EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

January 27, 2013

N.H. gets ready for Town Meeting

Granite State gears up for Town Meeting


Hampstead voters have a proposed $1.64 million police station to discuss.

Plaistow voters will talk about a $25,000 architectural study for the public safety complex and a $400,000 fire suppression water line along Route 125.

When it comes to spending, Granite State Taxpayers chairman Jim Adams likes to keep in mind what he learned at home as a boy.

He thinks voters would be wise to ponder the philosophy: “There are things we want to do, things that are fun to do and things we must do.”

Adams always encourages taxpayers to watch the spending. He’s troubled by the growth in SAU budgets and what he sees as redundant administrative services.

“What do students get out of that?” he said.

How voters will approach spending this Town Meeting season is hard to tell, Adams acknowledges.

He senses towns are beginning to realize there is no pot of gold in Concord, but some will take advantage of opportunities.

“If communities have put off a new building, they may see if there is any help from the state and maybe bite the bullet to do that,” Adams said.

Reardon’s advice to voters is come prepared for deliberative.

“They should be well informed,” he said.

Windham moderator Peter Griffin agrees.

“Take a look at the warrants and see what you are voting on,” he said. “If you have a question, contact the department head or the administrative office.”

There’s also some etiquette involved.

“People don’t understand it is a business meeting,” Griffin said. “You should conduct yourself as if you were in your own office at a business meeting.”

“Be polite and courteous,” Reardon said.

That means refraining from booing a speaker or even applauding.

“Don’t heckle or call each other names,” Griffin said.

Reardon said the whole point of this democratic process is to listen to what others have to say, even when we disagree.

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