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Judge is wrong; April 6 & 8 meetings were not 'noticed' in the paper

To The Daily Sun,

In an article by Michael Kitch on Jan. 18, "Tom Tardif Loses Lawsuits Against Belknap County Convention, May Have to Pay Court cost." This case is basically about whether the Convention posted three April 2016 meetings in the paper as required by law on the same date.

The first meeting on April 4, 2016, was posted in The Laconia Daily Sun as required by law. Superior Court Judge Amy Ignatius in her ruling said, the "City of Laconia issued a notice of April meetings of the Belknap County Commissioners," which is ridiculous (as) the city of Laconia has nothing to do with posting meetings for the commissioners. Plus what does that have to do with the convention not posting their meetings?

In the article by Micheal Kitch he quotes, "In rejecting Tardif's allegations, Ignatius noted that the notice of the meeting on April 4 included notice of the two subsequent meetings." Judge Ignatius states on eight different occasions in her ruling that the meetings of April 6 and April 8 were properly notice and posted.

She states, "The court disagrees, finding the notice of the April 4, 2016, meeting, which included notice of additional meetings on April 6, and April 8, 2016, to be adequate under RSA 91-A." In the Belknap County Convention's "Answer to Petitioner's Complaint" Attorney Paul Fitzgerald clearly states, "that the chair of the Convention properly noticed the meeting of April 4th and that the subsequent meetings of April 6th and 8th occurred as a reconvening of the recessed meetings." In other words Fitzgerald admits that the meetings on April 6 and 8 were not noticed in the paper along with the April 4 notice, as Judge Ignatius claimed in her ruling.

Fitzgerald says, "The complaint is admitted to the extent that on April 6, 2016, the meeting April 4 reconvened. A lack of notice is denied for reasons stated above and, specifically, not required when a meeting is recessed and then reconvened with knowledge provided to the attendees of the time, date and location of said reconvened meeting which occurred in reference to the April 4, 2016 session." There was no reference of the April 6 and 8 meetings in the posted notice for the April 4 meeting. What N.H. RSA is Fitzgerald quoting? This is only his opinion worth nothing more than the paper he wrote it on. Only the people that attended the meeting would have had knowledge of the next two meetings on April 6 and 8?

The notice for the meeting on April 4, 2016, as it appeared in The Laconia Daily Sun on March 23, 2016, clearly shows that the meetings on April 6 and 8 were not noticed in the paper as Judge Ignatius claims in her court order. Ignatius doesn't understand that the city of Laconia has nothing to do with this case or that the meetings of April 6 and 8 were never posted in the paper as she claims.

Tardif has a motion for reconsideration before the court, if Judge Amy Ignatius doesn't correct her errors this will be appealed the New Hampshire Supreme Court.

David Gammon


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Mr. Lavin admitted he lost his temper; his honesty was refreshing

To The Daily Sun,

After reading Jack Schaffnit's letter of Jan. 4, I thought that the contrast between himself and the person he was deeply critical of in his letter, former Gilmanton Selectman Ralph Lavin, was so great, that it should not go unmentioned.

Mr. Lavin, in his Dec. 14 letter to The Sun, while describing his turbulent encounter at Gilmanton's town office and attempting to explain why it happened, demonstrated a certain depth of character that I don't believe Mr. Schaffnit could ever understand.

In his letter, Mr. Lavin openly admitted that he lost his temper and he made no attempt to disguise that behavior. He also confessed that he wished he had chosen his words more carefully. He even admitted to the use of an expletive or two, and also to raising his voice. Now, given what I know, I personally find Mr. Lavin's behavior unacceptable and yet, find his honesty, as demonstrated in that letter, somewhat refreshing. He made no attempt to sugar-coat his behavior. He felt pushed to the edge, and by his own admission, he lost control.

Mr. Schaffnit, however, saw Mr. Lavin's honesty as an opportunity — nothing more. Ignoring every single detail, Mr. Lavin offered to explain himself, Mr. Schaffnit, in his letter, launched into a stream of smug self-righteousness directed at what Mr. Lavin had already admitted was behavior he wished he could have avoided. It was pointless.

But Mr. Schaffnit doesn't stop there. He then goes on to praise the behaviors of a Selectboard which has perfected the art of dismissing public input and inquiry. He scoffs at and ridicules Mr.Lavin's displeasure with the current board's historic lack of competence and transparency. He then applauds the behavior of Selectman McWinnie, while turning his well-trained blind eye away from nearly 10 months of public minutes that demonstrate a board, now headed by McWinnie, which has no interest in explaining itself to anyone other than those who will not challenge, question, or criticize it.

So, no, it's never a good idea to lose your temper, as Mr. Lavin did. But when you do, and you have what it takes not to hide your behavior, but instead, voluntarily reveal it to the public, you should not be subject to the predations of a man who himself is part of a special interest group, the GYRL, which, after secretly attempting to back-door a three-year funding contract last year, simply to sidestep the voters of Gilmanton, has itself come to define a certain level of deception and lack of transparency which has driven many a good person in Gilmanton, to use, well ... an expletive or two.

Al Blake

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