March 6 — To the Editor:

I am writing a brief letter to call your attention to Petition Article #25, which has been placed on the 2019 Town Warrant at the request of myself and at least 24 other residents.

The Purpose of the Warrant Article is to require that the Newington Board of Selectmen post all Meeting Notices and Agenda on the Town Website in addition to those places where currently compelled to do so by RSA 91. The stated Purpose of RSA 91-A is to “ensure both the greatest possible public access to the actions, discussions and records of all public bodies, and their accountability to the people.” Further, “All meetings must have at least 24-hour notice (not counting Sundays and holidays) prior to the meeting.”

It is 2019. I can get groceries delivered to my house within hours, movies on my television instantly and my husband’s car runs off solar panels on our house. Yet, with all this technology it seems the expectation of the Board of Selectmen in the Town of Newington is that it is appropriate to post notice of meetings only on the two bulletin boards located within town. While that view may satisfy the intent of the law, in this day in age, I feel it is it is no longer sufficient or practical to satisfy the purpose. Additionally, RSA 91- A:2, II. allows that “ Local ordinances can be more strict about notice. If so, they must be complied with.”

According to my research, in 2018 alone, the Board of Selectman used the two bulletin boards only to post public notices of a meeting no fewer than eight times. In reviewing those eight particular meeting minutes, a variety of sensitive topics were discussed, including the Coakley Landfill, Budget Items, Woodbury Avenue Planning, and the tax rate to name a few. These topics are of huge importance to all the residents of Newington and we deserve the benefit of full access and citizen input to the extent of the law.

In order to provide all citizens, including those who may be traveling for work, unable to drive, and those who simply look at the bulletin board too early in the day, an equal opportunity to have notice of a meeting and topics which will be addressed, I have proposed this warrant article. Please give this important Petition all due consideration during town meeting on Saturday, March 16.

Emily Savinelli