Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Franconia Town Meeting

We still do it the old fashioned way in Franconia. None of this new fangled SB-2 stuff for us. After the overflow crowd at town hall last year, town meeting moved to the larger Lafayette school gym. Turnout was decent, better than 150 people. The standard town warrent articles, budget, purchase of new vehicles, library appropriation, and such all passed on voice vote with little discussion. The first controversial article was a proposal to relocate the town police department from the big tin building they currently share with the fire department and the life squad into the cellar of the town hall. The town's infrastructure committee recommended this plan. A citizen asked the police chief to comment on the plan. Turns out the chief was against it for a number of good reasons, and then the cost was $480,000 and that plan got tabled.
Then the greenies got a tax break for "alternate energy" (wind, solar, and wood heat). That was a close vote.
Then we got to really controversial, a resolution approving the naming of rt 18 up three mile hill after police corporal Bruce McKay who was murdered in the line of duty right in the center of town a few years ago. A secret ballot was adopted after a show of hand vote defeated a motion to table the matter. Surprisingly, after voting to keep the issue before the meeting, the town voted down the proposal 92 to 70.
Then a plan to have the town cough up $40K to fix the clock tower on the Dow Academy building was tabled after a good deal of discussion. The clock town is nice and scenic and all that, but it isn't town property.
The last controversial article was a resolution to support a state wide referendum on gay marriage. It was voted down. After that vote a large number of people got up and left. Things wrapped up at 11 PM, a couple of hours later than last year's town meeting which approved the massive water project.

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