Rindge, NH is a small rural town in the Southwest part of the state. It has a population of 4,000-5,000 and is 50 square miles. The town traces its history to the Colonial era; its militia answered the Concord alarm. It is also the location of Camp Constitution’s annual summer camp. In the Spring of 2012, a man visited Rindge’s town hall to hand deliver information about Agenda 21 to its selectmen, and town manager.. It was there that he found a copy of the Plan NH Rindge Charette that took place earlier in the year. He wrote a letter to the editor of the local newspaper warning the folks in Rindge that an element of Agenda 21 was being introduced into the town via HUD. The letter was also pasted on the Town of Rindge facebook page. Within a few hours of the facebook posting, certain Rindge residents that were either listed as participants in the Charette, or who supported the Charette’s goals, attacked and denounced the letter writer. It backfired. A number of residents investigated the information produced by the letter writer, and came to the same conclusion including the man who became the founder of Save Our Town, Larry Cleveland. Mr. Cleveland, whose family has lived in Rindge for generations, didn’t like the idea that his neighborhood in West Rindge was slated for rezoning into a “smart growth” area which would have led, among other things,to so-called mixed-used housing funded in part by HUD. In October of 2013, he sponsored a public meeting renting out space in a town facility. He invited two New Hampshire state representatives that had success in defeating these HUD programs in their towns. Well over 200 folks showed up to hear the presentation. In the wake of that meeting “Save Our Town” was created. Now the town’s so-called progressives have to content with hundreds of informed residents. These progressives started a smear campaign making unfounded accusations against Save Our Town, and the letter writer who first discovered the Charette. Flyers announcing the public meeting were torn down, and threats of boycotts of business where the flyers were posted were issued by the town’s so-called progressives. But their “fear and smear” tactics failed. Save Our Town members started attending selectmen and planning board meeting. In March of this year, Save Our Town put a warrant article on the ballot with three items: Removing the Charette from the town’s master plan, quitting its membership in the Southwest Regional Planning Commission and calling for a vote of the people before the town accepts money from HUD. All three items were approved by an overwhelming margin. In addition, several liberty-minded candidates were elected to town offices. In the wake of this upset, the town’s progressives renewed their smears calling members of Save Our Town “racists” and have made the ridiculous accusation that The John Birch Society has stolen the town using a blog to promote their smear and hatred.
Save our Town demonstrates quite clearly that you can indeed fight city hall. In just a few short months, it overturned the plans of Agenda 21 supporters. Today, Save our Town’s members attend various town meetings, write letters to the editor, and help inform their neighbors of issues important to the town’s future. As the result of a short Youtube interview of Save Our Town’s founder Larry Cleveland, Tom Deweese of American Policy Center has asked him to participate in his national teleconfrences. Save Our Town is both an inspiration, and a model for the rest of the country. Save Our Town has a page on facebook.