HAMPSTEAD – The Hampstead Town Meeting will be held at Hampstead Middle School, 28 School St., on Tuesday, March 11, from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. Signs and supporters of those running for election or those who stand for or against specific articles will be lining School Street and welcoming voters to the school gym. Students have a day off from class that day, so parking won’t be a problem.
Town Clerk/Tax Collector Tricia Curran said that as of the last official pre-vote count, Hampstead has 6,033 registered voters. She has noticed a trend of lots of first-time voters coming in to register.
“We’re seeing a lot of people come in to register to vote, but especially a lot of young people who are first-time voters,” she said. “It is an active time and I always take the time to encourage everyone to come out and vote.”
Voters will be asked to show a picture ID but if they don’t have one with them and they are known and recognized by the Checklist officials or the Moderator, they will be allowed to vote.
Supervisor of the Checklist Sheila Gorham said, “Every year in March we have people running to help support our town. We also have articles that help our town grow and remain solvent. There is always something on the ballot that affects each one of us. As a Supervisor, we know how many voters we have in town, and on Election Day we count how many people actually come to vote. I am always surprised at the low number of people who take the time to come out to vote, which is their American privilege.
“I urge each one of you to try to come have your name checked off and mark your ballot,” she said. “Maybe for only one person – maybe for only one warrant article – but your vote could make the difference. Every vote is needed and counted. Your vote can make a difference. There has got to be at least one thing on that ballot that makes a difference to you.”
Candidates up for election on the Town side are:
Selectman, one seat, Joseph Guthrie and Sean Murphy; Town Clerk/Tax Collector, one seat, Patricia Curran and Sandra Gaudette; Treasurer, one seat, Harold Williams; Highway (Road) Agent, one seat, Proctor Wentworth and Jon Worthen; Moderator, one seat, Neil Reardon; Budget Committee, two seats; Jorge Mesa-Tejada and Jack Thomas; Planning Board, two seats, Robert Waldron, William Weber and Proctor Wentworth; Library Trustee, one seat, Alfred Cipriano and Natalie Gallo; Trustee of the Trust Funds, one seat, Gustave Khambatta; Trustee of Cemeteries, one seat, Terry Sullivan and Carolyn “Lyn” Rockwell; and Supervisor of the Checklist, one seat, Sheila Gorham-Wentworth.
Among the articles on the Town Warrant are:
• Article 5: Raise $5,456,149.65 for the Operating Budget and $5,500,884.68 for the Default Budget.
• Article 6: Approve the Police Union Contract and raise $16,699 for the first year.
• Article 8: Raise and Appropriate $24,500 for a basketball court.
• Article 9: Raise and appropriate $10,000 for the Facilities Expendable Trust Fund.
• Article 10: Raise and Appropriate $10,000 for the Library Building Maintenance Non-Capital Reserve Fund.
While all school district candidates are running unopposed, the school warrant includes several money issues.
Running uncontested for two seats on the School Board are Dwayne Dinsmore and Suzanne Barr. Also unopposed are: School District Clerk, one seat, Nancy Lacasse; School District Treasurer, one seat, Laura Jones; and School District Moderator, one seat, Neil Reardon.
Warrant Articles include:
• Article 2: Bond Issue for Renovation and Construction at Hampstead Central and Middle schools, $6,180,520, and raise and appropriate $178,548.36 for first year’s interest.
• Article 3: School District Operating Budget of $23,803,623 and Default of $23,793,624.
• Article 4: School Administrative Unit (SAU) Budget, with Hampstead portion at $329,283 and Default of $322,187.
• Article 5: Put $75,000 of Surplus into Capital Reserve Fund.
• Article 7: Rescind SAU Budget on Warrant.
Election results will be posted at www.nutpub.net on Wednesday morning, March 12. Because the Tri-Town Times will go to press for its March 13 edition before the polls close on March 11, full election coverage will be included in the March 20 edition.
“ I would request that all people who are eligible to vote in Hampstead do so and exercise their right,” said Moderator Neil Reardon. “Apathy is a real problem. Please participate in the democratic process and let your voice be heard.”