To The Daily Sun,
The Tuesday evening Belknap County Delegation meeting was an astonishing display of arrogance and duplicity, mainly on the part of Chair Michael Sylvia. First he pontificated at length about the supposed failings of Gunstock commissioners and the public. Then the delegation took up the question of whether to hire a lawyer to represent it in the dispute with the Gunstock Area Commission. Rep. Timothy Lang questioned the wisdom of the planned expenditure, and he and four others, Reps. Mike Bordes, Juliet Harvey-Bolia, Travis O’Hara, and Douglas Trottier, had the good sense to vote against it. Rep. Ray Howard mumbled something about the Constitution (I think). As for paying for the attorney, the delegation chose to disregard the statute requiring them to get approval from the Board of County Commissioners for such an expenditure. They obviously thought they could get away with this without getting caught.
In spite of the fact that there was a packed room and a standing room only crowd of interested citizens and Gunstock supporters, Rep. Sylvia did not allow any of the public to speak. So the extraordinarily patient and courteous audience sat through Sylvia’s entire filibuster and then left the room quietly and without disruption when the delegation voted to adjourn. This stood in marked contrast to some other recent events which we all remember.
Throughout the hearing, Rep. Sylvia was extremely condescending toward... well, basically toward anyone who dared to disagree with him. He was dismissive of concerns on the part of the public and attributed opinions contrary to his to ignorance and fear-mongering. In fact, he made no attempt to allay those fears or to disavow his stated intention to have the delegation control Gunstock.
It was difficult to sit through Mike Sylvia’s performance. It was impossible to listen to him without remembering that this arrogant Free Stater has declared himself no longer a citizen of New Hampshire. He is leading a movement for NH to secede from the U.S. And this is the person chosen to lead the delegation? And the same goes for his sidekick, Vice Chair Howard, who has joined in every folly of Sylvia’s, including both secession movements.
Between the two of them and Rep. Norm Silber, whose heavy-handed tactics are evident at every turn, is this the best the delegation could do when it elected its leaders? Is this the best we can do when we elect our representatives? Let us all hope that the voters of Belknap County remember their conduct next time at the polls. And let us all hope in the meantime that Gunstock survives their unfortunate power play.