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Sen. Forrester graces cover of Parade magazine for annual salary survey

MEREDITH — State Sen. Jeanie Forrester (R-Meredith) became a cover girl last weekend when she appeared on the front of Parade magazine alongside the likes of actors Matthew McConaughey and Sandra Bullock, singers Miley Cyrus and Bruno Mars and Vice President Joe Biden touting the magazine's annual salary survey.

Forrester was one of more than 60 men and women from all walks of life who earn less than $200,000 chosen to figuratively rub elbows with movie stars, pop idols, athletes and writers. With her annual salary as a state senator of $100 Forrester is easily the church mouse of the bunch, earning much less than the $5,000 paid to a sometime character actor and the $6,000 earned by an erstwhile accordion player.

Of course, Forrester, like many of her 23 colleagues in the New Hampshire Senate and 400 members of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, has a another source of income. She and her husband, Keith, own and operate an environmental firm in Meredith.

Forrester, who chairs the Senate Finance Committee, told the New Hampshire Sunday News that $100 a year is "a fine salary. I really love my job, " she continued. "Other states pay their representatives more money, but I don't think they govern any better than we do."

Last Updated on Tuesday, 15 April 2014 12:23

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Council moves forward on fire station

LACONIA — The City Council last night approved the expenditure of $67,400 to fund the first phase of a contract with Warrenstreet Architects, Inc. of Concord to prepare a schematic design and cost estimate of the expansion and renovation of the Central Fire Station.

Deputy Fire Chief Charles Roffo, working with Jonathan Halle of Warrenstreet, prepared a conceptual plan, which was presented to the council in February. Meanwhile, City Manager Scott Myers included $4.1-million to design, engineer and construct the project in his recommended budget for 2014-2015. However, a schematic design design is required for a more accurate estimate of the cost of the project.

The includes the renovation of 13,135 square feet of the existing station to serve as an apparatus bay and training area and the construction of a two-story, 12,000 square foot addition to house the administrative offices, emergency operations center and dormitory. He estimated the cost of the project at $4,187,000, more than $777,000 less than the original plan prepared in 2008.

Last week Halle told the Land and Buildings Committee of the council that for the $67,400 an estimate within five or ten percent could be prepared. If the City Council chooses to proceed with the project, the firm would prepare the construction documents required to put the work to bid for another $101,500. He said that the work could be bid later this year and construction begun as early as October. Alternatively the project could be undertaken in 2015 and completed in one construction season.
NOTE: The City Council also accepted a matching grant, consisting of $75,000 worth of in-kind services, including information technology and economic analysis, from the Orton Family Foundation to fund development of the 2017 Master Plan. Planning Director Shanna Saunders said that the grant will be matched with a cash grant of $20,000 from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, $20,000 from the Planning Department budget and $35,000 of in-kind services from the Carsey Institute of the University of New Hampshire.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 15 April 2014 01:15

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Clarification: Gilford Budget Committee has 9 at-large members

CLARIFICATION — Gilford Town Administrator Scott Dunn said when the town formed the Budget Committee it determined there be nine members elected at large to serve on it. The three additional seats are held by a School Board representative, a selectman, and a representative from the Gunstock Village Water District.

Last Updated on Monday, 14 April 2014 11:59

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Scott Brown visits Veterans Home

TILTON — Scott Brown, one of four Republicans vying to challenge incumbent Democrat U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, visited the New Hampshire Veterans Home yesterday, just three weeks before he is set to retire as a colonel after 35 years in the United States Army.

Accompanied by his wife Gail, a former television news reporter, Brown toured the facility with Commandant Margaret LaBrecque. As the junior U.S. senator from Massachusetts, a seat he won in a special election following the death of Sen. Edward Kennedy in 2010, he became the first Republican to represent the Bay State in the Senate since 1978, only to be defeated by Democrat Elizabeth Warren in 2012. In the Senate he served on both the Armed Services and Veterans' Affairs committee.

Speaking with every veteran he passed, Brown asked their branch of service, thanked them for their sacrifice and told them of his own career with the Judge Advocate General's Corps, capped by his posting to the Pentagon. He was openly impressed by the accommodation, programs and services at the Veterans Home, which he described as "really top notch." At the library he assured Dave Clark, an minister at work on the computer, that he would donate copies of his book, "Against All Odds."

Afterward Brown recalled his own efforts to secure a veterans' hospital for New Hampshire, sparing those requiring acute treatment and care the trip to Boston, and said that "in six years Shaheen has done nothing." Instead, he said, she voted for a budget that reduced military pension, calling it "a terrible vote" and vowing "I would never have done that."

In keeping with the predominant theme of his fledgling campaign, Brown claimed that Shaheen cast "the deciding vote" for Obamacare, which he underlined as the "number 1 A issue." He said that he would work to repeal the Affordable Care Act and, while insisting that he believes everyone should have access to healthcare, proposed allowing the separate states to design systems for providing it. "Do what the states want," he said. "The states do it better."

Brown is competing with former United States Congressman and Senator Bob Smith, Former New Hampshire State Senator Jim Rubens and conservative activist Karen Testerman for the GOP nomination.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 15 April 2014 01:04

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