To The Daily Sun,
Dear Gilmanton residents:
It's budget time once again for fiscal year 2014-2015. Last year the School Board presented us with a budget that they said was absolutely necessary to run the school, and the town voted to approved it. That resulted in a surplus of over $1.1 million of your tax dollars.
As a result of their ever increasing surpluses each year ($900,000, approximately, last year), I have submitted two petitions to the School Board, signed by folks from our town, that will become Warrant Articles for you to vote for at our March 11, 2014 Town Election.
One article will be to revoke the Gilford High School Tuition Expendable Trust Fund. By continuing this fund, you are essentially being taxed twice — once for the actual students who attend Gilford High School and a second time for "phantom students" who may or may not move into town during the school year. We have a contract (AREA Agreement) with Gilford which covers all tuition needs for our high school students. If the School Board reads the contract and follows it, they would see that there is no need to double tax us.
The second Warrant Article is to apply a Tax Cap upon the school's operational budget for a period of three years. That simply means their budget for the next three years will be based upon the previous year's approved budget, with adjustments for contractual obligations, debt service, and one-time items.
This has been successfully applied to other school districts in New Hampshire and has reduced their budgets without depriving the students of the essentials necessary for a comprehensive education. Since our School Board chairman has stated openly in school board meetings over the years that the Gilmanton School Board produces the budget for the school, so they don't accept the recommendations from the Town Budget Committee or the people of Gilmanton, we must do something to make this School Budget Committee responsible to the taxpayers.
By reducing the operational budget, we do not reduce the contractual salaries of the teachers, reduce the ability of the school to give our children the best education available, or take away any programs in the curriculum. It will merely require the School Board's Budget Committee to find line items in the budget where they have over reached or included funding for something that "might happen", but usually doesn't. This will reduce the budget to a more reasonable amount and, in turn, reduce our taxes. Our town selectmen have done this with the town's budget over the years and still manage to run the town without cutting services to the people.
We have a system within the School Board's Budget Committee that is broken. Over the years we the people have tried to work with them by using simple methods to make the budget manageable. Sadly, the common response from the School Board or superintendent is to say that reducing the budget will only mean making painful cuts to the ongoing operation of the school. Clearly, if you end up with a surplus in excess of $1.1million, we are not being told the whole truth.
So, please come out to vote at the Town Election on March 11 and vote "YES" for both of these Warrant Articles and "NO" to the school budget. It takes a 3/5 majority to pass each of these Warrant Articles so every single vote counts. If you cannot come to the polls, contact our Town Clerk's office and ask for an absentee ballot. Your voice cannot be heard if you don't speak out. And always remember, IT'S YOUR MONEY!
Gilmanton Iron Works
Last Updated on Saturday, 25 January 2014 12:30
To The Daily Sun,
Dear Mark and Ruth Mooney:
I want to thank you for changing your mind about selling Briarcrest Estates to an out-of-state entity and selling to the Lakemont Cooperative, a resident-lead initiative. You have been truly amazing owners of Briarcrest Estates for many years and amazing teachers on how to run a manufactured home park. Everywhere I go I get compliments about the park when I say I live here, one of the best parks in New Hampshire! But now, your "students" (residents of Briarcrest) want to show you how much we have learned from you and are planning for the big event. We are doing our "due diligence" in preparation for being able to run Briarcrest in much the same fashion as you have for the last 25+ years.
To the residents of Briarcrest Estates who are not yet on board with the idea of a cooperative yet: Mr. Mooney, by signing the Purchase and Sales Agreement with the Lakemont Cooperative, has agreed to sell Briarcrest Estates to Lakemont Cooperative and all is moving along quickly and diligently to make the sale happen, hopefully in April of this year. We of the cooperative, owe a huge debt to ROC-NH (Resident Owned Communities — New Hampshire) and its staff, especially Angela Romeo, cooperative conversion specialist at ROC-NH, for heading us in the right direction every step of the way, as they will even after the transfer of ownership.
We (members of the Lakemont Cooperative) chose to do this because we believe in being in control of our own destiny as a manufactured home park. The Cooperative will control and stabilize the lot rents, with the "profits" going back into the park — Lakemont Cooperative is a legally registered non-profit corporation in the State of New Hampshire. Also, when a cooperative owns a park, residents never again have to worry about the park being sold or closed. Cooperative members have control over what repairs and improvements are made to the park, how they are made, when they are made and how they are paid for — with money set aside every month from the lot rents into a capital reserve fund and a "rainy day" fund.
As for park rules, when a cooperative owns a park, the members develop and vote on their own rules. (The Rules Committee of Lakemont Cooperative would like your input on this matter now because we want the Park Rules and Bylaws in place for Day #1. Contact Joe McCarthy, secretary, at
or call him at 527-8943 for information on how to connect with the people on the Rules Committee or any committee.]
And, last but not least, when a cooperative owns a park, fair and fixed-rate home purchase, equity and repair loans are available through the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund's Welcome Home Loans. Imagine refinancing your home or getting those big repairs done at a reasonable percentage rate! Up till now, traditional banks would not even talk to you because you had a manufactured home. In addition, fixed-rate conventional financing is available for homes in Fannie Mae approved cooperatives, which we plan to be (it takes a couple of years and many rules to abide by). Grants are also available for upgrades that make a home EnergyStar certified. Grants will be awarded to income-qualified applicants on a first-come, first-served basis. I know I could use one of those grants to get my roof re-shingled!
Come join us for this great adventure on Saturday, January 25, 10 a.m., at the Laconia Public Library for a Lakemont Cooperative Board Meeting — the last meeting at an outside-the-park location. All future meetings, starting February 1st, will be held at our own Briarcrest Community Center and we will be meeting every Saturday morning until the closing. This Saturday's meeting is very important because we are interviewing the two management companies selected by the board to operate the park after the purchase. Informational sheets will be passed out so you can compare them to each other while you listen to the board perform the interviews and ask any questions you may also have for them. Remember, this a board meeting and general questions will be handled at the end of the meeting.
Finally, we are wrapping up a mass mailing of two surveys to all residents. Everyone will receive two, one-page surveys to fill out, and a separate return envelope for each. Please return the surveys, one each per envelope. Do not put them in one envelope even though they both have the same address. This will ensure that each survey is correctly processed. Thanks for taking the time to complete the forms. The survey asking some personal questions is a "double-blind" survey meaning neither side (ROC-NH or LC) will know which survey belongs to who. Both surveys are very important, especially since they will be used for our Fannie Mae status.
Did you know? ...... There is a $25 membership joining fee for the cooperative and a $500 per household deposit fee (actually $475 after subtracting the $25) which can be paid in installments as arranged with the Board of Directors? There is an open membership policy — homeowners can join the cooperative at any time during the purchase process? Lakemont Cooperative and ROC-NH have developed a purchase and operating budget that shows rents can stay within the limits of your lease? All leases now in effect will be continued? Residents will buy the park as a corporation (the Lakemont Cooperative) with no personal liability when the co-op borrows the funds needed to purchase the park? There are two local banks vying for our business? We will be one of over 100 resident-owned parks in New Hampshire? And there are so many more good reasons to join with us, including keeping the name Briarcrest?
So, I invite you, again, to this Saturday's meeting and all subsequent Cooperative meetings and use your energy to work with us to make Briarcrest the best manufactured home park in, not just New Hampshire, but the United States! Can you manage two hours per week to help us?
P.S.: We have permission from Mr. Mooney to place Co-op notices in the community center so please don't keep throwing them away — it's a childish waste of time and energy, energy that can be put to better use making the "new" Briarcrest" as good as, if not better, than the "old" Briarcrest.
Last Updated on Saturday, 25 January 2014 12:25
To The Daily Sun,
Fifty years ago this month Lyndon Johnson announced his war on poverty in America to much fanfare. The heart of Johnson's program promised to eradicate the sources of poverty, not simply increase welfare. Johnson often used the phrase he would convert "tax eaters to tax payers". The sound bite played well. A laudable goal. I have personally visited Johnson's boyhood home in Texas. I stood in the room where Johnson slept as a boy, I sat where he had lunch and I walked outside where he played. Johnson surely had a humble beginning. After visiting his home It is more than understandable why he would have declared war on poverty.
If nothing else, we must be honest with ourselves about what Johnson's war accomplished, which is very little if anything at all. In fact, Ronald Regan declared 25 years later that the Johnson's war was dead. Poverty had won. It still wins. The percentage of people in poverty is little changed today from when Johnson first declared war. In fact if we count those in poverty exactly the same way we did in 1964 the percentage of people in poverty has increased. This, after an expenditure that exceeds more than TWENTY TRILLION dollars over the past 50 years. An incredible sum of money by any measure. The worst of the the failure, the origins of poverty that keep people poor still remain as deeply entrenched as ever and the government incentives (handouts) that keep people in poverty are stronger and more powerful than ever.
The statistics are more than horrific. There is no single factor that tracks poverty better than marriage. The person born to a single parent is four times more likely to live and die in poverty. The person born to a single parent is three times more likely to go to jail. In 2012 the poverty rate in those families headed by couples was 7.5 percent. The poverty rate of those with single mothers was 34 percent, while the the number of single mother homes skyrockets. The out of wedlock birth rate for whites in 2012 was 28 percent. Out of wedlock births for Hispanics was 52 percent, Out of wedlock births for Blacks was 72 percent. The average out of wedlock birth rate in 1964, at the start of Johnson's war, was 6 percent. The new nation of single parents has ushered in a lowering of living standards, a declining middle class, an exploding lower class and a myopic obsession with economic equality founded in envy.
The Democratic Party has promised to rescue the poor since FDR. It is pure political calculation. The poor remain poor because Democrats want them that way. The poor are the the only economic strata that vote for them with certainty ... ASK YOUR SELF ? Why would Democats want FEWER poor if they NEED them, in large numbers, to win politically? THEY DON'T, they want more poor and produce more. That is why seven decades after Roosevelt, POOR, poverty and welfare are found in abundance every where with Democrats screaming INEQUALITY. That is the HOOK that keeps the poor, poor. Alexis De Tocqueville wrote about this 150 years ago (yup, the heartless donkeys have used the equality fishing LURE to hook poor, for that long). Democratic institutions awaken a passion for equality they can never satisfy. The poor become exited over an advantage that appears within their grasp (FOR THEIR VOTE). Democrats foster feelings of envy and a depraved taste for equality which compels the weak to take down the rich and powerful to their level reducing men to prefer equality in slavery over inequality in freedom.
Last Updated on Saturday, 25 January 2014 12:15
To The Daily Sun,
I have noticed that recently in the media, the selectmen of the Town of Sanbornton have proposed a 2.5 percent cost of living salary adjustment for all town employees. I have been advised by the Town Administrator that the cost of the increase to the taxpayers of Sanbornton will amount to $27,166 for this upcoming budget cycle. Keep in mind that this is not a one time expense, but a permanent adjustment to all salaries and will apply going forward, every year.
How can the selectmen justify that percentage when all the town residents on Social Security will only be receiving a 1.5 percent adjustment this year? I am also sure that many town residents working in the private sector will not receive any adjustment at all in their salary due to the poor economy.
What is encouraging is that the Sanbornton Budget Committee is not in favor of this increase, in spite of the selectman's continued support of the proposed increase.
I encourage the taxpayers of Sanbornton to contact our selectmen to let them know how you feel about the proposed COLA pay increase for all town employees! Better yet, why not attend the selectmen's weekly meeting on Wednesday at 4:30 at the town hall and register to speak at the public comments portion of the meeting?
Last Updated on Saturday, 25 January 2014 12:10
To The Daily Sun,
The City of Laconia is spending thousands of dollars of taxpayer money to evade reimbursing Mr. Gammon's cost incurred in correcting the ballot count for WARD 5 City Council. The court ordered a recount as a result of his quest to protect all voters. However, the court is now reconsidering its order that the city pay his out of pocket expenses.
No EXPERT witness, affidavit by an accountant or finance officer has ever been introduce to the court to support the city attorney's allegation that an IRS W-9 form was mandated regarding out of pocket expenses (non-income). Why the city manager or council has not weighed in on the perpetuation of this litigation is perplexing.
The city solicitor has turned the reimbursement of "Out of Pocket Expenses" into a frivolous defense, an issue not directly related to the election recount's cost incurred. The city is demanding that Mr. Gammon, ProSe, complete and IRS W-9 form, which has no applicability, to reimbursement for do-it-yourself representation.
When the prevailing party is represented by an attorney, it's the attorney who shall declare all cost as earned income to the IRS. The client will not send the attorney a W-9 or a 1099 before the bill is paid.
ProSe representation puts the individual in harm's way. If unsuccessful, the risk of being ordered to reimburse the opposing party for legal cost is great. However, a ProSe petitioner or defendant is not allowed reimbursement for time, labor or misc. cost when prevailing. ProSe litigants may be awarded "out of Pocket expenses" only.
Mr. Gammon only requested out of pocket expenses, as allowed, for ensuring a vote cast shall be counted; a personal cost of $280.76. WHY has the city conjured up a W-9 requirement, costing thousands?
The court ordered reimbursement for out of pocket was appealed by the city. The only question put to the court was reimbursement. However, the city solicitor stated the money was available but only under the condition that Mr. Gammon complete IRS W-9 Form, a form that is used by the city to fill out IRS 1099-MISC for Vendor or Contractor, who must report it as income, REIMBURSEMENT IS NOT INCOME, he has paid all fees with after-tax dollars.
In civil cases the award of cost to the prevailing side can be in the tens of thousands and no W-9 is mandated because neither the petitioner nor respondent is a contractor or vendor.
If a business needs to issue a Form 1099-MISC to a vendor or independent contractor, the business will first need to obtain a completed Form W-9 from the vendor or contractor. That's because in order to fill out the Form 1099-MISC, the business owner will need to know the name, address and taxpayer identification number to whom the 1099-MISC will be issued.
Thomas A. Tardif
Last Updated on Saturday, 25 January 2014 12:02