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I'm not angry; no one is out to do harm to Laconia or our schools

To The Daily Sun,

Two weeks ago I learned the Huot Child Development center was threatened to be cut from the budget, and I was angry. Both my children had attended and their experiences were beyond wonderful. The staff was incredible, second to none. I couldn't fathom why this program was on the chopping block, so I decided to find out why.

I attended a few School Board meetings and wrote to the City Council with the intent of supporting the Huot Child Development Center. Little did I realize, however, the enormity of the cuts that are facing our School District and how much trouble our schools are facing. After taking the time to listen to the School Board and the administration, I learned about large increases in areas such as special education and the impact of a 0 percent CPI-U. For these reasons, I have come to the conclusion that they have no choice but to submit the budget as it stands. Although I don't agree with all the cuts, I cannot be angry with the School Board. After listening, I believe they have the best interests of the students in mind.

I also can't be angry with the City Council. I believe they have the best interests of Laconia in mind. You don't have to look far to see improvements in downtown, city services, and infrastructure. They have accomplished a lot in the past few years.

Lastly, I can't be angry about low oil prices either. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, energy, specifically gasoline and oil prices, is what's driving CPI-U to be zero. I can probably speak for us all when I say it's nice to fill up at $1.90 a gallon. Hopefully, it sticks around for a little longer.

So, with no one left to be angry at, I've decided not be angry. I don't think anyone is out to do harm to our city or the schools and I believe everyone wants Laconia to prosper. However, we have a problem and it needs to be fixed. On more than one occasion, my first-grader has come home and stated sadly, "My BFF is moving to Gilford!" Now, although my daughter may have 20 BFFs, this illustrates a common theme. People with school-age children are leaving and/or not coming to Laconia.

Let's work together to figure this problem out, because being angry with each other is not going to help. Making Laconia a great place to live is what is going to keep us moving forward.

Sean Valovanie

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Mayor & 2 councilors will be on the radio with me on Saturday

To The Daily Sun,

From time to time there is a need for me to communicate with local pols. Some are happy to discuss my problem with their proposed actions.
Ed Engler is always to receptive to the discussion. Ed will be a guest during my Saturday morning radio talk show as the mayor of Laconia. We know what his day job is. My desire is to take a walk down memory lane as a native of Laconia (politically).
In our 9-10:30 stroll, City Councilors Henry Lipman, and (native) Bob Hamel will join us. This is by invitation, and my goal is to talk about the politics of Laconia since the early 70s. How "Urban Renewal" was the first shot fired toward the demise of downtown Laconia. How often do the property taxpayers of Laconia, and "federal", with "seed" and "grant" money (our money) cause the destruction of a local bustling county seat, as the only city in the county.
What was aimed to save our city, killed it! Where are the swan boats? Renewal of what? All store fronts were occupied. We had two-way traffic, with parking. Yes shopping plazas were being built in Gilford, but we were still the hub.
And then came the day that the Laconia City Council appropriated a budget increase of 11 percent — in a revaluation year — and that was impotence of the Straight Arrows. I did plead with Councilors Bolduc, Forsberg, and Bownes, to not vote for this proposal. They did!
In the spring of 2005 the voters felt the pain from a council, and voted to adopt the same tax cap that Franklin had, which every N.H. city ought to have! The "cap" is fair to all. Only those who do not care about Laconia surviving are the ones who want to rid us of the cap; they are the same type of people: taxpayer funded employees and family of those funded employees!
We are on the air Saturday 8-noon (WEZS 1350 live stream at wezs.com). This segment will be at 9-10:30.

Niel Young


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