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Everyone at those meetings will be recording their own minutes

To The Daily Sun,

As was reflected in the Gilmanton selectmen's minutes of April 4, 11 ,18 and 25, the selectmen were unanimous in their support of audio-recording their public minutes and the saving of those recordings for seven years. At the time, I imagine, they felt there was nothing to fear in having the meetings recorded. They have obviously discovered otherwise. They have completely reversed their decision and there will no longer be any further recording (see story - May 20). It would seem, then, that they have in fact found that there is something to fear after all. And that would be: themselves! The truth is the Gilmanton selectmen and town administrator have discontinued recordings to
protect themselves, from themselves.

It won't work, and this is why:

If anyone in Gilmanton were to take the time to review the existing recordings and documented minutes of the last few months, they would discover their local governing body consists of two completely inexperienced selectmen and one, though a bit more experienced, more a follower than a leader and thereby oftentimes ineffective, and a town administrator who has developed a consistent history of passing the buck and scapegoating. Combinations which have resulted in more than a few serious mistakes. Worse, the tapes and minutes demonstrate that when confronted with these mistakes, they have shown a very unflattering side of themselves as less of a governing body and
more as a group more driven by their own arrogant self-centeredness, self-interests and agendas than public service. Not exactly what you want to have an audio record of . . . and so they stopped recording.

The point is though, it's too late! The decision to quit recording falls somewhere between putting your foot in your mouth (which they've done sowell, so often ) and shooting yourself in the foot. By fully advocating something and then discontinuing it because it revealed things they did not want the community to be aware of, the selectman and town administrator have simply drawn even more attention and scrutiny to themselves. The spotlight is on! Now, everyone at these meetings will be recording their own minutes and matching those recordings to the officially released minutes, and I would think those minutes had better match up to the extent that they satisfy the guidelines under RSA 91-A:2 "Meetings Open To The Public." If the board and administrator think they can sugar-coat and somehow edit out their embarrassing inadequacies from the public minutes, they are mistaken.

It may help if they try to remember that transparency isn't some gift they give to the people, or some talking-point they use to get elected. It is a legal obligation. They need to abide by it, and be held to it.

Al Blake

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Bob Meade - Do-Re-Mi-Fa-Sol-La-Ti-Do . . .

Politics is somewhat like the music scale. If you don't find a way to use the notes in the middle, you don't have any harmony . . . only the Do-Dos on each end.

Have you noticed how we have spent our time, effort, and money building a "dependent" class of people. We have even made it easier to be classified as "disabled." by liberalizing the conditions to qualify for the benefits. The number of citizens receiving disability benefits has risen sharply and there are now about 20 percent of the population receiving them. The numbers of people on food stamps has also risen dramatically and there are now almost 48 million people in that program. And, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), aka "Obamacare," enrollment appears to provide government subsidies to about two thirds of the program's enrollees.

These three items are mentioned not in a mean spirited way, but are intended to show that the necessity for such programs, to a large extent, was generated by the lack of jobs. And it will get worse as the federal government uses "regulations" that were not initiated and passed by Congress, but have the force of law, to stifle and attack businesses. The desire to kill the coal industry is one example. The "30-hour work week," designed to force businesses to provide Obamacare coverage to what had been part-time employees is another. The highest corporate tax rates in the industrialized world is another. And, perhaps worst of all, is the "spinning" of record low unemployment rates and job increase numbers when, in fact, our labor participation rates are the lowest they have been since the Carter administration in 1978. Our job growth is actually less than 15 percent of our population growth.

James Carville, the campaign manager for Bill Clinton, used to say, "It's the economy, stupid!" Maybe now is the time to say, "It's the lack of jobs, stupid!"

Today we have politicians doing their best to further divide the country by attacking businesses, promising incredible and undeliverable "free stuff,", and working diligently to divide the country by race, gender and ethnicity . . . remember, they aren't looking for harmony, just the Do-Dos on each end.

Those running for office may not understand the depth of angst of the citizenry. The "people", for whom the government is supposed to be of, by, and for, are upset with the government — all branches, all parties, all bureaucratic entities, the "professional politicians," the spinning, the lies, the infighting, the ignoring of the Constitution, the usurpation of the states rights as defined in the Tenth Amendment, and more. And the people are also upset with the press, who have abandoned the purpose for which they were granted special privilege by their inclusion in the First Amendment. The press has become sycophants and cheerleaders for those on the political left — due diligence escapes them.

The presumptive nominee of the Democrat Party, Secretary Hillary Clinton, is being challenged by the Socialist Senator from Vermont. The angst of the people is evident in that they are flocking to a man they view as "different," even though he is a professional politician, because he is offering them more and more "free stuff" and, in doing so, is encouraging the young to enter the ranks of the dependents. It appears the Democrat party will grant Secretary Clinton the nomination, regardless of what the will of the Democrat voters may be. A thorough review of her career comes up lacking in bone fide accomplishments but an abundance of distrust. But, at this time, what difference does it make. If Democrat leadership were influenced by the angst of the people, they would be showing more concern . . . and perhaps be more reluctant than to have her as their nominee.

The Republicans aren't much better. In what can best be labeled as a school yard brawl, 17 candidates duked it out and 16 professional politicians fell by the wayside. The now presumptive nominee reached his goal not because he is politically knowledgeable, or has a firm grasp of the Constitution, or some special insight on job creation, or a thoughtful foreign policy, he simply has a slogan and, most importantly to the people, he is not a professional politician.

So now we get back to our original paragraph. Are we going to have politicians who recognize and respond to the angst of the people so we can have some harmony in our political processes? Or, are we going to have to put up with the Do–Dos for a while longer?

Leadership in both political parties should take heed . . . the people aren't done yet.

(Bob Meade is a Laconia resident.)

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