To The Daily Sun,
My opponent's letter published in the Sept. 25 Laconia Daily Sun provides a very good example how we would differ as county commissioners. My opponent agrees with what the commissioners did in waiting to announce an emergency and then rushing into court. Had I been a commissioner, this fiasco would not have occurred.
Most reasonable people would have prepared a detailed transfer request in writing as soon as it was apparent that money was needed to be moved from one budget line to another. If there was a real emergency, I would have made whatever arrangement was necessary to be present at the Executive Committee meeting. This would not be difficult if I had two weeks notice of the meeting date, as was the case in this situation.
The Executive Committee has not turned down any reasonable transfer request to date. I may not be a lawyer as my opponent is, but I do know that the convention is held to a standard of reasonableness in ruling on transfer requests. If they abuse their discretion in making a decision, the decision can be overturned. If I am going to vote to spend taxpayer money on a lawyer to seek reversal of a convention decision, it will be only in a situation where I am convinced the convention has abused its discretion in making a decision.
Unlike my opponent, I see no indication that the convention or any of its members are trying to run the county. Rather it appears that they are trying, with some difficulty, to get the commissioners to follow the law.
If I am elected, you have my promise that I will respect and follow the law, including the statutes that define the authority of the commissioners and the convention. I will always be reasonable and fair. I will never give way to dramatics or intentionally create an emergency to gain a political advantage. You will get a straight answer from me. I will not spend your money to fight with the convention unless there is actually something to fight about.
Please consider voting for me so I may serve as your County Commissioner and end the toxic climate that currently interferes with good government in our county.
Candidate for Belknap County Commissioner
Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 September 2014 10:45
To The Daily Sun,
Lisa DiMartino is the type of New Hampshire State House Representative who serves the people of District 2 in Belknap County with honesty, conviction and hard work — regardless of one's political party. I have known Lisa since she was the children's librarian at Gilford Public Library. There she instilled the love of reading and learning in my children and countless others in our community. I have seen Lisa work tirelessly to educate people about disabilities and fight independently to allow her son, who has special needs, to live his life both in and out of the classroom as meaningfully as possible.
As our state representative, Lisa has fought for all of New Hampshire's citizens that have health issues, or special needs, being recognized as a "Public Health Champion" by the New Hampshire Association of Public Health and receiving the 2014 Governor's Accessibility Award.
Not only does Lisa take on causes that are of personal interest to her, but also those that she feels need a strong voice, even if they are controversial or unpopular. An example of this, that personally involves me, is Lisa's sponsorship of "Brenda's Bill." A little background: In 2010, while I was away, my home was broken into and robbed. All of my gold jewelry was stolen and sold to several pawn shops. Because the pawn shop industry is governed at the town level rather than at the state level, my jewelry that was sold to a Laconia pawn shop, where the law required this pawn shop to hold my jewelry for seven days, allowed the police enough time to locate it and eventually return it to me. Conversely, my jewelry which was sold to a pawn shop in the neighboring town of Tilton which has no such "holding period" laws, was never recovered.
The Gilford detectives who investigated my robbery were as frustrated with this problem as I was. Together we spoke with Lisa and asked her to support a change in law to protect victims of robbery in our state, such as myself. Lisa enthusiastically accepted our plea for her support and championed "Brenda's Bill."
In conclusion, I wholeheartedly support Lisa with my friendship and with my vote and ask you, my fellow members of District 2, to do the same.
Brenda Stowe, DVM
Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 September 2014 10:32
To The Daily Sun,
Voters who care about New Hampshire families will re-elect Gov. Hassan this November. Her opponent shows clearly that he doesn't get what affects every-day folks and their families.
Havenstein thinks it's okay if women are paid less than men for the same work. It's okay with him if corporations don't cover expensive medications needed for gynecological conditions or family planning. It's okay with him if students cannot refinance their student loans. He believes women's ability to make their own health care decisions should be restricted. He opposes legislation that makes it easier to prosecute domestic abusers and keep women safer at family planning clinics. He doesn't seem to realize that women's concerns deeply affect families.
On all these issues Maggie Hassan has the opposite view. She stands with families and understands that their well-being depends in great part on policies and legislation supporting women. She supported legislation for paycheck fairness, safety in the home and at health care facilities. She favors raising the minimum wage. She froze state university system tuition to help New Hampshire students attend college in-state.
Ten thousand jobs were created on Gov. Hassan's watch while Havenstein's corporation lost thousands and allowed security breaches of private information on his.
What a contrast!
I don't trust Havenstein to care for New Hampshire families as much as he cares for his millionaire cronies. Maggie Hassan has earned my trust and my vote. I urge all who care about families to support her re-election this November.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 September 2014 10:27
To The Daily Sun,
Where are the leaders? So asks Walt Havenstein. Which is absolutely the right question. There is no strategy for eliminating terrorism. A woman is beheaded right in the U.S. and there is no outcry from our government. A Marine languishes in a Mexican jail and there is no outcry against Mexican trade and travel. We have a governor who balances her state budget by using revenue from a non-existent casino. The First Lady, a powerful minority female attorney, complains that women are disadvantaged in the U.S. Our children are faced with food they won't eat in school, while they are taught Common Core classes that are centrally controlled through leaderless directives.
Our New Hampshire citizens are leaving New Hampshire to drive to Massachusetts for their work in droves of over 100,000 people/day, and local politicians seem powerless to address or influence this issue. Taxes are so high that we no longer can afford to live on one salary alone and we mostly need two workers per family to make ends meet. And we are struggling with so very many citizens and illegal aliens on government support, and need leadership to get our population back to work. So where are the leaders?
Walt Havenstein is a leader. His employees at BAE are vocal and loyal. Their energy and support are reminiscent of the recent support that Market Basket employees gave Arthur T. People who worked with him for years, know that he is "the real thing," know that he listened to and respected all the employees who worked there, knew their names, was open and honest as a manager, and kept their jobs in New Hampshire.
It's time to get back to real leadership. My vote goes to Walt. I hope you'll join me.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 September 2014 10:23
To The Daily Sun,
Our recent county "crisis" has proven to have been a fabrication. On Sept. 15, at a regularly scheduled meeting of the Executive Committee of the Belknap County Convention, there was no request from the commissioners for any budget transfer. Three days later, on Sept. 18, the Belknap County Commissioners announced that the county was faced with an immediate crisis if the commissioners were not allowed to make a number of significant money transfers from various budget lines to other lines. They demanded that the executive committee meet again and immediately approve the needed transfers. The commissioners emphasized that the immediate situation was so serious that the transfers could not wait until the executive committee's next scheduled meeting on Sept. 29.
When the executive committee refused to hold another meeting immediately to approve the claimed emergency transfers, the commissioners on Sept. 23 again sent their lawyers from Exeter into court. This time the lawyers made an emergency motion to either compel an immediate meeting of the executive committee to approve the needed transfers or, in the alternative, to obtain court approval for the claimed emergency transfers.
Specifically, the commissioners represented to the court through their attorneys that "in the week that it will take to convene the executive committee by their proposed schedule, elderly patients will need to be transferred from the nursing home, inmates will need to be transferred from the jail, and law enforcement personnel will be subject to danger due to insufficient communication." To address this urgent situation, the commissioners initially told the court that $617,872.20 was needed. After questioning by the court, the commissioners then reduced the figure to $455,500.
The court rejected both requests, refusing to order an emergency meeting and also refusing to grant approval of the transfer of the money said to be immediately needed. The judge did make it clear that he would like to see a meeting of the executive committee take place before the scheduled Sept. 29 meeting.
A meeting was scheduled by the executive committee for Sept. 26 to hear the commissioners' request for emergency transfers that could not wait until the Sept. 29 meeting. At that meeting, the prior requests of $617,872 and then later $455,500 became a request for transfer of $10,000. The "crisis" that was going to shut down the county if $455,500 in transfers were not immediately made turned out to be a $10,000 need.
It is abundantly clear from this that the original representations were patently false. It is obvious that the commissioners knowingly misrepresented the "crisis" to the convention, the public and the court. In addition to conveying knowingly false facts to the court, the commissioners also expended public funds to pay for lawyers to convey the misrepresentations to the court.
When public officials lie to the public and to other public officials, that is wrong. Intentional misrepresentations to a court in the course of a public officer's official business is totally unacceptable.
Our state does not have a recall procedure. Instead RSA 64:7 provides that "any officer of a county may be removed from office by the superior court for official misconduct." The case law under this statute is clear that the misconduct need not rise to the level of a crime but must be more than a mere lapse in judgment. Intentional lying to a court about matters of county business definitely cannot be dismissed as a mere lapse in judgment. Whether or not it rises to the level of perjury, the effect is the same.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 September 2014 10:13