To The Daily Sun,
On March 11, Belmont Ballot Question 2 is a Petitioned Building Code Amendment to adopt a Historic Demolition Review Ordinance. The Planning Board does not support Ballot Question 2.
State law permits 25 registered voters to submit a Building Code amendment by petition. Once submitted the Planning Board is required to hold a public hearing and must include on the ballot a statement as to whether the board does or does not support the proposal.
At the public hearing on Jan. 13, the petitioner explained that the proposed amendment was intended to closely follow the Concord, N.H., Code and also acknowledged that the Belmont submission had been "rushed."
The Planning Board acknowledged the important service that the Heritage Commission provides but considered the following comments and concerns:
• The last-minute preparation and submission resulted in no opportunity for the board and other town officials to adequately review and discuss the proposal or to consider the legalities of the proposal details.
• The proposal might be too broad as it encompasses every full and partial demolition regardless of size.
• The proposal as drafted might be overly burdensome on the rights of property owners.
• The proposal should be tailored more to the needs of Belmont.
• Unlike the codes adopted by Concord and some other communities, this proposal lacks the type of detail that would provide property owners with transparency as to what to expect, how the process actually works, when and how notice of meetings will occur, how they can participate and how they can appeal.
Based on the above, the Planning Board voted to not support the proposal at this time.
Belmont Planning Board
Peter Harris, Chairman
Last Updated on Monday, 03 March 2014 11:17
To The Daily Sun,
In reply to a letter headlined "Cryans Understands Common Core Will Attract Young Families," Kay M. Anderson endorsed Mike Cryans for Executive Council because he supports the Common Core Standards (CCSS) for New Hampshire students. However, she misled the readers by implying that those who do not support dumbed-down national standards somehow do not support academic standards at all. That couldn't be further from the truth.
She mentioned that she attended a meeting where I was an invited guest. I would have expected her to be honest if she heard my presentation on why I, as the education liaison for Cornerstone Action, expect better quality standards for New Hampshire students. I've never supported the dumbed-down Common Core standards, but I've been perfectly clear to point to superior standards we could be using in our schools.
For instance, the Common Core Math Standards put our students two years behind their international peers by the time they reach 9th grade. The CCSS math standards do not prepare students for University STEM programs (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics). Why? Because they end at Algebra 2 and do not include pre-calculus and calculus standards. Colleges and universities expect students to complete pre-calculus and calculus to qualify for these desired programs. You would find pre-calculus and calculus math standards in the old and superior math standards that were used in California a few short years ago.
I should also mention that the Common Core Algebra 2 standards do not fully cover an Algebra 2 course. There are many serious flaws with the new CCSS, so why would I support that? A better question might be, why would a candidate for Executive Council support that?
Joe Kenney is wise to campaign against dumbed-down academic standards for New Hampshire students. That's something Governor Hassan has failed to do.
Ms. Anderson said, "New Hampshire students deserve more than empty, worn-out platitudes." As an advocate for academic excellence and achievement in New Hampshire Schools, I couldn't agree with her more. So why would anyone settle for what she and Cryans' are trying to sell us? Another federally-backed reform effort that again, fails to elevate the quality of education many of us expect.
Ann Marie Banfield
Last Updated on Monday, 03 March 2014 11:14
To The Daily Sun,
About a week from now we will have the opportunity to vote to fill the position of Executive Councilor. I will cast my vote for Joe Kenney, whom I feel has the passion to help others, much as Ray Burton did. Joe Kenney has the necessary qualifications to perform in an exemplary manner.
What impresses me most about Joe is the no-nonsense way in which he addresses the issues. Joe does not hedge as to where he stands on the issues. For example, he clearly states on his website and his handouts that he is against the Northern Pass and the wind projects, which he feels will destroy the beauty of our Granite State. Joe's 34 years of service to our country as a Marine Corps officer attest to his ability to make the most difficult of decisions and his 14 years of experience in the Statehouse make him the most qualified for the Office of Executive Council.
When Joe was a state Senator, he brought jobs to New Hampshire. Additionally, Joe's position as chair of the Energy and Infrastructure Committee further demonstrates that he has the institutional knowledge to address the problems of New Hampshire's crumbling infrastructure while sticking to a budget.
The 108 towns who will elect the next Executive Councilor need Joe Kenney's experience and knowledge in Concord. Please vote for Joe, who will be a real advocate for the folks he represents.
Last Updated on Monday, 03 March 2014 11:09
To The Daily Sun,
I would like to respond to the letter by the Belknap County Commissioners which appeared on Feb. 21.
Commissioners, in your letter you state, "We are constantly mindful of the tax burden on county citizens..." and further on request a county tax increase of 5 cents, implying that this is a tiny amount to pay for your stringent financial oversight.
However, it has been charged that even though Belknap is rated seventh out of a total of 10 counties in New Hampshire with a population of 47,567, our county Register of Deeds, Sheriff, and Human Resource Director are higher paid than their counterparts in any of the other counties in the state, including Hillsborough (pop. 402,922) and Rockingham (pop. 297,820).
It is further charged that Belknap County pays the second highest for County Attorney and Financial Officer, fourth highest for Nursing Home Director, and fifth-highest for County Administrator. Our Nursing Home Administrator and Corrections Superintendent are the seventh-highest paid in New Hampshire compared to their peers.
If these charges are true, it would indicate that you are not as mindful of the citizens' tax burden as you would have us believe. Debra Shackett, the county administrator, suggests interested citizens can check out the county budget at www.belknapcounty.org. I have done so, but found it an exercise of futility since there is no breakdown of department administrative expenses only totals.
I would suggest you address the above charges before you tell us how frugal you are.
Last Updated on Monday, 03 March 2014 11:07
To The Daily Sun,
I attended the debate in Meredith between Joe Kenney and Mike Cryans. I learned something very important that separates the two candidates for the District 1 Governors Council seat that all voters need to know. This one issue will significantly affect New Hampshire's scenic beauty and the tourist economy.
Joe Kenney wants to halt windmill construction in New Hampshire. Mike Cryans stated that he disagrees and wants it to be a local issue. Mike Cryan's answer may sound prudent, but it is actually a deadly one for New Hampshire. Currently, small rural communities challenging windmill development are having a difficult time fighting off lawyers representing corporations with deep pockets.
I travel to Plymouth State University quite frequently because my daughter is a competitive figure skater and she uses their new ice arena to train. It is very disheartening to see all the windmills towering in the background. Instead of seeing a beautiful community nestled in the mountains, you are now distracted by large metal structures. If you travel west on Route 25 the view gets worse, with windmills on every hilltop as far as the eye can see, with most of them not turning. This is the future of the Lakes Region if we elect Mike Cryans. This will destroy our tourist economy and tax base because people do not want to travel to New Hampshire to see windmills.
Mike Cryans is not naive or stupid. He knows communities cannot fight off multinational corporations that want a windmill on every hilltop to maximize their profits. He has taken this stance of local control to hide his support for windmills no matter the costs. Joe Kenney is right to support a moratorium. We need a leader in District 1 that will represent the people who live here and not large corporations from overseas.
Please vote for retired Marine Corps Colonel Joe Kenney on March 11 and protect New Hampshire's scenic beauty, its economy and our quality of life.
Last Updated on Monday, 03 March 2014 11:04