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Candidate profiles: Lyndeborough Select Board

Donnie Sawin

Occupation: Wilton Police Department and account executive for a law enforcement software company

Time living in town: 15 years

Previously elected offices: Selectman

Other qualifications: Decades of experience with managing businesses, budgets, and personnel. My experience has played a large part with keeping Lyndeborough’s tax rate as low and level as possible for the last three years.

What are two issues you feel are important and how do you plan to address them?

1. I feel that we need to continue with our plan to improve on our infrastructure on a long term basis, our roads are the most important and valuable assets that we own. Kent and the rest of the guys at our highway department have done a great job with going above and beyond just routine maintenance in preparation for this year’s upcoming larger road construction projects and I strongly believe that we as a town need to support this effort which will ultimately result in extending the life and thus reducing our costs for our roadways.

2. Even though it is not in the ability of the office of selectmen to manage anything with the schools, I strongly feel that whereas the schools make up about 63 percent of our overall budget that we as a town collectively need to become more involved in the budget process and budget approval of our SAU. Additionally, I’m sure most parents in Lyndeborough feel that they would like to have guarantees that their children will be educated here in Lyndeborough Central School, close to home and by people they know and trust. I understand there is a lot of trepidation throughout our town concerning the upcoming proposal of a warrant that is looking for the option to move our kids as needed and by their sole discretion to a different school for the purposes of consolidating a class. We also need to be aware of future budgetary concerns like the absolute certainty of either a large scale make over or total rebuild of Florence Rideout School that is already seriously past due and what that economic impact will be on us. I honestly feel that we will need to entertain some common sense approaches to help to resolve these issues facing both of our towns.

Fred Douglas

Occupation: Retired from law enforcement

Time living in town: 58 years

Previously elected offices: Selectman, budget committee.

Other qualifications: Served as mid-level and senior-level manager for over 25 years overseeing 35-plus employees. Directly responsible for annual operating budget that was over $2 million.

What are two issues you feel are important and how do you plan to address them?

An important issue is relative to the separation of executive powers (Board of Selectmen) verses law enforcement powers (Lyndeborough Police Department). Although this is common sense, it is absolutely essential to promote and maintain a clear separation of these powers so that any political influence or perception of such influence is eliminated. This issue can be eliminated by the appointment of a Chief of Police.

The establishment and implementation of a definitive employment review process by the Board of Selectmen is essential to any hiring process. This is extremely vital in law enforcement positions and a requirement by the NH Police Standards and Training Council in many hiring rules and protocols. Once implemented, the employment review process should be immediately instituted to establish the position of a “Chief of Police” within the Lyndeborough Police Department. Under RSA 105:1 the Board of Selectmen is empowered to appoint a Chief of Police.

If elected I would make it a point to meet all town employees and inquire about their perceptions on any issues that they may want to discuss.

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