Senate candidate Giuda tells county GOP he’s ready for ‘big leagues’

By MICHAEL KITCH, LACONIA DAILY SUN

BELMONT — I am a conservative. I am a Republican," declared Bob Giuda of Warren, the first candidate to enter the race for the New Hampshire Senate in District 2, the seat opened by Sen. Jeanie Forrester's decision to run for governor.
Speaking to the Belknap County Republican Committee this week, Giuda described the Senate as "the big leagues." He stressed his experience which began with his election to to the Board of Selectmen in Warren in 1998 and to the House of Representatives in 2000. He was a member of the Ways and Means, Labor and Rules committees and in his third term was named deputy majority leader. He said that he authored a constitutional amendment to limit the reach of the power of eminent domain and was in the forefront of efforts to scuttle a personal income or general sales tax to resolve the school funding issue.
A graduate of Pittsfield High School, Giuda attended the United States Naval Academy, graduating and commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1975. He served as a carrier-based fighter pilot and retired with the rank of captain. and served as a naval aviator for a decade. Afterwards, he worked for the FBI investigating drug trafficking, and in 1986 returned to flying as a captain piloting Boeing 777s on international flights for United Airlines.
"I'm not a captain because I can fly," Giuda said, "but because I have the judgment to deal with dangerous situations and ensure safe outcomes." He said the two highest priorities are first that "We're losing the identity of what America is about" and second "We're losing faith in what America is about. The things we believe in," he continued, "are under direct assault — our values, our rights, our property."
Giuda took a couple of oblique swipes at the other Republican candidate in the race, Rep. Brian Gallagher of Sanbornton, who sponsored legislation forbidding women to fully expose their breasts in public places and suggesting that events like Motorcycle Week and NASCAR races attract prostitution. What he called "female exposure," he said, did not require legislation, but was already addressed by local ordinances. As for prostitution, he simply repeated the importance of "judgment."
Giuda said he is opposed to the Northern Pass project unless the entire length of power lines are buried. He explained that the timber industry in the North Country has been overtaken by foreign competition, leaving the scenic beauty of the region its only valuable natural resource.
"I will back Donald Trump, Giuda said, then added that the most important races were those for state offices. "Vote how you like at the top of the ticket," he remarked, "but please do not stay home."
Senate District 2 consists of 27 towns in three counties: Haverhill, Piermont, Orford,Warren, Wentowrth, Dorechester, Ellsworth, Rumney. Groton, Orange, Grafton, Campton, Plymouth, Hebron, Alexandria, Holderness, Ashland, Bridgewater and Bristol in Grafton County; Meredith, Center Harbor, New Hampton, Sanbornton and Tilton in Belknap County; and Hill, Danbury and Wilmot in Merrimack County.

Bob Giuda

Non-union employees of town of Gilford likely to see pay raises

By GAIL OBER, LACONIA DAILY SUN

GILFORD — It looks like two of the three selectmen will support some kind of change to the town's non-union pay scale to accommodate those employees who have reached their maximum earning power under the current one.

Selectmen Chan Eddy and Richard "Rags" Grenier said Wednesday that after giving the options of either changing the wage scale or giving longevity bonuses, they are now leaning toward a new pay scale.

"If the board approves it today," said Town Administrator Scott Dunn, "It will cost $6,296 (for the year.)"

Dunn said the non-union pay scale was developed in 2009 and is not indexed to anything like the cost of living. The proposed scale is also not indexed and will still have 13 "steps," but is recalculated to last for 20 years if an employee earns an average of a 2.5 percent merit increase each year.

Eddy and Grenier briefly discussed the possibility that if the town goes with a new scale, as opposed to nothing or longevity pay, then it should be pegged to inflation using a standard measure like the national consumer price index.

The reality today is that four non-union employees have reached the top of their earning potential and next year seven more will reach it as well said Dunn.

"By Dec. 31, 2017, we'll have 17 (employees who can no longer get raises), said Dunn, who noted last week there is some effect on moral when employees realize they'll never get another raise.

He said it would be two to four years before the same employees reached the top of the proposed scale and after that, the town could implement some kind of longevity plan.

Selectman Gus Benavides was unable to be at Wednesday's meeting, but has previously said that he likely would not support any changes to the pay plan. Because of Benavides' unintended absence, Eddy and Grenier decided to wait until he returns for the next meeting before making any decisions or furthering the discussion.

Have your say on changes to Lakes Avenue

LACONIA — City officials are hosting a public meeting Thursday, May 12, to provide information and answer questions about the reconstruction of Lakeside Avenue, which is scheduled to begin this fall.

The meeting will be held at the Weirs Community Center beginning at 7 p.m. The doors will open at 6:30 p.m., when representatives of the Department of Public Works, Laconia Water Works and Parks and Recreation Department will be on hand to discuss the project. There will also be displays depicting the scope and design of the improvements and enhancements to be undertaken.

As outlined in the 2016-2017 city budget, the project will include reconstruction of 2,200 feet of Lakeside Avenue, together with improvements to the water, sewer and drainage systems. In addition, information about the prospect of burying the overhead utilities will be presented at the meeting.

– Michael Kitch