By ROGER AMSDEN, for THE LACONIA DAILY SUN
LACONIA — Rep. Herb Vadney of Meredith was elected as chairman of the Belknap County Delegation when it met Monday night at the Belknap County Complex.
Vadney, who was unopposed, is in his third term in the state legislature and was vice chairman of the delegation in his second term.
Rep. Ray Howard (R-Alton), who is in his second term, was elected as vice chairman and Marc Abear (R-Meredith) was elected as secretary.
All three will be members of the Executive Committee, along with Rep. David Huot (D-Laconia), the only Democrat on the 18-member delegation, and Rep. Michael Sylvia (R-Belmont), Rep. Glen Aldrich (R-Gilford) and Rep. Peter Spanos (R-Laconia).
Three members of the delegation were not present for the meeting, Rep. Frank Tilton (R-Laconia), Rep. Valerie Fraser (R-New Hampton) and Rep. Michael Maloney (R-Gilmanton).
In one of Vadney's first acts as chairman he questioned why the delegation hadn't been informed sooner that requests for major budget transfers were going to be made.
He pointed out that a month ago he had asked commissioners whether or not there would be any more transfer requests and had been told there was no concern about transfers and now the delegation was being asked to transfers of $47,384 from the contingency fund for a payment to the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services and $52,739 to meet payroll in all departments.
Belknap County Administrator Debra Shackett said that the county's percentage of the statewide payments to DHHS for residents in private nursing homes had increased and the county was now being billed $6,178.549 instead of the $6,131,566 it had budgeted. The increase in payroll was due to the fact that payroll projections did not take into account that accrued payroll from 2015 which was paid in 2016 was credited back to 2015, amounting to almost a full week of additional payroll for 2016 which had not been projected.
County Commission Chairman David DeVoy (R-Gilmanton) said that Shackett was not aware of those changes when the commission met with the delegation last month and that the delegation was informed of the pending transfer requests at soon as commissioners were aware that they were needed.
Other transfer requests included $7,000 for health care incentive bonuses for non-union employees, $1,500 for sprinkler and fire suppression system repairs for the nursing home, $1,450 for dental care at the nursing home, $400 for additional cell phone fees for the maintenance department, $500 for transcribing a deposition in a sexual assault case and $600 for advertising to fill a key position in the nursing home caused by a recent resignation, as well as another vacancy.
DeVoy pointed out that filling the nursing home positions were such a high priority that Commissioner Hunter Taylor (R-Alton) had paid for the advertisements already so that they could be filled without waiting for the delegation's Executive Committee to take action on the transfer request.
He said that Vadney has told him that he expects that the Executive Committee to take action on the transfer requests at a morning meeting which is being scheduled for next week.
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