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Does Exeter Have a 'Meddlesome' Minority?

Selectman candidate Dan Chartrand thinks so.

, who's running for Selectman in next month's election, had some strong words for what he called a "meddlesome" minority in town.

Chartrand is up against in the . Chartrand made his comments during a prepared statement at the start of a Wednesday night.

Watch his comments in the video above. (Editor's note: the first shot is taken from the public access broadcast via http://townhallstreams.com; the second shot was taken by Exeter Patch. Both shots are from Chartrand's same statement.)

About half of the audience scoffed at Chartrand's statement. The other half applauded him when he was done speaking.

Chartrand argued the town has been "deluged" by freedom of information requests, amounting to an "abuse" of the process.

Resident Renee O'Barton objected to his comments. She said she used those requests to prove that the town overbilled some residents on their water/sewer payments last year.

Joe Baillargeon March 01, 2012 at 02:47 PM
Mr. Chartrand gave us some spine chilling verbal displays of how he would like to take the first ammendment rights away from "A certain few" residents.
mike Lambert March 01, 2012 at 03:53 PM
2 anonymous comments.You should try owning your opinions by signing your name There was nothing spine chilling for me in Dan's presentation. I did see a vibrant youthful fellow, full of enthusiasm tempered with decorum,and a view looking forward that is shared by many that will insure his seat at the table. Vote Chartrand for Selectman and let's get this party started! Vote Julie Gilman for Town Clerk and let's get that office out of the dark ages.
susan gorman March 01, 2012 at 06:05 PM
First of all, my experience of listening to Dan last night was that he was already creating an environment for greater and wider participation. What was chilling and rather intimidating was listening to Renee O'Barton and others rudely talking under their breath while Dan and Julie Gilman were speaking. It really interfered with my ability to listen and made me not want to get up and ask a question. It didn't feel safe for me to get up and ask a question I wanted to ask. Which speaks to Dan's points exactly.
Karen Prior March 01, 2012 at 07:31 PM
It is refreshing to have a voice like Dan Chartrand. He is not only passionate about his commitment to our community but also brings an amazing balance of intellect, reason, and the willingness to listen and to take action in doing what is right for our community. As a business owner he has weathered the economic ups and downs and has always stayed on course with his commitment to having the bookstore be a 'community center'. I have no doubt that he will serve as Selectman with the same determination and integrity. Additionally, it is unfortunate that the bullying voices of a few often drown out the reason of the many. All too often it is the angry minority that intimidates the process of public discourse that Dan believes in so strongly.
Alan Bailey March 02, 2012 at 01:37 AM
The self proclaimed proponents of "civil discourse" seem to have no problem describing others in a derogatory way. Such as: "the bullying voices", "drown out the reason", "the angry minority", "that intimidates". No labels, indeed.
Joe Baillargeon March 02, 2012 at 12:31 PM
Good for you Mr.Bailey.
Just the Facts March 02, 2012 at 01:44 PM
Meddlesome minority?? It was through this "meddlesome minority" that the water/sewer underbilling was finally corrected; it only took 6 months of meddling to get the town to do it right. "Smallest and most minute of issues"? Does Dan and his followers think that complying with state laws, town ordinances and Selectmen's policies are minutia? Citizens have made lawful requests for information only to be ignored by the Town Manager and Board in clear violation of state law. Does Mr. Chartrand think that this type of action by our government officials is acceptable because those making the request are on a "witch hunt"? Oh, and by the way, where was Ms. Gilman and her crusade for getting the clerk's office proficient in Excel when the Finance Dept demonstrated that they didn't even have the most fundamental command of Excel with the underbilling calculations?
Just the Facts March 02, 2012 at 01:49 PM
Mike, I haven't seen your outrage when Ed Dunsel, Capt. Dunsel, ForThePeople, and others post anonymously. Maybe it's because you agree with them, so it's ok for them. I do congratulate you for imposing the no-anonymous posts rule on your blog.
Renee March 02, 2012 at 02:29 PM
Here is a copy of the email invitation to the GFWC candidates' night, not sure why there was confusion as to how much time was alloted for opening statements by some of the candidates.. 6:30 p.m.---- The town office will be open for people to arrive. 7 p.m. — Forum begins......Introduction of Exeter Area GFWC, by Carol Waters , also introduces Emily Quirk 7:10 p.m. — Exeter News-Letter editor Emily Quirk goes over the ground rules for the forum, introduces Susan Riley, the moderator, a new member to Exeter Area GFWC and newcomer to NH from St Louis 7:15 p.m. — Susan will introduce town clerk candidates and they will each give a 2-3 minute statement and Q&A by members of the public, News-Letter and GFWC 7:45 p.m. — Susan will introduce Board of Selectmen candidates, who will then be invited to give a three-minute opening statement 8 p.m. — Q&A with Board of Selectmen candidates by members of the public, News-Letter and GFWC 8:50 p.m. — Board of Selectmen candidates are asked to give a three-minute closing statement
Renee March 02, 2012 at 02:46 PM
Susan, I too was nervous at the first meeting I attended and I looked for excuses not to stand up as well; however, I truly felt what I was going to say was important enough that I found my voice and spoke. I hope you find your voice too, honestly, "safety" was not a concern at this meeting.
mike Lambert March 02, 2012 at 04:02 PM
I believe those gents are mired in the National race of which I pay little attention. Outrage? There is little they say that would engender outrage on my part. My feelings don't run that deep. My point is that when you use your name you would make an extra effort to be coherent, thoughtful, leave the caps off,and less likely to throw red meat into the fray. It also makes you feel good, I feel great all the time.My blog is key to my mental health and the reason for it's launch. I was getting nowhere attending Selectmen meetings and would come home frustrated. That's not to say I don't get up in the middle of the night to change a word or two for those wordsmiths in the Community that read critically and understand the power of the pen. Pen, funny. I found the the word used today by the ENL to describe Mr Eastman's presentation as " harping " quite unnecessary. I understand if you are employed and commenting on the Web you might want to remain anonymous.It does however leave one open to discovery at some point and that alone is a reason for moderation, and using ones own name. Using your name also might compel one to keep the more strident opinions to yourself. It does not result in your leaving the battlefield of public opinion dragging your shield . It can result in your making an effort to be persuasive, and maybe injecting a bit of humour along with your salient points. Mike
mike Lambert March 02, 2012 at 04:50 PM
JTF, The Excel question is mine not Gilman's and does not represent a platform plank. Since the Clerks Office captains their own ship there is next to no oversight of daily operations many in Town are clueless what goes on back there. In point of fact the most knowledgeable person of day to day to day to day affairs inside the office would be Mr Eastman. I don't know about the rest of you, I go there twice a year, dog tag and plates.
Paula Francese March 03, 2012 at 01:03 PM
I agree with Dan Chartrand. I believe that Exeter needs a couple of things: a changing of the guard (elected officials) and a more vocal majority of Exeter residents who will speak out in favor of civil discourse. Those who might wish to corrupt the civility of our community are only successful to the extent that they do so behind the shield of anonymity and also because those in the community who regret the situation don't speak out in protest. Dan is to be commended for his willingness to volunteer his time to strengthening our community. He has my full support.
Paula Francese March 03, 2012 at 01:27 PM
How "civil" was it to label High Street residents as "snobby, elitist townies"? Somehow I doubt that derogatory label was created by anyone supporting Dan Chartrand.
Edward Dunsel March 04, 2012 at 07:10 PM
I do wonder why Ms. O'Barton took it so personally. How did she know Chartrand was talking about her? I doubt he would consider requests that led to productive results as "meddlesome." Others, however, qualify as "meddlesome" by exercising their rights soley as an attempt to run the Town their way, even though they can't get elected despite trying time after time. The meddlesome ones also have really thin skins. And they don't tip well.
Average Joe March 06, 2012 at 07:31 PM
Ms. O'Barton leaves the impression she does nothing but troll the Town's website all day. Listen to her public comments. Everything is about the "website this, website that." The Town will have to hire someone full time just to keep up with her all at taxpayer expense. Just another way to spend other people's money. I find more information on Exeter's website than just about any in the state. It is almost too cluttered up.

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