Logue gets $62,500 in deal to leave county

LACONIA — The Belknap County Commissioners have signed a confidential settlement agreement with Belknap County Nursing Home Administrator Matthew Logue in which Logue resigned his position and will receive $62,500 from the county's insurance firm, Primex.
The confidential agreement was obtained by the Daily Sun after a Right to Know law request was filed with Belknap County Administrator Debra Shackett, The agreement prohibits parties to the settlement, including Shackett, from commenting on it other than saying that "the matter has been resolved."
The settlement payment was proposed by Primex "based on a business judgment relating to the likely cost of litigation and on that basis was agreed to by the County of Belknap and Debra Shackett, all of whom deny any liability for the matters referenced herein,'' according to the six-page document.
The document also says that Logue's resignation ''is not an admission on his part that his job performance with the County of Belknap was deficient.''
The settlement provides that Logue will receive $35,725 in what the document calls "alleged compensatory damages" and that $26,775 in legal fees will be paid to the Douglas, Leonard and Garvey law firm of Concord, which represented him.
Logue, who was hired in December of 2012, has been on paid administrative leave since Oct. 27, and his resignation takes effect on Dec. 23.
He has been at the center of of many disputes between current members of the commission after having been restored in January of this year to the post from which he had been fired in August of 2014 by the previous commissioners.
Logue was discussed at what Commission Chairman Dave DeVoy (R-Sanbornton) said was the most heated nonpublic meeting of the commission, which held in late July. The core issue discussed at the meeting was a response to a grievance filed by Logue against the county which apparently named the commissioners and Shackett as offenders. The nature of the grievance was not described in the meeting minutes but is alluded to in minutes of earlier nonpublic sessions.
At the July 15 meeting, commissioners discussed a request by Shackett for legal representation in the "Logue matter," which Commissioner Hunter Taylor (R-Alton) said was premature, as the claim had been communicated to the county's insurance carrier.
''The carrier will have to make a determination as to whether the allegations set forth in the Logue demand letter are within the coverage of the county's (insurance) policy,'' the July 15 minutes read.
The so-called demand letter from Logue's attorney was brought up by Commissioner Taylor at the same meeting when he questioned whether or not Commissioner Richard Burchell (R-Gilmanton) was suggesting that the commissioners consider offering Logue "the $80,000 referred to in his attorney's demand in return for Mr. Logue's resignation."
In September of 2014, Logue appealed his firing to the Belknap County Convention's Personnel Committee, which at that time consisted of former convention chairman Rep. Colette Worsman (R-Meredith), Vice Chairman Rep. Bob Greemore (R-Meredith) and Burchell, who at that time was a state representative from Gilmanton and clerk of the county convention.
The committee voted unanimously following a lengthy hearing in October of 2014 to reinstate Logue as nursing home administrator and denied a request from the former commissioners to reconsider the issue, which led to the commissioners filing a suit with the New Hampshire Supreme Court to overturn the reinstatement. But Burchell and DeVoy, who were the only two commissioners to take office in early January of this year, voted to drop the appeal and reinstated Logue. They had made their intention to drop the appeal public before they took office.
Burchell, who was elected as chairman of the commission in January, was ousted as chairman in early March and replaced by DeVoy at a March 2 meeting. His ouster was supported by Taylor, who had been named to fill a vacancy on the commission in late January.
At a June 4 meeting, commissioners Taylor and DeVoy censured Burchell for leaking information from a nonpublic meeting in February to Logue and in July unsealed the minutes of seven nonpublic meetings held while Burchell was chairman.
The minutes of the nonpublic meeting of Feb. 23 showed that Logue had filed a grievance maintaining that electronic mail communications were illegally taken from his work computer, depriving him of the opportunity to refute charges made against him by County Administrator Shackett at the October hearing.
Regarding a written statement on Logue's grievance, which he had filed with Burchell on Feb. 16, commissioners Taylor and DeVoy pointed out that Logue had not been denied a request for restoration of his work e-mail and had been directed by the county administrator's office to contact Mainstay Technologies, the county's information vendor, to inquire about the feasibility of restoring his e-mail history.
At the time he filed his grievance, the process of restoring his email was already underway, according to the two commissioners, who said the time requirement for filing a grievance is within five working days of an employee knowing that they have a grievance, and that Logue, who had returned to work on Jan. 8, had discussed the missing emails with Administrative Assistant Angela Bovill in mid-January. They concluded his grievance had not been filed on time and denied it.
The commissioners also said Logue's conclusion that his emails were wrongfully taken had no evidence to support it as there was no hint of any intentional wrongdoing. Logue had been away from his work computer for four months but had received an e-mail file prior to the Oct. 6, 2014, hearing containing all of his email history.

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Meredith selectmen revive vendor fees for Bike Week

MEREDITH — Vendor licensing fees during Motorcycle Week will likely become a warrant article for voters to consider next March. Yesterday, selectmen scheduled a public hearing on the proposal during their regularly scheduled board meeting on Dec. 21.
Following the precedent set by Laconia, the ordinance would require all transient vendors, other than nonprofit organizations soliciting donations toward a charitable purpose, to be licensed by the town at a fee of $450 generally and $500 for food services, which would entitle them to operate from noon on the first Friday until midnight on the last Sunday of the rally. Vendors operating without a license could be fined up to $500 for each day of unlawful operation.
In August, selectmen tabled the proposal when they encountered stiff opposition from Laconia Harley-Davidson and Hart's Turkey Farm Restaurant, the two major hosts of vendors during the rally. Anne Deli, president of Laconia Harley-Davidson, warned "We will lose vendors" at that time, and asked "Does Meredith really want to put one more nail in the coffin of Motorcycle Week?"
Town Manager Phil Warren told selectmen yesterday that because Meredith cannot escape the impact of the rally, not to belong to the Laconia Motorcycle Week Association would be "a lost opportunity" to influence the event and suggested that the annual dues of $5,000, along with other expenses incurred during the rally, could be offset by vendor fees.
Meanwhile, Deli, apparently anticipating the discussion, sent a statement reiterating her opposition to vendor fees to the selectmen, which found its way to Charlie St. Clair, executive director of the Laconia Motorcycle Week Association. Deli described the rally as "in a very fragile state," which would be further weakened by "a new vendor tax." She claimed that Meredith "is no more crowded during the rally than on an average day in the summer season" and suggested the town "right-size its efforts and bring expenses in line with reality."
Invited to speak to the board, St. Clair said a fee of $50 per day would not dissuade vendors from operating in Meredith. He stressed that vendors "are more unhappy about their rents than about their vendor fees." He noted that the two other major rallies — in Daytona, Florida, and Sturgis, South Dakota — not only charge vendor fees but also sales taxes, which in Sturgis are increased during the event." He said for the vendors "it is a cost of doing business and it's not even on their radar."
St. Clair said Laconia removed the costs of providing police patrols and emergency services from the operating budget and established Motorcycle Week as an enterprise fund, financed primarily by vendor fees. "The property taxpayers are not paying for Motorcycle Week," he said.
In August, Warren told the board that this year the town incurred expenses of $18,017 during the event, which consisted of $7,149 for police overtime, $5,868 for fire service and $5,000 in dues for the town's membership in the Laconia Motorcycle Week Association. Revenues amounted to $660, which represented special use permits issued to Laconia Harley-Davidson and Hart's Turkey Farm Restaurant at $330 apiece.
Selectman Ray Moritz questioned why the Laconia Motorcycle Week Association increased its membership dues from $2,000 to $5,000. St. Clair said the rally lost several of its presenting sponsors, including the Harley-Davidson dealership in Meredith. He said that when Linda and Herb Johnson owned the business it became a presenting sponsor of the rally, contributing $20,000 a year for at least five years, but "when Deli bought it in 2008 we lost $20,000 just like that."
Warren acknowledged that the association "is struggling," in part from an increasing preference for all-terrain vehicles and snowmobiles over motorcycles. But, he emphasized that Motorcycle Week is "an economic development gain" for the town" and because "it doesn't just happen" he said he is "fully confident asking for membership dues of $5,000."

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Hotel slated at Akwa Marina

LACONIA — The Mailloux family, the owners and operators of Akwa Marina at The Weirs, plan to add a hotel to the shorefront complex, which would be built on a footprint originally approved for a building housing retail outlets, food services and storage space.
The hotel would adjoin the cabanas along the beach and overlook the swimming pool and restaurant. The 11,700-square-foot building would contain eight units — three with one bedroom, four with two bedrooms and one with three bedrooms — all with a living area and galley kitchenette. Several of the units would have an upper story.
The basement of the hotel would house restrooms with showers, a hot tub and companion lounge, exercise rooms and space designated as a theater.
The development of Akwa Marina began more than a decade ago as one of the three major components of what was called Akwa Soleil. The original plan of Richard Mailloux of Bedford incuded a gated residential community of 129 lots atop Brickyard Mountain; a 73-slip marina, beach club, restaurant and shops; and as many as 470 more residential units, divided between single-family and multi-family homes, 60 acres of commercial development and an 18-hole golf course.
In 2008, Southworth Development, LLC of Newton, Massachusetts, acquired a stake in the project. The residential development atop Brickyard Mountain was christened "Meredith Bay" and Southworth Development has since constructed and sold townhouses and condominiums along Scenic Road at the foot of the hill while Mailloux retained ownership and pursued development of Akwa Marina.LACONIA — The Mailloux family, the owners and operators of Akwa Marina at The Weirs, plan to add a hotel to the shorefront complex, which would be built on a footprint originally approved for a building housing retail outlets, food services and storage space.

The hotel would adjoin the cabanas along the beach and overlook the swimming pool and restaurant. The 11,700 square foot building would contain eight units — three with one bedroom, four with town bedrooms and one with three bedrooms — all with a living area and galley kitchenette. Several of the units would have an upper story.

The basement of the hotel would house restrooms with showers, a hot tub and companion lounge, exercise rooms and space designated as a theater.

The development of Akwa Marina began more than a decade ago as one of the three major components of what was called Akwa Soleil. The original plan of Richard Mailloux of Bedford incuded a gated residential community of 129 lots atop Brickyard Mountain; a 73-slip marina, beach club, restaurant and shops; and as many as 470 more residential units, divided between single-family and multi-family homes, 60 acres of commercial development and an 18-hole golf course.

In 2008 Southworth Development, LLC of Newton, Mass., acquired a stake in the project. The residential development atop Brickyard Mountain was christened "Meredith Bay" and Southworth Development has since constructed and sold townhouses and condominiums along Scenic Road at the foot of the hill while Mailloux retained ownership and pursued development of Akwa Marina.

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