To The Daily Sun,
Grafton County budget appropriation documents and County Commissioner meeting minutes clearly show that, between 2009 and 2014, Commissioner Michael Cryans voted to give a total of $143,280 in taxpayer money to an organization (Headrest, Inc.), which pays him a substantial salary as its executive director. These documents also show that, on April 23, 2012, one of Mr. Cryans' fellow commissioners asked that he recuse himself from voting on this appropriation, due to an obvious conflict of interest. Cryans refused to sit out the vote.
My observations of Mr. Cryans at Grafton County budget meetings have convinced me that he is a big spender when it comes to taxpayer money and would likely continue that behavior if elected to the Executive Council. Voters need to ask themselves if they really want to give Michael Cryans a third job and yet another opportunity to squander taxpayer money.
All of the factual information contained in this letter can be verified by going to the Grafton County website and viewing the budget appropriation documents for fiscal years 2010-2014 and the minutes of the relevant county commissioner meetings. The website for Headrest Inc. will verify Mr. Cryans' position as executive director.
Russell T. Cumbee
Last Updated on Monday, 17 February 2014 09:50
To The Daily Sun
In the Feb. 14 issue of The Daily Sun, Mr. Valengavich asked for "... one right winger actually (to) give one instance where our president has violated the Constitution ..." This is in reply to that request.
The second paragraph of Article.1. Section. 5. of the Constitution reads as follows, "Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two thirds, expel a member." Nowhere in Article.1. does the Constitution authorize the Executive or the Judicial branches to determine what those rules may be.
Article. II. Section. 2. of the Constitution states that the president shall have the power to nominate people to serve in a variety of positions, "... by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate.
That section also states, "The president shall have power to fill up all vacancies that may happen during the recess of the Senate, by granting commissions which shall expire at the end of their next session."
At issue was President Obama's making of a total of four recess appointments while the Senate was in session. The administration was challenged on those appointments and argued that the Senate was not actually in session as not all the Senators were physically there.
To this point, three Circuit Courts (3rd, 4th, and DC Circuit Courts of Appeals) have ruled the president violated the Constitution by making those four appointments while the Senate was in session. The administration has again appealed the decision and it is now going to be heard by the Supreme Court.
In the presidential oath of office, the president swears or affirms that to the best of his ability he will preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.
Beyond the above issue, to date, there have been twenty seven changes made to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by the president, without those changes being codified by the House of Representative or the Senate. Even though the Congress has expressed a willingness to modify the law, the Administration has chosen to act unilaterally.
Also before the Supreme Court is the issue on whether the ACA is in conflict with the First Amendment to the Constitution, specifically with respect to the free exercise of religion. This issue is before the Supreme Court as a number of lower court have rendered differing opinions.
In my view, the primary reason for the Senate leadership to have exercised the so called "nuclear option," is so the Democrat-controlled Senate can roll over the opposition and provide the Advice and Consent of Presidential appointments who would not otherwise receive that Consent. For the longer haul, that decision may be one of the most destructive and divisive in the history of the Senate. Time will tell.
Last Updated on Monday, 17 February 2014 09:46
To The Daily Sun,
Some folks think they can't afford the additional taxes if the Gilmanton Year-Round Library (GYRL) is funded. Quite the opposite is actually true. Many citizens cannot afford not having the Library.
Discounted hard cover books at Barnes & Nobles, Amazon and BJ's generally run from $17 for hard cover fiction to $24 for non-fiction. The extra tax on the average property in Gilmanton will be approximately $20 to $25 per year. For less than the cost of two books you get access to all the books in the GYRL as well as those in other New Hampshire libraries.
Those who like to watch movies will find DVDs costing around $16.99 through Amazon for the newer movies. The lowest cost plan offered by Netflix is $7.99 per month to have one movie at a time. You cannot buy two DVDs or pay three months' rent to Netflix for the annual cost in taxes. As long as the Library is open you have access to all the DVDs at the GYRL.
In addition, the GYRL participates in a cooperative which allows access to many more movie titles than those in the library's holdings.
How many can afford to subscribe to three newspapers? The Laconia Citizen, Concord Monitor and Manchester Union Leader are all available at the GYRL. The GYRL's portion of the annual tax bill is about one-fifth what the Concord Monitor would cost to purchase for a year.
Those wanting to use the internet will pay $14.95 per month for a low-speed DSL line. The Library offers high speed internet access either with one of the Library's six guest computers or via wifi for those fortunate enough to have a portable device. Less than two month's payments for a low-speed DSL, covers the extra tax and gives high-speed internet access, without the need to own a personal computer. Because of the GYRL, many Gilmanton residents, who cannot afford a computer or access to the internet, are able to search for a job, type and print out resumes, complete homework assignments and otherwise avail themselves of what the internet has to offer.
It makes sense to fund the Gilmanton Year-Round Library for all of the above reasons.
Last Updated on Monday, 17 February 2014 09:43
To The Daily Sun,
I've been noticing for the past three or four days the Iberdrola turbines in Groton are not always all turning. Actually, since they've been there, two, or three, or more are often just sitting up there doing nothing. Four or five days ago though they were all still. Can anyone say why that may be?
Is it because the there is no demand for any of the pitiful output they are capable, and is that why some are shut down? And on the days they are all just decoration is it just not breezy enough? My guess is the turbines proposed for Alexandria need to be 500 feet tall because the Spanish company has found taller and taller is the only way to get to some wind around here that is somewhat constant enough to look good on paper. Five hundred feet folks.
Next time you're driving down I-93 notice the mile markers, and as you wiz by one, look waaay down the road to the next one. It is 1/10th of a mile away. That's just 20 feet more than Iberdrola's proposed wind turbine height — 1/10th of a mile high.
I have lived in the Lakes Region since 1976 — Moultonborough for 33 years until I got tired of the lights and traffic. I've got a good long history with Newfound Lake though, vacationed here on the north end of her since I was born in 1948. I now live in the house my dad built in 1984 and could not ask for more.
Through the years I've seen more and more people move permanently to this lovely region and something I've noticed is that even with growth, for the most part the region has not changed that much and that's what brings visitors and tourists here season after season. The folks who reside here have worked hard to maintain the low-key nature of this spot. Just because it is an area with some population and not a northern wilderness (they of course have the Northern Pass issue) should not mean it's OK to become a money-maker for a foreign company with the blessings of some our own New Hampshire politicians (not Jeannie Forrester, who has been particularly vocal against this blight).
By now everyone knows New Hampshire would not be the beneficiary any of electricity produced by the turbines, as it would go into the grid and the extra produced (like the extra that has been produced right along by our own plants) would flow south. Connecticut has put a hold on wind turbines, why? And, is it not windy at all in the Berkshires, or does Massachusetts just wish to not despoil it's own beautiful areas if it's northern neighbor is willing to betray theirs?
Last Updated on Monday, 17 February 2014 09:38
To The Daily Sun,
I would like to start off by thanking you all for allowing me to serve as your selectman. Over the last three years, the Selectboard has been involved in making decisions on many difficult issues. There are always two sides to an issue, and the Selectboard is charged with making decisions that is best for residents of Gilmanton. The only issue that has no disagreement is taxes. I have never spoken with a person who wants their taxes increased. The selectmen are also charged with being the stewards of your town tax dollars.
Three years ago, I ran for selectman on the platform to stop tax increases. Despite cost increases downsourced to Gilmanton from the state and Belknap County, town taxes have not only stopped increasing they have been reduced. These tax cuts were made with no loss in services. I cannot take sole credit, but I did participate in these efforts.
Throughout my time as a board member, many different concerns have been brought to my attention. My job as selectman is to look into these concerns on behalf of the people who elected me and bring these concerns forward. I will not apologize for the points I have brought forward from the public. My only intention was to reduce the tax burden on Gilmanton residents.
I went to the schools deliberative session. Some residents spoke out against the tax cap warrant article and voiced disapproval of Gilmanton now being a SB-2 town. Their arguments were very convincing. However, the continuing tax increases are causing financially-struggling people to react, "hoping for change." I don't believe the people who want to stop tax increases are selfish, stingy or heartless, they simply don't have enough money to support more increases in taxes.
In the past overtaxing led our Founding Fathers into the revolution that formed this country. Taxes being raised will only cause more people to struggle, this will then cause more public reactions to stop tax increases.
There are two elected legislative bodies in Gilmanton. The Board of Selectmen is one, and the School Board is the other. As one of the selectmen, balancing the services being provided with being frugal spending has always been my mission. The School Board is charged with ensuring a good education for our children, but has not been able to do this without raising its budget. If the selectmen being helped from the town administrator and the town employees can provide services needed without raising taxes, the School Board, being assisted by the SAU, should be able to do the same.
Owning your own home use to be part of the American dream. Now with continuing increases in property taxes, the word owning is being replaced with selling. I hope my replacement and all elected to any position remember who they represent and what those people really need and want. Our School Board has good intentions for our children, but they need to be reminded who votes for them. The ideas from the School Board may be the best, but some mothers and fathers can't afford them.
A good education starts at home and according to some research done by Carsey Institute at UNH, New Hampshire experienced the largest increase in child poverty of any state in the country. To see this full report goto http://www.unh.edu/news/releases/2013/sep/lw20carsey.cfm
I will end by thanking you again, I have learned many things about local issues and hope I have served you well.
Last Updated on Monday, 17 February 2014 09:35