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New Hampshire Town Meeting 2014: Complete Coverage

A voter wears a vote patch at the Lyme Town Meeting in Lyme N.H., on March 11, 2014
Valley News - Jennifer Hauck

A voter wears a vote patch at the Lyme Town Meeting in Lyme N.H., on March 11, 2014 Valley News - Jennifer Hauck

Find the Valley News' complete coverage of New Hampshire Town Meeting coverage below. Town Meeting stories and results are also posted at www.vnews.com/townmeeting.

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Town Moderators: Making Meetings Move

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Cornish — An hour before convening the business portion of Tuesday’s Town Meeting, Gwyn Gallagher was starting to get nervous. “It doesn’t really ever go away, I think,” said Gallagher, Cornish’s town and school moderator. The jitters aren’t surprising. Ensuring that a meeting runs smoothly requires solid preparation; moderators need to understand the issues and stay current on procedural changes. …

Mascoma Renovation Approved; Larger Towns Provide Margin

Friday, March 14, 2014

Canaan — Boosted by a strong turnout in Enfield and Canaan, Mascoma Valley voters Tuesday finally rallied enough support to approve a $21.5 million renovation of Mascoma Valley Regional High School. In unofficial results, the measure won 63 percent support after three other attempts in recent years fell short of the 60 percent threshold required for passage. “It went through …

Canaan Budget Approved; Tax Relief for Elderly, Disabled Also Passes

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Canaan — A $3.2 million operating budget for the town of Canaan easily won approval Tuesday, as did two articles aimed at providing property tax relief to senior citizens and the disabled. The municipal budget, up nearly 4 percent from last year, passed in ballot voting, 831-319. It includes $122,398 of additional spending, most of it going to buy new …

Charlestown Re-Elects Neill; Town Office Bond Fails

Friday, March 14, 2014

Charlestown — Steve Neill was re-elected to his sixth three-year term on the Selectboard, and voters overwhelmingly rejected a bond proposal for to pay for building an addition to the town offices in voting Tuesday. All other articles on the warrant were approved, including the combined $4.7 million general fund and water and sewer budget. The $450,000 bond article for …

Claremont OKs School Budget

Friday, March 14, 2014

Claremont — Incumbent School Board member Heather Irish was soundly defeated in her re-election bid by Richard Madigan, 528-431, and Becky Ferland and Robert Picard won three-year seats on the board in school district voting on Tuesday. Ferland, a retired Stevens High School teacher, and Picard, an incumbent appointed in January, beat out Thomas Brothers and Patrick Adrian. Voters easily …

Cornish To Hire Road Agent

Friday, March 14, 2014

Cornish — Voters at Town Meeting granted the power to hire a road agent to the Selectboard, ending a long-standing practice of townspeople electing a resident to a one-year term in the position. The measure, which was petitioned onto the warrant for the floor portion of the meeting, passed by a show of hands with 70 people voting in favor. …

Croydon Elects Officers, Floor Meetings on Saturday

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Croydon — Ronald Leslie was elected to a three-year term on the Selectboard, and Jody Underwood won a three-year seat on the School Board in Australian ballot voting Tuesday. The remaining articles on the Croydon warrant will be voted on at Town Meeting at 9 a.m. Saturday, followed by the school district meeting at 1 p.m. The big item Saturday …

Dorchester Vote on Spending Set for Saturday

Friday, March 14, 2014

Dorchester — Maria Weick won the sole open Selectboard seat in one of several uncontested races for town offices on Tuesday. Weick will join the three-person board, replacing the outgoing Vice Chairman Michael Mock. While Weick was the only name on the ballot for the three-year Selectboard seat and received 118 votes, Trevor Gove still earned 48 votes as a …

Enfield Results Awaited on Zoning Amendments

Friday, March 14, 2014

Enfield — Voters were deciding seven zoning amendments on Tuesday, but as of 11 p.m., results were still not available because the town had to print additional paper ballots and count them by hand. Town Planner Scott Osgood said last month that all zoning amendments are just “technical” changes that bring consistency and add definitions. The articles call for numerous …

Grafton Rejects All 3 Town Office Proposals

Friday, March 14, 2014

Grafton — Voters on Tuesday rejected all three proposals to solve space problems and remedy code violations at the town office building. One of the options, which asked taxpayers to appropriate $12,000 to fix the most immediate violations, resulted in a 263-263 vote, meaning “it lost, because it didn’t win,” Selectboard Chairman Steve Darrow said after the polls closed Tuesday …

Grantham Residents Breeze Through Budget

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Grantham — A full house of voters dispensed with the town’s business in a little over an hour, approving budgets and the lease-purchase of a plow truck with nary a “nay” vote. In all-day balloting, voters also re-elected Selectman Warren Kimball, who ran unopposed. Voters approved spending just under $3.1 million to support town government, public safety, public works, recreation …

Haverhill Voters Approve Budget, Elect Chasse to School Board

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Haverhill — Voters approved a municipal budget that will increase spending by about $300,000 to $3.8 million, but only after a debate that indicated some weren’t happy about it. “I want to make it clear that this is getting outrageous,” said resident Peter Saladino. “We’re going up and up and up.” The approximately 100 voters who attended the meeting at …

Lebanon Agrees to Hold Line on School Spending

Friday, March 14, 2014

Lebanon — For the second year in a row, voters on Tuesday denied Alan J. Patterson’s effort to return to the School Board, this time re-electing three incumbents during balloting that demonstrated solid support for a hold-the-line school budget of $39 million and rejected a plan to introduce foreign languages in the elementary grades. In a race for three three-year …

Lyme Voters OK $2 Million Budget

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Lyme — Without comments or questions, about 150 voters at Town Meeting unanimously approved a $2 million town operating budget for the fiscal year that began Jan. 1. The budget is 2.1 percent, or $41,000, higher than the 2013 spending plan and is not expected to affect Lyme’s municipal property tax rate of $6.05 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. Until …

Newport School District Voters Reject Teacher Pay Raises

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Newport — Voters emphatically rejected every proposed pay increase for teachers and support staff on Tuesday’s Town Meeting ballot while also electing Shannon Howe as a write-in candidate to the Newport School Board. The proposed budget of $17.5 million, only $15,000 more than the default budget, passed easily, 640-110. With no candidates on the ballot to replace outgoing board member …

Orange Voters Approve Zoning Rule Changes

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Orange — Residents overwhelmingly approved a change to the zoning ordinance that will align the town’s definition of a junkyard with state law. While the previous wording of the ordinance focused solely on automobiles, the updated one expands the definition of a junkyard to include scrapped metal, machines and debris, in addition to cars. Voters approved the change, 104-26. The …

Orford Fire Chief to Be Appointed

Friday, March 14, 2014

Orford — Debates over the budget took a back seat this year as more than 200 residents attended Town Meeting Tuesday night to debate the Selectboard’s attempts to change how volunteers become members of Orford’s volunteer fire department. At the heart of the debate was Article 13, which shifted authority over personnel policies from the fire department’s members to the …

Changes to Fire Department Debated in Piermont

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Piermont — The legal status of the fire department and whether the tax collector should be elected or appointed generated the liveliest exchanges at Town Meeting Tuesday night. About 80 people attended the two-hour meeting in the Piermont Village School. In the only contest among town and School Board positions, Selectman Ernie Hartley won a three-year term over Teran “Terri” …

Plainfield OKs Zoning Changes; Eberhardt Defeats Horne

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Plainfield — During all-day ballot voting Tuesday, townspeople approved a series of zoning amendments designed to make it easier to build free-standing apartments on their properties. The zoning changes allow residents to build accessory dwelling units, or so-called “in-law” apartments. Previously, apartments were allowed only if they were structurally attached, such as an addition, a basement or over a garage. …

Springfield, N.H., Selectboard Chairman Turns Back Challengers

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Springfield, N.H. — Selectboard Chairman Don Hill, a six-year incumbent, easily turned back two challengers on Tuesday. Hill took 174 votes to 57 for William Huntoon and 39 for John Trachy. Huntoon has served on the Budget Committee and previously ran for Selectboard. Trachy said he wants to improve use of the town’s website and help build a greater sense …

Sunapee Voters Approve Town, School Budgets

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Sunapee — First-term incumbent Selectboard member Sue Gottling defeated challenger John Augustine, 370-270, for a three-year seat on the board, and the town and school budgets passed during all-day Town Meeting balloting. Also approved, 498-114, was an article to designate the properties known as Wendell Marsh as town owned. While all the articles on the school warrant were approved, including …

Unity School Board Chairman Ousted

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Unity — The incumbent chairman of the School Board, which has been the target of intense criticism over a school construction project that is considerably over budget, was turned out of office in a three-way race. Craig Shute, a former School Board member, defeated Chairman Shawn Randall, as well as John Callum. Shute received 162 votes, Callum 59 and Randall …