To The Daily Sun,
The Planning Board states in their recent editorial that the Town of Alton continues to work on implementing the recommendations outlined in the 2005 Alton Master Plan. Actually, it's the Planning Board not the citizens of the town that are doing this. The board talks glowingly about the grant received from New Hampshire Housing of money from HUD, a federal agency. This grant provided money for a consultant, a traveling road show to promote workforce housing and the appearance of an article on the 2014 ballot. The town administrator insisted (to me) that the grant was not a binding agreement when it obviously was if an article must appear on the ballot. And as for local control remaining in place, read the entire grant document and the fine print and you will see this is not the case.
The Planning Board editorial states that there was community participation. It's true that many citizens participated in public meetings about this issue but they were overwhelmingly against workforce housing when they did. This was reflected last year when several similar warrant articles were voted down. Results of the recent study showed that Alton already meets the requirements of the state law. We have a considerable number of single family homes and rental apartments well within the price range. Putting more multi-family dwellings or cluster housing in town or in our beautiful rural areas is not something the majority of Alton citizens feel will benefit our town. One needs only to take a look at how neighboring towns have been altered by these additions. As for addressing future needs if the economy improves, well this is not likely to happen anytime soon with the current crop of officials in Concord and Washington.
The bottom line is that this article was not drafted by Alton residents but by the Zoning Amendment Committee and the town planner with the help of the consultant from the firm Jeffrey H. Taylor and Associates. We believe that it is time for town officials to challenge the state and federal governments when bad, restrictive laws are forced down our throats. Re-wording the warrant articles does not alter the outcome of what they could do to our town. The Workforce Housing Law is a clear attack on our property rights and freedoms.
Please read all warrant articles on the upcoming ballot carefully to determine if they are good or bad for our town.
Phil & Chris Wittmann
Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 February 2014 11:39
To The Daily Sun,
Historians have told me that in the past two centuries of its existence, the legislative body of the great state of New Hampshire has enacted many stupid pieces of legislation. One piece of stupid legislation before a study committee of the House Commerce Committee, is shepherded by my elected representative, Ed Butler. He may be my elected representative, but he misrepresents me, and all those who cherish freedom and wish government to stay out of our pockets, and keep their hands off our guns. This bill, HB-1589, attempts to erode our God-given rights a enumerated in the New Hampshire Constitution, and enshrined in our U.S. Constitution Bill of Rights. It is no wonder that this bill was introduced and co-sponsored by a cadre of socialist Democrats. This bill adds expenses to taxpayers and would make felons of many of our citizens. Of course sponsors say there are exemptions which we can accept, but social Democrats are not used to telling the truth, and these exemptions can always be changed by them.
How can you stop this? Tell the chairman of the Commerce Committee, the infamous author of the bathroom bill, that this too is non-sense. ITL is the phrase to use. Inexpedient to Legislate. Pray members of his own party will recognize and be ashamed of this stupid proposed legislation.
Eugene M. Long
Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 February 2014 11:36
To The Daily Sun:
In the effort to become more politically motivated and to get a better grasp on how the legislative process is handled, I have started going to the committee hearings on bills as they make their voyage to try and become a law. Doing this not only gives me the opportunity to put my name on record as someone who is in favor of or opposes the bill, but also give me a chance to hear what the other side has to say. My most recent venture was for the "Right to Work" bill which was approved by the committee but then killed in the Senate.
Since I am conservative minded and what I like to call a Constitutional Individualist, I am in favor of Right to Work laws. As stated by the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, the Right to Work principle affirms the right of every American to work for a living without being compelled to belong to a union. It is based on an individual's rights. The opponents of the law are of course the unions, who can only thrive when the masses join, and the ME group, who are the employees covered by the unions. At the committee meeting, there was no shortage of union bosses talking about how Right to Work is anti-union, which is false, and the MEs who told their sob stories about how, if it wasn't for the unions fighting for them to get higher pay, they wouldn't be able to afford their house or take care of their kids. While I don't want to get too much into why the unions of today are nothing more than a con game, I have to explain why the MEs are misguided.
The unions fight for you to get a higher wage, this is true. But then they take part of that away from you for union dues. You're paying for a service and that is fine, but your wages aren't as much as they "fought" for you to have. And that's not all folks. Since they force your employer to pay more, those costs get pushed down the line. If you work for a manufacturer, it costs more to make the product. If you work for a trucking company, it costs more to deliver the product. If you work for a retailer, they are going to sell the product for more. All of these companies will raise their prices to cover the cost of your higher wages. Now it's bad enough that you will have to pay more for a product than you should have because you got paid more to make it. But what happens to those of us who aren't in a union, whether it is because we don't want to be or because there isn't a union organized where we work? We have to pay a higher price for something that wouldn't cost so much if it weren't for the greed of the unions or the MEs. That house that you "wouldn't be able to afford" probably cost more in materials and union labor than it should have and it would have been cheaper if it was built with non-union materials and non-union labor. And all that food and clothing that your kids need wouldn't cost nearly as much if it was delivered by non-union drivers. You are getting duped and the non-union workers are getting fleeced.
There are those who think Right to Work laws are not needed because the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947 does the same thing that current right to work laws are supposed to accomplish. This is not entirely true. While the act kept union shops restricted, there was also a provision in the act for states to pass Right to Work laws themselves. Some people also like to say that even in a non-Right to Work state; you aren't forced to join a union. This is also not true; it depends on a state's laws. I have a friend who works for the state in a non-Right to Work state. Even though he wants nothing to do with the union, he was forced to join as a requirement for getting the job. How is that possible if Taft-Hartley does everything that Right to Work laws do? Lastly, there are those who believe that Right to Work is not as economically beneficial as reported. Why is it then that Boeing wanted to move part of its operation from Washington State to the Right to Work state of South Carolina? Could it have been the $8 billion that the union wanted to extort from the company?
One side of Taft-Hartley that I don't agree with, and from my research shows me it has nothing to do with Right to Work, is that people who don't want to join the union don't have to pay dues but still get the full backing of the union. One of the MEs brought this up at the committee meeting and while I didn't agree with most of what she said, I do believe if you don't contribute to something, you shouldn't receive the benefit. But this is a problem in the federal law, not in a state's Right to Work law. The unions and the MEs need to fight the federal law instead of fighting an individual's right to not join their union. When this legislation comes up again in a year, the Right to Work law should be passed.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 February 2014 11:29
To The Daily Sun,
To all the residents of Briarcrest Estates:
Re: Lakemont Cooperative Interim Board Meeting, Saturday, Feb. 1.
Hi! Just got back from the Lakemont Cooperative Interim Board meeting (open to all residents/homeowners of Briarcrest Estates) held at our own BcE Community Room! Sorry to say that we missed a lot of you at the meeting, but thanks to all who did attend! We got some great information from the interim board members and from Angela Romeo of ROC-NH with some lively discussions, and had some NEW members sign up after the meeting.
We got an update about the TD Bank loan from Kevin Kelly (interim board operation manager and 30+ years of banking experience) about the percentage rate and length of term TD Bank is offering to the Lakemont Co-operative. He's managed to get a terrific loan rate for us, but the rate will not be locked in until just before closing as is the usual and customary practice of banks. In order for us to get a great rate on our loan we need everyone to do their part as soon as possible, including turning in those income surveys that were mailed to you this past week. The income surveys do NOT have a name on them, only numbers, so that no one will know what number belongs to what residence (a "double-blind" survey). By turning in those surveys, it will help the Co-op now and in future years by showing that the Co-op does not discriminate as to the level of anyone's income in order to buy a home in the park. So, please, mail in your completed survey (in the provided stamped envelope), just
don't throw it away; send it in blank or write on it that you won't cooperate — in the long run it may help sell your house.
The other survey, about how you perceive the condition of the lot your home is sitting on and your opinion of the condition of the park in general, is very important for the engineering study and the bank. So, I urge you to send in both surveys as soon as possible — the more the merrier!
Another discussion you missed was on hiring a financial management company — should we? And who? Two companies presented themselves at last week's interim board meeting (1/25/14) and a third has yet to come to present its proposal. Although we eliminated one proposal last week, the discussion is ongoing about why we need a financial management company — "why do we need to hire someone at some cost to just collect rents?" Well, the financial management company does more than just collect the rents. They will do: monthly processing of fee billing, monthly processing of payment collections, monthly posting of invoices, account reconciliations, preparation of monthly trial balances with recommendations on operating budget and report preparation/submission, accounting compliance with lender requirements, track membership fees, year-end submissions to independent accountant for preparation of financial statement and tax returns, and provide collection efforts on delinquent accounts.
A lot of the information needed for the Co-op's "due diligence" is coming in as we speak, but a lot more work needs to be done. Mr. Mark Mooney and his staff has been very helpful in this process including taking time to help the engineering assessment company.
So, if you want to liven up your Saturday mornings, please come to the OPEN Interim Board meetings held at our own BcE Community Room at 10:30 a.m. The next Interim Board meeting is February 8, where discussions may take place on a financial management company, a procurement policy, promise to pay and other outstanding policy items; getting insurance quotes for general liability, bond and property; status of the surveys; status of Co-op loans; status of the ongoing assessments and engineering studies; security in the park (due to previous and recent incidents); "Watch Community" presentation by Belmont PD; coordinating carpooling on a field trip to Medvil Estates (a cooperative manufactured home park in Goffstown that is bigger than BcE); and maybe much more! You never know what subject will come up in the open forum section of the meeting!
PLUS! Attend a FREE 2014 ROC-NH Boot Camp Saturday, May 17th here in Laconia! If you want to help your resident-owned community grow and stay strong, this is for you! "Whether you're a seasoned board member with years of experience, a new board member eager to strengthen your skills, or a resident eager to have a voice in your community, Boot Camp will provide you with information that is sure to improve your understanding of co-op management and governance — and provide you with more confidence to lead your co-op into the future." This is so you can learn the nuts and bolts of how a co-op works and there's no charge to attend! ROC-NH will provide lunch and an opportunity for you to meet other co-op residents from around your region. They'll even reimburse your mileage! Look for the poster on the Briarcrest bulletin board! Limited space is reserved on a first-come, first-serve basis. For more information or to register, call Trina at (800) 432-4110, ext 237 or e-mail her at
Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 February 2014 10:15
To The Daily Sun,
Once again, my insensitive sense of humor has offended some readers. In my short letter The Sun printed on Jan. 16, I compared some inconsiderate joggers to dumb animals that end up squashed by cars. I did alter some of the details of a tragic accident on North Main street, to protect the identity of the families involved. However, Mr. and Mrs. Weatherbee chose to be offended anyway, so I'll make the most of it.
As you said, I'm sure the pedestrian in question was a wonderful person. That is not the issue. As you admit in your attack on me, she was in the WRONG place, distracted by inspirational messages (?) on her headphones and wandered into traffic. She and she alone was responsible for her death by her own thoughtless action.
The real victim in this was my friend and coworker Victor, the driver of the car. He has since passed away, but I can tell you that he was a kind and gentle man who loved animals and hated no one. For weeks afterwards he would be overcome with grief and anxiety at work and we would tell him over and over that it wasn't his fault. He was never the same happy guy after that.
It is ironic that on page 3 of that same edition, appears the story "Man struck crossing S. Main". the pedestrian was not on a crosswalk and wearing dark clothes. It goes on to say, "Laconia Police ask that pedestrians use care in crossing roads and to use sidewalks, especially in inclement weather". In other words, if you don't obey the rules of the road, and you get hurt, you won't get much sympathy from them either. It is true that drivers must share the road with pedestrians, bicycles, wheel chairs and all, but to do it safely we must all play by the same rules. Dumb animals get an exemption but dumb people will not. If this letter still offends the Weatherbees or any one else, I'll just tell them to go play in the street.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 February 2014 10:07