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Please reconsider any plans to do away with Independence Day parade

To The Daily Sun,

Here it is, May. Time to start planning to celebrate Independence Day. The last I heard was that there might not be a Laconia parade this year. I believe that it was due to staffing and budget issues in the Parks & Recreation Department.

This is a plea to seriously review these issues, and to determine how to make this happen. And it is a call to local groups and businesses to help with coordinating and supporting the parade. Of all of the national holidays, this is one of the most important, the beginning of our country. If you look at the heading of the document, it refers to the 13 United States of America. Note the capitalization. And it is the document where the signers pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.

And in having a parade, I suggest that we stress the patriotic aspect from participants. It is not about who has the biggest truck, or which politician has the biggest following. It is to recognize and celebrate the Declaration of Independence. Perhaps some kind of recognition for the best, on topic participants, would be helpful. This could be as simple as a paper document from the city and council. And keep in mind, that we are not celebrating the 4th day of July, we are celebrating the anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

Walt Stockwell

Gilford

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If mayor can't apologize to Laconia's firefighters, he should resign

To The Daily Sun,

A little over three weeks ago, The Laconia Daily Sun published an article pertaining to overtime costs for the Laconia Fire Department. In the article, Laconia Mayor and Laconia Daily Sun President Ed Engler blatantly insulted the integrity of Fire Department personnel by insinuating that we are somehow taking advantage of the taxpayers of Laconia. Referring to overtime costs, the mayor stated, "there's certainly significant suspicion on the part of the City Council that the system is being gamed."

Not only was his attack unprofessional, it was completely untrue. Since the article was published, the outpouring of public support for our membership has been tremendous. Our Facebook post on the issue went viral. We received a multitude of encouraging emails and comments, including one from a city councilor who stated they were "sorry, and deeply saddened, by this turn of events."

Unfortunately, we have yet to hear a single apologetic word from Mayor Engler. It would appear that the mayor lacks the common decency to take responsibility for his poor choice of words. In fact, his attack on public employees continued in today's edition of The Sun when Rick Green, under the supervision of Mr. Engler, published another one-sided, "anti-labor" article pertaining to retirement costs.

It is becoming fairly clear, that the mayor is using "his" paper to promote his own agenda, which appears to be one of blaming public employees for the city's financial woes instead of placing the blame exactly where it belongs, which quite honestly is on the archaic, short-sighted and self-imposed tax cap that has done nothing but prevent the city from reaching its full potential.

I was sincerely hoping that the mayor would take the high road and offer an apology to the hardworking men and women of the Laconia Fire Department, but it appears he lacks the integrity to do so. He has instead chosen the low road, which has had a devastating effect on department morale. If the mayor lacks the character and leadership qualities to treat the city's employees with respect, and if he can't restrain himself from using the newspaper he controls to further his own narrow-minded political agenda, it might be that offering an apology is not the most appropriate course of action for him to take. Although he should apologize, perhaps offering his resignation as mayor might be more in order.

Christopher P. Shipp, President

Laconia Professional Firefighters

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