To The Daily Sun,
I recently read your article revealing that the feud between the Belknap County delegation and commissioners over the last year has cost the county a whopping $70,000 in unbudgeted legal fees.
I hope the irony in this is not lost on your readers. The legal battle was waged over the ability to make line-item changes within the budget. The court sided with the delegation and instituted a $300 maximum on any line-item changes county commissioners and the administrator could make without the delegation's permission. This crippled county government so that county nursing home workers were concerned about keeping their health insurance and their jobs. It caused similar mayhem at the county jail, leaving the prison so short-staffed that visitation was not even possible at times.
Prior to the holidays, county workers were subjected to unwarranted anxiety, worry and concern about whether money could be transferred from one line item to another in order for the county to pay its contracted share of their health insurance premiums; and layoffs were feared — all because the delegation wanted tighter control of the county's purse strings. Now that the old delegation and commissioners are out and the new are in, no one wants to pay the $70,000 bill they stuck to the county residents.
I believe most Belknap County residents would agree that paying out $70,000 in unnecessary legal fees is appalling. I'm sure they can think of much better ways to have spent their hard-earned tax dollars without terrorizing low-wage workers who care for the county's sick, elderly, and incarcerated.
Now that it's time to pay the piper, new county leadership is stalling. Sadly, this isn't surprising. Hopefully, the leadership will end the nonsense and move forward without further harm to county services and those who provide them.
Richard Gulla, President
SEA/SEIU Local 1984
Last Updated on Tuesday, 20 January 2015 10:14
To The Daily Sun,
Fanning the flames of hysteria, Mr. Demakowski continues his crusade to promote the myth of "death panels". In a recent letter, not only will there be "death panels", but these panels will be staffed by liberals who "lack concern for the sanctity of human life" and "don't care about your life." The implied reason for taking your life is to benefit the causes of "terrorists" and "thugs".
These outrageous accusations are totally disconnected from facts and have no basis in reality. There are no "death panels", but through his infinite imagination, he and other conservatives will create them.
Conservatives, such as Demakowski, are desperately embracing the most far-fetched rumors about the supposed Kenyan-Muslim-Marxist-Tyrant. Their fears of nonexistent or overblown bogey men — death panels, Benghazi conspiracies, voter fraud, Saddam's WMD, etc. — make it hard not to see conservatism's morphing into a state of near permanent paranoia fueled by recurrent moral panics. They are consumed with the whole of conservative politics. It doesn't matter the issue, if liberals are for it, then conservatives, despite facts and reason, are against it. They don't care about being factual — "I don't have to prove anything" – or truthful because they don't need to be.
Their primary goal is to peddle as much misinformation to the readers of this forum as possible. Their intent is to make readers afraid, and so full of hate, that they'll believe practically anything. Conservative contributors have developed a following built by the politics of hate, driven by fear, and solidified by misinformation.
If I am to embrace Mr. Demakowski's logic that liberals "lack concern for the sanctity of human life", then by that same logic I must assume that all conservatives are uncaring red neck racists.
While Mr. Demakowski may have some legitimate concerns relating to the ACA, making outlandish statements not only casts doubt on his arguments but also his credibility.
Last Updated on Monday, 19 January 2015 10:17
To The Daily Sun,
ISIL was a JV team that became more of a threat over time. Maybe one of the reasons Obama tried not to make such an issue was more to keep the country calm and under control. Fox News will do it's part to get everyone riled up along with the fear mongering letter writers to our local newspapers. Of course they will also blame it all on Obama and the Democratic Party with calls for John McCain et all to lead the charge of the troops to the Middle East. As usual, the GOP is making more of an issue of Obama not going to France than the French are. We are closer to the French now than ever before, so to the GOP and the local letter writer backers, get over it and move on to your next manufactured problem.
Most of the letter writers seem to have nothing better to do than write a letter a day for publication. Take Linda Riley, who I noticed had three letters published this week. One was a complaint of not being able to find a job and blaming it on Maggie Hassen. Linda I think your problem is in the mirror looking back at ya. However, I do agree with your letter today, Thursday, about spending money we don't have. But I also do believe in investing in our country and some spending should happen. Like raising wages which would allow many people to stop depending on government handouts.
Then we have another right winger, Steve Earle. I agree that we should stand together against those who are against our liberal principles. At least we have more freedoms than the rest of the world and the rights to practice them. But then Tony Boutin shows up with some interesting facts on voting. He says that for the last 20 years the middle class has voted with the GOP. Might be hard to explain how the Democrats have won, not counting BWB, most of those elections. Had Gore and Kerry both won we probably wouldn't have had the economic problems and the deficits we have now. As long as we keep the GOP out of the White House in 2016 things will recover but if they win 2016 we will be in trouble.
The last writer today was Russ Wiles and I'll put him in the Sarah Palin category for now. But the last interesting part is some of the terms used by our local letter writers have just shown up in the news and a day later they show up in letters here. Kinda makes ya wonder doesn't it?
Last Updated on Monday, 19 January 2015 10:12
To The Daily Sun,
Saturday morning, my family and I went to the Soda Shoppe in downtown Laconia for breakfast. This is tradition for us almost every Saturday morning, but today, someone else paid our tab. When we asked for our check, our waitress told us that a customer had already paid for it in effort to "pay it forward". We were so touched by it that we asked her if we could do the same thing for another diner. She said that the person had already paid everyone's tab.
This was truly heartwarming and generous. This act of kindness has stayed on mind and effected the way that I am looking at the world today.
Last Updated on Monday, 19 January 2015 10:05
To The Daily Sun,
To the Belmont Town Fathers, the Budget Committee and the Taxpayers of Belmont:
We attended the Budget Committee Hearing on Jan. 13 and learned that the proposed cost to Belmont taxpayers to reconstruct the Belmont Mill and refurbish it for use as the Town Hall will be $3.4 million. Several people attending the meeting asked a number of questions, some of which were not answered, or answered vaguely.
Regarding questions asked about the previous reconstruction in 1998, we were told that a number of studies have been done but not compiled. Apparently the town has several boxes which we were invited to come and rifle through in the hopes of finding the answers to our questions. Shouldn't it be the job of the selectmen to make a consolidated report available to the public of how the $1 million grant and the $215,000 taxpayer dollars were spent in 1998? Some of the contractors who worked on the mill are still around today.
One thing we were told at the meeting of Jan. 13, contracted work was not properly supervised by a party looking out for the interests of the town and there was no qualified professional in charge of the construction.
The town administrator and selectperson in attendance indicated that they had no interest in providing any report to the taxpayers to answer the questions regarding the mill reconstruction of 1998.
Additional questions were asked at the meeting regarding the breakdown of the $3.4 million cost into what the cost would be to do the necessary repairs and use it for the same use as now — that is renting it to various groups including the Senior Center and doctor who currently occupy it and other possible tenants to replace those who have left. Specific costs need to be provided for repairing the fourth floor, fixing the heating system and repairing the damaged brickwork. Also no cost was given for the extra work to expand the addition for storage. Shouldn't the taxpayers have the opportunity to decide if it is in our best interest to spend less money and do the repairs?
Questions were also asked regarding seeking out other grant programs and community loan funds. The only answer we were given was that one selectperson believed that the taxpayers should pay for the whole thing because there would be no restrictions on what they could then do with the building. Doesn't it seem that a $1 million grant would be worth some restrictions as to the amount of rent we could charge since we didn't have to pay those capital costs for all those years?
When asked when the rent restrictions for the mill will end, the town administrator said five years. However, at a selectmen's meeting on Jan. 7, 2013, it was noted that it was four to five years. On March 26, 2013, the town administrator said that there could be an update to the rent the town could charge for the remaining years of the grant based on the town's costs.
Further questions were asked regarding why the town needs 17,000-square-feet of office and storage space for 11 full-time and five part-time employees (less a small amount allocated to the Senior Center) when they are using less than 4,000-square-feet now. It was noted that the Welfare Department would also move into the new Town Hall. But that department doesn't seem to be enough to justify such a huge jump in space needs.
Questions were also asked regarding use of the current Town Hall if they move, and use of the recently purchased bank building. Unofficial answers given were to tear them down. This is also being seriously considered for the historic Gale School.
All of these are legitimate questions that need to be answered in order for us taxpayers to be informed voters when deciding on how best to preserve and utilize the Belmont Mill.
Please attend the following meetings, ask questions and voice your opinion. The first, a bond hearing, is on Tuesday, Jan. 20, at 6:30 p.m. in the Corner Meeting. The second, the town Deliberative Session, on Saturday, Jan. 31.
Susan & George Condodemetraky
Last Updated on Monday, 19 January 2015 10:02