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County government needs Richard Burchell and John Smolin

To The Daily Sun,

It is imperative that residents and taxpayers of Belknap County all get out and vote next Tuesday, Sept. 13. Especially, I want to encourage you all to vote for Richard Burchell and John Smolin for county commissioners.

For many years now our county government has been broken, suffering from poor leadership and bad management. I have written many letters in this paper over the past two years with this theme. My wife and I have had personal experience dealing with commissioners who refuse to listen to anyone who has a problem with the terrible management that is running our county, especially the nursing home.

Leadership starts at the top, and our county administrator has been a complete disaster for us, the taxpayers. She is responsible for the county spending thousands of dollars in legal fees. She is responsible for the inception of the Teamsters Union representing those working at the nursing home that were not represented by the SEAU. She has decimated the nursing staff to further her personal or political agenda, then laments in the paper that nursing staff is so hard to find. And of course there was the fiasco with the Nursing Home Administrator Matt Logue.

I tried to talk to the former Commissioners Philpot, Thomas, and Nedeau, about the problems in Belknap County management, but they refused to hear me out. I would have had better results if I had tried to speak to a post. They were closed-minded and were going to protect Debra Shackett no matter what. They even wrote and signed a ridiculously outrageous contract that all but assures her job for as long as she wants it. This is definitely not in the best interest of us, the taxpayers. This was all done on the last hour of the last day of their failed administration, a final insult to us the taxpayers.

In 2014 we elected two new commissioners, Mr. David DeVoy, and Mr. Richard Burchell. Just before the election I spoke at length with both of these men and they both assured me they knew where the problems with our county lay and things were going to change. Mr. Burchell remained true to his word, but David DeVoy flat out lied to me. He told me what I wanted to hear then as soon as he was elected that all went out the window.

Hunter Taylor wrote many long and verbose letters in the paper before that election complaining about the problems with the county, but after he was appointed by the Belknap County Delegation he too did an about-face. Dave DeVoy and Hunter Taylor hijacked the county government and pushed Mr. Burchell off to the side.

Please people, our county government is a mess with nepotism, favoritism and deceit as the norm. Mr. Burchell knows this, wants to fix it, but he is out-voted by the other two who want to maintain the status quo and protect the terrible management that has existed there for years now.

There are a lot of questions surrounding just how Debra Shackett was awarded the position of county administrator when at the time she did not have the credentials or experience. Minimum requirements are BS in a related field and many years experience in administration. She had a high school diploma and very little in the way of experience. But she did have the right connections and her tenure there has been an disaster.

I urge you all to vote for Richard Burchell and John Smolin, so they can facilitate the changes needed. Do not vote for Hunter Taylor. It has been my experience that he is just a slick-talking New Jersey lawyer and both he and David DeVoy are both bold-face liars and untrustworthy to hold public office.

Gordon Blais


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Please try and remember that Jonathan Smolin is a father, too

To The Daily Sun,

I am shocked and saddened about what I have been reading about Jonathan Smolin in the paper these past few days. I have no doubt what has been printed about his bankruptcy is not correct. But, the ones I am thinking of are his kids.

How are they holding up during all of this? If this news is all over the place and everyone is talking about it, some has had to reach these kids' classmates. And, I am sure they have the internet and can read themselves what is being said. I hope they are not getting grief in school or elsewhere over this. Kids can be cruel, but what I have read in the paper is written by adults.

Please try to remember that this is their father still. And while you're shaming him, you are shaming them as well. Try to see through their eyes, it must be painful as hell.

Denise C. Burke


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