I’m a great believer in what is often called the 80/20 rule. Simply put it says that you can usually get 80% of the benefit for 20% of the cost or effort. The corollary of course is that you typically must pay 80% more for the last 20%. You can see how that complicates life when your attitude is that you want nothing but the best.
Voters have twice rejected restoring the Brewster Hall and twice indicated a lack of resolve in non-binding referendums and polls. At the last Town Meeting, the Chairman of the Board of Selectmen, in defending the $200,000 requested for repairs, said that we were no longer interested in restoration, just functional repair. Twenty percent.
So now that they have a bag of money, guess what? They are pricing out those First Class windows, at more than twice the estimated price. The NH Department of Historic Preservation has been asked to set a standard for replacement windows that supports the overspending, even though they have no legal say in anything we do because neither the state or federal government is giving us a penny.
The Friends of Brewster Hall were even given a presentation of this effort before anyone else, including the Board of Selectmen. It’s not only about the no-bid situation. We know that the town knows what the voters want because that’s what they tell them before the elections. Once the money is appropriated, however, they do as they please.