To The Daily Sun,
The number of times that "Gilmanton" has shown up in The Daily Sun editorial letters in the past few months is disturbing, but obviously necessary.
Several issues have the town's people wondering what is going on.
Back in October we attended a selectmen's meeting. It was interesting. There was a person representing the Gilmanton Year-Round Library (GYRL), she was discussing the library being put in as a line item in the 2016 town budget. Selectperson Hatch said she had lunch with this person and was very supportive of this, after some discussion, and Hatch saying she wasn't changing her mind on this issue, it was tabled as the library representative didn't have a dollar amount that they would be asking for.
Also at this meeting, a vote came up for the town to charge $125 yearly for a service license fee. It was pointed out by Selectman Guarino that a service of picking up the trash and recyclables at residences throughout Gilmanton and Gilmanton Iron Works was providing a needed service to a lot of people and didn't see why this new fee was necessary.
Hatch and Jean voted for it. It left me wondering about all the people that provide the service of yard work, looking after houses that are empty etc. are they paying a service license fee, or carpenters, electricians etc. are they paying this new service fee?
The evening ended with the discussion of the four duplexes proposal being built by the Town Pound. That issue was directed back to the Planning Board.
This month we attended a Planning Board meeting, truth be known, I'm not a fan of having four duplexes in the Corner precinct. But after listening to the Planning Board and the land owner, they are in good faith following, and even bending over backward to comply with our zoning laws. As the zoning laws now stand they are in compliance. The owner of the land also generously gave the land the town pound sits on to the town. (Who knew we didn't even own it?)
The GYRL has been a topic of debate and concern for several years now. The reason not being that some Gilmanton voters are opposed to libraries — we have two others — but because it is built on private land and owned by private board. They promised they wouldn't come to the town for money — they would have grant money, and fund-raisers to keep the library afloat. That worked well for a year and then they came to the town for funds, and every years since. It has been voted on by the whole town, some years it has passed, some years it hasn't. Now the GYRL has proposed to the selectmen that it be put on the town budget as a line item. Saves us all the trouble of voting, right? Wrong.
How can people (one selectman voted no) vote on something that takes away the whole town's right to vote? If the selectmen sign a three-year contract with the library for $50,000 a year (that is the proposal), that will mean, counting the other money we have already given them, the town of Gilmanton will be in over $300,000 for a building we don't even own.
If they want to be on the budget, same as the other two libraries, that sounds fair, and they should all get the same amount, the others get — $1,500 a year.
We are a retired couple, each working part time to help pay our taxes. The last tax bill went up $400. That sure wasn't in our budget.
Do we as voters have to attend every selectmen's meeting to make sure the ones voted in are really looking out for all the town people. Oh, I forgot one of the selectman wasn't voted in, they were appointed as a fill in until March elections. This month the selectmen, one being the temporary, voted to replace the senior selectman as chairman. In a three-person board that made that rather easy. The two new ones voted out the one with seniority.
Wake up Gilmanton voters, something is amiss.