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County employees are being used as pawns by commisioners

To The Daily Sun,

After an election, we receive congratulatory messages, the occasional thank you, and every so often a Bronx cheer. What is more heart-rending, though, is the letter to the editor from Debbie White who details her job loss due to county budget cuts.

Debbie was a valued employee at the Belknap County Nursing Home for 29 years and was recently notified that her last day of work will be April 1. Although Debbie's message is too positive and proud to assign blame for this circumstance, some might be inclined to blame the budget agreed upon by the County Delegation as being responsible.

The fact is that the county commissioners have not found a means of bargaining for a rational pay and benefits package with county employees. With county costs for a family health plan about the same as what the average employee in the Laconia area makes as a salary, simple mathematics will suggest that these costs must be curtailed. Indeed, they are likely to be more than 30 percent higher in 2015 than the sky high numbers of 2014.

While the county convention made it clear that they wished to fund additional staff, specifically in the county jail, the superintendent of corrections has been notified that the positions which delegation funded will not be filled. I regret that county employees are being used as pawns in a power play which pits the commissioners against the delegation as this is deeply regrettable and does not at all serve the commonweal.

Debbie, thank you for serving Belknap County and nursing home residents for such a long time and with such respected results. Thank you. I hope that ensuing years bring you peace and happiness.

Rep. Dick Burchell

Belknap 5


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