To the Daily Sun,
I’m a little late on this, given that Dorothy Piquado wrote about “The Frugal Four” and Gunstock back in late and early September. I take exception to her premises in both those Letters. The Frugal Four (now Three: Harry Bean, Jon Mackie, and Glen Aldrich) – those Republicans that promised Frugality and to which our NH Constitution explicitly calls out as a necessary ‘Social Virtues Inculcated’ (Article 38):
A frequent recurrence to the fundamental principles of the constitution, and a constant adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, industry, frugality, and all the social virtues, are indispensably necessary to preserve the blessings of liberty and good government; the people ought, therefore, to have a particular regard to all those principles in the choice of their officers and representatives, and they have a right to require of their lawgivers and magistrates, an exact and constant observance of them, in the formation and execution of the laws necessary for the good administration of government.
Apparently, this Democrat candidate for the NH House has never considered this as a necessary and, indeed, requirement of our lawmakers! She merely tosses it off with a throwaway line followed immediately thereafter with the infamous “BUT!” as in “I understand how important it is to be cautious with public funds. However, refusing to invest…”. Alright, she used the more highbrow version of “BUT! – the infamous “However” – so I stand corrected on wording.
The intent is clear – she picks on emotional issues in order to raise your taxes; you know, the anti “Mom and apple pie”. “Only government can handle this” is her message on this and everything else – her priorities but with your money. Sure, you could aid her by voluntarily sending her money but that’s not enough – she demands it as we see with her own words. After all, she was all distraught over the idea of Gunstock being made a private entity (Ask yourself – is owning a ski area a “proper role of government”? I think not as they have too many other things to get right first). And for the “horribilist” idea that a private operator might later close the area, well, there’s a rather simple solution to that – band together voluntarily with others and purchase it yourselves. No, this is not a trite answer I’m offering – but it is to those that only wish to work with other peoples’ money and not their own.
Which is what she wants to do in Concord, and her three joined-at-your-bank-account Democrat accomplices, if their campaign signs are to be believed.
From the Laconia Daily Sun:
Let’s carefully prioritize where & how we spend resources
Sep 20, 2018
At its core state government is the process by which we, the citizens of the State, answer the question, “What do we want New Hampshire to look like?” The answer determines how we allocate scarce resources, structure our affairs, and invest in our future.
Reasonable minds can differ about which near-term projects should be prioritized by the Statehouse. When setting the State’s priorities, however, elected representatives must take great care not to trade large, long-term benefits for small, short-term gains.
It is for this reason that I read Rick Notkin’s August 23, 2018, letter to the Editor, “Where Will The Money Come From to Provide Assistance?” with concern.
Mr. Notkin suggests that he and his colleagues, The Frugal Four, who were then running for the Statehouse, would, if elected, refuse to devote any resources to test 1 and 2 year-olds to determine whether they have been exposed to lead, despite the fact that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that “no safe blood level in children has been identified.” Mr. Notkin also suggests that he and his team will similarly refuse resources to counter the opioid crisis that has touched every corner of the State.
I understand how important it is to be cautious with public funds. However, refusing to invest in the health of New Hampshire’s children and families is short sighted. Lead exposure can cause developmental and health problems that require a lifetime of assistance. Opioid addiction can do the same. Both shatter lives and impose untold costs on the state’s economy and taxpayers that far negate any temporary savings that might be realized by ignoring the issue. Indeed, a 2018 study by the American Enterprise Institute found that the opioid crisis cost every New Hampshire citizen $3,640 in 2015 alone.
Any answer to the question “What do we want New Hampshire to look like?” that both saves money in the long-run and invests in the success of our children, our families, and our workforce, is worth considering. Should we test our children for lead and continue to work to end the tragic epidemic of opioid addiction in the State?
Although Mr. Notkin is no longer a candidate for the State Legislature to represent Gilford/Meredith, the other three members of the former “Frugal Four” are and one must assume that their answer would be “No”. Let’s carefully prioritize where and how to spend our resources.
Let’s invest in New Hampshire’s future. I and Diane Healy, Rosemary Uicker, and Steve McBrian plan to do just that. It’s the right thing to do.
Candidate for State Rep., Gilford and Meredith
And the other:
What if a private owner then decided to close Gunstock?
Sep 5, 2018
To The Daily Sun,
On August 25, residents of Gilford celebrated Old Home Day with the theme “It Takes a Village.” And truly, from the floats in the parade, the crowds lining the street, the volunteers directing traffic and helping with activities at the library, the community center and the field, a village was indeed involved and engaged to ensure that the day was a success.
Likewise, a village, made up of Belknap County concerned citizens, showed up at the meeting last Wednesday to ensure success of a different kind — the continued support for one of the jewels of our community, Gunstock Recreation Area. Thanks to a standing-room-only crowd, the RAN loan was approved and now Gunstock can prepare for the winter season. The number of people in attendance was so impressive and effective that all but two (well, actually three) members of the delegation reversed their previous “no” vote.
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To be clear, the loan is NOT from the county. Nor does it affect our taxes. It is more like a home equity line of credit. But because the county owns Gunstock, the delegation needs to, in effect, be a co-signer for the loan. The original rejection of the request meant that Gunstock had to put off doing over $300,000 in repairs and maintenance.
Three of the original six members of the delegation who had previously denied the note, reversed their vote. Norn Silber of Gilford voted “no.” He is not running for re-election, is selling his house and moving to Florida. Raymond Howard from Alton voted “no” as well. Glen Aldrich of Gilford didn’t show up for the meeting. The final vote was 14-2.
The goal of some members of the current delegation is to lease Gunstock to a private company because they believe the county can collect more in property tax than we make by owning the area. Although the possibility of greater revenue is tempting, it is essential to measure this against the risk of losing Gunstock altogether and to consider what leasing Gunstock might do to an already challenging area economy. Imagine if Gunstock were leased to an out-of-state company that decided after a year or two that it wasn’t profiting enough to stay open? Every service-based business in this area depends in part on the success of Gunstock and would be negatively affected.
As state reps, members are a small minority. In the county, they are the Belknap County Delegation and oversee the budget of all county agencies. Although they may tout that they are “protecting taxpayers” or that they are “frugal,” this false frugality has in fact done much damage. Now our county has no surplus, our credit rating has been lowered, and our nursing home and jail are not adequately staffed and funded. The credit rating report is available online at belknapcounty.org under “Financial Reports.”
I urge everyone to make it a priority to vote this November. But do your research before you do. Take a look at our representatives’ voting records at both the state and county level. Pay attention to the candidates who are running for office and find out what they stand for. Do they stand for the whole county? Or just the small group who agrees with a narrow ideology. Let’s work together for the benefit of our village.
I am running for state rep to be a voice who will listen to all constituents.