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Budget line items considered encumbererd until purpose is met

To the editor,
Belknap County government is running amok of N.H. law and accounting practices.
The DRA director, in the 90s, explained that the grand total budget, as resolved by the any government appropriating authority, is comprised of the sum of all the individual line items (purpose) estimated amounts.
Accordingly, each estimate of an individual line item appropriation amount is considered "encumbered" until, the purpose has been completed. No money may be transferred to any other purpose unless it becomes "unencumbered".
Example: A line item is to purchase a vehicle (purpose), the amount of money allocated ($30,000) for that purpose is encumbered until the vehicle is purchased. If the vehicle's actual cost is less than estimated ($27,000) the remainder of the money ($3,000) becomes unencumbered.
NO MONEY can be TRANSFERRED until its purpose as described by the appropriating authority has been accomplished.
It's time the New Hampshire Division of Revenue Administration (DRA) step up to the plate and restores civility and compliance in the administration of Belknap's County's financial administration methodology.
Once the county budget, as resolved by the convention, is adopted, the conventions only involvement with the administration of finances, is in regards to a supplemental budget request or borrowing.
If any money at any time is in fact unencumbered, the commission must seek approval of the Executive Committee to transfer the surplus money from one individual line item to other individual line items anticipated to exceed its estimated appropriation.
Belknap County operates on a calendar year and the treasurer reports the financial status to the commissioners based on anticipated trending, as required. When has the treasurer or fiscal officer identified surplus/unencumbered line items money as available for transfer? Which line items has the treasurer identified and reported to the commission as "no longer encumbered"? Is it fair and equitable in the first quarter to eliminate capital line items or reduce the workforce of any department in order to increase the wages and pay the benefits of others? Where in the law does it state a line item appropriations amount can be deleted to increase another's line amount above its appropriated amount?
Thomas A. Tardif

Last Updated on Thursday, 21 March 2013 10:21

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'Chained CPI' underestimates health care spending by seniors

To the editor,
As a veteran and volunteer advocate for AARP, I am very concerned about the attempts to implement the Chained CPI (consumer price index) as the formula for calculating cost-of-living adjustments.
A little-understood proposal to cut federal spending, the chained CPI is being promoted as a more accurate way to compute cost-of-living adjustments than the current inflation index. This is not true for older Americans, including veterans and those with disabilities, whose hard-earned benefits would no longer keep up with inflation if this proposal takes effect. Nationally, 23 million veterans would lose an estimated $19 billion over a 10-year period. In New Hampshire, that would translate to a loss of over $75 million for 115,000 veterans over the next decade.
The Chained CPI underestimates the health care spending of seniors and others who may have chronic conditions and disabilities because it is based on a younger, working population. Further, it overestimates the ability of older veterans to substitute services and products when prices rise. That is why more than a dozen veterans' organizations oppose the chained CPI.
Surely, our great nation can find a way to strengthen its finances without taking even more from those who already have given so much.
Chuck Engborg

Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 March 2013 11:02

Hits: 475

My service to the town I love will continue; congratulations Don

To the editor,
My purpose in writing today is to publicly congratulate Don Guarino on his re-election to the Board of Selectman in the Town of Gilmanton. I sincerely wish him and the rest of the board well in the term ahead. I also want to recognize the many residents who cast a ballot for me. Thank you so much for your vote. While I am very disappointed of course to have not been elected to serve as selectman, it has not diminished my core reason for running — I love Gilmanton.
My service to the town as an active resident will continue and I look forward to attending meetings, advocating for positions, issues, and people in which I believe at public sessions, and doing all I can to support the selectmen.
These are important times for our community. The challenge of maintaining the quality of our town, its services and its assets under SB-2 and an economic recovery which is yet to fully materialize here will truly test our leaders' management skills. With so many critical matters to work through, I encourage each and every one of us to be involved. The board's work can only be enhanced with our engaged citizenship.
Again, my congratulations to Don and my warmest thanks to those who exercised their right to vote and expressed faith in my abilities.
Betty Ann Abbott

Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 March 2013 10:54

Hits: 387

On recycling, I wish Option 3 would work but I support option 4

To the editor,
Hello Laconia Councilmen and Councilwomen:
I've just viewed the March 18 City Council meeting on television and again heard all the options and responses for plans to improve recycling. All responses were well-presented and the choices narrowed to Option 3 or 4. I think your choice to put off the vote until you try one more time to educate the homeowner/residents was wise and I know that Ann Saltmarsh and Nancy Brown will continue any informative task expertly. I think it would help to show why and how to properly dispose of our waste — just what is garbage, what is trash, what is recyclable? Nancy is the greatest with graphics on Laconia Links! Maybe Krista Marrs would publish the public information in a weekend Citizen insert and also Ed Engler in The Sun.
As a senior on a fixed income and the only resident in my own home, I will gain the most from the Pay-As-You-Throw plan. My reduction will appear in my reduced tax bill once this item is removed and since I only need to put out a small amount of garbage, trash and/or recyclables every other week, at a couple of dollars per bag, I won't go broke and I will no longer be subsidizing others. I also feel the more we recycle it will lessen more harm to our environment. I have been recycling most of my life so it's the natural order for me. And no matter what the cost, I also try not to waste water, gas, oil or electricity. Conservation is the right thing to do. Both options would be fine with me, I wish Option 3 would work, but I support Option 4.
There should not be any debate about renter vs. homeowner vs. business owner. Whether we pay rent, a mortgage or own is not the issue. We all own our own trash/garbage. A portion that renters pay applies to property taxes.
There should not be any debate about communities that pay taxes yet have their own waste management. They must not forget why they have their own waste management. It may have been stipulated when their community was developed as an agreement for more density of housing, etc. and in the case of some gated communities, their privacy may have been more important than public services.
Each taxpayer pays for services they use and for services they never use. It's part of our democratic society.
I do not think 30 percent recycling is an impressive number and therefore do not believe mandatory recycling will work as well or save enough money.
I know that it's for convenience that stores sell leaf bags but I resent that the bags promote their advertising. I would rather that all of the profits from selling any bags go to the city.
I have the greatest respect for the men who pick up my trash. They provide an excellent service to me and with a smile or a holiday greeting. I marvel that they have to pick up so much just on my street alone and when we have leaf removal and its 10 bags of leaves, I marvel even more. I can't image them having to pick up the 64 pound recycle bins at every home on every street.
When I lived in Huntington, we had to separate the glossies from the papers, the clean, colored bottles from the clear, the clean cans separate and no plastic. So look how easy it is in Laconia!
You are all doing a fine service to your city and I appreciate your dedication to the public you serve. Brenda is right about not being able to hear the audience on some occasions on LRPA-TV Ch. 26 but even more annoying is the background noise that gets mixed in which I think comes from the music on Ch. 24.
Dorothy Duffy

Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 March 2013 10:51

Hits: 346

I'm moving forward with fresh ideas & new energy on school board

To the editor,
Dear Alton voters:
I'd like to take the opportunity to thank all of the voters who supported me and other conservatives in the Alton election last Tuesday. I am eager to begin moving forward with fresh ideas and new energy! It is now time to put ideological matters behind us and begin to have constructive conversation and productive decision making.
Carlos Martinez,
Alton School Board

Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 March 2013 10:48

Hits: 370

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