To The Daily Sun,
We, the hard-working residents of Belmont, are proud of our history, natural resources and educational opportunities. We are not wealthy, and yet we carry fairly significant tax burdens. Many of us struggle to pay rent or mortgages, rising utility costs, and taxes. Current U.S. Census statistics are revealing: over one-third of residents are retired or unemployed, 23 percent live on annual income and benefits under $35,000 and 35 percent under $50,000. State Department of Education reports over a third of students in the Shaker School District are eligible for help with free or reduced meals. The 2015 town budget requests $223,933 for general assistance, often called welfare.
On Tuesday, March 10, we will be asked to approve Warrant Article 3: "Shall the Town vote to raise and appropriate $3,357,250 for the purpose of renovating the Belmont Mill for use as Town Offices, and to authorize the issuance of not more than $2,957,250 of bonds or notes in accordance with the provisions of the Municipal Finance Act (RSA 33) and to authorize the municipal officials to issue and negotiate such bonds or notes and to determine the rate of interest thereon; the balance of funding for the project ($400,000) to come from the Municipal Facilities Capital Reserve for which the selectmen are agents to expend. A 3/5 ballot vote required."
("The Budget Committee recommends $3,357,250 and the Board of Selectmen support this recommendation.")
This article combines a substantial sum for required renovations to the mill, and its use as town offices. I'm not a lawyer, but I do serve on the House Judiciary Committee in Concord. Words matter, and this warrant as I read it could restrict all future use of the mill — exclusively — for town offices. As we know, the space available in the mill is much greater than needed for staff now working from Main Street and the Corner Meeting House. I am concerned that, given more space our town government might grow to fill the void. Can we afford more government? Looking at our demographics, it is difficult to see the dollars and sense for the project as now proposed.
The situation is not unlike early discussions of the Belknap County jail, and the fine-tuning which has focused that project as costs are more realistically considered. I am not against recycling this building that has served Belmont well as a community center since 1998, and much longer as the economic engine that built the town. Several solid ideas, including Mr. Mark Mooney's suggestions for the mill, former bank building and post office, merit discussion and new choices. Selectmen are urged to reconsider all costs including Main Street demolitions, space needed for fewer than 20 employees, and long-term financial impact when property values shift.
I understand we have been wrestling with the issues surrounding the Mill and town offices for many years. Combining critical Mill repairs, renovations and an addition with its use as town offices clouds the question making Article 3 difficult to support.
Rep. Mike Sylvia
Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 February 2015 11:01
To The Daily Sun,
Despite the hysteria, our nation's security is not at risk if the Homeland Security funding bill is not passed and Homeland Security "shutdown". The services essential to our national security never stop even if their funding runs out. They didn't stop during previous government shutdowns and they won't stop during future shutdowns.
Every single job essential to our nation's security (e.g., Border Control, Coast Guard, FEMA, Secret Service, Domestic Nuclear Detection office), continues without interruption even if the funding hasn't been passed.
The hysteria over the Homeland Security funding bill has been created to blackmail the American people into accepting President Obama's amnesty for illegal aliens. Amnesty for illegal aliens makes a mockery of our laws, encourages more illegal immigration, is unjust to people trying to immigrate legally, and hurts American workers, taxpayers, the truly needy, and crime victims.
Unfortunately many politicians (Democrat and Republican), the media, and special interest groups (e.g., la Raza, unions, business) benefit personally, politically and/or financially, from illegal immigration and amnesty and don't care about the harm to other Americans.
People generating hysteria over the Homeland Security funding bill know essential services continue and they evade questions about what happens if the bill is not passed, as Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson did Feb. 22 on Stephanopoulos's show.
The bipartisan House Homeland Security funding bill is being held up by Senate Democrats. They are willing to raise fears about and "shutdown" Homeland Security unless Congress funds President Obama's amnesty which President Obama repeatedly said he couldn't legally do and which has been declared unconstitutional by a federal judge.
The IRS Director says President Obama's amnesty allows low income (most) illegal alien heads of household to claim up to $24,000 in income tax refunds. This could cost taxpayers $50 to $100 billion and applies to people who overstayed their visas (like many of the 9-1-1 hijackers) and people who crossed the borders illegally.
Most Americans know that illegal immigration and amnesty are wrong. Thus people who want and benefit from illegal immigration and amnesty try to scare us about national security to coerce us to accept them anyway. Don't be fooled.
Our nation's security is threatened more by providing amnesty which encourages more illegal immigration than by refusing to fund amnesty for illegal aliens.
Contact Senators Shaheen and Ayotte (and others like Mitch McConnell) and tell them amnesty is simply wrong and it must not be funded. Tell them that you know that our nation's security is not at risk if Homeland Security is not funded immediately, but that tolerating illegal aliens and giving them amnesty harms our country and American citizens.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 February 2015 10:18
To The Daily Sun,
I would like to introduce myself to the residents of Tilton and Northfield and ask for their votes on March 10 for the position of Fire Commissioner. To avoid any confusion though, I am not the guy with the pallet shop on Sargent Street. That would be my father and he has not been responsible for my opinions and/or actions for quite some time.
I do, however, hope to follow in the footsteps of my grandfather, Raymond Manning, by serving the residents as he did. Love the man or not, he was the best road agent Tilton ever had, and his 25 years in the elected position is testament to the fact. My point is not to ride his coattails but rather let you all know you can count on me as much as you did him.
I would like to emphasize that my interest in running stems from a fiscally responsible mindset whereby I aim to balance the public safety mission with being a good steward of taxpayer monies. It is my belief that my background gives the voters a sound choice for this position.
I am a long-time resident of the community of Tilton and graduated from the local school district in 1986. From that point I pursued a career in the Army, retiring as a master sergeant in 2010 after 23-plus years. Since my retirement I have been attending college as a full-time student, graduating from Plymouth State this past May and currently working on my Master's degree with UMass Boston.
During my military service, I served in numerous leadership positions managing personnel, equipment, and funds. As a program manager within the recruiting command, I was responsible for the obligation and disbursement of federal funds, obtaining purchase agreements, and oversight of assigned equipment. This position required training and certification which emphasized the gravity of obligating funds and the laws governing said actions. This was a position I took very seriously as I know those funds come from the community in which I reside.
You can count on me to take the position of Fire Commissioner just as seriously should you honor me with your votes.
Last Updated on Monday, 23 February 2015 10:08
To The Daily Sun,
Reading the most recent unfortunate letter submitted here by James Veverka, I must wonder just what kind of Kool-Aid he's ingesting this time?
He starts out in the very first paragraph, following the stupid example of his President Obama, trying to draw a moral equivalence between today and the Thirty Years War, which started in 1618 and ended in 1648. Then he continues on, seemingly forever, paragraph after paragraph which I can only describe as a load of bull excrement. Finally he ends up telling readers that the anti-slavery abolitionist movement was inspired largely by secularists.
Real history — if James had cared to research it, he would find abolitionist movement was first started by Quakers John Greenleaf Whittier and Benjamin Lay in 1688. Wikipedia credits Quakers and Mennonites both. Puritans got into it in 1701 when Samual Jewall wrote "The Selling of Joseph." The list of clergymen, evangelists, religious scholars and devout Christians is long, but I failed to find any noted secular men among them. I give readers these names to consider: John Greenleaf Whittier, Benjamin Lay, John Woodman, Anthony Benezet, Montesquieu (French philosopher), Granville Sharp, John Wesley (father of Methodism), Benjamin Franklin, Adam Smith, James Otis, Rev. John Newton, (wrote "Amazing Grace"), William Wilberforce, Thomas Clarkson, Joseph Wedgwood, Hannah More, and Sir James Stephen.
James can check with Wikipedia or any of the other dozens of historical sites for conformation of these facts. I also will offer the nationalhumanitiescenter.org and gilderlehrman.org among the many others.
It should be clear to readers by this time that leftists like James are not interested in facts or history and will resort to any means to justify his ends. Their personal attacks, smears and slanders are aimed at those who dare to challenge their distortions and misinformation and say far about them then it does about their targets.
Also, I believe this concentrated attack on Christians is an attempt by the left to draw the attention away from the Islamic terrorists and Obama's dismal foreign policy failures which have created the environment for them to thrive in. President Bush was exactly right with his prediction of what Obama's policy's would bring.
Last Updated on Monday, 23 February 2015 10:03
To The Daily Sun,
A supplemental expenditure based on unanticipated revenue requires a supplemental appropriation by the City Council. A transfer of appropriated funds from one line item to another line item, in any city department requires approval of the city manager.
Moreover, the Police Commission has no supervisory control or appropriation authority regarding equipment in the Police Department and cannot approve or deny the equipment used by the officers such as guns. The Police Commission has jurisdiction over Police Department personnel matters only. The City Council has jurisdiction over non-personnel matters such as building, vehicles and equipment, i.e. guns.
The department head, the police chief, must first make a request to the city manager for authority to purchase new guns offset by the new revenues, so-called kickback to the City of Laconia. The unanticipated revenue used for the new guns requires approval of the City Council.
The Fiscal Year 2014/2015 city budget, line items 01 437-233-0000, 0010, and 0020, Pg. 80. Also, account descriptions make no reference to guns, New Guns, Pg. 83.
Total city non-property tax REVENUE lists no amount from "kickback to Laconia drug-fighting program". These new guns are overdue but the city charter must be followed.
Thomas A. Tardif
Last Updated on Monday, 23 February 2015 09:58