To The Daily Sun,
While I'm not comfortable having to publicly defend myself, I feel that I must respond to the malicious comments submitted by Mr. Gordon Blais.
I absolutely met the combined education and experience requirements for the position I hold. The appointment was offered to me after an extensive and competitive recruitment process. I have earned a Bachelor's Degree in Business Management, been recognized as a Certified Public Manager, and most recently was designated a Credentialed Manager by the ICMA. Mr. Blais continues to question and criticize the county's decision to hire me. Not that questioning is a bad thing, but persisting to print false information is intentionally misleading the public.
Mr. Blais has done extensive research to try to find anything that will support his misguided opinion, requesting my personnel files, the county's recruitment process, contacting legislators, former employers, current employees, and to his discontent, has not been able to support any of his libelous statements.
He did get my salary correct. I consider myself fortunate to have a great job that I work hard at and sincerely enjoy. When compared to equivalent positions in New Hampshire, my compensation is in the lower half of the range. I am one of "those in our community who worked hard and went into debt to get the educational training that qualified me for a position like this" (his words). Not to mention the required years of experience. The message that sends to kids is that hard work, discipline, and advanced education can lead to a rewarding career. A very good message and something I am proud of.
Belknap County is well managed by a team of professionals who operate with honor, humility and integrity. In a difficult political environment they work hard every day to maintain the morale of more than 260 employees who are engaged in providing excellent service, in often difficult situations, to the public.
I hope you will contact me directly, or any of the county's leadership if you have questions and would like accurate answers about the operation of Belknap County.
Debra A Shackett,
Belknap County Administrator
Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 January 2014 10:59
To The Daily Sun,
My name is Steve Young, Jr., a tax paying resident and registered voter in the town of Danbury.
I sincerely hope who ever reads this takes it in into great consideration, after receiving the recent poll results of the ballots that were sent by the selectman of Danbury, I now feel I am speaking on behalf of the majority of the townspeople of Danbury when I say that the Wild Meadows wind project is a bad idea and wrong, not only for the residents of Danbury, but also for our neighbors. Here in Danbury, there is a clear majority of registered voters who strongly oppose this project, the results as you probably already know were 249 to 116.
I am writing today to voice my objection to the Wild Meadows Wind Project. I purchased my land in 2000, cleared it myself and built my own house for my family to live in a quiet rural setting, a place where my children could grow and play in the yard without concern, a place away from city life, industrialization and the noise caused by it. It is a place where you can stand outside on a cold crisp winter evening, look up in amazement at the star filled sky, away from the city lights and a place so quiet you could hear a pin drop. I remember clearing my land, taking a break to eat my lunch sitting on a log, listening to only the sounds of birds chirping and the chipmunks dropping pine cones out of the trees and thinking to myself "Wow, it is so peaceful and quiet here, I can't wait to get this house built", I imagined myself sitting out on my deck and taking in the sounds of nature watching my children play, or gazing up at the night sky, listening to the tree frogs, peepers and the occasional owl.
I sincerely feel this is serene setting is now very threatened by the industrial giants like Iberdrola and their Wind Turbine Projects. If this project moves forward, not only will I be dealing with the noise of the construction phase, but also once completed, the once peaceful quiet evenings spent looking at the stars will now be accompanied by blinking lights, and sounds of industrial wind turbines churning out their horrible tune, at a decibel level stated and confirmed by Iberdrola to be in the range of a "quiet urban evening". I have to tell you that I have relatives who live in an urban setting in Lawrence, Massachusetts and even on their quietest nights, the sounds would drown out any chirping birds, and one would most certainly not be able to hear a pine cone falling from a tree, let alone a pin drop. When they come to visit, to them it is like camping for the weekend, they are in awe of how quiet and peaceful it is here in Danbury.
If I wanted a "quiet urban setting" I would have purchased a house in Lawrence or Manchester and not selected a rural parcel in the country setting of Danbury. I remember at one of the meetings Iberdrola spokespeople mentioned the noise I would hear in my house would "only be similar to a dishwasher running in another room", at least I can turn my dishwasher off if I so chose to end the noise and it doesn't bother my neighbors when it is running.
I feel wind energy has it's place, however allowing the construction of these turbines near people's homes (especially in communities where the majority is against their construction to begin with) is not only irresponsible, but also dangerous to the occupants health and well being of those in close proximity, as has been documented in numerous independent studies. Let alone the impact on property values and the fact that the energy produced is not going to supply homes surrounding the turbines, or even in the same state for that matter. Win turbines will not reduce the number of traditional power plants in operation, as wind is not a constant source of power and when their is little or no wind blowing, the demand for energy does not cease and therefore still needs to be supplied by traditional means. Also, if there was no government subsidies, Iberdrola wouldn't even be pursuing these projects.
Steve Young, Jr.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 January 2014 12:00
To The Daily Sun,
Kudos to the residents of the Town of Grafton who last March at the polls had the foresight not only to vote in clear opposition to the proposed Wild Meadows Wind Farm (366 against, 166 in favor), but also for having the perspicacity to vote in place a " Community Rights Based Ordinance" as a legal stance to decide their own energy future.
The towns of Alexandria (273 against, 101 in favor) , and more recently Danbury (249 against, 116 in favor), have also voted against this corporate onslaught in clear, verifiable and democratic fashion.
Just yesterday The N.H. Site Evaluation Committee rejected as incomplete the application of the Spanish company, Iberdrola, though most probably not as a result of an order by the N.H. Legislature to put in place a re-evaluation of how and where these wind turbines are sited. In addition, The Society For The Protection Of New Hampshire Forests petitioned that the Wild Meadows Wind Farm be suspended for a year until a review of the SEC siting criteria is completed. This together with earlier filings by the Appalachian Mountain Club, New Hampshire Wind Watch and the Wild Meadows Legal Fund point to growing opposition to wind towers in our scenic ridgelines. And in Groton there is ongoing bickering as to whether Groton Wind (another Iberdrola project) is in compliance with fire and safety issues due to violations there.
Meanwhile, these wind companies, both foreign and domestic, scramble for available state and federal subsidies while their reps continue to dissemble, mislead the public and be in denial as to the wishes of a clear and democratic majority in these N.H. towns.
Of course, contrary to what our Supreme Court ruled in 2010 in their 'Citizens United' decision, these corporate entities are not in fact people. Why not you ask? The answer comes easily. People most often possess a conscience and have a sense of civic responsibility.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 January 2014 09:43
To The Daily Sun,
I dryly note that progressives became so hated during the last century, they needed to rebrand themselves. They chose "Liberal" to next redefine and abuse. But their intent was not to elevate Classic Western Liberalism that emphasized the individual and rights granted by God but the regressive idea that the individual should be subservient to the collective which would grant (and therefore, could revoke) those rights, which otherwise should be held inviolate, including the right to private property. And as we know, they blew that word up and have retreated to the original word, progressive. Either way, I call them incremental socialists.
The Hathaway House situation in Laconia provides us with yet another GRAND example of people absconding with a word's original meaning: "stakeholder". Previously viewed as simply a person that held the stakes for erecting a tent or a fence, they have redefined its usage by involving themselves into "the process" as "interested and involved citizens". At the national and international level, they are generally known as Non-Governmental Organizations. Think of the EPA, its royal decrees (void of legislation) — and the environmental groups that insert themselves and "advise" on policy. Even though they have no ownership interest in property whose value may well be diminished, they have no problem in helping to promulgate regulations that diminishes the rights of the owners to use that property. They call themselves "advocates" — we used to call these people busybodies.
"Stakeholders" exist locally as well and have decided this building must be saved 'for posterity" and "historical purposes" — but put the entire financial burden upon the property owner and none on themselves. In other words, people like Pam Clark and Dorothy Duffy show a lack of respect of the right to private property (oft said that if we did not have such a right, we would not have freedom either as the Declaration of Independence was first drafted as "the Pursuit of Property"). They seem intent, in their communitarian-styled letters, to want to effectively deny the owner the use (or destruction) of their own property. One could consider this "theft without actual taking", for if control is taken away, what is the good of ownership?
They also have no problem in "hurting the little people" with their boycott call — the employees. Nice to see these communitarians are willing to up the local unemployment rate. Tell you what, Ms. Clark and Ms. Duffy — if you don't like what the owner is doing, reach into your own collective pockets and buy it. And perform the maintenance that you are screaming about if it is that important to you.
For then, you'd stop being busybodies and be property owners. Maybe.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 January 2014 09:39
To The Daily Sun,
This is in response to Niel Young's letter of Friday. I dryly note that while Jane Cormier may be in his "NOT friends" category (a rather large set of people, I imagine), I am quite sure I rate much lower than that (if at all, eh Niel?).
That said, ditto pretty much the rest of what he said; my vote is going to the conservative in the Special Election for District 1 Executive Council seat — Joe Kenney. He knows how the state political system runs, the doggedness and discipline of a prior Marine, and the conservative values as a foundation. It is time to elect someone who follows and stands by his values instead of the go-along-to-get-along mantra that waver in any political breeze.
He certainly has my endorsement.
Last Updated on Monday, 20 January 2014 11:56