To The Daily Sun,
As former state representatives, from both sides of the aisle, who have voted on numerous county budgets and debated with colleagues the merits of various country programs, we are appalled at the insensitivity demonstrated by state Rep. Howard's budget proposal at last week's hearing.
His premise that Genesis Behavioral Health, the Belknap County Economical Development Council, the County Extension, the Community Action Program do not perform county services is short-sighted and counterproductive. If the mental health, job attraction, agricultural and senior services provided by these agencies disappeared, not only would Belknap County residents be worse off, but the city and towns of Belknap County would end up picking up the tab.
As Commissioner Taylor stated, Rep. Howard's proposed cuts were "arbitrary and capricious" with the potential to do serious harm to individuals and county government as a whole. Commissioner DeVoy was completely accurate when he complained he would be unable to do his job running county services under Rep. Howard's proposal.
We applaud Reps. Abear, Fields, Fisher, Fraser, Huot, Lang and Spanos for their votes to defeat Rep. Howard's proposal, and we urge all members of the County Convention to ultimately support a budget that meets the needs of country residents, not the dictates of some political agenda.
Former State Reps. Lisa DiMartino, Ruth Gulick, Bill Johnson, Elizabeth Merry, Kate Miller, Alida Millham, Ian Raymond