MEREDITH — Despite repeated denials from all concerned, charges persist that one or more members of the Board of Selectmen acted in concert to ensure that Hillary Seeger was the only candidate who filed to succeed Herb Vadney on the board.
The backbiting began earlier this month when, in letters printed in local newspapers, Rosemary Landry said that Vadney, who never publicly announced his decision not to seek re-election, told her after the filing period closed that "the board wanted Hillary." Landry had told Vadney that had he disclosed his intentions earlier she and others could have run for his seat.
Vadney has not only flatly denied making the remark but also openly doubted the selectmen would anoint a candidate. Nevertheless, Landry reasserted her claim in a letter that appeared in The Daily Sun on Saturday. "Many untruths have filled the space in the news around the Meredith selectman election and I do not appreciate being the scapegoat," she wrote. "So I repeat, what I wrote was the truth, regardless of what officials are saying."
Among today's letters, Karen Sticht writes "I know Hillary Seeger was recruited by Carla Horne to become a candidate" and presumes that she would not have done so unless she knew that Vadney had decided not to run.
Vadney said yesterday that he spoke to one other than Nate Torr, the chairman of the Selectboard, about his intentions. He said there were two conversations, one in early January when he indicated he probably would not run for re-election and another a week or so later, at Torr's home, when he told the chairman he would not run.
Torr confirmed the two conversations with Vadney and insists he did not share them to any other member of the board.
Meanwhile, Seeger after working on Christopher Boothby's primary campaign for the Republican nomination to the Executive Council in District 1, became interested in running for the Selectboard. Horne said that Seeger, who she knew from participating in the Got Lunch! program together, approached her. Horne said that she assumed Vadney would run, but encouraged Seeger to enter the race all the same. Seeger, who was attending a funeral in West Virginia during part of the filing period, returned and filed her candidacy on January 30, a day before it closed.
"I thought I was running against Herb Vadney," she said yesterday.
Seeger commented that the controversy surrounding her candidacy did not arise until after she publicly endorsed Democrat Michael Cryans over Republican Joe Kenney in the special election for the Executive Council, nearly a month after the filing period for the seat on the Selectboard closed. About the same time Landry mounted a write-in campaign for selectman on behalf of Dave Sticht, who insisted he was not running but agreed to serve if elected. Last week Seeger was elected, with 518 votes to 185 votes for Sticht, and yesterday took her seat on the Board of Selectmen.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 March 2014 12:30
LACONIA — The Laconia Water Works has received the highest honor given to public water systems by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the New Hampshire Division for Public Services for its management of fluoridation in 2012.
"We're on our game," Water Works Superintendent Seth Nuttleman said yesterday. ""The award is a recognition of the professionalism and attention to detail of our staff." He said that the credit lies with Floyd Dungelman, the water quality supervisor, and the 16 employees of the department for their diligence and skill.
The Fluoridation Quality Award, announced last week, celebrates public water systems for maintaining the concentration of fluoride within appropriate ranges for 12 consecutive months. Nuttleman said that there are a dozen municipal water systems in the state that fluoridate their drinking water, and the Laconia Water Works was one of only three to be recognized. He said that fluoride concentrations are randomly tested each month.
Since the introduction of fluoride to public drinking water supplies in the 1950s the incidence of tooth decay has fallen significantly, particularly among children.
Although the use of fluoride was approved by a public referendum in November, 1975, it was not added to the city's drinking water until the water treatment plant was constructed in 1989. In 2011 concern about levels of fluoridation led the United States Environmental Protection Agency to direct those public water systems that fluoridate their drinking water to reduce the levels to 0.7 milligrams per liter, and since February 2011 the Laconia Water Works has complied with the recommended concentrations.
Last Updated on Friday, 21 March 2014 12:13
LACONIA — An inmate at the Belknap County House of Corrections was charged Monday with once count of delivery of prohibited articles for allegedly possessing a non-prescribed drug while incarcerated.
Kaitlyn Millette 21, of 56 Arlene Drive in Belmont, became an inmate on Feb. 10 for violating the conditions of her parole or probation, according to paperwork obtained from the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division, and the Belknap County Superior Court.
On Feb. 16, she and the other female inmates who are being housed in the gymnasium were relocated to the cells so officers could conduct a routine search of the gym. While she was walking down the hallway, a corrections officer allegedly saw her stop in the hall, look around, and then throw something into the trash can.
Two corrections officers said they searched the trash can and allegedly found a sandwich bag containing eight 25-milligram pills of Seroquel and two 50-milligrams pills of Seroquel.
While typically prescribed for treatment of bi-polar disorder and/or schizophrenia, a number of Websites say Seroquel can be effective for easing the symptoms of opiate withdrawal. Affidavits supporting the charges said Millette told the corrections officers that she had been taking one every night because she didn't want to go through the symptoms of heroin withdrawal.
This is the second time Millette has violated her probation by using drugs while incarcerated, said officials.
Court paperwork shows that on Oct. 13, 2013, Millette committed a probation violation for testing positive for Suboxine while incarcerated for one count of theft and one count of endangering the welfare of a child on Sept. 30, 2013 while in Tilton, also a probation violation.
Her husband, Jonathan Woodbury, 31, also of 56 Arlene Drive, was indicted by a grand jury last week for allegedly bringing drugs to his wife while she was in jail on Oct. 13, 2013, by allegedly concealing them in a bottle of shampoo.
Woodbury was also indicted for allegedly stealing shampoo from Shaw's Supermarket.
He is also being held on $200,000 cash bail for allegedly providing heroin to his "best friend," Michael Chamberlain, who died at 56 Arlene Drive on Feb. 4.
Millette was ordered held on $2,000 personal recognizance bail for her most recent charge.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 March 2014 01:00
MEREDITH — At the request of eight of the 10 property owners on Maple Ridge Road, the Board of Selectmen this week delineated a village district to improve and main the road and scheduled its first meeting for Monday, April 21 at 6:30 p.m.
In New Hampshire, village districts may be formed upon petition by 10 or more voters to serve a variety of purposes, including constructing, improving and maintaining roads. Village districts have the authority to raise property taxes sufficient to accomplish their designated purposes and are governed by commissioners, akin to selectmen, chosen by voters at annual meetings.
Once a petition is presented, the Board of Selectmen is bound to define the boundaries of the village district and convene a meeting of the eligible voters to vote for or against establishing it.
Maple Ridge Road, a steep, winding graveled track about a half-mile long that ends some 750 feet above the western shore of Lake Winnisquam. The subdivision was approved in 1978, but until the Maple Ridge Association was formed two years ago, there was no collective effort to budget for the maintenance of the road.
The selectmen defined the village district to include all 10 lots on Maple Ridge Road, including those owned by the two property owners who declined to sign the petition. They and anyone who purchases a lot within the district will be liable to the property tax levied by the district for the upkeep of the road.
David Desmarais told the selectboard that forming a village district, with the sole purpose of maintaining the road and authority to raise and appropriate funds, would ensure sufficient resources "year in and year out" to plow, sand, grade, gravel and ditch the road. He said that the residents understood that an improved road would enhance the value of their property, as well as benefit the town by providing safe access for emergency vehicles. Moreover, village districts qualify for federal disaster assistance administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Although Maple Ridge Road has suffered several washouts, so far it has been spared a catastrophic event.
Desmarais estimated the cost of constructing the road to town standards at $135,000.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 March 2014 12:40
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