Letter to the Editor

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Letter to the Editor

Postby Dick Hinch » Fri Dec 20, 2002 10:35 am

I am posting, for your information, a copy of the "Letter to the Editor" sent to the Merrimack Journal which was printed within the December 20th edition.

My letter was in response to a letter previously submitted to the Journal "which called to question" the vote by the Ad-Hoc Committee ratifiying their Recommendation for Curbside Pickup of Residential Solid Waste.

Each day that goes by, the benefits highlighted within the Recommendation become more apparent.

The Ad-Hoc Recommendation provides a road map for any future scenerio. It allows for our fellow residents to experience contracted Curbside and "if we desire we can make a course correction".

The best part is.....the Ad-Hoc Recommendation allows us total flexibility for any future change/option to be well thought out, experienced based and accomplished in a methodical fashion.

"Letter to the Editor"

A recent “Letter to the Editor” regarding the Ad-Hoc Committee’s vote on their recommendation for curbside pick-up was very deceiving. The letter stated correctly that 4 out of the 9 Committee members voted in favor of the recommendation. However, the letter failed to say the majority approved the recommendation. This omission and other statements could lead readers into questioning the validity of the vote.

According to the minutes of the meeting, eight members were in attendance for the vote to recommend curbside pick-up. The vote passed with 4 “yes” votes, 2 “no” votes and 2 abstentions. One member was absent.

The signature sheet was a different vote on a different subject. The
Chairman asked the committee members to vote to affirm the acceptance of all numbers in the report and attest to the fact the research to arrive at those numbers was done. That vote was unanimous.

To prevent any future inference that placement of the signature sheet at the end of the Report equated to unanimous acceptance of the recommendation, the Committee reinserted the signature sheet in the beginning of the Report. The full Committee accepted this solution.

The letter said the Board of Selectmen did not ask for or want a recommendation. That statement, too, is flawed. The Selectmen did not give a written charge to the Committee when it was formed. The Ad-Hoc Committee took the verbal wishes of the Selectmen, created a written charge, and asked for approval of it. The BOS approved the charge, told them a recommendation was not required, but said it would be all right for the Committee to submit a recommendation if it felt passionately about the need to do so.

When the Ad Hoc Committee finished researching and costing out 18 different ways for Merrimack to get rid of its solid waste and made an apples-to-apples comparison, one solution stood out as being the least expensive and offered the most advantages for the most people. That solution was to have curbside pick-up of trash and recyclables.

In light of recent developments with the failure of Mast Road as an option as presented by the Selectmen along with last April’s “near super majority approval” relative to Article 25 (placement of a Transfer Station in a Residential area would not be allowed), the Recommendation of the Ad-Hoc is the only responsible solution to address our residential solid waste disposal.

Dick Hinch
(The author is the former Chairman of the Solid Waste Ad-hoc Committee)
Dick Hinch
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Location: Merrimack, NH

Postby Brian McCarthy » Fri Dec 20, 2002 10:48 am

The line:

(The author is the former Chairman of the Solid Waste Ad-hoc Committee)

Would have better read (IMHO) as:

(The author was Chairman of the dispanded Solid Waste Ad-hoc Committee)

Although both are correct, the first could make one wonder if the committee still exists and you had given up the Chair.

Brian McCarthy
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Location: Merrimack, NH

Postby skip falcon » Sat Dec 21, 2002 7:43 am

I saw both letters. I didn't understand the first with regards to only four voting for it. Dick Hinchs explaination helps.

But I am really surprised. In all the talk which went prior, I was under the impression that everyone on the committee endorsed the recommedation. If it was only four, I would be curious which four and why the other five did not.
skip falcon
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Postby Carolyn G. Whitlock » Sun Dec 22, 2002 12:23 am


If I remember correctly, the four who voted in favor of the Ad Hoc SWAC's recommendation for curbside pick-up and recycling were Ed Silva, Mark Fitzgerald, Dick Hinch, and Bob Kelley.

Selectmen Dave McCray and Tony Pellegrino announced right at the beginning that they would be abstaining from voting on the final recommendation. Dave abstained and Tony did not attend the meeting where the vote was taken.

Lenny Worster abstained.

The two committee members who voted against the recommendation were Mark Mercier and Finlay Rothhaus.

Obviously, I can't speak to why Mark and Finlay voted against the recommendation or why Lenny abstained.

In summary, of the 9 members of the committee, four voted in favor of the committee's recommendation, two voted against it, and three chose to not vote.
Carolyn G. Whitlock
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