To The Daily Sun,
As a citizen and longtime taxpayer of the Town of Gilmanton, I attended the last three selectmen's meetings.
The first meeting had to do with non-public information leaking to the public (old news). One of the selectmen resigned after that meeting. (More old news.)
At the second meeting I attended the selectmen took applications to seat a replacement to fill the vacant seat. Two of the three candidates were present. The chairman read the applications and some other letters from the special interest groups. (Not much got done.)
The third meeting however got interesting. Everyone knows the players looking to fill the open seat.
Rachel Hatch — Pro library, Pro management, Pro special interest.
Brian Forst — Chairman of the Budget Committee, Pro library, Pro capital reserve, etc.
Brett Currier — Pro taxpayer.
All candidates are ex-selectmen. My problem is not with the candidates running, but with the difficulty to seat (one).
My choice is Brett Currier. He isn't against the library but wants it to remain its own warrant article on the ballot and not be hidden in the town's operating budget. He isn't against the Fire Department, just wants them to work within their means. Has anyone been to the Fourth of July parade? We have more fire apparatus than a town three times the size of ours. And he isn't for an overabundance of capital reserve funds. He would rather see the money in taxpayers' savings accounts rather than sitting in the town's savings accounts.
My real problem is Mike Jean. At the beginning of the third meeting Mr. Jean's boss, Fire Chief Joe Hempel, had to leave the meeting and respond to a fire call. I'm sorry. Did I mention Mr. Jean is a call fireman. The meeting continued on and I watched Mr. Jean. He seemed to be a little nervous and bewildered not to have his boss in the audience. He made a motion to delay deciding on a candidate and instead wanted to discuss general business. Why? Finally his boss returned to the meeting and stood in the doorway at the back of the room. Mr. Jean seemed to be relieved that he was there.
Now comes the bigger problem. The two selectmen cannot come to an agreement. Chairman Don Guarino chose Brett Currier. Mike Jean, after making strong eye contact with his boss, Chief Hempel, and doing some considerable paper shuffling, chose Rachel Hatch. It was a stalemate. They couldn't agree.
After more paper shuffling and more eye contact with Chief Hempel, suddenly Mike Jean changed his choice to Brian Forst. It is clear to me and should have been clear to anyone in the meeting, Mike Jean did not care who he chose as long as it wasn't Brett Currier. And again it was a stalemate.
As a concerned taxpayer I personally think Mike Jean is up to his eyeballs in with the special interest groups in this town. The fairest unbiased method of choosing should be just like they did it the last time. The second-place vote-getter should get the seat.
Checkmate Mrs. Gianni. At least I attended the meetings and didn't base my letter on hearsay.
Just my thoughts.
- Category: Letters
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