To The Daily Sun,
In an example of irresponsible and thoughtless governance, the Belknap County Convention voted an across the board 5 percent cut to its support for the so-called outside agencies which include Lakes Region Child Advocacy, Lakes Region Mutual Fire Aid, Genesis Counseling Group, Community Action Program, Belknap County Conservation District, Belknap Economic Development Council, and the UNH Cooperative Extension.
Our representatives were elected to be responsible stewards of the county's finances. They were not elected to blindly cut without any thought of the results — including the loss of vital services and jobs. They attacked those who are the most vulnerable among us. They will reduce needed services and make it harder to grow our economy which is already facing massive demographic and economic challenges.
Representatives from BEDC were present to testify about the broad range of services they provide. Two of our elected representatives have said that when they first took office they had wanted to eliminate support for the BEDC. But, they had seen the economic benefits provided and had since changed their minds. Despite this, the convention chopped away. The convention didn't even give the other agencies a chance to present evidence of the work they do before slashing their support.
The process went something like this: Representative Vadney suggested they cut 1 percent. Representative Howard raised him to 10 percent. Chairman Tilton asked them to wait and set up a subcommittee before acting. Instead, Rep. Vadney modified his motion to 5 percent and it passed. That's not deliberative government. That's mindless cutting just for the sake of cutting. It's disgraceful.
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