Gale Ave. cocaine bust now likely to result in federal prison terms for couple

CONCORD — A couple who peddled crack cocaine and cocaine from a home at 23 Gale Avenue in Laconia, where illegal drugs, firearms and currency were found during a search of the residence in March, 2014, have pleaded guilty in United States District Court to charges of conspiring both to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute cocaine.

Roger Perkins, 31, of Methuen, Massachusetts and Wendyann Plunkett, 32, of Laconia are scheduled to be sentenced later this year and each face sentences of up to 40 years in prison, but will likely be sentenced to lesser terms. Perkins, whose record included a felony drug conviction in 2005, was also charged with unlawful possession of firearm and possession of firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking.

According to court documents, beginning on or about January 1, 2014 Perkins and Plunket conspired with others to sell drugs from their residence. When Perkins was away from home, Plunkett handled the transactions. On March 25, 2014 officers of the Laconia Police Department arrested Perkins outside his home where he was found in possession of crack cocaine and cocaine. During a subsequent search of the residence, officers seized cocaine, crack cocaine, cash and four firearms — three of them loaded — in and near a safe in a bedroom closet.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives assisted the Laconia Police with the investigation leading to the arrest of the Perkins and Plunkett and the case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Davis.

Filing period for November Laconia elections opens on Wednesday

LACONIA — In November, voters will elect a mayor, six city councilors, four school board members and two police commissioners along with a supervisor of the checklist, moderator, ward clerk and selectman in all six wards.

City council elections will be held in all six wards. School Board members will be elected in Wards 1, 2 and 6 and a fourth member will be elected at-large in all six wards. Both police commissioners will also be elected at-large in all six wards.

The filing period for all these offices opens on Wednesday, August 4 and closes on Friday, August 14. Candidates for any and all of these offices must file with the City Clerk, whose office is open on weekdays from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

If more than two candidates file for election to one office, a primary election will be held on Tuesday, September 8. Only registered voters may file for elected office.

City Clerk Mary Reynolds reminded voters that the last date for additions and corrections to the voter checklist will be Wednesday, August 4 at 7 p.m.

Laconia Planning Board chairman silent after re-appointment controversy

LACONIA — Warren Hutchins, the chairman of the Planning Board, declined to comment on remarks following the decision of a narrowly divided City Council to reappoint him to another three year term on the board earlier this week.

Just before the vote, Councilor Henry Lipman (Ward 3) referred to phone calls he had received from constituents about the planning process, which he took to say that "the tone and tenor is not always as supportive of getting things done as it should be. The situation needs to be fixed," he continued, "but blowing it up is not the course for for correcting it ." In particular, he remarked that "taking out the current chairman is not the best way to get where we want to get to."

Although Hutchins was not present, Lipman closed by saying "you need to take stock of what's been said here tonight. You're the leader of the Planning Board."

Asked if he wished to comment, Hutchins said flatly "I don't. I want to end it."

City looking for more than a few good men & women

LACONIA — There are currently 21 vacant positions — seven alternate seats and 14 regular seats — on a dozen municipal boards and commissions. City officials are encouraging residents to contribute to the governance of their community by volunteering to serve as either an alternate or regular member of a board and commission suited to their interest, experience and talent.

Regular members are those entitled to vote whenever they are present while alternate members may attend all meeting, but are only entitled to vote when there are an insufficient number of regular members present to constitute a quorum. Many volunteers consider serving as an alternate a way of preparing to become a regular member when the opportunity presents itself.

There are two vacant alternate positions on three boards — the Board of Assessors, Library Board of Trustees and the Zoning Board of Adjustment — and one alternate position to be filled on the Heritage Commission.

The Highway Safety Commission, Personnel Advisory Board, Trustees of the Trust Fund and Conservation Commission are all seeking to fill one regular position and there is a vacant alternate position on the Heritage Commission.

The Building Code Board of Appeals seeks two public members, one of whom must be an architect and the other an electrician.

There are five seats to be filled on the Lakeport Tax Increment Financing District (TIF) Advisory Board and three vacancies on the Weirs Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Advisory Board. Tax increment financing allows municipalities to define the boundaries of TIF districts, then apply a portion of the future tax revenues that accrue from the increase in assessed value generated by new construction, expansion or renovation of property in the district to either provide funds or service borrowings for public improvements within it. The advisory boards identify projects to be undertaken and recommend them to the City Council. Members of the TIF advisory boards must own property, reside in the district or own, manage or represent a business entity in the district. Residents of the city must constitute a majority of the advisory board.

In addition to these vacancies the terms of some members of boards and commissions will expire at the end of August. Although incumbents may request to be reappointed, members of the public are encouraged to apply for the positions if they are interested.

The terms of two regular positions on the Conservation Commission, one regular position on the Downtown TIF Advisory Board and two regular positions and two alternate positions on the Zoning Board of Adjustment are due to expire.

Anyone interested in applying for any of these positions should contact the City Manager's Office at 527-1270 or by e-mail (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) to request an application or seek more information.