To the Editor:

My husband and I moved to Hampstead 34 years ago to raise our children in a small-town, family-oriented community with very good schools, like we experienced during our childhoods in Massachusetts.

Our children attended Hampstead schools/Pinkerton Academy between 1988 and 2004. Our oldest began at Hampstead Central School as the most recent addition was being finished. Before renovating, school and maintenance supplies were stored in hallways to free up closets, which were being used to work with individual students. New office space was made for the principal and administrative staff. The addition also included an entry area with restrooms, leading to the multi-purpose cafeteria/gymnasium/music room with stage. While a good solution 35 years ago, Hampstead has continued to grow and HCS is more over-crowded than ever. More families move here for reasons like ours.

This year represents the 6th time in seven years that a HCS proposal has been brought before the town. I am confident that this year’s proposals (Articles 2 and 4 on this March’s ballot) make solid financial sense, represent the best value we can get for our money, and offer the most practical design for future benefit to the school and the community. Bond rates are at an all-time low (1%). It is imperative to approve Articles 2 and 4 and begin the long-needed building improvements. The project will benefit our local economy, with local construction companies and labor used as much as possible.

As young parents, we appreciated the support for our schools by community members of all ages through their property taxes. As retirees, we still enjoy making our home in this town and willingly support our town and schools as responsible members of the community.

All Hampstead children deserve the opportunity to thrive in a secure, nurturing environment, allowing for optimal educational experience. By maintaining high standards for the school environment, we show respect and support for the dedicated professionals who provide this education.

As retirees with limited income, we prefer no increases on our tax bills. Realistically costs increase every year. As citizens of Hampstead, it is our responsibility to share the costs of maintaining this town’s assets. We are willing to accept the small monthly increase in our property taxes as an investment in our great schools.

I encourage responsible Hampstead voters to show support on March 9 by voting Yes on Articles 2 and 4 on the School Ballot.

Martha St. Jean

East Hampstead

 

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