To the editor:
I would like to thank all my supporters in the recent selectmen’s race in Ossipee. To those who graciously placed signs on your property and chased them down when the wind took them, you went above and beyond. To the folks who asked for a sign, my humble thanks. To all who came out to vote during Stella, you are brave, loyal Americans. Thank you!
I would like to share a little bit about my involvement with the town of Ossipee. I have lived in Ossipee for over 29 years and my family has lived in the region for over 200 years. I previously served on select board for two terms, a three-year term on the budget committee, and nine years on the zoning board.
As a volunteer, I’ve created and prepared the quarterly recreation department brochure for 20 years. I also work with the Main Street Program, where another volunteer and I created their new website, which I continue to maintain at no cost to the program. I have also delivered Meals on Wheels through Ossipee Concerned Citizens.
I took on the town’s website as a volunteer years ago, and I wasn’t sure I could accomplish it but wanted to give it a try. We had the skin created by a professional for $600. Subsequently, I purchased my own software to populate and maintain the website. This would have cost the town $7,000 to $10,000 if done by a professional. There was no cost to the town except the initial setup. We recently changed to a municipal website developer but they do not do internal updates. Current maintenance requires daily updates sent by the various departments and boards, including posting agendas, minutes, the calendar, important information and the local business directory. Our website gets between 700-1,000 visits per day in the summer from people looking for town information and local businesses. We also provide emergency alerts as needed to keep our citizens safe and aware. I do receive compensation for the yearly maintenance.
I have been the town’s welfare director for nine years. This position has duality as it serves those in need who qualify under state and town guidelines. These guidelines also protect the taxpayer. Welfare, or general assistance, is a federally mandated program. Even though the position requires a few limited office hours per week, the need can present itself at any time, day or night, requiring 24/7 availability. I am also compensated but have not taken a pay increase in two years.
You may ask why I hold so many positions. The answer is simple, to step up for a town that I love and have many fond memories of growing up spending summers on Ossipee Lake. It is not a burden, but a pleasure and my duty as a citizen who wants to see it strive forward.
One only has to look at the open positions on our boards and commissions to see that not everyone steps up. I am prepared to step up to the position, and I thank you for your support. I hope to fulfill all my duties for which I am compensated in an open and honest manner.
Sandra “Sam” Martin