Town to Meet With Department
Heads Over Default Budget

SANDOWN – Though presented with several scenarios for moving forward with a default budget this year by finance director Cheryl Eastman, the board of selectmen has decided to wait to make any budget decisions until they can meet with department heads.

On Tuesday, March 11, voters turned down the operating budget put together in previous months by the selectmen, budget committee and department heads. As a result, the town must use a default budget. The gap between the numbers isn’t great but it still forces important decisions to be made by the selectmen soon.

The difference between the two sums comes to $10,082 or .29 percent of the operating budget. The default totals $3,445,641. Read more »

Chester Selectmen Move
Articles to Warrant

CHESTER – The board of selectmen moved about two dozen articles to the warrant, most of them unanimously. Even those that selectmen questioned were forwarded on, many agreeing that it was wiser to let the people at Town Meeting decide on them rather than leave it to the five selectmen. 

Several of the articles moved Thursday night, March 20, have a notable tax impact, but selectmen generally agreed they were items needed to operate Chester.

It’s still early in the process for the selectmen, though the budget committee has been pushing for solid numbers and decisions as the deadlines loom. But at the March 20 meeting, there was still a lot for the selectmen to do, and all of the articles presented were drafts that may change in the weeks before May town meeting. Read more »

Murphy Retains Selectman
Chairman on 2-1 Vote

HAMPSTEAD – The Board of Selectmen reorganization was a little testy, with current Chairman Sean Murphy retaining the chairmanship by a 2-1 vote, and Rick Hartung voting no because he wanted to be chairman.

Murphy was nominated to continue as chair by Priscilla Lindquist at Monday night’s meeting.

Murphy said he was not comfortable handing over the leadership to Hartung, given the way Hartung had behaved during the recent election campaign, openly campaigning for Murphy’s challenger, Joe Guthrie. Murphy said he also had a concern over remarks Hartung made to the media. Read more »