town meeting

bow-nh.com

Voters in Bow have rejected a $5 million bond to build a proposed public safety facility.

The Concord Monitor reports the vote came during the second session of Bow’s town meeting Thursday night.

Of the more than 1,100 residents who voted on the bond, just more than half supported it, falling short of the two-thirds needed to pass.

The combined facility would have housed the police, fire and emergency management departments.

ryereflections.org

Voters in New Castle will meet Tuesday night to reconsider last week’s vote to defeat a $1 million bond for upgrades and renovations to the town’s elementary school.

Seacoast Online reports the reconsideration meeting will be held at the New Castle Recreation Center at 7.

At last week’s school district, voters defeated the bond question, which needed a two-thirds majority.

Town of Salem

Voters said no to capital projects in several communities at Town Meeting on Tuesday.

In Salem, a proposed $23.5 million public safety complex failed to get the 60 percent needed to pass.

The building would have housed the town’s police and fire departments.

And in Plaistow, voters rejected a proposed a new, $11 million police station.

Proposals to build a new town hall in Barrington and to renovate the town hall in Dunbarton also failed Tuesday.

Town of Rye

Some Seacoast towns voted down major capital projects, although residents in New Castle, it turns out, will have a second chance at one of their warrant articles.

In Rye, residents voted not to spend $4 million dollars to renovate their town hall. In North Hampton, a simple majority favored a $7 million new library, and safety complex: but a super majority was needed to pass the measure.

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

Many towns across the Southern border of the state took votes in opposition to a proposed natural gas pipeline that would be built through 17 towns.

At least 8 of those towns were considering Non-binding resolutions against the pipeline, which serve to signal to state energy regulators that residents don’t want a project come through their town. Others, like Ringe and Winchester opted to deny representatives of Pipeline Developer Kinder-Morgan the right to survey town property. 

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

Every community has an issue which an outsider might look at and say, ‘That? You’re fighting about that?’

In Gilmanton, that’s the Year-Round Library.

The library is a private non-profit, but is open to the public. It’s in a gorgeous refurbished timber-frame barn; two stories tall with old rough-hewn beams surrounded by a modern shell. It was built through private fundraising, and fundraising helps pay operating costs too.  

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Voters in several in New Hampshire communities head to the polls today for the annual Town Meeting.

Decisions will be made on local political offices, town operating budgets, as well as a number of infrastructure projects.

In Salem, voters will consider a $23.5 million public safety complex, which would house both the police and fire departments.

In Plaistow, voters will consider plans for an $11 million police station to replace an aging, crowded building.

Voters in North Hampton are also being asked to approve a new home for police and fire officials.

NHPR Staff

My daughter registered to vote for the first time before last year’s Town Meeting. The Supervisors of the Checklist made an appropriate fuss.

Special thanks to Bev Norton for additional photography. You can find her photos here.

One of them looked at her, beaming, and said, “You are the future of this town.”

She didn’t say “of this country,” or even “of New Hampshire.”

    

Town Meeting is Tuesday for many communities around the state, and one of the big decisions for voters will be to approve their town’s operating budget.

A bill filed in the state legislature this session would change how those budgets are approved during Town Meeting.

Republican State Senator Nancy Stiles is the bill’s prime sponsor.

She joins Morning Edition to talk about her proposal.

Town of Salem

Voters in Salem will decide at Town Meeting Tuesday whether to approve a $23.5 million public safety complex.

The new building would house both the police and fire departments.

New Hampshire Union Leader correspondent Adam Swift has been covering this issue. He joins Morning Edition to talk about his reporting.

Can you go through some of the details of this proposal?

As voters head to Town Meetings on Tuesday one of the major issues in the North Country will be infrastructure repairs. That’s an issue Kevin McKinnon, who runs Colebrook’s water department, knows all too well...

A few years ago McKinnon was looking at a hydrant that had recently been removed from Main Street.

He was chipping through decades of paint to get to a part when a date began to emerge: 1884.

“I was a little shocked.”

 It was a clear reminder that Colebrook’s system was installed around 1880.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

To function, town governments in New Hampshire rely on an informed citizenry. But getting informed can be overwhelming. Deliberative sessions take all day, warrant articles can be technical and hard to understand, and candidates can be numerous.

Now, civic-minded residents are finding ways to help.

Town Meeting Vs. SB2

Mar 20, 2014
Robert Dennis Photography

The town meeting has often been called “the purest form of democracy,” and for more than three centuries, it was how New Hampshire local government was conducted.  Residents would gather on the second Tuesday in March – a convenient “down time” for farmers and loggers.  They’d deliberate for hours on budgets, and do a fair bit of socializing as well.   But more recently, attendance at town meetings steadily waned.  And so, about 20 years ago, the legislature gave towns a new option called Senate bill two.  This approach split the traditional process into two parts:  first, a “deliberative s

www.BackgroundNow.com / Flickr/Creative Commons

It’s town meeting time! A storied tradition in northern New England, and in New Hampshire especially. This week I found an old interview with Dartmouth College professor of history, Jere Daniell. He spoke with an unidentified NHPR reporter in July, 1994. Daniell has made close study of our town meeting and the history of the institution.

The roots of town meeting go back three centuries and have evolved over time. Once viewed as an extension of the old boys network which governed many towns, it enjoyed a bit of a renaissance in the early 20th century. 

Town Meeting season is upon us, which means voters across New Hampshire will head to the polls today to weigh in on budgets, contracts, town elections and major spending proposals.

NHPR’s Michael Brindley spoke with Christine Fillmore, staff attorney with the New Hampshire Municipal Association, who has been fielding questions and giving guidance to towns as they’ve been preparing for the big day.

And she brought up a number of takeaways as far as any trends go.

Maureen O'Reilly beams with pride as she shows a visitor around Grafton, N.H., a town so small it doesn't even have a traffic light.

"Have a look at this," O'Reilly says, pointing to a postcard view of hilly rural New England. "How beautiful is this? It's really pretty in the fall, really, really pretty."

But behind the beautiful view, locals are dividing into opposing camps. About 50 Libertarians have moved into Grafton from around the country, splitting the town over their push to shrink its government.

Voters in Bedford will decide next week whether to pass a $30 million bond to pay for a backlog of road improvements.

Vote Here
Tracy Lee Carroll / NHPR

It’s Town Meeting time in New Hampshire.   Salem is one of the state’s biggest towns, and this is its first year moving away from the classic community get-together to the ballot box.  The town expects this change to increase voter turnout tomorrow as it considers major budget issues.

(Photo by Mister Bisson via Flickr Creative Commons)

Produced by Jonathan Lynch

Sheryl Rich-Kern

Mont Vernon voters approved changing the controversial name of a pond at its town meeting Tuesday night.

Whether or not to rename Jew Pond, which many consider offensive, garnered national attention in this small town.

But voters still don’t know what the new name of the pond will be.

A packed crowd of about 250 residents filled the gymnasium in the Mont Vernon Village Schoolhouse.

The turnout was impressive for a town whose population is less than 2400.

The town meeting began as it does every year with the pledge and a prayer.