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Better to elect two men with experience than two with none

To The Daily Sun,

In the nearly 20 years that I have lived in Gilmanton, I have known and respected David Russell. David has served our community with integrity and passion and I have the highest respect for him. Having said this, I am dismayed that he has misinformed Gilmanton's electorate in his recent (March 1) letter to the editor.

David, your letter, littered with inaccuracies, is beneath you, I am sorry to say. Please allow me to correct the record.

When the Gilmanton Board of Selectmen chose a new police chief, Brett Currier was not on the board. His term had ended some months before. Brett is not now running for "re-election." Because he is not currently on the board, he cannot be re-elected. Brett Currier is running for election, not re-election.

As to the choice of his son, Matt, as the new police chief, there was no impropriety. The board simply chose to promote from within. Nor was Matt Currier a patrolman at the time of his elevation to chief. Matt Currier was a sergeant on the force. His appointment to chief was simply a promotion, one that the board apparently deemed to have been earned and warranted.

Yes, it is typical that a position of this nature is posted and resumes are gathered and candidates interviewed. In this case, the Board of Selectmen believed that the best available candidate was already in their midst, so they promoted then-Sergeant Currier to chief.

Certainly over the past several months, there has been a good deal of squabbling in the Selectmen's Office. Let me point out that this is recent history only. When Currier, Guarino and McCormack served together, there was none of this. Perhaps the problem is not Don Guarino, nor Brett Currier, but an unfortunate mix of personalities currently serving.

It is my understanding that when Don Guarino spent the enormous sum of $72, he did so in order to correct an error that the other two selectmen refused to address. The $72 was, in my opinion, well spent. To have allowed erroneous information to be printed could, ultimately, cost the town far more. I applaud Don Guarino for his bold, yet unconventional action on behalf of the entire community.

Don has demonstrated time and again his willingness to serve the people of Gilmanton. He goes over and above in terms of service. At Tuesday evening's candidates' night he described his role in thawing out frozen toilets at Town Hall, on his own time. A longtime resident, Don Guarino is part of the fabric that is Gilmanton.

As to Brett Currier, he is not well-liked because he is tough and abrasive. Frankly, on a personal level, he's not my cup of tea, but I respect his hard work on behalf of the citizens of our town. I believe that Brett should be elected for the one-year term for which he is running.

These are complicated times. I believe we need experienced leaders in town government. For me, having two experienced men who have served this town with integrity is a far better choice than electing two others with no governmental experience whatsoever.

On March 8 I will vote for Don Guarino and Brett Currier.

Jim Barnes
Gilmanton Iron Works

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Belmont Heritage Fund will make contribution go a long way

To The Daily Sun,

Tuesday's Belmont ballot includes a $5,000 request for the Heritage Fund. The fund has shown a positive return on taxpayer investment in dollars, creativity and value.

Over ten years, the Heritage Commission has returned some $200,000 to our community through federal and state grants, corporate and in-kind donations, substantial contributions of technical and other expertise, and volunteered time.

Visible results include an award-winning bandstand restoration, historic signage and markers for the Library, Mill and Province Road Meeting House, research nominating the Belmont Mill and Bandstand to the New Hampshire State Register of Historic Places, and a first energy efficiency project paying 100 percent for LED lanterns and other Mill enhancements, and upgraded Sargent Park lighting.

Other highlights were education and events, including Community Heritage Workshops, celebrations of the Bandstand Centennial, Library anniversary, New Hampshire History Week and memorable Deck the Village Christmas Festivals from 2008-13.

Accomplishments were fostered by partnerships featuring local youth organizations, Shaker District Schools, Belknap County Restorative Justice, Belmont Parks and Recreation, Public Library, Belmont and Laconia Historical Societies, Laconia Heritage Commission, New Hampshire Preservation Alliance, NH Division of Historical Resources, Friends of the Bandstand and the Land and Community Heritage Investment Program, among others.

We will sincerely appreciate your "Yes" vote of support for Warrant Article 17.

Thank you from the Heritage Commission.

Linda Frawley
Wallace Rhodes
Priscilla Annis
Shayne Duggan
Alyce Jewell
Vicki Donovan

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