To The Daily Sun,
As you attempt to balance your household budget, Bristol is proposing burdening you with more taxes to add to your already overworked checkbook.
Consider all the costs that we must account for: Gas for your car, fuel and utilities, food, rent or mortgage, insurances etc., etc. These are costs that we have little control over. But as a Bristol voter you do have a say about your tax bill. You can vote. By voting you have a voice to determine what direction Bristol should be focused on. Your vote will be between adding more taxes or stemming the rise in the budget.
In us asking to "we need to control budget spending," is somehow being equated to returning to some yesteryear, or it will result in us cutting our police and fire departments in half, is completely false. Also, in a recent letter someone did some sort of averaging to justify our present budget. That would be nice if we all could average our yearly income. But the truth is the underlying result of the past several years, is that taxes have gone up without regard to who's paying the bill. Don't you think we taxpayers could use a break?
As an example, there are ways we can provide some relief to constantly raising taxes and at the same time allow for new equipment. This all can be done within the framework of the budget and there is no need to raise taxes.
Recently at our Budget Committee meeting a request was made to cut $50,000 from the police budget, a police budget totaling $1 million. This was narrowly rejected. This budget reduction from this department if passed, could possibly be used to support other departmental requests for necessary equipment replacement.
Somehow by asking for this reduction is tantamount to slashing a police department in half. By taking this prudent approach, the town could vote to utilize funds to purchase that new dump truck being asked for, and in the two years, be able to support a new fire department pumper truck lease agreement. This is but one example of working within our town budget that would help in relief for our taxpayers. Only with the right people on the Selectboard making these decisions can this be accomplished.
We need leaders that will make the tough decisions that may or may not be popular, but are necessary in order to make Bristol a more affordable and attractive place to live.
We need to address our budget sensibly and not have candidates putting out misleading information to the public, such as wanting to cut the fire and police departments to some bygone era. We need to vote in selectmen who will work together and do what is right for the good of all Bristol's citizens.
This is why I am supporting Paul Manganiello and Andy O'Hara to do the job prudently and have the experience to manage our town. Remember to vote on March 11 (Election Day) and March 15 (Town Meeting).
Last Updated on Monday, 24 February 2014 10:15
To The Daily Sun,
Regarding the upcoming March 11 Governor's Council race, George Maloof is urging Daily Sun readers to cast their vote based on the candidate's residency which prompts this question: If Mike Cryans moved to Sunapee tomorrow and Joe Kenney to Ashland would Maloof throw his full support to Joe Kenney?
If Maloof's answer is yes, he should be praised for embracing his principle that people are better served by electing someone nearest to where they live. If Maloof's answer is no, shouldn't Sun readers be wondering why Maloof is attempting to influence our vote in a way he himself wouldn't vote? Yes, I really would like to know.
Last Updated on Monday, 24 February 2014 10:10
To The Daily Sun,
What are the actual tax impacts of projects like the proposed industrial wind installations in the Newfound Region? Not what the developer says. Not what the opposition says. But what does New Hampshire state law say?
The Alexandria Select Board invites all area residents to a presentation on "Pilot Agreements, Property Appraisals, and Related Topics." The presenters are Commissioner John Beardmore of the New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration, and Steve Hamilton, the New Hampshire Director of Property Appraisal. The presentation will be at the Bristol (Newfound) Middle School Gym, this Thursday, Feb. 27, at 6 p.m.
Whether you are for, against, or undecided about the proposed installations, this presentation will get down to the nuts and bolts of the impact these types of projects have.
Last Updated on Monday, 24 February 2014 10:07
To The Daily Sun,
As voters go to the polls to determine how tax dollars will be spent, Community Action Program, Belknap/Merrimack Counties Inc. (CAP) is asking the voters of Gilford to support Article 27 in the town warrant and appropriate $8,236 to support the local area center office located in Laconia.
Last year CAP programs provided Gilford residents with $554,200 of services returning $67.29 of service to Gilford residents for each $1 spent in support of the Laconia area center. This request is not for any social service program but solely for the operations of the area center. Staff salaries are the major budget expense.
The area center serves the residents of the city of Laconia and the five surrounding towns. We ask the city and each town we serve to share the expense of maintaining the office so that, when residents experience a hardship and find themselves unable to obtain basic needs such as food, shelter or fuel, the area center staff will be there to help them access resources for these basic life sustaining elements.
CAP works in partnership with local town and city welfare offices to assist residents in need using resources other than local tax dollars. We are awarded contracts by the state of New Hampshire to administer programs to provide basic necessities to New Hampshire residents. We are also entrusted with grants from many businesses and individuals to provide needed assistance to residents seeking help in their time of need. All of the private funds donated to our agency are used exclusively for assistance. No administrative costs are provided, therefore we ask for the city and towns to share, with other federal and state funds, in the support of the area center so that staff will always be available to assist families and individuals in need.
Last year the staff provided over 84 residents with over 750 meals from the emergency food pantry. Over 240 Gilford households were provided with $190,695 in fuel assistance, and 216 Gilford households received a discount on their electric bill because of the work of the area center staff. Over $285,375 was spent weatherizing 23 Gilford homes and $478 was provided to residents facing a utility shutoff.
Without the CAP area center these residents would have sought assistance from the town welfare office and local tax dollars for assistance which the town is required by law to provide. CAP provides other resources and not local tax dollars to help the town meet its legal commitment.
As a Gilford resident I encourage town officials to seek out resources other than my tax dollars to provide assistance to local residents. I hope the residents of Gilford find the work of the staff of Belknap/Merrimack Community Action Program worthy of support from their town.
Last Updated on Monday, 24 February 2014 10:00
To The Daily Sun,
Former first lady Laura Bush has said that the most important thing in her wallet is her library card. I am in complete agreement with Mrs. Bush.
Libraries contribute to the educational success of children. Research shows that the amount of time children spend with books is crucial to reading achievement, and ultimately, to school achievement in general. Library programs encourage parents to play a greater role in their children's literacy development. Research also shows that students who take part in their local library's summer reading program significantly improve their reading skills.
Programs provided by our library staff help preschoolers and young people to develop social skills and to enjoy activities that will foster lifelong learning. Participants feel a sense of belonging in a safe place with their peers and caring adults.
Adult patrons also benefit from the many offerings the library provides. The use of computers and internet access is especially important and necessary in this digital age. Clubs and organizations have comfortable meeting space. Many varied programs are offered to the community free of charge.
As an educator, a mother, and a grandmother, I have always looked to libraries to provide me with opportunities to learn, to teach, to promote a love of reading, and to indulge my passion — reading.
The Gilmanton Year-Round Library provides all of that and more. On March 11 please vote to keep the GYRL open.
Last Updated on Monday, 24 February 2014 09:55