To the Editor:
As a concerned citizen, I have had enough of the courts being used to impose one group’s will over another through endless lawsuits. This country was built on individual rights, but that also came with a degree of personal responsibility. I have seen that responsibility eroded by lawyers looking for “victims” with a cause and “victims” seeking to serve their own self interest.
Locally, this has been manifested by a group of individuals who continue to oppose Hannaford’s move to Kingston in spite of the numerous appellate decisions that were rendered in support of Hannaford. The local boards have followed proper procedures and correctly decided that all requirements to date have been met. These local decisions have been upheld in both the Superior and Supreme Courts. Despite this, the neighbors to the proposed site have filed numerous lawsuits and appeals to block Hannaford’s progress. This small cabal have been throwing temper tantrums because they are not getting their way or don’t like the answers to the numerous roadblocks they keep trying to implement.
I understand that every decision has the right to be appealed. But after losing at least two appeals, someone has to understand that ‘no’ means ‘no’. This endless lawsuit parade has cost the citizens of Kingston nearly $37,000.00 in legal fees since 2006, and at least $8,000.00 through the fall of last year alone. Kingston’s annual budget for Legal Counsel is $50,000.00. At a time when budgets are tight, why does this group of individuals feel they have the right to continue these lawsuits and waste the town’s money?
Another loss to the greater Kingston community is the amount of jobs that have been held up by this continual litigation. The town, state, and country could use every new job created, whether it be through the construction or ultimate operation of the store. I have personally worked with the Hannaford organization and have met many of their management team and have found them all to be honorable and caring people. This type of corporate citizen should be welcomed here.
I advocate ending this legal nonsense and not submit to the browbeating and endless nitpicking of a few self serving individuals.
Vote on March 14
To the Editor:
I would like to write and thank Ida Keene of Fremont for standing up for what was right at our recent School Budget Meeting. I was at that meeting and getting scared for our children because the town was accused of "cutting" all the things the kids need. Ida stood up and said that it was not the case and that the town only cut the increase that the school board wanted. She was right, and she had the budget in hand to prove her point.
It takes a lot for anyone to stand up in front of a group of people (including people that she will hopefully work with as part of the school board when she is elected) and tell the people of Fremont what was really in that budget. Not that our kids will loose everything, but that they will not get the increase they asked for. Thank you Ida, and know that there are people willing to stand up with you.
As for the school budget....well times are tough for so many families. How can we ask people to approve a budget like the one presented at this meeting? Why do you feel that you have to cut student activities and teachers?? Why not look into the administrative costs? There are many lines of the budget that I question and I encourage you all to take a closer look at it and know what you are voting for. I don't want to vote against things for our kids....however I think that the school budget committee HAS to look at other ways to cut. We all have to cut things these days to be responsible with our money, and we also need to stop making it the school's responsibility to raise our kids. We need to step up and assume the job we were put here to do, to raise our children. The school is there to educate our children, it is our job to make them into good people who will one day run our country.
The school budget is no different than our own budget and I ask them to be responsible with our money, go back to the drawing board and look at other ways to cut.
Get involved, attend the meeting, March 14, 5:00 p.m. at the Ellis School...this is very important.
Support Cigarette Tax Increase
To the Editor:
As two ex-smokers, we appreciate the concern current smokers have regarding the proposed $1.00 tax increase on cigarettes. We also recognize the increasing healthcare costs the citizens of New Hampshire bear providing medical care to people with smoking related illnesses. Fully one third of cancers are smoking related, not to mention COPD, stroke and heart disease. For those who argue their private insurance covers the cost of their smoking related illnesses, we remind them the cost of their treatment is passed on to all privately insured members. Even more compelling in this current economy, the increased number of unemployed, and therefore uninsured, places an additional burden on state coffers.
NH receives 43 million dollars annually from the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement. Not one penny is spent on tobacco prevention, education or cessation programs. This tax increase will direct one nickel of each dollar to fund the NH Cancer Plan. This plan will provide citizens with the help they need to prevent illness and live healthy smoke free lives.
We urge Governor Lynch and our legislators to support the $1.00 tax increase and direct one nickel to fully fund the NH Cancer Plan.
BJ Allgaier, Sandown
Susan Kuhn, Atkinson
Live with the Guilt
To the Editor:
This is a message to whomever stole the child’s Barbie scooter that was put in the snow on the side on Ordway Lane in Kingston February 26, 2009. For only five minutes did my daughter park her scooter on the side of Ordway for a quick stop at the store (due to inability to ride on Newton Junction) when she returned it was gone.
The scooter belonged to a 7 year old girl that missed her entire school vacation due to coming down with mononucleosis and mycoplasma pneumonia. This was her first walk outside the house in a week, so not only did she miss her vacation, she now also misses her scooter.
Don’t bother returning it, I'd rather buy a new one and have you live your life with the guilt if you have any morals.
Response to ex-Selectman James Roby Day’s Letter
To the Editor:
East Kingston residents here are actual facts, and public information for your consideration when he stated, “In any event, they have not served our town well these last several years creating much controversy and division, continue to cost us money, and appear not to understand their role as so-called “Town Fathers.”
Not to dwell on the past, but when then part-time Fire Chief Mazur resigned, it was the voices of the community that requested the Board do something to keep Mr. Mazur as Chief. Thus, Mazur was directed, to take his existing budget and create funding for a full-time position with minimum to no impact budget increases. This was accomplished for the 2007 budget, and approved at Town Meeting. In early 2007, several deficiencies and issues arose, and dealt with by the Selectmen leading to the non-renewal of his appointment. Mr. Mazur declined signing the contract presented to him on several occasions, which was drafted by the Board and his legal counsel. Presently, the Fire Department is flourishing under the direction of Fire Chief Salvatore Richard.
New Library – Due to conflicting NH RSA’s, as to the Library Trustees and Selectmen on financial owner responsibilities, and representation from counsel, this subject lead to much controversy. A Special Town Meeting was held and the responsibility was deemed to the Library Trustees. Today, we have a wonderful new Library enjoyed by all.
According to public documents, Docket #08-E-0021, on December 27, 2007, the Selectmen were at the Town Offices to re-sign the separation letter and severance package for Mr. Mazur, corrected late that afternoon, for distribution the following day. That evening, Mr. Day, Fire Association members, several residents, and WMUR and WBZ held a rally at the Fire Station. When completed, Ms. Mackin of WMUR TV, stopped by the Town Offices, and was let in when she asked to use the bathroom facilities. Several minutes later, Mr. Day, as Planning Board Chairman, used his key to enter the building. Mr. Day, and four other residents filed suit against the Selectmen, and the stipulations set forth were met by both parties.
Town Meeting 2008, the voters directed the Board to a Full-Time Fire Chief position. Article #10 for the “Part-Time” Fire Chief position was submitted as a Citizens’ Petition, and presented to the Board for Town Meeting. The Fire Department Budget for 2008 approved by the Selectmen, was funded for a full time position! Mr. Day’s statement that “the Selectmen could not see the pressing need for a full-time fire chief,” is incorrect. Article #10 was amended to “full-time,” and approved by a small margin (Yes 120; No 116). Article 11, another Citizens’ Petition, was to have an “Elected Fire Chief,” and defeated (67 Yes; 147 No).
Town Meeting 2008, a Non-Binding Resolution, Article #12 was presented to appoint Alan Mazur as full time Fire Chief. The Selectmen, taking this feedback, created a Fire Chief Interview Committee including several Town residents. Six candidates were interviewed, including Mazur. All committee members individually evaluated and ranked the candidates, and upon all information reviewed, a new Fire Chief was hired. The statement from Mr. Day that “The Selectmen ignored the voters once again, and hired someone else,” is yet another incorrect statement!
Most recently, Selectman David Pendell Jr. sued the other two Selectmen of the Town for violating the right to know law, RSA 91-A, by “conducting town business outside of the public meetings,” and a “cease and desist order in regards to change of deed for the Pound School in East Kingston.” Docket # 08-E-563, dated 12/11/08, the Superior Court denied Pendell’s request for relief and dismissed the case. The Court concluded that the record does not support the conclusion that Caron and Poelaert conducted Town business relative to the Pound School in violation of RSA 91-A.” At the residents request, the incurred legal fees of over $4,000.00 was forwarded to Pendell for reimbursement to the Town, as this suit was totally without merit.
Robert A. Caron, Chairman
Board of Selectmen