To The Daily Sun,
A handful of people stood up at the Belmont deliberative meeting on Jan. 31st and made some common sense recommendations that were voted down by a handful of voters.
We wanted to save the Belmont Mill in a way that will ultimately provide income to the town to pay the debt service that is required to save the mill.
The town selectman want you, the taxpayers, to pay $3.4 million to save the mill and move the present 4,000-square-foot town hall to the 17,000-square-foot mill, knock down the present town hall and bank to provide additional parking. They also propose to put an additional building attached to the mill for storage — an additional 625-square-feet to the present 17,000-square-feet. They want to use all four floors for 18 employees. That works out to be approximately 950-square-feet per employee. Compare that to the present town hall with 18 employees of 225-square-feet. That comes out to be 4.2 times more room.
Just to give you some idea of space, 950-square-feet is equivalent to a 30 foot by 30 foot garage or a comfortable three-bed room apartment. To make a further comparison, the Laconia City Hall is also 17,000-square-feet, but Laconia has a population more than twice that of Belmont, and double the number of (city hall) employees.
What the selectmen are telling all the thousands of taxpayers of Belmont is that you have to pull in your belts to pay for the borrowed debt service for the next 20 years and what they did not include is the additional funds for insurance, heating, air conditioning, maintenance and upkeep we will be paying for as well. I believe that it is better for our well-paid employees to pull in their belts until we use our common sense to provide an additional 4,000-square-feet of office space in the present town hall or fix the bank building to move some of the office space out of the present town hall.
For a selectman to suggest that the present town hall be knocked down for parking space does not make sense. The town hall is a historic building and was built over a hundred years ago when there were no power tools available.
Belmont has the highest property taxes in the county and we are in the 70 percent range in the state. Our tax rate went up 23 percent. That's because in the recent appraisal the value of all the taxed properties in town went from approximately $700 million to $550 million, which means we will all be paying more property taxes in the future.
We have 3,000 registered voters in town. It is up to you to decide the outcome of this bond issue. A "Yes" vote will guarantee a substantial increase your future property tax bill. Please vote on March 10 at the Belmont High School from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 February 2015 11:26
To The Daily Sun,
The Gibbons Family would like to thank all the people and companies that donated their time and money for Stephen's recovery. When an illness, like cancer, strikes, your whole life changes in an instant. Never could we have imagined that the whole community would care enough to make a huge difference in that.
Steve has been moved to tears many times since this hard time has hit him and it has made a huge difference in the way he has been able to cope with this unimaginable health scare. There are so many companies that have stepped up and donated items and money for the fundraiser they had in January. We can't thank you enough. It gave Steve the peace of mind to fight this. With all the support from the community he will kick cancer's butt.
Thank you to Scott and Annie Kinmond, Carl and Patti Kohut, the Monahan family, Mike Quinn, Buckey's Restaurant and the Gray Family, Mike and Allison Kepple, Ossipee Mountain Electronic, A Plus Alarm, Lacy Irrigation, Center Harbor Diner, Heath Market, Ron Davis, The Bovill Brothers, Lamprey Septic, Lakes Region Water Co., Cold Brook Studios, Wilson and Son, Trexlers Marine, Mark Borin Perfered Properties, Zelek & Associates, The Mad Cutter II, DiSilva, Richard Hough, Amanda Rose, SKY Carpentry, Phil Cowels Heating, Lacewood Group, Doggie Design, Laconia Oil co, Malcomb and Judy Knowels, The Balmoral Association, The Young family, Lynne and Michael Machado, The Zarley Family, Beverly Person, and countless others who have donated their time and products.
We also want to thank the 200-plus people who came out on that cold winter night to support us. It is a wonderful feeling knowing we are not alone in this battle and with all the support we have gotten we can get through it.
The Gibbons Family
Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 February 2015 11:21
To The Daily Sun,
The interviewing and hiring of the next Franklin School District superintendent is of significant importance to the entire community. In the last few years some progress has been made but much remains to be done.
The hiring process of a new superintendent, with new candidates, provides a great opportunity to move ahead. The current superintendent came out of retirement to help make the transition to really improve the district. He is doing a very good job of helping the district prepare for a more productive future but will retire this year.
In the last few years much progress has been made around the country in non-profit board governance with a lot of the early work done by hospitals. There is beginning to be data available in public education (The School Board Effect). The impact of governing style on student improvement is starting to be noticed. Some school districts will now improve faster than others.
It is important to understand what High Performance Public School Board Governance is all about. It is very clear that both our school board members and the new superintendent will need to understand the specific responsibilities of each in order significantly improve student academic performance. I also believe that increased transparency of board actions would be much appreciated and quite useful by many of the education stakeholders of the community.
I hope the School Board will also determine what our best course is with The Common Core System that is receiving so much negative interest around the country and in New Hampshire. A vast amount of time, money and effort has been invested. (Useable — Results?)
My suggestion is that we ,"The unelected Franklin community residents", first encourage our School Board members to determine a School District vision of what our school system can and should become. What are the targeted metrics of success? It is very important to have community understanding and we need a public education vision (of our future) that the community will strongly support. We will need clear target levels of performance in key areas.
We will need update reports (from the School Board) on progress in key areas. One of the most important predictors of improving academic performance in most public school systems is how well the School Board and the superintendent operate in concert to achieve predetermined academic outcomes and desired future improvements. The classic overarching obligation of a public School Board is ensuring the organization's resources and capacities are deployed in ways that benefit its stakeholders.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 February 2015 11:19
To The Daily Sun,
Something tells me that no matter what I write here, it will not be well accepted. I guess that's why we still fight to express our own opinions.
I applaud the invention of NARCAN. I think it's a valuable and necessary drug.
There are a lot of times that someone has been experimenting with heroin and has no idea what they are doing and perhaps don't mean to, but do overdose. Some could be coerced into trying it at a party, or on a date or with their peers and NARCAN can save their lives. I say thank God.
However, here is my difficulty: Now that we do have NARCAN, the addicts know this, they know they can be pulled back from the abyss if caught in time. Now this begs the question: Is this going to take the heroin use to a new level, to see who can do more to see if they can get close to death, to push the envelope?
I know many out there say, "Let them die." Others have said "thank you" for my second, third and even fourth chance.
Where does the line get drawn? Letting a known addict continue to push the envelope to "see", or do we do everything we can to save a life?
I have no dog in this fight, so my opinion is that of asking you all to come to the Stand Up Laconia meetings and help this town, the neighboring towns, and parents and husbands and wives and who all else get a grip on this drug once and for all.
When is enough enough?
Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 February 2015 11:12
To The Daily Sun,
Reading letters here in the past few months leaves me with the question of why the left feels the compulsive need to attack Christians and Christianity? The left doesn't believe in God, so what's the deal? Why do they give a darn if others do? What's their purpose other then just to be nasty, mean-spirited and disagreeable? So they don't believe in God or that the Founding Fathers did so what, what's their point? Do they want religion outlawed in America, the world, or what?
I do see them defending Muslims with great vigor, creating a straw man argument that only a minority are terrorists. They just can't bring themselves to admit that Muslim terrorism is the huge problem that it is. They won't even use the words Islamic terrorism. President Obama went to the extreme of telling Christians to get off our high horses because of events a thousand years ago. No we won't, Mr. President. We Christians have evolved. We led the anti-slavery movement in the 19th century and haven't burnt anyone at the stake for hundreds of years, so we can ride proudly, thanks very much.
Jon Hoyt just had to throw in his two cents worth (about what it was worth) trying to defend the stupid, insulting remarks of the president. Apparently Jon listened to Obama and like a bobble-head doll nodded his compliance and agreement just as unthinkingly as the plastic real thing. So let's see Jon, how many acts of Christian terrorism can you recount since the beginning of this year? None. How many last year, or the past 10, 20, or 30? Now how many Muslim terrorist acts can I recount just sense the first of this year is more then you can for Christians for the past 40, so it's time for you and the other leftists to get off your elitist pedestals and take note of the facts.
While I'm at it, let's not hear anymore of these leftists calling themselves liberals. Nothing liberal about them, they do not stand for or support liberal principles. They push Marxist socialist values, nothing more. And for Siden, these are my opinions.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 February 2015 11:08