Minutes of Town Meeting and Elections
Town of Harrisville
County of Cheshire
State of New Hampshire
March 12, 2019
As mandated by NH State Law RSA 669:1 (all towns shall hold an election annually for the election of town officers on the second Tuesday of March), Moderator Bryan Kingsbury opened the polls and Town Meeting at Wells Memorial School, 235 Chesham Road, Harrisville, New Hampshire, at 11:00 am.
Registered voters cast their ballots between the hours of 11:00 am and 8:00 pm.
At 7:00 pm, following a motion and unanimous vote, Moderator Kingsbury opened the deliberative session of Town Meeting.Mr. Kingsburyannounced that this was his first year as Moderator, and that he was filling some big shoes with the retirement of his uncle, Chick Colony, who served in the role for the prior 40 years. Mr. Kingsbury thanked the townspeople for having him.
The Moderator thanked school officials for hosting Town Meeting once again and for offering the spacious accommodations not available at Town Hall. Introducing those at the table with him, Moderator Kingsbury named Select Board Members Jay Jacobs, Jon Miner and Kathy Scott, Town Clerk Patty Massey and Deputy Town Clerk Cathy Lovas. The Moderator further thanked all town officials and employees, including Police, Fire and Highway, and anybody he neglected to name, for all their work welcomed. He further thanked State Representative Craig Thompson for being in town to vote on this day. Mr. Kingsbury also recognized the commitment of all volunteers, committee and board members and appointed and elected officials who give their time, and he thanked Mary Ann Noyer for preparing the Meeting Minutes.
Announcing the imminent departure of Town Clerk Patty Massey, Moderator Kingsbury thanked her for her 8 years of service to the town and wished her and her husband well in their move to New York State. The townspeople offered generous applause.
Mr. Kingsbury then announced the two elections occurring that day, the ballot elections having opened at 11:00 and closing at 8:00 pm, and the floor elections which would soon occur by voice vote. First, however, Mr. Kingsbury introduced Select Board Chairman Jay Jacobs to present the Citizen of the Year Award.
Mr. Jacobs announced that this year’s recipient was Paul Gedes, longtime Harrisville resident who, having inherited from Edgar Seaver, upon Mr. Seaver’s death in 1978, Seaver Farm and numerous acres around Silver Lake, protected that land from sale and development. Mr. Jacobs stated that the questions about what would become of this land were many, and they were answered in 2010 when Seaver Farm became protected and, subsequently, when several conservation easements around Silver Lake were created. Mr. Jacobs noted that Mr. Gedes never wavered from his belief that land was a sacred possession and not a means for enrichment. Because of this, Mr. Jacobs stated, Mr. Gedes has left the town a legacy of preservation of a large, beautiful area surrounding Silver Lake. For this gift, the Select Board named Mr. Gedes Citizen of the Year and thanked him for his contributions to the town.
Moderator Kingsbury returned to the podium to explain the rules of the deliberative session and how voting, questions and discussion would proceed. Beginning with the Warrant Articles, Mr. Kingsbury began as follows:
Article 01: Election of Town Officers
To choose all Necessary Town Officers for the year ensuing.
Beginning with officers elected from the floor, Moderator Kingsbury requested motions from the Select Board. For all of the following positions and offices, the Select Board moved to accept the slates as written and to move them to a positive vote: Library Trustee, Fire Wards, Surveyors of Wood and Lumber, Fence Viewers, Recreation Committee, Beach Committee, Chesham Beach Committee, and Old Home Day Committee. Upon the call to vote by the Moderator on this motion, the townspeople voted unanimously in favor to accept all Board and Committee slates as written. Officers elected from the floor were as follows:
Library Trustee– Karen Coteleso – 3-year term expires 2022
Fire Wards– Wayne Derosia, Sharon Breidt, Joe Breidt, Jay Jacobs, David O’Neil – 1-year terms expire 2020
Surveyors of Wood and Lumber– David Kennard and Wesley Tarr, Jr. – 1-year term expires 2020
Fence Viewers– Harrisville Select Board – 1-year term expires 2020
Recreation Committee– Ranae O’Neil and David O’Neil – 1-year term expires 2020
Harrisville Beach Committee– Ranae O’Neil, Scott Oliver, Peter Thayer, Eric Swope – 1-year terms expire 2020
Chesham Beach Committee-Judy Jones-Parker, Judy Gagne, Patrick Gagne – 1-year terms expire 2020
Old Home Day Committee– Catherine Buffum, Jennifer Foreman, Maria Coviello, Pamela Thayer, Ranae O’Neil, Janet Selle – 1-year terms expire 2020
Article 01 PASSED by voice vote.
Article 02: Operating Budget
To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $1,296,602.00for general municipal operations. This article does not include appropriations contained in special or individual articles addressed separately. [Recommended by the Select Board. Majority vote required.]
Selectman Miner moved to accept the article as written, subsequently explaining that the operating budget funds all municipal operations including salaries for all town employees but excludes expenses related to individual Warrant Articles. No questions or discussion ensued.
Article 02 PASSED by voice vote.
Article 03: Conservation Fund
To see if the town will elect to allow the Conservation Fund to be expended for all purposes permitted by NH RSA Chapter 36-A. Passing this article will remove the restrictive 2005 floor amendment that the Conservation Fund may only be used “for the purchase of land and or conservation easements and costs related there-to.” The Conservation Fund may only be used for the direct benefit of Harrisville residents, and within the borders of the town.[Recommended by the Harrisville Conservation Commission; Recommended by the Selectboard. Majority vote required.]
Harry Wolhandler, Chair of the Conservation Commission, explained the Conservation Commission’s hope to ease the restriction placed on the use of funds generated by the Land Use Change Tax solely for easement or land acquisition so that the Commission might apply these funds to broader uses, including educational activities, speakers, publications, aquatic species invasion and other programs. Mr. Wolhandler noted that such activities are supported by the current legislative statutes. He further noted that the Commission would continue to support conservation acquisition and easement efforts.
Article 03 PASSED by voice vote.
Article 04: Fire Squad Vehicle
To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $45,000 to purchase a 2019 four-wheel drive crew-cab, half-ton pickup truck. And to authorize the withdrawal of $22,500 from the Fire Equipment Capital Reserve Fund. And to accept $22,500 from the Friends of the Harrisville Fire Service. And to further authorize the Selectboard to dispose of the 2000 Chevy Tahoe. [Recommended by the Select Board. Majority vote required.]
The motion was made to accept the article as written. Selectman Miner spoke to the need to replace the existing rusting vehicle for improved utilization and seating capacity for the fire department around town. Andrew Maneval, Chair of the Friends of the Harrisville Fire Service, then spoke to the support of the Article by the Friends and to the generosity of the Friends to help support the good cause of the volunteers as well as providing tax relief. Mr. Maneval thanked those who generously support the Friends and the Fire Service.
Article 04 PASSED by voice vote.
Article 05: Hancock Road Rebuild
To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $226,000.00 to rebuild the section of Hancock Road from the Intersection of Bonds Corner Road to the Busy Brook Bridge (at Jaquith Road) and to authorize the withdrawal of $65,000.00 from the Roads Capital Reserve Fund for that purpose. The balance of $161,000.00 is to come from general taxation. This will be a non-lapsing appropriation per RSA 32:7(VI) and will not lapse until the project is completed or December 31, 2020; whichever is sooner. [Recommended by the Select Board. Majority vote required.]
Mr. Jacobs moved to accept as written. He explained the difference between this year’s and last year’s article, noting that the rain event in August, combined with all the rain in the months prior to that, prevented the completion last year of the section from the Busy Brook Bridge to Route 137. Mr. Jacobs noted that the companies agreed to the work at the prices quoted for 2018 including, likely, for asphalt for both sections.
Charles Michal offered an amendment, moving that the last sentence of the Article read “…and will not lapse until the project is completed or December 31, 2021; whichever is sooner.” In discussion on the amendment, Mr. Michal noted his belief that, given the inability to complete the project last year, it would be shortsighted to limit the timeframe to the end of 2020. In response, the Select Board stated the funding for the work planned for last year would be lapsing anyway and, with all the equipment already in place, it would be more cost effective for the town to complete the project this year, and unlikely that a similar weather event would occur. With no further discussion, the Moderator called for a vote on the amendment only.
The amendment to Article 05 PASSED by a show of hands.
Moderator Kingsbury then read aloud the amended Article as follows:
To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $226,000.00 to rebuild the section of Hancock Road from the Intersection of Bonds Corner Road to the Busy Brook Bridge (at Jaquith Road) and to authorize the withdrawal of $65,000.00 from the Roads Capital Reserve Fund for that purpose. The balance of $161,000.00 is to come from general taxation. This will be a non-lapsing appropriation per RSA 32:7(VI) and will not lapse until the project is completed or December 31, 2021; whichever is sooner. [Recommended by the Select Board. Majority vote required.]
Article 05, as amended, PASSED by voice vote.
Article 06: Capital Reserve Funds
To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $55,000 to be added to the Capital Reserve Funds previously established and to allocate the sum as follows: Road Equipment – $10,000; Fire Equipment – $10,000; Police Equipment – $5,000; Town Buildings – $10,000; Bridges – $10,000; Dams – $5,000; Re-valuation – $5,000. [Recommended by the Select Board. Majority vote required.]
Selectman Miner explained that the reason the number was lower this year compared to previous years was because funds already were allocated for the road rebuild.
Article 06 PASSED by voice vote.
Article 07: Roof on the Fire Department
To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate $25,000 to replace the roof at the Fire Department. And to authorize the withdrawal of $25,000 from the Town Building Capital Reserve Trust Fund. [Recommended by the Select Board. Majority vote required.]
Mr. Jacobs moved to accept the Article as written. In discussion, a question was raised as to the difference between a Capital Reserve Trust Fund and a Capital Reserve Fund. Charles Sorenson, Chair of the Trustees of the Trust Funds, clarified that Capital Reserve Funds are restricted in their use by the town and are set aside by the town for future expenditures. The town must authorize their use in a Warrant Article from year to year. A Trust Fund is given to the town as a gift for specific purposes set forth by the person giving the funds. Mr. Sorenson stated that Capital Reserve Funds are one type of Trust Fund, and the second type of Trust Fund are private Trust Funds, of which there are two in the town.
For the purposes of submission of the Article to the DRA and to avoid confusion, Mr. Jacobs then moved to amend the Article to strike the word “Trust”. In discussion on the proposed amendment, Treasurer Anne Havill stated she believes that all of the funds listed in the Town Report are Trust Funds as they all are given to the Trustees of the Trust Funds to manage. She added that some are Capital Reserves, as they are voted on and raised by the town. Four other funds are called Permanent Trust Funds, and two are called Fiduciary Trust Funds but, she stated, they all are Trust Funds administered by the Trustees. She opposed the amendment.
The amendment FAILED by voice vote. In the subsequent vote,
Article 07 PASSED as written.
Article 08: Petition Regarding Hundred Nights, Inc.
To request the Town of Harrisville to raise and appropriate the sum of $2,500.00 to support Hundred Nights, Inc. located in Keene, New Hampshire for services provided to Harrisville residents in 2017* By Petition. [Not Recommended by the Selectboard. Majority vote required.]
Edwin Brooks, as original Petitioner, offered background on the Hundred Nights organization as a shelter and resource center for the homeless, including for Harrisville residents. He explained that he originally submitted the petition prior to meeting with the Select Board on February 7, when he provided concrete data to the board about the organization’s support of town residents. In response, at that meeting, the Select Board voted to appropriate $750 in the proposed budget for Hundred Nights, Inc. Mr. Brooks thanked the board for this action and, because of the approved budget and action by the Select Board and the fact that the petitioned Warrant Article could not be withdrawn, asked voters to vote down the petition.
In response to a resident’s question as to why Mr. Brooks would ask voters to vote down the request for $2,500, Mr. Brooks explained that the already generous contributions of The Community Church of Harrisville and Chesham and donations from individuals and the budget appropriation approved tonight would cover approximately half the amount needed to support Harrisville residents. He believes this is adequate and supported the board’s action, noting it was the first year the town had voted to donate to Hundred Nights and that the town already provides welfare support to residents in need. He nevertheless acknowledged that Hundred Nights, Inc. could use the money but noted this is the beginning and thus, he believes, adequate for this year. Mr. Brooks offered additional statistics on staffing and costs to provide services, as well as how Hundred Nights receives funding and the organization’s reach in Cheshire County.
Charles Michal urged additional support from the town, citing that Hundred Nights is the only organization of its kind in the region, and that it constantly struggles, particularly with a “Not In My Back Yard” syndrome. He believes $750 to be a paltry sum. Mr. Michal thus moved to amend Article 08 to replace the $2500 with a sum of $1,000 that would be in addition to the line item of $750.00 in the approved budget.Mr. Brooks expressed deep gratitude for the gesture. Select Board member Kathy Scott pointed out that p. 39 of the Town Report outlined the organizations and health agencies receiving allocations through the budget.
Andrew Maneval spoke to encourage the public to attend the budget hearings held prior to Town Meeting, where helpful discussion occurs. As a former Select Board Member, Mr. Maneval also spoke to the challenge before the board to decide on the many competing non-profit organizations seeking contributions and on specific amounts. He spoke against the amendment, encouraging budgetary planning and consideration of all the issues involved prior to voting.
As it was 8:00 pm, Mr. Kingsbury interrupted discussion to entertain a motion to close the polls. A motion, second and unanimous vote in favor ensued. School District Moderator Philip Miner then moved to close the Harrisville School District polls. All voted in favor.
Mr. Kingsbury then called a vote on Mr. Michal’s proposed amendment article 08.
The amendment PASSED by a show of hands.
Article 08, as amended, was read aloud by the Moderator as follows:
To request the Town of Harrisville to raise and appropriate the sum of $1,000.00 to support Hundred Nights, Inc. located in Keene, New Hampshire for services provided to Harrisville residents in 2017* By Petition. [Not Recommended by the Selectboard. Majority vote required.]
Article 08, as amended, PASSED BY a show of hands.
Article 09: Receive Reports of Agents
To hear reports of agents, committees, and offices chosen and pass any vote related thereto.
The Moderator referred attendees to pages 42-71 of the Town Report. Following a motion, second and vote,
Article 09 PASSED by voice vote.
Article 10: Business Transactions
To transact any business that may legally come before this meeting.
As there was no additional business, at 8:05 pm Moderator Kingsbury moved to recess Town Meeting until the votes were tallied. All voted in favor. At 9:10 pm, following the vote count, the results of the March 12 Elections were read aloud by the Town Clerk.
RESULTS OF ELECTIONS BY OFFICIAL BALLOT:
FINAL RESULTS 9:10 pm
Select Board 3-year term: Andrea Hodson – 210 declared elected
Jonathan Miner – 137
Town Treasurer1-year term: Anne Havill- 334- declared elected
Write-in- 4 residents received 1 vote each
Fire Chief1 year term: Wayne Derosia Jr.- 302- declared elected
Write-in- David O’Neil – 10; Randy Tarr Jr. – 5: 6 residents received 1 vote each
Trustee of Trust Funds3 year term: Charles W. Sorenson- 319- declared elected
Write-in- 2 residents received 1 vote each
Board of Cemetery Trustees3 year term: Leslie Downing-335- declared elected
Write-in- 1 resident received 1 vote
2019 WARRANT ARTICLES
Article 1- Election of Town Officers – PASSED
Article 2- Operating Budget- PASSED
Article 3- Conservation Fund- PASSED
Article 4- Fire Squad Vehicle- PASSED
Article 5- Hancock Road Rebuild- AMENDED AND PASSED
Article 6- Capital Reserve Funds – PASSED
Article 7- Roof on the Fire Department- PASSED
Article 8- Petition Regarding Hundred Nights, Inc.- AMENDED AND PASSED
Article 9-Receive Reports of Agents –PASSED
Article 10- Business Transactions- PASSED
Amendment #1 – YES 307 NO 24- PASSED
Amendment #2- YES 269 NO 63- PASSED
Amendment #3- YES 307 NO 24 – PASSED
Amendment #4- YES 277 NO 54- PASSED
Amendment #5- YES 288 NO 34- PASSED
HARRISVILLE School Election Results
Total votes cast- 339
Melody Moschan – School Board Member 1 yr term – 315- ELECTED
Claire Gargan – School Board Member 3 yr term- 319- ELECTED
Philip H. Miner – Moderator 1 yr term – 300- ELECTED
Write-in- Bonnie Willette – District Clerk – 24- ELECTED
Kathryn Miner- District Treasurer – 1 yr term – 297 – ELECTED
At 9:14 pm, Moderator Bryan Kingsbury moved to adjourn the 2019 Town Meeting.
Mary Ann Noyer, Recording Secretary, for Patty L. Massey, Town Clerk
March 18, 2019
Attest: A true copy of the Minutes of the Harrisville Town Meeting held March 12, 2019.
Mary Ann Noyer, Recording Secretary
March 17, 2019
Patty L. Massey
March 19, 2019
Attest: A true copy of the Minutes of Harrisville Town Meeting held March 12, 2019
Patty L. Massey