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/