To The Daily Sun,
I would like to say thank you to Margaret DeSisto for having the courage to write her letter posted in The Sun on Tuesday, Sept. 23. The tone of her message reveals how fed up she is with the approach the leaders in our community have taken toward a situation that has multiple life safety issues and has a devastating rippling effect on the general public. I agree with what she has to say.
I applaud Mrs. DeSisto for speaking up and including all the names and numbers of the council members and other city officials. Not long ago, I wrote to my councilor with some similar concerns. Three weeks later, I had to call the councilor to get a response, and I was told that these were touchy subjects. Yes, they are, that is why I wrote to you. I was born and raised in this city and even though I left for college and for careers, I noticed the difference when I returned just seven years later.
There is an attitude here where certain types of people think they are a bad-ass and that the rules do not apply to them. There are too many rednecks, criminals, frauds (this includes some of our community leaders) and one can just feel the tension in the air just running errands around town.
Unfortunately (for most of us not working for a public or non-profit enterprise), the county is a community service-based region. That means a large percentage of people will be receiving public assistance or considered transients or homeless people. Obviously, this directly affects economics as these "needy" people need to be subsidized. Look at all the budget shortfalls or just look at the staggering figure that approximately 60 percent of the public school students receive free or reduced price lunch. That is an appalling amount and the county should be trying to reduce that figure, not encourage it. This has definitely created an entitlement attitude and people move here from other states because we are so service oriented to these folks.
Concord, Rochester and Laconia are prime locations. Methadone addicts just need to go get their drink in Concord each day and then go home and veg out and find mischief with all their free time on their hands. Someone close to us had information on a heroin dealer in town, but the police would not even return a call after three attempts by this person. They gave up, no doubt since they were already in fear.
These same "needy" people are causing an inconvenience to everyone who wants to do the right thing and live a peaceful life. These "needy" people live among us and we see it every day. They are your neighbors, your brother-in-law, a friend of a friend, etc., etc.
What is really saddening to me is that these people are my fellow Americans. The problem is that no one does anything about it. Nobody getting free stuff is dumb enough to do something to jeopardize that free stuff. A good example is the apartment building recently condemned on Main Street in Concord, in plain view of the state's Capitol. There it is hiding in plain view. No one reports it because they don't want to rock their own boat and not be on the freebie parade of life.
Many of the employees working for agencies that provide services to these "needy" people know their clients are drug abusers, cheaters, crooks, using their kid's disability not to work, etc., but do not do anything because of retaliation from the agency or they just turn a blind eye. If a client of one of these agencies commits murder, dies in a fire or is involved with causing a major motor vehicle accident it is swept under the rug and then city buries the evidence and withholds that information from the public. All the while the taxpayers are paying for the services in the first place.
I find it quite contradictory of the agency mission statement to help make productive citizens that are independent and give back to the community. That's a laugh. I also know this firsthand from working as a maintenance technician for local non-profits. Oh, the stories I could tell you. Our leaders seem to think they are above the law, hell-bent on their own agenda, all the while enabling these issues to accumulate.
My neighborhood in the South End and particularly my street recently, is a microcosm of our society and sounds eerily similar to what Mrs. DeSisto has to endure. I invite anyone to come spend the day and see what really goes on. I have only noticed these happenings because of a sudden illness in which I am unable to work or drive a car anymore. As I go through the process of applying for the benefits that I worked all my life contributing to, I am being scrutinized and I amazed at how intelligent these "needy" people are to be able to complete all the documentation on their own.
Personally, I do not feel safe either. Not on my property, my neighborhood or most of the city.
Unfortunately, our concerns tend to fall on deaf ears, and I am not sure how to resolve that. I do know that if you are not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem. It is past time for people to be held accountable and accept responsibility for their actions.
We all have a choice in what we do. I hate to be negative, but we have some serious issues to address. I wish the good people could get together and take back our community and our country. Thanks for reading and I hope you truly give some thought to the best direction for the community to go forward. We need to do what is best for all, not just some.