To The Daily Sun,
My grandson burst into tears when he read that Kimball Castle is to be demolished before he ever has a chance to see it. I agree with him because it would be a terrible waste of a huge economic opportunity and educational opportunity for this entire region. This amazing opportunity should not be lost!
The castle can become an amazing tourist and education attraction like Rome's Coliseum or Athen's Parthenon. You don't need to let anyone near anything that's falling in, just near enough to see the light shows and listen to guides explain local history. There are promoters who can lay it all out for you if you would just bother to search them out. Money to save the castle would come from investors, not taxes, if the owners would consent to something mutually advantageous for all of us.
Your immediate problem is time. So get searching for tour promoters and light show producers in the States and in Europe to learn how they got started. You might even find an organization that packages it all. PBS and university programs might be able to provide advocates and intern support. Finding these people could give you what you need to stall the selectmen, who need assurance of good for their constituents. Bringing in jobs and tourists and countless educational opportunities is good. It is entirely possible to promote conservation and tourism if it is planned thoroughly.
You can get support from economic development folks, who in turn will get the local business support that you need to get this rolling. Put together a committee of groups who stand to lose the most, such as businesses en route to the castle that will provide housing and food and shopping for the tourists, local educators and regional educators. Families and schools and child-care providers will also lose out. So their voices should be heard.
Our exquisite four seasons suggest a number of indoor and outdoor programs that can be carefully introduced as this project is developed. Specific holiday celebrations and castle anniversaries come to mind as extra special draws. Handicap trail access and other innovations can bring national attention. The castle could become a destination wedding site, in addition to all the events and attractions that will come to mind as this is developed. Just use your imaginations to realize there simply is no limit to what can be accomplished.
Anyone who supports demolition should be ashamed of themselves for being so utterly selfish and short-sighted. This is an opportunity that should not be ignored.
Just do it. Just do it, now.
Charles W. Allen
Last Updated on Tuesday, 11 March 2014 09:03
To The Daily Sun,
Write in Dave Sticht for selectman for the Town of Meredith. I know we can be successful in this endeavor.
Meredith doesn't need anymore big spenders on the Selectboard. Things are still hard out here in the real world.
Last Updated on Monday, 10 March 2014 09:03
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