To The Daily Sun,
This letter is to correct some misconceptions in Bristol Selectman Joe Denning's recent letter in response to my letter about Bristol desperately needing new leadership.
Selectman Denning claims Bristol residents are happy with town services. With all due respect, it seems Mr. Denning is just not listening. My letter did not say residents were not happy with the quality of town services. With a $5.4 million budget for 3,000 residents, about $1 million of which goes to police and about $1 million of which goes to the Fire Department every year, not to mention about another $1 million in warrant article funding requested this year, everyone should be ecstatic with the quality of services for the money Bristol has spent over the past 10 years.
My point is that we are spending more than most folks can afford. Ask the property owners who are now $700,000 in arrears in Bristol. Surely they would pay their property taxes if they could afford to.
I can tell you personally after talking extensively with residents for the past two years, many Bristol residents are not happy at all, but they are afraid to speak out. Many are afraid to vote (as unbelievable as that sounds in this place we call America). Many business owners feel ignored and fear retaliation which may cause their businesses to suffer if they don't "go with the flow" here. Many feel beaten down and have become apathetic feeling powerless to make things better. Many residents feel like "outsiders" no matter how long they have lived here.
We want leaders who embrace, include and represent everyone, even when they have differing viewpoints. We cannot evolve without open honest respectful discussions. We certainly don't need leaders disparaging honest hard-working educated residents who bring concerns to the Select Board by labeling their ideas as "crazy" or "imagining things."
Comparing Weare, N.H.'s budget to Bristol budget is not crazy. It is enlightening. Weare is a lake community with a state beach, like Bristol, but they seem to get three times the bang for their taxpayer buck. The Town of Weare has 66 employees while Bristol employs 32 full-time and 53 part-time (85) and growing. Weare has only 1 percent of its population living below the poverty level compared to Bristol's 7.8 percent, so surely we could learn something by researching Weare's government style in more depth.
If you don't like comparing Bristol to Weare, how about our neighbor Holderness whose budget is only about $3 million and enjoys a low tax rate of $13.50 also with 1.7 percent living below poverty level. Both Holderness and Weare enjoy significantly higher family median incomes than Bristol as well. Just go to http://www.nhes.nh.gov/ and you can compare Bristol to any town in New Hampshire and decide for yourself.
We need open-minded trustworthy prudent representatives who treat everyone and their ideas with the utmost respect and concern, and that is why I am endorsing Paul Manganiello and Andy O'Hara for Bristol Select Board and hope that you will too.
Last Updated on Friday, 21 February 2014 12:00
To The Daily Sun,
On March 11, voters in Ashland have an opportunity to make a good decision for Ashland's future. Warrant Article 3 is a bond issue for the purchase and renovation of the historic school building for the new home of the Ashland Town Library. The school has been beautifully restored, and brought up to all modern building, accessibility and life safety codes. With very little renovation, this building would usher in a new era for library services in Ashland.
The Ashland Town Library has been in existence for 142 years, the last 75 years located in the Scribner building at the corner of Main St. and Pleasant St. While it is a very good location, the library outgrew the space years ago. Parking has been an issue, as well as accessibility and life-safety codes. Books are stacked on any flat surface, and books that are still popular and useful must be removed when new books are purchased. There is very little space for quiet reading or studying, and no meeting space to speak of.
Libraries are a vital resource in communities large and small. Libraries level the technological playing field, providing access to technology and the internet for those who may not be able to afford personal devices. In the last three years, the circulation numbers have increased at the Ashland Town Library by 23 percent, and 16 percent more people have visited the library.
The old school was built in 1877-78, and served as a school for Ashland's children until 1990. It has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Many Ashland residents have fond memories of their time spent in the classrooms of the building.
The building fell into disrepair until 2008 when it was purchased from the school district by Tri County Community Action Program. That organization spent $1.25 million to restore the building to its former glory, install up-to-date heating and cooling systems, and bring it up to modern code standards. TCCAP won a Merit Award for Excellence in Architecture Design for the work by Ashland architects Samyn-D'Elia.
By moving the library to the school building, the residents of Ashland will benefit in many ways. The proximity to the current elementary school means that children will be within a short walk of the library for in-school visits or after-school activities. The Children's Room would at least triple in size, allowing for more children to attend story times in a comfortable setting.
There would be room for all collections to be housed properly and allow room for growth. There are two rooms that would be designated for private study space, for tutors and others who need quiet space. There would be ample room for public computers. The current library has four computers in cramped quarters.
Teens would have their own space, and there would be a designated Special Collections area for local historic documents and rare books. There would be space for comfortable armchairs for quiet reading, and tables for group study space.
One of the best features of the school is the attractive third floor meeting space. This is a large open space, with great views of the town. This space would be available to town government and community groups, something that is sorely needed in town.
Of course all of this comes at a price. An offer has been made to TCCAP and accepted, for $850,000 to purchase the building. This is 68 percent of what they paid for the renovation, and provides almost move-in quality accommodations. Another $100,000 would be needed for minor construction (a circulation desk, security issues, and other minor adjustments), and furnishing the new building. What the town would get in return would be the pride of ownership of the beautiful and historic building, and a modern, up to date, well-situated library. We urge the voters of Ashland to vote yes on Warrant article 3.
Ashland Town Library Board of Trustees
Last Updated on Friday, 21 February 2014 11:56
To The Daily Sun,
The staff and Steering Committee of the Holy Trinity Day Away Program would like to thank the many agencies and individuals who have supported our new program by providing financial assistance and our volunteers. Without their support and dedication, our program could not function. The Holy Trinity Day Away Program is a respite care program for adults with beginning stages of Alzheimer's disease or dementia.
Our thanks to the New Hampshire Electric Co-Op Foundation, The Bishop's Charitable Assistance Fund, Catholic Diocese of Manchester, Service Link Aging and Resource Center, New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, and donations from many local residents for items we are using in the program.
Staff & Management
Holy Trinity Day Away Program
Last Updated on Friday, 21 February 2014 11:49
To The Daily Sun,
My name is Andrew J. O'Hara Jr. and I am running for Bristol Selectboard for 2014.
I have resided in Bristol for 30 years and am a graduate of Newfound Memorial High School. I have owned and operated a business in Bristol for more than 15 years. Change is good, and it's time to reclaim Bristol.
Taxes are a serious problem, although some current selectmen don't seem to believe so. Look up taxes — it's a burdensome or oppressive duty. We need to lower taxes. Too many people can't pay their property taxes in Bristol and they need our help now. So where do we begin our new journey with new selectmen?
Carol Huber has been telling it like it is for the past two years and she was elected to Bristol's Budget Committee because of her honest, outspoken, but conservative and respectful approach and I stand behind her beliefs and completely support her. Please support me at the polls on March 11 and together we can turn this ship around and steer Bristol into its brightest and most successful future.
Andrew J. O'Hara, Jr.
Last Updated on Friday, 21 February 2014 11:46
To The Daily Sun,
In response to Sandra Mucci of Meredith, who somehow thinks former state Sen. Joe Kenney misled the public on health care for women at that debate, Mr. Cryan's is refusing to address the elephant in the room of Obamacare and how it has taken away 10 hospitals that are out of network for those who are being forced into its system of rationed health care. The Democrats refuse to admit that Obamacare is a failed policy.
Mr. Kenney has been a champion for womens' health care, sponsoring and passing the midwifery bill that allows midwives to receive third party reimbursement from insurance companies and in turn lower the costs of delivering babies. Kenney was a sponsor of the Nurses Compact Act, allowing nurses more flexibility on where they work and the organ donor registry bill. Senator Kenney is an advocate for oral health in New Hampshire and has helped many women to access oral health and to receive dental work. The lists goes on for his support of women's health care. Kenney stated in his opening to the Planned Parenthood question in Meredith that he always supported cancer screening for women and breast exams.
However, Senator Kenney questioned why the state dollars should support funding for services that the federal government has already done in the past and plans to do in the future, unless there is a shortfall.
The only person who misled the public was Commissioner Michael Cryans, who would not answer directly if he supported a gas tax increase. Sen. Kenney was clear that he is against it. Cryans was asked several times and never gave a direct answer.
A vote for Joe Kenney on March 11 for Executive Council is a vote for experience, impeccable integrity and someone who will help people solve their problems.
Last Updated on Friday, 21 February 2014 11:43