To the Editor:

It has been often said that "All Politics Are Local," in Exeter on March 12, 2019, we have another opportunity to exercise our "right to vote" by participating and voting for or against various town warrant articles, candidates for Select Board, Trustee of the Swasey Parkway, town default or recommended budget, warrant articles and citizens petitions.

Voting is your way to ensure your voice is heard and an opportunity to let the current Select Board know if we support or do not support their recommendations for the various warrant articles.

As a community, it is important the services the town provides ensures our safety and well being for all residents and visitors now and in the future.

It would be wonderful if every year we could approve every single warrant article put forth before the voters. We would have the best library, Recreation Park and open spaces, energy efficiency, ample parking and a safe water supply.

The reality is all of the above require investment and we can not do everything all at once. These are the tough choices we all make as a community and this is done by voting each year.

As a Select Board candidate, I do support investment in our aging infrastructure while also phasing in overtime other important areas of Exeter which need investment. In my opinion, these are community investment opportunities which should come to the town after first seeking public/private/grant funding and then present an overall lower cost impact to all residents of Exeter to be voted on.

I do have concerns with how the $250,000 warrant article for the design plan for the Recreation Park will be used. If approved, the funds should only be able to be used for the design plan. Any remaining funds should be returned to the voters and not used for any other purpose within a specified time period.

There is another $100,000 warrant article for the park maintenance which includes the Recreation Park, just hope that if approved the funds in this account will not be used for any design work for the park.

If elected as your next selectperson, I would respect the votersí wishes for citizensí petitions, for example, I would have not voted for any guaranteed multiyear employment contract for the town manager.

I would also be transparent with the tax rate and valuations. If the tax rate goes down, valuations go up. If the tax rate went down, then why have we not received reductions in our tax bills each year?

We need to live within our means by working to protect our environment, water supply, and reducing our energy consumption. We also need affordable housing. This can be done by changing our population density zoning requirements to encourage development of smaller houses (tiny houses). This would be an opportunity to balance the impact on open space while being an opportunity for younger families to move to Exeter to ensure its affordability now and in the future.

Vote Tuesday, March 12, 2019.


Darius X. Thompson