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March 20, 2019 top stories
Voters approve budget,
ditch board districts

NORTH HAVERHILL—“I’m disappointed to see only 100 people” Haverhill resident and retired teacher Regis Roy said at the March 16 Annual Haverhill Cooperative School District Meeting. “It upsets me that more taxpayers aren’t here.”
Roy spoke toward the end of the meeting after those present approved a $14 million budget, voted to change the requirements for electing board members, and heard from state Rep. Rick Ladd who provided an update on the state of education funding in Concord.
The meeting was held 30 minutes after the conclusion of the annual town meeting. Many of those attending the town session departed the middle school gymnasium during the break between the two meetings.
The warrant included an article that called for a reduction in the number of board members from 7 to 5. According to board member Maryanne Aldrich, the change would solve the problem they have in fostering competitive elections

NH town meeting
Bath probes
hospital request

BATH—Voters overwhelmingly approved a $1.2 million municipal budget and a new police cruiser, but picked apart requests from Cottage Hospital and the town library during town meeting at Bath on March12.
It was the first year for Rick Walling as moderator. He succeeded Tom Rappa, who stepped down last year and received a warm, appreciative round of applause. Rappa was present and lent Walling assistance when necessary.
If there was one article on the meeting warrant that attracted the most discussion, it was a $10,000 request from Cottage Hospital, which has not previously asked the town for funds.
According to representatives from Cottage who attended last week’s meeting, rising health care costs and decreased government reimbursements have contributed to an operating deficit. Cottage Hospital, located in neighboring Woodsville, employs 350 people of which 20 percent are Bath residents.

This week's featured photo
NH town meeting
Voters back
police requests

ORFORD—At their town meeting on March 12, Orford voters made it clear that they did not care for the way the selectboard handled their new police chief’s requests for e-ticket and taser systems.
The voters found a way to restore his equipment requests, and they unseated the two selectboard members who had struck two pertinent articles from the town meeting warrant.
About 150 of Orford’s 835 registered voters attended the town meeting, passing most articles by clear voice votes and adding a total of $23,000 to two articles.
The town meeting opened with the Pledge of Allegiance and recognition of veterans and new town employees—administrative assistant Esther Dobbins Marsh, police chief Jason Bachus and road agent Kevin Sawyer.

NH town meeting
Warren snuffs out
fireworks display

WARREN—The setting for town meeting on the morning of March 12 was much the same as every year.
Pythian Sisters up in the hall sold edibles, such as spam and egg sandwiches, coffee, and sweet treats. This year Town Clerk Suzanne Flagg and the three supervisors of the checklist—Janice Sackett, Donna Hopkins, and Nancy Chandler—were decked out in patriotic shirts from the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
The school portion of the meeting was finished within 20 minutes after barely any discussion. Town business started out moving along at a good clip, but forward progress stalled at article 17 on whether to continue a particular public fireworks display.
The issue of the yearly fireworks event staged by the New Hampshire Pyrotechnic Association was somewhat incendiary, although it produced more of a slow burn than a sudden explosion. The warrant article asked voters if they wished to see this event continue.

CLOSEUP—The sight of a bald eagle is always startling and amazing, as the eagle signifies majesty and power. The Lyme photographer got an awesome shot of the bald eagle perched overseeing the fields and trees in New Hampshire.
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