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CLAREMONT NH ELECTIONS
REFERENDUM ON BIG GOVERNMENT
On Tues., Nov. 3, Claremont residents will go to the polls to vote for members of the city council. Claremont has the distinction of having the highest tax rate in NH and the second highest municipal tax rate. According to the NH Employment Security, the largest employer is the Claremont school district and also, on that list is the city. So, government is the largest employer in Claremont; unlike Newport where it is Sturm Ruger and in Charlestown, it is Whelen Engineering. Is it any wonder why we have high taxes?
As long as we continue to elect big government candidates, taxes will remain high, manufacturing firms will not locate here, and people will not move here. We cannot continue to elect big government candidates and expect different results because it will NOT happen. In this article, I will enlighten you on the candidates who are running in the upcoming election.
In the mayoral race, both Jim Neilsen and Charlene Lovett are big spenders. In 2012, Jim Neilsen violated his oath of office (NH Constitution, Part 1, Article 8) and NH RSA 91-a (NH Right To Know Law) when he participated in the illegal meeting via email with asst. mayoral candidate and current city councilor Kyle Messier. The meeting was not publicly noticed and not in the public purview. This was clearly a violation, but it never was legally pursued. Both Neilsen and Messier should not be even on the ballot. Charlene Lovett initiated the smoking ban in our public parks because she said that attendance was low in the Farmer's Market which she runs; yet, after the ban was passed, it seems that there maybe even less attendance. So,the smoking ban was counterproductive, and with all the other problems that we have in this city, why would she focus on infringing on the rights of smokers? In the mayoral race, there is no choice.
In the assistant mayoral race, both Victor Bergeron and Kyle Messier have done nothing to curb spending and lower taxes. They have both been on the council way too long. Victor Bergeron is a retired city firefighter, and he will always vote for more spending in the fire department. Kyle Messier is a public dental hygienist, and her position is government funded. The building which houses her employer the Community Dental Clinic leases its space from the Claremont Developmental Authority; so, you could say this is a conflict of interest. So both of their jobs and retirement are funded by the taxpayers. On the other hand, A.. J. Maranville works in the private sector and will use his business skills to keep our costs at a minimum and will vote on the side of the taxpayers.
In the race for ward two, Paul LaCasse has a record of fighting for the taxpayers and will not shirk from his duties. He is running against Scott Pope who is another government employee in the school district. In 2008, during a heated council meeting, Scott Pope abruptly quit and walked away from the people of Claremont. What would prevent him from doing that again?
In the at-large races, the incumbents-Keith Raymond, John Simonds, and James Reed are all big spenders. Keith Raymond is a call firefighter, and John Simonds is the Sullivan County Sheriff. In addition, Keith Raymond's wife Allison works on the checklist for the city elections, and John Simonds' wife Crystal works as the School Resource Officer. They are part of the government and will always vote on the side of the government especially for fire and police. Allen Damren is a retired Claremont School District administrator and is now employed in the Grantham School District. Similarly, Bruce Temple is a former Claremont public works director who is now assistant public works director in Lebanon. These two candidates would be no different than those who sit on the council now. In addition, Ian Gates, another candidate favors a public information officer which means bigger government and more taxes. However, there is ONE candidate in the at-large race who will fight for the taxpayers and is a businessmen who will work hard to curb spending, That candidate is Thomas LaCasse.
If you are sick and tired of listening to politicians who just sit and talk, vote Tues., Nov. 3 for candidates who will get the job done. Vote for A. J. Maranville for Assistant Mayor, Paul LaCasse for Ward Two, and Thomas LaCasse for At-Large.
Cynthia "Cindy" Howard
SIGN YOUR SCHOOL DISTRICT TAX CAP TO STOP THE SPENDING NOW AND TO PLACE IT ON THE MARCH 2015 BALLOT.
TAXES ARE OUT OF CONTROL. THIS IS YOUR CHANCE TO BE PROACTIVE IN THIS FIGHT. IT DOES NOT HAVE TO BE THIS WAY!
FILL OUT THE CONTACT FORM AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE, AND ONE OF OUR MEMBERS WILL ARRANGE A TIME FOR YOU TO SIGN IT, OR WE WILL EMAIL IT TO YOU. ELECTRONIC SIGNATURES ARE NOT ACCEPTABLE.
This is the flowchart of the SAU 6 School Office which includes many positions including four additional ones-Curriculum Instruct & Assessment Coordinator, Network Administrator, Custodian, and Federal Funds Bookkeeper. Two of the positions are grant-funded (Network Administrator and Federal Funds Bookkeeper; the other two positions will add approximately $125,000 to the 2015-16 budget which includes salary and benefits. Essentially, by adding personnel, the school district is creating a bloated budget and an EDUCATION COMPANY which is comparable to what the Dept. of Education does in Washington DC. I almost think that this is the goal of the Federal Dept. of Education to wave millions of dollars at local school districts and give them an incentive to take the money, but by doing so, a local mini department of education is formed, and it is ALL PAID FOR BY TAXPAYERS (locally, state, and federal). In addition, we will continue to lose local control by having to meet federal requirements and the ever increasing costs locally.
During the SAU Meeting held on Thurs., Dec. 18, 2014, the director of federal programs stated that when the grants for these positions expire and the federal funds will no longer be available; those positions will no longer exist. Yet, I have seen it time and time again where other federal positions remain and then, become funded by LOCAL TAXPAYERS.
It is the same mindset with Taxes and Fees-once they are enacted; they are VERY UNLIKELY to be repealed and the same goes for bureaucrats-officials will almost always "make the case" for the need. In order for we the people to take back our schools, we must refuse federal funding, and then, we would not be obligated, and we would really be in control. Only You Can Destroy The Out of Control Octopus!
FEDERAL GRANTS ARE NOT THE ANSWER
The Claremont city council accepted another grant at the Dec. 10, 2014 meeting. The grant is federally funded by the DOT and is disbursed by the NH DOT, and it is known as the Safer Routes To School Grant (SRTS). The grant was begun as a result of the federal highway bill known as SAFETEA_LU and was funded by Congress since 2005. Since its inception, the grant has cost taxpayers nationally over a half billion dollars and has added to the national debt which now stands at over $18 trillion dollars. Local officials state how the grant will reimburse us $250,000 and that there is no tax impact. Yet, the grant will add to future local costs in the areas of maintenance and personnel in keeping the grant items in check. In essence, the grant is a tool used by the federal government to force local cities and towns to SPEND. For if we did not receive the grant, we would not have to spend the money. Grants are not free, and there are consequences in applying and accepting them. Overall, grants are placing a tremendous burden upon states and cities and towns. The question that we should be asking ourselves is why do we need the federal government to oversee projects and force us to spend when we should be doing these things on our own. The role of the federal government is limited and has no place in our cities and towns!
The underlying motivation for the grant is CLIMATE CHANGE, and the reduction of greenhouse gases by cutting down on motorized transportation and replacing it with walking and biking. Yet, it is being hidden under the guise of the health and safety of our children, and it is nothing more than a farce! AMERICA MUST WAKE UP BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE!
CHECK OUT THE VIDEO OF THE ACCEPTANCE OF THE GRANT IN CLAREMONT AT www.youtube.com/user/cclttv1
ELECTION REFLECTIONS ON THE CHARTER VOTE
Those of us who were charter commission members and who worked for ten months on drafting the new charter assembled a document which would improve our government in more ways than one. We worked to present an outstanding document before the voters. I believe that we succeeded in that aspect. It was my hope that the citizens would vote in favor of the charter change, but unfortunately, there were forces beyond our control. Even though the outcome was not what I had hoped for, I am proud of our accomplishment and what we presented to the people.
The People who were opposed to the change in the city charter waged an aggressive and expensive campaign against we who were the proponents. Most of the individuals who were opposed have ties to the city government in one shape or another. They are either city employees or family members of city employees or members of city boards. It seems that they were afraid of losing their financial standing or power, and they fought to protect their own interest.
They influenced and swayed the voters into believing that the proposed charter would effect city services and the operations of the city which was entirely untrue. They used scare tactics and misinformation to get the voters to oppose it. It is unfortunate that many voters were ill informed and misguided with the information. As a result, THE PEOPLE OF CLAREMONT HAVE LOST A GREAT OPPORTUNITY TO IMPROVE ON NOT ONLY ACCOUNTABILITY AND TRANSPARENCY IN THEIR GOVERNMENT, BUT ALSO IN HAVING THEIR VOICE HEARD..
On a recent visit to Claremont's Moody Park, these are some of the devastating, disgusting, and embarrassing scenes which I encountered as I drove through the park with my camera. Even though I had heard reports about a "war zone" from the logging, I was even more surprised to see the deplorable conditions throughout the park from non-removal of the logging debris including branches and wood, pavement deterioration, grass growing in the cracks of the surface of the tennis court, poorly maintained utility buildings and bathroom building, and dirty picnic tables as well as picnic areas in utter disarray. Is this how city officials take care of a gift to the citizens? Even more disgusting is the fact that there is a half a million dollars in the parks dept. budget; so why isn't this park being taken care of? When the Parks budget was smaller and taxes were lower, the park was kept and maintained excellently. We are paying higher taxes, and yet, we lack services. It is inexcusable, and the people of Claremont need to hold the officials responsible. Will Moody Park become yet another statistic as the Goodwin Community Center, the Outdoor Pool, and the Junior Sports League Building? It is almost as if this park is purposely being allowed to become rundown. Cynthia Howard
CONTACT YOUR REPRESENTATIVES
Sullivan County http://www.sullivancountynh.gov
NH Legislature www.gencourt.state.nh.us
Congress http: http://www.house.gov/