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Let’s not wait for the Legislature’s permission to self-govern

To The Daily Sun,

The Ashland deliberative session on Feb. 3 will be of historic significance due to its consideration of a petitioned warrant article for a Community Rights Based Ordinance (CRBO). Ashland’s deliberation on this Community Rights Based Ordinance is part of a larger Civil Rights movement to acknowledge and provide for the right to local community self-government. In brief, a community affected by governing decisions has the right to make those decisions. The Municipal and County Government Committee of the New Hampshire House of Representatives is discussing Constitutional Amendment Concurrent Resolution 19 (CACR 19), which would provide for local community self-government. However, since rights are natural, it might be more suitable to say that adoption of CACR 19 would codify this right. Additionally, there have been 11 towns which have adopted similar Community Rights Based Ordinances.

The immediate political significance of this proposed Community Rights Based Ordinance is that it will be the first time the people of Ashland will be implicitly asked: Do the people of Ashland want Northern Pass?, and it may be the last opportunity for the people of Ashland to directly say ‘NO!’. However, the greater significance is that the people of Ashland will be asked: "Do you believe local community self-government is your right?" Ashland’s response to this question will likely have a meaningful impact on the legislative discussion, which could further or delay this significant change in the way we govern.

As the Ashland deliberative session approaches, it is noteworthy that there will be efforts to stop the Community Rights Based Ordinance from being considered as it was intended, as legally binding and enforceable. These efforts will likely call upon legal advice to declare the CRBO as "advisory only," in effect pre-empting the community’s inalienable right to peacefully “reform the old” government (NH Constitution, Article 10) through a legally binding and enforceable CRBO. Ultimately, efforts to deem this ordinance "advisory only" at the deliberative session will be motivated by a fear and anticipation that the Community Rights Based Ordinance will pass if voted on by the people as petitioned. This fear is based on the concern of an anticipated unfavorable judicial decision declaring the CRBO illegal and unenforceable, however, I trust that an “...impartial interpretation of the laws...” (NH Constitution, Article 35) will ultimately uphold the right to local community self-governance.

Those who attempt to make the Community Rights Based Ordinance "advisory only" will argue that it is much more proper to give an advisory vote, and then to wait for the Legislature to act on CACR-19. However, every inalienable right gives an inalienable power to act. For example, you have the inalienable right to speak, and therefore the inalienable power to speak; no one gives you the power to speak, it is natural. Likewise, the community has the inalienable right to self-government, and therefore has the inalienable power to affirm this right of self-governance by the self-governing act of adopting a Community Rights Based Ordinance. To wait for the Legislature to give us the permission to self-govern would be antithetical to the assertion that the right to do so is inalienable.

Tejasinha Sivalingam

  • Written by Edward Engler
  • Category: Letters
  • Hits: 398

Henry Lipman's financial boondoggles never stick to him

To The Daily Sun,

Back in 2016, I wrote a letter to the Daily Sun regarding the annual announced “losses” incurred by the local health care monopoly, LRGH, and spoke specifically to comments made in an article at the time by its financial “guru” regarding the financial hole by the ever-so-optimistic financial chief, Henry Lipman. In a laundry list of causes, blame, and denial of any causation on his part as the “senior vice president of financial strategy and external relations,” (AKA minister of propaganda and popular enlightenment) announced, “I don’t lose sleep.” And why should he? Despite rounds of layoffs, years of fiscal crisis, wasted monies and non-mission critical dollar-wasting boondoggles, all taking place under his watchful eye, there he is. As if made of Teflon, not one speck of the hot steaming financial mess has ever stuck to him.

On cue as always, in presenting his report and himself for questioning, he came prepared with the usual list of bogeymen responsible, and defenses against the most obvious causes, hardly even making an effort to hide his blatant biases and partisanship in the process. Obamacare? No way! “Lipman dismissed suggestions that the Affordable Care Act is responsible for the financial troubles besetting LRGHealthcare.” In fact, he claimed with a straight face, without its effects on New Hampshire, “we’d actually be worse off.”

Like all good socialists, he blamed the always evil insurance companies— Well, the PRIVATE ones anyway, what with their plans trying to “offset high premiums with high deductibles and co-pays.” Not that this is caused by Obamacare — it’s just coincidence that the cost of buying insurance went through the roof with its passage. Also at fault, according to Comrade Lipman, was the fact that people are growing old. Rounding out his fiscal enemies list of the local non-profit health care monopoly are all those pesky small businesses — you know, the ones where those of us in the area who do work gain employment. “Lipman noted that in the Lakes Region, with its large number of small businesses, employers tend to provide relatively less generous health insurance plans.”

Fast forward to a new year, and, of course, it’s still the same story: LRGH is a financial mess, eliminating services (while still running ads on TV), and Lipman is again in the news still “serving” the health-care industrial complex while continuing to earn the big bucks. Sadly, however, as we learned in Wednesday’s Daily Sun, he’s graduated from “serving” public “health” in the Lakes Region, to “serving” statewide as the new permanent state Medicaid director. According to the story, the job, "which pays $115,224 annually, is an important one, overseeing a $2 billion budget for Medicaid, a program that has been subject to political debates associated with the Affordable Care Act.” And who better to be in that position, than a person who spent some 33 years off his career overseeing a never-ending financially failing “nonprofit” blaming New Hampshire Republicans and private-sector forces for his woes. Now, he can graduate and set his sights right at the top: President Trump, and congressional Republicans. They can now receive the blame for the ongoing opioid “crisis,” mental health issues, and, of course, the ongoing fiscal failure of nonprofit health care monopolies like LRGH.

I look forward to the day when New Hampshire can once again elect a Republican governor in order to get away from dubious political hack appointments like this, and we can get on with finding solutions, rather than excuses.

Doug Lambert

  • Written by Mike Mortensen
  • Category: Letters
  • Hits: 473