To The Daily Sun,
Recently an Alton citizen told me that they were going to vote for Ray Howard because he was a conservative and had saved "us" money as a cemetery trustee.
I was taken aback by that comment, but then realized that most Alton taxpayers are probably unaware of the details of the budgets during his tenure.
Elected in March 2010, Ray was one of the trustees, and supported the 2011-2013 budget requests for the cemetery.
That first year (2011) the proposed cemetery's budget was $101,656 — a 4.6 percent increase over the previous year. The overall town budget increase was 3.1 percent, which included the new position of police prosecutor. Even with the new position, Ray's proposal was almost one and a half times the town's percent increase.
In 2012 this "conservative" proposed a 9.5 percent increase, from $101,656 to $111,340 for our town. This was the same year the selectmen and Budget Committee agreed to remove the full-time cemetery employee and return the position to a part-time one as had been the practice for 50-plus years, and a budget of $50,732. Ray Howard vehemently fought this change.
So, how can Ray Howard say that he is conservative when as a cemetery trustee, he supported a 4.2 percent increase and a 9.5 percent increase in these budgets? In my mind, actions speak louder than words.
The ironic part is that Peter Bolster (who is be labeled as "a spender") was selectman at this time and fully supported changing the cemetery budget to save taxpayers money.
Can we afford this "conservative" as a state representative with his past history ....?
Robert Loring Carr
Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 October 2014 10:45
To The Daily Sun,
I have known Lisa DiMartino for almost 15 years, first meeting her at the Gilford Public Library as the children's librarian, and later working with her on local fundraising events. She was always kind and compassionate, and sincerely cared about the families she worked with.
Lisa is running for re-election as a state representative to continue serving Gilford and Meredith with the same compassion and common sense she has always shown as a representative, as well as an involved resident of Gilford. She is a candidate with integrity, intelligence, and experience making the right choices for the people she represents.
Please look at Lisa's voting record. Please read Lisa's letters in the local papers. Lisa is running for re-election for the right reasons. She is the right candidate for Gilford and Meredith, and I trust Lisa DiMartino to make the right choices for my family.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 October 2014 10:43
To The Daily Sun,
Let's set the record straight as to who is to blame for our broken county government. There have been many impassioned letters in the past few days concerning the employees of the county having to pick up the cost of their health care. You are just the latest victims in this battle between two warring political factions. You are by no means the first.
The commissioners and their county administrator have been breaking the law by not using funds where they were supposed to be used. This is not a private company, and we have laws about how taxpayers money is to be spent. They blatantly thumbed their noses at the law and have mismanaged the operation.
They have also broken the law by not filing reports to the Attorney General's Office as required. The three commissioners should all be removed from office for this alone, but I guess that elected official are above the law it seems.
The problems with our county government has been and still is poor leadership and bad management. I know that the nursing staff at Belknap County Nursing Home works hard and they give the best care they can to the residents under terrible and abusive supervision. Our county administrator has decimated the nursing staff in the past two years just to win political points for her side. I do not believe that the commissioners and the administrator of our county have the best interest of the residents or our nursing home as their top priority as it should be. If they did they would not use their nursing staff as pawns. They care not one bit how their decisions affect the lives of those who have to live with the consequences of terrible decision making as long as they make their political point.
As a result of all this the nursing staff at BCNH has been a revolving door. In the past year or so they have hired between six and 10 nurses who all worked two or three months then quit. One of these nurses was heard to say when she was leaving that she "had never been in a more vicious place in her life." What an adjective to describe your workplace. The word is out among the nursing professionals in the area. Sure, BCHN has great benefits, but it's a horrible place to work.
We all remember a few months ago that the commissioners went to the county convention seeking around $3.5 million for much-needed jail improvements, but they could not give much in the way of details as to exactly what was needed, only vague general descriptions. But I remember that $1 million of this was to fix the ventilation system in the jail. I thought that was a lot and questioned that at the meeting. Then I read in the commissioners' meeting minutes that they had an HVAC professional look at the building and he estimated that the job could be done for about half a million. Now I think this is still a lot and needs to be further evaluated, but the fact is that the commissioners tried to get a million dollars from the taxpayers to fix something that would cost half that at most. Is this how we do things is Belknap County? You have to be kidding me.
We should be thanking the members of the county convention for looking after our tax dollars, and for not allowing the commissioners to hoodwink millions from taxpayers for God knows what. That is why we elected them and they are doing their job under a lot of pressure. Good job Convention for not giving the commissioners what would have amounted to a blank checkbook.
Our problems with our county government lay squarely at the feet of the commissioners and the administration in place now. Thank you Mr. Philpot for not running for another term. Thank you voters of Belknap County for having the good sense to vote Mr. Thomas out of office. Now if we can get Mr. Nedeau to resign and not serve his last two years we can start with a clean slate which is what is really needed.
As for Ms. Shackett, she has never been qualified to be in her position from day one. She was awarded this position simply by virtue of political connections and not by any objective measure of credentials. She has made a complete mess of our nursing home and she needs to go for gross mismanagement of the operation.
I sincerely hope that our new commissioners are of better character than what we have today. I also hope they understand what they are walking into and that the management staff at the county needs to be put under the magnifying glass and those that have been a problem by not fostering a team atmosphere will be removed.
Nurses are wonderful, I know the staff at BCNH works hard under miserable management. Our problems with the county lies fully with poor leadership and bad management. We have pointed the finger for the problems at the county at everyone except where the guilt really lies. The management staff that runs our county is in dire need of a house sweeping.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 October 2014 10:38
To The Daily Sun,
My name is Omer C. Ahern Jr. of Plymouth. I am a candidate for one of the three state representative seats in Grafton District 8, representing the towns of Hebron, Holderness and Plymouth. I am the father of four and the grandfather of four, soon to be six. My wife, Susan, and I raised our four children here in New Hampshire, three of whom are professionally engaged here in New Hampshire, while our youngest is still in college.
I feel I am very qualified to represent the folks of my district based upon my 34 years of public service. As an attorney, I have represented small-business owners, families, and the elderly. Additionally I have spent many years volunteering in the non-profit sector working with youth sports, the elderly, historic preservation (The Fort at No. 4, and The Friends of the Pemi-Livermore Falls), and in support of local agriculture.
My experience in state government is well-rounded as I was a state representative from Belknap County and have served as a county commissioner in both Sullivan and Grafton counties. I feel I am uniquely qualified to serve the people of Grafton District 8 effectively and efficiently as I will work with other state legislators to reduce government spending at the state and county levels, reduce governmental rules and regulations to promote a more friendly business environment to create more good-paying jobs locally and throughout all of New Hampshire.
One of the cornerstones of my campaign about which I feel most passionately and, if elected, I will work on diligently is to ensure that if the Northern Pass Project is approved and if it is to be constructed, the only acceptable construction will be transmission lines buried underground. I am adamant that it should only be constructed in a state-owned rights of way and that the revenue earned for its "carrying charges" will directly benefit the people of the state of New Hampshire. I have fought in opposition of this project for four years. It is a non-partisan issue. And I will work with all of my colleagues on both sides to protect the beauty of my beloved Granite State and the property values of its citizens.
I respectfully ask the voters of Hebron, Holderness and Plymouth for their vote for Omer Ahern Jr. on Nov. 4. Thank you and may God Bless America and the great Granite State of New Hampshire.
Omer C. Ahern Jr., Esq.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 October 2014 10:22
To The Daily Sun,
As I drive around Laconia and see the red and white signs suggesting the same cast of three characters should represent Laconia in Concord for two more years, one thing comes to mind. Obstructionist, extremist, non-collaborative governance that I witnessed repeatedly at the Belknap County Convention meetings in which these three individuals participated.
Fortunately, two of the most flagrant perpetrators of arrogant "my way or not at all" governance are not running again, but two hand picked clones are. They claim to be independent thinkers, but behave more like people living in fear of being challenged or what is now being called "primaried" by their own party for not being "conservative enough" to be approved by the extremist right-wing voters. That is what happened to a moderate candidate, unfortunately, in the election last March.
The large red and white signs tell us, "Elect all 5," hoping these three will slide in on the coattails of the new candidates. I believe if they have not been part of the solution the past two years, it is because they have been part of the problem by not being collaborative and participating in reasonable consensus decision-making and problem-solving. Further, I believe by not challenging the autocratic leadership of the BCC they did nothing but rubberstamp the arrogant, demeaning behaviors I witnessed.
I hope the voters in Laconia take the time to go online and see how many times these three reps voted with Bill O'Brien in support of his Tea Party/ALEC driven agenda over the last few years. How well has that worked for Laconia and New Hampshire? Belknap County now has the reputation of having the most dysfunctional county government in New Hampshire. Is this an environment that attracts new businesses?
For Bill O'Brien's voting record go to:
For our Laconia reps or any other state rep now serving go to:
Compare for yourself. Then go to the polls November 4th and make an informed vote. We deserve transparent government, not strict adherence to an extremist ideology that serves no one but the fear mongers and believers of the ideology.
Kay M. Anderson
Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 October 2014 10:17