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It’s time to take big bites out of government spending

  • Published in Letters

To The Daily Sun,

Again I read how our county officials are fighting over who gets to spend our tax dollars. Our commissioners have proposed a budget that will raise the county portion of our tax bills 8.1 percent, and that does not include the absurd idea of spending $40 million-plus on a new prison.

Rep. Worsman and her allies are trying to cut it by about $850,000, which is about 2.5 percent of the approximately $30 million cost to run our county. If they are successful does this mean our taxes will only go up 5.6 percent? If that is the case we are not cutting nearly enough. All the towns are looking to raise taxes, too. So how much will our property taxes be going up?
This is getting ridiculous. When does it end? Here is a sobering statistic. The average Americans tax burden to support government at all levels is now about 30 percent of all gross income. Add to that insurance premiums and interest on loans and it is the triple whammy that is killing American families. Real change is needed and we need to elect officials that are willing to face the hard realities that this cannot continue. We can no longer nibble around the edges to cut government spending. We need to take big bites. We need to think differently — outside the box as they say.

Here are some real suggestions:

First, eliminate the position of county administrator. It is redundant and unnecessary and three counties in New Hampshire have already done this. The various department heads can report to the commissioners directly.

Second, the taxpayers should not be supporting government employee's Cadillac health care plans. They can go to Obamacare like the rest of us are being forced to.

Third, the taxpayers should not be paying for pensions. Pensions for the rest of us taxpayers are pretty much gone so they should be for government workers too.
Here is another thought. Taxpayers now support four levels of government: federal, state, county, and municipal. Perhaps we should consider making the county government go the way of the dinosaur. Take advantage of the economy of scale like business does and merge. Let the state take over the three major functions of the county, nursing home, jail, and courts, as the management infrastructure already exists to do it.

Perhaps we should end government-run nursing homes and let the private sector take it over. Care for the elderly is important in our society, but business always does things better and more efficiently. The cost for caring for our seniors should be born first by the individual, then by the family, then as a last resort the taxpayer.

Lastly, I just want everyone in Belknap County to know the truth about how our county is being run. I have written here in the past that our county administrator did not have the required credentials. She responded with a letter stating she did have a degree and listed her credentials. However she did not say what kind of degree she has earned, or where she got it or when. I am quite sure, and some of our state reps have told me I am correct, that when she was hired in 2008 she had none of the stated requirements in the job description. What she did have was being related to a popular state representative, and is known to have had close ties to a then-sitting county commissioner. I believe, as does everyone I asked, that she was awarded this position by virtue of being connected and not by any objective measure of credentials. Think about it. If she did not have these connections and had applied for this position she never would have gotten in the door for an interview. If I am wrong there is an easy way to prove it. Let's see the resume. If I am proved to be mistaken I will issue a public apology here.

Lastly, I have further evidence to show that she is not the only person in the county administration to be awarded positions by connections. Nepotism it seems is a way of doing business in our county, and our commissioners refuse to discuss it.

Gordon Blais