To The Daily Sun,
I am writing to thank Dennis Fields, Republican representative (Sanbornton), for bravely speaking out at Belknap County Convention meetings against the undemocratic, and probably illegal actions of its Republican leadership.
Fields knows that meetings should have an open process and rules of order with public input. He realizes that signed collective bargaining agreements must be upheld, despite leadership's level-funding of personnel costs, including health insurance. He voices the frustration of many who protest against the disrespect shown to the democratic process, the commissioners, the county employees, the members of the public, as well as to Fields himself.
The BC Convention chair knows how to provoke his outbursts, then demean him, a member of her own party. She treats him haughtily as if he were a child, and thereby escalates the provocation. She is incapable of listening to him, as that might appear to validate his concerns. He cannot remain silent without seeming to acquiesce to her outrages. The situation is untenable, dysfunctional and sad.
Her group's pre-determined "agenda," ostensibly to save taxpayers money ($11 a year) is short-sighted and narrow-minded in the extreme. She (they) cannot hear anyone who has a differing opinion, might actually know the facts or have a suggestion for compromise.
I for one applaud Fields' efforts, futile though they be. If I am in the audience I will give him a thumbs-up if he looks my way. He speaks for me.
Meanwhile, please remember the election next fall. Change is needed.
Last Updated on Monday, 31 March 2014 08:50
To The Daily Sun,
In repose to a recent letter in The Sun by Ms. Comtois criticizing me and statements I made in my letter about Mrs. Colette Worsman ruling the Belknap County Convention with an iron fist and that Mrs. Worsman has little respect for those on the other side of issues, I would like to state that I took all the facts of the meetings right out of The Daily Sun.
The county budget was approved on Feb. 12 with a vote of seven "for" and six "against." Mrs. Worsman then allowed an absent member, Mr. Comtois, to vote over the phone and declared the vote was 6-6 and that the motion was defeated. She then tried to explain her action by saying a discussion to allow Mr. Comtois to vote over the phone was held with members of the convention. But that discussion happened before there was a quorum. Next, Mrs. Worsman tried to amend the minutes of Feb. 12. That vote was defeated 5-4, four of her loyal supporters abstained.
At the end of my letter I mentioned the meetings in Concord. The first one was held last week, and after the work was done Mrs. Worsman refused to answer questions and stated the the meeting was adjourned.
Ms Comtois, before you start lecturing me about my letter, read the papers and tell me what I am saying is wrong. You can also explain to me why I shouldn't think that Mrs. Worsman acts like a dictator, has no respect for our county commissioners and convention members who do not agree with her.
As far as the title of your letter, the only strength and compassion I could read in your letter was by Mr. Thomas when he told her to "go to hell." If this is true, I have to respect him for holding back.
Perhaps you remember in 2012 when the Red Sox had lacked leadership and players were drinking beer and eating chicken in the clubhouse during games; they finished dead last. But in 2013 under new leadership they went from worst to first and won the World Series. That's what we need to do in regards to our County Convention. We should select a new chairman and get us back to a county we can be proud of. That's what it was when we had County Commissioners like Mark Thurston and Christopher Boothby, whom I am lucky to call my friends.
I will finish with a question Ms. Comtois asked in her letter and it was, if I had gone to the same meeting that she went to. The answer is, no, I didn't go to that meeting. Mr. Comtois was also absent, didn't hear any of the discussion was but allowed to vote anyway over the phone. I hope to see you at future meetings.
L. Michael Hatch
Last Updated on Monday, 31 March 2014 08:47
To The Daily Sun,
The recent Special Election race to fill the remaining nine months of Ray Burton's term for Executive Council (District 1) was a wonderful life experience for me.
I knew that running in this vast district (the northern two-thirds of the state) would be extremely demanding, but I was both overwhelmed and energized by the hundreds of supporters who volunteered for my campaign in so many ways: making financial contributions, placing (and holding) signs, writing letters to newspapers, making phone calls on my behalf, and hosting numerous events all over the state. For this I say thank you. It is hard to express the gratitude I feel.
I would like to wish Joe Kenney the very best as he completes the term of my good friend, Ray Burton.
Thank you again to all of my loyal supporters, and to everyone who voted for me.
Michael J. Cryans
Last Updated on Monday, 31 March 2014 08:41
To The Daily Sun,
A public forum is scheduled for Wednesday, April 9, at 7 p.m. in the first floor conference room of the Town Hall in Gilford. The Gilford Selectboard has offered this forum in order to give the public an opportunity to discuss the impending demolition of Kimball's Castle in Gilford.
The selectboard's choice to allow the demolition of the castle and have the Kimball property turned into one that allows only a single-family residence came from the fact that the castle is in a state of decay. It has been deemed unsafe to the public by the building inspector in Gilford even though it sits on private property. The property does not belong to the town of Gilford. However, the Gilford Selectboard is named as a trustee of the property and has control of the numerous easements that have been placed on the entire property. This gives the selectboard power to direct the fate of the property.
The Kimball Wildlife Forest Committee has been extensively exploring the available options that include the acquisition of the property and its addition to the wildlife forest. None of these options includes the use of taxpayer money to achieve the goal of obtaining the entire property.
Sandy McGonagle, chair of the committee, has been working with the members of her group in order to make an in-depth presentation on these options during the public forum. The group has been working closely with Maggie Stier of the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance. The Kimball property has become a priority for Maggie and a focus for her ever since Kimball's Castle was placed on the alliance's Seven to Save list last fall.
It is imperative that the public, especially the residents of Gilford, come forward and voice their opinions about the demolition of the castle. The topic has been widely discussed by many, including a large number of individuals on Facebook. However, the only way for the fate of the castle and its surrounding acreage to change is through an old-fashioned, face-to-face public forum that requires the residents of Gilford to show up and speak up.
Remember, if the decision of the selectboard is allowed to stand, Kimball's Castle will be forever removed from the landscape, the property will become home to a single residence, and a memorial marker will be constructed as a reminder of what once stood there.
The current trend is for memorial markers to be placed at or near the site of a demolished historical structure. However, in the Lakes Region we are losing our historic buildings at an alarming rate. If a marker is placed at the location of each structure we have demolished, then the local landscape will quickly become dotted with them. No longer will they remind of us of the history we lost. Instead, they might just become painful reminders of the fact that we didn't care enough to or didn't possess the ability to accomplish the job of preservation.
Last Updated on Monday, 31 March 2014 08:39
To The Daily Sun,
Calling all budding politicians, political junkies, folks who want to make a difference or those just interested in learning more about the political process.
This is no April Fools joke. The filing deadline to run for state political office is just over two months away: June 4-13.
From county commissioner to state senator to state representative, and more, there are opportunities to serve in public office waiting to be filled.
The experience of running for office is simply great. The opportunity to meet people and learn their stories is truly unforgettable. Serving those people, once elected, is another life-changing experience, especially in New Hampshire's unique system.
If you have ever thought about running for office but want to know more, please get in touch with me. If you want to make a positive contribution to your state, please call me. If you have concerns about the direction our state is heading, it's time to get involved, so let me hear from you.
Kate Miller, Chair
Belknap County Democrats
Last Updated on Monday, 31 March 2014 08:35