Town and School Elections March 12, 2019

Town and School Elections will be held on Tuesday, March 12, 2019.

The polls are open from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM at the Bow Memorial School.

Town Meeting (in person) will be held on Wednesday, March 13, 2019 at 6:30 PM at the Bow High School Auditorium.

School District Meeting (in person) will be held on Friday, March 15, 2019 at 7:00 PM at the Bow High School Auditorium.

Big Win for the Taxpayers

by Chuck Douglas

On November 6 over 400,000 New Hampshire voters approved Constitutional Amendment #1 restoring the right of an average taxpayer to challenge illegal governmental spending in court.

For 150 years this had been the law until our Supreme Court decided the case of Duncan v. State of New Hampshire in 2014. At that point, the court adopted the restrictive federal standing requirements claiming they are the same under both Constitutions.

An overwhelming response by the legislature to amend the Constitution was forthcoming because the decision made no sense. Our Constitution was in effect for several years before there even was a federal Constitution, so the idea that the two documents are identical is wrong.

The challenge for both conservatives and liberals was to figure out how to gain support from the voters for an amendment that is hard to explain and contains 213 words. An analysis of the amendment revealed it would take almost a full minute just to read it and the ballot question was rated by linguists at a grade 13 level of readability, meaning that one would have to have high school plus one year of college education to read it and understand it.

A bipartisan coalition chaired by me with Bill Duncan as the Vice Chairman was created to raise money to provide information to the voters. The “Yes on NH #1” Political Action Committee included a former Republican Mayor of Manchester, Ray Wieczorek, and a former Democratic Mayor of Manchester, Sylvio Dupuis. Representatives in the legislature included Bob Backus from Manchester, who is a well known liberal and progressive voice, as well as Dan McGuire, a libertarian and conservative from the Republican side of the aisle.

Both political parties and both candidates for Governor supported Amendment 1 making it truly bipartisan in an era of warring tribes.

The Yes on NH 1 Committee was able to raise about $16,000 which resulted in an internet presence with 35,440 Facebook users, three Sunday newspaper ads and 30,000 palm cards. In addition, ads on WMUR and 500 yard signs urging a “yes” vote were part of the mix.

In the end, Yes on NH 1 worked hard in getting the word out, especially since Massachusetts TV was confusing us with Yes on 1 in Massachusetts that had to do with nurse staffing levels. It failed.

The end result is an Amendment to our Bill of Rights that restored Government accountability to the taxpayers. The 83% approval was 406,685 yes and 84,337 no votes.

NO TAX INCREASE REPORTS BUDGET COMMITTEE!

At its hearing at the Bow Memorial School on February 12 Budget Committee Chair John Heise announced that the combined school and town budgets result in no tax increase even after paying Public Service Company $5.7 Million.

Unlike last year when the school and budget committee numbers were $700,000 apart it was all smiles this year. The school budget for 2018-19 is $60,000 less than last year at $28,206,625. Due to revenues and increased state aid the school tax rate per thousand dollars of valuation went from $17.19 down to $16.65 for a $ .54 decrease.

That decrease was offset exactly by the $ .54 increase in the town tax rate. The town budget went from $9,987,107 for 2017-18 to $11,662,735 for 2018-19.

The major increase was $1,800,000 added in under the “Legal Services” line item to be used towards paying interest owed on the PSNH back taxes. The town tax rate went from $7.58 to $8.12.
As for warrant articles the only petitioned article is the one 532 voters signed to do the life safety compliance and electrical work in the Community Building.

It will be considered along with the town budget on Wednesday March 14 at 6:30 P.M. at the high school auditorium. There are no controversies in the school budget which will be voted on Friday March 16 at 7 P.M. at the high school gymnasium.

Updated 2-14-2018 at 2:13 PM