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Bristol Select Board has created toxic environment, driving employees away

To The Daily Sun,

I have been asked recently why I would want to run for the Board of Selectman in Bristol. There are a number of reasons but one of the first and foremost is that I believe in our community. There is so much positive that goes on here. I live here not because I have to but because I want to.

I have watched over the past year as we lost more and more of our valued employees. The environment of the Select Board has become toxic and it is difficult to keep good people when they don't feel valued. We had one of the best town administrators in the state of New Hampshire. He valued our community and worked diligently to keep us on a positive economic track. People are leaving because there is a vocal minority that is disrespectful and downright nasty in their treatment of the town employees. It is important to value people that work hard to give us the services that we as taxpayers have said that we value.

We, as taxpayers, have shown at Town Meeting that we value the level of service that is provided by our town departments. We may not always agree with every penny and where it goes but we have proven again and again that we appreciate the services that are provided.

If you watch the Budget Committee meetings you would be led to believe that our department heads are sneakily trying to slide all sorts of frivolous items into their budgets. They are made out to look as if they don't know how to prepare a budget or do their jobs. I find it disheartening to see this type of micromanagement happening.

I do believe in the need for a Budget Committee and I truly value the time that they put in for a thankless job. They have the opportunity to review budgets, ask the tough questions and make a decision on the bottom line. Then, at Town Meeting, we, the people, make a decision as to whether we agree with all of their decisions or if we wish to make a change. The process becomes muddied when there are personal agendas at work and what appears to be a "witch-hunt" against certain departments. This has been the case this year. Questions are asked on camera with what appears to be the intent to make it look like there is some impropriety happening within our town departments. These questions could easily be asked when the department heads are present to answer if answers are what is truly desired.

What I can guarantee you if I win a seat on the Select Board is that I will be impartial and base my decisions on the facts and not rumors or misconceptions. You will not see me pairing my name with anyone else that is running. I am running for what I believe is right for our town based on my many years of living and working here. I am not afraid to make hard decisions but I promise you that they will be in a respectful and collaborative manner. I believe it is time to bring integrity back to our system and I promise you that this is what you will get if you choose to vote for me.

Les Dion

Bristol

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Fashion show shed light on dark issue of human trafficking

To The Daily Sun,

The Wear Your Heart Fashion Show Committee wants to thank our amazing community for all of its support this past Saturday at Pitman's Freight Room, as we raised funds for New Beginnings without Violence Shelter and also raised awareness about human trafficking. This was an issue on our hearts and we are grateful that so many came out to support this event and to shed a light on such a dark issue. The night was full of fun, education and community support.

Thank you to our event sponsor All Brite Cleaning and Restoration Inc. — we are so grateful for your donation and all that you do in our community. Thank you to our amazing supporting sponsors: Laurie Mayhew — Aesthetics and Reiki Practice of Laconia, Jaimie Sousa of The Foundry Financial Group Inc., Heidi Barrett-Kitchen of Shaheen & Gordon P.A., Bubb's Bow-tique of New Jersey, Sami Jo Jensen of Connecticut, Laura Brusseau, Wayne MacKay of Massachusetts, North Detail of Connecticut, Don and Kristen Jones of Laconia and the Tilton Tanger Outlets.

Thank you to our amazing clothing and accessories sponsors: TJ Maxx of Gilford and manager Paula Carey, The Studio on Canal Street in Laconia and owner Melissa McCarthy and shop assistant Jason, Divine Inspirations of Meredith and owner Michele Wiggs and Beyond Obsession of Moultonborough and owner Jen Correia. We enjoyed working with all of them and appreciate their support and generosity!

Many thanks to the Lakes Region Vineyard Church in Laconia and the Love 146 NH Task Force for designing and printing our programs!

Thank you to Sal's Pizza of Laconia and the Ladies of the Lake Group for feeding our models prior to the show.

So many thanks to the amazing staff at Beyond the Fringe, Sunday's Salon & Spa (both of Laconia) and Mary Kay Sales Director Abbigail Saffian of Concord, for volunteering their talents and services to do all of the hair and makeup for our models.

Thank you to Erin, Jim and the staff from Contigiani's for all of their help working the event and for the delicious hors d'oeuvres.

Many thanks to the Altrusa Club of Meredith and Terry MacKay of Melrose, Massachusetts, for making all the desserts and putting together our awesome dessert and candy bar. Terry was an integral part of this event, designing the dessert bar, candy bar and taking care of our beautiful decorations.

Thank you to Meredith Carter of MGC Photography for spending the afternoon and evening with us to take photos of the event.

Many thanks to Nazzy of Nazzy Entertainment for volunteering to be our emcee and DJ for the evening. We are so appreciative of your help and making this event so successful. Your energy was contagious.

We are so thankful for our local media for being with us from start to finish, following the success of this event! Thank you Laconia Daily Sun, Laconia Links, Laconia Citizen, LNH 98.3 and Mix 94.1 FM.

Thank you to the Meredith Rotary Club for allowing us to speak at one of your meetings to discuss the issue and our event.

We are so very thankful for our models who participated! We couldn't have asked for a more amazing crew. Every single model was energetic and passionate to spread awareness and stand up against human trafficking.

Thank you models: Dick AuCoin, Nour Bacha, JR Bridle, Andrea & Paige Caruso, Aileen Castillo, Brian Chagnon, Zack Derby, Raelyn & Madyson Drouin, Senator Jeanie Forrester, Carol Gerken, Maureen Gingras, Sarah Gray, Jay Hauser, Jan Keady, Kitty Kiefer, Erica Marino, Gina McGuire and Ann Sprague.

Thank you to all of our local (and not so local: Connecticut, New York and New Jersey) businesses that supported our raffles and door prizes. A big thank you to Susan Amiss of Meredith for reaching out to local businesses, organizing and putting together all of the raffle prizes and running that section of the event.

Many thanks to New Beginnings, who allowed the committee to do this event for them! We enjoyed working with their amazing employees that assisted in event details and marketing-Shauna Bertwell, Aileen Castillo and Kathy Keller.

Thank you to Marlyn Hedderick who volunteered the night of the event with the committee and was outstanding in all that she did!

Last but not least, thank you to the show director Whitney Carabillo, who was in charge of the clothing, arranging fittings and organizing/helping the models the night of the show.

It was truly an inspiring night.

New Beginnings-Without Violence and Abuse is dedicated to ending sexual, domestic, and stalking violence through the provision of safe and effective services, including emergency refuge and support; and works toward social change by promoting an effective community response to violence. Call any day, any time at 528-6511 for support.

Laura Brusseau

Wear Your Heart
Event Founder & Coordinator

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