Published DateTo the editor,
After participating in the Monday, January 21 meeting of the Belknap County Convention, I am moved to respond to Mr. Sanborn's incredibly partisan letter to the editor. "...the grand show" he sneeringly describes was not the 5-hour meeting I sat through. For the first time in a long time, our delegation voted 10 – 8 to support a motion to take authority back from the Belknap County Commissioners through RSA 24:14. This statute clearly gives the elected delegation authority over the county budget. The commissioners did not like this move as they evidently think they should be able to write a budget (complete with a 9 percent increase), and have our elected representatives just nod their heads in approval.
This didn't happen on Monday and the "powers that be" are not happy campers. So much so, that Commissioner Philpot fielded a lightly veiled threat of "litigation" against his own delegation. But, wait, aren't we supposed to embrace checks and balances in our Republic? Apparently not.
It took courage for our elected reps to make the statement the PEOPLE DO NOT WANT A TAX INCREASE. Mr. Sanborn can use all the wonderful words he likes, but this delegation did NOT vote to cut any services. It is a untrue to say the proposed budget will result in a "reduction" in services to anyone. (Pay attention folks — this is an example of a fear tactic used to its ultimate.) Our representatives just tried to trim overspending within the budget (mostly held in step raises in salaries and benefits) to offer our county residents a 0 percent increase in 2013. Sounds good to me. A 9 percent increase in our county budget, in this horrific economy, demonstrates this commission is out of step with its residents.
There simply is no more money to throw over to more taxes, fees, permits, or licenses. Period.
This is no "shell game" sir, and the 75+ folks present who OVERWHELMING and vocally supported this action, did not spend five hours of their time speaking in FAVOR of oversight to be contemptuously portrayed as paying, "theatrical homage to principle". Rather, those in attendance, in the great majority, were supporting truth and principle IN ACTION. And it was a refreshing change for this Belknap County resident and representative.
Rep. Jane Cormier