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Pre-Deliberative Meeting Note from the Town Moderator January 31, 2018

   The 2018 Rye Deliberative Session will be held on Saturday, February 3rd, at 9:00 a.m., at Rye Junior High School. The snow date is February 10th, same time and place. As an added incentive for parents of young children to attend, the Rye Recreation Department is offering FREE CHILD CARE for kids aged 4 or older, right at RJH – there will be games, arts and crafts, and a movie. Drop-off starts at 8:30 a.m.

    Ever since Rye gave up the traditional town meeting, attendance at the Deliberative Session has been poor, partly due to the misconception that no decisions can be made at that forum. To the contrary, the deliberative session is powerful; voters there can amend most warrant articles before they appear on the March ballot. Last year, 169 voters attended the Deliberative Session. They passed 12 amendments to 11 articles, and defeated 7 other amendments. Unless you want a small group of residents to decide what you vote on in March, you should attend the Deliberative Session!

    This year’s warrant contains 36 articles. The warrant is posted on the Town website – In addition to the $9,186,273 operating budget, 15 Selectmen’s articles would, if passed, appropriate another $2,404,800. Those articles seek authorization to (1) buy the TD Bank building ($624,800), (2) replace the salt shed at the transfer station ($700,000), (3) replace a culvert on Red Mill Lane ($250,000), (4) reconstruct Shoals View Drive ($200,000), (5) build a multi-purpose recreation storage facility ($150,000), (6) repair the Harbor Road bridge deck ($75,000), (7) develop a management program for storm water infrastructure ($30,000), (8) buy a new mower ($45,000) and a new skid steer ($40,000), and (7) create, or add money to, 6 reserve funds – Highway Equipment Capital ($100,000), repurposed Fire Truck & Ambulance Capital (100,000), Town Employees Accumulated Leave ($50,000), Municipal Buildings Maintenance ($25,000), Library Building Maintenance ($5,000), and Library Employees Accumulated Leave ($10,000). Other Selectmen’s articles seek permission to, among other things (1) adopt a $500 property tax credit for all veterans, and (2) sell the old trolley barn, aka the old police station, at 37 Central Road.

    The warrant also contains 8 articles brought by citizens’ petitions that, if passed, would appropriate an additional $3,114,078. Those articles seek to (1) raze the existing Town Hall and replace it with a new building ($3,048,077), (2) close the Route 1 entrance to Dow Lane ($60,000), and (3) conduct visioning sessions regarding the future of the center of town ($6,000). Other petitioned articles relate to the implementation of a leash law on all Town property and beaches, except Foss Beach, environmental monitoring of land fills in Rye, the authority of the Selectmen to buy and sell land, directives to attorneys representing the Town, and minutes of Town meetings.

    Finally, don’t forget to go to the Rye School District Deliberative Session on Tuesday, February 6th, at 6:30 p.m., at RJH, where you can debate an operating budget of $14,000,230. There is also one petitioned article on the school warrant that seeks to delegate the determination of the default budget to the Rye Budget Committee.

    If you come to the Deliberative Sessions, you can meet your neighbors, listen to their concerns, add your voice to the solutions to our problems, and accept your share of the burden of governing. While it is often hard to find the time, public engagement on the issues we face is vital to maintaining our small-town sense of community and the health of our local democracy. Those values are central to what makes Rye the special town we live in. So please, join us on February 3rd (Town) and February 6th (School District), and add your voice to local government.


Bob Eaton

Town & School District Moderator

One thought on “Pre-Deliberative Meeting Note from the Town Moderator January 31, 2018

  1. As an outsider, (Hampton resident), I’d like to pass on my view of your proposed rule change for dog walkers in the Rye woods. I’ve been using your fine facility for years now. I love your woods as do all the folks I meet there. By my experience 90-95+% of the walkers there are dog owners and all but one of two have their dogs running free. Yesterday I went in at Rec Field. Of the 5 cars there, 3 were from North Hampton, and mine from Hampton. (Beach Stickers) Couldn’t tell where the other was from. I don’t just walk my dog in your town however. Since I’m in Rye or going there, I regularly do business there also: Flowers at Outdoor Pride, (got my Xmas tree there this year and other decorations for the house), buy seafood at Rye harbor, stop for lunch, dinner at Petey’s, Rays, Carriage House, Atlantic Grill, take my pup to Tails of Rye ($85 and hour…) among other businesses I frequent. Most walkers I’ve spoken with do the same, but are talking about just going to Stratham Hills instead now. There are also many places to by flowers, eat, etc. in that direction “as long as I’m going that way, anyway…”
    If you do come down on the leash law side though, you should make sure that the young lady who regularly brings her horses in at Parson’s Field to ride the trails also brings poop bags with her. Most dog owners respect the trails, I’ve never seen her pick up any of her horse poop, however.

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