, Kingston, NH


March 1, 2012

Residents of Danville:

This year there is a citizen's petition before the town that looks to make the Danville Animal Control Officer (ACO) an elected position. I know on the surface it sounds like a good idea, but context is king when it comes to issues like this.

The selectmen decided to no longer carry the position of ACO in this town, and they explored a regional alternative last year. The town of Plaistow approached Danville with an offer to combine resources, where the town of Plaistow had an excess of capacity, and we had an under capacity. While working in this regional agreement, the town saw a significant reduction in the time it took to execute calls, absolutely no resident complaints to our town, or Plaistow, by residents of Danville, and an overall reduction in expenses by well over 50%, as opposed to double digit overruns in previous years.

The warrant before you was brought forth by the previous ACO who was not reappointed for a number of reasons, only some of which are financial. Her goal in my opinion is to remove the regional agreement by this town, and to stifle other towns from doing the same. I strongly disagree with this stance, as I see us as a small town, surrounded by small and medium sized towns, which would greatly benefit from more regional cooperation between us. I personally feel that if a group of towns cooperate, then as a group we can create better resources and opportunities for our citizens than as isolated individual towns. The regional ACO position is an example of this type of cooperation where two towns come together to share resources, neither bears the full brunt of the expense, and a better service is provided for both towns.

Please join me on March 13 in voting 'No' to creating an elected Animal Control Office in the town of Danville. It undermines the fiscal responsibilities that the Selectmen are trying to put into place, and represents a step backwards for this town.

Russ Harding

Member, Board of Selectmen


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