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Make up for budget cut by donating to nursing home activity fund

To The Daily Sun,

The Belknap County Delegation had some tough decisions to make in this year's budget; for example, we were able to keep the same tax rate we had in 2015-16 as we increased spending by close to $1.5 million, mainly due to the new jail.

One cut was $44,000 to eliminate one of the five activity employees at the Belknap County Nursing Home. I have spoken with Administrator Shelly Richardson and Recreation Director Brenda Twardosky about avenues we can take to continue the great job they are doing for our seniors. We are working together to come up with some innovative ways to keep things more like how they are or maybe even make things better. To do this, we need volunteers and donations to make that happen.

We will be having fundraisers such as a par three nine-hole golf outing, coffee mug, and T-shirt sales. We are also looking to start an adopt a senior program where you send an letter once in awhile, maybe birthday and Christmas cards, and especially a face-to-face visit, gestures that brighten the day of  everyone involved.

I would be interested in anyone's thoughts on other methods or ideas to raise more funds. If you have more time than money, we could use some volunteers to help with the activities director's plan and join in to help complete many different activities. Many of the residents could benefit from those that would give a bit of their time. It also helps you! You can feel good knowing you have brightened the lives of those in our nursing home.

If you would like to volunteer or make a donation please contact Administrator Richardson at the Belknap County Nursing Home, or I am always available at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call me at 527-8726.

It's difficult to have to cut things that matter in order to protect the taxpayers of our county, but I'm determined to give what I can in time and efforts to mitigate some of those losses where I can. Will you help me?

Make Checks payable to BC&H activities fund.

Send checks to: Belknap County Nursing Home, 30 County Dr., Laconia, NH 03246

Glen Aldrich
State Representative

Belknap County District 2

Giilford

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The infrastructure at Briarcrest is 25 years old and will need fixing

To The Daily Sun,

This letter will probably only interest residents of Briarcrest Estates, but in view of three recent letters published regarding Briarcrest, it is necessary to make a few remarks.

I am answering to inform the residents of facts that were not contained in those letters, to the best of my ability, as a resident of this community for 20 years. I must also say I am not a member of the co-op, so I approach this as a private homeowner and resident of Briarcrest with no affiliation to anyone.

For background information, which is important, the following is a snapshot of the proceedings that brought this community into a co-op.

— July 9, 2013, residents advised of proposed sale to Hometown America.

— July 29, 2013, Roc-NH held meeting at high school. No factual cost information was given. Hand vote for all those present was called for the formation of a co-op. Asked who would be voting, the reply was everyone was invited to come and those there could vote. No verification of residence and more than one resident of a home was allowed to vote. On a hand count, co-op was voted in. Volunteers came forward to be incorporators and form the initial board of directors. No vote taken.

— July 30, 2013, owners of Briarcrest, with their lawyer and a lawyer from prospective buyer, held an open meeting. Two hundred people attended, with most opposing co-op. A vote was asked for but shouted down by pro co-op members. Owners not wishing to appear biased, called off vote.

— July 30, 2013, Roc-NH group filed corporation papers with the state of New Hampshire bearing the date of signing as Jan. 12, 2013, rather than date of signing July 29, 2013. Strange. The second illegal step.

— Aug. 7, 2013, co-op group under the name of Lakemont Cooperative held meeting. At this meeting there was a joining fee of $25. Membership fee to follow. Election of interim board of directors was next, but only people who had paid the $25 were allowed to vote. The vote as 31 in favor and five against, demonstrating a total of 36 members.

Remember there are 241 homes.

Questions and answers were at the end of the agenda. When people demanded to be heard and ask questions, they received abusive treatment and questions were not answered.
Half the people left as they had no voice and refused to pay for the right to vote. Yet another questionable action.

— Aug. 15, 2013, Briarcrest owners held a meeting overseen by an attorney and a witness for signatures. This was a vote by residents and the vote was 164 against the co-op and for selling to Hometown and seven for the co-op. More ballots coming in by mail made total 176 to seven with only one resident per home voting.

Because only votes of paid members were considered, the co-op group prevailed.

I bring this up because it was a heart-wrenching time for the people living here and many friends were no longer friends and those who lost hoped life would return to a peaceful atmosphere and they would be allowed to live in peace and with the same kind of service they had always received from private owners.

Now, the same people who originated co-op and Roc-NH are again working hard to influence people to reject the newest offer from Hometown. They are sending out emails to residents with false information and holding an "informational meeting" that was not sanctioned by the board of directors and had only the Roc-NH people there. No one from Hometown. Once again a one-sided meeting. They are saying the board is receiving a financial benefit from Hometown to sell. Not true.

This board has not taken a position and while some of them might have personal opinions, they have kept them out of public meetings. The board merely presented the offer to the residents and it is the residents who will decide. Only one member from a household will vote. If you are paying for membership in installments, you will be able to vote.

This is a $12 million operation and is being administered by volunteers. That can be risky. It should be run by people used to this kind of big business. Over the three years there has been a lot of turnover on the board and with the volunteers. Not because they don't get their way, but volunteers are tired and did not buy a home where they had to go time and time again to do something. The board members are being harassed daily. It is not easy. We should be thanking those on the board for giving their time and expertise to a very tough situation. We don't want neighbor against neighbor to exist again.

The infrastructure at Briarcrest is now 25 years old and many things will be coming up that need fixing and they cost money, no matter who owns Briarcrest.

Let's wait for the April informational meeting which will include reps from Hometown and hear their side of this. More people will be back from Florida and after this meeting there will be time to decide before June annual meeting when a vote will be taken.

Measures are being taken by the board to see everyone gets a vote. If you work in the daytime or are too ill or elderly to make meeting, there will be absentee ballots and you will have time to get your vote in. Details will be given at April meeting and just prior to voting date.

Don't listen to rumors. Keep calm and make up your own minds. This is still your home and you will make the decision.

Brenda Baer

Laconia.

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