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Selectmen need to look for experienced police chief for our town

To The Daily Sun,

l have serious concerns about the governance of the Town of Gilmanton under the current Board of Selectmen. Review of board minutes reveals extensive non-public sessions, with minutes duly sealed, so the public can never find out what goes on behind those closed doors.

In particular, the retirement of the police chief, and the appointment of his replacement, was considered so secretive that one of the selectmen was forced to resign because he "let the cat of the bag". Why is an officer's planned retirement, and his proposed replacement, a matter so confidential that the public is not to know of it until a replacement is named? Indeed, given recent incidents where police officers' judgment was seriously flawed, it is essential that the selectmen conduct an advertised search and look for an experienced chief who can bring assurance of integrity and maturity to the Gilmanton Police Department.

Elevation of an existing officer, closely related to a former selectman and applicant for appointment to the present board, inevitably raises questions of conflict of interest and nepotism. That it is being done without any public process, and in non-public session, raises further questions. If the present applicant is seriously interested in a career in law enforcement, there are 233 other municipalities in New Hampshire where the issues apparent in Gilmanton would not arise.

I urge the selectmen to go back to the drawing board, open up the process, and hire the best qualified applicant for the police chief position.

Carolyn Baldwin

Gilmanton

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Spoiled brat is upset but Warren Hutchins is an honorable man

To The Daily Sun,

OMG, Peter Morrissette is crying and threatening because he can't have his way! Peter, please reread your published letter. You sound like a young 3-year-old child, who can't get his way. Boohoo, Peter.

Your argument with the Laconia Planning Board chair has no validity, none whatsoever. I was a member of the Planning Board when your brother came before us with your plans on the Washington Street project. We listened to Kevin's presentation very carefully. We also listened to the neighbors whose lives would be directly affected by your project. The main concern from the neighbors was: 1. The design would not blend in with their homes in that area, 2. It appeared to look like a strip mall. They, and the Planning Bard members asked quite simply that a slight setback on one building and a modification to the siding be changed to offset the "block looking building", that would help the building look like part of the neighborhood.

We also asked that your brother meet with one of the neighbors to correct a standing water issue. He agreed, and he was very helpful in correcting this simple solution. The board asked for nothing more or nothing less. End of that story, Peter. Three very simple requests. Those issues were corrected, the neighbors were happy, the city was happy. You received your building permit and your buildings are built and make the neighborhood blend in much better.

Warren Hutchins is a very honorable man. He is very dedicated to the City of Laconia. He has been re-selected to his position by his peers many times. He is fair and he is honest. He listens to all sides for the complete story and the board members do as well. It is not easy for citizens to give up their time freely to help our great city of Laconia. If your engineer is not happy with the way our city boards operate, then I suggest that he work elsewhere, as our citizen boards work entirely in behalf of our city — period.

Peter, for you it's all about the money. For the city it's about doing the right thing. My guess is that you don't understand that we have rules, these rules are for our (the citizens) own protection. You just want to do things your way. You are angry at Mr. Hutchins, who, by the way, spoke as a neighbor, not as the Planning Board chair. You're angry at the laws of the city. You are angry at the citizen volunteers on these different boards. You are angry at anyone who objects to your projects. I must say, Peter, most good business folks do not have to pat themselves on their back when they give back to the city. A donation of your choice does not make you a better person. If you give to a charity, please do it from your heart, not your mouth.

Maybe your customers that employ your services will read your angry letter and choose to no longer do business with you. Then you won't have all this money to attack and battle our good citizens. Shame on you, Peter, for acting like a spoiled brat, because that's exactly like you truly sound like. Boohoo, Peter.

Don Vachon

Laconia

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