Letter: Explaining Article 12

To the Editor:

Town meeting is coming up on March 3, and on the agenda is Article 12. This article was place on the agenda by a petition of 196 signatures and initiated by Kristi Marcus and myself. The petition reads as follows. We, the undersigned voters of the Town of Manchester do hereby petition the Town of Manchester Selectboard to include the following article in the 2018 Town Meeting Warning: "Shall the Town of Manchester vote on whether the Town shall purchase a parcel of land from Riley Rink to North Road, opposite Squires Road, from Old Railroad Bed, LLC by Australian ballot?" This article was worded for legal purposes by the Secretary of State through Anita Sheldon, our Town Clerk.

We handed in approximately 217 signatures, but a few were eliminated due to signing the petition more than once or not being a registered Town of Manchester voter. At town meeting a discussion will be held not to discuss whether you are for or against the purchase of land for a bike and walk path by the Town of Manchester, but for how we vote on this issue, by a floor vote or Australian ballot vote.

My opinion is that we get many more people voting at the polls than we have people attending town meeting and voting from the floor. People today are very informed whether they attend the meeting or not. They get information by newspapers, computers, internet and conversation. Many cannot attend town meeting due to work, appointments, out-of-town, illness or they can't sit that long.

The cost of purchase of the land by the town is, to my knowledge from the last public meeting, approximately $100,000 and development approximately $1.3 million to $1.6 million by the town engineer. This path is 82 inches wide and divides properties, which invades privacy. This is a lot of money for the town to underwrite. This does not consider maintenance into perpetuity either. Upkeep would include safety, police, fire and rescue, trespassing, garbage, liability, etc.

Please research this topic. Talk to your friends and family members and come to Town Meeting and vote. Please support our petition to vote on this important matter by Australian ballot.

Sylvia Jolivette



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