To the editor:

I have filed a petition article asking the voters of Hampstead to increase the size of our Board of Selectmen from three to five members. This article will be Number 8 on the warrant.

Why the change? I believe it is best for a number of reasons, some of which are: the size of our town, the greater responsibilities of the board and the need for more involvement by our citizens.

Five is better than three. Our Town has a population of more than 9,000 citizens. Most towns of this size have a five-member select board.

The last time I checked, 14 of 17 surrounding towns of the same size or smaller have five members.

Five is better than three because the three members of our current Select Board are required to oversee as liaison or serve as a member the 32 other boards and committees in town. Many of these responsibilities are time-consuming.

Five is better than three because in a “bedroom” community such as Hampstead, it is difficult for those who would like to get involved to participate. Those who have full-time jobs and young families will have difficulty putting in this effort and commitment.

Spreading the effort over a larger board would encourage our citizens to become involved.

Five is better than three. I hope this March 10, voters in Hampstead will see the need for this change and support the article.

Joe Guthrie


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