A+ A A-

Seeds for this feud were sown by commissioners 2 years ago

To the editor,
The post and pre-election political diatribe regarding Belknap County Convention is not justified or deserved, but not unexpected. Laws are not obscure regarding county PUBLIC BUSINESS. Clearly, the Right-to-Know is the law which keeps the public apprised of the actions of the elected official.
Other laws such as county appropriation laws require the commissioners to propose a budget. After the convention resolution of its annual budget or supplemental budgets, other laws require the commissioners to administer the individual appropriation for the individual purposes, annually.
Nothing is obscure regarding RSA 24:14, I — Appropriations by the county convention shall be itemized in detail and a record thereof shall be kept by the clerk of the convention. The executive committee of the county shall have authority to review the expenditures of the county after adoption of the county budget. Such review may occur as often as voted by the executive committee, but no less than twice each year. The convention may require the county commissioners to report once each quarter to the convention or to the executive committee the expenditures of the county as compared to the budget as voted, in such detail as determined by the convention. The county convention may require that the county commissioners obtain written authority from the executive committee before transferring any appropriation or part thereof under RSA 24:15. The county convention may adopt a policy regarding the acceptance of grants.
I-a. In this chapter, an appropriation means an amount of money authorized for a specified purpose by the legislative body.
To invoke provisions in the law requiring the county commissioners to obtain written authority from the executive committee before transferring any appropriation or part thereof under RSA 24:15 should be commended. Enforcement of laws that habitually have been considered below the historical strong commission verses the weak conventions is not usurping control.
Why has the 2013/14 convention taken action to introduce the long needed checks and balance? Back on December 06, 2010 the newly elected delegation held the convention's organizational meeting. At that meeting, following the election of officer and executive committee at-large officers, a presentation by the commission of its proposed budget for FY 2011/12 took place. No record of a "Public Hearing" is recorded.
On 20 December 2010, "the chairman (Rep. Alida Millham) reviewed the Right-to-Know Law and asked everyone to read it. Everyone understood the open, public process that will be followed."
On 14 March 2011 convention meeting re: Public Hearing on 2011 Belknap County Budget: "Rep. Accornero then asked the commissioners if they planned to do whatever they want with the stimulus money regardless of what the delegation says? He demanded a Yes or No answer. Commissioner Philpot responded by saying that they have different jobs (delegation and commissioners). It is the commissioners job to manage the affairs of the county and the day to day operations and they will not delegate that responsibility. It is what they are elected to do. The commissioners need to do their job and the delegation needs to do it's."
"Rep. Accornero followed up by again saying that the commissioners just give the delegation the budget and then they say that they will do what they want anyway. Commissioner Thomas reminded him that the commissioners have statutory responsibilities and there are statutory responsibilities of the delegation."
The line in the sand was drawn, hence began the frustration of the 2011/12 convention and the current 2013/14 convention.
No elected official shall set themselves above the Law.
Thomas A. Tardif

Last Updated on Monday, 27 May 2013 05:15

Hits: 299

Fault on both sides of the aisle for push to deregulate derivatives

To the editor,
A recent New York Times article brought to light current legislation passed by the House Financial Services Committee. The legislation which passed with a vote of 53-6, allows for the deregulation of derivatives. This practice of deregulation was at the cornerstone of this country's financial disaster five years ago. In addition to the stupidity of repeating such policy, the legislation was largely written (70 of the 85 lines) by Citigroup. Unbelievable!
Fault can be found on both sides of the aisle. Every Democrat, Republican and independent should be outraged by the actions of the House Financial Services Committee. They may have a short memory about the country's economic downfall five years ago, but many U.S. citizens, especially the middle class have not forgotten. I encourage all citizens to research this legislation and contact ones representatives regarding your position on the matter.
Marcia Hayward

Last Updated on Monday, 27 May 2013 04:57

Hits: 320

What's truly important is our wonderful theatre community

To the editor,
The gala opening of the New Winnipesaukee Playhouse Mainstage Theatre on our Meredith campus is happening on June 1. The completion of this wonderful new building is a major achievement. But I realized on Saturday that what we've been building for the past nine years is an even bigger achievement and one more valuable to me than our new facility. When Johanna and I left our good jobs and our good friends in the Boston area to move to central New Hampshire to an area we had only recently discovered and in which we knew nobody, we did so with the dream of finding a community of people to share our love of theatre with and to share our lives with — a theatre community if you will. We wanted to build a place where we could work together and include our children. We wanted to create a theatre organization that people would want to invest their time and passion in — onstage and off, in good times and bad.
On a Saturday of a long holiday weekend over 20 members of the Playhouse community came out to lug boxes, chairs, platforms, props, costumes, install flooring, watch our children and more for hours in the rain and cold and mud to help us get the theatre ready for June 1. They did it because they know this new theatre is their new theatre because they are part of the Winni Playhouse community. Some have been with us since the beginning and others are new to the team. Without fail, our Playhouse community is made up of selfless people who set an example for my kids to follow far better than any I could set. I am constantly amazed at how generous our supporters are with their time when we need help, and more amazingly how genuinely appreciative they are about the opportunities our little Playhouse presents to them which makes them willingly come out and spend a bleak, rainy day making our job getting ready for the opening just a little bit easier.
So while the new building IS amazing and it will be very exciting on June 1 to celebrate its opening with our friends and supporters, at the end of the day it is just a building. What's truly important to me is our wonderful and vibrant theatre community that will fill it with thrills, laughter, tears and music for years to come. Not part of it yet? What are you waiting for? Find a way to get involved — onstage, behind-the-scenes, from the audience - because believe it or not our inclusive community only gets better and better as more people get involved. And you get to be a part of some great theatre too!
A heartfelt thanks from Johanna, Lesley, Neil and I to Sue Needleman, Trevor Slauenwhite, Jim and Judi Rogato, Diane Nickerson, Diane and Chuck Fray, Tammy McGonagle, Kathleen Hill, Doreen and Matt Richards, Liz Rohdenburg, Ray and Lori Boelig, Rene Boelig, Rodney Martell, Johan Anderson, Lea and Lissa Mascio; staff members Becky Marsh, Kate Boucher and Josh Jansen who all volunteered on their day off; and family members Alan and Paula Halperin, Jonathan and Glenna Lee, Andrea Levitt and Tony Hatoun. Thank you all for spending a rainy Saturday with us.
Bryan Halperin

Last Updated on Monday, 27 May 2013 04:54

Hits: 475

Bob Meade - It's time to act

President George Washington said,
"The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive veterans of early wars were treated and appreciated by our nation."
The man who was, arguably, our greatest president, set the standard for how we should respect and treat those who have fought, first to bring us freedom and then, to ensure that we retain it. What is now sadly interesting is how we glamorize some things, and ignore others. For sure, a good deal of the blame belongs to the media but that doesn't excuse us, we the people, for ignoring things of importance . . . like respecting our military and our veterans.
Among the sadly interesting occurrences within the last few weeks has been the media attention about California attorney Judy Clark. This women gained a reputation for defending people like Ted Kaczynski, the unibomber, who killed three people and wounded twenty three others, Eric Rudolph, the Atlanta Olympics bomber, one killed and 111 wounded, and Jared Laughner, the man who shot and killed six people and wounded 12 others, including Congresswoman Gabby Giffords. Ms. Clark's specialty it seems is plea bargaining to prevent the possibility of her clients receiving the death penalty. While I have never been an advocate for the death penalty, I must admit that I do get bothered by the "celebrity attorneys" who step in to give an edge to the most heinous killers. Of course it's the media that provides Ms. Clark and the killers with their celebrity status.
And when a marginal professional basketball player nearing the end of his career announces he is gay, the print and electronic media simply can't get enough of the story. From what I could gather, Jason Collins is a fine person, so this is not meant to disparage him in any way. It is a matter of comparison . . . how the media creates stardom for some while ignoring others who are truly deserving of attention.
For example . . .
I have always admired how the Israeli military has committed itself to preserving and protecting its citizens and its soldiers. Two incidents stand out. The first is the Israeli Defense Force commandos' night time raid on Entebbe. After the 2,500 mile trip, 100 commandos rescued 102 Israeli citizens who had been held hostage on a hi-jacked Air France plane. Three hostages died, as did 45 Ugandan soldiers.
Another incident concerns Israeli soldier, Corporal Gilad Shalit. He was captured by Hamas and held prisoner for almost five and a half years. During that time, the Israeli citizens and soldiers never gave up hope. They held prayer vigils. They made prisoner exchange offers. Finally the Israeli offer of 1,027 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for one Israeli Corporal was accepted. Jubilation reigned in Israel . . . they never gave up on life.
For a moment, think about the power of the press. It can make a marginal NBA player a star because he was the first player to announce that he is gay. It can push aside the horror of the Boston Marathon bomber's acts in order to tell us that he will have a famous celebrity attorney. While, in Israel, the media can happily announce the rescue of hostages and the joy of a nation upon the return of one of their soldiers.
But in the United States, where we expect freedom to ring out, we hear nary a word about one of our soldiers held captive by al-Qaeda. Our media, with its incredible power to inform, and to influence, sits idle while one of our soldiers, Private First Class (now Sergeant) Bowe Bergdahl, has been held prisoner in Afghanistan since June of 2009. Where is our commando rescue raid? Where is our prisoner negotiation exchange package?
My friend Bob Jones, himself a twice wounded veteran, offered me this citation from Bill Casey. Casey, who performed meritoriously in Europe for the OSS during WW II, and later served as Director of the CIA during the Reagan Administration. When asked of the POW's left behind at the end of the Vietnam War, Casey stated,"We know who they are and where they are and that is where they are going to stay until there is a groundswell of support to bring them home". Our Prisoner of War, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl needs that groundswell of support . . . now!
Isn't it time for our media to put pressure on our politicians to insist on rescuing Bergdahl? Isn't it time that we again start to refer to our captured military as "Prisoners of War", and not simply as "missing, captured". Isn't it time that we, you and me, begin pestering our politicians, Shea-Porter (202-225-5456), Kuster (202-225-5206), Shaheen (202-224-2841), and Ayotte (202-224-3324), to do the right thing? Isn't it time that every veterans group in the country pushed all the political buttons needed to rescue our soldier?
What would George Washington do? What would the Israeli's do? And, what will you do?
(Bob Meade is a Laconia resident.)

Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 December 1969 07:00

Hits: 335

Beware of 'free' money from Uncle Sam; freedom is the price

To the edtior,
"Free money" is everywhere today. The federal government offers "free money" for police, fire, planning, housing, education, the list goes on. Just think, a federal government with almost 17 trillion in U.S. National debt is offering free money! The debt has rapidly increased by 6 trillion dollars in the past four years with the debt per taxpayer now over $148,000. See usdebtclock.org.
Local governments are offered large amounts of free money for snowstorms, planning, labor and equipment. Many local officials find it hard to say "NO" to these giveaways.
For just one example of many, police in a small town were offered "free money" called grants to pay for additional police officers for three years as long as the town agrees to continue funding the additional police at the end of the three years. This free money offer is without consideration of whether the town really needs the additional police!
Some believe that the local taxpayers are simply getting back money that was paid to the federal government. That sounds like a good excuse for taking the free money but the idea is a myth. Instead, the federal government is borrowing and printing money at a rate of over 85 billion dollars a month.
What is the real purpose of these grants?
A growing number of people now believe the money obligates local officials to assist higher government with promoting more local regulations and controls.
A private property owner's name is on the deed, but ownership has to do with rights and control over the property. "Private" property owners have to get approval from the government to build, add, alter, operate a business, etc. Often times, owners are forced to hire costly professional lawyers, surveyors and engineers not because of real practical need but simply due to regulations or the opinion of government officials. Too often, government denies the approval to use private property without real justification.
Surely, people should not be allowed to cause harm to others when using property but laws and regulations are continuing a longtime movement to restrict rights of private property owners.
Then there is free money available to individuals for food, housing, fuel, the list is long.
The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (NHDHHS) website (formerly called Welfare) shows their FY113 authorized budget as 1.9 BILLION dollars. Their website states: "the New Hampshire Legislature and governor have been working with the department in its efforts to improve the effectiveness, coordination and delivery of the many programs and services that HELP PEOPLE ACROSS THE STATE MEET THEIR NEEDS EACH AND EVERY DAY." (EMPHASIS added)
Many agencies make up the NHDHHS including the Commissioner Agency whose website explains, "The Office of the Commissioner is responsible for the overall management of NHDHHS". The Commissioner Office "management agency" function alone expends over 700 million dollars and has over 150 employees making between $60,000 and $120,000 in pay per year. One has to wonder how much of the 1.9 billion actually gets to the people in need.
Originally, the use of taxpayer money for social services was to prevent people from starving but now has grown to a massive bureaucracy. Sales and promotional techniques encourage the use of these "services". It is no wonder why more people are now feeling like a fool if they do not apply for this free money. "After all" they say, "if one person doesn't get the money someone else will".
Reports indicate that one out of five households in the U.S. receives food stamps and fraud is rampant. It may seem contradictory but you also hear that obesity has become an "epidemic".
Of course, everyone would like to help people truly in need. However, it sure seems unfair to the many people who give to charity and volunteer time without pay to help people in need while government employees are paid high salaries to decide how to spend and redistribute billions of dollars forced from you in the form of taxes to "help people keep healthy and safe".
Undoubtedly, many believe the idea of using free money to increase central control is a myth similar to UFOs and Bigfoot. However, a growing number of people are convinced that free money is used by well organized and thought out plans. This includes the United Nations Agenda 21. It is apparent that the use of clever words like "sustainability" and "green" give the impression of saving the earth but a closer look reveals actions that serve to sustain and increase government control, growth and spending.
It is ironic that the federal government preaches to and pays other countries billions to privatize for freedom while the U.S. moves quicker to socialize for communalism.
Several New Hampshire State officials are promoting a government-run gambling establishment as a major contributor to save the state's overspending problem. Just think of the idea, instead of substantially reducing spending, they are encouraging people to gamble as a means of increasing "revenue" for more government.
For the people who understand and are concerned about the accumulation of government debt, spending and controls, consider ways to attempt reversal of this long time trend. Be sure to vote for people who share your concern. Get involved with local, county and state government boards and committees. Run to be a local or state official representative. Join in with some of the many groups such as the Belknap County Conservative Republicans and the N.H. Americans for Prosperity to discuss ideas about ways to reduce government. Write editorials to explain your concerns. Warn others about getting news from sources that benefit from big government such as those owned by NBC General Electric, that sells billions of dollars in health care machines and ABC Disney that sells entertainment.
Many are afraid to get involved, especially with the recent news about the IRS targeting groups and reporters who raise concerns about government. Just think the IRS is also going to oversee Obamacare. Hopefully, they will not decline the payment of health care insurance claims to those who criticize the government.
Undoubtedly, if people are intimidated and choose not to speak out, government is sure to continue growing rapidly. Getting involved attempts to avoid the next government financial "bubble waiting to burst", save private property rights, improve objective education, restore freedom and ensure individual liberty.
Free money is hard to pass up and contributes to the long-time success in the advancement of bigger government with the goal of social communitarianism. After all, we are now hearing that people belong to the community and individual liberty is selfish and careless of the trees, animals and planet. Be aware of the power of free money.
Robert Daniels

Last Updated on Saturday, 25 May 2013 12:33

Hits: 421

The Laconia Daily Sun - All Rights Reserved
Privacy Policy
Powered by BENN a division of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Login or Register