County lawmakers to take up agreement with new Teamsters' unon affiliate when they meet on Mon.

LACONIA — The Belknap County Convention will take up a collective bargaining agreement with the newest union representing some Belknap County employees when it meets Monday night at 6 p.m. at the Belknap County complex.
The three-year contract with the Teamsters Local Union 633, which represents 21 workers from several different county departments, calls for a $28,890 increase in wages and payroll associated costs in the 2015 budget, increasing the total contract costs from $517,017 to $545,906.
The 2016 cost impact would be $25,300, when costs rise to $571,205 and 2017 it would be around $26,000, when contract costs will be $598,061.
The contract was approved by the previous Board of Commisioners just before they left office and its cost impact figures were first presented to the convention when it met earlier this week.
The new union was granted certification by the state Public Employee Labor Relations Board last summer and was organized to represent mainly support staff employees, many of whom were not eligible for membership in the State Employees Association, which represents employees in the Corrections Department, Sheriff's Department and Nursing Home.
County Commissioners plan to start negotiations with the other unions in the near future and had sought to leave funding for a vacant human resources director position left in the 2015 budget in order to have funds to put on the table during those negotiations. But the county convention removed the $100,000 from the administration budget.

Sandy Bailey's stay at Gilford Town Hall coming to a close

GILFORD — After 12 years with the town working in various administrative capacities, Sandy Bailey will be retiring in the middle of April.

Bailey, who was hired in 2003 as a planning administrator and two years later promoted to administrative assistant to the town administrator said she and her husband are retiring at the same time.

"I've been working on a retirement plan for two years," said Bailey. "I decided about two years ago that this is what I want to do."

Bailey talked about her rather varied career yesterday, including the time she and her husband spent operating a hotel on the New Jersey shore.

"We did that for about three years," she said. They sold when the state decided her property would be a great place for an exit ramp off the Garden State Throughway.

"I learned the pros and cons of working with my husband," she said.

After they sold the hotel, Bailey and her husband returned home to Northwood, N.H. to assist with his parents.

She was hired as a planning assistant in 2003 by John Ayer and Polly Sanfacon, she said, noting that when she lived in Northwood before the New Jersey adventure, she had worked in their planning department.

In 2005, she was "recruited" by then Town Administrator Evans Juris to be his assistant and stayed in the position, working briefly with Debra Shackett and John Markland before current Town Administrator Scott Dunn was hired in August of 2008.

Known for keeping her own counsel, Bailey said she watched a lot of interesting things happen during her years upstairs but said her style isn't talking out of school.

"I'm also very easy-going and flexible," she said.

Bailey has four granddaughters with whom she plans on spending a lot more time.

"I was always a working grandmother," she said, adding that now she can help her daughters with daycare and take care of her grandchildren when they're sick just like her mother did for her when her children were young.

She said her husband will continue working part-time for at least a few more years and traveling across the United States is one of their long-term goals.

Bailey said her husband also built her a "granny cave" where she can go and work on her many crafts and hobbies — both with and without her grandchildren.

"I have a radio and my computer and I have been known to consume a glass of wine in there on occasion," she said.

Both Bailey and her husband have a passion for woodworking.

"We exchange tools for Christmas," she said. "This year I got a chop saw and he got a drill press."

She said she and her two older granddaughters made many holiday projects and with two of her granddaughters both younger than three, she looks forward to making many, many more of them.

As for Gilford, she said she'll miss the people.

"We're a little work family here and I'm really going to miss that," she said.

When asked what she's not going to miss, she said that one was easy — night meetings with the selectmen.

"Nothing personal," she said. "I just like to be home at night."


CUTLINE: (Sandy Bailey) Sandy Bailey in a familiar pose at a very familiar desk in the Gilford town offices. She is retiring in the middle of April so she can spend more time with her family. (Laconia Daily Sun photo/Gail Ober)

Adoption makes it official but Kalyssa was already a treasured member of the Ward-Hill family

LACONIA — Yesterday, just weeks before the birth of their first child, Ellen Ward-Hill, a teacher at Pleasant Street School and her husband Jeff, became a family of three in courtroom 1 of the Circuit Courthouse with the adoption of 13-year-old Kalyssa before a crowd of friends sporting red T-shirts proclaiming, "We Are Pleasant Street School".

Ward-Hill recalled that in her first year at the school a decade ago, she taught Kalyssa's half brother and soon afterwards found Kalyssa in her first grade class. By the time she taught Kalyssa again in fourth grade she had become aware of the trying circumstances of her family. At the same time, Ward-Hill, like all her colleagues had grown very fond Kalyssa, in whom she sensed a special character with great promise.

"Everybody at the school just loved her," Ward-Hill said.

A year later, when she discovered the fifth-grader was homeless and living with a classmate, she gave her a home.

"It was a leap of faith and Ellen took it," said Anne Barrett, a guidance counselor at the school. In May, 2013 Ward-Hill became Kalyssa's guardian.

"We just wanted to help," Ward-Hill said, explaining that she told Kalyssa's mother "we're willing to help until you get back on your feet." When that did not happen, Ward-Hill chose to adopt Kalyssa. In the meantime, she and Jeff were married last August.

"I was the maid of honor," Kalyssa exclaimed.

"What are you guys doing here?" asked Judge Jim Carroll, gazing over a crowded courtroom festooned with balloons. "Are you scheduled? Should we wait?"

Then turning to Kalyssa, he asked "what are we here for?"

"The party!" she replied.

"We're ready to take her forever," Ward-Hill told the judge.

"You don't know how this recovers my day," Carroll remarked, adding that he asks the clerk to schedule at least one adoption a week. "I've got this internal agenda," he said. "Been there, done that."

Carroll described Ward-Hill as "saintly, saintly" and said "I remember the petition for guardianship as if it were yesterday. It speaks volumes," he continued, "of what a teacher can be to a student." Kalyssa, he said, was "a student for a year and now for a lifetime."

"I treat these things like a wedding," Carroll closed. "That's all I have to say. Love you all. God bless."

With that the crowd swarmed Ward-Hill, her husband and daughter as cameras began flashing.

Carroll offered to help Kalyssa, now a seventh-grade student at Laconia Middle School, make her way through law school, but later she stated boldly "Columbia, then straight to FBI training." She said she was looking forward to soon having a little brother and eying Jeff Hill's grandmother, proudly remarked "I'll still be her only great granddaughter." But, for the moment, she said "I want to party!"

"She makes our lives so much better," said Jeff Hill as he watched Kalyssa, clutching a bouquet of balloons, celebrate.

"She has helped us," added his wife.