I have toured the Sullivan County Jail and will visit Grafton's next

To The Daily Sun,

As a candidate for the Belknap County Commission, my desire to learn all I can about jail issues recently led me to visit the Sullivan County Jail in Claremont. There are valuable lessons to to be gained from what they've accomplished. I spent two hours listening, asking questions, and getting a tour of their new Community Corrections facility. They have also renovated their old jail and use it for pretrial detentions and for inmates who are ineligible for Community Corrections programs.

They completed their project for about $10 million and have also seen remarkable results from the anti-recidivism programs they've implemented. A similar program has been included in the design for the new facility our commission has proposed. Those programs provide major public safety and money-saving benefits which I will write about later. I want to focus now on sharp pencil lessons that might help Belknap County.

I learned that construction specifications for jails come in four varieties. Correctional standards are the most expensive, followed by industrial, commercial, and residential standards. The standard to be applied depends upon the purpose of the facility. Correction standards are used when the highest level of security is necessary. The others can be used for construction that does not have the same security needs. A building dedicated to community corrections does not require the highest specifications standards. It houses inmates who are involved in programs leading to behavioral change and participating in education, drug and mental health treatment, work release and electronic monitoring. Thus, the entire building can be constructed with a lower level of security than a building designed to hold inmates securely who are not eligible for programming.

We ought to be able to utilize the Sullivan County experience to help inform our discussion, while keeping in mind circumstances unique to Belknap County, such as that we are significantly larger and have the need for empty cells to use during Bike Week, etc.

I'm going to Grafton County this week. My email address is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Dave Pollak

Candidate for Belknap County Commissioner



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Sanbornton ballots for Sept. 9 primary election are already online

To The Daily Sun,

I have just picked up the Official Primary Sanbornton Ballots for the Sept. 9 Primary election.

The ballots can also be viewed on the Sanbornton web site or click on http://sanborntonnh.org/Bulletin_Board_&_Useful_Info/2014%20Primary%20Ballot.PDF

Happy voting.
Bill Whalen

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Please consider joining the Leadership Lakes Region Class of '15

To The Daily Sun,

I have become very passionate about the Leadership Lakes Region (LLR) program. As a graduate and new board member I wanted to share a perspective on what it does for graduates, businesses and the community at large.

The organization is dedicated to community improvement by creating a network of effective leaders who promote volunteerism and civic awareness. The "course" is one day a month for eight months, with each day focusing on a topic critical to the area (history and culture, social issues, education, economics, politics, health, environment). Each class consists of about 18 to 25 individuals with varied occupations and backgrounds who develop strong bonds with each other and the community as they learn about the strengths and weaknesses of our precious landscape. Locations throughout the area serve as the classroom with citizens and business/educational leaders serving as teachers to guide the class towards discovery.

The course gave me a greater understanding of our community needs as well as its resources. I was exposed to the agencies who help those in need, the businesses who are in the forefront of supplying employees as volunteers and/or funding for causes. Personally, I established a dynamic network of current and future community leaders who are dedicated to making the Lakes Region a better community. Even those who grew up in this area are surprised to learn how much they don't know about the issues facing this area as well as the bevy of resources available to help. Since graduating, I have regrouped with classmates for multiple causes and have joined two boards.

If you are an individual interested in networking with community leaders and working towards a better Lakes Region, I encourage you to learn more about LLR. We can help you approach your employer about getting the time and resources to join the upcoming Class of 2015. If you are a supervisor or business owner, I encourage you to send one or two employees. You will end up with a richer workforce who are more engaged in the community; a plus for all businesses.

Applications, tuition and other information are available at the website http://www.leadershiplakesregion.org/ or you may call 603.524.6791.

Dona Murray


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It's no wonder Sen. Shaheen refuses to hold open Hown Hall meetings

To The Daily Sun,

I have a question for you: What's worse than career politicians, like Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, who supported the $787 billion "stimulus" plan that did little for New Hampshire? In my opinion, the fact that her business interests directly benefited from it to the tune of $78,000.

That is $78,000 of our hard-earned money she used to line her own pockets. It's no wonder she wants to avoid her constituents and refuses to have open and public Town Hall meetings. There certainly are a lot of reasons why Sen. Shaheen might want to avoid us. From this scandal regarding her vote for the failed stimulus to her continued support for a disastrous Obamacare, I understand why she is hiding. However, it is time our state's senior senator stops hiding and starts answering for years of failed leadership.

Cindy Creteau-Miller


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Rep. Fields worked against his own party & behaved childlisly

To The Daily Sun,

As we are now entering into the "crazy season" of political elections, I wanted to write this letter to endorse some folks who I believe will be honest public servants to Belknap County, should they win their elections.

Rep. Richard Burchell is running against John Thomas for the seat of County Commissioner. Having had personal experience serving with both of these men, Rep. Burchell would definitely have my vote. Not only has Commissioner Thomas demonstrated unprofessional behavior time and again (I will never forget his infamous "You want to take this on lady?" threat at a delegation meeting early in 2013), he has proven he stands for unaccountable governance. This is totally unacceptable. Commissioner Richard Burchell sounds just great to me.

Ray Howard is running for Belknap District 8 in the New Hampshire House. I have full confidence Mr. Howard will vote to stop the over-taxation of our residents in Belknap. He will stand against new taxes and bloated government. And as this was my seat in Belknap, I cannot imagine a better legislator sitting in it.

Rep. Dennis Fields not only worked against his own party during my time as a delegation member in Belknap, he demonstrated childish and truculent behavior at virtually every delegation meeting. He voted with the Democrats again and again, many times against Belknap taxpayers. My endorsement goes to Republican Brian Gallagher. Sanbornton deserves a true Republican in that seat and Brian is the man for the job. Time to make a change, Sanbornton.

So, that is my take on some upcoming primary elections in Belknap County. It is Live Free or Die time here in New Hampshire. Let's support our conservative candidates throughout New Hampshire.

Jane Cormier

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