FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Ossipee — February 5, 2005 — Ossipee Lake Alliance has distributed a survey that will give candidates running for Ossipee Selectman the opportunity to make their opinions known about important lake issues they are likely to face if elected.
The survey, which covers topics ranging from milfoil control to shoreline protection, was sent to the four announced candidates for the position being vacated by Joe Chromy, Ossipee’s current Board chairman. The Alliance plans to collate the candidates’ responses and make them available to the public prior to Town Meeting.
Alliance executive director David Smith says that the survey is important because local officials are increasingly being called upon to make difficult decisions on issues that have a profound impact on the lake. He cites milfoil control as one example.
“Milfoil can quickly devastate the quality of recreation and property values on a lake, and the State leaves most of the task of dealing with the problem to local officials. That makes it an issue for the entire community, and the cost is large enough that we think candidates will want to make their views known.”
The survey allows candidates to comment on the New Hampshire Shoreland Protection Act, where the role of the State versus the role of the community is not well-defined, and also asks about the preservation of open space on the lake and whether there should be more cooperation on lake issues with neighboring towns.
Smith says he believes this is the first time that candidates have been given an opportunity to speak specifically about lake issues and have their views distributed widely to seasonal lake property owners as well as to permanent residents. The Alliance maintains a mailing list of more than 1,500 names, and its website, www.ossipeelake.org, averages more than 800 visitors each month.
“Like many other communities in the State, we are in uncharted waters in figuring out how to deal with some of these issues. We need creative thinking and long-term planning, and since there is a lot at stake, we hope the candidates will take advantage of this opportunity to let voters know some of their ideas,” Smith says.