To The Daily Sun,
Every taxpayer in Belknap County should be aware that the 2014 budget proposed by the County Commissioners contains an 8 percent increase over last year. During the January 7 Belknap County Delegation meeting, Representative Colette Worsman did an excellent job explaining to the county commissioners and the general public how health insurance, salaries, and administration costs are unsustainable and spiraling higher. For all her efforts she was immediately accused of trying to "micro-manage" the county budget process.
What utter nonsense. She and her conservative partners are merely attempting to "oversee" a process that is clearly out of control. Belknap is rated 7th out of a total of 10 counties in N.H. with a population 47,567. Yet our Register of Deeds, Sheriff, and Human Resource Director are higher paid than in any of the other counties in the state, including Hillsborough (pop 402,922) and Rockingham (pop 297,820).
Furthermore, Belknap County pays the second highest for County Attorney and Financial Officer, fourth highest for Nursing Home Director, and fifth highest for County Administrator. Our Nursing Home Administrator and Corrections Superintendent are the seventh highest paid in N.H., compared to their peers. Obviously something has to be done.
Rep. Worsman's opponents say the solution to skyrocketing costs is to negotiate "as we have done in the past" or to put it another way "rubber stamp" what the County Commissioners propose. Plainly, the old way isn't working, at least for the taxpayer. Oversight is what's needed. Fortunately, Rep. Worsman and her supporters on the County Delegation are up to the task and right on track.