Library Warrant Article in Violation of State Law

The current placement of the first two warrant articles to be voted on at Town Meeting is incorrect and not allowed by law, Town Moderator Dan Barnard confirmed to me yesterday.

These are the warrant articles in question, in the order currently listed in the 2018 Tuftonboro Town Report:

Article 03: To see if the Town will vote to extend the purposes of the previously established Library Capital Reserve Fund to include expansion and renovation of the existing library building. This Capital Reserve Fund was established by vote at Town Meeting in March, 2010 as Article 12 on the Town Warrant “for the purpose of building a new library.” Furthermore to name the Board of Selectmen as agents to expend from the fund.

(Two-Thirds (2/3) vote required)
(Recommended by the Board of Selectmen 3-0)

Article 04: To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of One Million, Nine Hundred Twenty Thousand Dollars ($1,920,000.00) to renovate and expand the current Library and to authorize the issuance of not more than One Million Ninety Four Thousand Dollars ($1,094,000.00) of bonds or notes in accordance with the provisions of the Municipal Finance Act (RSA Chapter 33); to authorize the selectmen to issue and negotiate such bonds and notes and to determine the rate of interest thereon and the maturity and other terms thereof. Furthermore, to authorize the withdrawal of Four Hundred Sixteen Thousand Dollars ($416,000.00) from the existing Library Capital Reserve Fund and Four Hundred Ten Thousand Dollars ($410,000.00) from the Library Capital Donations Fund. The first payment on the bond or note will not be made until year 2019.

(Two-Thirds (2/3) ballot vote required per RSA 33:8-a)
(Recommended by the Board of Selectmen 2-0-1 and the Budget Committee 6-1)

A quick note on the numbers of the articles: Town Meeting on Wednesday, March 14, at 7:30PM begins with article #3. Article #1 is to choose elected officials and article #2 is to changing a zoning ordinance. Those will be voted on by ballot on the prior day, March 13, at the Town House.

The selectmen are responsible for preparing the articles, but did not follow RSA 33:8-a:II, which states:

All articles appearing in the warrant which propose a bond or note issue exceeding $100,000 shall appear in consecutive numerical order and shall be acted upon prior to other business except the election of officers, action on the adoption, revision, or amendment of a municipal charter, and zoning matters or as otherwise determined by the voters at the meeting. Polls shall remain open and ballots shall be accepted by the moderator on each such article, for a period of not less than one hour following the completion of discussion on each respective article. A separate ballot box shall be provided for each bond article to be voted upon pursuant to this section.

The key phrase, which I bolded: “…shall be acted upon prior to other business.”

Michelle Clark of the New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration advised Diane Falcey, the selectmen’s administrative assistant, that the library-addition warrant article had to be moved to the first position in accordance with law, on January 25:

Diane then reported that she had moved the library-addition article “to 1st money article” and that “[warrant article] is now 03” (from 04).

And yet, the library-addition article was subsequently moved back to #4.

The selectmen did not follow the statute and ignored advice from the state department of revenue.

The reason the selectmen (and the library trustees) wanted the library-addition article to be voted on after the change-of-purpose article, as I understand it, is that the library-addition article is dependent on the roughly $400,000 in the capital reserve fund.

Just to be very clear: I am not alleging that the articles are in the wrong order — I am stating a fact, which has been confirmed by Dan yesterday and by Michelle Clark on January 25.

Jack Widmer Misleads on Glenn Cordelli

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.

From page seven of the February 2, 2018, House Record:

HB 1452, relative to equalized property valuation used to apportion expenses in cooperative school districts.


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).

Watch the entire library information open house here.


It turns out Jack gave wrong information about the potential tax affect of taking out a loan for the library addition and renovation. Paul Matlock corrected the record on the adjoining post:

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.
Paul Matlock
Library trustee

Plea Agreement for Effingham Man Who Sold Fentanyl That Killed Tuftonboro Resident

The Union Leader:

OSSISPEE — A former Effingham resident charged with selling the fentanyl heroin mix that killed Joshua Fournier of Tuftonboro in September 2016 could be released in 6 1/2 years following his sentencing Wednesday.

Under a plea agreement with the state, Andrew Garland, 22, must complete a substance abuse treatment program while incarcerated and take advantage of other educational opportunities for early release from the 12- to 24-year sentence. He could have faced a maximum penalty of life in prison.

“I would like to apologize to the Fournier family for the part I played in the death of Joshua. Although I did not know him, I feel remorseful and horrible for my actions and that my addiction has taken the life of another individual,” Garland said before he became so emotional that he asked his public defender, Steve Mirkin, to read the rest.

Assistant Attorney General Danielle Sakowski, who prosecuted the case, told the judge the victim’s father, Michael Fournier, opposed the proposed deal, believing it was too lenient.

“He did not believe he was emotionally capable of being here today,” the prosecutor said. The elder Fournier discovered his 22-year-old son dead in the basement of the home they shared. The state medical examiner ruled the cause of death as acute fentanyl intoxication.

Annual Holiday Festival Weekend Is November 11-12

The 22nd annual Tuftonboro Holiday Festival will be November 11 & 12. The Festival is a weekend in Tuftonboro during which residents share their interests, creations and holiday spirit in their homes and businesses. On offer will be clothing, jewelry, soaps, wreaths, baked goods, and more.

Local businesses the Garden Cape, For Every Season, Full Moon Fashions, and GeezLouise will also be open on Friday (November 8) from 5-8PM for a preview of the weekend.

Follow the Tuftonboro Holiday Festival Facebook page for more updates.


Would you like to know how to respond to a local emergency in order to protect and assist your family, friends and your community?

In just 20 hours, learn how to provide basic first aid, search and rescue victims safely, manage utilities, put out small fires and effectively help your family and community during a local crisis.

This training will be held at the Tuftonboro Central Fire Department on Friday August 18th, 6-9pm, Saturday August 19th, 9am – 5pm and on Saturday August 26th, 9am – 5pm. Each day will cover different topics of emergency response.

You may take the entire course in Tuftonboro, or in part – there will be other training locations and dates throughout the year; it is possible to complete the training in segments over a period of time, for your convenience.

This free event is generously offered by CERT, Granite United Way and Carroll County Coalition for Public Health.

For more information, and to pre-register ( required to ensure minimum enrollment requirements ) please call Jeff Jones at 603-301-1251 ext. 304 .




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Boat Access Open at Lower Beech Pond

Someone has moved the rock that was blocking the access to Lower Beech Pond at Brown Road.

As you can see in the video, it’s evident that the rock was dragged along the shoulder. It has been left a considerable distance from its prior position. It is also within the town’s right of way, which extends 14’3″ to either side of the pavement.

Here’s what the access looks like today:

And here’s what it looked liked a few days ago:

Narcan Training at Tuftonboro Free Library

Carroll County Coalition for Public Health presented a free training in the use of NarCan at the Tuftonboro Free Library on Friday, May 5. NarCan, also known as Naloxone, is used to reverse drug overdoses.

Video thanks to Joe Kowalski.