Former Merrimack Town councilor Mike Malzone has decided he has had enough. What tipped him over the edge? An 11 pm town meeting decision to implement pay as you throw after just about everyone had gone home.
I’ve met Mike. A few years back when there was a very brief effort to get a Tax and Spending Cap petition started, Mike was leading the charge. It was a short charge. New rules implemented in a different dark-of-night, no-one-was -looking moment changed the filing requirements. I believe that was done up in Concord by the then-democrat majority. You needed a good deal more signatories on your petition committee and the filing dates had changed.
We did not have time to adjust, and so the effort died. An attempt to get it added by the council failed. I was the only resident to speak for the effort at another town council meeting.
But Mike continued to do the yeoman’s work–showing up at meetings and paying attention. And now he is leading an activist group.
Merrimack TEA will have a weekly cable access show called Merrimack Tea TV, according to an article by Kimberly Houghton on the front page of this mornings Union Leader. The program will cover issues of local interest in Merrimack, with a focus on how taxpayer dollars are spent in town and nationally.
Merrimack TEA also has a facebook page, which I encourage you all to like and support, even if you do not live in the town. Issues like Pay to throw- which is where you buy Town approved trash bags that you must use to dispose of trash at the town dump–are only the beginning.
Take the school budget for example. While it is not specifically a Town Council issue, the cost of a K-12 education in Merrimack is now over $15,000.00 per student per year. Somehow, I think the idea of government efficiency will eventually have to find its way into that budget because it represents the single biggest out of control expense the taxpayers face. And if it is not an efficiency issue, then we need to look at wage and benefits cuts. That is far too much to be paying to send a kid to a public school. You can send them to college for that.
I wish Mike luck, and support, from GraniteGrok, from the NHRVC, and as a resident of the town.