U N I VE R S A L
Solid Hardwood Floors
installed with pad
(based on 360 s.f.)(based on 360 s.f.)
Governor Lynch Veto of Redistricting Plan
by Diane Chubb
On Friday, March 23, Governor Lynch vetoed House Bill 592, which is the House redistricting plan.Under the plan proposed and passed by the House, Pelham was denied its own representatives andremains grouped in with Hudson and Litcheld in a “super district.”In 2006, New Hampshire voters overwhelmingly approved an amendment to the state constitution toensure that communities with enough population - 3,291 residents - “shall have its own district of one ormore representative seats.”For the past few months, the battle regarding redistricting has raged on and Pelham has been one of thecasualties. The redistricting plan denies 59 of these towns its own representative. Pelham is among thesetowns, which has sufcient population to support 4 representatives.After the bill passed, the Pelham Board of Selectmen continued their ght against House Bill 592.. OnTuesday, January 31, they sent a letter to Governor Lynch asking him to veto the plan under House Bill592.“This legislation does not allow the voters of Pelham and the voters in 59 other communities theindividual representation they deserve and are entitled under the state constitution,” wrote then-SelectmenChair Ed Gleason.“Twelve of our 13 representatives live outside Pelham and most are complete and absolute strangers tothe vast majority of our voters who have little or no likelihood of any encounter with our representatives,”Gleason wrote.Rep. Shaun Doherty, a Republican, is the only Pelham resident in the Legislature.In the Governor’s veto message, Lynch wrote, “The right to vote is central to our democratic government.But that right is meaningless unless equal representation is assured when citizensvote. I am vetoing HB 592 because it violates the constitutional principle for equalrepresentation and local representation; it is inconsistent in its treatment of similarlysituated towns and wards, and it unnecessarily changes the boundaries of existingdistricts.”“HB 592 denies a total of 62 New Hampshire towns and wards their own seats inthe House. For example, the towns of Atkinson, Hudson, Meredith, and Pelham allhave sufcient population under state and federal constitutional standards to havetheir own representative, but all are denied their own representative under the House-approved plan. This is completely contrary to what the citizens of New Hampshirecalled for in the state constitutional amendment adopted in 2006.”The bill will now be sent back the House, where members will either craft a newplan or vote to override the Governor’s veto.House leadership under Majority Leader William O’Brien had gathered partymembers to ensure that any amendments to the bill failed, and the bill passed asintended. The House passed the redistricting bill several weeks ago on a vote of 205-86, with 106 members not voting.Nevertheless, Doherty, as Pelham’s lone representative, says he will vote against theleadership team and vote to uphold the Governor’s veto.“Certainly the voters were under the impression that the situation would be xedby the constitutional amendment,” Doherty said. “It is disappointing to the voters of Pelham, after 10 years of no guarantee of representation, to be overwhelmed by beingcombined with other towns.”“I was elected by the people of my district and my town,” he said. “It’s going to bevery tight but it could be sustained because the Manchester opposition is very strong.”Board of Selectmen Chair Bill McDevitt was pleased with the veto. He said, “NewHampshire has always offered the advantage of local representation for local peopleand we would like to see that returned to Pelham.”The House and Senate must get a two-thirds majority to override the veto. Giventhe current numbers, at least 47 more votes will be required to uphold the veto.Current Board of Selectmen Chair Bill McDevitt is encouraging Pelham voters tocontact the representatives of Hillsborough District 27 and urge support of the veto.Their contact information can be found at http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/house/ members/wmlresults.aspx?town=Pelham.The list is as follows:Ralph G. Boehm: 6 Gibson Dr., Litcheld, NH, 03052-2301, tel. 860-6309, firstname.lastname@example.orgRandall S. Brownrigg: 2 Little Hales Ln., Hudson, NH 03051-5070, tel. 883-6209,email@example.comLars T. Christiansen: 1 Stone Wood Ln., Hudson, NH 03051-3443, tel. 889-0481,firstname.lastname@example.orgShaun S. Doherty: 105 Bush Hill Rd., Pelham, NH 03076-3005, tel. 860-2293,email@example.comLaura J. Gandia: 3 Chamberlin Dr., Litcheld, NH 03052-2464, tel. 424-1071,firstname.lastname@example.orgRobert H. Haefner: 1 St. John St., Hudson, NH 03051-3733, tel. 889-1553,email@example.comShawn N. Jasper: 83 Old Derry Rd., Hudson, NH 03051-3017, tel. 595-9621,firstname.lastname@example.orgGeorge A. Lambert: 3 Lydston Ln., Litcheld, NH 03052-8017, tel. 889-7468,email@example.com Jonathan S. Maltz: 28 Chagnon Ln., Hudson, NH, 03051-3432, firstname.lastname@example.orgRussell T. Ober: 3 Heritage Cir., Hudson, NH 03051-3410, tel. 883-9654Lynne M. Ober: 3 Heritage Cir., Hudson, NH 03051-3410, tel. 883-9654, email@example.comAndrew Renzullo: 2 Heritage Cir., Hudson, NH 03051-3428, tel. 882-8962,firstname.lastname@example.org Jordan G. Ulery: PO Box 15, Hudson, NH 03051-0015, tel. 882-8979, email@example.com
by Barbara O’Brien
Following the annual town and schooldistrict elections earlier this month,Windham selectmen and school boardmembers have chosen those who willhead up these committees for theensuing 12 months.On the Windham School Districtside, during the rst meeting followingthe March 13 election, rst-time schoolboard members Michael Joanis and Jerome Rekart were sworn in by SchoolDistrict Clerk Mary Ann Horaj. Newschool district treasurer Donna Sawyerwas also sworn into ofce at the sametime, but will not take on her dutiesuntil the new school year begins on July1.As for the leadership of the WindhamSchool Board, long-time member BruceAnderson was elected as chairman.Anderson has served as chairmanpreviously and held the position of vice-chairman this past year. Former schoolboard chairman Ed Gallagher chose notto seek re-election to a second term.School board member Michelle Farrellgot the nod as vice-chairman for thenext 12 months. Farrell, who joined theschool board in 2010, has not held thisposition previously.The Windham School Board is nowmade up of the following ve members:Bruce Anderson, Michelle Farrell,Stephanie Wimmer, Michael Joanis and Jerome Rekart.Also during the March 19 schoolboard meeting, Interim SuperintendentHenry LaBranche commented about theresults of the warrant article pertainingto the withdrawal of Windham fromSAU 28. Due to the fact that themajority of Windham voters cast theirballots to withdraw from SAU 28, whichis currently shared with the PelhamSchool District, that separation willbecome effective on July 1, 2013.Another change slated for theWindham School Board is that nomore meetings will be held on Mondayevenings. For the past couple of years,school board work sessions have beenscheduled for Mondays at 7 p.m., thesame time that Windham Selectmenhave traditionally held their weeklymeetings. This made it very difcultfor anyone who wanted to attendboth meetings. The suggestion for theschool board to begin holding its worksessions on Tuesday evenings, instead,came from Superintendent LaBranche.The rst Tuesday night school boardmeeting will be held on April 3 at theCommunity Development Building,next to Town Hall, beginning at 7 p.m.Both regular meetings and work sessionsare open to the public and a period forpublic input is allowed.During the rst selectmen’s meetingfollowing the recent election, BruceBreton was chosen as chairman for thenext year, while Ross McLeod was votedin as vice-chairman. This past year,Breton served as vice-chairman, whileMcLeod was the board chairman.The board of selectmen is comprisedof the same ve members as last year,including Bruce Breton, Phil LoChiatto,Kathleen DiFruscia, Ross McLeod andRoger Hohenberger. Selectmen hold alltheir regular meetings and work sessionson Mondays, beginning at 7 p.m. inthe Community Development Building.These meetings are also open to thepublic.
Changing of the Guardin Windham
As we headed to press on Wednesday, Represenative Jasper conrmed the House had voted and overridden the Governor Lynch’s Veto of the Redistricting Plan
by Barbara O’Brien
During the annual town and school district election,held March 13, Windham residents voted down manyof the proposed warrant articles, particularly on theschool side of the docket. Not only was the 2012-2013school budget defeated, but also proposals for purchasingadditional portable classrooms and a nearly three- quartermillion dollar request for architectural and engineeringfees to design a new seventh and eighth grade facility. Onthe town side, registered voters said “no” to $200,000for constructing an athletic eld at the Spruce Ponddevelopment.Although few residents seem to believe these facilitiesand services are unnecessary, many have spoken veryclearly about the increasingly high tax rate in Windhamand the inability of many people to pay the bills due tothe poor economic climate, high rate of foreclosures andloss of employment. Many voters said they felt bad aboutvoting against the proposed warrant articles, but felt theyhad no choice given their nancial situations.At the rst school board meeting following the election,Windham resident and former selectman Alan Carpenterspoke about the situation. “In the last election, votersspoke very loudly as a community,” Carpenter stated.“Many of them feel that spending is creating a nancialburden for them.”Carpenter suggested that the development andenactment of a growth ordinance be considered by townand school ofcials, and ultimately the voters. A growthordinance could be used to limit residential developmentin Windham, thereby reducing the need for additionalfacilities and more programs and services. More housesusually means more children to be educated in the publicschool system. A growth ordinance would not reducecommercial development, however, which generally addstax revenue to town and school district coffers. A growthordinance could be designed to be in effect for a specicperiod of time and would limit the number of residentialcerticates of occupancy to be issued per year.“A growth ordinance could create a pause” inWindham’s population growth, Carpenter stated. “It’s away of stopping the bleeding; slowing down the growth,”he said. Windham has seen unprecedented populationgrowth in the last decade, an issue that has severelyimpacted the need for additional classroom space.Currently, Windham has one of the worst teacher-studentratios in New Hampshire. A growth ordinance would keepthe situation from becoming worse, Carpenter said. “Therecould be a moratorium on growth in Windham,” Carpenteradded. “It is legal in New Hampshire.”It was noted while Carpenter was speaking that the issuewould need to be taken to the Windham Planning Board,which would ultimately be responsible for putting togetherand proposing such an ordinance.
Should Windham Consider a Growth Ordinance?