To The Daily Sun,
One of Sanbornton's candidates for selectman, Jeff Jenkins, is not as well known to many folks as is candidate Johnny VanTassel our past Road Agent, so I thought I'd like to share what I know of Jeff.
I've served on several town boards with Jeff and found him to be very fair, honest and knowledgeable. He always does his "homework" and comes to meetings prepared. I have never seen him treat either the public or other board members with anything but respect. He also knows and has been involved with highways, their building, their maintenance and their budgets for many years and that background would be very advantageous to a Sanbornton selectman as our highway budget is one of the largest amounts of money the town spends.
At Candidate's Night, Jeff was questioned about the few winter months he spends in Florida. His answer was clear and concise. He could and would be available, not only for meetings, but at any time, using technology. Nearly everyone today uses some form of technology and state law recognizes this and allows its use in government. I felt a number of people at the meeting were quite disingenuous when they applauded loudly when two candidates recommended the use of technology (use of credit card payments to town) but found fault with its use as Jeff suggested. We should not fault someone for suggesting the use of the same technology that most all of us use daily. Much of what selectmen deal with comes in the form of written documents so the flow of information would not change. Discussions, motions and votes can take place just as openly as they are presently and information would be just as available.
Wouldn't Jeff, who is free to be at meetings electronically, perhaps be more available than his opponent, who may miss meetings during the winter months because his job, dictated by Mother Nature, keeps him from attending? The answer given was that if he was working because of storms the selectmen's meeting would have been canceled. The selectmen seldom cancel meetings. Once a year perhaps? Because selectmen also have to serve on other boards as well, many of those could be missed due to snow and ice. Jeff in Florida won't have that problem for his phone and/or computer wouldn't be snowed out. Jeff's opposition says he also can take calls at any time because he is on salary in Northfield. Northfield's Selectboard might not agree. They may feel Sanbornton phone calls during his Northfield working hours is being done on their "dime and time."
Jeff Jenkins has my vote and my recommendation for Sanbornton selectman.
Last Updated on Friday, 09 May 2014 09:46
To The Daily Sun,
Warrant Aarticle 10, to create a capital asset fund in the amount of $5,000 to be used by the Sanbornton Selectmen to control pollution in Lake Winnisquam, is on the May 14 Town Meeting agenda. It is proposed by the Sanbornton Board of Selectmen but not recommended by the Budget Committee.
The purpose of fund is allow the selectmen to deal with outbreaks of noxious weeds like milfoil and also to apply for and accept matching grant funding from state and federal agencies to construct pollution control installations that were recommended by by the Black Brook Watershed Management Plan study, completed in 2012.
The Watershed Management Plan found that water draining into Lake Winnisquam from the 3,000 acre Black Brook Watershed in Sanbornton has 2 1/2 times the concentration of phosphorus now present in the Lake. This drainage is polluting Lake Winnisquam and adding to the probability of algae and noxious weed growth. The plan forecasts that future housing development in the watershed will increase this concentration by a factor of five. (Phosphorus is a nutrient that stimulates the the growth of noxious aquatic weeds such as algae and milfoil that destroy the recreational value of lakes and ponds).
The Watershed Management Plan identified more than 30 specific sites along with individual projects that could be completed in a timely, affordable, multiyear, program. Projects would qualify for matching federal and state grants to minimize the impact on local property taxes. Most of the projects are for Class V road drainage improvements, which concurrent with removing pollutants will lower town costs of maintaining existing unstable road shoulders and unpaved gravel roads.
Last year, Sanbornton's selectmen applied for matching Chapter 319 funds to begin correcting Kaulback Road drainage problems. Matching Chapter 319 federal funding was approved and on the "table," awaiting our appropriation of local funds at our Town Meeting. Led by the opposition of the Sanbornton Budget Committee, the motion for local funding was defeated. Regrettably, despite the efforts of our selectmen and state agencies, the hard-sought federal funds didn't go to Sanbornton but were given to another applicant. Thus Sanbornton was not able to begin correcting drainage problems pinpointed in the plan.
To defend its opposition to the Kaulback Road work, Budget Committee members claimed that no other towns were active in abating pollution. This was not true. For 2013, the dollars expended for Chapter 319 projects completed in the Merrimack watershed exceeded $700,000.
Again this year the Budget Committee recommends against approving the $5,000 recommended saving measure to lower property taxes. However, the cost of this approving this appropriation as recommended will impact a property owner, with an average assessed value, less than a $2 increase in total property only $2 this year. In its zeal to save, the Budget Committee is obviously going overboard.
Why is Article 10 on the Warrant as a special article for consideration? Taking Town Meeting time for debate and voting for a measure with negligible taxpayer impact is dumb. (We hope that in the future the Budget Committee will discover meaningful cost saving issues to address).
The issue of keeping Lake Winnisquam free of pollution is important to all Sanbornton taxpayers. Lakeshore residents pay high property taxes. Lake Winnisquam pollution issues jeopardizes our property tax income stream. Lack of support for selectmen's initiative by the Budget Committee and their action to defeat it is unwise, petty and poorly considered. It is hoped that the Budget Committee will not mislead Town Meeting voters again. Voters should support the selectmen's recommendation and vote "YES."
Don Foudriat, Project Coordinator
Black Brook Watershed Management Plan
Last Updated on Friday, 09 May 2014 03:25
To The Daily Sun,
Watching the president's press secretary and Democratic spokespersons squirm and wiggle during the week and on the Sunday morning talk programs makes me smile. Once again, under the thumb of being caught in lies of their own making, they are trying to convince people that facts are not facts, truth is not truth, and the president and his stooges didn't do it. Only problem is they did do it, and the documents prove it.
I'm talking about Benghazi again, and finally almost two years later a court-ordered release of documents (about Benghazi, not the Middle East in general) proves the BS story about a YouTube video came right from the White House.
Jay Carney tries to spin it, ducks and weaves, makes faces, but again facts are facts and the president is just not entitled to his own. Carney says the memo was about the Middle East in general, but the Freedom of Information suit specifically was for Benghazi and that's what they got.
Our ambassador and three other Americans died because six weeks before the last election. Obama's foreign policy, his rhetoric of Ben Laden is dead and al-Qaida is on the run, fell into the trash can. They knew within hours it was a terrorist attack. But to protect his re-election chances they made up the lie which the president knowingly repeated over and over for more than two weeks. They covered up for Hillary Clinton who refused to increase security in Libya and in Benghazi in particular and who when questioned by Congress said, "What does it really matter"?
To cover up for lies they told more lies, stonewalled and withheld documents which the lawsuit finally pried loose, and it proves conspiracy and cover-up.
I've heard some say the episode should be considered as criminal negligence on the part of the president and administration. Can't argue with that.
Last Updated on Friday, 09 May 2014 03:24
To The Daily Sun,
I have a question for the readers at large:
Back in 1975 we started 40 years of currency, well 2014 is the last year of the first 40 years of that currency. Also, each year we were supposed to loose .025 cents from the value of the dollar so 40 x .025 is $1 of value and .5 percent raise in whole sale of goods and sources.
Now I have heard that through Mr. Bernabex's efforts our dollar today is worth .10 cents, instead of .025 cents. So here is my question: as of January of 2015 what will be the dollar value and will we bring back the pricing system back to where we started in 1975 or will the new low price of goods and services start at where we left of in 2014.
Example: gasoline regular in 1975 was .35 cents/gallon and in 2014 the price for regular is $3.50, which is 10 times what it was in 1975. Does that mean some time in the next 40 years gasoline will be $35/gallon at the pump for regular gas? Also, is this the reason to raise the minimum wages, so the poor can think that it would be a raise in earnings for the current prices, while the next 40 years will still keep them down.
Last Updated on Friday, 09 May 2014 03:23
SanbornTo The Daily Sun,
At our recent Sanbornton Candidates' Night, selectman candidate Jeff Jenkins danced around the question about his potentially being (if elected) an absentee selectman. He told us that new laws allow "modern" electronic equipment use, so he can be physically absent at selectmen's meetings. He'd do this if continuing to live his winters in Florida while being a Sanbornton selectman. He said we could all have his phone number. It means the actually-here two selectman would have it fall on them to go have a look at a problem. Jenkins would not be carrying his fair share of the work.
And what if our May 14 Town Meeting votes to return us to a March meeting? The budget process and meetings move significantly into winter months. Johnny Van Tassel, running for selectman, would be here in the winter months and all the year. Vote for Johnny.
On the discussion of privatization of our highway department, not one selectman or Budget Committee candidate mentioned that with privatization comes new profit-taking. Money we'd formerly spend for road improvements and maintenance would go into someone's pocket. The motivation for the private contractor is profit. It's not done gratis or out of magnanimous spirit.
Lynn Rudmin Chong
Last Updated on Friday, 09 May 2014 03:22