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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yeah....<br>
everyone knows your business....and gets into it....<br>
and everyone knows your mama and daddy if you are an adult who was born & raised there....<br><br>
But, the businesses are so great.<br><br>
The heatpump man helps remove the fireplace grate to make room for the candle holder.....<br>
The exterminator comes super early to rescue you from the dead squirrel in the attic that's dropping maggots onto your bed.....<br>
The mattress man sends a mattress that you were thinking of, and says..."if you like it, pay me...if you don't, call me and we'll pick it up for you......<br>
And the LBS dudes answer your dumb questions, and install, and pick things.... and all that, on the basis of a basic phone call. (or, maybe they all do that, but I didn't have that experience in the big town where I lived before.)<br><br>
Stitch
 

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Agreed! Small town living is the way to go...never had a dead squirrel in the attic that's dropping maggots into my bed though!
 

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My kids are 3 and 6 and they are out and about in our small town all the time, it's like they know people everywhere we go. I'm really happy that we live in a small town. Last summer, the kid down the road kept driving by too fast, so I mentioned it to his mom and 30 minutes later his dad was sitting down to talk to me and poof, the kid isn't driving for two weeks, now he waves when he drives by, slowly. I'm glad to think that we are looking out for each others children to some extent, I would not want to raise kids in a larger city.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It was quite the traumatic event at the time.<br>
I was FREAKED OUT!!! Thought the cat had worms. lol
 

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Ewwww....stitcher....sorry to hear about the maggots!!! But I also agree about the small town...I absolutely LOVE big cities-- NY, Boston, you name it. But I live in a small, university town. I've got the best of both worlds... all the theater, ballet, opera, big name comedians I want to see.... and they're all 10 minutes across town. (When I lived in DC, it took an hour to go 10 miles!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The critters were years ago......therapy has helped with the trauma of it all! lol<br><br>
Yep....college towns are the best of the small town varieties.<br><br>
I'm in one too....<br>
close enough to cities that if you want that stuff, you can get it easily...but still/.....very small feeling.<br><br>
My sis lives in Woodbridge......you know the area.....<br>
It's a PITA to go anywhere up there. Plus, she's got three kids where two of them still need car seats. She's got an extra challenge.....she literally can't find her way out of a paper bag.....she gets lost making U-turns. So, getting directions from her is ridiculous. We now look to the 11yr old for directions, they're actually better, if you can get her to focus!!
 

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I love big town suburbia<br><br>
But you know, I wish sometimes I lived in a small town, because for everything I love about big town suburbia I realize that small town life is so much simpler. I just don't think I'm "wise" enough yet to make that kind of commitment.<br><br>
I really don't like that I don't know 95% of my neighbors. And I'm too much of a tard to go fix it.
 

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In Europe I lived in a big town, and would've never seen me living in a small one.<br><br>
Here I live in a small suburban town, and don't want to go back to a big city. I love big cities, but just for a day, or for a vacation. I can't live there anymore.
 

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I grew up in a small village (pop ~3,000) of a small city (~25,000). It certainly had advantages. Now I live in a small town (~14,000) that's 15 miles outside Boston. I get a lot of small town advantages (not all) with access to big city amenities (museums, culture, food) - it's not a bad combination.
 

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I live in a small town in New Hampshire. It's a bucolic New England town with lots of trees, farms, etc. It's such a beautiful place to live and a great location. You can be in dowtown Portsmouth or Newburyport in 1/2hr tops and in Boston or Portland in just over an hour. The beach is maybe 15 minutes away.<br><br>
It has one serious small town issue though: the school system. New Hampshire taxes are almost all local. Our town has a high population of people over 55. They come to the town meetings and vote down new schools, etc. Our K-8 school was built in 1950. I went to a meeting last night where the guy said we need to build a new middle school. He showed pictures of classrooms piled with materials because there is no storage. He showed pictures of the school psychologist's desk in a closet next to the school's computer server. I thought I was going to cry especially since my taxes are already CrAzY high.<br><br>
Boy, the running routes though <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif">. And we love our 6 acres in the woods.
 

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Dude. I am SO with you .... ORSD has many of those problems despite its reputation ... And don't get me started on taxes! And the LIBRARY. We're renting a space next to Dominos. For the last ... OHHHHH .... 8 or 9 years. Shame doesn't begin to cover it - and much of it is also based on the town voting population...<br><br>
But most things we love ... Not the least of which is our 3.75 acres in the woods.<br><br>
Nice avatar graphic. <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif"><br><br>
Reg.
 

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Agreed, although I never thought I would like small towns. I grew up in a town of ~1000 in Michigan. Lots to do, I just wanted more excitement. Now I've lived in the same college town for almost 10 years and I'm ready to 'go back home.' Don't think I'll ever go back simply thanks to Michigan economy, but dh and I talk about a small cabin on the water...doesn't hurt to dream!
 

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Wow, I've never heard of such a finance system. Most of our rural districts around here (maybe 1200 kids K-12 is typical) will operate on about 85% state aid, maybe 5% federal with local making up the rest. The average homeowner will pay about $20 per $1000 of assessed valuation for school taxes, more or less. The major cities (NYC, Buffalo, etc.) are financed differently and get more federal money.<br><br>
I don't understand how it could work. My last town had a population of 500. The district budget was about $3 million, so that's nearly $6000 for every person, including children in a town where the typical house was worth maybe 50k. Even with state aid, the district was barely able to sustain itself with a per pupil expenditure of $5000 and an aid rate of over 90% on both operating and capital expenditures.<br><br>
Some of those rural schools must really have a hard time getting budgets to pass. In our state, there are provisions for contingency budgets if the taxpayers say no twice, but they don't restrict spending all that much. Just by way of comparison, here's my old town's state aid budget for a district with 202 kids (k-<img alt="cool.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/cool.gif"> and 20 teachers...<br><br>
2008-09 ESTIMATED AIDS:<br>
FOUNDATION AID 1,513,338<br><br>
TOTAL 2,594,722
 

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jroden, you nailed it. It doesn't really work. The rich towns or, in some cases towns that have formed cooperatives with rich towns, have nice school systems. The poor towns don't. NH has no sales tax and no income tax so whatever comes from the state comes from business taxes and sales of things like liquor and lottery tickets. The state aid portion is very small. The majority of our tax money goes to the school and the majority of that money goes to special education programs required under NCLB (mandated by the feds but not funded). So we have classrooms in closets and next to the school is a what I call a trailer park and the school calls classrooms.<br><br>
The teachers/staff at the school try so very hard but what can you do when the facilities are almost 60 years old? Who, with a PhD is going to want to work in a broom closet? Imagine, occupational therapy, physical therapy and speech therapy happening in the same room? They even showed a picture of a large <span style="text-decoration:underline;">tent</span> outside, surrounded by snow, being used as storage for desks, chairs, etc.<br><br>
We figure we can survive with our older daughter in the school until 3rd grade and then we need to move. We could move 2 miles east of here and be in the next town over and in one of the best school systems in the state. Of course, you pay $$$$ for that privilege and in that town the taxes are even higher since they just built a huge and beautiful new high school. That's better than paying already crazy taxes and then on top of that paying for private school. I won't even describe what the reputation is of the high school our town tuitions students to.<br><br>
We didn't have little ones when we moved here and we didn't know the area. We were definitely property virgins. We won't make the same mistakes again. Hopefully when the time comes we'll be able to sell our house.<br><br>
The tax rate in my town is $21.23/$1000 with a total town valuation of <span style="font-family:'Times-Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;"><br>
$421,914,226. In my neighborhood most of the houses are 4-5 years old with an average valuation of close to $400,000. That gets you volunteer fire and ambulance, full-time police, one 1-8 school with part-time K (just offered for the first time this year), tuition to high school, a library and a handful of programs for kids. There is no public water, no public sewer, no parks, no sidewalks, no nothing and that's who the people voted it to be.</span></span>
 

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That's interesting. Education is a state function and yet NH has ceded the decision making to the local level, with the results one would expect. In NY, for example, when a district submits plans for any building project, all of the exisiting code violations (e.g. providing special ed services in closets, ADA violations, etc) have to be remediated as part of the project or it can't move forward. The state says, you have to put that wheelchair lift in your auditorium or swimming pool, we'll help you pay, but you have to do it. people cry about it on talk shows, but in the end at least we have a sort of minimal level of school quality outside of the big cities. In the cities, it's really another story, it still doesn't work and the state lost a lawsuit to that effect, so we'll have to pay more at the state level to fix these schools in NYC and the big urban areas.<br><br>
Part of the deal we make with our communities is to provide a sound basic education to all children, that's the American ideal. It saddens me to see us become a nation of crybaby cheapskates about our schools, libraries and public institutions. In the end we can all go shop mailorder and at walmart and retreat to our homes in communities where we have no connection beyond a shared feeling of injustice that we even have to pay taxes.
 

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The state has all kinds of rules and regulations they enforce. They just don't fund them. NH is all about funding at the local level with mandates from the state and federal level that are not funded.<br><br>
We need to open some casinos. Maybe at the highway rest areas next to the state liquor store?
 

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I had a friend who actually stood up at a school board meeting and recommended solving overcrowding by sending kids to the parochial school's if they would let them have the kids' test scores. He argued it would solve the problem at hand, make money as they recieved more money than the tuition was, and raise their system's test scores. He said it didn't go over well.
 

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this is why I tolerate Chicago Suburbia. I don't know how much goes to schools, I do know I pay almost $4,000/yr in prop taxes. We have 105 police officers, 2 grade schools w/n 2 miles and a total of 5 schools in 4 miles. Our schools are great. Public Services are great. Ethnic diversity is good. There are welfare kids through upper-middle class kids in our schools.<br><br>
this is, quite simply, why we moved to this area and will probably stay during the school years.<br><br>
then i will get my house with a big lake <img alt="wink.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/wink.gif"> (see pool thread)
 

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We sort of do that with charters here in NY, the student portion of the aid (about $5500) goes with the child. Charters then give all the usual state tests but are not bound by as many of the regulations and union work rules that the larger districts have. The results are less than spectacular, but they are generally in the urban core of large poor cities.<br><br>
I wish there was a simple solution to the woes of city schools, but there are just so many systemic and interlaced problems in those districts it's tough to see a way out. They spend about $12,000 per child, nearly double what the suburbans spend, but still the schools are falling apart--it's an issue that is deeper than just the money.<br><br>
The really dinky size rural schools have many of the same problems, running a school district with 500 kids is really inefficient. Some of the districts up in the adirondaks (million acre state park in n NY) are tiny like that.
 

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<br>
As a small town (~1000) NH resident we have similar issues. "Casino 93" anyone?<br><br>
I am a hs teacher in my town and it is incredibly difficult to sit through school district mtg and listen to some of the bizarre and ignorant ideas about what taxpayers shouldn't have to pay for in the school budget.<br>
We have a joint district with 3 VT towns so we have 2 state funding laws to deal with and VT/NH are very different in their approach to education. As far as I can understand "wealthy" VT towns aren't supposed to spend more than the state avg per pupil. If they do, the money gets redistributed to less well funded schools to level the playing field so all schools reach the state avg pp spending. One of our VT towns has a resort lake community so they wind up sending out some of their tax dollars to other towns in the state.<br><br>
Benefits of small town living:<br>
Our lawn mowing guy drives by our double black diamond a driveway that had turned into a glacier last week and saw my car parked at the bottom. He calls me the next day at school and offers to sand the driveway. This is the same guy who cut our lawn all summer and hasn't sent us a bill yet eventhough we keep asking him to. He said that some of his guys (my students) didn't mow properly so he doesn't want to charge us...<br><br>
We can't see any other houses from our house/yard - nice privacy especially with the hottub in the back yard.<br><br>
25 acres to snowshoe and mountain bike on.<br><br>
People do look after each others kids.<br><br>
Downsides: having to drive 30 minutes to major grocery/dept stores - no traffic though.<br>
Constantly running into parents of my students at local places on weekends and they want to have a conversation about johnny while I'm just trying to buy some wine and cheese on a Friday night.
 
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