To The Daily Sun,
As a member and leader in and of many non-profit organizations, currently and in the past, I have always been drawn to public service. I am proud of my honorable service in the U.S. Air Force and in the New Hampshire National Guard. I have a deep love for the Lakes Region, having spent my formative years here and having visited and spent much time with my parents here over the last 30 some-odd years. Ken Jollimore, former town moderator, and his wife Anne, former supervisor of the checklist and state school board member, were very active in the town they loved. Now here I am, wishing they were still around to love, support and guide me, but knowing that, in spirit, they are.
So, as I worked tirelessly on the Christopher Boothby campaign, I decided it was time for me to throw my hat in the ring and I registered to run for the Meredith Selectboard. Since I made that decision I have met some of the most amazing people. People who have offered to educate me and who have spend countless hours sharing their non-partisan knowledge with me. It may surprise some that none of these is a current selectman. I thank these people for their support and for their willingness to help me when nobody else registered to run.
I have also learned that politics, even at this level, can be a dirty business. People will make up things and twist things to get their point across, and for a newcomer like me, it's difficult not to be hurt by these falsehoods.
Let me just say a couple of things to you all as you head off to the polls today. First of all, I want to thank Joe Kenney for his honorable service in the U.S. Marine Corps. My support of Mike Cryans in no way is intended as an attack on Lt. Col. Kenney, but as an American exercising my right to my opinion that Mike Cryans would be more suited for the Executive Council position.
Secondly, I have not been privy to any action on the part of the current Selectboard get me elected. I also don't have any knowledge of Phil Warren's activities in that manner. I know these people from around town and that is all, and I don't appreciate anyone besmirching their character or mine in an unwarrented letter calling me a Meredith "sweetheart." I find that comment sexist and demeaning and the whole letter bordering on libel.
As a relative newcomer to this game, I guess I just didn't expect the mean-spirited attacks that exist in our community. You see, to me, I feel grateful and privileged to live in a post card. I really want to keep it that way. I want to keep it filled with tourists and happy residents with happy employees and low taxes and happy business owners. We actually have a community unique enough to accomplish that. Amazing isn't it?
So, I may not have the experience, but I will get it. And, I really do love this town and want to work with all of you to do what's best for all of us.
Please do come out and vote for me on Tuesday, March 11.
I look forward to seeing you at the polls.
Last Updated on Monday, 10 March 2014 07:55
To The Daily Sun,
The voters of Ashland need to give serious thought to the monied articles they will be voting on this March. Our decisions will greatly affect or tax rate and ultimately our pocketbooks. It's really a matter of priorities. It's a determination of what is absolutely necessary and what is nice to have. At this point all the town monied articles would amount to $1.77 additional on the tax rate.
The Ashland school articles would amount to 45 cents additional on the tax rate. Both of these combined would amount to $2.22 on our tax rate. Remember we already have on of the highest tax rates in the state.
On a $100,000 assessment the effect of these articles would create an additional $222 on your annual tax bill. Maybe this is the time to consider your pocketbook when voting!
Richard E. Ogden
Last Updated on Friday, 07 March 2014 11:56
To The Daily Sun,
At March town voting this year, more than 60 New Hampshire towns can voice displeasure about the Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United vs. FEC. Citizens United is not about citizens, but is about corporations, declaring them people. The bad problem this makes crosses party lines, letting corporations with big money, and also unions, contribute anonymously to political campaigns.
Corporations do not run for office. Corporations do not vote. Corporations pay taxes not by personal tax codes, but by corporate tax codes. When corporations break the law, they pay fines, whereas, people go to prison. All rational signs are corporations are not people.
Pre-Citizens United decision by our U.S. Supreme Court, candidates spent money contributions frugally, advertising their candidacy message. But introducing anonymous, big money began the avalanche of dismal, anti-other ads. Small donations by voters vs. big money — whose voice gets heard?
Corporations do not seek the approval of the shareholders or employees to commit corporate money. They commit the money in their own interest, meaning they know that campaigns they support will return the favor. This is corruption.
At the New Hampshire Statehouse hearing before Senate committee on March 4, I heard a Republican member of the public testify he doesn't want his Republican senator defeated by anonymous, big money. This concern is the same voiced by Democrats in the hearing room.
Please vote in favor of this Warrant Article on March 11. You will be asking for a constitutional amendment effort that gets us to this democracy-saving goal: Corporations are not people.
Lynn Rudmin Chong
Last Updated on Friday, 07 March 2014 11:50
To The Daily Sun,
An open letter to Gilmanton residents:
It was my hope to leave my pen down, and not have to address you all once again in this forum.
After Selectman Guarino's letter on March 6, I was compelled to leave you one more note. I appreciate a good letter to the editor and it is a great way to exchange ideas and information. Mr. Guarino's letter was not accurate on several fronts and it makes it necessary to rebut so that, as a voter, you are well equipped when you enter the voting booth on March 11.
I did indeed make a motion to amend petition warrant Article 30 at deliberative session. This was merely to add language to the article that would clarify its intent. The amendment to the article was the insertion of the number "4" in front of the word full-time positions. This amendment was simply a response to the board's attempt to eliminate a full-time FF/AEMT position that has been funded since 2004.
Article 30 now reads, "To see if the voters will continue to support the current 208 hours of weekly paid Fire Department coverage using both "4" full-time, and part-time certified personnel as has been past practice."
At this time the board is looking to replace a decade-old permanent position with two part-time positions. We are fortunate that we have a great part-time resource pool at this time. The part-timers who currently fill shifts for us are our own call members who live in town and are employed by other departments or agencies for their full-time jobs.
On our typical schedule with four full-time employees, we fill only 24 hours per week of part-time staffing. With the reduction of a full-time position we would be looking to staff a total of 72 hours per week of part-time staffing. At the present time this works, as our part-time staff is stepping up and filling shifts to help out with the anticipation of filling the vacant full-time position. This is not a long-term solution. Consistent staffing of 72 hours per week may prove difficult going forward, as our current labor pool is limited. The part-time slots are filled at their convenience. Their first priority is to their own full-time job.
Reducing a full-time position, to two part-time positions offers its own unique challenges. Hiring part-time employees from out of town will prove to be problematic. Part-time employees need to be trained and equipped. Each part-time employee must be supplied with personal protective equipment at the cost of nearly $3,000 per person. Part-time employees are far more transient than permanent employees. They may come and go as fast as a full-time opportunity avails itself. We would be faced with hiring and equipping on a 2/1 ratio if we move to a part-time schedule, as 24 hours is the cap on time allowed for a part-time employee.
In order to consistently support a 72-hour per week schedule, a large pool of qualified candidates would need to be developed, supplied with training and gear.
Mr. Guarino states that the board spent months trying to convince me to have EMT-I serve on Sundays. In fact, a review of 2013 scheduling shows 45 weeks of EMT-I coverage and seven weeks of EMT-B coverage. The seven weeks with an EMT–B was simply a result of not having the part-time resources to fill these shifts. Sundays have always been filled with certified and licensed personnel. I have followed every directive I have received from the Board of Selectman, and I will continue to do so.
Our department continues to provide the very best in care to our community. There has been no instance, that I have been made aware of, that our community is unhappy with the current staffing pattern and service we provide. I have provided countless data supporting our current staffing pattern. This continues to fall on deaf ears. I see absolutely no rationale or merit in changing our current schedule, and I have expressed my concerns to the board. Article 30 supports a level-funded budget with no increases.
My job as your fire chief is to have your best interest in mind. I have been hired to make decisions relative to your safety. I have been hired to develop the best service we can provide within the constraints of the town budget to provide. I have been a member of the Gilmanton Fire Department for over 35 years. I'm very proud to be associated with the men and woman that currently serve our department as well as those that have served before us, and laid the very foundation on which we operate. Their desire and ours remain the same, and that is to provide the best in emergency service to our town.
Please Vote "yes" on Article 30. Thank you for your continued support.
Chief Paul J. Hempel III
Last Updated on Friday, 07 March 2014 11:46
AleTo The Daily Sun,
Without a Community Bill of Rights, or Rights Based Ordinance (RBO), corporate industrial wind developers have more rights to destroy the communities we live than we do to protect the communities we live in. We have the power to change that by applying the rights available to us through the New Hampshire Constitution's Bill of Rights.
Our state Constitution is an amazing document that states in Article 1. (Equality of Men; Origin and Object of Government) that, "All men are born equally free and independent; therefore, all government of right originates from the people, is founded in consent, and instituted for the general good." Also, in Article 8, (Accountability of Magistrates and Officers; Public's Right to Know) the New Hampshire Constitution says, "All power residing originally in, and being derived from, the people, all the magistrates and officers of government are their substitutes and agents, and at all times accountable to them. Government, therefore, should be open, accessible, accountable and responsive. To that end, the public's right of access to governmental proceedings and records shall not be unreasonably restricted."
Follow that up with Article 10.(Right of Revolution) which reads, "Government being instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security of the whole community, and not for the private interest or emolument of any one man, family, or class of men; therefore, whenever the ends of government are perverted, and public liberty manifestly endangered, and all other means of redress are ineffectual, the people may, and of right ought to reform the old, or establish a new government. The doctrine of non-resistance against arbitrary power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind."
How do we change the old government, or establish a new one? We do so with Article 32.(Rights of Assembly, Instruction, and Petition) that instructs, "The people have a right, in an orderly and peaceable manner, to assemble and consult upon the common good, give instructions to their representatives, and to request of the legislative body, by way of petition or remonstrance, redress(make right) of the wrongs done them, and of the grievances they suffer."
A Community Bill of Rights, or Rights Based Ordinance (RBO) is an application of the articles written above. Alexandria, Danbury, and Hebron have applied Article 32 to petition our towns to adopt a new ordinance that would allow "we the people" to make decisions about what kinds of industrial energy systems that benefit corporations are sited in our towns. We the people, would have a right to protect our ecosystems from the destruction and pollution caused by state and federal energy policies, a right to preserve the aesthetic values of our towns, and no longer acknowledge corporations as "persons" possessing legal rights and protections that would violate the rights proclaimed within the Rights Based Ordinance.
Vote "yes" on Article 16 in Alexandria, "yes" on Article 9 in Danbury, and "yes" on Article 4 in Hebron on Tuesday, March 11.
Last Updated on Monday, 10 March 2014 08:45