To The Daily Sun,
Attention all Bristol residents:
Want to see what is wrong with Bristol's leadership and why your rents and property taxes keep going up up up? Just watch the Feb. 6 Bristol Selectboard video, especially part 2. Kudos to Garlyn Manganiello for bringing to light some serious problems with the town leadership who have apparently excluded our two new selectwomen from very important issues that I will address separately, but even more outrageous to me is what follows next.
Resident Paul Simard explains his concerns about the outrageous taxes and excessive spending in Bristol. He says the town of Weare has 9,000 residents, three times the size of Bristol, yet their total budget is only about $5,100,000 (similar to Bristol's budget), indicating that Bristol just spends too much. Paul asks the Board to review the Bristol ambulance contracts that provide 24/7 service to three neighboring towns for $30,000 each, when those towns would pay $300,000 to $400,000 each if they contracted their own ambulance service directly, and that Bristol taxpayers can't afford to pay for neighboring towns' ambulance service. He says, "Let's take care of our own and let other towns do the same." Sounds like common sense, right?
He says lots of people share his wife's sentiment to get the heck out of Bristol, but selling their home would mean losing a lot of money, assuming it sold. When he says Bristol doesn't sell as much property as neighboring towns (at 49:15 Part 2 of the video) one selectman whispers to another selectman, "Let him talk and talk and talk, is that the deal?" Really? A concerned taxpayer explains that they wish they could move from the town you are supposed to represent, but can't sell their house without losing money, assuming it would sell at all, due mainly to the outrageous spending causing high taxes in Bristol, and you don't want to listen to his pleas for five minutes? Isn't that our job as elected officials?
We should never turn a deaf ear to the people we are sworn to represent when they are pleading to stop spending their money faster than they can earn it or giving it away to other towns. Bristol residents, whether you own or rent, please get involved to stop the madness. When property taxes go up, so do rents. We need to reduce spending and lower taxes ASAP.
Please check out Newfound Area Taxpayers on facebook.com, come to Select Board meetings and make your voices heard. Bring your friends, family and neighbors to Meet the Candidates on March 8, 2014, at 11 a.m. at Minot-Sleeper Library. Kudos to Garlyn and all the courageous folks who show up regularly to try to bring some common sense and accountability to the leaders of Bristol. But we need everyone to stand up and fight to save our town now before it is too late. Please don't consider leaving Bristol for the same reasons. Let's work together to fix things now.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 February 2014 11:01
To The Daily Sun,
Dear Moultonborough Town Meeting members,
Please vote for Article 15 at Town Meeting on March 15 to continue the town's support for the control of milfoil in our lakes and ponds.
We would like to thank the town for its past support to control milfoil. We live on Lees Pond and are very happy to report that real progress has been made on our pond because of the town's support and the countless hours spent by volunteers to do research, find the milfoil, contribute money, apply for grants, and try all kinds of treatments. Next summer we expect to control the milfoil in Lees Pond by finding and pulling small clumps of this invasive plant. There will be no need for herbicides.
We used to have markers for milfoil bobbing all over the pond. Now it is difficult to find any from a kayak. Knowledge gained from fighting milfoil on our pond is being used to control the weed on other lakes and ponds in New Hampshire.
Please vote for Article 15 at the Moultonborough Town Meeting, and thank you again for your past support.
Paula & Roland Young
Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 February 2014 10:58
To The Daily Sun,
Civil litigation is at a crossroad for the State of New Hampshire.
As a result of an election ballot counting error by Laconia officials, a petition, ProSe, was filed with the court in order to ensure that every vote cast shall be counted. (See Belknap County Superior Court Docket No. 211-2013-CV-00308)
The plaintiff prevailed and a recount was conducted, correcting the errors. The court order of November 19, 2013 stated, "The plaintiff's request for an award of costs is granted. The plaintiff, Pro Se, out-of-pocket expenses amounted to $280.76."
However, the City of Laconia would only reimburse the prevailing party the $280.76 conditional on completion of an IRS W-9 form, a form that is use to complete IRS 1099 form, used for income in excess of $600.
On January, 21, 2014, as a result of a rehearing, a new updated order was issued amending the order of November 19, 2013, "subject to the condition of the submission of a completed W-9 form to the defendant. If the plaintiff does not wish to submit the form, he can forego the award of costs."
This precedent, if upheld by the Supreme Court, will mandate that every award of cost will be conditional on the submission of a W-9 (Social Security number). The attorney and the client will have to submit SS# to separate income for services rendered (billable expense) from non-income (reimbursement) for expenses paid by after tax dollars.
How much of Laconia's property tax dollars will the City Council spend to keep the $280.76?
Thomas A. Tardif
Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 February 2014 10:54
To The Daily Sun,
I teach in a small private school in N.H. As I passed the door of a fellow teacher recently, I read a quote by Dietrich Bonhoeffer who suffered death at the hands of the Nazis: "Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act." Almost immediately the plight of American pastor Saeed Abedini came to mind.
Saeed Abedini is a naturalized American citizen who was detained and imprisoned by Iranian officials in the summer of 2012 after he traveled to Iran to visit family. While there he continued his efforts to build an orphanage. His chief crime apparently has resulted from his outspoken Christian testimony. A convert from Islam, Pastor Abedini was sentenced to eight years in prison, convicted by an Iranian court for undermining "the Iranian government by creating a network of Christian house churches and ... attempting to sway Iranian youth away from Islam" (Fox News, Jan. 13, 2013). He has now spent two Christmases in prison and currently his health is threatened as a result of beatings he has received while in prison. Apparently he needs surgery.
We are not talking about a man from another country. Saeed is an American citizen. His family is living in Boise, Idaho where his wife is from and where the Abedinis were living with their two children prior to his arrest in Iran.
We may not be able to do much, but we can do something. We can contact our elected officials and urge them to apply pressure to the Iranian government to release Pastor Saeed Abedini for humanitarian reasons. Nuclear talks with the Iranians are set to resume sometime this month. Now is the time for our elected officials to pressure the Iranian government to allow Pastor Abedini to return to his wife and children in the United States. But our representatives need to hear from their constituents that this is an important issue to them.
"Them" is "us." We need to call N.H. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (phone: 202-224-2841) and Kelly Ayotte (phone: 202-224-3324), Representative Carol Shea-Porter (phone: 202-225-5456), and President Barack Obama (White House phone number: 202-456-1111) or send them letters or e-mail (there are email forms on their official websites) and urge them to fight for the release of Pastor Saeed Abedini.
I just called; you can, too. Remember, if we do not act, we still act.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 February 2014 10:52
To The Daily Sun,
The working poor and middle class still cannot afford medical insurance under the Affordable Care Act. People that struggle every day to make ends meet now have to navigate a website or wait on the phone for more than hour, only find out they cannot afford the insurance. State Senator Andrew Hosmer and State Representative David Huot, have embraced this poorly-crafted big-government solution with 18 new taxes publicly. The Medicaid expansion allows the government to put a lien on your property naming Medicaid as the first beneficiary when you die. Both politicians advocate allowing the state to expand Medicaid to people with incomes up to 133 percent of the poverty level ($15,300 for a single person). A large majority of the poor work multiple jobs to make ends meet, earning more than $15,300 requires them to buy insurance in the exchange or face fines. Expanding Medicare allows able-body people who chose to work part-time to get free medical insurance while the rest of us pay fines or get saddled with overpriced policies for working full-time.
The State of New Hampshire spends 1.4 billion dollars, or 25 percent of the annual budget, helping the sick and poor with medical expenses. The federal government reimburses the state at 50 cents on the dollar. The federal government has offered to pay for expanding Medicaid but after three years the federal government will only fund 90 percent. All the federal funds for this program will be from freshly printed money or borrowed from China. After three years the State of New Hampshire will have to finance the gap through higher property taxes or cuts in other government services. Currently, New Hampshire has the highest business profits tax in the nation and the second highest rooms and meals tax in the country — tied with California. Raising these taxes will have a negative impact on New Hampshire's economy. There is a genuine concern that the federal government will not keep their promise with a growing 17 trillion dollar deficit and more than 90 trillion dollars in unfunded future liabilities. The question is not if the federal government will default, but when.
The working poor live hand to mouth every week and will be hit with a $695 fine in 2016 if they do not buy insurance they cannot afford. The lowest level insurance (bronze level) is more than three hundred dollars a month for a single person with high deductibles and co-pays they cannot afford. The working poor will have a choice to pay $3,600 a year for unusable insurance or pay a $695 fine. We now have the right to purchase insurance when we get sick because there are no preexisting condition exceptions. It makes financial sense to pay the fine if you are healthy. The working poor will have to make the decision what is more painful the fine or the cost of insurance. If they get sick they will buy the insurance and when they are better it will be dropped. Remember these people need every dollar. They worry about food, shelter, and transportation every week. A better use of public funds would to be support clinics that provide care to the working poor, circumventing insurance companies and hospitals with over paid CEOs. Unfortunately, the working poor will have another option if Medicaid is expanded. They can now choose to work part-time and get free medical, more food stamps, along with fuel and housing assistance. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office report says more than 2 million people will decide not to work, or will decide to work less, due to the Affordable Care Act. We have designed a system to reward less work and punish those that want to be productive and self- supporting.
Currently, New Hampshire has one medical insurance company approved by the state exchange. We are now paying the second highest premiums in the nation. Imagine if one oil company owned every gasoline station in the state. Who do you think would be the winner the consumer or the oil company? Competition always benefits the consumer. A better health care law would have allow New Hampshire residents or businesses to buy insurance across state lines like car insurance and tailor the plans to their needs and ability to pay. If this was the case more businesses would offer insurance and would be more affordable to all. Preexisting conditions need to be addressed. I believe people with uninsurable preexisting conditions should be allowed to join Medicare (not Medicaid) to ensure they get the care they need but only for their uninsurable condition. Currently, the government mandates it for some illnesses even if you have insurance. You are required to pay the quarterly Medicare premium plus your existing private medical insurance.
Unfortunately, big government, the insurance companies and hospitals are now business partners profiting at our expense. The government gets more tax receipts and control of your life with all your personal information. The insurance companies and hospitals walk away with more cash. Thanks to their new business partnership they can now maximize profits by using the federal government's hammer of taxation while promoting crony capitalism with more corporate welfare. Remember to thank your big government politicians in the 2014 elections for promoting and supporting these bad policies that make health care even more unaffordable for the working class. If you really want to promote prosperity for all Americans support candidates who believe in pro growth economic policies instead of the government managed status quo that keeps you poor and needy. The number one social program all politicians should be working on is JOBS! Big government politicians believe prosperity is a dirty word because if you're prosperous you would not vote for them.
Ask your state senator to take the pledge to not expand Medicaid in any form. Able bodied people that choose to work part time should not get free medical insurance while working people struggle to keep their heads above water.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 11 February 2014 11:14