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

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June 26, 2002

PORTSMOUTH, NH – A concerted effort by the Coalition Communities to inform the state’s electorate about where the candidates for governor stand on education funding includes providing videotapes of the group’s Education Funding Forum to 11 public access television stations across the state and each of the 34 Coalition Communities.

The webcasted version of the two-hour Forum also can be accessed round-the-clock from any computer worldwide via the City of Portsmouth web site, www.cityofportsmouth.com, by clicking on the "Webcast Archives" section at the top of the Web page.

"It is critical that the citizens of our state, whether they live in ‘Donor’ or ‘Receiver’ towns, truly take a long, hard look at where these candidates for governor stand on what the polls say is the Number One issue on the minds of voters – education funding," says Portsmouth Mayor Evelyn Sirrell, the Coalition’s leader.

"Our Coalition’s Forum was the first, and only, venue for the candidates to focus solely on this issue. I hope we will have a well-informed electorate because whoever sits in the corner office of the Statehouse is critical to solving this issue, and his or her leadership is necessary to bring an end to the grossly unfair and outrageous system we have now," she said.

The recently released U.S. Census data clearly disputes the notion that "donor" towns are "rich" towns. Eight of the top 10 and 41 of the richest towns in New Hampshire on the basis of median family income are all "receiver" communities. Overall, a whopping 84% percent of New Hampshire towns with median household incomes above the state average median of $49,467 are "receivers" when it comes to education funding from the statewide property tax.

The gubernatorial candidates were questioned by an independent panel about the education funding issue during a two-hour Forum on June 13. The Coalition Communities, 34 towns that are fighting to end the state’s reliance on property taxes as the sole means of funding education, sponsored the Forum at Portsmouth City Hall that featured Republicans Gordon Humphrey, Bruce Keough and Craig Benson; Democrats Bev Hollingworth and Mark Fernald, and Libertarian John Babiarz.

Videotapes of the Forum have been sent to several public access stations: Bedford Community Television; CATV-6 in Hanover; LRPA-TV in Laconia; MCTV in the Manchester area; the Merrimack Community Television stations of MGTV-23, METV-24 and MPTV-25; Newport Community TV, SCTV-17 in Salem; Windham Community Television Channel 51; Valley Vision Community Television in Conway; and Yankee Cable Network in New London.

Channel 22, the government access channel seen in Portsmouth, Rye, New Castle, Greenland and Newington, will rebroadcast the Forum on Fridays at 7 p.m. until the September primary.

Citizens also may contact any of the Coalition Communities: Alton, Bridgewater, Carroll, Center Harbor, Dublin, Easton, Eaton, Franconia, Freedom, Grantham, Greenland, Hampton, Hampton Falls, Hanover, Hart's Location, Hebron, Jackson, Lincoln, Meredith, Moultonborough, New Castle, New London, Newington, North Hampton, Pittsburg, Portsmouth, Rye, Sandwich, Seabrook, Stoddard, Sugar Hill, Sunapee, Tuftonboro and Waterville Valley.


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