To the editor,
This is my response to the letter entitled “Dascoulias doesn’t understand the role of government” that appeared in your paper’s Wednesday, October 5, 2005 edition, and that was written by Jean Beaty, now also known as (AKA) Jean B. Livernois, wife of Selectman Andrew Livernois. I understand her desire to respond. Having been a selectman I know how supportive wives can be of their husbands; but, to avoid using her married name is an attempt to deceive and mislead readers much like those who would sign a despicable letter “Honest taxpayers in Sanbornton.” Unclear is whether Selectman Livernois shares his wife’s views.
Mrs. Livernois misses the point of my letter. I am willing to pay my fair share of taxes, but won’t stand for cowardly lies alleging that my wife and I are corrupt. My assessment was fair and accurate as was confirmed by the State Department of Revenue Administration. I have no problem with a fair assessment. I enjoy living on the lake and am willing to pay any taxes fairly assessed.
Mrs. Livernois also doesn’t understand that I am not against spending money for our town. I am for accountability and spending wisely. You see the difference between private industry and municipalities is that municipalities can be poorly managed and continue operating. They only need to ask taxpayers for more money. In Sanbornton it’s frequently done by emotional appeal late at night during the town meeting with little or no rationale, nor understanding, by voters eager to get home from the meeting.
Mrs. Livernois suggested that I gave my “friends in town government” a raise that they shouldn’t have gotten. She’s forgotten that it was her husband and the current Board of Selectmen, not me, that made the final decision to provide the raise for the Town Clerk/Tax Collector. She also may not have understood that the Town Clerk/Tax Collector and the road crew wanted, and had asked for, a raise but didn’t ask again at town meeting because they had worked with the Budget Committee and Selectmen during 60 plus hours of meetings to carefully craft a budget that would meet both their needs and the needs of the town.
The Police Chief, on the other hand, was specifically asked if he was willing to work with the Selectmen and Budget Committee on developing a sound budget and “not go to the floor at town meeting” for special favors as had been done so often in the past. He said he was and promised not to do so.
Once hired, however, he immediately reneged on his word and used scare tactics to selfishly promote a raise for himself and his department at town meeting proving almost immediately that he was a man whose words rang hollow.
Mrs. Livernois says: “Peter does not understand that when people talk about him now, the fear is leaving them.” Just what does she mean by that?
Is that why Mrs. Livernois dared not sign her name to the letter that she penned? Why not sign her legal name, the name under which she registered to vote in Sanbornton? To do otherwise demonstrates a lack of commitment to, and belief in, her own words. It’s amazing what fear will do. One has to ask was this fear, or deceit? In either case, what a shame.
No one has anything to fear about me. I am willing to stand up and be counted in defending the values of truth and fairness, and in demanding accountability. That’s called character and if it scares anyone, they’re in trouble.
Let me set the record straight. I served my country honorably for 22 years as a military officer. My word is my bond. I also represented my country as an athlete in the 1976 Olympics and in several World Championship competitions. That takes character and determination. I love the outdoors and particularly the beauty of New Hampshire. What I am interested in politically is decency, fairness, and accountability; that’s all. I am a family man, a father, a husband, and a good neighbor. There’s nothing to fear there.
I am proud of my record in serving Sanbornton. Despite Mrs. Livernois’ statement to the contrary, I do know that government does things like building libraries. I am the individual that proposed having a building committee to help oversee all of the projects that we have going in town. I realized that too many of them had languished for too long. It’s thanks to that committee that projects like repairing the Life Safety Building and Town Hall roofs, constructing the transfer station addition, setting up recreation buildings at the Town Park, and starting work on the Library addition have taken place. I am also the individual that supported raising $95,000 for the community well and septic system at town meeting a few years ago and insisted that the project go forward despite limited land and little happening for over four years. While others saw only stumbling blocks, I believed it could be done.
I do understand Sanbornton. I understand the desire to preserve the history and beauty of our area, the desire to improve services, and the desire to ensure that our tax dollars are spent wisely. To do that, there must be accountability. Accounting carefully for what is spent will best serve the interests of all citizens
I understand how and why we tax. I also understand current use and am not opposed to it. In fact, I favor it. I understand what it does for our community.
The fact that Mrs. Livernois claims to know so much about me and my thinking while never having had a discussion with me is quite amazing. Perhaps she is easily misled, a tool of others who are up to no good for Sanbornton.