Hanover approves $22.1 million budget at annual meeting
The Hanover Finance Committee proposed an amendment to decrease the town’s budget at Hanover’s annual town hall meeting Tuesday night, but attendees dismissed the initiative, eventually approving a $22.1 million operating budget for 2014-15.

Attendees voted on various other proposals, including approving zoning regulations and authorizing the use of Nathan’s Garden as a town park. Seeking a $20,000 contribution from the town of Hanover to put toward a house for Dartmouth student veterans, Vietnam War veteran Robert Chambers addressed local residents at the meeting on behalf of Project VetCare, a New Hampshire advocacy organization. Although residents expressed strong support for the proposed veterans home and the goals behind the project, the vote for the allocation of funds fell outside the scope of the meeting. Project VetCare received a $375,000 donation to purchase the student residence in March, with the stipulation that it raise an additional $100,000 by the house’s May 31 closing date. Danielle Goodwin, the wife of a veteran and Project VetCare co-founder, said that though the organization has only two weeks to raise over $30,000, she has faith it will be successful. The residence, which would provide a gathering place for student veterans, will also provide a steady stream of income for Project VetCare through rent. At the town meeting, Hanover residents also passed a motion for a petition, which was signed by 90 residents, urging the New Hampshire State Legislature and U.S. Congress to move forward with an amendment that would regulate campaign spending during elections. In approving the petition, Hanover joins 500 municipalities in 16 other states that have passed similar measures. Almost 50 communities have passed resolutions calling for Citizens United to be reversed so far this town meeting season, the Valley News reported Sunday. During a discussion period, Hanover resident Robin Carpenter said that while he agreed with some aspects of the petition, he felt that it was ill-conceived, poorly constructed and co-opted the voices of thousands of registered voters in Hanover. He urged residents to vote down the petition. The meeting, held at 7 p.m. in the Hanover High School gymnasium, attracted roughly 100 residents. Elections were held throughout the day for town office positions and amendments to the Hanover Zoning Ordinance. Bill Hammond ’83 was awarded the town’s volunteer of the year award. Hammond said that he was surprised and honored by the designation. He characterized the town meeting as civil and noted that residents are genuinely interested in improving Hanover. Hanover resident Rob Graybill, who attended the meeting, noted that there was less controversy at this meeting than at last year’s. He described Hanover as a “beautifully run town” where the townspeople have strong faith in their public officials and added that he was especially impressed with the moderator’s mediation tactics. “It’s nice to see that discourse because a town meeting is an anachronistic organism,” he said. “It’s very quaint.”
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