Published DateTo the editor,
I wrote this letter some time ago but held onto it because of the content. I know people will see this as a personal attack on two elected representatives and I don't like making these accusations without having personally witnessing the offense. The facts stated are true and considering the level of animosity between the County Commissioners and the County Convention I feel that the good citizens of the county might need to hear this so they can better decide for themselves which direction the county should be taken.
As I follow the details of the commission and convention in the paper I seem to be getting more and more upset with the way the reporting is biased against the convention. If the reporters had witnessed the actions of the commission members maybe they would sound so one sided.
What first riled me up to write this letter is what I read in the article from May 2 titled "Sanbornton Rep Praises Commissioners, County Staff, Says He's Ashamed of Delegation". This got me quite upset. Then I noticed the letters from the local leaders of the local Democrat Party supporting the county commission I decided to share some personal information I have.
What bothered me is when the article that says "particularly troubling for Fields are accusations of dishonesty on the part of the commissioners which have been raised by delegation members." A direct quote from Rep Fields is "I know John and Steve and know you're honest." Dennis also says "'I resent it when people imply you're not being honest." Dennis please pay attention because this isn't an implication, these are merely the facts.
In early 2008, while a Laconia City Councilor, I went to Hector's with two representatives after attending a particularly contentious County Convention meeting concerning the county budget. I was there to continue explaining the negative impact that the proposed budget would have on Laconia's taxpayers. These reps, who are now commissioners, detailed for me some of the illegal activities that they used to do with the exclamation that "what the public doesn't know doesn't hurt them" and "I don't care if it wasn't right or legal, I got things done." Many of the things they told me were about how they would "get even" with people they didn't like.
At the time I sort of dismissed this as merely bragging by a couple of convention members but watching the actions of the County Commission over the past several years make me wonder if they weren't telling the truth.
I do believe that it is the responsibility of the County Commission to pay all legal bills from lawyers representing any county official in official court proceedings. The fact that this commission filed suit against the Registrar of Deeds because she wouldn't do what they wanted, which was in violation of the state laws regarding her duties is one thing. The fact that they still refuse to pay the legal bills from defending herself against their lawsuit sounds just like one of the stories relayed to me at Hector's.
Then I read a letter from the Democrat leadership saying "The quagmire that Belknap County Convention Chair Colette Worsman has created for this county is unnecessary and counterproductive." I say thank you to Collette for trying to keep our elected representatives HONEST. They go on to chastise Rep. Worsman over the supplemental appropriation for the nursing home because it will generate $200,000 in additional revenue. I wonder how they know this when the paper reported that one of the commissioners that I am writing about refused to provide the information requested in advance of the public meeting. This again sounds like a tactic that this commissioner relayed to me that he took against someone else because he "didn't want to give him time to come up with questions to ask that would stop the project."
Then I read in the paper that the county administration is going to hurt the public by not taking any new patients into the nursing home until they get more money. County Administrator Debra Shackett told the commissioners that "Our only control is through admissions", which sounds like a strategy that Commissioner John Thomas told me that night. Get the public on your side, no matter what it takes.
I really wonder why the Democrat representatives seem to like and support the commissioners so much?
The letter from the local Democrat leadership ends with the statement "This vitriol must stop". I agree, but the difference is that I want the commissioners to perform their job by honoring their oath of office. I want them to open the doors to become more transparent, keep their actions honest and legal and to work with the County Convention and its leadership instead of fighting every step of the way.
Actions speak louder than words and right now your actions are speaking the same words you once told me. I would fully support an investigation by the state Attorney General into the dealings of the Belknap County Convention. My opinion is that criminal charges would result from such an investigation.