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City solicitor has clear conflict of interest in handling mill case

To The Daily Sun,

Regarding the one-sided article by Michael Kitch in The Laconia Daily Sun on Jan. 7 titled, "City says Tardif doesn't realize Right-to Know was re-written in 1991": I've read Thomas Tardif's Petition for Declaratory Judgment and the City of Laconia's answer to the petition, represented by the Walter Mitchell of the Mitchell Municipal Group. The city starts its answer with the title of "background", giving some past history of the Belknap Mill. Then some of present runnings of the mill, "The mill is owned by a non-profit association, which runs and maintains the building as a museum, public gathering and function space, and some office rental space to help support the Mill Society's purposes."

Tardif tried to point out that the Mitchel Group is one of the tenants of the mill. Mitchell objected, and the judge stated that he would ignore the statement. This had nothing to do with the petition but the city raised the question. Does the Mitchel Group have a conflict of interest in who buys the mill?

Mitchell goes on with the history of what happened in non-public session. Some of which isn't reflected by the minutes of the meetings in question. Then explains why some things were done but they were just "oversights." One of the oversights was that the council did not properly preform the roll calls before going into non-public session.

The Right to Know 91-A:3 (b) "The vote on any such motion shall be by Roll Call, and shall require the affirmative vote of the majority of members present." Per 91-A, council rules and Roberts Rules, requires the City Clerk to ask for a Roll Call of Council who answer yes or no, their vote with their name is recorded in the minutes of each meeting. This did not happen and does not happen before any of the council's non-public meetings. The city explains, "by oversight when the minutes of the public portions of those two meetings were prepared many days later, the preparer of the minutes neglected to recite the unanimous votes. The staff person who volunteered to prepare the minutes in the absence of the City Clerk, missed the required recitation of the roll call votes." The staff person did the Roll Call the same way as the City Clerk Mary Reynolds has always done the roll call for all non-public session. Which is not according to RSA 91-A:3 (b).

The city can't defend itself so it makes condescending remarks, "The allegations in paragraph 8 of the petition are both confused and confusing, and are therefore generally denied." The city continues with a statement that is not supported by the City Council minutes. Must be an oversight. "At the non-public session concerning the mill on October 14th, the council decided to hold a continued non-public discussion on the subject, with Mill Society trustees at 6:15 p.m., October 27th, before the start of its normal meeting..." Then goes on to say that, "a special notice was properly posted in two public places." The city did not enter a copy of the notice into the court record. Another oversight.

Were the trustees at the Oct. 14 non-public meeting? In The Laconia Daily Sun an article about the Belknap Mill on Nov. 12 by Michael Kitch: "In October, the council and trustees twice met privately." The city claims they only met once.

The Mitchell Group is a tenant of the Belknap Mill and represents Laconia in most legal matters. The Laconia City Charter Section 4.07. Appointive Officers. "There shall be appointed by the manager, three assessors, a City Clerk, Treasurer, Fire Chief, City Solicitor," "Per RSA 49-C:20, Amended by Referendum 11/2/2010." In the Laconia City Charter, Administration of Government, Article V, Code of Ethics 5-84, Conflict of Interest. "No official or employee shall participate, in any procurement, decision or action when the person knows that: A. The person or any member of the person's immediate family has a personal or financial interest pertaining to the procurement, decision or action; B. A party whose financial interest will be affected by the procurement, decision or action is a business in which the person or any member of the person's immediate family has a present or prospective personal or financial interest, including employment; or C. A party whose financial interest will be affected by the procurement, decision or action is an organization in which the person of any member of the person's immediate family is a member."

David Gammon
Laconia

Last Updated on Tuesday, 13 January 2015 10:53

Hits: 89

Yellow journalism incites readers with eye-catching headlines

To The Daily Sun,

Just to confirm that the decorum (dignified propriety of behavior) of the two ladies who presented their concerns relative to the "Lucky Charms Under Attack at Gilford School Board Meeting" article was exemplary — very good and deserving to be admired and copied.

The dialogue that ensued was respectful, dignified, well-mannered, and did not exhibit the posturing and lack of politeness of a past incident. Perhaps the word "attack" should have been "discussion" as that was what it was, and that discussion will continue as the two ladies will be involved in the subsequent process in the revision of the School Wellness Policy.

Yellow journalism incites with eye-catching news headlines intended to captivate readers, and somehow the word "attack" seemed to promote the memory of that past event. These two ladies should be complimented on bringing their concerns to the School Board in such a positive and polite manner.

Frank M. Weeks
Gilmanton Iron Works

Last Updated on Tuesday, 13 January 2015 10:48

Hits: 55

Goal is to put Money in Politics at the forefront of the N.H. Primary

To The Daily Sun,

N.H. Rebellion's mission is to put the root problem of Money in Politics at  the forefront of the 2016 N.H. Presidential Primary.

In order to help do so, a group of us are walking from Dixville Notch to Concord on January 11th to January 21st as part of the 96 percent that believes the issue of money in politics must be addressed.

The bottom line is that as long as money plays such a dominant role within our political system, sensible policy ideas on both the left and the right will continue to be blocked.

There will be four walk routes all starting at different locations and finishing in Concord on Wednesday, January 21st. If you want to walk with us for a mile or several miles, you can find our walk itinerary information about N.H. Rebellion at nhrebellion.org.

If you want to learn more about N.H. Rebellion, Professor Lawrence Lessig, a walker and founder of N.H. Rebellion, will be at Lakes Region Community College in Laconia on January, 18th at 4:30 p.m.

Katherine Thorndike

North Sandwich

Last Updated on Tuesday, 13 January 2015 10:43

Hits: 31

Cartoons mocking other religions is cheap exploitation

To The Daily Sun,

Freedom of speech doesn't mean you can say anything you want. There are limits to what you can say or do to other people. We do exist in civilized and organized societies that require certain responsibilities to each other. Those responsibilities have developed over centuries of prolonged conflicts and revolutions.

Recent bloodshed in Paris exemplifies the misuse of civil liberties by men bent on using malicious and inflammatory attacks on Muslims insulting their religion and everything they hold sacred. It is an contemptible act, especially so, if they risked their very safety to print insults to people of their own communities. Common sense alone should have prevented this from happening.

Racial issues continue to dominate the news. There is never justification for murder. If we truly seek peace among all people we must take up that task and work tirelessly for it. Cartoons mocking other religions is cheap exploitation. It is always a risky enterprise — worst, it is a hateful representation of other people different from ourselves.

We have been in wars for 13 years. Our own distrust has cost us incalculable losses. Bombing targets to rid the world of racial hatred has never been the answer. We must find the answers without continued violence and prove to the world we are a nation of peace.

Leon R. Albushies

Gilford

Last Updated on Tuesday, 13 January 2015 10:39

Hits: 47

I'm so sick of the excuse makers for Muslim terrorists

To The Daily Sun,

Guess what, Al Sharpton is out of the spotlight for the first time in weeks. That's not a good thing because it cost the lives of 12 people in France murdered at the hands of Muslim terrorists. Their offense, drawing cartoons critical of the prophet. The "religion of peace" has struck again. Already we read and hear the usual BS that it's only a minority, and that those who think otherwise are Islamaphobes. Of course that has to be right. After all it's such a rare event for Muslim terrorist to attack and kill unarmed civilians.

"Only a minority," but millions other Muslims cheer and dance in the streets, give money to these terror gangs and then tell us the victims were partly responsible because of what they wrote. I don't know about you readers but I'm so sick of the excuse makers, the weak-kneed politicians, the spineless editors and producers who, decade after decade, have cowered before the threat of being called insensitive that they won't tell the truth, show the raw pictures of the costs of silence and political correctness that I could just puke.

These same gutless wonders show no reluctance at all to run stories demeaning Christians. After all there have been eight, yes eight cases of abortion doctors and workers killed in the past 40 years by Christians. No holds barred, no ink spared, no criticism to petty to tell the world about the evils of Christians.

Likewise they engage willingly, eagerly in the smearing of police officers, following the false narratives, giving lawless rioters and looting mobs credibility and encouragement. ISIS, Hamas, PLO and a hundred or so more gangs of homicidal psychopaths are killing in the name of their religion all over the world.

Have you had enough yet, readers? Are you going to wait until it's one of yours who gets beheaded or blown into bits before you shout "ENOUGH"? Tell your favorite politician to do something about it now or don't cry about it if it hits home sometime.

Steve Earle

Hill

Last Updated on Tuesday, 13 January 2015 10:36

Hits: 32

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