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Are these two candidates the best that Gilmanton has?

To The Daily Sun,

I just attended candidates night at Gilmanton School, and I listened with interest to several citizens' speeches about why we should vote for them. One seat is open on the Board of Selectmen.

Marshall Bishop was first to speak, and I took away from his presentation that he believes the selectmen to be a group that works together on issues in Gilmanton. I know that Mr. Bishop has been on the Select Board this past year. After a couple of months, he made a motion to remove Mike Jean as Chairman because Mr. Jean was in the hospital. What a compassionate guy! The two selectmen could have voted for a temporary chairman while Mr. Jean was out.

While this illness was ongoing, Mr. Bishop demonstrated his ability to work with the board by going ahead with his own agenda, which is the Gilmanton Winery, which he owns. In 2016, Loon Pond Road was prepared and scheduled to be paved. He found a way to get the road to his establishment paved instead. To date, the Zoning and Planning boards have given their approvals for 24 people at a time to be present in the Winery for wine tasting. He doesn't have the proper documents nor has he paid the fees for his liquor manufacturing and service. The place is in need of handicapped bathrooms, larger septic system, larger professional kitchen, more parking, and upgraded electrical service to be done by a professional master electrician. He says that the Planning Board has not asked him to return. It is his responsibility to return if he has open business with the board.

It seems Mr. Bishop wants to be on the Select Board to look out for his own interest. That is called a conflict of interest. He has refused to recuse himself in the past when asked to do so because he wants to argue his case.

Mr. Guarino has his own troubles. In 2014, he fraudulently used a homemade inspection sticker for his vehicle. At this point in time, he has an ongoing dispute with his own contracting company and an unhappy customer who thought he hadn't done the work he should have. He has failed to show up at court hearings at least two times.

Are these two candidates the best that Gilmanton has to offer? On March 14 we will go to the polls to vote. We can vote for one or the other or we can skip it entirely. Whoever receives the most votes will win. No one will even know that the people of the town really didn't approve of either one. This town has genuine issues that require careful consideration by selectmen who are honest and have integrity. Those running now don't have the qualities that a selectman should have, and I think their bad habits won't allow them to change to be the kind of people we need. The expression for this from long ago is: "A leopard cannot change its spots."

Sue Gelatt

Gilmanton Iron Works

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Watterson for Belmont selectman, he’ll keep taxes down

To The Daily Sun,

I am urging the voters of Belmont to cast their vote for selectman for Brian Watterson. He has been a resident of Belmont for approximately 20 years, except for a short diversion to Gilford. As I recall, I first met Brian as a member of the Belmont Conservation Commission. He has not only served as a member and chairman of the Conservation Commission, but also served one term as selectman before choosing to leave to devote more time to his family and business.

Other community service has been as president of Belmont Historical Society and as a member of the Belmont Senior Center Advisory Board. He was also recently appointed to the Belmont Heritage Commission.

Brian, until recently, operated his own insurance business, Shaker Insurance, and now has, as a semiretired venture started a new business selling hot dogs to hungry residents and passersby.

From personal observation, Brian is a person who thoughtfully weighs both the pros and cons of an issue before coming to a position. This should be appreciated by taxpayers. The town of Belmont raises approximately $16 million annually through taxes and fees, which makes it by far the biggest business in town. Of this amount, around two-thirds is spent by Shaker Regional School District, and one-third by the town of Belmont. A 1 or 2 percent change in town expenditures represents the total tax bill of several residents. I am sure that Brian will keep this in mind when casting his vote as a selectman.

Wallace Rhodes


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