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Belmont needs thorough investigation of first mill reconstruction

To The Daily Sun,

An open letter to the Belmont Town Fathers, the Budget Committee and the taxpayers of Belmont,

The Town of Belmont will again be bringing a bond issue to the town taxpayers this year to decide on whether or not to spend around $3.7 million to reconstruct the Belmont Mill and refurbish it for use as the Town Hall.

A great amount of federal grant money and taxpayer dollars was spent on this mill some years ago and we are now discovering that the improvements made at that time were inadequate. The local newspapers have been reporting that the fourth floor of this building is falling apart, the outside bricks are allowing water to get inside the building and there is all sorts of deterioration to this building.

Before deciding whether or not to spend millions of dollars more, an investigation should be done on the first reconstruction. Among others, the following questions should be asked and answered:

• What exactly was done to the mill previously?

• What was not done that should have been?

• How did the costs break down for the last reconstruction?

• Was the contracted work properly supervised by a party looking out for the interests of the town?

• Was there a qualified professional in charge of the construction?

• Are there plans and specifications available to review from the last construction?

• Are there "As Built," that is, after-­the-fact plans available to review?

• Were there any design or construction changes made during the last construction that shouldn't have been made?

The purpose of this investigation should be to find the mistakes that were made the last time so that we can be sure they won't be made again.

Until this investigation is complete, we are liable to make the same mistakes all over again.

This investigation should be open and transparent and should be conducted by a citizen's committee of townspeople who have no personal or financial interest in whether or not the $3.7 million bond will pass, but instead are interested in what is best for the town taxpayers. Town employees should be available to assist this committee by retrieving relevant records such as the above-mentioned plans, minutes of meetings where decisions and updates were mentioned and decided upon, and whatever other records may be needed. This committee should be headed by an individual with some knowledge of engineering and construction or, if not possible, such an individual should be available to the committee for consultation.

This town has been convinced, in the past, to vote to purchase buildings before a definite use has been assigned to them and before a proper investigation was conducted. Let's be smart this time and call for this investigation before spending any more money.

Please attend the following meetings and voice your opinion:

• Tues., Jan. 13, 6:30 p.m., Budget Committee Hearing at Corner Meeting House.

• Tues., Jan. 20, 6:30 p.m., Bond Hearing at Corner Meeting House.

• Sat., Jan. 31, Town Deliberative Session.

George & Susan Condodemetraky

Belmont

Last Updated on Monday, 12 January 2015 10:53

Hits: 188

I will not be running for re-election to the Meredith Selectboard

To The Daily Sun,

An open letter to Meredith residents:

As I near the end of my term on the Meredith Selectboard I am announcing that I will not be running for re-election this year and I want to take this time to share many thanks.

First, I want to thank the residents who elected me and put your trust in me to conduct the prudential affairs of our town. I have enjoyed it very much. Thanks to Phil Warren and the department leaders for keeping the town in ship shape even during hard economic times.

To all of the volunteers who commit so much time and dedication to our many boards and committees, the Library Trustees and staff and all of the election workers, thank you. Most importantly to me, thank you to our town employees, each and every one of you. Administrative Services, Assessing Department, Community Development, Fire Department, Police Department, Public Works, Water and Sewer and Town Clerk, you continue to provide excellent services in a very professional manner. I have enjoyed and will miss working with all of you. What a great experience I have had.

I also want to say thank you to my fellow board members, and especially Mr. Brothers. Peter, you have been a great mentor and friend.

Thank you.

Carla Horn, Chair

Meredith Board of Selectmen

Last Updated on Monday, 12 January 2015 10:50

Hits: 289

Thankfully, Affordable Care Act also removed the $1M lifetime cap

To The Daily Sun,

My mission with this letter is to make us all aware of the importance of the Affordable Care Act to our lives and how very grateful our family is for this legislation that removed the $1 million lifetime cap that most policies had.

The Affordable Care Act isn't just for people who have never been able to afford medical insurance or for those who have lost their source of insurance (job, loss, etc.). Here is my story.

My son, who lives out of state now, went into the hospital Oct. 13 for what was expected to be a relatively straightforward surgery, with anticipated hospital stay of four to six days. After several weeks in the ICU, followed by several days in a rehab hospital, he returned home to his wife and three young girls on Dec. 22. The cost of his medical care through that period was about $1.2 million. More costs are being incurred as I write as he is now in the midst of several weeks (months?) of various therapies, so the cost will continue to mount.

The Affordable Care Act, aside from making health care accessible to thousands of previously uncovered people, also removed the $1 million lifetime cap that most policies carried. In just this one episode of unanticipated disastrous health, my son and his family would have been bankrupt if not for this change in the laws that govern medical insurance.

My son and his wife have worked all their lives, carried health insurance through their employers, supported their three children without any assistance from "the government." They have also paid into the U.S. tax system regularly and yet, this one medical event could have plunged them into poverty.

After this period of rehabilitation for my son, he will be able to continue to partner with his wife in working to support his family. He has a long history as a respected science teacher and has had a positive influence on many young students. In other words, he can be proud of his contribution to our society and his ability and personal drive to return to a productive life.

We are so grateful to the many elected officials who understood the value of making adequate health insurance available to everyone and voted for the Affordable Care Act. Any one of us could be faced with my son's situation.

One more note: We are so grateful to the 208 people who donated pints of blood that were instrumental in keeping my son alive. If you are already a blood donor, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. If you are not a blood donor but are eligible, I hope you will consider joining those who donate regularly.

Judith Ackerson

Franklin

Last Updated on Monday, 12 January 2015 10:43

Hits: 111

Look at the record — so much for the socialism charge

To The Daily Sun,

Don't you just get tired of the doom and gloom group with their sky-is-falling cracker barrel theories? Here is some data on the great recovery.

Stocks up to record levels. Unemployment at 5.6 percent. Record profits for big corporations. Debt down to 3 percent of gross domestic product. Government spending relative to GDP is down to 19 percent. The upper 1 percent incomes rose to double digits.

But all this somehow didn't affect the working people or the middle class at all. So much for the socialism charge against Obama.

George Maloof

Plymouth

Last Updated on Monday, 12 January 2015 10:35

Hits: 228

Path Democrats is on is fraught with danger for our country

To The Daily Sun,

Washington deals with the bungling incompetence and dividing rhetoric of Barack Obama. We are blessed with his counterpart, George Maloof.

There are very few failed economic theories George does not embrace. In George's mind the problems of humanity all have one cause, capitalism. If only we could just kill Wall Street, nationalize our banks, socialize our health care, Increase the size of government, reduce the size of the military, make college free, eliminate the profit motive, unionize every worker and make welfare even easier the problems of the world would suddenly vanish. That is George Malof distilled in a sentence.

I remind you, George's roots are deep in academia, where authority isn't challenged and the views of enlightened professors never questioned. George displays the same incredible arrogance and disdain for opposing thought Leo Sandy did, and Obama does. Inflated egos, fanning self delusion where the importance of one's views seems to be a particularly notable character flaw of the "over educated" and under "common sensed". The inability to reason and the unwillingness to compromise with others becomes a dead end road to oblivion as we have witnessed so profoundly since Obama's election.

George suggests he offers an olive branch to those who oppose his logic. Of course he only makes the offer after his ideas were stunning rebuked by voters again. Democrats now experience their lowest ebb in political power since 1929. Working, middle-class Americas has been thrown under Democrats' election bus. The Democrats are willing to sacrifice anything and anyone in their scorched earth quest to corner 90 percent plus of the black and minority vote. Let's lift the veil and pretense Democrats are concerned with the welfare of the middle class. Two separate entities cannot both be first.

Minorities, and only minorities, have been the No. 1 priority of Democrats for years. They see minorities as their only "meal ticket" to political control. That burning ambition to pander to minorities to win their vote by such enormous margins can only be funded by lowering the living standards of the working, middle-class family which is primarily represented by working whites. Under the policies of Obama 20 million people have fallen form the middle to the lower class. The middle class will shrink, further funding that 20 million...

The current path of Democrats is fraught with incredible social and economic danger for our country. In fact their path represents the biggest threat to our unity this country has ever faced. Their path leads only one place. Ever more racially charged and rancorous elections. How can it not if one party sees it's only path to victory by winning almost every vote of a certain race or ethnicity? Winning 90 percent-plus of minority votes means deeply pitting one interest against another. Who are the others in this case? The middle class. What does common sense suggest to you about the racial and economic harmony of that outcome? There is nothing but incredible harm waiting for America following this path. It is a guaranteed , sure-fire recipe for producing more dislike, division and dysfunction destined to handcuff the country.

When any Democrat uses the words "concern for middle class" or "unite" I suggest we send them the middle finger salute to signal we know what a bald-faced liar looks like.

Tony Boutin

Gilford

Last Updated on Friday, 09 January 2015 10:26

Hits: 121

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