CarriageTowneNews.com, Kingston, NH

March 13, 2014

Deliberative Session and Town Meetings


Carriage Towne News

---- — Deliberative Session and Town Meetings

I have lived in Danville since 1998 and over the years I have watched the Board of Selectmen meetings via Danville’s Channel 20 and have attended them when I am able to. I attended the Deliberative Session on February 1 for the Town of Danville and want to comment on a few observations:

First, I would have liked to have seen a copy of the warrant articles prior to the meeting. I was informed two weeks prior by a town official that they would be mailed out but I never received them. Additionally, on the morning of the meeting, I searched for them on the town’s website and could not find them there either. Upon entering the Deliberative session, I was handed a copy of the articles and proposed budget. While this may have been an honest oversight by the town officials, I would have appreciated the opportunity to read these prior to the meeting. I hope that these are made available ahead of time either on the website or sent via mail.

There were several Citizens Warrant Articles presented and discussed at the meeting. I think by now we are acutely aware (as its been repeated multiple times by some members of the BOS) that the RSA’s are what the BOS and town abide by and the Citizens Warrant Articles have little bearing on what the town officials can and cannot do. That being said, I believe the underlying reason(s) for these “non-binding” articles being put forth on the ballot is either a) that the author may not assured that the RSA’s are being adhered to or b) the author wants to be heard on a particular issue. Several times during the discussion of these articles, there seemed to be an air of condescension by the BOS toward the public for bringing an issue forward. I personally would like to see a level of sensitivity and respect from the BOS towards the citizens of our town moving forward at the Deliberative Session and other meetings.

The other point that I believe is worth mentioning is the issue of attendance at these and other town committee meetings. I think the majority of people are interested in what is happening in the town but have so little time to become personally involved. Most people in our town are working one and/or two jobs to support their families and don’t have the time to attend a meeting during a weeknight at 7:00 p.m. I would offer a recommendation for our town: I would like to see the meetings streamed live via www.Townhallstreams.com. Many other towns and schools in area (Exeter, N. Hampton, York, ME etc.) are already using this technology. The cable programming in place on Channel 20 is great and our Cable Programmer Barry Hantman works diligently to ensure the meetings are uploaded in a timely manner. (The Deliberative session was being broadcast on Danville’s cable channel within one week of the meeting.)

I, for one, would use this as an option to stay informed and I believe others in the town would as well if given the opportunity.

Stefanie Dube

Danville