Published DateTo the editor,
Rep. Cormier of Alton has characterized the actions of the Belknap County Republican caucus' incredibly partisan invocation of RSA 24:14 as an effort toward checks and balances to the budget, giving voice to the people. What she fails to mention is the damage that this action has created, and the dictatorial and undemocratic character of it.
What dire emergency has come to pass that this extreme measure was brought to bear? Has the relationship between the commissioners and the county delegation somehow slipped into chaos? Is the delegation so bereft of management skills that this disagreement could not be settled in negotiation? If so, woe betides the legislature. This kind of blunt force action is an unconscionably poor choice that is indicative of either a total failure in leadership (most evident at the hearing) or a grandstand political stunt.
Speaking to the issue of "giving voice to the people", every Belknap County voter who participated in the last election indicated a choice for who they wanted to run the county. This delegation's usurpation of commissioner's responsibility negates the voter's choice, and is more than troubling; it is trampling on democracy itself. Who are you to so lightly negate the will of the people as they voted? You have broken faith with your constituents, skewed the working governance of the county, and created a partisan impasse with the minority delegates. All of this over a fiscal problem that should have been solved with elementary administrative skills. But I forget, to this caucus, proclaiming principle is more important than problem solving.
Call your delegate and demand that the delegation rescind the 24:14 motion. It may be legal, but it is wrong, inappropriate, and unproductive. Tell them that your vote is not theirs to caste aside. If there were a disaster that destroyed the county commission, it would be an appropriate act. Under this circumstance, it represents the worst in governance.