To The Daily Sun,
Tom Dawson is a candidate for the New Hampshire House of Representatives from Laconia in the election on Nov. 4. His experience prepares him to understand many different perspectives on the issues that legislators will decide.
As chief financial officer of a large city fire department and as state fire marshal, he planned resources and built budgets to get a crucial job done right. As owner of a consulting firm, he dealt with the demands of operating a small business. As a vocational teacher, he can appreciate the value of a trained workforce and the concerns of students preparing to enter it. As a school board member, he remembers the challenges of balancing local needs against changing resources from the state.
Tom is willing to talk and listen to those with different points of view because his life has given him different points of view.
Tom Dawson offers the voters of Laconia the benefits of his years in public safety, business, and education. He deserves your serious consideration and your vote on Nov. 4.
Last Updated on Monday, 27 October 2014 03:20
To The Daily Sun,
On the afternoon of Oct. 19, I was competing in a bass tournament on Lake Winnipesaukee with my son, Justin. The waves on the main body of the lake ranged from 2.5 to 3 feet. As we traveled with the waves we rounded the point of Ellacoya State Park. At this point the waves were slightly larger. As we continued west the space between the waves in front of us increased causing us to spear a wave. The boat lost power and within 30 seconds we were completely swamped. At this point we were in serious trouble and a 9-1-1 call was made.
During those first minutes the local dispatcher acquired our position and sent a call to the Gilford Fire Department. The water rescue team received the call at 1:41 p.m. and had their boat at our location at 2:05 p.m. Considering that the crew is a mix of volunteer and full-time personnel, their response time was amazing. Our boat somehow stayed afloat about 2 inches below the surface. The only things out of the water were the top of the gas engine and the front seat. We have to thank BassCat boats for making a boat that did not sink.
The personnel on the rescue boat did an awesome job once on site. They were very well trained and communicated effectively with us and among themselves. Boarding another vessel in the waves was not easy, but they made it happen. Once we were on the rescue boat I was extremely impressed with the effort made to assess our conditions which was immediately followed by a seamless transition to a salvage operation for our boat.
Somehow on Oct 19 we left the West Alton Marina towing our boat home to Massachusetts. This could have never happened without the bravery and expertise shown by the following crew of individuals: Capt. Rick Andrews, driver Ron Skinner, diver Jason Godin, and assistant Greg Trombi.
To the community of Gilford, you folks are very lucky to have this group in your area.
Ronald & Justin Spraske
Last Updated on Monday, 27 October 2014 03:17
To The Daily Sun,
My opponent and I had been invited to visit with the residents of the Belknap County Nursing Home. I was able to spend over an hour talking with residents and staff and hearing their stories.
As I was leaving, I spotted a woman tottering down the hall leaning heavily on an LNA who was listening intently to her companion. At a table by the door, a resident was sitting with a staffer while slowly eating a piece of cake. Another resident rolled up in his wheelchair and offered me a piece. I've been carrying it around for a couple of days to remind me of the folks I'd met.
Before my visit, I hadn't realized how many people's lives are touched by the nursing home. However, once I started telling this story, my eyes were opened. Everyone, it seems, has a story about the nursing home. A parent of one of my daughter's hockey teammates told me that his mother had been in several nursing homes and found ours to be the best, by far, because of the care provided by the nursing staff. "It takes a special person to work there," he said. While eating in a downtown restaurant, I met the owner who told me that he'd spent three months in the nursing home rehabbing after surgery. He had only positive memories of the staff and agreed that the people who work there "really care." I saw that with my own eyes.
We are creating unnecessary stress and anxiety for those valuable employees by messing around with their health insurance payments. If we want them to increase the amount they pay for health insurance, we should negotiate in good faith. At the very least, the executive committee should approve the transfers requested by the county commissioners to fulfill the county's contractual obligations to our employees and let them do their jobs without worry.
If you believe contracts should be honored and you want to return civility and common sense to county government, please vote for me on Nov. 4.
Candidate for Belknap Co. Commission
Last Updated on Monday, 27 October 2014 03:14
To The Daily Sun,
I have lived in Gilford for the past 21 years. I have worked with Russ Dumais for many years, both as a small-business owner and a friend of our community.
I have found Russ Dumais to be of the highest integrity and honesty in our business. I have found his experience and common sense have made him a leader. His experience working in local government has given him an ability to do the right thing.
I believe his choice as state representative is the right choice.
Last Updated on Monday, 27 October 2014 03:11
To The Daily Sun,
I would like to offer my views on the proposed recreation expansion in Moultonborough.
First off, $13 million, or even $8 million to $10 million projected by the town to be paid out over six years is outrageous. The Rec Department is out of touch with reality regarding what residents can afford to fund, or will use. Case in point: the under-used Meredith Rec Center.
The present gymnasium seems quite adequate for our dwindling birth rate and school attendance. What ever happened to the old New England philosophy of "Use it up, wear it out, make do, or do without"? Our present gymnasium may not be "state of the art," but, then again, it definitely is not dangerous or unusable. In truth the school system actually has three gymnasiums already, even if one is being used as a cafeteria during the school year.
Regarding the pool idea, over 30 years ago, when Moultonborough Academy was being built, there was a philanthropic resident named Zeller who offered to pay all costs to have a pool added to that project so that it could be used as a recreation facility for the entire town.
The selectmen at that time had the good sense to turn down that generous offer because of the cost of upkeep, liability, increased insurance, personnel costs, etc. They realized that the initial cost of the pool was just the tip of the iceberg compared to the expenses the town would incur. That fact has not changed today. Trying to sell it to the townspeople by saying the pool would be for the whole community, not just the school children, doesn't address maintenance, lifeguards for use outside of school hours, extra janitorial or supervising costs to open and close the pool every day and on weekends, which would be the case if it truly is meant to be a community pool.
The YMCA in Laconia had to close for lack of use and little revenue. What makes you think a pool in Moultonborough would be used? With lakes all around us and good town beaches we can use, in the summer months it makes more sense to be outside at the beach. The argument that a pool and gym would provide places for our children year-round is ridiculous. Let them play outside. This is not a city environment with tenements and city streets, with no yards or other places for children to play safely.
In the winter, let the Rec Dept. sponsor cross country skiing, skating, and snowshoe programs. We have frozen lakes and ponds, and open areas where these activities could take place. Squam Lakes Natural Science Center would provide programs for a small fee and even provides the snowshoes, for example. Or, let the town invest in some plastic snowshoes and then see how much the kids, and the adults for that matter, use them.
When my children were in school, the Red Hill Ski Club was very active, but it later folded because parents weren't willing to put in time as volunteers to run the place. I've heard that it is going again. Why doesn't the Town Rec. Dept. join in that effort? I don't think government should pay to provide programs if people aren't interested enough to help out. We are the government. What happened to taking responsibility for our children and some of these programs ourselves?
Saying that the town must or needs to provide all these programs isn't realistic. We are the town, and our pocketbooks are not overflowing. As a Moultonborough resident and senior citizen, my income is limited. When I was younger, I was a Girl Scout leader, a Red Hill Ski Club volunteer, and a church fellowship leader, etc., and I worked two part-time jobs before my husband and I started our own business. It is now time for today's parents to take responsibility for providing leadership for youth activities so we don't force many of our elderly residents out of their homes because of high property and school taxes.
We have an aging population in Moultonborough, with the exception of summer residents. So why are we increasing school programs and facilities for a dwindling school population?
"It's in the Master Plan" is not a legitimate argument or reason, in my opinion, for doing things. There is no plan that can't be revised, especially when circumstances change or costs become excessive. If your personal or business plan or budget becomes financially prohibitive, you change that plan and cut back.
As a parent, I explained to my children that we had to live within our means, which meant that we couldn't always do everything that we wanted, or even had planned, to do. Are we now raising children with no sense of reality or responsibility, who feel they are entitled to have everything they want, no matter what the cost? It's nice to want the best for our children, but they and their parents have to learn to take some responsibility to earn those goods and services. But that gets me into an entirely different societal problem, so I'll stop right here.
Bottom line: I am against adding more recreation facilities and programs funded by town tax money.
Sydney B. Stewart
Last Updated on Monday, 27 October 2014 03:08