LACONIA — Robert J. Selig is replacing Tim Martin as chief executive officer (CEO) of the Taylor Community, effective October 30.
The retired president of Laconia Shoe Company, Selig currently serves as chairman of Taylor's Board of Trustees, a position he will continue to hold. Since the middle of August, he has been filling in for Martin, who took a leave of absence at that time.
In making the announcement of Selig's appointment to the CEO position on Friday, the board of the century-old retirement living institution noted that Martin had resigned and complimented him as being "instrumental in working toward a sound financial plan for the continued success of Taylor Community". "We thank him for his services and wish Tim and (wife) Peggy the very best," a statement continued.
Martin came to the Taylor Community in 2009, after a long stint running Milton Residences for the Elderly (MRE) in Milton, Mass. He succeeded Howard Chandler, who was at the helm for more than two decades.
"This is a very exciting chapter for Taylor and I'm pleased the board has asked me to serve as CEO," said Selig. He added that he was honored to have the trust and support of both the board and the community and that he has total confidence in Taylor's staff.
During an interview, Selig indicated he will soon begin the process of recruiting a new executive to take over the CEO position from him and expects to have that task completed by May 2014. His other primary goal for the next seven months is to restructure Taylor's long-term debt, which now stands at $26 million, in order to provide for better cash flow.
Selig was candid that the Great Recession was tough on the senior housing industry as a whole but stressed that the picture has now brightened considerably. "The stock market has come back and homes are starting to sell again," he said before noting that eight families will be moving into Taylor during the month of November alone.
"These are positive times for the organization. We continue to offer more in the way of amenities, activities and services for Taylor residents, as well as for seniors throughout the Lakes Region."
Taylor's most recent fiscal year ended in April and over the 12-month period the not-for-profit institution was able to produce excess revenues of nearly $1 million. The year before the bottom line was a negative $1.8 million.
"It was a terrific (fiscal) year," said Selig. The best we've had in 10."
Taylor borrowed $17 million to build the Woodside building on its Laconia campus in 2005 and that borrowing was included in a restructuring of its entire debt through a pair of tax-free bond issues. Selig said the new restructuring will probably be accomplished through commercial banks.
Selig has been a Taylor Community trustee for eight years and chair of the board since September 2011. He is said to have overseen the organization's continued development and implementation of strategic plans to further establish Taylor as a leading continuing care retirement community in New Hampshire.
Taylor offers all three of its retirement living programs on its 105-acre Laconia campus — independent living, assisted living and nursing home care. Independent living facilities are also operated in Wolfeboro and Pembroke. The organization's independent living facility in Moultonborough has been sold and another in Sandwich is in the process of being sold.
Respite care is also provided for short-term stays.
In total, 400 residents call a Taylor facility home.
Selig said Taylor holds nets assets of $13.8 million and another $6.9 million is held in trust funds by others.
Commenting on the competitive environment in which Taylor operates, Selig noted that his organization operates, on a "fee-for-service" basis that many retirees now find desirable. That is, rather than charge a flat monthly residence fee that does not change over the years with the level of service desired, Taylor's fees start at a relatively low level for independent living and rise with need.
Selig said the average independent living resident at Taylor stays at that level for nine years and the resulting savings on fees over that period is considerable.
About half the people living in a Taylor facility originally signed what are called continuing care contracts, which require the organization to provide lifetime care at the appropriate level, even if the resident is no longer capable of paying for the service. In fiscal year 2013, Taylor provided $1 million in subsidized care to such residents.
As CEO, Selig assumes responsibility for the administration, operations, marketing and finances of the organization. Taylor has 140 employees and operates three shifts per day at the assisted living and nursing care levels.
"We're so fortunate to have a tremendous staff with whom I work," said Selig. "They are the ones who make this the great community that it is and they are the reasons for the ongoing success and appeal of Taylor Community."
Selig attended Laconia public schools and graduated from Brown University in 1958. He is currently chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Laconia Public Library, past president of Temple B'Nai Israel, former president and currently a director of the Jewish Federation of New Hampshire, former vice chairman of the Board of Trustees of LRGHealthcare, a director of Shalom TV and a director of the Lake Opechee Preservation Association. He remains an active golfer the Laconia Country Club.
The Taylor Community will hold its annual meeting on November 11. Selig said the meeting is normally held in September but was delayed this year because of the leadership transition.
Last Updated on Saturday, 26 October 2013 02:06
LACONIA — A local man was ordered held on $5,000 cash-only bail for allegedly choking and slapping his girlfriend during an argument Tuesday morning.
Police affidavits obtained from the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division said Nathan Scaringi, 28, of 613 Main St. Apt. 15 also took the victim's cell phone from her and put it in his pocket when she told him she was going to call the police.
Police said they responded to the apartment building at 9:43 a.m. after being called by a neighbor who reported she could hear what she said was Scaringi assaulting the victim.
When police arrived, they said the victim was on the first floor and had red marks on her face and neck.
The victim told officers that Scaringi allegedly pushed her down on the couch, got on top of her, and put his hands around her neck. She said she couldn't talk or breathe.
After he stopped choking her, she said he allegedly slapped her twice. When one of the neighbors knocked on the door, the victim said Scaringi opened the door and spoke with her. Once he shut the door, the victim said he "threw" her on the couch a second time and strangled her again "harder."
Others in the building told police they heard the two arguing before police arrived. They said they heard loud "smack" and heard the victim yell "get your hands off me!"
In court yesterday, the city prosecutor asked for $15,000 cash bail saying Scaringi has two previous convictions for simple assault as well as three convictions for witness tampering for which he is still on probation. He said those convictions were also domestic violence related.
Scaringi's defense argued that Scaringi was "indigent" and would lose his job if he couldn't get to work. She said three of his coworkers were in court and all of them told her that he was a valued employee.
She said he could post $500 cash and that would represent his entire check, giving him a reason to not flee the jurisdiction. She also said the victim was not at Scaringi's apartment any longer and Scaringi would agree to a no-contact order.
Before setting bail at $5,000 cash only, Judge Jim Carroll said he was particularly concerned with the three convictions for witness tampering.
Last Updated on Friday, 25 October 2013 03:49
LACONIA — Following a meeting at their community center last night, 107 homeowners at Briarcrest Estates signed a petition in support of an effort to forestall the sale of the manufactured housing park to the Lakemont Cooperative, Inc., which was formed by other residents of the park.
The rift among residents has widened and deepened since July when Mark and Ruth Mooney, the owners of the park, accepted an offer from Hometown America, Inc., which owns 41 parks with 19,000 households in 11 states, to purchase the park for $10 million. In accord with state law, which entitles tenants to make a counter offer and requires the owners to bargain in good faith, a group of residents incorporated as the Lakemont Cooperative to match the $10 million offer.
In response, the Mooneys petitioned the Belknap County Superior Court to approve the sale of the park to Hometown America, Attorney John Giere, representing the Mooneys, claims that since most residents oppose cooperative ownership, approving the transaction would serve the best interests of the majority in keeping with the intent of the law.
Residents met at the suggestion of attorney Phil McLaughlin, who has been retained those opposed to cooperative ownership and management of the park. He explained that there are two parties to the litigation, the park owners and the cooperative. The law, he said, effectively vests the cooperative with the right to represent all the residents and does not provide those opposed to the cooperative an opportunity to be heard. In this case, McLaughlin said, "the law does not allow for the majority to be heard."
McLaughlin said that he intends to ask the court to allow the residents who prefer commercial to cooperative ownership to intervene, effectively serving as witnesses on behalf of the Mooneys. He said that 10 residents had already agreed to approach the court and the only remaining question was how many others would join them on the petition that was signed last night. He specified that only one person from each household sign the petition.
Speaking for the group Daphne Towle said that in addition to the 107 who have signed the petition, she is assured of at least another 25 signatures by Monday. The 132 would represent 56.8 percent of the 232 occupied sites in the park.
The petition reads that the signatories prefer commercial to cooperative ownership and management because the cooperative does not represent the preferences of residents, current management is superior, commercial management is in the best interest of residents, and lease costs are stable and provide proven value. In addition, it contends that the increased costs or reduced services if the cooperative must service $10 million in debt "is something we never bargained for and do not want."
McLaughlin indicated that he would question what the statute intends by requiring the park owners to bargain in good faith when it fails to provide for the opinions of longstanding residents to be heard. He said he expects to present the petition to the court by the end of next week.
Last Updated on Friday, 25 October 2013 03:45
By Mike Mortensen
LACONIA – Candidates for mayor and City Council stressed the importance of controlling spending and encouraging economic development at a candidates' forum in Weirs Beach last night.
About 20 people turned out for the two-hour event held just 12 days before the Nov. 5 city election. The forum was hosted by Weirs Action Committee and moderated by Niel Young.
Mayoral candidates Edward Engler and Kaileif Mitchell emphasized the importance of economic opportunity – an issue which has been a key theme of both men's campaigns.
Engler said that Laconia needs to have the kind of jobs that will attract people to the area.
Mitchell said helping the city become a more popular tourist destination was his top priority.
"I'm more concerned about tourism, concerned about the Weirs and downtown," he said
Both Engler and Mitchell are seeking to succeed Mayor Mike Seymour, who is not running for re-election.
Others participating in the forum held at Weirs Community Center were Ward 2 council candidate Richard Beaudoin, who is running against David Bownes, who did not attend; Ward 3 Councilor Henry Lipman, who is unopposed; Ward 5 Councilor Bob Hamel and his challenger Tom Tardif; and Ward 6 Councilor Armand Bolduc and his opponent Anthony Felch. Ward 1 Councilor Ava Doyle and Ward 4 Councilor Brenda Baer, who are both running unopposed, did not attend.
Mitchell said one way to give the city's tourist-based economy a boost would be to put a casino in Weirs Beach, which he said would bring 500 jobs. He said he did not believe that a casino would cause the kind of crime problems that opponents of expanded gambling claim.
Engler said that Laconia's future depends on demographics and economic vitality.
"We have an aging and graying population. Here in New Hampshire we have an internal conflict between economic vitality and keeping the state the way it's always been. Part of the way it's always been is that we have a lot of poor people. That means we need better paying jobs, and more white-collar jobs," Engler said.
While acknowledging that Laconia has lost manufacturing jobs during the last 20 to 30 years, Lipman noted signs of a rebound in that sector of the city's economy, pointing to Aavid Thermalloy's decision to move its corporate headquarters back to Laconia and to New Hampshire Ballbearing adding to its workforce.
"There's a lot that is positive going on here in Laconia," Lipman said.
Both mayoral candidates, along with candidates for council, talked about the need to keep city spending under control in order to keep tax increases to a minimum.
Both Hamel and Lipman said the council has been able to keep increases in city spending to less than what is allowed under the city's tax cap. But Tardif said that the council needed to be more frugal and said that if elected he would fight to level-fund the budget.
All candidates said they supported the tax cap.
One issue all candidates said would have serious impact on city taxes is the proposal to build a new $43 million county jail. And all said the next mayor and council needed to press county officials and the County Delegation to come up with a less expensive alternative.
Mitchell called the $43 million price tag "astronomically high" and said space could be added for much less by building a second floor to the current facility.
Engler said as mayor he would take a lead in getting the county to come up with a less expensive proposal.
"The tax cap includes the county tax which we have no control over, he said. "Laconia pays 20 percent of the county tax bill. We cannot allow a break in the tax cap because of the county budget." He said that Laconia would have to pay $500,000 a year just for the debt service on the bond for $43 million corrections facility.
Hamel said the cost of the new jail building was not his only concern. He also objected to plans to add staff at a cost of $2.2 million to $2.3 million a year.
"That is something that is going to stick there after the bond (on a new jail) is paid," he said.
Most candidates said they would support efforts that would encourage the revitalization of downtown, Lakeport and Weirs Beach.
They lamented the condition of the Colonial Theater building, but said the city should not get involved in any major way to redevelop the property.
The City Council has approved the establishment of Tax Increment Financing – or TIF – districts in the downtown and Lakeport and is considering whether to establish a third district in Weirs Beach. Most support the concept under which a portion of the additional revenue that comes from property improvements in the district can only be used for infrastructure improvements in that district. But Tardif said he was opposed to the TIF mechanism, which he considered another form of urban renewal.
Engler said initiatives to revitalize the downtown or other parts of the city needed to have broad popular consensus and should not be undertaken just because of special interests.
"If we want to make an effort to improve a certain area of town for all our benefit, that's appropriate," he said.
Lipman said that while it is important for the city to do everything it can to save money it also needs to do things to invest in the city's future.
The issue of mandatory recycling versus pay-as-you-throw as a way to reduce the city trash collection costs dominated the first part of the forum. All the candidates said they now support the mandatory recycling program which went into effect this summer. But Felch said he would push for another look at pay-as-you throw if the recycling program was not meeting its goals.
The city election is Tuesday, Nov. 5.
Last Updated on Friday, 25 October 2013 03:44
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