The Free State Project was thrilled about this NPR story that aired on Weekend Edition on March 9. A small sampling:
It's funny - back at the very beginning of the FSP, one of the things they always talked about that they loved about NH - a reason for moving here - was our custom of town meeting.
Who can blame them? Town meeting is that day where once a year we gather in our towns and hammer out our budget for the year. We discuss the nuts and bolts; streetlights, plow trucks, and software for the library. Should we start a capital fund to replace the fire truck in about 10 years? The big ticket items are discussed by everyone present. When seen on the warrant folks can get grumbly: "72,000 for that, are they nuts?" But then the fire chief or the road agent comes along to explain the why behind the ask. That's the thing. I've been to many town meetings, in many different towns. I've never been to a town that spent money frivolously.
LAST year in Grafton the Free Staters cut the budget by 10%.
After last year's success at town meeting, how did they do in the Free town of Grafton this year?
The town operating budget of $993,500, up more than $53,000 from last year, passed on a vote of 381-111.
The default budget, which would have been adopted if the proposed budget failed, was more than the proposed budget, at just over $1 million.
Voters also rejected a tax cap, which would have prevented the Budget Committee from recommending an increase in property taxes of more than 1 percent over previous year’s spending.
Jim Dugan will sit on the Planning Board after winning 368 votes to 134 for Robert Hull. Jeffrey Weiss will be the supervisor of the checklist as he won over 313 voters compared with Jeremy Olson’s 157.
Robert Hull was one of the first Free State movers to Grafton. He's held that Planning Board seat for a long time. As for Jeremy Olson? That confidence he was boasting of seems to have been misplaced.
The good people of Grafton had a colorful deliberative session in February.