To The Daily Sun,
This coming Thursday, Oct 30, at 11 a.m., my wife, Linda Roeder, and I are sponsoring a Meet the Candidates forum here at Taylor Community, and we would love to invite everyone to come, from the general public, as well as from the Taylor Community, and bring as many friends, family, and neighbors as possible. Taylor Community is right across the street from Irwin car dealership on Union Ave.; take the Taylor road all the way to the top of the hill to Woodside, the large and last building.
The four people who will be speaking are Kathy Rago, Frank Tilton, Dave DeVoy, and Dick Burchell. We are desperately hoping for a good turnout to keep these good public servants inspired and enthused.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 October 2014 08:36
To The Daily Sun,
The outcome of the county commissioner election for the district representing Laconia, Sanbornton and New Hampton will set the political climate in Belknap County for the next half decade.
One candidate, David DeVoy, is a self-proclaimed Libertarian running as a Republican, and the other, David Pollak, is a centrist Democrat. In another District, Richard Burchell, a Tea Party supporter running as a Republican, has no opposition and is assured of election.
In the Third District, Steve Nedeau, a long-time mainstream Republican, is continuing the term to which he was previously elected. Thus, the Pollak/DeVoy election will decide the pivot vote between a Tea Party Republican and a mainstream Republican.
The most basic character qualities I look for in candidates for public office are honesty, integrity, and the ability to treat all people with respect and dignity, including those with whom they have differences of opinion. From my observation, both Dave Pollak and Dave DeVoy have honesty and integrity. They are both honorable men. However, I also look for evidence of critical thinking in candidates: that is, skill in listening thoughtfully to all ideas concerning a problem, do independent research, arrive at an unbiased tentative solution, and to then engage in good-will dialogue with fellow elected representatives to arrive at the solution.
It appears that Dave DeVoy has a thinking process that frames county problems within the context of a rigid and inflexible unproven political bias that fails to accommodate the reality of the situation. The glaring, but not only, example is his public positions on the transformation of the county criminal justice system. He started with a proposal to convert the offices of the county commissioners, including the conference room, into a women's prison for $1 million. Apparently finding that idea impossible even to himself, he arrived at his "Smart Jail Plan" which he priced at $2 million. Apparently, that plan is also inadequate since his most recent idea is to instruct the architect to design a $7 million jail. All the DeVoy plans lack critical thinking and even omit dialogue with his fellow libertarian Representatives. Critical thinking must consider the reality of the situation.
Dave Pollak, however, has done extensive research on our county criminal justice situation, and affirms the need to go back to the beginning and open mindedly solve the problem. He thinks it can protect Laconia's tax cap, but knows it will require good-will dialogue between the county delegation and the county commissioners. He will start with carefully listening to both of the other commissioners and helping to enable a climate within the Board of Commissioners favorable to negotiating with the county delegation.
Only the voters in Laconia, Sanbornton and New Hampton will vote on this position, but all Belknap County citizens have a major stake in the matter. The election of Dave Pollak is decisive in solving the county political war. I hope David Pollak prevails.
Miller C. Lovett
Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 October 2014 08:33
To The Daily Sun,
Tom Dawson is a candidate for the New Hampshire House of Representatives from Laconia in the election on Nov. 4. His experience prepares him to understand many different perspectives on the issues that legislators will decide.
As chief financial officer of a large city fire department and as state fire marshal, he planned resources and built budgets to get a crucial job done right. As owner of a consulting firm, he dealt with the demands of operating a small business. As a vocational teacher, he can appreciate the value of a trained workforce and the concerns of students preparing to enter it. As a school board member, he remembers the challenges of balancing local needs against changing resources from the state.
Tom is willing to talk and listen to those with different points of view because his life has given him different points of view.
Tom Dawson offers the voters of Laconia the benefits of his years in public safety, business, and education. He deserves your serious consideration and your vote on Nov. 4.
Last Updated on Monday, 27 October 2014 03:20
To The Daily Sun,
On the afternoon of Oct. 19, I was competing in a bass tournament on Lake Winnipesaukee with my son, Justin. The waves on the main body of the lake ranged from 2.5 to 3 feet. As we traveled with the waves we rounded the point of Ellacoya State Park. At this point the waves were slightly larger. As we continued west the space between the waves in front of us increased causing us to spear a wave. The boat lost power and within 30 seconds we were completely swamped. At this point we were in serious trouble and a 9-1-1 call was made.
During those first minutes the local dispatcher acquired our position and sent a call to the Gilford Fire Department. The water rescue team received the call at 1:41 p.m. and had their boat at our location at 2:05 p.m. Considering that the crew is a mix of volunteer and full-time personnel, their response time was amazing. Our boat somehow stayed afloat about 2 inches below the surface. The only things out of the water were the top of the gas engine and the front seat. We have to thank BassCat boats for making a boat that did not sink.
The personnel on the rescue boat did an awesome job once on site. They were very well trained and communicated effectively with us and among themselves. Boarding another vessel in the waves was not easy, but they made it happen. Once we were on the rescue boat I was extremely impressed with the effort made to assess our conditions which was immediately followed by a seamless transition to a salvage operation for our boat.
Somehow on Oct 19 we left the West Alton Marina towing our boat home to Massachusetts. This could have never happened without the bravery and expertise shown by the following crew of individuals: Capt. Rick Andrews, driver Ron Skinner, diver Jason Godin, and assistant Greg Trombi.
To the community of Gilford, you folks are very lucky to have this group in your area.
Ronald & Justin Spraske
Last Updated on Monday, 27 October 2014 03:17
To The Daily Sun,
My opponent and I had been invited to visit with the residents of the Belknap County Nursing Home. I was able to spend over an hour talking with residents and staff and hearing their stories.
As I was leaving, I spotted a woman tottering down the hall leaning heavily on an LNA who was listening intently to her companion. At a table by the door, a resident was sitting with a staffer while slowly eating a piece of cake. Another resident rolled up in his wheelchair and offered me a piece. I've been carrying it around for a couple of days to remind me of the folks I'd met.
Before my visit, I hadn't realized how many people's lives are touched by the nursing home. However, once I started telling this story, my eyes were opened. Everyone, it seems, has a story about the nursing home. A parent of one of my daughter's hockey teammates told me that his mother had been in several nursing homes and found ours to be the best, by far, because of the care provided by the nursing staff. "It takes a special person to work there," he said. While eating in a downtown restaurant, I met the owner who told me that he'd spent three months in the nursing home rehabbing after surgery. He had only positive memories of the staff and agreed that the people who work there "really care." I saw that with my own eyes.
We are creating unnecessary stress and anxiety for those valuable employees by messing around with their health insurance payments. If we want them to increase the amount they pay for health insurance, we should negotiate in good faith. At the very least, the executive committee should approve the transfers requested by the county commissioners to fulfill the county's contractual obligations to our employees and let them do their jobs without worry.
If you believe contracts should be honored and you want to return civility and common sense to county government, please vote for me on Nov. 4.
Candidate for Belknap Co. Commission
Last Updated on Monday, 27 October 2014 03:14