To The Daily Sun,
In response to John Funk & Chums' letter to the editor on March 6, I can only say that he does a great job of molding his "facts" to suit his own agenda. Tucked into an otherwise well-reasoned argument in favor of their candidate is mention that current Selectman Don Guarino and I are brothers-in-law. This is the sort of tactic used by people who, deep down, don't believe their own candidate is good enough to win on his own merit; therefore they trot out some mud or whitewash in an effort to tear down the opposing candidate and prop up their own. Such drivel is the stuff of fools. It does nothing more than reveal Mr. Funk and his pals for what they really are — people who add little to the discussion other than the misrepresentation of information.
Mr. Funk (and cronies) state that "the town benefits when there are three independent voices bringing a variety of perspectives...." They assume that, because Don's wife and my wife are sisters that I either can't think for myself, or that my perspective mirrors Don's, or in the darkness of the hierarchy of our family I am somehow subject to the rule of the Stevens Clan Chieftain. What a stupid notion.
The topic of Don's and my family relationship didn't come up at the Candidates Night until I mentioned it. Neither Mr. Funk nor his posse brought it up. I find it interesting that they did not mention it in an open meeting, choosing instead to snipe away later from the safety of a campaign endorsement letter. I brought it up because I felt it was important for the voters to hear it from the horse's mouth and not from the opposite end of the animal. And I will answer today with the same answer I gave at Candidates Night: "My brother-in-law has as much influence over me as yours has over any of you. Figure it out for yourself." And that is what I ask you to do. Decide for yourself if such a "family relationship" should be avoided in the selectmen's office.
More importantly, Mr. Funk and friends fail in their letter to report that, at the Candidates Night I came out in strong support of Article 30 — the very same article that Don so strenuously opposes. If that does not demonstrate independent thinking, I don't know what does.
But far be it for Mr. Funk and friends to want you to have that piece of information, because it would destroy their argument. They wouldn't want facts to get in the way of their opinion. Now, to be fair, perhaps their letter was written and submitted prior to the Candidates Night. They would have had no way of knowing that my position was in opposition to Don's. In that case they are guilty of talking through their collective over-sized hats and stuffed shirts, spouting off with no facts to support their off-the-mark assertion.
It's the old, tired notion of, "I'll tell you what I want you to know, whether it's true or not." It's unfortunate that some people consider this a valid way to promote their agenda and push for a candidate that they otherwise can't support with 100 percent of their effort. Mr. McCormack deserves better. As the saying goes, "with friends like that....."
Mr. Funk and friends either chose not to share all of the information with you or they shot from the hip and demonstrated their ignorance for all the world to see. Whichever shoe fits, I hope they put it on and wear it with the shame it deserves.
I'm not in Don Guarino's back pocket, nor in the pocket of anyone else, but I respect and admire the work that he has done on behalf of Gilmanton. I am proud to be his brother-in-law. If you, as voters see our family relationship as problematic, then vote your conscience. At least now, however, you know the truth and not just the "pick and choose" inaccuracy of John Funk and Company.
Last Updated on Monday, 10 March 2014 09:01
To The Daily Sun,
During the past dozen years, I have had the pleasure of knowing Mike Cryan's. Several times over those years, I have executed contracts with Mike in his role as Executive Director of Headrest in Lebanon. Through that process, I have found him to be knowledgeable, responsible and easily meeting or exceeding the contract deliverables. I have also served on committees with Mike and observed him as a Grafton County Commissioner.
I believe Mike Cryans is the right choice to serve us as Executive Councilor in District 1. While it will be difficult to fill the enormous shoes left by Ray Burton, Mike has the skills, experience and qualities necessary to serve to serve as Executive Councilor. I feel Mike demonstrates many of the key characteristics which Ray possessed – not a surprise since he worked side by side with him as Grafton County Commissioners for many years. Mike is approachable and easy to talk to. He enjoys all types of people and is very responsive. Perhaps most importantly, he is motivated by a desire to work collaboratively and find solutions to problems that impact on people and is not driven by any political agenda or ideology.
Please join me in voting for Mike Cryans for Executive Council on March 11, 2014!
Last Updated on Monday, 10 March 2014 08:57
To The Daily Sun,
To quote James Carville, campaign manager for Bill Clinton 1992, "It's the economy, stupid".
Bristol's economic development has been focused narrowly on the downtown project, which I recently referred to at meet the candidate's as the "Field of Dreams" approach — "If you build it they will come."
As owner and operator of two seasonal businesses in Bristol, I understand some of the challenges that businesses' face. The foremost challenge is a rising municipal tax rate. This dramatically cuts into the profit margins of any seasonal business, rising tax rates are passed through in the form of higher tax obligation to owner-occupied establishments or higher rents if not.
A recent article in The Laconia Sun stated that even during the recession with increasing costs that have been pushed down by the state, we were able to keep the budget level. While doing this our tax rate was and still is in the bottom third in the state. I have heard that statement before about Bristol having a tax rate in the bottom third of the state, so I decided to go to the department of revenue and look up the numbers.
Yes, our overall tax rate is in the bottom third when you look at 250 communities in New Hampshire. That said, let's break down how we achieved the bottom third rating. Four tax rates make up that overall rating as measured by the department of revenue: school, state, county, and municipal. We have no control over two of the tax elements — county and state — and vote regionally on the school budget to establish our school tax rate.
Look at the data and you will quickly see that the school tax rate is low relative to other communities in the state and is the explanation for how we achieved the lower-third rating. When you look at the town tax rate which is the office were all seeking, then you will see that were actually in the 77th percentile of most expensive towns in the state.
Bristol School 86 of 256 - 33.6 percent in the state; Bristol Town 199 of 256 - 76.6 percent in the state; Bristol overall 101 of 256 - 39.5 percent in the state.
Candidate for Selectman
Last Updated on Monday, 10 March 2014 08:51
To The Daily Sun,
Selectmen are elected to run the town according to the wishes of the people.
When the selectmen in Gilmanton attempted to control the Fire Department they were going against the wishes of the people. After much discussion it was clear that the people had to speak by placing a warrant article on the ballot to be sure their wishes were known.
Still, the selectmen were not listening and found it necessary to write letters to the newspapers and post signs trying to explain themselves and asking for support from the voters. It's simple — the voters don't support the selectmen. The selectmen are supposed to support and do the will of the voters. The selectmen have it backwards.
Gilmanton Iron Works
Last Updated on Monday, 10 March 2014 08:36
To The Daily Sun,
To Gilmanton voters:
There was confusion with a handout at the deliberative session. This is a clarification.
Warrant Articles 8,9,10,12,13,17,24,26,28,29 will have to be raised by taxes. Warrant Articles 11,14,15,16,22,25 are to paid from capital reserve accounts. They will not impact your taxes. We have already saved for these articles.
Article 18, fire engine, is looking for the town to accept a grant. Should we be awarded this grant it will not impact your taxes. Where as we do not know yet about the grant, we have the following article: Article 19, fire engine lease. The fire truck in service is scheduled for replacement. It has seen 20 years of service and the Board of Selectmen and the Budget Committee support replacing it. The town will use capital reserves for a down payment. This allows the truck to be built and a delivery date at the end of 2014 or early 2015. The tax impact for this piece of equipment will happen next year.
Sample ballots are posted at the Academy.
Selectman Don Guarino
Last Updated on Monday, 10 March 2014 08:32