1 Junkins Ave., Portsmouth, NH, 03801, Tel: (603) 610-7281Fax: (603) 427-1575 Email: Coalition@ch.cityofportsmouth.com

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Coalition Communities add 34th Member Before Education Funding Forum

June 5, 2002

PORTSMOUTH, NH – The northern New Hampshire community of Carroll announced Wednesday it will become the 34th town to join the Coalition Communities working to find a long-term, equitable solution to the education funding crisis, an issue that will be the focus of the group’s Education Funding Forum on June 13.

Carroll, home to 663 people, must raise an additional $357,402 in property taxes and then send that mandated "donation" to Concord for redistribution to other communities for the fiscal year beginning July 1. The amount is the equivalent of $539 for every man, woman and child in the town.

The announcement comes just a few days ahead of the Coalition Communities’ Education Funding Forum scheduled for 7 p.m. on June 13 in Portsmouth and featuring all the candidates for governor – Republicans Bruce Keough, Gordon Humphrey and Craig Benson; Democrats Bev Hollingworth and Mark Fernald, and Libertarian John Babiarz.

"We are very pleased to welcome the town of Carroll to our group as our numbers – and our resolve – continue to grow. Our Forum is just another step to make sure the public truly understands how high the stakes are in the upcoming gubernatorial election," said Mayor Evelyn Sirrell, leader of the Coalition.

"We believe that with the right person in the corner office, and supporters in the Legislature, we may actually see an end to this horrible, unjust tax that is hurting our state and causing people to lose their homes. That’s why we are going to work so hard to educate the citizens of our state about where these candidates stand. And we believe the voters want to know. A recent survey showed education funding continues to be the No. 1 issue on voters’ minds, by far!"

Carroll’s selectmen this week voted to join the group following a meeting about the education funding issue that was attended by Dee McLave, a selectwoman from the nearby Coalition town of Jackson. Carroll is the seventh town to join the Coalition since December, following Sugar Hill, Dublin, Tuftonboro, Easton, Center Harbor and Pittsburg.

The two-hour Education Funding Forum will be broadcast live statewide via New Hampshire Public Radio, as well as in the Portsmouth area via the Channel 22 government-access station serving the communities of Portsmouth, Rye, Greenland, Newington and New Castle. Several public access stations across the state also have agreed to air a tape of the Forum broadcast. Citizens interested in viewing the tape should contact their local cable stations to express interest, as well as their local government-access stations via their town offices.

Although the Forum will be open to the general public, seating is limited.

The Coalition also is working on designing a pledge to be presented to all of the gubernatorial candidates to sign that they will commit to finding an equitable, long-term solution to the education funding problem that does not rely on statewide property taxes. A pledge also is being formulated to offer all of the candidates for State Legislature.


 1 Junkins Ave., Portsmouth, NH, 03801, Tel: (603) 610-7281Fax: (603) 427-1575 Email: Coalition@ch.cityofportsmouth.com