Why We Still Need Jen

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Why We Still Need Jen

Postby Andy Sylvia » Wed Apr 11, 2007 10:24 am

I can't speak for Merrimack Cares, but this town still needs Jen Twodarsky, or at least someone to emulate her.

I have disagreed with her most of the time and I thought her thoughts at the Deliberative Session could have been conveyed in a more respectful and streamlined way, but irregardless of that, Jennifer's compassion and drive to try and help those in her community isn't something that should be disdained but celebrated, especially among those of us on "my side" who think her ideas are dangerous. If anything, the only dangerous idea is the squelching of people's ideas, because there is enough room in our town for everyone's ideas.

Although I cannot stand with her politically much of the time, I will always defend her personally, because we all need her sincere hope that we, the average people, can make our town a better place.
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Postby Debra Huffman » Wed Apr 11, 2007 2:56 pm

I'll morph this into...
We still need fiscal conservatives.

For too many years, fiscal conservatives felt that their voices weren't heard. They felt they didn't have a place at the table. Now they have the strongest voice on the Town Council and a strong voice on the School Board, so they are firmly seated at the table. The conservatives I talk to feel that they are now being heard, even if their tax bills didn't go down.

The important thing now is to see who can work in a bi-partisan environment to accomplish mutually agreeable goals.

All members of our community need to be fairly represented if we are to make good, solid, balanced decisions. Without that inclusion, our community suffers.

So yes, Andy, I'll agree with you. We DO need fiscal conservatives to stay involved in the process. And fiscal conservatives in power need to include those who favor funding more programs/staff/whatever. It's not easy, but it's the path to progress.

(To those who say conservatives HAD their seat at the table: Yes, conservatives took over the School Board for a while in the 90's, but that turned into a religious thing more than a financial thing. Clearly the voters were NOT looking for a religious thing since those folks were voted out the next time around.)
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Postby RBarnes » Wed Apr 11, 2007 3:12 pm

As with most things Deb, those in power from either extreme do so only until they've upset enough of the other side to motivate them and get kicked out.

Problem both sides have is with those who are seen as their spokesmen are usually the extremists.

On the fiscally conservative side there are some bad representations in office (myself included).

Jenn, while I like her a lot, suffers from Hillary Clinton disease in that she gets so wound up and heated that she comes off horrible. At the DS when she got up and asked about the number of students she could have done so in a way that would have come off looking very well. For instance had she simply said, would someone from the school board please site the enrollment numbers as I did not bring my budget book with me and I feel the numbers are relevant, I doubt anyone would have taken that poorly. Or she could have asked the entire table of bud com members siting on either side of her to borrow their book and gone up and read the numbers.

I'm a horrible representation for fiscal conservatives because I don't hold back what's on my mind. I'm not politically savvy in that way because I would rather people not like me knowing where I stand then to pretend to be something I'm not just to win people over. Since I'm seen as a representative for not only myself but for what fiscal conservatives in this town are I hurt them when I go shooting my mouth off.

There are those on the other side who tick people off in much the same way.
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Postby Andy Sylvia » Wed Apr 11, 2007 3:50 pm

Debra Huffman wrote:We still need fiscal conservatives.


That's true, I see myself as a fiscal moderate rather than a fiscal conservative, but that's besides things.

I meant the above though in regards to Jen's sense of hope and love of this community, kind of like the whole JFK "Ask Not What Your Country Can Do For You" vibe.

And I wouldn't want to see anyone in any level of government who wants to force their religious values on others like the dark ages back in the 90s.
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Postby Confucius » Wed Apr 11, 2007 3:54 pm

RBarnes wrote:On the fiscally conservative side there are some bad representations in office (myself included).


Actually, even worse for you, I saw you as a moderate in the bud com meetings. This only makes both sides not think well of you. To some you will be seen as a flaming liberal and to others you will be just left of arch-conservative.

A voice of moderation? How awful! Thank you for running and congratulations in winning. My condolences in serving. :wink:
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Postby Norman Phillips » Thu Apr 12, 2007 7:52 am

Debra Huffman wrote:I'll morph this into...
We still need fiscal conservatives.

For too many years, fiscal conservatives felt that their voices weren't heard. They felt they didn't have a place at the table. ----


I simply do not understand, Debra. Do you mean that Norman Carr, Tony Pellegrino, Chris Christensen, Finlay Rothhaus, Nancy Gagnon, Tony Holevas, et al. were not conservatives?

And on the school side, Ken Coleman has been very effective in keeping a balance between taxes and educational demands. ( In spite of his detractors! )

If what you say about the feelings of fiscal conservatives are correct, it seems to me that they are simply angry at the relentless progression of inflation in every aspect of the lives of all of us. ( The prime example of this was the added cost for trash disposal when the landfill closed.) During the Hinch years on the BOS, for example, the budget increases always came in at less than the inflation rate.
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Postby Jeannine Stergios » Thu Apr 12, 2007 9:05 am

Norman

Debra is correct. When spending got out of control the liberals controlled the boards. We need to have both sides on our boards.

We had a reign of tax and spend for about 4 years. If you can't see that then I don't know where you've been.
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Postby RBarnes » Thu Apr 12, 2007 9:11 am

Part of the problem I see is we rarely tighten our belts.

During good times we allow spending to increase in HUGE amounts.

In bad times, once taxes get to high, the most we do is try to control or slow down the growth. Last year on the town's side was the first time we've ever seen true cutting.

I think there is true cutting that can take place on the school side without any impact to education but it will need to come from the school board as it would effect school policy. I don't see that as the budget committee's role so you will not see me pushing for it on that level.
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Postby Norman Phillips » Thu Apr 12, 2007 9:59 am

Jeannine Stergios wrote:Norman

Debra is correct. When spending got out of control the liberals controlled the boards. We need to have both sides on our boards.

We had a reign of tax and spend for about 4 years. If you can't see that then I don't know where you've been.


I have been watching the line by line details of town, school and district budgets and warrant articles for 9 years. I notice that your phrasing
"When spending got out of control the liberals controlled the boards. "
allows for the fact that external circumstances imposed themselves on town and school spending.

Is this what you meant, Jeannine?
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Postby Jeannine Stergios » Thu Apr 12, 2007 10:22 am

Norman

that external circumstances imposed themselves on town and school spending.


you can call them external circumstances - I prefer to call them scare tactics.
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Postby davem » Thu Apr 12, 2007 11:24 am

During the Hinch years on the BOS, for example, the budget increases always came in at less than the inflation rate.


So I guess it is justified to make 'budget increases' just as long it is less than current inflation rates as it was during that time period per your statement. So then the tax increases were less than inflation thus tax payers should just be satisfied as the rise in tax bills during that time period was all just part of of the relentless progression of inflation. I get it now.

So current gas prices are about $2.60 a gallon for regular unleaded, hey just part of the relentless progression of inflation.
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Postby RBarnes » Thu Apr 12, 2007 11:54 am

Jeannine Stergios wrote:Norman

that external circumstances imposed themselves on town and school spending.


you can call them external circumstances - I prefer to call them scare tactics.


Jeannine, I believe what Norm is referring to were things such as the transfer station being voted in, the new school and the purchase of horse hill. All of which increased taxes.
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Postby joe179 » Thu Apr 12, 2007 4:47 pm

Many times in life I am reminded by the opposing factors of Yin and Yang:

"Each thing depends upon it's opposite in order to exist; thus Yin 'creates' Yang and Yang 'creates' Yin."

It seems to me that over time there is in fact a balance that is maintained by these opposing forces, views and energies.

Thus, I am not surprised that even here in our own town, these opposites tend to exert their influence which helps to maintain the balance that is beneficial to our quality of life...
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Postby Wayne » Thu Apr 12, 2007 6:04 pm

Joe,

I offer my hearty thank you for your years of service to the town. You have shown great responsibility on the BC, casting votes to help keep taxes in check while also ensuring that the quality of life in Merrimack was maintained. I hope to see you back in office someday soon.

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Postby Gina Rosati » Thu Apr 12, 2007 6:44 pm

joe179 wrote:Many times in life I am reminded by the opposing factors of Yin and Yang:

"Each thing depends upon it's opposite in order to exist; thus Yin 'creates' Yang and Yang 'creates' Yin."

It seems to me that over time there is in fact a balance that is maintained by these opposing forces, views and energies.

Thus, I am not surprised that even here in our own town, these opposites tend to exert their influence which helps to maintain the balance that is beneficial to our quality of life...


Joe, you brought an incredible amount of intelligence, patience and fairness to the school budget committee. You were one of four budget committee members who took the time to tour the high school library to research whether the librarian assistant position was necessary. Thank you for all of your hard work. Sadly, I agree with Rick Barnes that the placement of your name on the ballot was a significant deciding factor in this vote. Please run again next year!
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