THE SOAPBOX

Do you think you have something to say? Do you want to be heard? Step right up!
Click the Bullhorn to Post Your Comments

February 5, 2009

Town Meeting is fast approaching. No doubt debate will be as lively as ever on March 14th.

One of the things that will be on the ballot March 10 is SB2 also knows as Senate Bill 2 or RSA 40:13. Passage of SB2 replaces annual Town Meeting with a "deliberative session." The deliberative session is conducted much like Town Meeting with one important difference. During the deliberative session no final vote is taken on any article. Instead warrant articles are voted on using traditional ballots during all-day voting at the same time that town officials are elected.

Reasons not to pass SB2:
  • Attendance at deliberative sessions is considerably less then attendance at Town Meeting
  • Voters learn more about the issues at Town Meeting
  • Town budget increases more likely to be approved at Town Meeting (town service are funded and citizen needs are met)
  • Under SB2 small groups of attendees can effectively defeat warrant articles from appearing on the ballot by ammending articles so that the monitary line is $0 (zero)
  • Small town "flavor" is altered with passage of SB2
Reasons to pass SB2:
  • Voters unable to attend Town Meeting still able to vote on warrant articles
  • Voters turn out increases (larger percentage of voters deciding town issues)
  • Town spending decreases (large town budget increases more likely to be voted down)
  • More time to consider warrant articles prior to voting
  • Voting is "secret"

Links explaining the facts of SB2:

  • What is Senate Bill 2?
  • Chapter 39: Time for Holding Town Meetings and Warning Thereof
  • Chapter 40: Government of Town Meeting (See section 40:13)
  • What is SB2? - An excellent explanation at the Windham, NH official website.

Links from New Hampshire Center for Public Policy Studies (research concerning SB2 and it's impact on the voting process):

Pro SB2 links:

Anti-SB2 links:

Newspaper articles:

Radio Stories:

  • SB2 and Town Meeting (NHPR)
  • SB2 Towns Five Years Later (NHPR)
  • Municipalities, Cities, Regions: Governing Growth (NHPR)

More:

  • Google link

Discuss:

 

DISCLAIMER

The intention of the Open Forum is to allow the residents of Temple, NH to speak their minds. You can say just about anything that's on your mind within reason. Although you are encouraged to be open and honest this is not a free-for-all; there are still rules.

The Moderator(s) reserve(s) the right to delete (in part or total) any messages considered inappropriate. Inappropriate messages include but are not limited to:
Threats; Libel; Obscene material; Flooding; Nasty rumors/Gossip; Personal/private information about another person; Spam

Continuation of inappropriate postings by any member can result in being banned from the message board.
It boils down to this:
Be respectful; Act mature; Play nice

Having said that it also needs to be noted that the Moderator(s) will not protect you from hurt feelings.
As long as the Open Forum is not abused it will remain running.
These rules can change at any time without notice.

Keep in mind personal attacks are not conducive to civilized debate and fail to support legitimate points. Please keep it clean.