Australia has 15,000 and France has 20,000.
I grew up in England, have visited Europe, and can testify that roundabouts, big and small, do work, so let's congratulate Carl Quiram, Director of Public Works, for moving Goffstown forward for the benefit of all motorists.
Just one request, though, please use your signals to indicate where you are going to leave the roundabout.
In London, there are even roundabouts that are nothing more than painted white circles at the intersection, and the traffic, including double-decker buses, still go round them!
|RESIDENT TAKES ISSUE WITH GLEN LAKE WATERFRONT USAGE|
Once again the summer season is upon us and once again we are forced to witness the total disregard for one of Goffstown's most valuable assets, the Waterfront at Glen Lake. Overcrowding, trash, dirty diapers, illegal parking, after hours partying, and general abuse of the facility is common place on any hot summer day or night.
Enough is enough! It is time for Goffstown to restrict the use of this area to Goffstown residents only.
Certainly I am not suggesting that all Goffstown residents are angels and that none contribute to the conditions at the waterfront however, any casual observer would come to the conclusion that the vast majority of these problems are the result of non-residents.
It is our tax dollars that pay for the operation, maintenance, and improvements of this area; trash collection, mowing and landscaping, portable toilet, picnic tables, policing, and general upkeep of the area. I have met many, many residents who comment to me that they enjoy using this area but do not visit it during the summer months because of the conditions during that time.
The voters and taxpayers of Goffstown should demand that our Board of Selectmen institute an ordinance that requires vehicles parked along the south side of Elm Street to display a sticker. Goffstown residents would only need to display a transfer station sticker that is available to all residents free of charge. Non-residents would be required to purchase a sticker annually at a price that would discourage use by those who would not treat the area with respect, that would offset the cost of the sticker program, and that would support additional policing efforts. All other parking along Elm Street in this area is already posted against parking and that should be strictly enforced.
Restricting use of areas like this to town residents is commonplace in communities surrounding Goffstown. Because we don't do it, these scofflaws come to our community and abuse our resources at significant costs to us.
Enough is enough, let's take control of one of our most valuable assets!
|DID YOU KNOW THIS IS RECYCLABLE?|
Did you know the following are recyclable in "big blue"?
· Pop Bottle - glass (non-refundable) (Tonic here in New England, or Soda if you prefer)
· Pop Can
· Popcorn Bags (microwavable)
· Popcorn Tin Can
· Popsicle Wrapper (paper)
· Post-it Note
· Potato Chip Bag
· Price Tag (paper)
· Pudding Container
· Pudding Cup (plastic)
The Solid Waste Division has asked me to remind people that all of the above should be free of food waste. If you don’t want to touch it, or it’s going to turn rancid, it’s not recyclable. However, a few good rinses can turn a non-recyclable into a recyclable!
Fred Plett, Chair
Goffstown Solid Waste Commission
|WHY SO LONG TO FINALLY POST MINUTES IN A TIMELY MANNER?|
Thank you for bringing this issue to the forefront.
Again, lack of School Board minutes posted in a timely fashion is not a new complaint and has been one of mine for almost 10 years. I've complained to the board, current and former chairs, to no avail.
What's the big deal!?!
By law, minutes must be available to the public, RSA91-A:4, and according to RSA91-A:2 "Minutes of all such meetings, including names of members, persons appearing before the bodies or agencies, and a brief description of the subject matter discussed and final decisions, shall be promptly recorded and open to public inspection within 144 hours of the public meeting, except as provided in RSA 91-A:6, and shall be treated as permanent records of any body or agency, or any subordinate body thereof, without exception".
So if the minutes have to be available, by law, within 144 hours (6 days), why can't they be posted in a timely fashion? There is no reason. Yes, the board can say they want to post approved minutes, that's fine. The School Board meets twice a month, the first and third Monday's of the month, so why should not the minutes be posted 24 hours after being accepted? They can and should.
It's a matter of community service and the School Board should get with the program and provide it.
|SCHOOL BOARD RESPONDS TO GRA EDITORIAL|
In response to a recent editorial appearing on the Goffstown Residents Association website regarding the Goffstown School Board, I would like to share the following. The Goffstown School Board has been discussing ways to better communicate with the parents of our children and the general public. While we wish we could simply flip a switch and institute every idea presented, we have been working diligently at achieving many goals regarding communication with the community.
Earlier in the school year we brought Power School online. Power School is a software program that allows parents to electronically communicate with teachers and administrators, review their child’s grades (at high school currently-additional schools soon), a child’s attendance record, lunch purchases and lunch balances. Parent’s can even review the books being checked out by their children at our libraries online. Weekly newsletters and calendars are also available online and being emailed to allow parents to keep abreast of school news and events.
The School District has increased the frequency and content of newsletters that are printed and made available to the public over the past two years. The School District has also created a database of email addresses to disseminate information to those requesting email correspondence. We have plans for continued improvement to our website as a source of current and historical information for the community.
With several milestones achieved with Power School, the Goffstown School Board has in the past month begun to focus on ways to make information more readily available to the general public. At our May 7, 2007 meeting, several decisions were made to achieve this goal. They include:
· Posting of draft minutes on website within one week of the meeting for public access (sooner if possible)
· DVD copies of the School Board meetings will be available for loan at the SAU and Goffstown Public Library within one week of the meeting date.
· We will reopen discussions with GTV on providing the capability of going "live" with our school board meetings, the audio quality of the recordings, and the frequency that the School Board meeting are aired.
· The idea of possibly changing our meeting day will be addressed later in the year.
As always, we are open to suggestions on ways that we can better communicate with the Goffstown Community and we thank the community for their continued support of public education in Goffstown.
Keith Allard, Chairman
Goffstown School Board
|Bill Wynne did a great job capturing events during the flood|
Bill Wynne, producer of the video on the recent floods, should be commended for doing such an excellent job.
It was a sobering experience to watch this video. The shots of the Main Street bridge and Henry Road bridge were excellent. Hearing it on the radio and seeing clips on television just didn’t match the footage that Mr. Wynne got that day. Cheers to Mr. Wynne for going out in that storm to capture the events of that storm.
Also, Cheryl L. Bartolucci’s letter to the editor last week (see April 26th below) concerning the Grasmere Village rotary says it all. Not only is the roundabout an eyesore, it is difficult to get around, being so small.
The underground culvert system that was installed takes all the water to Harry Brook, which runs into the river, causing more problems for the residents who live not only near Harry Brook on Henry Bridge Road, but down in the parks in Pinardville.
I hope that the Department of Public Works concentrates on repairing the roads and finding solutions for the water problems in Goffstown Village.
here for Bill's BACKYARD PRODUCTIONS website.
|Roundabout was the least of Goffstown’s road construction needs|
I couldn't agree with Rich Little more!
(Two weeks ago - see April 11, 2007 below), he wrote about what a mistake the roundabout was. It has been a nightmare of a mess since they began working on it, and the fact that it hasn’t even been in for a year yet and is already falling apart is unbelievable.
With so many of the roads here in town in need of repair and/or repaving, I do not know how a project of this magnitude in cost could have taken such a high priority. Many roads that were damaged in the floods last year have yet to be fully repaired and remain "patched."
Regular-size vehicles have trouble maneuvering around this roundabout, so I have no idea how trailers, buses, plows and all larger vehicles get around it. In addition, there are many other crossroads in town that are truly a traffic nightmare (ex. Sully’s intersection) and should have been addressed before an intersection that was fine the way it was.
In my opinion, this entire project was an unnecessary expense for the residents of Goffstown. I hope the town will learn from this mistake and scrap any future plans for more of these roundabouts.
Surely our tax dollars can be put to better use than "fixing" roads that don’t need fixing.
Cheryl L. Bartolucci
|Solid Waste Commission must learn how to recycle trash for profit|
I agree with Mr. Plett’s suggestion, we need action, not words. He’s a paid solid waste professional; I’m a retired product engineer and interested third party.
Goffstown pays Mr. Plett a huge amount of money to waste their taxes. Goffstown pays me nothing to look for ways to save them money and possibly make a profit. He’s action, I’m words; get moving Plett!
While visiting, I found an invitation from N.H. DES to a solid waste conference on Mr. Fatcheric, a Goffstown solid waste engineer’s desk.
It included homeowners, so I attended. I expected, but did not meet, Mr. Plett, Mr. Fatcheric, or any of the solid waste sommissioners at this meeting. They would have gained valuable information and ideas on converting solid waste from a liability to an asset or, as I like to call it, "Trash for profit."
At this conference, I listened with great interest to a presentation by Tony Barbagallo, facility manager, solid waste engineer of the Chittenden Solid Waste District (www.cswd.net).
He runs a break-even solid waste recycling program, which he predicts will make a profit in 2007.
I also spoke with Tony Wilson Sr. He also runs a break-even solid waste operation but is looking forward to a profitable 2007. He sells his recycled materials to Conkey Recycling & Salvage Co. at a higher than current market price.
Closer to home, I listened to Joanne McLaughlin, Manchester recycling coordinator, (www.manchesternh.gov/CityGov/DPW/HWY/Recycling/Home.html), present a talk on "Negotiating Your Next Solid Waste Contract." The Goffstown Solid Waste Commission could have learned a lot from this presentation.
Mr. Plett, in his recent retort in this column, cites Windham as an example of an "underwhelming" solid waste operation. But Windham is trying. The town is going in the right direction. Their progress is overwhelming when compared to Goffstown’s negative progress.
If you’re not looking for profit, it’s guaranteed that you will not find it! Goffstown needs a Solid Waste Commission capable of taking a new view. The present commission is stuck in old technologies with failed results.
The rest of the solid waste industry is awakening to "Trash = Profit" while Goffstown is headed toward pay-as-you-throw which has already shown "underwhelming" results in other communities.
The money is in negotiating solid waste contracts favorable to the town, not in housewives’ kitchens.
The MSWD Companies, Environmental Brokers & Solid Waste Processing Companies that the town deals with are all privately held.
No financial information is available from these organizations.
However you can bet your last tax dollar that they are not in recycling for the fun of it. They’re in it for profit, lots of profit! They are well aware of the "Trash = Profit" economic strategy. They’re in it because they can get a valuable asset (Trash) from the towns almost free, and process it at a low cost, then sell it at a huge profit.
|Did you know this is recyclable?|
A few citizens had approached the Solid Waste Commission asking us specifically and in detail what is recyclable in "big blue," and to publish short blurbs headed with "did you know this is recyclable?" Did you know the following are recyclable in "big blue"?
- Margarine or butter tub, plastic
- Mason jar
- Mason jar lid (metal ring with rubber)
- Mason jar lid (metal ring)
- Medication bottle, empty
- Metal lid (from jar or bottle)
- Milk jug
- Milk carton
- Molasses carton or jar
- Nail polish remover bottle (empty-plastic)
In future editions we will discuss more recyclables!
Chairman, Goffstown Solid Waste
|FLOODS OF 2007|
Once again the rains came to Goffstown in the spring. My wife and I spent several hours viewing the Lynchville Park, Danas Park, Village areas as well as some other damaged locations. As one of your state representatives, I felt that I should see how bad the situation was so I could perhaps be of assistance or to help prevent something like this from happening again.
I have to say first and foremost that the Goffstown Police, Firefighters, and Highway Department employees were doing a tremendous job. They were evacuating people from flooded areas or locations that were in severe jeopardy They had fire trucks pumping out flooded areas and flushing out storm drains. They were doing temporary repairs to roads to clear them for traffic. All the while working in the rain for long hours. A suggestion to all, if the police warn you to evacuate, please do as they ask. Just lock your doors and go to high ground. Your staying will only put their lives at risk if you need help.
I heard from residents that the dam in Pinardville was not letting water go through fast enough and that contributed to the flooding of the Park areas. I then heard that the flash boards were down and all of the water that could flow through was going. Whether it was let loose early enough to help, I don't know. I also heard a story that the Everett Dam, upriver, was full and they couldn't hold back more water. This all raises questions and I think that answers need to be found. I hope to find out something more to tell you all so I can report back.
In the meantime, I also saw the Yankee spirit was alive and well as our residents were out there taking care of business. People were already at work to divert the flow of water as they could and moving belongings to upper floors. They were helping each other and not waiting for someone from Washington to appear someday. I have to say that FEMA did come in and help some people quickly and some who got assistance very slowly. The most encouraging thing was seeing the Town stepping right in to help its own.
My heart goes out to all of you who suffered losses, but fortunately no one was injured to the best of my knowledge. Good luck to you all.
Representative Russell "Russ" Day
|CONTINUING THE ROUNDABOUT CONSTRUCTION IS THE WRONG PLAN|
I think the (Goffstown News) editoral about the roundabout was right on the mark. It’s time for the parties that pushed the project though, when the majority of the taxpayers were against it, to step forward and admit that it was a mistake.
Instead of putting more money into something that will not last, dig it up and put it back to the way it was and then you can put whatever you want in the middle and it will not get run over. The only way to fix it is to remove it.
The problem now is that tractor trailers are not able to make the curve and the trailers are going over the middle and with the tires scuffing all the way though its wearing out the roundabout early.
Just think what would happen if some type of construction took place on Mast Road, it would push more trucks back onto that road and do more damage. Was that taken into consideration when a life span was decided?
I believe Selectman John Caprio should stick to what he thinks is the right road not to go forward on this project and not follow the crowd. He brought up good points and no more money should be wasted. Next time a project this size comes up, $420,000, it should have voter approval first. That money would have gone a long way to fixing some of our roads that really needed the work.
|SHAME ON THE SELECTMEN|
I have to say how disappointed I was at the reaction to Chairman Caprio's suggestion to halt the final touches on the round-a-bout until they can be scrutinized.
The selectmen's reasoning (that the approval was based upon this and that) should have had no bearing. According to Director Carl Quiram, the apron already has to be changed from the original design, as it is the sized incorrectly. So what harm would there have been to look at the additional costs and see if there was a less expensive way? Chairman Caprio wasn't suggesting that they leave the round-a-bout in it's current condition. It is unsightly and definitely confusing. However, he was trying to not throw more money after money already wasted.
Shame on them for not even looking. The inner circle must be a different material? So what about flowers? Grass? Do granite curbstones HAVE to be used? Maybe not?
And what about fixing the size of that curbing in front of the market to help the owners have a better opportunity to gain back some business? Have the selectmen never heard of a "revised" plan? The answers might be that it has to stay the same, but how do you know unless you look.
Again, I say "SHAME ON YOU!"
Member name withheld upon request
|HOW DO WE MOTIVATE VOTERS?|
Ok, we were defeated Tuesday; we failed to keep our tax rates down (again); my guess is the approximately 500 members of the GRA were residents who did vote.
The big question now is: what comes next?
What can we do to motivate our town residents to, at minimum, vote. How can we drive town residents to places, like this website, to become more informed and to participate in the system?
I am like many people today in that I work a job that does not allow me to participate in the system of town government. But I would like to do something or help out in some way to try to make our town better without over-spending.
I did also notice one of our newly elected selectmen had what in essence was a political announcement on the Goffstown community access channel; If there are political candidates who wish assistance in getting their message out to the community in this way, I would be willing to help. Maybe the GRA needs to do the same - a weekly program or bi-weekly program?
I welcome your suggestions and/or feedback, you may contact me at email@example.com. I want to be more proactive; I think we need to seek out those who can help put town issues and spending in perspective for everyone.
|DESTRUCTIVE USE OF THE FIRST AMENDMENT|
According the to First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, Mr. Perreault has the right to do what he did how he did it and I will defend that right.
In the interest of civility, I feel that Mr. Perreault's actions are destructive and downright mean-spirited to good people (Hunter, Griffin, Quiram, and others), poison to the potential pool of citizens who might consider service to the town of Goffstown, a huge disservice to the Goffstown Fire Department, a blight upon the cause of the handicapped, and just plain selfish.
|COMMENTARY ON 'VOTE OUT' EDITORIAL|
Whoever wrote this one (see editorial "'Vote Out' campaign went too far"), thank you. Mr. Perrault’s attacks have been despicable, and untruthful. Mr. Perrault, for example, twisted the truth when Mr. Hunter dutifully reported at a Selectman’s meeting the essence of discussions the Solid Waste Commission had, with respect to positive and negative reinforcement techniques such as the potential for pay to throw, as if they were Mr. Hunter’s opinion, and they were not Mr. Hunter’s opinion. He was simply reporting on a committee’s discussions that he was assigned to cover. I supported candidates other than Bruce, but Bruce deserved fair play, and he did not receive it.
The tone in town has recently devolved into something a whole lot less civil than in the past. For the future, I strongly urge vigorous debate on issues, but without Ad Hominem attacks or resort to slander or half truths.
|DIFFICULT CHOICES MUST BE MADE, PLEASE VOTE NO ON ARTICLE 21|
Difficult choices must be made, please vote no on Article 21
If Article 21 (hiring 10 more full-time firefighters) were to pass, the 2008 fire department budget, at $2.7 million, would rival Bedford’s fire budget.
Goffstown’s taxpayers would have to foot the same bill with 1,000 fewer houses and a quarter of the business tax base to pay for it.
It begs the question: If we have fewer homes and far fewer businesses, why are we paying the same bill?
One of the things not being considered in this discussion is mutual aid. We are right next door to the largest city in the state with enormous manpower and equipment resources. We also support and are supported by all other surrounding communities. It is this interdependence that allows us to do more with less.
What also hasn’t been considered is where to house the new employees. The department indicated during the fire committee meetings that the state fire marshall had a page-long list of code violations for the Pinardville station.
Were it not an essential facility for community safety, it would have been closed.
Pinardville was the station considered most likely to house the new staff by the fire committee. However, there is no appropriation in this article or anywhere else for the necessary upgrades. Is that cost $50,000, $100,000, more, less? Nobody knows because no thought has been put into it.
The department wants to provide better protection which is admirable, but the taxpayers are not the only source of funding.
Bedford Fire Department personnel have written grant applications and been awarded over $750,000 in the past two years alone.
Most homeowners’ insurance policies will pay up to $500 dollars for fire department services due to a covered loss. We charge for ambulance service and that service is self funding, why not charge for fire service when appropriate?
While we all support the men and woman who provide our fire protection, we are also a community with limited resources, and difficult choices have to be made.
This is one of those choices.
Member of the fire committee and budget committee
|RESIDENT CONCURS WITH GRA EDITORIAL ON GRIFFIN|
I concur completely with the view that Chairwoman Griffin has done a great job on various positions she has held in service to our community (see GRA editorial: Thank you Barbara Griffin).
I have had the pleasure of working with Barbara on efforts for the town. I have learned a great deal by observing her in action.
Barbara is one of few who embrace the concept of a town board as a team by being a team player. Once the team has voted, regardless of her viewpoint, Barbara supported the majority ALWAYS. I admire and respect her for that.
Being a team player is not blindly following, being a team player is supporting the team when the team is in action.
It is easy to be a team player when the team is doing popular things. Being a team player when the team is getting bashed is what drew out Barbara's harshest critics. I could go on; however, it is best I stop now.
Thank you Barbara Griffin, outstanding as a citizen, a woman, a leader, and a team player.
|VOTE YES ON WARRANT ARTICLES 29 AND 30 TO SUPPORT CONSERVATION|
This year Goffstown voters face difficult decisions in the voting booth as they weigh the costs of improving town services against the burdens imposed by an ever increasing tax burden. Our budgeting process is reactive: as the town grows, the needs for maintenance and services increase, and the town budget goes up. As a town, we have not comprehensively addressed the issue that drives this process the growth rate of residential subdivisions.
Several New Hampshire towns have conducted cost of community services studies, which compare the tax revenues properties generate with the expense of community services for those properties.
All of the studies reached the same conclusions: 1) adding residential properties produces a revenue deficit they cost more for services and schools than the tax they produce, 2) commercial and industrial properties offset the residential deficit by generating more revenue than expenses, 3) undeveloped lands in farms and forests also offset the residential deficit by generating more revenue than they cost in services. Although tax assessments on undeveloped lands are low, their costs for town services are extremely small.
We can spend modest amounts for conservation now, or pay larger tax bills year after year. Many other New Hampshire towns have discovered this relationship and are funding conservation through municipal bonding and other sources.
These are frugal yankees, applying innovation and common sense to protect and stabilize their tax base. Each town is different, but on average, the tax deficit from each new house can be $1,000 per year, or more. Rather than divide a property into 50 housing lots, doesn’t it make more sense to spend $50,000 once to protect it forever? Or would you prefer additional tax revenue deficits of $50,000 every year, forever?
If we hope to slow the long-term growth in property taxes, we have two ways to address the problem. The first is to encourage more commercial and industrial growth. The second is to conserve more of our farms and forests.
These two approaches are not exclusive, they are complementary. The best opportunities for land conservation are away from the town’s business corridors. Currently these properties get split into residential subdivisions, not businesses.
We must be frugal and extend our conservation funds by using them to attract state grants, federal grants and private donations. If we secure binding land protection agreements (known as conservation easements) instead of purchasing land outright, then modest amounts of town conservation funds can protect lands of much greater value.
Let’s not forget the other benefits of conservation. We will also preserve the rural character we currently enjoy. Our drinking water will remain clean and safe. Natural lands will absorb rainfall and reduce the impact of flood events. We will continue to enjoy recreation and wildlife in our natural areas.
Last year, 146 acres of farm and forest were permanently protected in Goffstown. This year the Goffstown Open Space Committee is currently in negotiations with landowners that will protect an additional 450 acres, with most of the expenses covered by landowner easement donations and federal grants. Stay tuned for announcements on these projects this spring, and for the opportunity to attend public hearings for their approval. Completing these projects will deplete the current conservation funds. With your help, we can do even more.
Please vote "yes" for warrant articles 29 and 30 to provide additional conservation funds for future conservation projects.
Vice chairman, conservation commission
Chairman, open space subcommittee
|VIVIAN BLONDEAU'S EXPERIENCE CAN ONLY HELP ON BOS|
I have heard that there are some people in Goffstown who feel that there should be all new blood on our local Board of Selectmen. Well, to each his own opinion, but I disagree with this notion. Experience is a very necessary thing when it comes to running town government. It's definitely OK to have new people on board, but don't overlook the fact that experienced candidates have special skills through the advantage of knowledge of the job that newcomers have to learn.
This is why I am asking the voters of Goffstown to vote for Vivian Blondeau for Selectman.
By electing Vivian, you will have a selectman who is determined to keep taxes as level as possible. During her tenure on the board in the past she did just that very successfully. Viv was a guiding force in the establishment of the recycling in Goffstown being one of the pioneers who fought off the big incinerator idea. She was also a fighter for keeping noise pollution down to an acceptable level. She cheered up the interior of the Town Hall by her efforts to get a much needed face lift completed in the various offices.
Now, she wants to help the town deal with the issues of the day. One in particular is the 24/7 Fire Department. Vivian will sensibly help to get this desire of the town started in a fiscal and emotionally responsible way. She knows what the town voters have been saying by their votes over the past couple of years and she wants to be there to do the work necessary to obtain those goals.
Please vote next Tuesday for Vivian Blondeau.
Ruth E. Gage
|TRICIA WYNNE WILL SPEND GOFFSTOWN'S MONEY RESPONSIBLY|
At last week's Lion's Club candidates night, the only selectman candidate to use the words "fiscal conservative" was Tricia Wynne. Let's face it: the job of the board of selectmen is to spend our precious tax dollars wisely and to ensure every dime contributes to tangible and meaningful results.
I've has the privilege of getting to know Tricia in her capacity as Director of the Goffstown Citizen Emergency Response Team (CERT) - a well-managed and growing group of enthusiastic volunteers who, for example, made a major contribution during last year's Mother's Day floods.
Not only is she a sharp and articulate advocate for our wonderful community, she backs it up with generous giving of her time and experience.
But the thing I admire most about her in addition to her character and drive, she's not a mainstream politician; and she knows the right questions to ask and won't accept fuzzy justification for how money will be spent.
It won't cost anything to cast your vote for Tricia Wynne, and you'll know what you're getting - a strong advocate for fiscal responsibility at all levels.
I'm supporting Tricia Wynne for Goffstown selectman and I hope the other Goffstown voters will do the same.
|SCOTT GROSS WILL NOT SPEND GOFFSTOWN'S TAXES THE RIGHT WAY|
I do not know Scott Gross personally, but what I have seen of him over the past few years: protesting the Knights of Columbus picture hanging in the Grasmere Grange Hall, championing a kindergarten that is poorly placed (across the street from a lake, with PSNH power line right of way through the rear of the school), and more recently pushing through a school board budget with larger increases than most people see in their own employment each year is not the kind of person I want for a selectman in our town.
I have been a member of this town for nearly 40 years, and I find it painful to watch the things going on here.
The build-the-kindergarten-at-any-cost folks succeeded and built a school in a lousy location across the street from a big play puddle … and underneath powerlines. Our taxes are climbing higher than our cost of living. And it seems there are more people wanting to spend more tax income that we just do not have.
I write this knowing full well I may suffer retribution to my home, as some of the poor folks who dared oppose the location of the kindergarten on Tibbets Hill underwent vandalism to their homes, yards, etc. And my family may have to endure the glaring stares and ostracism that many children of the "kindergarten opposition" had to endure.
But I can not sit idle as a few people manipulate the system. We have a large voter base that needs to get out and vote.
And yes, I have been a silent voter. But I do vote.
Mr. Gross I thank you for caring. And I thank you for giving your personal time to be involved, but I do disagree with your spending of my tax dollars. I do not believe we share what is best for our community.
People have to be able to afford to live here, and somewhere down the line we have lost sight of that.
|PRESERVE OUR RURAL LANDSCAPE|
I am writing in support of Article 29 and Article 30. I have lived in Goffstown for over 20 years and have enjoyed the natural landscape for myself and my family. Our rural character is one of our greatest assets which needs to be preserved.
However this is changing. Our rural character is threatened by development. The landscape which we have come to enjoy may disappear. We need to make our natural landscape one of our priorities and not be secondary to growth and pavement.
Article 29 and 30 will allow landowners the ability to place land in conservation and protect natural areas. We must as a community begin now to preserve our precious resources not only for ourselves but for future generations to come.
|Working Session - Goffstown Board of Selectmen and Department Heads - No Bloodshed|
Friday, February 23rd, the BOS and department directors met to discuss relations. They talked about how department policies are set, how much detail the BOS needs to make decisions, how much influence the BOS should have upon the day-to-day departmental.
The public was invited - sadly, only three attended. Unlike the normal BOS meeting, this meeting was not focused on specific problems with individuals or groups pressing for action. Seeing them in action, rather than working in reaction, was refreshing.
This meeting showed how the Town Administrator, Board of Selectmen and Department Heads work, think and interact. They were not in lock step to a narrow agenda dictated by a single source. They spoke with the taxpayer and the budget in mind. They had coffee and donuts for which I thanked them only to be told that the treats were paid for by two of the attendees, not the taxpayers.
One suggestion, presented by Carl Quiram, was to have a visioning session after the election. This would be before the BOS set their goals for the year after the election. I suggested to the Town Administrator, that the visioning session might be conducted in a large facility so that many people could attend - I hope Sue takes my suggestion.
103 Center Street
|DPW DIRECTOR CARL QUIRAM IS NEVER SATISFIED|
Goffstown Residents, before you vote here are some things you should know. DPW director Carl Quiram is never satisfied.
DPW uses 26% of the operating budget, the cost of Road Plan plus equipment in the CIP. Sewer rate increases were caused by the Road Plan.
DPW now has the same excavator that was voted down in March 2006 (Warrant Article 17), No: 1,884 Yes: 1,239.
This is in the 2007 Budget. If the 2007 budget fails, where's the money coming from? Recycling profits?
|SUPPORT THE SENIOR TAX EXEMPTION PROGRAM|
The Town of Goffstown will be voting, March 13, on a Warrant Article to revise and update the existing program to provide Tax Relief to Elderly Homeowners. This program in mandated under NH State Law for every Town and City, and each town or city is free to provide relief above and beyond the state minimums. The Goffstown program has, in some areas, not kept up-to-date with changes in the cost-of-living index and other economic realities. For example, the asset limit has stayed at $35,000 for 28 years and some exemption levels were not changed for 17 years. As a result it has become harder and harder for Elderly Homeowners to qualify for much needed tax relief. After thoroughly studying the issue and communicating with the Goffstown Board of Selectmen and the Town Administrator, we have proposed to bring the qualifying criteria, the asset limit, and the actual amount of tax-relief granted up-to-date. While actual data is very hard to come by, we have made every effort to use factual information available, including census figures, cost-of-living indexes, and participation rates and actual tax relief dollars provided by the Town of Goffstown. The actual numbers will be finalized at a Deliberative Meeting to be held at the Goffstown High School on Feb. 7th, at 7pm.
We encourage concerned citizens to attend this meeting to voice your feelings and to support our proposal with a Yes vote on March 13th for the Elderly Tax Relief.
Chairman, Goffstown Committee for Elderly Tax Relief
9 Matthew Circle
Goffstown, NH 03045
|TOWN HAS A CHANCE TO UPDATE SENIOR TAX EXEMPTION PROGRAM|
|January 18, 2007
On March 13, there will be a warrant article to revise and update the tax exemption program for elderly and disabled home owners who are residents of Goffstown.
Recently approved by the board of selectmen, the article is designed to revise upward, the income limits for elderly single and married homeowners, and to increase the allowable limits of the single or combined assets owned, excluding the primary residence. The article will also increase the actual dollar exemptions granted to those who qualify by age groups 65 to 74, 75 to 79 and 80 or older. Specific income, asset and exemptions amounts will be published after all warrant articles are reviewed at the Feb. 7 deliberative session.
This article is proposed by the Goffstown Committee for Elderly Tax Relief, a group of nonpartisan community citizens. The goal is to update this program so it can benefit elderly and disabled property owners who need assistance and who must qualify for the program via a fairly rigorous "means tested" process. This includes age, marital status, income, home ownership, three years of residency and disclosure of all assets.
We will publicize more details later when the warrant article is finalized. In the interim, please feel free to visit the Goffstown Residents Association Web site at www.GoffstownRresidentsAssociation.com. Information regarding this tax relief program will be posted there periodically, including new articles, information articles and other helpful news so everyone can be informed on what the committee is proposing. We look forward to your support and welcome suggestions, questions, comments, etc.
Chairman, Goffstown Committee for Elderly Tax Relief
9 Matthew Circle
Goffstown, NH 03045
|SPEND SOME TIME OUTSIDE IN NATURE AND DISCOVER HIDDEN THINGS|
|January 18, 2007
One of my New Year’s resolutions is to spend more time exploring the interesting natural areas of Goffstown.
While much of our town consists of oak, pine or hemlock woods on poor acidic soils, there are some unusual natural features hidden here and there. I’ve found sycamore trees along the river and some black gum swamps tucked away in the hills.
There are also areas with rich soils that have sugar maples and basswood and plants that are fairly uncommon elsewhere in town.
If we are lucky, there may even be some plants which are rare in the state of New Hampshire. I do a lot of wandering up in the White Mountains submitting reports to New Hampshire Natural Heritage Bureau, which tracks rare plants, animals and natural communities. It would be nice to find something in this part of the state as well.
If some of your readers know of some unusual trees or plants on their property, perhaps they will contact me at 774-6224 and if I can find the time I would love to see what’s hidden in other areas of Goffstown.
|SUPPORT THE ELDERLY TAX EXEMPTION|
|January 9, 2007
On March 13th, there will be a Warrant article to revise and update the Tax Exemption Program for Elderly and Disabled Homeowners who are residents of Goffstown. Recently approved by the Board of Selectmen by a vote of 4-1 (selectman Barbara Griffin voted against), the article is designed to revise upward, the income limits for elderly single and married homeowners, and to increase the allowable limits of the single or combined assets owned, excluding the primary residence. The article will also increase the actual dollar exemptions granted to those who qualify by age groups 65-74, 75-79 and 80 or older. Specific income, asset and exemption amounts will be published after all warrant articles are reviewed at the February 7th Deliberative Session.
This article is proposed by The Goffstown Committee for Elderly Tax Relief, a group of non-partisan community citizens. The goal is to update this program so it can benefit elderly and disabled property owners who need assistance and who must qualify for the program via a fairly rigorous "means tested" process. This includes age, marital status, income, home ownership, 3 years residency and disclosure of all assets.
We will publicize more details later when the Warrant Article is finalized. In the interim, please feel free to visit the Goffstown Residents Association web site at www.GoffstownResidentsAssociation.com. Information regarding this Tax Relief program will posted there periodically, including new articles, information articles and other helpful news so everyone can be informed on the The Committee is proposing. We look forward to your support and welcome suggest and welcome suggestions, questions, comments, etc.
Goffstown Committee for Elderly Tax Relief
9 Matthew Circle
Goffstown, NH 03045
|RESIDENT ASKS HELP IN SUPPORTING RIGHT-TO-KNOW|
|January 9, 2007
On November 27, 2006 NH Attorney General Kelly Ayotte wrote a letter to the people of New Hampshire: In it she states in part:
"The public’s right-to-know what their government is doing is a fundamental part of New Hampshire’s democracy. For our government to remain of the people, by the people, and for the people."
"It is essential that the people have reasonable and open access to the information that will inform the people what their government is up to and how it is performing."
"New Hampshire’s Constitution and the Right-to-Know Law ensure that the public has reasonable access to public meetings and public records that show what those elected representatives and the appointed public officials that carry out our laws are doing."
Furthermore, in the memorandum it states:
The importance of compliance with the Right-to-Know Law is demonstrated by the remedies available to persons aggrieved by a public body’s noncompliance.
A. INJUNCTIVE RELIEF - RSA 91-A:7
1. A petition requesting an injunction against a public body may be filed with any Superior Court. Proceedings under this chapter shall be given priority on the court calendar.
2. The petition need only state facts constituting a violation of the Right-to-Know Law and need not adhere to all the formalities normally required of court pleadings. A petitioner may appear with or without legal counsel.
3. Ex Parte relief (a decision by the court after hearing only from the petitioner) may be granted when time is of the essence.
4. The court may issue an order enjoining the public body from violating the Right-to-Know Law with regard to future actions subject to its provisions. RSA 91-A:8.
The full letter and the Attorney General's Memorandum on New Hampshire' s Right-To-Know Law, RSA chapter 91-A can be found at:
I hope that everyone will take the time visit this web link. I ask all Goffstown residents to help "Support Our Right to Know" and "VOTE OUT" Selectmen Griffin and Hunter.
|GOFFSTOWN SELECTMEN, DO YOU KNOW HOW SUSPICIOUS YOU LOOK?|
Wow! So much ado about almost nothing. Three of our selectmen do not want their votes recorded in the minutes of meetings. One selectman says that, come election time, voters can find a record of his voting for a guide to voting for or against him. They are all mistaken.
First of all, these meetings are televised and aired, and are available on DVDs. Thus, they are not secret, but how many people see them? Very, very few.
Then, minutes are posted for viewing by all who are interested, but again, these are seen by very, very few people.
So, if some selectmen are hiding something, they are not hiding it from many people.
And, why not include it in the minutes? Are they afraid? Are they ashamed? Are they unable to justify or explain such a vote?
But, almost no one is looking, even at the record of someone running for re-election.
Now, see what you selectmen have done! You have made people suspicious of what your votes have implied, that you have something to hide. Why else would you vote not to record your votes?
Excuses such as "nobody else does it" and "we have never done it before" imply that you are not going to change, no matter how beneficial new actions may be. Somebody else does record negative votes and absentions; the school board has been doing it for years.
I have never heard of any school board candidate’s gaining or suffering as a result of a voting record. As for never doing it before, why not consider that the proposal came from an influential group, possibly more representative of the people than the board is, and giving it some study before voting it away?
The excuse that you are acting as a body, and not as individuals, inaccurately claims that you are all of the same mind.
The vote on this matter proves you are not. And if all, or most, of the votes of the Goffstown selectmen end up 3-to-2, it will look more as if our board is, in reality, not "one body," but two.
Right now, as I see it, public support is with the minority two, and that is on more than just this issue.
Charles W. Carr
|RIGHT TO KNOW|
To all of the People in Goffstown,
The will of an elected public official to deny the public the Right to Know is ubsurd and outrageious. I am completely unsatisfied with the response of those in Goffstown who we have elected, to deny the public of a right due everyone of us, not only in the Country, but in our community as well. Shame is due where shame is earned.
|WE NEED TO KNOW HOW CANDIDATES ARE VOTING|
It seems that no
one in public office, from the Oval Office to the board of selectmen,
wants to be held accountable to their constituents.
|RIGHT TO KNOW - IT'S THE RIGHT THING TO DO|
Over the last couple of weeks there has been considerable discussion about whether or not elected officials should record votes by name. As a member of the school board, I support full disclosure of the public's right to know- and that includes listing the votes taken by name; including those voting "no" or "abstain." As was pointed out in last week's editorial, the public may not always have an opportunity to attend a meeting, or watch GTV. Having the ability to review meeting minutes and determine how our elected officials vote is important information voters need when casting a ballot for a candidate.
As an elected official, I have taken positions on issues and voted accordingly. Sometimes the issues are very controversial, and not embraced by everyone in the community. However, the public has every right to know how I voted. This is done at the state and federal level and it brings accountability to government. Above all, by listing how our elected officials vote, it gives citizens the opportunity to ask questions as to why we voted a particular way. And sometimes, provided with new information, we have the ability to change our opinion and vote differently the next time around.
It's a busy time of year for our Selectmen as they proceed with contracts, budgets, warrant articles and preparing for the March 2007 election. Hopefully during the holiday break they will have time to rethink the importance of this issue and reverse their position. The recording of votes by name is not just about the public's "right to know" it's the right thing to do.
|ELECTED OFFICIALS MUST NOT HIDE THEIR VOTING RECORDS|
The votes of all
members of our federal Congress are recorded each and every time a vote
is taken; Congress knows it is responsible and answerable to the voters
who put them in office. Why are our local officials so special and
secretive? What do they fear that they must hide behind not recording
their votes for future posterity? The voting and meetings are open to
the public and appear on local TV channels. The videos are reused after
approximately 30 days and do not constitute a permanent record -- the
recorded minutes should.
|GOFFSTOWN SELECTMEN SHOUD BE ASHAMED OF THEMSELVES|
(was an editorial that) appeared in The Union Leader, Friday, Dec. 15,
2006. The article looks like the handy work of Andrew Cline.
|MANY MISTAKES MADE REGARDING GRASMERE ROUNDABOUT|
The issue with the Grasmere roundabout is not only the price tag. It started with the decision to prioritize that intersection as needing improvement more than any other road in town.
In my book, that was the first mistake with this project. Many other areas in town could have benefited from the resources spent on the circle – the time, the money, the asphalt, etc.
The second issue to consider is why the selectmen chose to do something at that location.
From the minutes of the selectmen’s meetings, the purpose of this "improvement" is to "calm" down the traffic. Yes, to slow the traffic down. It was going too fast. Although, there are very few accidents that take place there.
With that said, you now can ask – is this the least expensive way to "slow" down traffic?
Couldn’t we just have lowered the speed limit? Are there other less costly solutions to slowing down traffic? At least try something else before spending over $400,000. I know that there are other solutions out there that would have barely raised my taxes, if at all.
And what about the design of this circle and how it is going to affect the Grasmere General Store? I’m not sure the store will be able to stay open with the difficulty now of getting in and out of their space.
Why do we need all this curbing in and around the circle?
And what about the plows when we have a snow storm? Won’t that wreak havoc and create all new problems? What is the purpose of the raised car-wide inner circle? I’ve seen buses going up onto this inner circle. Why not have it all one height?
And why have such a curve into the circle from the Manchester direction instead of just flowing on the original path into the top of the circle giving vehicles more time between entrances?
The circle might work fine once everyone gets used to it (I hope it does), but for the price, this decision should have waited until many other roads were repaired and fixed first. It should have been explored more.
The circle is supposedly good for 10 years before it fails again. Then what? Redesign it again and spend how much?
I believe this was poor, poor planning.
|DISAGREEMENT WITH GRA ARTICLE ON SCHOOL BOARD|
just read your recent posting entitled "School
Board members vote themselves 300% raises, annual increases"
please allow me to address some of your concerns.
an elected member of the School Board, it is critical that our actions
are subject to review by all citizens. Transparency in government
is necessary. In the
future, please feel free to call me if you have any questions, comments
or concerns. However since your
already posted, I share with you the following comments:
regard to School Board member stipends, our Board visited this issue a
few months ago and established a subcommittee to review stipend amounts
for all School elected officials.
way of background, the current school board stipend is set at $500 per
year with no travel allowances. The stipend has not changed since
1987. Our subcommittee came back with a recommendation to increase
the stipend to $1500 for Board members and $2000 for the Board Chair. This recommendation was based on the hours devoted to the
position, comparisons to other elected positions within and outside
Goffstown, as well as an allowance for expenses such as mileage.
We also adjusted other positions such as the moderator and treasurer.
Prior to the Board’s vote, conversations took place with the budget
committee and an email was sent to the budget committee chair advising
him of the recommendation. In addition to noticing the budget
committee, this topic was discussed with reporters from the Goffstown
News and the Union Leader- both of whom had this stipend increase in
newspaper articles. It was also duly noticed at our school board
meetings. The point that I’d like you to know is that we did
solicit opinions, and we were very forthright about the process.
The process now continues on to the Budget Committee’s review of the
school budget, then on to public hearings and then the deliberative
personally support this recommended stipend increase. Although my
term expires (and I’m not seeking re-election to the School Board in
March), board members put in hundreds of hours of time to serve our
community and they also incur expenses. While I understand the
argument that people like myself voluntarily decide to hold elected
office, I would only hope that citizens appreciate the work of their
elected officials and they understand the sacrifices of time and
expenses one incurs serving in this capacity.
A reasonable stipend may not attract a quality candidate, but
please consider that an inadequate stipend may likely discourage
involvement. If you look at
the number of uncontested School Board races over the years - this may
be a factor.
that last few weeks some in the community have commented to me that they
did not agree with the annual increase portion of our recommendation.
Having reconsidered this, I agree.
At our last meeting, the Board voted to withdraw the annual
increase portion from our budget and leave future stipend decisions to
future boards and voter approval through the budget process.
part of the construction project, the Board put out a bid on the front
Kindergarten sign. We received responses from only two local
vendors and asked the Administration to review the bids as they included
multiple options. We decided to accept the low bid of Sousa
consider all of the options they provided us. Sousa
a local vendor who offered not only to provide the kindergarten sign,
but also agreed to refurbish the sign at the Bartlett School or grant
substantial discounts for the purchase of a sign at GHS.
It was the consensus of the Board to upgrade slightly to a more
aesthetically pleasing sign with "added rows" on the message board
portion of the sign. The Board felt that the upgraded sign for an
additional $3000 was not only a much better sign (it looked better for
the neighborhood, and it had greater functionality for the message
board), but it would also allow us to refurbish the one at Bartlett or
consider a huge discount for a GHS sign at no additional cost to the
taxpayer. In addition, please understand that at the time
this decision was made, we had available funds within the kindergarten
budget that allowed for this upgrade.
As with any large construction project there are cost overruns
and savings. Unique to the
kindergarten project is the 75% reimbursement from the State of NH (plus
the additional building aid on the 25% District balance).
In essence, by using funds within the project budget, we would
spend $510 for a $3000 upgrade and then also receive either a
refurbishment of the Bartlett sign or a huge discount for a GHS sign at
no cost to the taxpayer. Once again, I hope the voters
of Goffstown would agree with this recommendation.
you know from reading the minutes, this decision has not been finalized.
However getting the most bang for the buck remains the goal.
If your interpretation of the meeting minutes suggests otherwise,
I apologize for minutes that may not have expressed all of the
conversation or the intent of the School Board to maximize our dollars.
impetus for my motion to add $1500 for custodian shirts was a direct
result of two primary reasons- security and professionalism.
At the time this motion was made, there was a rash of school
violence across the country and I had received calls from parents and
staff about the security of our schools.
One item that was brought up was our custodial staff.
A few parents commented to me that custodians were not easily
identifiable at some of our schools, especially at night and on
weekends. At the high
school in particular we have a few young male custodians who many would
assume are students. This
is especially problematic during night and weekend events.
The general public does not often know who works in our
buildings. This would apply
to circumstances such as changing the heat settings, unlocking a door,
dealing with a flooded toilet, or in an emergency such as an injury,
missing child, or school safety incident.
Board member suggested badges and certainly this is the lowest cost
method. However, please
keep in mind that shirt with "Staff" on it is more recognizable,
especially since you can’t see someone’s badge from far away or if
their backs are turned.
there are the secondary issues of professionalism and uniformity. By providing maintenance employees with several t-shirts, we
gain a more professional appearance and some needed consistency.
I am not suggesting that we provide pants, shoes and laundering.
And the term "uniforms" for budgeting purposes is an
inappropriate description for simply providing t-shirts to custodians.
have 20-25 custodial staff (full and part time) in our district. I
believe this expense adds value to our community in terms of safety,
professionalism, and equity to our custodians at a very nominal price. Intelligent
people can disagree with this approach, and perhaps it may never come to
pass as it progresses through the budget process.
But as you can see from the meeting minutes, our Board had a good
debate about the pros and cons and other suggestions.
We will wait and see what our administration recommends as well
as the outcome of budget committee discussions.
your website you listed the student to teacher ratio in Goffstown as
13.7 : 1. While that ratio
is correct, please note that Goffstown has more students per teacher
(greater class size) than the State average which is 12.9:1.
your site you listed the NH DOE figure regarding the average teacher
salary. Please note this
number is incorrect. We
have asked the NH DOE to correct this amount on their website for
several weeks. The actual
average teacher salary in Goffstown is $37,657. This significantly
changes the placement of Goffstown on the list of the towns ranked by
average teacher salary. (Ed.
Note: The salary figure originally listed in the GRA article was obtained
directly from the NHDOE web site at the time of publication. After
corrections to it were made by the NHDOE at the request of the school
district, the figure in our article was then altered accordingly).
you were to look at other data, such as minimum teacher pay scales,
compare other teacher salary schedules of comparable towns, you will see
that we are indeed lower than the state average and other towns in which
we compete for resources.
if you are looking for a reasonable standard to compare spending on
education, please see the website below from the NH Dept of Education.
NH State Average for "Cost per Pupil" is $9,098.56.
Goffstown's Cost per pupil is $7,334.23.
In Goffstown we spend far less than the state average. In fact, if you sort the cost per pupil data amongst the 163 towns for which there is data, Goffstown is ranked 154 out of 163 school districts or in the bottom 6% for school spending in NH.
someone who takes pride in what I do, I’m disappointed in the manner
in which the School Board is characterized in your
Board members have a genuine desire to make improvements, be more
efficient, and obtain value from our tax dollars. Our
District has achieved many wonderful accomplishments, and based on our
cost per pupil data, we indeed get a pretty good "bang for our buck."
Perfect we are not, but we learn from our mistakes and we welcome
feedback on how we can better serve the students and our community.
Your website is a good source of that needed feedback.
about "wasteful spending" "overblown budgets" ,and
"spending every dime we give them" appears to be an emotional
response, but it is not representative of all the facts.
The School District traditionally returns unused monies to the
general fund and in some cases it has been over a million dollars in a
given year. This
offsets the following year’s tax rate.
the last few years the District has expended funds within 97-99% of our
budget and returned unexpended monies to the general fund to be returned
to offset taxes. Simply
put, we don’t spend money without a legitimate purpose. Unspent monies
have been returned to the taxpayer and this will continue.
in the community may not know this, but federally- mandated special
education services have a wide variety of associated costs.
Some special education services can be provided within our
schools at a very reasonable price.
However out of district placements for more complex special
education cases can cost in excess of $100,000 per student and we do
have some cases like this in Goffstown.
Special needs children move into and out of Goffstown and this is
a very fluid part of the budget.
area of recent concern is energy. All
of us have experienced the rollercoaster ride of gas, oil, and propane
costs and the ripple effect it has on other items
I ask is that there is a fair and balanced conversation.
When you look at many of the variables, you will see that there
is no mismanagement involved. In
fact, the following factors have a huge impact on non discretionary
spending which accounts for vast majority of the budget
Rising cost of federally mandated special education
does the Board get the credit for the following that have either saved
taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars, as well as brought in
additional needed revenues to offset expenditures:
Refinancing bonds to lower our debt payments
you for allowing me the opportunity to express my point of view. If at anytime, you or any other members of the GRA or the
Goffstown Community have a question, I welcome your comments at 497-5046
or firstname.lastname@example.org. In
addition, all of our meetings are open to the public and you are
encouraged to participate.
|ROUNDABOUT WAS POOR PLANNING|
The issue with the Grasmere roundabout is not only the price tag. It started with the decision to prioritize that intersection as needing improvement more than any other road in town. In my book, that was the first mistake with this project. Many other areas in town could have benefited from the resources spent on the circle - the time, the money, the asphalt, etc.
The second issue to consider is "why" the selectmen chose to do something at that location. From the minutes of the selectmen's meetings, the purpose of this "improvement" is to "calm" down the traffic. Yes, to slow the traffic down. It was going too fast. Although, there are very few accidents that take place there.
With that said, you now can ask - is this the least expensive way to "slow" down traffic? Couldn't we just have lowered the speed limit? Are there other less costly solutions to slowing down traffic? At least try something else before spending over $400,000. I know that there are other solutions out there that would have barely raised my taxes, if at all. And what about the design of this circle and how it is going to affect the Grasmere General Store?
I'm not sure the store will be able to stay open with the difficulty now of getting in and out of their space. Why do we need curbing all around this circle? What is the purpose of the raised, car wide, inner circle? I've seen buses going up onto this inner circle? Why not have it all one height? And why have such a curve into the circle from the Manchester direction instead of just flowing on the original path into the top of the circle giving vehicles more time between entrances?
The circle might work fine once everyone gets used to it (I hope it does), but for the price, this decision should have waited until many other roads were repaired and fixed first. It should have been explored more. The circle is supposedly good for 10 years before it fails again.. Then what? Redesign it again and spend how much???? I believe this was poor, poor planning.
|DRIVERS NEED TO USE THEIR DIRECTIONALS|
The number of drivers who continually neglect to use their directional, when making turns or changing lanes, totally amazes me. As an example, waiting for the lights to change at the junction of 114 and Mast Road, 14 vehicles turned left onto Mast Road and headed up toward Goffstown Village. Of the 14, only 6 vehicles used their directional when making that turn. And, it doesn’t stop there. I can’t count the number of drivers on the interstate highways, like I-293,
Many accidents result because of drivers who make improper turns and/or change lanes without using their directional or giving the proper turn signal by hand. The rules of the road are the traffic laws and driving rules set up for safe, smooth travel by all users of the roadways. As a driver, you must know what rules apply to you and other drivers. These rules include the signs, signals, markings found on the roadway and using your directional when making turns and/or changing lanes.
Section 265:79-b of the Motor Vehicles Rules of The Road (Serious Traffic Offenses) states the following: "Whoever upon any way drives a vehicle negligently or causes a vehicle to be driven negligently, as defined in RSA 626:2, I(d), or in any manner that endangers or is likely to endanger any person or property shall be guilty of a violation and shall be fined not less than $250 nor more than $500 for a first offense and not more than $1,000 for a second or subsequent offense. "
Section 265:45 of Rules of The Road, Turning Movements and Required Signals, states:
2. A signal of intension to turn right or left when required shall be given continuously during not less than the last 100 feet traveled by the vehicle before turning.
3. No person shall stop or suddenly decrease the speed of a vehicle without first giving an appropriate signal in the manner provided herein to the driver of any vehicle immediately to the rear when there is opportunity to give such signal.
4. The signals provided in RSA 265:46, II, shall be used to indicate an intention to turn, change lanes, or start from a parked positionand shall be flashed on one side only on a parked or disabled vehicle, or flashed as a courtesy or "do pass" signal to drivers of other vehicles approaching from the rear.
Too many drivers also neglect to use their directional when coming out of their driveways onto a road or street, which they are required by law to do. It also doesn’t matter that you are in a left or right turn lane at the lights waiting to turn into a shopping center or another street. You are still required by law to use your directional, indicating your intention to turn. And, even blabbing on your cell phone, which you shouldn’t be doing if you are driving, is no excuse for not using your directional when making turns or changing lanes. We need more courtesy and safety on our roads, not stupidity.
|EXPLAINING HOW GOFFSTOWN'S GOVERNMENT REALLY WORKS|
I wouldn’t normally respond to a letter to the
editor (of the Goffstown News), because I believe people are entitled to express their opinion.
|CAMPASANO: I DO NOT APPROVE OF PLANNED ROUNDABOUT|
To the Editor of the Goffstown News:
It was with disappointment that I read your article concerning the Henry Bridge Road roundabout. The article quoted me as saying, "It was selectmen who approved the Henry Bridge roundabout." What your reporter failed to include in that quote was the part where I stated, "It was the prior board of selectmen that approved the Henry Bridge roundabout."
I am, personally, against the roundabout. Although it may have been an unintentional editorial omission, I do not appreciate being made to look like I approved that project. I would ask that, in the future, when you quote an individual, you make every effort to place their statement in the context in which it was made.
Before I was elected, I attended the roundabout public hearings and listened to the town residents voice their disapproval of that proposal. Unfortunately, the public comments, as so often is the case, were ignored and the project chugged along. I did not have an opportunity as a new selectman to do anything about it, as the project had already been approved by the board, prior to my election.
There are a growing number of residents in Goffstown who are frustrated by the fact that public hearings seem to have become meaningless. As I stated at the Sept. 21st master plan public hearing, it feels, at times, that public hearings have become a "required nuisance" in the eyes of officials. Elected bodies grudgingly endure the public comments, only to then continue on with their business, doing as they please.
Our Town Meeting form of government is not a representative form of government. It is a pure democracy. As a selectman, I can not decide to do what I think the best thing to do is. I must do what the townspeople direct me to do. In some cases, state statute allows for that direct input to the board. It’s called a public hearing. When the public comes in and voices their desires, I, for one, listen. I heard the public voice their concerns about a master plan that, according to several planning board members themselves, contained errors and flaws. That is why I voted against adoption. There was no reason why the planning board could not have put off adopting the plan. They could have worked with those concerned residents to make corrections and then adopt it at a later date.
There will be those who will look at the small number of people who attend public hearings and complain that a few individuals should not suggest changes for everyone. Unfortunately, in this day and age, only a small segment of people turn out for these meetings. We see a similar occurrence on election day. However, we should not ignore the concerns of these motivated and engaged residents simply because their neighbors didn’t show up.
I commend those residents for taking the time to come to meetings and speaking out. It is their efforts that make Goffstown the special place that it is.
|GOFFSTOWN SHOULD LISTEN TO THE RESIDENTS ABOUT TRAFFIC ISSUES|
In response to the two letters by Tricia Wynne and Diane Rand, I have to agree that these roundabouts are a mistake.
What about traffic lights or four-way stop signs? I think these roundabouts are going to take the true historic value away from Grasmere and cause plenty of traffic problems.
I also think that something this major should be voted on by the town residents and not just by the board of selectmen and DPW. Maybe it is time that these department heads are voted in by the town residents and not by the selectmen.
Why is the DPW not finishing all the road repairs and washouts that are still all over town?
There is plenty of work that needs to be done other than these roundabouts.
Wallace Road would work better with a traffic light, but I guess this part of town can’t have them. The town’s residents voted a few years ago for a traffic light at Elm, Main, North Mast and High streets and ended up getting bumpouts instead.
It seems that whatever the town’s residents vote on, the board of selectmen and DPW do whatever they want. I suppose that the extra land that will be needed for these roundabouts will be taken by eminent domain with no consideration for the landowners.
Where have the rights of the town residents gone? I think it is time that the residents of Goffstown get to vote on what is going to be done and bought in this town.
A lot of residents don’t realize that a lot of equipment and job items are hid in the operating budget.
|ROUNDABOUT IS NOT THE ANSWER FOR TRAFFIC IN GRASMERE VILLAGE|
In response to Tricia Wynne’s letter last week regarding the "roundabout" in Grasmere Village, I too am shocked and just frustrated that the selectmen and the Department of Public Works are putting this project before the problem areas at Wallace Road and Main and Elm streets.
What are they thinking? This proposed "roundabout" is not going to solve the traffic problem in the mornings and after school. It’s going to be a complete mess with traffic backed up. I live six houses from the center and the traffic is flowing quite nicely.
Yes, maybe for a short period of time, the cars and buses coming up Henry Bridge have a problem getting onto Center Street but a "roundabout" is not the solution.
The Grasmere General Store is going to be especially hard hit with a "roundabout" as I saw the plans last year and it called for a curb running in front of the store with a small space for access to the parking area.
I have not spoken to one person that agrees with the proposal.
After all the problems with the roads this year, you would think that the Department of Public Works would be putting extra money into repairing our existing roads. But they must have this money in the budget for a "roundabout" and plan on using it!
It is sad to know that no matter how many letters we write to express our concerns, the selectmen and the DPW are going to do it anyway.
|NEW GOFFSTOWN ROUNDABOUT IS A WASTE OF TIME AND MONEY|
Is anyone else as shocked as I am that the Public Works Department is preparing to install a traffic circle (excuse me, they call it a roundabout) at the top of Henry Bridge and Center Streets? The last we heard about this was a year ago. I’ve heard nothing since then.
Why do we need to do something there? Typically, it isn’t a high accident spot. Granted there is a backup onto Henry Bridge, but I strongly doubt that the "round-about" will alleviate that situation. Trucks and buses, especially, will have a hard time trying to enter going uphill from a near dead stop.
Why are we spending our money and time on this? Don’t we have many other roads that need attention? Were other plans considered? Could we attempt something less costly and achieve the goal? (Whatever the goal is?) Where were the other public hearings on this? I had written a letter to the selectmen when this first came to light and received a letter telling me to come to the next public hearing. I never heard about another public hearing.
The Public Works Department already removed the old tree in the triangle. I don’t think it is too late to stop and really look at this plan. At least explain to the public why this is happening and what purpose it will serve, or is trying to serve. Personally, I’d rather see my tax dollars going to more worthwhile projects than "roundabout" solutions. Most people don’t like them and find them very frustrating. Wouldn’t a traffic light or stop sign accomplish the same thing but cost less money?
I don’t know the answers to these questions. They are questions I would have liked to have asked at the "public hearing" that no one that I’ve asked knows when or if it ever happened. I urge you to contact your selectmen and let them know how you feel.
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