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Hooksett voters gain insight with video series

HOOKSETT - Hooksett voters looking to get a jump on the key votes facing the town can gain insight by visiting the town's web site, with a video interview series posted detailing some of the bigger choices voters will face this year.

The videos consist of brief interviews, each generally lasting around 15 minutes, between Hooksett Town Administrator Dean Shankle and department heads. The videos discuss department budgets and any related warrant articles.

Shankle, who started the video series in Hooksett before the 2012 Town Meeting and ran similar series earlier in his career in other towns, talks with the department heads on the specifics of their budgets and the reasoning behind them, as well as inviting them to make their case to the voters.

"I think it's a good thing. It gives people a chance to, not ask questions, but maybe get the details that they want," said Shankle. "I think it gives people a chance to get some background even before they go to the deliberative session (and it) gives a lot of the department heads a chance to make their case for as long as they want to."

Three videos were uploaded as of Thursday afternoon. The first is a general overview of the proposed budget, default budget, and revenues with Finance Director Christine Soucie.

Also currently uploaded is a video with Superintendent for the town's Recycling and Transfer Station Diane Boyce, in which she details her budget and discusses the much-debated mandatory recycling article.

One of the longer videos, at about 45 minutes, features a discussion between Shankle, Hooksett Police Chief Peter Bartlett, and Police Commission Chair Joanne McHugh. A major component of this video is how the default budget, a lower figure which will come into effect should the town's proposed operating budget fail at the polls, would affect the department and the commission's work.

Still to come are interviews with Library Director Heather Rainier, Department of Public Works Director Leo Lessard, and the Hooksett Fire Department.

The videos can be found on the towns' web site ( in the streaming media archive, where videos of various town meetings are stored. The interviews are labeled "2013 Budget."

Hooksett's Deliberative Session will be held on Saturday, April 6 at 9 a.m. at Cawley Middle School. A voter's guide is expected to be uploaded to the town's web site by the weekend.

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