To The Daily Sun,
The “management” of county-owned Gunstock is out of control.
We are living through a pandemic that has cost our country many thousands of jobs and businesses, small and large, that have simply disappeared. And our economy has been severely damaged as most households have had to tighten their belts to survive.
But the Gunstock area, which likes to bill itself as the Gunstock Ski Resort, or the Gunstock Mountain Resort, supposedly “managed” by an appointed commission, seems to believe that it is or should be immune from the economic laws that govern everyone else in the country.
The Gunstock area encompasses over 1,800 acres of relatively pristine mountainous land in the Town of Gilford. It contains a main lodge and several other buildings as well as ski lifts and snow-making equipment. The Gilford tax assessor thinks that the value of the Gunstock area property is about $15 million, which is probably on the low side of reality. But under the legislation by the New Hampshire General Court formally establishing the Gunstock area, owned by Belknap County as a government-owned property, the Gunstock area is only required to pay real estate taxes of $6,587 per year, which is a lot less than many in the Lakes Region must pay on their homes.
For its fiscal year ended April 30 of this year, Gunstock reported annual gross revenues of over $14 million and that it was holding cash and short-term investments on hand of about $6 million.
So, what did the Gunstock Area Commissioners do with all that money that actually belongs to the taxpayers of Belknap County, who actually own the property? They paid bonuses to select members of its staff, and not just small ones and not to everyone on staff at that.
Thus, the general manager of Gunstock, who is already believed to be the highest-paid employee in Belknap County government, with a base salary of $180,250 per year plus benefits, received a cash bonus of an additional $40,000.
With a base salary of $123,600 plus benefits, the Gunstock chief financial officer received a cash bonus of $23,484.
And three other employees, with base salaries of $95,004; $96,096; and $71,774 (all plus benefits), received cash bonuses of $18,069; 17,370 and $10,000, respectively.
Total bonuses paid to all employees added up to $151,873, but most of those bonus monies went only to the “top” people.
And keep in mind that all of this money is taxpayer money.
So, ask yourself: how big of a bonus did you get this year?
Rep. Norm Silber
Belknap County District 2