Published DateTo the editor,
I was at a selectman meeting in Meredith on January 28. During the open comments part of the meeting, five citizens expressed their concerns about the Granite State Future program, water, and property rights.
One citizen held up a copy of a letter signed by Mr. Edgar, Meredith's Community Development Director. This letter was sent to HUD offices in Washington,DC back on September 9, 2011.
Mr. Edgar admitted he had not read all of the documents that had to do with the Granite State Future, but, wholeheartedly endorsed the "Sustainable Community Initiative", and the Granite State Future.
Other names on the document were William M. Edney, code and health officer and Angela LaBrecque, town planner. Why was there no communication to the Board of Selectman or the town manager before this letter of commitment was sent to HUD? Who is managing the Town of Meredith? Do we really need a community development director and a town planner? We are paying two people for one job, I think our spend mentality and keeping our property taxes down has not been for all residents benefit.
Another disturbing path is the unelected committee members. There is no check with the residents of Meredith concerning their intentions and visions.The volunteers might have no idea about the long-term effects that their committee will be implementing, and I believe many others share this unknowing truth.
This issue with the HUD document was only discovered 15 months after Mr. Edgar signed his name. Why was it not discovered earlier? Again, who is managing our town? This whole matter should awaken the residents of Meredith. Was Mr. Edgar voted into this position by We the People?
Other towns in the Lakes Region have also sent letters of commitment concerning Granite State Future to the HUD offices in Washington,DC. They are as followers: Barnstead, Wolfeboro, Tilton, Ossipee, Moultonborough, Laconia, Franklin, Effingham, Belmont, Andover, and Alton.
I felt very uneasy leaving the meeting. When you see the facts about Granite State Future and their connections with HUD-1044 foundational regional Fund Grant Program, you will also be uneasy!
Each Regional Planning Commission will develop its regional plan, working with HUD to achieve predetermined mandatory outcomes stipulated by HUD. A wide range of un-elected municipal officials, staff, volunteers, regional organizers, businesses with a financial interest in planning, and active citizen leaders are at the core of the Granite State Future as it moves forward.
This includes the Lakes Region Planning Commission located in Meredith, who has Mr. Edgar listed as an advisor. He is part of the Energy Committee.
The facts about the Granite State Future were outlined succinctly by Tim Carter. I was appalled there were no questions or statements except for Mr. Lovett, whose overall view came from his business credentials and not any facts.
Herb Varney expressed his concern and caution about GSF. Mr. Carter also asked the board and town manager for a workshop to talk about GSF, and the board took no initiative in response to the request, I find this very disturbing in many ways.
The silence of the selectmen transmitted to me, a Meredith resident, that the Selectboard is not looking out for our concerns. We the People should have had an open discussion with all the residents about this issue. There should be a workshop scheduled and the Lakes Region Planning Commission should be present to answer to the facts presented by Mr. Carter.
I would suggest the residents visit the Granite State Future site (www.granitestatefuture.org) and see what is being presented. Then they should reach out to Mr. Carter and get the 20 page document of the real facts for themselves. Mr. Carter gave these to each of the Meredith Selectmen.
I believe a time should have been set aside to speak with the concerned people of Meredith. It is our First Amendment rights to be heard and not just pushed aside.
Granite State Future is trying to be pushed down the throats of all the towns in the state. Here in the Lakes Region this effort is being driven by the Lakes Region Planning Commission. The main purpose of the GSF is to apply the Sustainable Communities Initiative from Washington ,DC onto the people of New Hampshire. The HUD documents that are part of the GSF clearly state that HUD people will take over planning control of our community. They want to side step local government thereby taking away our sovereignty.
Sustainable development brings the rights and freedom of individuals into direct conflict with the rights of the community at large. Federal Grants provide the funding, non-government organizations (NGOs) provide the leadership and local governments provide the targets.
When the grant runs out, there will be an increase in property taxes, bonds will be bought by the town to cover the expenses of this Sustainable Community. One only has to look at the town of Ashland, they are going broke, and taxes are being raised and soon the Federal Government will commit to the town. One of the organizations of the Granite State Future is HEAL and I hear that they are ingrained in the town. One just has to google this organization and get the facts.
I attended a Meet and Greet at the Community Center. The candidates for the selectman and library gave their resumes and why they wanted to be elected. A question concerning GSF surfaced. Mr. Louis Kahn said he had read all about the Granite State Future and didn't see anything wrong and that one could pick and choose what you wanted from the initiative. He said it wasn't binding and that there were issues in the program that were beneficial.
Mr. Kahn is an attorney and he should know better. It clearly states on page one of the HUD-1044 grant instrument that it's a legally binding agreement. It is not an al a carte, advisory document.
He's completely wrong about the no strings attached statement and you don't have to do all. The strings are all the money, we the town has to pay because nothing is ever free from government. This should be a real concern for the people of Meredith. I have been to meetings in other towns where the selectmen do not want the federal government interfering in towns. I don't want our quaint town to change!
The March elections are almost here and our community should seize the opportunity and elect a common sense person, who is an individual and not a follower! Someone who will listen to We the People, a frugal person who looks at our present economy and wants out taxes low, and our freedoms secure and in tune with the N.H. Constitution. Our rights as citizens are at risk if we elect people who are for Granite State Future and Sustainable Communities Initiative.