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Lawsuit against my office was frivolous & their lawyers got paid

To The Daily Sun,

I am writing with regard to a letter sent to the editor and published on May 13, that letter having been written by Belknap County Commissioners Edward Philpot, John Thomas and Stephen Nedeau. The commissioners'
letter was written in response to Rep. Burchell's letter of May 7.

One paragraph of their letter read: " The commissioner's did not attempt to make themselves custodians of any funds. They did insist on the Register of Deed's compliance with internal control issues reported by the auditors. These controls have since been implemented and the funds in question are properly in the hands of the treasurer, as the statute requires. Unfortunately, it required legal action. This is not a cost that the taxpayers should bear. This has been explained many times."

I have remained silent for nearly three years regarding the lawsuit the commissioners filed in Belknap County Superior Court against me — not individually, but as Register of Deeds — an elected position and as such a county department head. During this three year time period the commissioners have not found it to be convenient to mention that at mediation of this suit, I prevailed. This mediation was attended by myself, my attorney Philip McLaughlin, Commissioner Philpot, County Administrator Deb Shackett, Finance Director Glen Waring, the commissioners' attorney Paul Fitzgerald and as Mediator Retired Judge Bruce Mohl.

The "difference of opinion" began when the commissioners received a letter from the county auditing firm, Melanson Heath & Co. urging the commissioners to require the Registry of Deeds to make a daily deposit of funds collected at
the Registry into the county's general fund rather than a daily deposit into a Registry of Deeds account. New Hampshire RSA 478:17-j is the law that states the requirement of the Register of Deeds. The commissioners did want
the county treasurer to have control, which is not what the law states. This would have given the county daily access to funds that do not belong to the county — the Registry is the gatekeeper of funds that belong to the state.

The commissioners commenced the suit against the Register of Deeds in October 2011. We had fruitless meetings to attempt to settle the difference of opinions.

On June 19, 2012, we met for mediation. After a day long discussion an agreement was reached. The Registry of Deeds would retain its' separate checking account, as required by law. The Registry of Deeds would continue to make its' daily deposit of funds into that account. The Registrar of Deeds would continue to pay — once a month, as always — the funds due to the State of New Hampshire and Belknap County, as required by law. The Registry would provide a daily copy of the bank deposit slip via e-mail to the finance director. The Registry would provide a daily copy of the break down of funds received — whereas previously this information had been provided monthly along with the checks sent to the finance office. This daily information is sent via e-mail. Checks would be signed by the Registrar and a second signatory. After discussion it was agreed this would be the county treasurer.

The agreement was signed that day by the attorneys, Commissioner Philpot and myself as Register of Deeds. These documents are on file with the Belknap County Superior Court.

This suit was a source of great distress to me, the underlying implication of the commissioners being that I was mishandling the funds in the Registry of Deeds. I successfully defended the RSA regarding the operation of the
Registry of Deeds. Defending myself as Register of Deeds did indeed cost me emotionally and financially. The taxpayers of Belknap County paid the legal fees incurred by the Commissioners for this frivolous suit.

Barbara R. Luther

Register of Deeds

Belknap County

Last Updated on Tuesday, 20 May 2014 06:39

Hits: 476

Progressives & liberals: paradise is so close; how can you resist?

To The Daily Sun,

Last weekend I traveled through beautiful parts of Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York. These nearby beautiful states do all the things that New Hampshire progressives/liberals/socialists complain that New Hampshire doesn't do. It's a shame that we have so many unhappy citizens when these progressive paradises are so close.

Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York have huge governments with many thousands of employees providing almost every imaginable service including helping the truly needy and pretty much anyone else with their hands out.

They spend lots of money on public education and their universities so all their young people must get great jobs after school.

Their gas taxes are higher than N.H.'s so they must have perfect roads and bridges.

These states all jumped on board with Obamacare and Medicaid expansion so all their citizens must get outstanding medical care at no or almost no cost.

These states have strict gun control laws. Recent laws make it even harder for law-abiding citizens to get guns, thus these states are probably crime free.

These states all have income and sales taxes so government revenues are raised fairly, i.e., mostly from other people.

Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York either have or soon will have casinos.

The death penalty has been eliminated for all offenses even for cop-killers and mass murderers (all offenses except for being inconveniently in the womb).

These states are on board with about every progressive idea, e.g., climate change, Agenda 21, common core, affirmative action.

Perhaps most important, there are few Republicans, let alone conservatives, to quibble about old ideas like freedom, faith, personal responsibility, school choice, self-defense, rule of law, equal treatment by government, small and efficient government, the Constitution, etc.

Paradise for progressives/liberals/socialists does exist on this earth just a few short miles away. There are no barriers to relocation in Massachusetts, Connecticut, or New York where progressives/liberals/socialists can find everything they complain is missing in New Hampshire. Why be unhappy and complain in New Hampshire when paradise is so close?

Don Ewing

Last Updated on Monday, 19 May 2014 08:36

Hits: 372

We need a place for our dogs & we need it now more than ever

To The Daily Sun,

As a Laconia taxpayer and a responsible pet owner, I am extremely disappointed by the decision to make the Woodland Heights Elementary School fenced-in ball park inaccessible for dogs. My husband and I were grateful for the privilege of using the field on a regular basis to exercise our Great Dane and picked up after him, as well as, other dogs.
We need a place for our dogs and we need it now more than ever! For those who may not be aware, there is an off-leash dog park in the planning stages for Laconia. The Happy Tails Dog Park (www.htdpnh.org) committee needs to hear from the dog lovers in our community! There is an informational meeting on Tuesday, May 20 at the Laconia Community Center (306 Union Ave.) at 6:30 p.m. Please show up and offer your help to make our dog park a reality.

Lisa Bauman

Last Updated on Monday, 19 May 2014 08:32

Hits: 346

Thank you for all your support; none of you will be forgotten

To The Daily Sun,

I would like to thank everyone who attended the services for my husband,Bill Edney, and gave me the support that was needed following his sudden death. Due to the outpouring of support, it would be impossible to reach everyone individually so I chose to use this means to attempt to acknowledge as many as possible.

Thank you to the Meredith Police Department., the Fire Department and everyone in town government. They were all great in helping everything go smoothly. The Mayhew Funeral Home was very understanding in helping me see that Bill's wishes were carried out. Our children and some of our friends who banded together to keep the house functioning and preparing it for the celebration of his life. All of the people, many not known to me, who stopped by to offer their condolences and drop off food and other items that were greatly appreciated. All of the many people who attended his wake for their compassion and consideration. Rusty McClear for his generosity. The gentleman who stopped and offered to process the pile of logs in the driveway. He didn't know Bill or I but said he drove by often and knew something tragic had happened. Unbelievable!

Lastly, his decades long friend, Skip Laughy, who helped ease the pain during this time of sorrow. None of you will be forgotten.

Sharon Edney

Last Updated on Monday, 19 May 2014 08:30

Hits: 270

These wind turbines are threatening watersheds & economy

To The Daily Sun,

It's unusual that a $500 million investment in the Newfound Lake community is being greeted with such community concern. After all, when was the last time anyone invested that much money here?

Make no mistake about it, Newfound Lake is under attack, and it's coming in the form of 500-foot industrial wind turbines on our ridge lines with all electricity being routed to southern states.

Newfound Lake and Cardigan residents are overwhelmingly united in their opposition to newly proposed industrial wind plants. And Concord is very well aware of our community stance against additional wind development through our direct testimonies and detailed objections. Residents have officially voted twice against additional development and have also voted-in a new "Rights Based Ordinances" laws. And yes, for much of this past winter our voices have been raised and our tempers have flared at these town hall meetings.

Remember there is no shortage of electricity in N.H. N.H. has been exporting excess electricity to southern states for decades. It's a very successful model — and many residents are questioning why we would consider hurting that model. But the million dollar question that remains is: "Why are we paying for any of this?"

Our story is very different. These turbines are threatening our watersheds, threatening our tourism, threatening our local economy and is threatening our "Natural Rights" and our "Quality of Place".

We are not going down without a fight and we want your support. Summer residents and visitors alike should voice their concerns. Educate yourself this Sunday, May 25th at The Inn on Newfound Lake from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM. It's a critical information update meeting. Everyone is welcome. There is no charge to attend this event.

I hope to see you all there! Bring a friend...

Ray Cunningham

Last Updated on Monday, 19 May 2014 08:24

Hits: 256

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