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We need to ask the hard questions

To the editor:

Today, every day, people are asking questions in the U.S. Senate, the House, hearing rooms and TV quiz shows. We learn there is an art to getting answers to your questions.

It appears to me many people do not want to give you answers. They want to keep things a secret and despite pressure, choose to ignore our requests and get downright nasty when pushed. No question, many people end up lying to avoid answering the questions that are delicate. And even Congress has a hard time getting their questions answered. And in many cases, the president himself has found it advantageous to rephrase the question. Or simply ignore the purpose of the question. Or simply ignore the request. Some resort to lies.

My letter today is all about questions, answers and school issues.

It’s budget time across the state. It’s time to ask questions and get ready to vote. It’s too late in January and February. At the local level, small towns and school districts often challenge the Right to Know laws and others make their work an open book. In my personal experience, I try to do my homework before asking questions. In dealing with the town of Peterborough, I use Leo the assessor, Nicole the assistant town administrator and Pam the town manager. I use their answers to fill in my blanks.

At ConVal, Marion Alese, the business manager, is loaded with answers and shares her resource readily. We have been working together a long time. And newcomer Tim Grossi tells it like it is. The questions get harder, the response takes time. But it can be done.

Questions today are often more complex, more difficult to make comparisons and analysis. But in all cases we seek the truth and it is simply hard to find. I find we must practice the art of asking questions. There is no substitute.

Fran Chapman


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