To The Daily Sun,
I hope taxpayers of Belknap County, are happy with the way the County Convention has reined in and bullied our County Commissioners until I believe they would like to run away and hide. The almighty chairman, Mrs. Colette Worsman, rules with an iron fist. She treats those that do not agree with her with little respect and allows them little input. I would never call Mrs. Worsman a dictator, but Russia's Mr. Putin could learn a lot from her. That is if he could associate himself with someone more radical than he.
Feb. 12, when Mrs. Worsman decided to convene a meeting on a snowy night and had a quorum, the question of the county budget was voted on and it carried, seven in favor and six opposed. Mrs. Worsman then called another member of the Convention at his home. Mr. Comtois was allowed cast his vote over the phone. According to Mrs. Worsman that was considered a tie vote and the motion was now defeated. The budget should have passed. It seems inconceivable, but it really happened.
Thank God our county commissioners had Mrs. Worsman served with papers and the question of the validity of the vote will be determined by the New Hampshire Attorney General. Mrs. Worsman isn't alone, our other two Convention members are Herb Vadney and Robert Greemore. I consider Herb a good friend and we have been involved together many years in the American Legion, but still I believe that Herb and Bob would run right into Mrs. Worsman if she stopped too quickly. County Commissioner Steve Nedeau, also a good friend of mine, has been elected by Meredith and county voters each time he has run for public office, including selectman, state representative, county commissioner and Meredith town moderator. Voters must have a lot of faith in his judgment and integrity to perform well the duties of these positions.
When I voted for three of our state representatives, I hoped they would go to Concord and help solve the many problems facing New Hampshire. I guess being in the minority and not being able to effect change they decided to control Belknap County. (I wrote the above letter on March 12. Before I could submit it to The Sun, another article about the convention appeared in the Sun March 13.)
When I read the March 13 letter I thought, here we go again. Because of budget cuts, the commissioners have eliminated four positions at the County Nursing Home. It seems Mrs. Worsman loves to pick on workers. It must be why some Town of Meredith employees started a union. Another twist in the next meeting, after Worsman had allowed the vote over the phone on Feb. 12, the Commissioners who had supported the budget maintained that this action violated the Right to Know Law. So of course Mrs. Worsman attempted to amend the minutes of Feb. 12 meeting. It was also revealed that before the meeting she and a few other members of the convention discussed the procedure to allow Mr. Comtois to participate over the phone. It was pointed out there was no quorum at that time and not all present were involved in the discussion. I bet you can guess what happened next. Mrs. Worsman attempted to amend the minutes of the Feb. 12. She was outvoted 5 to 4 with 4 abstentions. Not to worry. Mrs. Worsman is planning to bring up the minutes again, but not in Laconia, but in Concord at lunch break on March 19 and March 26. I don't know if the public can attend those meetings. Meredith citizens voted her out as selectman and I will help give her the boot as state representative. I'll be looking for help.
L. Michael Hatch
Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 March 2014 10:49
To The Daily Sun,
In the last couple of decades, stakeholder theory has increasingly become the common frame of reference when Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is discussed. According to today's stakeholder model, a company must be aware of, and respond to, the various demands of all of its constituents. Thus, it breaks with the notion that the shareholders are the only important constituents and that shareholder wealth is the only relevant criteria for evaluating company behavior.
Northern Pass and its huge impact on many aspects of New Hampshire begs for intelligent and sensitive interfacing with the citizens of New Hampshire, in short, Northern Pass should have an intelligent, sensitive, corporate social responsibility policy. Unfortunately Northern Pass has demonstrated they have no understanding of what it means to be a good corporate citizen, and my guess Northern Pass has no CSR policy.
Northern Pass and those slated to realize profits from it have been bullying New Hampshire, not listening to New Hampshire citizenry and essentially disregarding all that New Hampshire stands for concerning individual rights, property values, preservation of nature, support of the tourism, real-estate and second home industries.
All one needs for proof that these concerns are real is to replay the myriad Northern Pass hearings held all over the North Country during the last three years. Our citizens have spoken. How many times do planners need to hear about the negative impact the current Northern Pass tall-tower plan will have on New Hampshire?
Yes, the USA needs power. SB-200 and HB-569 acknowledge that and provides New Hampshire friendly alternatives to supply that power. Yes, we must be friendly to business. But business must also be friendly to us. Otherwise we see a small number of winners and a large number of losers. We, our children, and all future visitors lose, forever what is today's beauty, culture and advantage of New Hampshire.
We recently approved stricter oversight of wind projects, why not stricter oversight of state wide power line projects?
Bury the lines within a New Hampshire-owned power corridor: New Hampshire wins, Northern Pass wins and the USA wins.
I support HB569, and urge all of you to support it, too.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 March 2014 10:44
To The Daily Sun,
A few weeks ago I attended a Transportation Summit hosted by state Sen. Andrew Hosmer that featured a diverse panel of regional and local community leaders like Jerry Gappens of New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Greg Goddard of Gunstock Mountain, NHDOT Commissioner Chris Clement and Rusty McLear of Mills Fall. This diverse panel and the 50 attendees all agreed on one thing, and that thing is no secret to those of us living in the Lakes Region. That secret is that the current state of our roads and bridges is deplorable and only getting worse.
However, our elected officials have an opportunity to vote on a bill to increase our gas tax by a mere 4 cents, sponsored by Sen. Jim Rausch R-Derry, that would begin to address this overdue problem. This bill, which is reasonable in its increase, would bring in much needed-revenue to not only fix roads vital to our regions economy, but also allow the NHDOT to continue its expansion of I-93 and avoid laying off countless employees.
It was encouraging to see at this Summit such bipartisan agreement on an issue that usually is bogged down in hyperbolic partisan rhetoric. The reality is that this increase, which we haven't had since 1991, would only cost the average driver in New Hampshire $16 a year. This is a small price to pay for roads that work and jobs for Granite Staters. I want to thank Sen. Hosmer for organizing this Transportation Summit and for looking out for the interests of the people of the Lakes Region and New Hampshire.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 March 2014 10:36
To The Daily Sun,
As we come to the end of the open enrollment period for Obamacare on March 31, I am thinking of some folks I know who have signed up for health care coverage and are delighted.
My self-employed nephew in Montana knew that he needed health insurance. He had had a serious biking accident when he was younger. Last fall he successfully navigating the federal website www.healthcare.gov and found that his income level qualified him for a subsidy. His plan covers the basics and he can afford it. What a relief.
A New Hampshire couple got a letter last fall saying that their insurance plan would be canceled at the end of the year. It didn't meet the new standards because it failed to cover so much. That plan was later extended for another year, but meanwhile they discovered that they could get a far better deal through the Exchange. The new plan they signed up for had better coverage, greatly reduced their yearly deductible and the premium was way less than the old plan. They felt lucky that Obamacare was in effect.
Another acquaintance, long uninsured, got sick last year and finally had to go to the emergency room. The bill was over $10,000, the money he needed to live on while his seasonal work left him without income. He promised that he would go to one of the agencies like ServiceLink that are signing people up for affordable plans and get enrolled.
I sure hope he did that. But in case he didn't, or in case you are still uninsured, I want you all to know it's not too late! You have until March 31 This coming Saturday, March 22, agencies all around New Hampshire are having enrollment fairs. You can find a list of places and times at www.nhcitizensalliance.org or call ServiceLink at 528-6945. If you can't make it Saturday, sign-ups are happening several places around New Hampshire every day between now and the end of March. There are wonderful folks ready and eager to help you get the health insurance you need.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 March 2014 10:28
To The Daily Sun,
Lakes Region Community College serves the Greater Laconia area with high quality, affordable academic programs that prepare students for careers and for transfer to continue their post-secondary education. We greatly appreciate the strong local support and interest in the college. We are excited about LRCC's future, working in partnership with local public officials, local schools and area businesses.
Recently, LRCC hosted an event to update regional elected officials on developments at the college. We would like to correct some inaccuracies in an article published March 11 following this event. Much of the article outlined future plans for the college facilities, including new construction and renovation. The correct information is:
LRCC will break ground this spring on a new 21,000-square-foot facility to house the college's automotive programs, which include a program affiliated with General Motors and a general associate degree program. The new, larger facility will also enable the college to increase its in-service training for local automotive technicians.
The 7,100-square-foot space that will be vacated once the auto programs move is earmarked for future use by the culinary program, although LRCC will first undertake design work ahead of any request for funds to do the renovations necessary to re-purpose this space. In the meantime the program will continue to operate at its present home at Canterbury Shaker Village, where LRCC operates classes and a restaurant.
The CCSNH Board of Trustees has approved a capital request that would, if funded, enable the construction of a facility at LRCC for mobile diesel and marine engine technology. The $5 million request will be part of all State of New Hampshire capital project requests considered in the 2015 legislative session. The decision to seek funding to relocate the program to LRCC was generated by input from employers in the heavy-equipment industry that the program could better meet industry need if located more centrally. This information was shared at the event by LRCC President Scott Kalicki, and not board Chairman Paul Holloway who was not in attendance.
LRCC's newest facility, the Health and Science Building, houses the nursing and fire science/fire protection programs as well as chemistry, physics and biology labs that are part of LRCC's commitment to increase STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education. Construction of this facility enabled LRCC to use space in its adjacent Center for Arts and Technology to house a new advanced manufacturing program, which was developed in partnership with more than 20 area employers to strengthen the workforce pipeline for advanced manufacturing companies in the region as part of a statewide initiative to strengthen and increase advanced manufacturing training opportunities and pathways to careers.
Thank you for the opportunity to correct the article and add needed context to some of the information presented. Lakes Region Community College is committed to serving the needs of its region and to partnering with high schools, area industry and four-year colleges and universities to support student success and a strong New Hampshire economy, and we deeply value to connections we enjoy with the communities we serve.
Director of Communications
Community College System of NH
Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 March 2014 10:24