Democracy in action begins with each of us

Editor of the Reformer:

Town Meeting Day is almost upon us. I think it a wonderful time to exercise our democratic right to participate in government through dialogue and voter action, yet I am astounded at the number of taxpayers/homeowners who allow their pockets to be picked annually without a peep. I know a Monday night meeting is difficult to attend, but what are you trading off by allowing less than less than 5 percent of Rockingham registered voters, to determine the budget and the tax rate for the following fiscal year? Town Meeting is the only time to amend the next fiscal year’s budget and this is your opportunity to do it.

Everyone should pick up a copy of the Town of Rockingham Annual Report July 1, 2012 - June 30, 2013 from BF Senior Center, Lisai’s Market, Lisai’s Corner Deli, the Chamber of Commerce, People’s United Bank, BF Fire Station, Health Center at BF, BF Police Station, Rockingham Free Public Library, Rockingham Vet Clinic, Rockingham Shell Station (Rte. 5), Saxtons River Village Market, Superintendent’s Office, and Town Offices. Read this report: called "How and Why to Read a Town Report" to make the information you read in the annual report meaningful.

Come to Town Meeting Day on Monday, March 3, 2014 at 7 p.m., at the Bellows Falls Opera House, and bring friends, relatives, companions. Talk to your children about participating in government for their and your future betterment. Show them by doing. Bring an open mind and a pad of paper, with your own questions. And ask them. Get answers. Exercise your right as a Vermont legislator on meeting day to shape the upcoming year. Make an informed decision on your taxes which are paying for another 12 fiscal months of local government and services. Understand how your money is being spent by the people elected to administrate it.

The following day, Town Voting Day, Tuesday, March 4, is your chance to tell those same elected officials where they stand on managing your money by voting for those you think are doing a good job or for those, if elected, could be doing a better one.

Vermont is a unique state with a stalwart faith in its citizenry to participate in making the best choices and to have a powerful voice in the shaping of them. Let’s teach our children democracy in action begins with each of us.

Deborah Wright,

Bellows Falls, Feb. 21

Support for Townshend listers department

Editor of the Reformer:

At the Townshend Town Meeting on Tuesday, March 4, one of the articles warned is to see if the voters will do away with the Office of Town Listers.

I was a lister in Townshend for over 15 years and I believe it is one of the most important jobs in town government and I am strongly opposed to doing away with the listers positions. To hire an outside appraiser to take the lister’s place will not save money. In fact, it will probably cost more money.

If an outside appraiser is hired, someone will still have to be hired to keep track of changes such as new buildings, renovations and removal of buildings. Also will the appraiser have office hours every week as the listers do now? With resident listers they are always in touch with who is building and who is renovating. I believe town residents would much rather work with a local resident lister who they may have known for a few years than a stranger from another town or possibly even another state. A local resident lister will understand the good qualities or the bad points of a property better than a stranger, because the lister lives here and sees the life of living in Townshend.

Over the years Townshend has had listers who were capable, well trained and did the job in a very professional manner. The state of Vermont supplied training and fellow listers also educated each other to the finer points of real estate appraisal.

A few years ago the vault in the town hall was cleaned out of old and some very old reports. Some of the lists listers made were from the mid-1800s, when the listers counted horses, cows, bulls, pigs and all types of livestock. The lists also included how much money you had in the bank. That one really surprised me.

I strongly believe the residents of Townshend can do a more cost effective and equally as good a job as a hires real estate appraiser.

Walter F. Meyer,

Townshend, Feb. 25

Support for
Friend, Tessier

Editor of the Reformer:

Newfane needs a new Town Clerk and Treasurer.

Cina Friend is seeking the position as Newfane Town Clerk. She was born in Newfane and takes pride in being a part of the town. Cina will work accommodating hours necessary to convenience the residents and will serve you with honesty and integrity. She has 20-plus years of supervisory experience with both children and adults. Cina knows the importance of the Town Clerk position and will focus on detail and keeping accurate records.

Merle Tessier is running for the position of Town Treasurer. He brings 47 years of experience in accounting, covering all aspects of finance. Merle has been the Newfane Zoning Administrator for the past two years, is a member of the Planning Commission and has been a member of the NewBrook Fire & Rescue Department.

Pat Grace,

Former Newfane administrative assistant

to the Newfane Selectboard,

Spofford, N.H., Feb. 25

Support for
McPhee, Hammond

Editor of the Reformer:

Elections are coming up on March 4. I, for one, am planning on voting for Tom McPhee and Susan Hammond for Rockingham Selectboard, and would urge others to do the same. They’ve got a proven record of being responsible with a dollar and keeping the town heading forward.

Charlie Hunter,

Bellows Falls, Feb. 25

Support for Cristelli

Editor of the Reformer:

I encourage everyone to get out and vote because every vote makes a difference. Absentee/early ballots are available, and you can vote up until 6 p.m. Monday, March 3, in the Town Clerk’s Office.

I have both lived and worked in Newfane for many years. I want to personally thank Gloria Cristelli, Town Clerk, for all of the hard work she has done over the five years she has been in office. Gloria has spent many hours updating the files. She has also organized a better work environment to serve the residents of Newfane.

When asked questions I had no answer for, while working in the Newfane Market, I sent people to Gloria. Later, they would come back to me and thank me for sending them to her. Gloria is resourceful. If you have a question that she is not able to answer, she digs to find the correct person or telephone number.

Thanks again, Gloria, for your tireless service to the town of Newfane.

Re-elect Gloria Cristelli as Town Clerk.

Roberta Dunham,

Brookline, Feb. 25