Friday, December 27, 2013

Petition aims to abolish Winchester's districts

Anyone wanna bet who's behind this movement? Read on ...

By Meghan Foley Sentinel Staff

WINCHESTER — On the heels of a battle to put a standalone store in one of the town’s historic districts, a new movement is afoot to get rid of the districts altogether.
A petition warrant article seeking to abolish the ordinance that established the districts will go to the Winchester Historic District Commission Monday night for review.
Voters approved the ordinance at town meeting in March 1997. It applies to the Winchester and the Ashuelot districts, and seeks to protect buildings and areas that have “cultural, social, economic, political and architectural history.”
It also aims to “encourage and regulate” new construction that fits in with existing historic architecture; foster appreciation of the town’s beauty and its past accomplishments; strengthen the town’s economy “by protecting and enhancing the attractiveness of the community;” and promote the public and private use of areas in the historic districts “for the education, pleasure, prosperity, and general welfare of the community.”
The Winchester district includes a section of Main Street from Chapel Street southwest to the Route 10 bridge, and portions of Michigan and High streets and Richmond Road. The Ashuelot district covers a section of Ashuelot Main Street, and Old Hinsdale and Back Ashuelot roads.

The petition to abolish the district comes roughly a year and a half after the climax of a controversial proposal by Dollar General to build a store on Main Street within the boundaries of the Winchester district. The issue divided residents, some of whom felt having a store there was better than having a decrepit building; others who said a standalone store is out of character for the area.

The property at 71 Main St. is home to a roughly 200-year-old house, which the project’s developer, Zaremba Group of Lakewood, Ohio, wanted to demolish. The house is owned by Margaret A. Sharra, land use administrator and code enforcement officer for the town, and her brothers, James S. and Michael P. Shannon.
The historic district commission must approve any requests to raze a building in either of the districts, and it denied the Zaremba proposal in July 2011. Zaremba appealed the ruling to the Winchester Zoning Board of Adjustment in August of that year.
In October 2011, the zoning board ruled the house could be demolished as long as the historic district commission approved plans for the Dollar General first.
Five property owners then filed a motion requesting the zoning board reconsidered its decision. The board denied the request in November 2011.
A month later, the group of residents and Kulick’s Inc., which operates a market on Warwick Road (Route 78), took the matter to Cheshire County Superior Court in Keene.
The lawsuit, which named the town’s board of selectmen and zoning board as defendants, asked the court to invalidate the zoning board’s decision and have the case sent back to the zoning board for further review.
In April 2012, Judge Kathleen McGuire ruled against the residents and Kulick’s.
Gene Park, vice chairman of the historic district commission, said Thursday the petition to abolish the districts came as a surprise.
“The commission was blindsided by it,” he said. “I have no idea where it came from.”
He is interested to hear the arguments for and against abolishing the ordinance, he said.
James Shannon and some of Sharra’s family members signed the petition. The petition also includes the signature of Denis V. Murphy 2nd, chairman of the Winchester Historic District Commission.
Murphy said this morning he signed the petition because someone asked him to.
“I’m not going to deny someone the democratic process,” he said.
Sharra, who didn’t sign the petition, said Thursday her brother, James, would be a good person to ask about the reasoning behind the petition.
Shannon was unavailable for comment and efforts to reach Sharra this morning for further comment were unsuccessful.
The petition was received by the town Dec. 11.
The historic district commission has scheduled public hearings for residents to weigh in on the petition warrant article for Monday, Dec. 30 and Jan. 14. The hearings will begin at 7 p.m. at Town Hall.

Meghan Foley can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1436, or Follow her on Twitter @MFoleyKS.

So who's the registered town voter who started the petition and why? Is this the next step towards Sharra getting her way? If people in this town want to continue having a say in what goes on in your town, then you'd better get yourself to these meetings and Deliberative or otherwise pay the consequences of your non-actions. Seems the few who think Winchester is their plum plan on abolishing anything that stands in their way.


Anonymous said...

About time someone succeeded with this needed warrant article.
You have to understand the HDC has done the exact opposite of what it was intended for.
Look at the board itself, who on that board is qualified? Seriously, Gene Park?
This group has found themselves in more hot water than needed, several reprimands from the select board for trespassing on private property, huge legal bills created by an alternate, Making decisions about people private homes when they are not qualified or educated to do so.
Look around, Winchester is full of eyesores and rat traps, god forbid someone buys one of these property's and tries to clean them up, maintain them and do something silly like installing energy efficient thermal windows or something as simple as a picket fence.
The house of High St. is a great example, the current owners have done a fantastic job making this a beautiful home and a joy for all of us to look at and live near. Now the HDC has fought and blocked them every step of the way and this poor couple were not even told about the historical district when they bought the home. Smokey the Bear is another fine example, this group actually thought they could tell the Town hall that this could not be placed on Town Property?
After this group and the districts are disbanded, we as a town can build a new and correct one. Homeowners should individually be given a choice if they wish their homes to be included in a district, The new board will act as an advisory panel to the Planning board or Zoning board. And no one that doesn't own the property's in question will be allowed to vote about them, I will use this as an example, if it is decided to try to make Parker St. a historical district I feel only the property owners on parker St. should be able to vote on it, why should someone who lives outside that district have any say on how the property owners on parker St. live and what they can or cant do? But this isn't a perfect answer either, let's say all the owners on parker St. vote and turning it into a Historical district wins by a 60 to 40% margin, is it right to force the 40% of homeowners into a historical district they don't want? So I think we are back to an individual basis, and it ends the minute the property is sold to a new owner and then they can decide if they want to be in a Historical district. Town property like the Town Hall, Library and covered bridges can and will always will be protected under a Historical District act.

Anonymous said...

If there was a time for a tax payers citizen group it’s now. If this tyrant Sharra replaces Leroy Austin as code enforcer she will reap revenge on everyone that crossed her. The Sharra’s and her brother made a bad judgment in a investment on some property they want us the tax payers to pay the legal fees and we have so far.

The whole bunch at the town hall should be replaced. Look at Ken Gardner and his fit of rage over the past budget committee when he couldn't get his own way, so Gardner makes an attempt to change the rules to fit his agenda. Not getting anywhere Gardner resorts spieling his rambling bullshitt to get sympathy to the Keene Sentinel readers by doing so doesn’t keep it within the town matters is an act of a coward. If the town voters let’s Sharra get away with her shenanigans it will be a travesty for the whole town. When rules we have to live by stand in their way of the people we entrusted to protect all of us they will just circumvent the rules.

Scratching my head said...

Denis is Sharra's PUPPET! How obvious is that? How much money will he receive if the deal goes through? Opps, probably nothing since they still haven't paid their property taxes on the property.

His response should have been that he was doing it for the good of the town, not because someone asked him too.

I for one would like to see the Board of Selectman remove Denis Murphy and the Planning Board Representative, Mike, from their positions on the Historic District. They have completely undermined their duty as representatives of the Historic District.

Sue Newell said...

Despite who is behind the petition, I am in favor of abolishing the district. As with most of the zoning it has been enforced selectively. Property rights should trump the decisions of a board of politically appointed members who sit in judgement and have the legal authority to micromanage what a person can do with their own property in terms of paint colors, building materials, renovations, etc. -- all to be accomplished at the owner's expense. Many of those demands have been too expensive for the owners, so properties sit idle and continue to deteriorate because to maintain them according to the rules isn't financially possible.

If people feel so strongly about deciding what should, and should not, be preserved, they should buy the properties with their own money and make them historically accurate to their hearts' content.

As with so much of the agenda of the left, historic districts are about a few elite people determining what is best for the greater good, and controlling other people through the threat of force of government, and by spending other people's money.

Let's face it, Winchester is never going to be a Sturbridge Village or Grafton, VT, and the historic district has been used to stifle real economic progress and the cleaning up of Main Street. Look how many empty properties there are. Who would want to invest in them if they have to spend tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars to make them usable and meet the arbitrary criteria of the Historic Distric Commission?

The more control the local government exercises, the less opportunity there is for the town to thrive economically.

The left always has such grand plans for what Winchester will become. (Remember how that reallly cool cultural group was going to turn Josie's Place into some kind of musical copycat of Peterborough's McDowell Colony? Yeah, right.)

Let the free market determine the best use of real estate resources and let the breath of life return to Winchester.

Anonymous said...

Sorry guys, but you must know this is a done deal, once its in front of the voters buh bye HDC, they have stepped in it far to many times, telling property owners what they can or cant do is wrong. This board is also made up with people with no education or basic understanding about the board they sit on. We property owners have needed this board gone for years now. You can try to make this about Sharra all you want but there was many signatures on this petitioned warrant article, most of them from property owners who are tired of being held back and do not want their houses to look like dumps anymore.
How many times can you cross the line and let some false sense of power go to your head before voters get wise to it and end it.
If you think this warrant article is so wrong than let the voters decide, I guarantee you this one will win by at least an 80% majority vote, enough is enough and its time to clean up our town and have some nice looking homes again, HDC has stopped this from happening every step of the way and I can personally guarantee you this did not happen because of the Sharra property all by itself, many home owners are done with this group.

Anonymous said...

Its amazing when one or two family's have more power then the selectmen.

Anonymous said...

Property owners are obligated to upkeep their homes/property whether in an Historic District or not. Rules are made for everyone and those select few who think they shouldn't have to follow rules and can do whatever they want by simply signing a petition and having rules thrown out for their own benefit, shows you the mentality of a small group that thinks it can run the town. These people who signed this petition are mostly homeowners who have butted heads with the HDC because they refused to follow guidelines set up to protect our heritage.
Sharra and her brothers are out to make a killing on a piece of property they bought, knowing full well where it was located, what the regulations concerning upkeep and restoration were well before hand; just like all the others and now, because they were stifled in their efforts to sell, have contacted all those others who have fought with the HDC over unlawful improvements and have come up with this end around play to get their way. The HDC has an obligation to enforce rules, both state and town, governing buildings and property in this designated section of our town to preserve our past. It is not personal with them, it is their duty. That the BOS has selected people to fill this committee in an attempt to sabotage the group has been obvious for some time. In fact this all started with Sharra's contacting the Zeremba Group and General Dollar in an attempt to sell her property without even listing it for sale locally. There are a couple of others here in town that have attempted to do the same thing and who have been stymied and are also involved in this fiasco. This town has become the laughing stock of the county. Every week throughout the years there has been one story after another regarding bullshyyt that goes on here that ends up in the courts. When are you people finally going to stand together and say enough? One of commenters above complained of eyesores and blight. There are rules on the books that compel property owners to make the needed and necessary repairs to their homes to keep them up to codes; yet our town's Code Enforcement officer ( SHARRA )selectively enforces these rules at a whim and they obviously don't apply to her or her select group of friends.Instead there is now an attempt to rid ourselves of a commission made up of volunteers, elected by us to keep our heritage and enforce existing regulations. Open your eyes folks and see this for what it truly is and get to these meetings and voice your opinions and be sure to show up at Deliberative and squash this crap or face the consequences. Who knows, the next petition could be to run all the poor or elderly out of town.

Anonymous said...

As a previous poster mentioned, Winchester will never be a great historic town. We need to get rid of the HDC and look at other economic opportunities for Winchester. What is the harm with adding another dollar store to Winchester, or another gas station/Dunkin Donuts? If someone other than Sharra was trying to sell that home would it still be such an issue or is this specifically about a personal vendetta against Sharra? I am a homeowner in Winchester and am willing to add new businesses if my real estate taxes go down.

Anonymous said...

Your taxes are NEVER going to go down as long as we have the people we have in charge of the chicken coop. Wake the hell up and look at the tax kiosk for God's sake, hardly any of these so called businesses we have in town pay taxes now. We don't need a Dunkin Donuts, another Dollar store or gas station. What we need is honest,responsible, people who have a sense of fiscal responsibility to the town not the crooks we have now fleecing us for themselves and their families. Until we as a town elect good people and throw all the bums out, things will never get better, they'll only get worse.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand how people who buy these properties in this Historic District can cry they are being discriminated against. They know full well in advance what is required of a homeowner who purchases a property there, what they can and can not do and why. It's when they seek waivers to do things that aren't allowed that they suddenly start with all the hoopla and baloney. Just who do these few think they are anyways? And Sharra, she is always in the middle of some crap going down in town. It's time she's shown the door and stops costing us thousands in legal fees. I'd like to know how she can legally rent a place that is supposedly falling down around her ears and isn't safe or able to be brought up to code as she and her brothers testified at the ZBA meeting. Something tells me she'll say and do anything to get her own way and lying is at the top of that list

Anonymous said...

December 29, 2013 at 9:59 AM
You are missing the fact that most of the buyers who bought property in a HDC district that fact was never brought to their attention until sometime down the road when the got in trouble for fixing their homes.
Sharra is no saint and I agree its time she goes, but this issue has nothing to do with her, many of us homeowners signed this petition, our entire HDC is set up and run absolutely incorrectly. Do a little research on how other towns and city's have theirs set up and you will find ours is very unique, in a bad way. Absolute power for board members to hassle property owners, most town's the HDC is only an advisory panel to another board like Zoning and planning, they have no right to go onto property's or contact home owners and cause them grief. They are used as a source to do research and provide opinions to these other boards, and guess what? they actually have to have education or credentials in this field to serve on the advisory panel. Can you list 1 single member of our HDC members that have any education or credentials in Historical preservation? or the part about how you can have historical preservation but live up to modern building codes and what is reasonable for a family or business who owns the property.
You can keep using this as a sounding board for your war with Sharra but again this has absolutely nothing to do with the issue at hand and if you keep making this about sharra some people may not take the time to understand the real issue here with our HDC holding property owners back from having nice, weather tight and more efficient homes. Unless you are willing to pay my property Taxes I do not take kindly to uneducated power hungry individuals telling me what I can or cant do with my home.

stupid is as stupid does said...

Let's do away with all the boards and open the town to whatever and whoever wants to come and purchase and build, what the hell. While we are at it, lets do away with all the building codes, regulations and rules all in the name of growth and profit. Just imagine what a fine prosperous town we would have with the likes of what has come here in the past.

Anonymous said...

I have to say the above posted comment {December 28, 2013 at 3:47 PM} is very convincing argument, it’s the law, passed in good faith to protect the downtown. Now we have a disgruntle group that doesn’t like the rules because it makes them play by our rules. So what do they do? They try to change the rules to fit their agenda. By removing this rule another lost attempt to bring some common sense to rebuilding and restoring our downtown

We had urban development grant money given to the town to lend out interest free or at low interest for the improvement of our downtown. The money was intended to be paid back which we would have a revolving fund to have to use again and again, instead it was pissed away or just given to home owners and friends as a gift with no attempts to repay it. What did Leroy Austin and Bucky Jones and others at the town hall do, they screwed everyone who would like the downtown restored, except their friends. What was left of the fund the town BOS gave Gary Beaman a gift of $70,000 to put town water and sewage to his development on Snow Road. The Beamans the Sharras, Beamans the Sharras !! I am tired of it. Sharra has her grubby little hands in every dirt deed in town.

A posters comment “If someone other than Sharra was trying to sell that home would it still be such an issue?”! Yes! This is a crock everyone would have met the same restrictions. it is no longer a home 71 Main St. it is an investment (a poor one at that). Sharra has allowed it decay to the point it is no longer live able as a home. Part of Sharra’s ploy to get sympathy to raise it. I say keep the Historical District make the Sharra restore the property or if it is raised it would make a damn nice park to go along with her stupid sideway. If for no other reason send the Sharra’s a message we no longer except people moving in and treating the local’s as dumb-asses. Go back to Conn where you belong and take land grabbing Beaver Dam Gus Ruth with you.

Anonymous said...

To: Stupid is as stupid does -
That has already happened and it began the moment Leroy & Margaret were hired to run our town. The entire reason our town is a “shit hole” is solely on their shoulders. Spend some time talking with them and you will discover that they are covering each other's butts for their incompetents. Neither of them is qualified to hold the position(s) they do. Our town would benefit from FIRING both of them.

Anonymous said...

Pinch me please! Am I dreaming, or do I actually agree with Sue Newell?! Woe, woe, woe is me!

Anonymous said...

NOTICE-Don't expect to do town business tomorrow morning, most of the employees in the town hall will be reading this Winchester Informer Blog. It will take a while even if some of them get to work on time.

Anonymous said...

Knit pick and make this all about Sharra all you want, fact is it has nothing to do with her, this is about our un-needed and un-educated HDC going away.
I will be a great opportunity to establish a new one and do it correctly this time.
I understand that you feel if a mouse sneezes in town its Sharra's fault, and heck I agree with you about most of it, but this is about many other property owners who have had issues with this current HDC board.
Blast away all you want, twist the facts, but once this is on the ballot for March it is a done deal.
Sue nailed everything right on the head with her post and so haven't a few others.

Anonymous said...

Are you really as dumb as you sound poster above? Nothing is a "done deal" and this crap hasn't even been approved to be on next years ballot yet and may never be.How can you establish a "new one" when you just voted to abolish any HDC committee? You really don't understand anything do you, all you want to do is get rid of people that you don't like at any cost. And, this is all about Sharra and her cronies trying to get rid of any opposition to her and their likes and wants. You're nothing but a puppet for the people attempting to ruin this town for their own gain.

Anonymous said...

Best thing to do is show up at deliberative session and change the wording of the warrant article like they do to others who file a amendment petition of which the cronies dislike . I think you will find support for this. You could change the petition to read " we the people think Gene Park is a great guy and he is nobodies fool"!

What about the petition submitted to make Old Westport Road making it a scenic road. Does this mean if passed the town crew will finally get off their asses and pickup the trash along the road. It is pathetic, Gus Ruth, Leroy Austin drives by this mess everyday and does nothing about it. Get the town crew, Sharra and other out the town hall and pickup trash.

What is behind this move, let's trash Main Street and then make Old Westport Road scenic.

Sue Newell said...

I believe the warrant articles having to do with land use and zoning (Historic District and Scenic Road) cannot be amended at deliberative. Too bad tht doesn't apply to other petitioned articles.

Anonymous said...

I've heard a lot of scuttlebutt about what can and can not be done to these homes in these districts and how this committee is prohibiting homeowners from fixing up their homes because of dozens of rules and regulations that tell them what they can and can not do. So I went to the town's website, looked up the Historical Committee and looked at their purpose and their regulations and found this; I don't see where this group is being restrictive at all:


Regulated Activities

It is unlawful for any person to construct, alter, repair, move or demolish any building, structure, or improvement which lies within the Historic Districts without first obtaining a certificate of approval from the Historic District Commission.

Historic Commission Review

For the purpose of this Article, the following activities shall be reviewed by the Historic District Commission:

Erection, alteration, repair, sand blasting, abrasive cleaning, relocation, or demolition of the building or structure, and construction of any site;

Erection, alteration, or removal of any exteriors or visible features of a building or structure;

Construction, reconstruction, or repair of any stone wall or fencing; and

Grading, excavation, or removal of stone walls, fences, and tree.


The Historic District Commission shall not require review of the following activities:

Ordinary Maintenance and Repair

Ordinary maintenance and repair of any architectural feature which does not involve removal or a change in design, dimensions, materials, or outer appearance of such features.

Painting or Repainting of Buildings or Structures

Colors employed shall be consistent with that of the balance of the District and shall be presented in a conventional manner.

Unconventional designs, colors, or color combinations are prohibited.

I see no reasons why a homeowner couldn't do regular maintenance on their property and keep them up to code and looking nice unlike several real eyesores we have in town. The Marsh and Sharra properties on Main Street are in terrible shape due to neglect; not the Commission as are many others crying about being hampered by members.

thanks said...

No problem with the town hall being closed today 1/1/14, but can you believe the amount of three day weeks our town hall employees get in a year. Good pay, great benefits, no commute, and you get to come to work late, extend your lunch and breaks, and go home when ever you want too. There is a petition going around to change that, if you see it please sign it, and bring service back to our town hall.

Anonymous said...

I hope this petition includes working Mon through Friday and the downstairs being open 1-2 weeknights and 4 hours every Saturday, with 3 of them down there, It shouldn't be a problem meeting our needs with these hours, with no overtime or not hiring a 4th employee.

Kim N. Gordon said...

A historic district can afford the property owners many added benefits - ie: grant monies, federal funding, and tax credits. It can also be an added value to the town and the property values.

When someone purchases a home within the Historic District - their real estate agent is required to inform the potential buyer the essential information that obtains to the property. The real estate agent ascertains this information from the Land Use Office (if the property is in the HD it should be on the card). If the potential buyers is not informed about this, then the blame should lie solely on the information received from these two entities.

The cost to the homeowner to receive a HDC review is only $15. If you take some time to review the minutes of this board, you will find that the majority of the applications that go before this board are approved. There are helpful suggestions by the board and attention to historic value is given.

If people have an issue with the current board members, they should take into consideration that this is an appointed board. This implies that the board members were all approved and appointed by the Board of Selectman. The Board of Selectman should be reviewing the qualifications of each of the members when considering their appointment. A few things to take into consideration are: construction knowledge/experience, and knowledge of historic preservation (the historical integrity or significance of a property). The appointees should be able to demonstrate their qualifications in their educational background and/or experience.

From my personal experience as a member of this board (2010-2013), I observed an obvious disconnect with the Land Use Office. There were numerous occasions within that three years, in which homeowners were given building permits without being directed to the HDC first. This manifested into many homeowners being frustrated with the HDC. Understandably so, there was much hate and discontent with the homeowners, because they were informed after they received permission to build or demolish that the LUO department was mistaken in giving out the permit. The Land Use Office then attempted undermine the situation by trying to put the blame on the HDC (instead of taking responsibility for the department's oversight).

I would like to point out, that numerous people observed Denis Murphy at the town dump last year, requesting signatures for a petition warrant article to eliminate the Historic District. Commission. This warrant article was never submitted, but he was appointed to this board two months later. This is a direct violation of RSA 673:4 II - "In determining each member's qualifications, the appointing authority shall take into consideration the appointee's demonstrated interest and ability to understand, appreciate and promote the purposes of the historic district commission."

NOTE: The property at 71 Main Street was awarded a large sum of money to renovate their property, by the State of New Hampshire's "Seven to Save" project. They declined.

Anonymous said...

Heard there are several other petitions circulating and one is to abolish the selectboard. Can't wait to sign that one

Anonymous said...

That's right selectmen appointing Denis Murphy, Gene Parks and their likes just dumbs down the committees which makes the selectmen more intelligent, when in essence they look like more like mental midgets.

same folks, same results said...

Well then, if it's our Selectmen that are responsible for the lack of knowledgeable people on this board, then it stands to reason that they; not the Commission itself, that is the issue. Perhaps we should get rid of those dunderheads and do away with the cronyism that goes on in this town. We should be electing honest people with knowledge and foresight and fiscal sense and make all of the boards elected positions and stop letting those in power appoint their friends instead of qualified candidates. Trouble is, in this town not enough people take the time to see who is running, ask questions or make good choices. It's all about who their neighbor or friend or parents are voting for and most times it just comes down to name recognition. Well we see just how well that has worked out haven't we?

Anonymous said...

Ref: Same folks

Your right on.... the truth of what the problem is. Now what do we do about it? We can not get enough new people active enough to make a difference to out vote the clique or can we. Maybe s citizens group to educate the ones we do have. What do you think "Winchester Citizens For a Better Town"!

Anonymous said...

OK!! Let's do it! You lead the way.
Winchester Citizens For a Better Town!!!

When and where do we sign up!!

Or was that just a thought between beers

Anonymous said...

Educating voters is one step, Getting them to show up a deliberative and voting booth is the nest step, this one always fails. But now we need solid people to run another problem we have not overcome, I heard Roberta is not running this year so there is 1 seat, but we need a decent qualified candidate, Sadly anyone smart enough for the spot is also smart enough not to run, thankless position and you cant please everyone.

Bob Davis said...

OK! Ref: Jan 3 11:42 This is typical of everyone in Winchester. Instead of you saying, How do we go about getting organized? Your like a lot of Winchester citizens, you lead the way.

You must know several of us have led the way in organizing the people like Mike Towne, and several others called the Winchester Informers to educate the voters and what did we get in return, name calling and personally discredit and attacks. Where were the followers and supporters then? They led where were the sheep to follow?

I personally do not drink, so I do not have a thought between beers. Maybe these people who tried to organize weren't smart enough for you or some people disliked us because we had a big mouth or we were people with an agenda. What ever the reasoning it failed. So find smarter people you might have better luck. You lead and I will follow.

Anonymous said...

Try asking Joe citizen on the street to sign a petition to change the way we run this town, and you get," I think its a great idea, but I cant sign it because someone in the town hall would be pissed at me, but good luck with it". It only takes a dozen people to change things, ask Stetser.

Anonymous said...

Without a doubt petitioned warrant articles are the way to go, people forget that the voters should be running the town and petitioned warrant articles are the way to do so.
But without voters showing up at deliberative and the voting booth this will fail.
I would love to see petitions like
Controlling the hours the town hall employees work, Mon through Fri, open a few night hours and a few hours on Saturday, also why are they not using a time clock?
A petition warrant article on how property's are taken over by the town, due to non tax payments and then sold.
The sky is the limit but voters need to show up and support them.
The petitioned article to disband the HDC is a great idea for many reasons, one of them being showing voters how successful a petitioned warrant can be if done properly. hopefully we see more of this going on in the future.

Anonymous said...

Low voter turn-out has it's consequences.... the election of
Herbert Stephens buddy of Monadnock Speedway will Chan fight to allow them permits to operate owing the town unpaid taxes of almost $44,352 that doesn't include the interest. AS a business can the town attach his earnings? Look at Roberta it seemed as one of the selectmen she went for years without paying her taxes.

Wake up people! The people you elect can cost everyone of us tax $$$$$.

Anonymous said...

Anyone attending the public hearings this week on budget? School Tuesday night and town Thursday night.

Anonymous said...

Here comes a new sideway to nowhere in our downtown. No crosswalk markers or any other indication of a crosswalk where it crosses RT 10. The sidewalk is uneven below the road with low spots for water and ice to collect. How anyone would except this poor workmanship is beyond me. "IF" someone was to use the sidewalk it is covered sand with pebbles where someone could twist an ankle. Does Winchester ever do anything the right way? Maybe Sharra and Dale Gray should take a broom and shovel and clean their folly.

It is a liability in the waiting for the town. We must like dishing out our hard earned tax dollars to the legal fund!

Anonymous said...

Voting time is closing in on our interesting, unusual strange little town, where the selectmen count the votes in a state where free and fair elections are guaranteed where the attorney general’s office can over disallow the past 22 complaints with 15 witnesses to their office for alleged voter fraud. Where the selectmen lie and the town clerk swears to it.

Starlin was quoted as saying,

“Those who vote decide nothing. Those who count the vote decide everything.”!

Anonymous said...

There will be a warrant article that will have the town hall open a couple of nights a months, talk it up, we need this service. Another 3 day work week for the chosen few, enjoy going to work on Monday. He-- the chosen few wont even be able to get to work on time Tuesday.

Something Stinks said...

what's Up? It appears that one town hall employee spent most of the day at work. If its true, why? I cant believe that anyone in the town hall needs to work on the MLK Holliday, or could it be that someone needed to do some personal project and the town hall has all the tools necessary.

overpaid and underqualified said...

Maybe they all should have gone in and worked on catching up on dept meting minutes so we'd know what in hell we're paying these people for.

Wake Up said...

If anyone has to work on a holiday they should be compensated and who ever is in charge should be looking into why it was needed. If it is a personal project the employee should be terminated for theft. Not only things like paper, lights and heat, but if anything happened there could be a liability issue.

Anonymous said...

I bet it was Shelly Walker, the Town Administrator. She's a good gal. Works hard for this town. I've seen her come in on Friday and some Saturdays. No agenda there except for the Town of Winchester. We need more like her.

Anonymous said...

Does Sally drive a pickup truck? The reason for a 4 day work week is to save on things like lights and fuel oil, so did who ever was in the building work in the dark with there winter coat on? Sally may be a great employee, but it doesn't appear that she has much of a handle on what her people are doing or not doing. Good luck to her.

Anonymous said...

Don't think that was Sally's pickup parked at the town hall this morning either. 1/25 But maybe she could ask these people why they feel the need to be there when the building is closed. One has to wonder how many keys to the tax collectors office are out there.

Anonymous said...

You don't even know the Town Administrator's name. Sad.

Anonymous said...

Yes it is and that is the main problem with people in this town, they haven't a clue about who's who and what goes on and don't care until something happens that affects them. Only then do they come out of hiding and start asking questions or complaining.

Anonymous said...

My God Sally hasn't been the town administrator in years. After she left Bob took over for a couple of years and now it is Shelly or Margaret, they're both in that office all the time who can keep up.