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To Rep. Worsman & her convention supporters, I say, 'press on'

To the editor,
Belknap County Convention Chair Colette Worsman and her supporters on the convention have received severe criticism over the past several weeks over their handling of the Belknap County budget process. As a Belknap county resident I want to say that the criticism is completely unwarranted. In the Belknap County budget-making process, the convention represents me, the taxpayer, and they are doing exactly what I would want them to do on my behalf which is to intelligently question every line item in the county budget to determine its validity. Without their efforts the Belknap County budget would be 9 percent higher this year. In my view, it isn't the average taxpayer who is complaining, it is those that didn't get the increase they were looking for.
The convention's job, by law, is to oversee the budgeting process, not to "rubber stamp" a commissioner budget 9 percent higher than last year. The chairs of the Belknap County and Lakes Region Democrats have called for a "cease fire in the ongoing battle between the majority of the delegation's Republican members and the county commissioners", but instead of raising a white flag the county commissioners keep on fighting.
If the Democrats want peace, have the Belknap County Commissioners stick to the line item approved budget and get written permission for any changes from the Executive Committee per RSA 24:14 instead of transferring money as they see fit. Checking the county website proves the public may not even access the approved 2013 Belknap County Line Item Budget. The web site shows only the department totals under the 2013 Budget, not the individual line item expenses that were approved. Additionally, there are indications that the county commissioners are spending money from lines where no appropriations exist in violation of RSA 24:15. Rep. Worsman and her supporters would be derelict in their duty if they didn't challenge these actions.
The county commissioners recently requested a $200,000 increase to the 2013 budget to enable the nursing home to potentially receive $400,000 in additional revenue. In spite of the acrimony of the earlier budget process, Rep. Worsman scheduled a public hearing to discuss the matter but the county commissioners did not provide sufficient backup information to justify the expenditure and Rep. Worsman cancelled the meeting. Good for her. Any reasonable business person would insist on plenty of supporting material for any project where there is the possibility to double your money in a short time. The convention would be neglecting their oversight duties if they were to approve a budget increase without sufficient justification.
To Rep. Worsman and her convention supporters, I say good show and press on. The Belknap County Commissioners are like a big ship with a small rudder. It takes a long time and hard work to effect change. Rep. Worsman and her convention supporters have added a couple of feet to that rudder and we are beginning to see some positive change i.e. no tax increase this year and no longer a "business as usual" approach in determining the Belknap County Budget. If the Democrats want peace tell them to stop fighting.
Roger Grey

Last Updated on Saturday, 11 May 2013 01:23

Hits: 335

Patsy Wells in public service for greater good of entire community

To the editor,
I support Patsy Wells for selectman. In Patsy’s years on the Sanbornton Selectboard (2004 – 2007), I first watched her as she guided the town in a reasonable direction during turbulent times. Then worked with her on the Selectboard for several years as she led us as a board and a community to grow and work together, always respecting, valuing and listening to the thoughts and ideas of her fellow selectmen and town’s people.  She gives her position 100 percent of her time and energy, as she researches and balances the ever-changing needs of our town, never wavering and always honoring her commitment.  Her past knowledge of the town workings will help us as we move forward to make well planned, and researched decisions in finances and growth.
Patsy is about preserving Sanbornton for all generations and passing along a thoughtfully planned and cared for town.
She may not always agree with a person or an issue but you can be assured she will listen respectfully to the cares and concerns and come to a logical and educated decision. She is not in this position for “herself” but for the greater good of the entire community.
I hope you will join me in voting for Patsy Wells for selectman in Sanbornton on May 14th .
Steven Ober

Last Updated on Saturday, 11 May 2013 01:19

Hits: 396

SB-2 would create even a smaller 'few' ruling the 'many'

To the editor,
Mr Grey's letter supporting SB-2 for Sanbornton is mostly about numbers. He thinks that 149 at Town Meeting as opposed to the 570 at the election booth is "the rule of the many by the few". I look at it differently. The 150 at Town Meeting could speak about and amend warrant articles. In other words,  participate directly. With SB-2 it will be 50 or so speaking and amending at the deliberative meeting and 570 voting on what the 50 decided. I think 50 versus 570 is an even smaller few ruling the many.
As to the many excuses for why people don't go to Town Meeting, well I've heard them all. Betcha if I offered free Red Sox tickets many could find time to go. I wish more would attend Town Meeting but I defend their right to choose whether or not they attend. There if one of his listed excuses that angers me. The "aren't comfortable speaking up in public" or as others often say voting in the comfort and privacy of the voting booth. No one 'has' to speak at Town Meeting. Others don't want to raise their hand to vote and let people see what they voted. When I think of the many people who have fought and were maimed of killed to give us this right it really puts raising a hand to vote in perspective.
Please vote NO to SB-2. Town Meeting has worked for over 200 years and it's not broken. SB-2 is 20 years old and the Legislators are still trying to get the bugs out of it.
Evelyn Auger

Last Updated on Saturday, 11 May 2013 01:16

Hits: 424

Guns used to commit Chicago crimes are almost all bought elsewhere

To the editor,
Recently Steve Earle claimed of my letter, "James gives a clutter of statistics of which I will not endeavor to challenge because they are insignificant to the point." Oh really? A clutter to Steve maybe. The statistics in my letter — http://www.laconiadailysun.com/index.php/opinion/letters/68016-james-veverka-5-3-685 — clearly negated his claims in the first letter that background checks don't work. They do. The statistic were from Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research, not Breitbart, Fox, or the NRA liars. The data clearly said that in the states that had universal checks and forbade anyone under a domestic abuse order to possess a firearm, the intimate partner homicide rate dropped 19 percent. That is a significant number of lives saved. The study also showed that states with loose gun laws undermined the states with better laws. It also noted that gaps in federal laws drastically weaken intelligent state gun laws.
Take Chicago, the right wing's favorite punching bag. In other parts of Illinois, the gun laws are looser. That is why 43 percent of the guns seized by law enforcement in Chicago were originally purchased in other parts of Illinois, particularly Cook County. Illinois does not license or otherwise regulate firearms dealers which opens the door to Chicago's gun trafficking. The remaining 57 percent of Chicago guns all came from out of state, most significantly from nearby Indiana and distant Mississippi. (http://www.theatlanticcities.com/neighborhoods/2012/08/where-chicagos-guns-come/3090/) Here is a NYT article complete with map on where 50,000 Chicago crime guns came from. (http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/01/29/us/where-50000-guns-in-chicago-came-from.html?_r=0)
The next time I read a sentence with "law abiding citizens" from a gun nut I am going to throw up. The whole idea of gun checks is to find the one's who AREN'T law abiding citizens. 700,000 people have been denied guns since 2000. Unlicensed dealers at gun shows who don't run background checks open the door to criminals, terrorists and the mentally dangerous. Just ask al Qaeda.
As far as the fast and furious program goes, it was a Bush plan, not an Obama plan. The Obama administration inherited it just as it did Bush's terrible economy and his miserable foreign policy.
James Veverka

Last Updated on Saturday, 11 May 2013 01:09

Hits: 474

Biggest drain on our tax dollars is explosion of Pentagon budget

To the editor,
In all 50 states, people are telling Congress to end the sequestration chaos. This involves over 70,000 people, but also, in time for Town Meeting in Sanbornton, involves a May 15 Town Meeting warrant article, #15, about cuts that could and should be made, to the Pentagon budget.
Why did the economy and the federal budget go off the tracks? Two wars, tax cuts for the rich, corporate tax loopholes and a runaway Pentagon budget that has never been audited.
What is the biggest drain of our tax dollars? It is the explosion of the Pentagon budget since 9/11 on new weapons, military bases around the world and nuclear weapons that serve no purpose except to generate international tensions.
Voting "yes" to article #15 essentially says, "We need to move the money from wars and ever-newer weapons to fund human services and jobs needed in our communities instead!" Last year Sanbornton's citizens, through IRS payments, gave $5,015,129 to the Pentagon. Now it's time to bring home that money and use it for town personnel needs, homeless and hungry needs, roads and bridges. Reads the warrant article: "Even 18 percent of that Sanbornton tax money would be roughly $1 million redirected to our local needs."
Sanbornton Town Meeting voters, if staying to the end of May 15's meeting, can add to the outpouring of public pressure on Congress. Thirty-plus Sanbornton voters got the article onto the warrant by petition. As one Sanbornton resident, I ask that it pass.
Christine Hobby

Last Updated on Friday, 10 May 2013 12:17

Hits: 366

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