To The Daily Sun,
Last November conservative and Tea Party voters went to the polls with the objective of tossing out the Democrats who believed in Obama's agenda.
It seems that Republicans cannot stand victory. John Boehner begins by alienating Congress members whom I agree with. And it did not take long for the Speaker of the House to bow down to Obama. Harry Reid still thinks he is Majority Leader of the Senate, even though he is not. Since McConnell does not like confrontation, he is allowing Reid and Obama to set the agenda. Obama is angry at Netanyahu for reminding us of what a real leader does. And I snicker at the thought of B. Hussein being put in his place.
There is another opportunity for something good for the residents of Belknap County. The voters said they wanted a County Commission that would protect us from a new county jail addition, members who would listen to the public, and be transparent (not BHO's idea of transparency). I did do what I could to help candidates (Dick) Burchell and (Dave) DeVoy win, and the appointment of Hunter was a good move.
Now for some reason, my hope was that the three commissioners would be the answer, they are giving the detractors an opening to attack their every decision.
Commissioner Burchell, as a supporter, I ask you to remain at the table, not as the chairman, but as the man who wanted to represent me.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 March 2015 10:56
To The Daily Sun,
I have found that most people I speak with feel that, for a variety of reasons, our elected representatives don't fully reflect our beliefs and desires, and that we are limited in our responses to that problem. We can complain to the representative, and we can vote for their opponent. Neither path gives us as much say as if we were that representative ourselves. The one and only place where we had that power was at Town Meeting. We are the representatives of our town government by virtue of citizenship alone — no fund-raising or unseemly compromises needed for the position.
Once a year for five hours we came together and set the future course for our town. SB-2 took that right away from us along with the social bonds of community governing. Like it or not, politics runs everything and being a spectator gets you nothing. Please vote for Article 2 which will return us to our roots in participatory democracy and end the failed SB-2 experiment.
Gilmanton Iron Works
Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 March 2015 10:52
To The Daily Sun,
Belknap County's Commission is a three-member board (as mandated by N.H, Statute RSA 28) comprised of part-time elected officials responsible for overall supervision, custody and care of all county departments, buildings and land, and have budgetary oversight of all county expenditures with approval of the Executive Committee of the Belknap County Convention.
Unlike the Convention/Delegation or its Executive Committee, no provision for a commission vice chair exists, nor does the law describe the duties of the vice chair.
Following the November General Election of a majority (2 of 3) of Belknap County Commission and the subsequent resignation of Commissioner Nedeau, at the commissions' first meeting of 2015, as mandated by law they chose "from their number a chairman and a clerk". Absent a resignation or removal by the court for misconduct of a member, no changes in the legally organized commission shall take place until the next election.
However, what took place was the election of Richard Burchell, chair of the commission and David DeVoy as "vice chair". The position of clerk, held by Mr. Nedeau, was not addressed.
What is problematic is that unlike the Convention/Delegation or its Executive Committee, no provisions for a "commission vice chair" exists, nor does the law describe the duties of the vice chair. Therefore, by default David DeVoy summarily is the clerk.
With the appointment of Hunter Taylor no election is allowed, as the makeup of the county is complete — chair, clerk and the third commissioner.
Until such time as a new member(s) of the County Convention is or are elected at a statewide election, no election shall take place amongst the three commissioners. The Legislature made no provision for conducting re-election regarding the makeup of the county commission for any non-election reason. If the courts would implement a free-for-all every time a two-out-of-three majority vote changed as to who was the chairperson and who is the clerk, based on personalities, political ideology or dislike, there would be no consistent administration structure of county government.
Accordingly, the county brouhaha is another black eye for Belknap County. Clearly the court will find that the composition of the commission, subject to a death, resignation or Superior Court removal for official misconduct, Richard Burchell is the chairman, David DeVoy is the default clerk and Hunter Taylor is simply commissioner.
Furthermore, the implementation of an all-day meeting of a public body regarding its annual budget, clearly results in a circumvention of the public's right to observe the actions of government.
Thomas A. Tardif
Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 March 2015 10:40
To The Daily Sun,
This past Sunday was the annual Take a Kid Fishing tournament hosted by the Belknap County Sportsmen's Club on Lily Pond in Gilford. This continues to be a great event as I witnessed many children with smiles catching fish.
However, this past Sunday I was quite dismayed by the actions of some members of the club. I am part of a group of people that rides our motorcycles on the ice. We spend many hours and a good amount of money to plow tracks as well as access to the pond and for the last couple of years we have plowed the "parking area" on Airport Road which is used by many as it is neither town or state maintained. We plow two tracks both encompassing a total of less than 20 percent of the farthest end of the pond.
On Sunday morning I showed up at 9:15 a.m. only to find our access routes to either track completely blocked by the Sportsmen's Club trailer and registration booth. We plowed plenty of room for them to set up without having to block anything. I unloaded my ATV to go scrape off the tracks and as I passed the club's trailer I noticed I was getting some, shall we say, "unwelcoming looks" I proceeded to the first track only to find multiple holes drilled into it. I was quite shocked as the tracks were well away from where most people were fishing. One of the holes had water bubbling up out of it leaving that area unusable. Sadly, this was the track the kids ride on to keep them away from the faster moving adults. I approached the club's trailer and calmly asked who drilled the holes in the track and got a blank stare from five men. Finally one responded saying, "They were here when we showed up." I knew this wasn't true as it was wet all around the holes and the temp was 10 degrees.
As the day went on some parents expressed interest in the bikes and studded tires and approached me at my trailer. Two different parents said the men at the Sportsmen's Club trailer "don't like you very much" and "had nothing nice to say about you." These parents expressed disappointment in the club's attitude and they said, "They probably wouldn't return." Funny thing is some of the guys I ride with and me have always been a supporters of the club. by buying raffle tickets, etc.
At noon they packed everything up and left. No one from the club policed the area for trash. I took it upon myself to collect trash that was left scattered around and brought home a bag full. The damage had been done. We couldn't let our kids on that track for fear they would hit the holes that were now frozen piles of ice and get hurt.
So with the lack of communication and frankly respect for others that we received from the club I have to say I was highly disappointed with the Unsportsman like conduct shown by the Belknap County Sportsmen's Club. As a result a number of people, as well as me, will no longer support anything that has to do with this club.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 March 2015 10:36
To The Daily Sun,
Two petition warrant articles have been placed on the Gilmanton ballot that would remove properties that are inside and part of the Meetinghouse Historic District. It is important to consider the unintended consequences of these petitions.
The "district" will become a list of properties not tied with a common border. In the future, will anyone who doesn't like an Historic District regulation petition for removal from the district? Will efforts to protect the historic buildings in the districts from incompatible development cease?
The voters of Gilmanton established two Historic Districts in order to preserve and safeguard the historic nature of Meetinghouse and the Corners areas. A Historic District Commission was formed with the authority to see that ordinances and regulations approved by the voters were enforced. Over the years, the commission, with town approval, has refined these. The regulations reflect what would have been appropriate during the designated time period of the districts, 1790-1840.
There are some non-period buildings in the districts. When an application for a non-period building is presented to the HDC, the goal is to see if the project can be done and remain in compliance with the regulations. Changes can be made to non-period buildings so that the change is not in conflict with the regulations.
Decisions of the HDC are made on a case-by-case basis reflecting the ability of the project to comply. Past owners and the HDC have found solutions that comply with the regulations.
The persons that are petitioning to have their properties removed from the Historic District bought them with full knowledge that their properties were in restricted neighborhoods bound by regulations passed by the voters of the town. This is not unlike buying a condo or settling into a 55-and-over community. Both petitioners have met multiple times with the Historic District Commission in an effort to accomplish their goals within the confines of the regulations. Despite accommodations offered by the HDC, both petitioners chose not to comply.
There is an expectation that the rules will be followed for the benefit of all members of the community. Voters of Gilmanton decided to protect its historic assets and expect that the governing body of the town would enforce the regulations that have been set forth.
These petitions have the potential to undermine the purpose of the HDC. The HDC believes these warrant articles are not in the best interests of Gilmanton. We do not recommend these petitions. The Planning Board has voted "not to recommend" these petitioned articles.
We ask the voters of Gilmanton to vote "No" on Warrant Articles 5 and 6.
Deborah Chase, Ernest R. Hudziec, Allen Everett, Matt Grasberger
Gilmanton Historic District Commission
Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 March 2015 10:32