Adopt SB2 voting for HB co-op

To the Editor:

It is time for voters to adopt the SB2 form of town meeting for the Hollis Brookline Cooperative School District. This form of town meeting, outlined by NH RSA 40:13, has two sessions. Under SB2, the first session is the deliberative session. It is held in late January to early February and is similar to the annual district meeting in which the proposed operating budget and warrant articles are explained, discussed, debated and amended. The warrant articles are then placed on the official ballot. The second session is the voting session. It takes place on the first Tuesday in March simultaneously with town elections in each town and provides all-day private ballot voting on each co-op warrant article on the official ballot. Essentially, SB2 maintains the traditional town meeting format and simply separates the deliberative portion of the meeting from voting on the warrant articles. By design, SB2 eliminates many of the pitfalls associated with the traditional form of town meeting such as: having to make quick, uninformed decisions at the district meeting, having to attend two or more nights of co-op meetings, as well as enduring reconsiderations of votes and the tabling of articles. Moreover, by providing all-day ballot voting, SB2 undeniably increases voter participation, making it possible for every registered voter to vote on all of the warrant articles either in person or via an absentee ballot. Because more voters are able to participate in the total process, proper scrutiny and more thorough consideration will inevitably be applied to both the operating budget, as well as the other warrant articles, which in turn will enable the community to make better overall decisions. Most importantly, SB2 gives voters adequate time to carefully consider their vote on each of the warrant articles. Last year, voters in Brookline adopted SB2 for the Brookline School District. Please vote YES to adopt SB2 for the Hollis Brookline Cooperative School District on March 14. In doing so, you will enable all voters in Hollis and Brookline to have greater access in the decision making process affecting our children’s education.

Diane Pauer