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GYRL survey shows even users don’t want taxpayer funding

To The Daily Sun,

On Nov. 10, the Gilmanton Year-Round Library's Facebook page posted a notice that the library had received the results of its UNH survey, and that the results of that survey would be shared on Nov. 17 at what the library calls a "Public Conversation."

Now, without exception, all of the GYRL's Public Conversations are advertised in the Daily Sun, either as a press release, or in the Sun's Daily Calendar under Library Events. This one was not. This was the event of the year for the GYRL, which took months to complete. The survey itself was heavily promoted — signs everywhere, articles in the paper, word of mouth, letters. And yet, in the end, there was not a single word publicly released by or through the media as to what the survey revealed, or that it had even been finished. I thought this unusual. Until, that is, I read the survey. So, Gilmanton taxpayers: ... Survey Says:

The survey itself consists of 15 general questions and nine questions relating to demographics. The general questions are broken down into library use, how respondents voted on funding in the last election, and what respondents felt were the best funding options for the library. The demographics were by age, income, education, gender, length of residency in Gilmanton, number of children and voting habits.

The surveys were sent to 1,715 households; 348 were returned. The results of the survey are a mind-numbing 72 pages long, with 41 complex graphs and 33 pages containing an unbelievable 7,095 cross-referenced statistics. In addition to that, there are several pages of respondents' comments.

As impressive as all that is, this was intended to be a random selection survey, which means that the 1,715 households where the surveys were sent could not be chosen based on affiliations, such as, in this case, the GYRL. If they were selected in this manner, it would have created what is known as selection bias and the survey would be useless. It seems, then, that the board of directors of the GYRL was not aware of this fact. Either that, or they ignored it because, possibly feeling they wouldn't get the results they wanted, they allowed library patrons to pick up surveys at the library. How random is that?

Why UNH allowed them to do that is beyond me. In my opinion, it destroyed the single most important purpose of that very expensive survey: the question of funding. Still, the results are interesting, and here are a few highlights:

I was surprised that there were actually GYRL cardholders who responded that did not support town funding for the library, the main reason being that they believed that operating costs would never come from taxes. Interesting ... I've heard that one.

Then there was library usage. On Page 20 there is a breakdown that shows that the majority of respondents, across all age groups, including cardholders, don't really use the library that much, if at all. So, although the library can show cardholder numbers, it would seem that only a relative handful use it regularly. Statistics don't lie.

But what really caught my attention was the comments. These were 150 individual, unedited, and frank remarks. Of those, 69 were supportive of the GYRL, and 81 were not. Yes, I did count them. What was so remarkable was how revealing these comments were. For instance, on the graphs and statistics pages, I discovered the majority of the respondents had college educations with incomes to match. I really expected, then, given that those who sing the praises of the GYRL continually portray library detractors as little more than beer-swilling, uneducated, book-hating buffoons, that the negative comments would be inarticulate drivel. Not so. In fact, it was just the opposite! ... There is so much more, but a point needs to be made.

This survey, although deliberately slanted in the GYRL's favor by the selection process, unquestionably shows that the library remains unused, unembraced and unaccepted by the majority of taxpayers in Gilmanton, which is probably why the GYRL Board of Directors never released the results through the media. Desperate to unload their burden on the town, the last thing they needed was accurate and detailed facts.

Al Blake

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The Obama legacy is going to get skinned alive next year

To The Daily Sun,

First, let me say I never write anything intentioned to influence public opinion I don't believe to be the truth. I offer the same courtesy of assumption to all who contribute letters to the Daily Sun, no matter how vehemently I may disagree with their views. That would include Alan Vervaeke who I wish a very Happy New Year. I will never let political disagreements interfere with wishing the best prosperity to one and all.

That Alan wants to reveal himself to be a sour grapes, sore loser is his business. I wonder if he understands the poor example it sets for young people? My view lost, therefore I am entitled to lash out in defiance to denounce, demean and vilify the winners. It's simply poor sportsmanship. Alan prides himself for recognizing "crybabies," but he seems brain dead to recognize the biggest one in Gilford that stares back at him in the mirror every morning.

That Obama is "leasing" rather than "purchasing" ( as I suggested in error) the $5 million he is about to live it seems to be the only word out of 600 in my letter that interested the "bulldogs." Obama was elected not once but twice on the backs of the bottom third of society economically. Obama spent eight years expressing his never-ending feelings of pain and heartfelt sorrow for their suffering. That this man now moves into a $5 million mansion while simultaneously becoming a West Coast, jet-setter with digs next to the "elite class" in Rancho Mirage, California, is hypocrisy by every definition of it.

It is indeed the lifestyles of the rich and famous for Barack and Michelle Obama who got rich how? Peddling the "snake oil of hope" to the desperate masses while delivering despair. That he is leasing such accommodation, not buying, changes nothing of the substance of my letter. But don't expect any of the sore loser bulldogs that Alan heads to grasp the obvious.

There is good reason why the political fate of Democrats now plumbs new lows in the political ocean. Sometimes, you just have to think, but that isn't something that comes natural to any of them.

Many of the richest people in the world lease rather than purchase. It signifies absolutely nothing among the wealthy. They also borrow billions rather than use their own cash even though they may be billionaires. The question to buy or lease is always a personal choice driven only by lifestyle and tax considerations, not financial ability. That Obama elects to lease, rather than buy does nothing to alter the hypocrisy that enshrines him in light of the origin of his wealth, cemented to false promises to better the lives of the less fortunate. Obama has amassed a personal fortune on their backs with many more millions to come, all while his presidency exacerbated the wealth gap between those who have little and those who have much.

Among the elite that Obama travels with whether they lease or purchase is as about as important as the toothpaste they choose. Purchase or lease for the wealthy like Obama is much noise about little. It is all simply more, New Years, political BS from the "bulldogs" trying to distract from the hypocritical, political disaster that Barack Obama has been for the Democratic Party culminating in their most humiliating loss in a century.

The Obama legacy is going to get skinned alive in the next year. The loud, constant, wailing of Alan Vervaeke and the liberals that accompanies it will be a comforting lullaby to millions like myself. The hypocrisy that Barack Obama represents will at long last be dead.

Tony Boutin

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