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Selectmen object to adding ICLEI ban to Senate bill

by Thomas Beeler
Editor of The Granite State News
May 24, 2012
WOLFEBORO — At the Board of Selectmen's May 16 meeting Town Manager Dave Owen presented to selectmen a letter he had written to Sen. Jeb Bradley opposing an amendment proposed for SB 217, "An Act relative to management of Cannon Mountain by the department of resources and economic development."

The amendment would prohibit New Hampshire cities and towns from being members of the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI), "an international association of local governments and national and regional local government organizations that have made a commitment to sustainable development," according to Wikipedia.

Blocking membership in ICLEI is part of a major initiative by the John Birch Society to stop the "sustainable development" movement embodied in a United Nations document known as Agenda 21, adopted at a conference in Rio de Janeiro in 1993. That 19-year-old-plan was directed at reducing the global warming caused by human activities. The John Birch Society rejects global warming and considers the sustainable development movement an internationalist attempt to subvert American sovereignty.

The letter calls the amendment "non-germane" and states "The Town of Wolfeboro joined ICLEI a few years ago at the urging of the Town's Energy Committee, as part of its efforts to make the Town a more sustainable community. Since joining ICLEI, the Town's Department of Public Works and Planning Department have had occasion to call upon and use the expertise and informational resources of ICLEI in developing energy efficiency projects for the Town. This has resulted in the Town having undertaken energy efficiency improvements at many of the Town's facilities, including those funded through an Energy Conservation Block Grant and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).

The letter concludes, "As elected local officials, it seems to us that Cities and Towns in New Hampshire should have the discretion and local control to decide what organizations or associations they want to join, and not have the State ban certain organizations that are not deemed to be politically correct by certain political factions. It is our hope you share this view, and that you will oppose this non-germane amendment and urge your Senbate colleagues to do likewise."

Selectman Linda Murray said she had spoken with N.H. Reps. Chris Ahlgren and Dave Knox, who said they would help defeat the amendment in the House.

The board voted unanimously to send the letter (3-0: Selectmen Chuck Storm and Sarah Silk were not present at the May 16 meeting).

Car sale issue

Lt. Dean Rondeau of the Wolfeboro Police Department brought to the board's attention a recent problem where a resident has been parking a car for sale in a downtown parking space for more than 24 hours. Responding to complaints, police asked the person to move the car; however, the resident pointed out that the current town ordinance prohibiting parking of cars for sale, Section 165-3, refers only to town parking lots, not parking spaces. The space chosen in front of Bridges Hallmark is a space, not a lot.

Rondeau recommended changing the word "lot" to "parking space" and adding a subsection E under 165-3 with the wording, "No vehicle shall be parked in any town parking space with a 'for sale sign' posted, displayed, or caused to be displayed, by any method or means for a period of more than one hour."

Rondeau also recommended adding to Section 164 the provision, "Any vehicle which has three or more violations posted on it and still on display may be caused to be removed by the Wolfeboro Police Department, or any other Law Enforcement Agency acting on behalf of the Wolfeboro Police Department."

Selectman Murray suggested changing the time limit to two hours to conform to the maximum parking period elsewhere.

Selectmen voted to hold a public hearing on the proposed ordinance changes at the June 20 meeting.

Other business

Selectmen were given a presentation on the bidding process for the 2014-16 electricity contract and its impact on rates by Mayhew Seavey of PLM Electric Power Engineering. Please see separate article on this topic.

Lisa Braiterman, Chief Financial Officer of Brewster Academy, asked and received selectmen's support for the academy's request to the N.H. Department of Transportation to designate the section of South Main Street that runs in front of the school a School Zone. The state would place the signs at both end of that quarter-mile section, if approved. The speed limit in a School Zone drops from 30 to 20 MPH.

Finance Director Peter Chamberlin presented his Monthly Expenditure and Revenue Reports through April. Most departments are running under budget with the exception of the Welfare budget which is running $2,070 higher than 2011 so far and is 37 percent expended one-third of the way through the year. General Fund revenues through April are at 36.5 percent of budget one-third of the way through the year.

Selectmen voted to adopt the 2012-13 goals discussed at the last meeting.

Steve Day was re-appointed to the Wolfeboro Energy Committee. Committee Chair Nancy Hirshberg will be present at the board's next meeting to give a status report.

Town Manager Owen reported that representatives of towns that do their own dispatching (Conway, Moultonborough and Wolfeboro) will meet with the county commissioners on June 13 at 1 p.m. at the county administration building in Ossipee to discuss the fees they are assessed to support the sheriff's dispatch department.

The board agreed to allow the Tuftonboro Milfoil Committee to install a brochure dispenser with a flyer about milfoil control at the Libby Museum dock.

A Health Insurance Advisory Committee has been formed and will hold its first meeting on Tuesday, May 22.

The Budget Committee has met and re-elected John MacDonald chairman and Stan Stevens vice chairman.

The promised Wolfeboro taxi service is ready to begin. A taxi stand has been set up on Central Avenue near the corner of South Main.

A contract has been signed to remove asbestos from the Town Hall boiler room.

The recently-acquired McBride house has been inspected for asbestos, with a report expected next week, and the Libby Museum has been inspected for lead paint.

The handrails in front of Town Hall have been painted and will get a second coat shortly.

The June selectmen's meetings will be held in the Town Hall Meeting Room rather than the library due schedule conflicts.

Selectman Chuck Storm had an operation on his second knee and will be out until he is mobile again. Selectman Dave Bowers will cover Storm's assignments, which includes the planning board. Bowers attended his first planning board meeting the previous evening a said he was "impressed with the quality of people serving this town."

Murray and Bowers are switching assignments, with Murray moving to be selectmen's representative to the Chamber of Commerce and Bowers covering the Economic Development Committee meetings.

Temporary event permits were approved for Relay For Life on June 23-24 at The Nick; the Wolfeboro Area Children's Center second Fairy House Tour on July 7 at Cate Park; and the third Governor Wentworth Arts Council Plein Air Painting Day on Sept. 15.

The next meeting of the Wolfeboro Board of Selectmen will be on Wednesday, June 6, at 6:30 p.m. at the Town Hall meeting room.

Martin Lord Osman
Salmon Press
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