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We are celebrating taking another step in growth of Gunstock

To The Daily Sun,

I was privileged to give an address at the grand opening of Gunstock's new Mountain Coaster. Gunstock is owned by Belknap County and is managed for the county by the Gunstock Commission. I would like to share my address with the citizens of the county:

"Ten years ago it became evident to the commission that we needed to have income that is not snow-dependent in order to survive the years of little snow (like this last one). Then, we had just had such a year. Money was short. We had long since ceased taking a subsidy from county tax funds, we did not want to start that again; we didn't and we do not take such a subsidy now.

To bring in more revenue, the commission examined ways to enhance the Gunstock recreation area, make it a true summer tourist attraction as well as a summer recreation area for the citizens of the county. We also wanted to make it a still more powerful economic engine for the county. What you see here with the Mountain Coaster is another step in the process of achieving these goals.

The process started with the ZIP line and the Adventure Park, both of which met their objectives. Many other smaller-scale attractions were added and two years ago, we embarked on planning for the Mountain Coaster. And now it is here and I can tell you, having ridden it twice, it is spectacular .... and a lot of fun.

We want to thank the (Belnap) County Delegation. They supported us throughout the project. But most of the credit and thanks are due to Gunstock's employees, the senior management team and the leadership of the general manager, Greg Goddard. Not only did Gunstock personnel oversee the contractors, a lot of the work was done by Gunstock employees. And the contractors did an excellent job of producing and installing a superior product. The teamwork of all the participants was outstanding.

We are celebrating taking another step in the growth of Gunstock into an outstanding multiseason recreation area. We are not only helping the economy with jobs, we are also enhancing the tourist economy on which the county depends. Gunstock is both a recreation area for its citizens, and also an economic engine for the area. We intend to keep it that way and to continue enhancing it."

John C. Morgenstern, Chairman

Gunstock Area Commission

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Am I running against Jonathan Smolin or (really) George Hurt?

To The Daily Sun,

This is an open letter to George Hurt, responding in part to his Aug. 10 letter to the editor:

Mr. Hurt, your accusation that I claim to be seeking "re-election" (as opposed to seeking election after serving in the county commissioner position following appointment by a vote of the county convention) is not fact as you claim.

The only place that I know of where the term re-election has appeared was in the headline of a Laconia Daily Sun article published on June 27 (which read "Belknap County Commissioner Taylor to run for re-election"). Believe it or not, Mr. Hurt, I do not write headlines for the paper, and if one reads the first two sentences of the article under the headline, which was based on the press release announcing my candidacy, the characterization of my campaign is clear: "Belknap County Commissioner Hunter Taylor has announced that he is seeking election to the position he now holds in the upcoming election cycle. Taylor was appointed by a unanimous vote of the county convention to fill the position of county commissioner for District 3...." Fact, not a smear, Mr. Hurt?

More importantly, however, do you really think that the citizens of Belknap County care for a second whether a sitting commissioner seeking election is aiming to be elected or re-elected? With all the issues facing our county, to try to find controversy in this semantic pettiness is ridiculous. Between this and the suggestion that I have advocated some kind of county sales tax (a complete fabrication), I do not get the impression you're interested in actually examining my record.

Speaking of which, at times it feels like you are the one opposing me in our primary election, rather than my actual opponent, Jonathan Smolin. I would invite him into the discourse and ask that we stop boring the public with this mind-numbing silliness, comport ourselves as adults and deal with the real issues facing our county. We owe that to the public.

Hunter Taylor

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