Stand Together on the North Hampton Campus
Please sign our petition to inform the Select Board that you support placing the comprehensive campus plan on the March 2016 ballot.
An Open Letter to the North Hampton Community
Fifteen or more years ago, the North Hampton community recognized the need to evaluate our town facilities, and to plan for their eventual renovation or replacement. Many meetings, many plans, and many elections later, we find ourselves still searching for a consensus on the way forward. Unfortunately, we also find ourselves with buildings that are fifteen years older, structurally compromised, and near the end of their realistic life cycle. The challenge before us as a town is how we coalesce support around a plan that can succeed at the ballot box when there are so many ideas pulling in different directions.
We respect and appreciate the significant, honest, and heartfelt differences that have been expressed as various plans have come and gone, and as the latest iterations of study committees have worked through this process again. However, it is our considered judgment that the various alternatives that have been proposed do not compare favorably to the plan first presented to voters in 2014.
We believe the best course for our community is to continue to pursue that comprehensive campus plan, which has seen considerable input and improvement since it was first outlined. While no plan is perfect, this option represents the most integrated, effective use of space, the most responsible use of taxpayer money, and the best opportunity to create a municipal center that will stand the test of time for the next 50 years.
Though the Select Board has thus far embarked on a different course, we are hopeful they will reconsider and once again work toward passing the comprehensive campus plan, and toward convincing voters of its merits. However, regardless of whether the currently proposed library warrant article remains on the ballot, it is our intention to present a citizen’s petition pursuant to RSA 39:3 to place a campus plan warrant article on the town ballot in March 2016. This is not a decision made in haste, or merely to deflect support from the currently proposed warrant, but because we sincerely believe this is the best long-term solution for addressing the facility needs of our town government.
The New Hampshire tradition of local control, allowing the greatest level of citizen involvement with the important decisions that affect our community and our lives, is one of our state’s greatest strengths. But this wonderful tradition does not come without its challenges. As with many major decisions that must be made by a small community, this process has been time-consuming and contentious. As much as we would like to find the perfect solution that meets everyone’s needs, we know that such a thing does not exist. But what does exist is a solution that we feel is the right one for our town and its future, and one we feel compelled to fight for.
We look forward to communicating with our fellow citizens on this issue between now and election day, and to continuing to make North Hampton the strong, vibrant community that we all know it to be.