To The Daily Sun,
I have never started a letter with a postscript, but I attended the Belknap County Convention meeting on Monday night, March 9, and I forgot to make one more point.
A motion to cut 5 percent to all outside agencies by Representative Herb Vadney passed by a vote of 12-5. I find it ironic that the majority of these representatives voted this way when a letter sent by the whole delegation and the three county commissioners to Governor Hassan that same day stated: "We are writing to you with a combined voice, in all hope that you receive our message as urgently as we intend it."
The following are two other paragraphs from that letter:
"Since the news of the proposed reduction in funding of county nursing homes, we have been contemplating the impacts to the taxpayers of Belknap County. These include either significantly increased operating costs at the nursing home or a reduced ability to provide quality services. Neither of these situations is acceptable."
"We cannot stand by in silence and watch while these changes are made. On behalf of our taxpayers and the 94 residents of the Belknap County Nursing Home, we urge you to consider these impacts as the state budget is finalized and to ensure that the county nursing homes are not devastated by impending managed care environment."
Belknap County Delegation and Belknap County Board of Commissioners."
I have two questions: Why then, did these representatives do the exact same thing and, what is the cost effect and the impact of this cut on the average taxpayer?
The cost effect is a savings of $0.553 based on the average home valued at $250,000.
The question for the taxpayers is: "Is it worth it to us to cut the budget by 5 percent to save us 55 cents? I think not. I'd like to encourage all interested residents to look on the websites of the following seven agencies to see the good works and deeds that, we, in Belknap County are getting for so little money.
They are as follows: UNH CO-OP Extension, Belknap Conservations District, Belknap Economic Development, Lakes Mutual Fire Aid, Genesis Counseling Group, Community Action Program, and the Greater Lakes Child Advocacy.
The accomplishments of each of these agencies have continued to bring Belknap County many benefits that costs very little overall to Belknap County. Each of these agencies provide great service from health and welfare and safety of the residents from Genesis Counseling Group, the Community Action Program, the Greater Lakes Child Advocacy and the Lakes Region Mutual Fire Aid, as well as saving and keeping our environment clean, by the works from the UNH Coop Extension and the Belknap County Conservation District to the positive economic impact to businesses that are generated, survive and thrive because of the Belknap Economic Development Council (BEDC).
There was no compassion or thought as to what these additional cuts would do. It is my opinion that the motion made by Rep. Vadney and voted in by the 11 other representatives was, "Let's cut something by some amount."
Questions in the public comment section of the agenda do not allow the representatives/delegates to answers questions posed to them by the public at the county meeting. I would like to ask Chairman Tilton to ask Rep. Vadney or any one of those who voted with him: "Is saving 55 cents a year really worth it? If so, why?" I am sure that all of your constituents would appreciate hearing that answer at the March 23 Delegation meeting.
One other point: The other cut and passed by nine representatives was to cut $100,000 from of the admiration's budget. Again, I feel it was just cut for cut sake. I'd like to see good governance from our elected officials. I ask that you know when you vote that you are aware of the true costs of the cuts you propose not just the cents you are saving. Take into account the impact the cuts will have both socially and economically on all residents in Belknap County.
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