Welcome to my blog. I’ve started this blog as a venue to post information and opinions that I feel are relevant to the ongoing Town Office/Brewster Memorial Hall (BMH) controversy. Whether you call it a difference of opinion, or an agenda, I find myself opposed to the current efforts of the Friends of Town Hall and some Selectmen.
Short story is that I got involved in this issue when I was asked to go to Town Hall Restoration Committee meetings as a representative of the Town Energy Committee. I watched as qualified members of the committee resigned, and became disillusioned with the Cadillac attitude of the residual members. There was no consideration for ultimate cost, and indeed there was little mention of cost until the estimates came back and it was too late. Also, there were serious problems with the plan. The resulting half-million investment in architectural and engineering services was overwhelmingly rejected by the voters (56%).
The response from town government seemed to be denial. The economy was blamed, yet the full recession was still months away. I became determined to get involved because to me, the problem was clearly that those promoting this restoration project were out of touch with the will of the voters.
As a part of the Town Office Citizens Action Group we commissioned a poll of all registered voters, conducted by the UNH Survey Center. With 1,200 responses, the UNH Survey indicated overwhelmingly that voters disapproved of plans to keep town offices in Brewster Hall (59%).
Meanwhile, the Board of Selectmen have pursued a series of attempts to pass medium and large scale warrant articles to renovate/restore the building. The survey results help to explain the three failed initiatives to improve Brewster Hall: $6.8 million in 2008, $500,000 in 2009, and $4 million in 2011.
Now it appears that the Board of Selectmen are posturing to put the latest $4 million rejected plan on the ballot again as a phased plan. This thread of my blog is dedicated to providing a counterpoint to that plan.
If you are interested in these things, check in from time to time or subscribe to the blog. I’ll be backing off publishing to the paper, and doing the heavy lifting by posting here.