To The Daily Sun
I was embarrassed and insulted to read a letter accusing state Rep. Norman Major, of Plaistow, of suffering from dementia because he proposed an alternative way to pay for the upkeep of New Hampshire roads. (Laconia Daily Sun, page 4, Oct. 13).
Norm Major is chairman of the Ways and Means Committee. He's a Republican and I'm a Democrat, and he's a friend of mine. I served with him in the 2013-2014 Legislature. I'm in a much better position to judge Rep. Major's mental status, and he is a competent, responsible and articulate representative. He is a credit to our state.
Rep. Major's sin is that he proposed to impose the fee by the mile instead of by the gallon of fuel. (Our gas tax is actually a "road toll" because — theoretically — all the revenue is to be used to maintain and improve our roads.) It might surprise the reader to know that New Hampshire charges a per-mile fee for use of certain roads on top of the fee charged per gallon of gas. You pay this fee every time you drive to Manchester and south on I-93, or Portsmouth on the Spaulding Turnpike, or Boston on I-95.
Why paying for the roads based on how much you use them instead of by how much gas you buy is idiotic, rather than simply impractical, is a mystery to me. Perhaps bringing up new ideas and talking about them would make our government work better than calling people names.
David O. Huot