From: Janice Lavoie
Sent: Tuesday, November 18, 2014
To: Nancy Kramer
Subject: My Input As A Citizen
Dear Members of the Selectboard,
I bought my home on Church Street in Norwich about 12 years ago, feeling very excited and grateful at the time, that I would be able to "age in place" in my home and feel safe as I walked to Dan and Whit's, the post office, Zu Zu's, the Norwich Inn, and Tracy Hall. I loved working in my yard in the summertime, and then heading over to our town pool for a swim, to relax and read a good book. I was pleased when I heard the town was going to make Church Street a town road, rather than a state Road, and that we would have a sidewalk.
Now I am discouraged and concerned about this town. I'm discouraged because when I have called the Town Hall with questions about the progress of my aforementioned issues, I was met with a cold, abrupt response from the Town Manager, with no real answers to any of my questions. I heard that if there are going to be any sidewalks, Rt 5 North will be done first. I didn't have a chance to ask, "Why would Rt. 5 North be a priority?" Church Street is the residential area, with children walking to school and adults of all ages walking to town or to Hanover. I'm not sure if sidewalks make sense, but I question the priorities and the attitude of the present Town Manager. And, what about the town pool!?!!!! The town pool does make sense and provides pleasure to young and old and everyone in between. It's a town tradition, in my opinion, and I think it should be a priority to get it up and running,
I'm concerned about the taxes in this town. It's discouraging to hear comments such as, "The taxes in this town are obnoxious, prohibitive, unsustainable, outrageous, creating a gated community." My request is that we live within our budget, without continually raising the taxes. If there is a new projet, then something else has to be cut. This is how I have to live and I don't think I speak only for myself. Many people in this town live on fixed and/or modest incomes. If we're going to maintain any kind of diversity, and I hope we do, real estate taxes cannot continually increase.
I strongly oppose the "payback" which is given to the Town Manager in his contract for opting out of the Health Insurance. I think that the town should implement the same policy as that of SAU 70. Health Insurance is there for the taking, and if one chooses not to partake, then a small stipend, such as $500 will be given, NOT the cost of the insurance. I would have loved to have the $12000 in my pocket when I worked for the SAU, but fully understood and respected the policy.
I've attended a few Selectboard meetings recently and it appears to me that a lot of time and resources are spend trying to real in the Town Manager, who seems to have his own agenda. It was good to see that you sought clarification on who works for whom.
In summary, I write this letter with appreciation and respect for the work that you do for the citizens of Norwich, and with the intention of sharing my frustration, sadness and concern about the future of Norwich Please don't allow this town to become unaffordable to the average person and please make sure our tax money is spent to create a safe, fun and open community for all its members.