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Conservative actions saved Alton cemetery trust fund from collapse

To The Daily Sun,

I would like to thank Loring Carr, for giving me the opportunity to prove to the voters of District 8 that, I am a true conservative.

In Carr's Oct. 20 letter to the editor, Mr. Carr failed to mention the fact that the Cemetery Trustees were trying to conserve what was left of the cemetery expendable trust fund. The trust fund had been used to offset the cost of maintaining and operating Alton's numerous municipal cemeteries. For 20 years the taxpayers of Alton, never funded the cemetery operating budget through taxation and the trust fund was nearly depleted.

Yes, the cemetery budget increased due to the selectmen-approved COLAs and employee benefits. All these costs were listed in cemetery budget line items so the taxpayers could review the trustees total budget. Under the selectmen's budget, the full-time sexton was removed from the cemetery budget. However, the selectmen appointed other town employees to do the sexton jobs. The selectmen ordered the Highway Department to dig graves, Parks & Rec staff for maintenance and mowing, and the Finance Office for taking minutes and providing clerical work. Plus five to 10 hours a week we trustees had to be there to lay out graves and meet with funeral directors, duties normally performed by the sexton.

The other town departments had to use their budgets to finance the work of the cemetery and there was no way for the taxpayers to know the real cost of the cemetery operations. In my estimation, there was more money spent than the trustee's proposed budget. But, with so many cost items not being accounted for, who knows? The bottom line is the three trustees, with myself included, through our conservative actions, saved the trust fund from collapse.

And FYI, I find it interesting that in the 2015 Alton Cemetery budget proposed by you, Mr. Carr, and the other selectman, I see a line item for the return of a full-time cemetery sexton.

Raymond Howard, Jr.

Alton

Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 November 2014 10:13

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As a state rep., I promise to listen, learn and represent the voters

To The Daily Sun,

In the waning days of a political campaign it is common for tensions to mount and for the accusations and criticisms to take on a negative tone. Maybe now is the time to take a deep breath and for all the candidates, myself included, to reflect on our reasons for running for elective office and our responsibilities should we be fortunate enough to win the trust of the voters.

First and foremost, we must remember that once elected we represent all our constituents, not just the ones who supported us, who endorsed us, who may have helped fund our campaigns and who generally agree with us on various issues. Indeed, every elected official should be reminded that the majority of the people he or she represents did not vote for him (or her). Rather they voted for an opponent or chose not to vote at all. It is imperative that none of the voters, or the non-voters, consider themselves "losers," that they can be assured that they will not be marginalized because they voted for the "wrong" candidate.

Secondly, legislators need to actively listen, and to listen especially intently to opposing viewpoints. The goal should be to listen in order to understand, not to formulate a response. There are many legitimate reasons that different people support or condemn an increase in the minimum wage, gun legislation, expanded gambling, death penalty repeal, Northern Pass and a host of other issues facing our state. It is essential that we do not characterize the opposing view as "wrong" all the time and that we recognize the legitimacy of their positions.

Third, the job of legislators should be to try to bring as many voices to a piece of legislation as possible. Legislators need to be educators and conciliators. They need to try to take two very opposing viewpoints and reconcile them so that as many constituents as possible feel that their beliefs, concerns and values are considered. This is what compromise means. Just because one party "wins" should not mean that the people who did not vote for it lose their voice. It might not always be possible to reconcile and appease everyone, but everyone should at least feel that they have been seriously considered.

I am running for the honor of representing Gilford and Meredith, District 2, and I promise that my primary job will be to listen and learn and to do everything I can to represent you, the voters. On Nov. 4, please vote. And I am asking you to cast your vote for me, Dorothy Piquado, as well as for Lisa DiMartino, Nancy Frost, and Sandi Mucci.

Dorothy Piquado

Gilford

Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 November 2014 10:13

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As a state Rep., Bob Hull will never be more than a phone call away

To The Daily Sun,

As the Area 3 Vice Chair of the Grafton County Republican Committee, I would like to ask the voters of Grafton District 9, which includes the towns of Ashland, Alexandria, Bridgewater, Bristol, and Grafton, to vote for Bob Hull for State Representative.

A spirited Republican primary in September resulted in Bob Hull winning by almost 300 votes to the next-closest candidate.

I know Bob Hull to be a principled individual who will work not only to reduce burdensome government regulations that have hindered our New Hampshire economy for too long, but also to bring sensible spending to New Hampshire and Grafton County with the goal of reducing the tax burden on our New Hampshire and Grafton County citizens. Bob has been active in supporting our local Republican candidates for many years and Bob is well known throughout the areas he will represent. I know Bob will listen to the concerns of all of the people he will serve, and Bob will never be more than a phone call away to work with folks on any problem with which Bob can help. Bob will be especially helpful in addressing the needs that must be met within our Grafton County government. Bob served as a Republican Party State Delegate in 2009 and 2010 as well as this year.

I urge all of the voters of Grafton District 9 to support and vote for Republican Bob Hull on Nov. 4. Thank you.

Omer C. Ahern Jr., Esq.
Pemi-Baker Republican Committee Chair
Area 3 Vice Chair, Grafton County Republican Committee

Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 November 2014 10:12

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As a state legislator, I hope to help make positive change for N.H.

To The Daily Sun,

An open letter to the voters of Gilford and Meredith:

I am writing to introduce myself to the voters of New Hampshire's House District Belknap District 2, the residents of Meredith and Gilford.

There are four positions for state representative, and I am running for one of them. I believe we all need to give back to our community and our state. Becoming a member of our citizen legislature is one way that I can do that.

I like what our current Legislature has done in expanding Medicaid and passing the paycheck fairness legislation. I believe I can help make positive changes for New Hampshire.

At the county level, there is deadlock over financial issues in an atmosphere of anger and frustration. I hope to be part of a change in attitude that would allow our delegation and our county commissioners to work together in the best interests of the citizens of Belknap County.

I am a teacher and have also worked in health care and communications. I grew up in Gilford and have lived here for many years. I love this area and its people, and with your input and support, I hope to help us continue to prosper.

Please vote for me on Nov. 4.

Nancy Frost

Gilford

Candidate for State Rep., Belknap District 2

Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 November 2014 10:10

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Our county employees do a good job for us & are not overpaid

To The Daily Sun,

I'm writing to those of you who might still be on the fence about whom to vote for in the Belknap County Commission race. I want to convince you that I'm the better candidate. That's not to say that my opponent is not a good person. As Professor Lovett said, he's honest. Our mutual friends tell me he's hardworking and a good family man. And, he's a successful businessman. I've found him to be thoughtful and compassionate and I've enjoyed debating him. But the important thing for voters to know is that he's wrong on the issues.

His idea of what to do with the jail is inadequate. If we just Band-Aid the rat's nest of buildings that date back to 1890, we will be back at this in five years and end up paying much more. If we don't invest in the programs that work, the number of beds we need will increase instead of decreasing.

I will work with the other commissioners, the Jail Planning Committee and the convention to come up with an affordable solution that meets our needs now and in the future. And, as I've proposed, we also need to be talking with law enforcement, mental health, the courts, prosecutors, defense attorneys and others to figure out alternatives to pre-trial confinement and post-trial sentencing where appropriate.

About the county employees, I believe that we must honor the contracts that we've signed. Not to do so is illegal and disgraceful. We should also have funded the 1.5 percent raises that the commissioners negotiated and we should continue to work with employees to resolve the "Cadillac" tax problem on their health insurance before the deadline hits in 2018. This is a problem facing municipalities all over the country not just us, and the employees know something has to be done.

We must keep in mind that these employees do a good job and they are not overpaid. In fact, they have had no raises in years and some can't expect any increases because their length of service already puts them at the top of their wage scales.

Finally, I've proposed that the county expand conversations about strategic planning and resources sharing. The time will shortly come when we will need to explore the savings that the economies of scale the county can provide.

Please come out and vote.

David Pollak

Candidate for Belknap County Commission

Laconia

Last Updated on Monday, 03 November 2014 11:57

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