http://www.merrimackvotes.org/

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http://www.merrimackvotes.org/

Postby Andy Sylvia » Tue Feb 20, 2007 1:21 pm

I just recieved an e-mail about this website, and it's a fantastic idea. I'm sorry I didn't start it first.
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Postby RBarnes » Tue Feb 20, 2007 3:19 pm

Who's behind it? The site only mentions that it was founded by a "group of residents" which leads me to question the motives behind this. Merrimack Cares made themselves clear they were going to fight taxes and they were a one issue group.

For instance, a group made up of members of the teacher union for instance would have a much different take on education issues then a group of people without any kids at all.
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Postby Brian McCarthy » Tue Feb 20, 2007 3:31 pm

I'll save people some time looking things up.

The content on the site is mine - I own the domain.

Why? Because 'its a great idea'. I've been in this town for 15+ years and the political game here has always been confusing.

We expect this site to help voters understand how to vote - and how to make a difference.

Who is the group? People who feel like I do.

Brian
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Postby andysinnh » Tue Feb 20, 2007 3:36 pm

And I am also one of the people helping Brian with the content and concept of that site.

andy
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Postby Jeannine Stergios » Tue Feb 20, 2007 3:42 pm

Brian

We expect this site to help voters understand how to vote - and how to make a difference.

Who is the group? People who feel like I do.


How do you feel? I have no idea.
What kind of difference are you planning to make?

The fact that Andysinnh is involved is troubling to me. It isn't personal against him but I know his way of thinking. So why not come out and say you want higher taxes? At least it would be honest rather than pretending to represent the people of Merrimack.
REPUBLICAN - BECAUSE NOT EVERYONE CAN BE ON WELFARE
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Postby andysinnh » Tue Feb 20, 2007 3:48 pm

Jeannine Stergios wrote:The fact that Andysinnh is involved is troubling to me. It isn't personal against him but I know his way of thinking. So why not come out and say you want higher taxes? At least it would be honest rather than pretending to represent the people of Merrimack.

Ah - I love the characterization of "higher taxes". Rational tax cuts sounds like a much better description. Nothing I support would cause taxes to increase.

But I think that the number one goal of such a site is to let all voters know the process and be educated on the dates, the meetings, and the places to get more info as is published by the town or school district. Voter education on how things work is the best description, I'd say.

andy
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Postby Jeannine Stergios » Tue Feb 20, 2007 4:04 pm

andysinnh

Name one instance of when you were in favor of a tax cut this year.

What do you consider a rational tax cut?
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Postby andysinnh » Tue Feb 20, 2007 4:13 pm

Jeannine Stergios wrote:andysinnh

Name one instance of when you were in favor of a tax cut this year.

What do you consider a rational tax cut?

Supporting the school board's difficult decision to reduce headcount for the budget, supporting the energy warrant article, supporting the effort underway between the school board and school administration to control healthcare costs for the upcoming contracts. And I also last spring voted NO to the (then) article to build the library. Beyond that, what other rational tax cuts were proposed for me to be in favor of?

andy
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Postby Jeannine Stergios » Tue Feb 20, 2007 4:21 pm

andy

If you supported all of those things then why so many complaints?

I think the School Board did a great job this year. I hope we can keep the same cast of characters for a few more years.

My biggest gripe is I hope we get tougher contract negotiators when it comes to the health care benefits of ALL town employees. The town should be able to shop around without the teachers having the final say on which health insurance plan they want. It should be left to the School Board and Town Council to make that decision - not the unions.
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Postby Debra Huffman » Tue Feb 20, 2007 5:09 pm

Brian and Andy, this is a great public service. Thank you.

(And BTW - I did not see any indication of political bias in the site.)
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Postby Andy Sylvia » Tue Feb 20, 2007 5:29 pm

Debra Huffman wrote:Brian and Andy, this is a great public service. Thank you.

(And BTW - I did not see any indication of political bias in the site.)


Ditto on that.

Don't worry about Jeannine, this is a wonderful idea. I hope I will be able to help you two in the future.
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Postby andysinnh » Tue Feb 20, 2007 5:49 pm

Jeannine Stergios wrote:andy

If you supported all of those things then why so many complaints?

I think the School Board did a great job this year. I hope we can keep the same cast of characters for a few more years.

My biggest gripe is I hope we get tougher contract negotiators when it comes to the health care benefits of ALL town employees. The town should be able to shop around without the teachers having the final say on which health insurance plan they want. It should be left to the School Board and Town Council to make that decision - not the unions.

Jeannine - hmm - my only complaint has been some of the proposed cuts by Jenn at the bud comm meetings - not the overall budget. Not sure where you got the idea I was upset with the SB - they've done a good job - I agree!

andy
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Postby RFTO1111 » Tue Feb 20, 2007 5:58 pm

I like the site also, hopefully it will stay unbiased and not have an agenda and just be informational. Good job.
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Postby Wayne » Tue Feb 20, 2007 8:07 pm

Brian, Andy, and whomever else,

Nice job - friendly, functional, and factual. I look forward to seeing more. Since neither the town nor the school has anything so organized, it would be great to see them publicly encourage citizens to visit this site. The more informed the voters, the better off we all will be.
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Postby uscitizen03054 » Tue Feb 20, 2007 8:29 pm

I too think the site to be a very nice resource for voters. However, I would like to see more hard data and metrics posted therein. A good start would be a plot of standardized test scores per dollar of expenditure from our education budget. It would be helpful to examine our results vs. neighboring towns and to the state average. Likewise, metrics of public servants per road mile serviced, police officers per resident/mile of coverage etcetera. Information such as this would be helpful to measure the size and effectiveness of our budgets.
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