ORCSDcleanslate busy voter guide: Vote for Kenneth Rotner and Thomas Newkirk for school board, and YES on all the school district articles. Lee voters, please vote for Scott Bugbee for Selectman.
2013 ORCSDcleanslate Voter Guide
Election Day is this Tuesday, March 12th, 2013. Vote at your regular polling place. Depending on which town you live in, that's the Lee Public Safety Complex (7am-7pm), Madbury Town Hall (11am-7:30pm), or Oyster River High School in Durham (7am-7pm). US citizens at least 18 years old who live in the district (even college students) are eligible to vote. If you're not already registered, you can register at the polls on election day. It helps to bring a driver's license and proof of address (utility bill) to register, but if you don't you can sign something swearing you've told the truth about these. Voter ID laws are still in effect in New Hampshire, but if you forget your ID you can sign a form swearing who you are. Here is FORE's election information.
As always, voters in Madbury, Lee, and Durham see identical school district ballots. There are two at-large school board seats up for election this time. (An at-large seat is one that may be filled by someone from any of the three towns.) Three people are running, and every voter in the district gets to choose two of the three. ORCSDcleanslate has endorsed Kenny Rotner and Tom Newkirk.
Let's go through the ballot:
Article 1 elects the moderator, and there's only one person running. I'm sure he'll win. As the elected official whose sole job is to moderate the deliberative session, you may recall that I don't think he did that very well this year. I have seen Mr. Laughton being official at the polling places on election day, so maybe there's a bit more to the job.
website, endorsement) who has been a doctor in the district for over a quarter century, an involved parent of his daughter who completed K through 12 entirely in the district (she's now a freshman in college) and an engaged citizen who has been to more school board meetings than half the current board. I'm also voting to re-elect Tom Newkirk (unofficial website), world-renowned expert on boys literacy, who was elected last March to serve out the remainder of Ann W.'s term, and now is running for a full three-year term. I'm glad Carl Piedmont (website) has decided to get involved, but he may have to wait for a year when the other candidates are not so incredibly well-qualified to get his seat on the board.
The candidates didn't disagree about all that much explicitly. The race has divided along last year's lines, with the three longer-serving board members and hateful tweeter Jim Kach (who was voted off the board last year) siding with Mr. Piedmont, while the four freshmen have not indicated a preference (except that Tom Newkirk is for himself). When creationism in schools was raised, the debate between the candidates was minimal (Carl Piedmont denied he would impose religion in schools, the other candidates, who presumably concur, did not comment) and instead focused on how Bob Barth, who isn't running for anything, asked the question. Now football has emerged as an issue, but the candidates haven't made their positions known. We're left to guess: Carl's older boy is on an athletic scholarship, Kenny's an MD. It's not much to go on.
So in the end, I've gone with the candidates we all know. Tom and Kenny have long histories with the district. We know what to expect with them, and we know it will be great.
Article 6 is the vote to raise $38.8 million to pay for schools. If YES wins, we raise about $270,000 (0.7%) more than if NO wins. This represents a 1.6% rise in the top line over last year (article), mostly due to retirement cost shifting from the state. However taxes are going up around 4.6% due to a reduction in revenue from state and federal sources, as well as from an end to the 3 year spending-down of a $2.2 million fund balance in FY10. I'm voting YES.
The Deliberative Session was split 50/50 along the old lines, as indicated by the sustainability amendment vote. Yet every one of those people sat on their hands when given the opportunity to change these amounts in article 6. I think they were there, like I was, to vote against any attempts to change the board's budget. I think it was a remarkable show of community unity, demonstrating that the board elected last year really has brought the community together.
How it ends
FORE usually posts the election results as soon as they're available. I'll post them later in the night. Last year the election results were announced at the high school sometime after 9pm on election day.
- Dean Rubine, Lee
P.S. Lee voters, please vote for Scott Bugbee for selectman and keep the lawbreaking former school board chairman Henry Brackett off the Lee Select Board.