EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


March 9, 2014

Editorial: Due diligence needed in NH towns


To those who can’t stretch the slackest of democratic muscle, shame on you.

Selectmen and town councilors are up for election in almost every town. They’re the very officials who are often the target of citizens’ displeasure when they make decisions they disagree with. Give them credit for stepping up to run for a job so few apparently want.

There are some contested races and those candidates deserve careful consideration before voters make their choices Tuesday.

In tiny Danville, 19-year police Chief Wade Parsons faces a challenge from one of his own sergeants for a three-year term. Yes, Virginia, some New Hampshire towns still elect the police chief.

They are some many warrant articles with hefty price tags attached.

Salem School District voters will decide whether to spend $74.7 million to renovate the decrepit Salem High School. Voters also are asked to spend more than $5 million to fix some of the town’s worst roads and decaying bridges.

In Londonderry, school district voters will be asked to approve a $66 million operating budget and a $4 million warrant article to support major renovations and upgrades to the district’s schools.

Pelham voters, too, are asked to write big checks for schools — $22 million for high school renovations and expansion, $27.6 million for the school budget.

Sandown officials want voters to spent about $1.75 million for a new police station. In Kingston, the historic Grace Daley House is back on the ballot, this time to see whether demolition can be delayed while supporters try to fund its restoration.

New Hampshire relies on its citizens to decide for themselves how to govern their towns and school districts. It’s a responsibility every resident should take seriously.

Winston Churchill once said, “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.”

Don’t let that be you. Read, talk, consider, then cast a ballot Tuesday.

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