The selectmen proposed an operating budget of $3,742,305.24. The budget committee proposed $3,742,055.24. The budget committee’s proposed budget is what will be voted on at Town Meeting on March 14, at 7:30PM.
The following documents may help you assess the proposed budget:
The committee had a “pre-meeting” at 6PM for about ten minutes, then suspended until 6:30 for the public meeting. Discussion of the operating budget begins at 10:37 in the video. Discussion of budgetary warrant articles begins at 57:10.
Speaking in his signature slow-as-molasses, nasally rasp at the Budget Committee’s public hearing on the proposed budget, Max Ledoux told Carla Lootens on Tuesday night that he didn’t think she was a “nice person.” This rude remark came after Carla attempted to steer the meeting back toward budget matters following a lengthy and pointless comment from Max about the town’s 10-wheel plow truck, which broke down recently as well as got stuck in a ditch.
“We’re here to talk about the budget. You know I love you, Max, but …” said Carla, trying to be nice.
“Well, I don’t think that’s true,” Max then said.
“I’m being nice, Max,” replied Carla, to laughter from others in the room.
“You’re not a very nice person,” said Max.
“Hmm?” Said Carla, not hearing.
“I don’t think you’re a very nice person,” said Max, which is not a very nice thing to say.
“Max,” said Carla sternly, “we’re here to talk about the budget, please.”
Karel Crawford — who represents Tuftonboro, Moultonborough, and Sandwich in the state legislature — voted February 8 for a 0.67% income tax on New Hampshire workers in the form of HB 628. Karel voted for HB 628 even though the majority on the Commerce and Consumer Affairs had voted the bill “inexpedient to Legislate,” which typically kills a bill when it comes to a full vote on the house floor.
As a result of Karel’s vote, the income tax bill was referred to the Finance Committee instead of being permanently tabled.
The income tax in HB 628 would create a state-run family paid-leave insurance program. It’s being sold as “optional,” because workers would be able to opt-out — But only if they download a form from a state-run web site, sign it, have it notarized, and submit it to both the state and their employer before commencing employment. Sounds totally optional.
Speaking on Saturday, Tuftonboro Treasurer Jack Widmer misleadingly stated that state representative Glenn Cordelli (R-Tuftonboro) had co-sponsored a bill that would have raised the school tax rate in Tuftonboro.
“That particular bill, unfortunately, was co-sponsored by Clay [sic] Cordelli, our state representative,” Jack said.
Although Glenn initially put his name on the bill as a co-sponsor, he withdrew his support when the final text of the bill was made available. In fact, he not only voted against the bill in the Education Committee, Glenn was the one who made the motion to kill the bill.
HB 1452, relative to equalized property valuation used to apportion expenses in cooperative school districts.
INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE.
Rep. Glenn Cordelli for Education. There are 33 cooperative school districts. Each has an existing and differing agreement on the apportionment formula to determine the amount to be paid by each town. While this bill raises the valid discussion of the formula of attendance vs. town equalized valuation, it would not be appropriate for the state to intercede in these local agreements. Vote 19-0.
When informed that Glenn had voted against the final bill, Jack tried to dismiss that fact by saying: “My feeling about that is, and not to get into an argument about it, but, my feeling is, you don’t put your name on a bill unless you know what you’re putting your name on.”
This seems petty to me. There are many reasons to co-sponsor a bill initially, before the text of a bill is finalized. What I think matters most is the final vote.
The fact of the matter, no matter whether Jack tries to brush it aside, is that Glenn voted against the bill.
Here is Jack’s entire presentation on Saturday (discussion of education bills starts around the 7:00 mark).
There is an error in the presentation. When asked, Jack reports that the tax rate could be as low as 2.5 cents per thousand which would mean a $200,000 house would pay only an extra $5 a year. After the meeting, I started wondering about this. Jack has since confirmed that the added tax would be 10 plus cents for the principal payment with the finance cost added to this. My estimate is up to 14 cents per thousand, meaning that that 200,000 house would pay an extra $28 a year.
Sorry for the confusion.
The Tuftonboro Association has announced the date for Candidates night:
The Tuftonboro Association is sponsoring “Candidates Night” on Tuesday, February 20th, at the Tuftonboro Central School beginning at 7:00 p.m. Candidates for town offices as well as candidates for the Governor Wentworth School Board have been invited to attend. There are two contested offices in Tuftonboro: Selectman and two seats on the Budget Committee. This will be an opportunity for townspeople to ask questions and hear where the candidates stand on various issues.
Tuftonboro selectman Chip Albee, a registered Democrat, referred to the “Moultonborough Taliban” when speaking about Republicans in neighboring Moultonborough. Albee alleged that Democrats had been forbidden from campaigning at the Moultonborough transfer station while Republicans had been allowed to, because “the Moultonborough Taliban was working its way.” Such viewpoint discrimination would be clearly illegal and unconstitutional. However, it’s not quite on the same level as the Taliban throwing acid in little girls’ faces, cutting off people’s heads, and carrying out suicide attacks.
I have asked Moultonboro Speaks blogger, Paul Punturieri, himself a Democrat, if he knows if Moultonborough Democrats were prevented from campaigning at the Moultonborough transfer station while Republicans were allowed to. I am a Republican, but if this happened then it’s appalling. Describing political opponents as the Taliban is also appalling.
Paul told me that it’s been longstanding town policy in Moultonborough not to allow campaigning on town property. He also said that he remembered an incident in 2010 when Chip was running for re-election as Carroll County Commissioner, and being challenged by Republican Asha Kenney. Paul said that Kenney had gone to the Moultonborough transfer station one Saturday to campaign, which prompted numerous complaints to the Moultonborough board of selectmen from residents. The board either informed Kenny of the no-campaigning policy or reminded her of it (it’s not clear to me whether she knew before she went), and she didn’t return. Kenney defeated Chip in the election and served one term as commissioner.