EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

January 27, 2013

N.H. gets ready for Town Meeting

Granite State gears up for Town Meeting


Reardon, a veteran moderator, is still second guessing himself for letting people applaud good speakers at the last deliberative. That led to hissing when someone aired an opposing view.

“I get upset by that,” Reardon said. “It’s a basic, on-the-ground place where people can speak at the microphone and affect their local government.”

That wouldn’t happen in Atkinson. Three years ago, town moderator James Garrity instituted a rule that requires residents to address one another as “my good neighbor.”

In a town that has had more than its share of rancorous debate, the rule seems to have helped.

Discussions won’t be limited to budgets at the deliberative sessions.

There will be labor agreements to consider, such as the first pact for Windham teachers in several years.

Salem voters will have a non-binding question about expanding gaming at Rockingham Park. Pelham voters consider a property tax break for disabled homeowners.

Newton voters will decide whether to increase the size of the Board of Selectmen from three to five.

Zoning matters also will be up for discussion. In Windham, one warrant article lays out a Village Center District that would allow development of a traditional downtown area.

Voters can expect to run into a few candidates for local offices at their deliberative sessions. The filing period closes Friday, so some will be making their first official campaign stops.

Here is the schedule of deliberative sessions:

ATKINSON: Town deliberative, Saturday, Feb. 2, 10 a.m., Atkinson Academy.

DANVILLE: Town deliberative, Saturday, Feb. 2, 10 a.m., Danville Community Center.

DERRY: School district deliberative, Saturday, Feb. 2, 10 a.m., West Running Brook Middle School.

HAMPSTEAD: Town deliberative, Friday, Feb. 8, 7 p.m., Hampstead Middle School.

School district deliberative, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 7 p.m., Hampstead Middle School.

KINGSTON: Town deliberative, Saturday, Feb. 2, 9 a.m., Town Hall.

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