To The Daily Sun,
I would like to respond to the letter by the Belknap County Commissioners which appeared on Feb. 21.
Commissioners, in your letter you state, "We are constantly mindful of the tax burden on county citizens..." and further on request a county tax increase of 5 cents, implying that this is a tiny amount to pay for your stringent financial oversight.
However, it has been charged that even though Belknap is rated seventh out of a total of 10 counties in New Hampshire with a population of 47,567, our county Register of Deeds, Sheriff, and Human Resource Director are higher paid than their counterparts in any of the other counties in the state, including Hillsborough (pop. 402,922) and Rockingham (pop. 297,820).
It is further charged that 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 New Hampshire compared to their peers.
If these charges are true, it would indicate that you are not as mindful of the citizens' tax burden as you would have us believe. Debra Shackett, the county administrator, suggests interested citizens can check out the county budget at www.belknapcounty.org. I have done so, but found it an exercise of futility since there is no breakdown of department administrative expenses only totals.
I would suggest you address the above charges before you tell us how frugal you are.