"Real liberty is neither found in despotism or the extremes of democracy, but in moderate governments.
Alexander Hamilton

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Push is On to Override Biomass Subsidy Veto

SB365 was vetoed on June 19th by Governor Sununu despite strong bipartisan support as it easily passed the NH House and NH Senate. The Governor's veto message can be found here. He contended that the bill would cost rate payers $25 million a year over the next three years.  New Hampshires timber industry strongly disagrees and is working hard to override the veto. Six biomass plants are in danger of closing. The timber industry says the benefits far outweigh the costs. Biomass is their only viable market to make sure the low-grade wood that makes up two-thirds of New Hampshire forests gets harvested. New Hampshire at 84% is the second most forested state in the country. (Maine is number one at 89 %.) 

Tree farm owner Tom Thomson, son of former New Hampshire Gov. Meldrim Thomson, holds up two signs he could post on his land in response to a decline in the biomass industry.

The NH House Science, Technology and Energy Committee recommended the bill this spring as Ought to Pass. The  majority opinion stated in part that "Losing these (biomass) plants and 900 jobs means a loss of over $250 million dollars of economic activity each year statewide. Loss of 900 jobs also means loss of timber tax revenue, Business Enterprise Tax revenue, fuel tax revenue, and a likely hit to NH’s Unemployment Trust Fund that could potentially trigger an increase in costs to every employer. The consequences of plant closures will also have a significant ripple effect because the plants are an important market for the forest product industry’s low-grade wood which is critical to the health of our $1.4 billion forest products industry."(House Journal 17 page 24).
This is especially important to Carroll County as evidenced by this article in today's Conway Daily Sun. NH State Sen. Jeb Bradley (R-Woleboro)was quoted while touring Pinetree Power in Tamworth as saying "If the plants close, “we are in a 'heads, I win, tails, you lose' type of scenario. The governor, while well-intentioned, made a mistake in vetoing this bill.” Per the article, State officials present were Executive Councilor Joe Kenney, State Reps. Edie Demaris (D- Wolfeboro), Rep Dr. William Marsh (R-  Brookfield), Tom Buco (D- Conway), Karen Umberger (R- Conway) and Mark McConkey (R- Freedom).
Rep. Glenn Cordelli (R-Tuftonboro) voted to kill the bill in the NH House, while our other two NH House Reps, Rep. Crawford (R-Moultonboro) and Rep Dr. William Marsh (R-  Brookfield) voted in favor of the bill. 
Of the 15 member Carroll County Delegation, 13 voted on the bill ( Rep. Chandler was Presiding and Rep. Schmidt was excused).
Rep's Avellani, Comeau, McCarthy and Cordelli voted to kill the bill outright. Seems maybe they can't see the forest for the trees? 

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Help determine the future of Moultonborough’s historic landmarks

MOULTONBOR­OUGH — What is the future of community landmarks in Moul­tonborough Village? Eighty-four percent of respondents to the Village Vision survey supported preserving and repurposing his­toric buildings in the village area. Which vacant, at-risk, and underutilized histor­ic buildings could be transformed into vi­brant community as­sets once again?
Historic communi­ty landmarks in Moul­tonborough Village include the former Village School (1926), the Taylor House (c. 1840), the Moul­tonborough Grange Hall (c. 1810) and the Moultonborough Town House (1835). One stated goal of the recent Village Vi­sion Committee study was to “preserve and strengthen the exist­ing small-town char­acter of Moultonbor­ough Village, with its unique and landmark historic buildings, streetscape, scale, and ambiance…im­proving on what al­ready exists in Moul­tonborough Village.”
As Moultonbor­ough prepares for a follow-up Plan NH community charrette on July 20-21 focus­ing on the expanded Moultonborough Vil­lage area, it is worth reviewing the changes that have occurred in our Village since the Moultonborough Vil­lage Charrette in 2012. Most importantly, a Village Center Overlay District (VCOD) was established at Town Meeting in 2017, add­ing depth to the vil­lage strip along Route 25, and including the Town-owned former Li­ons Club property on Old Route 109, now the site of our Community Garden.
The former Village School (built 1926), which later served as the Troop E Barracks and as a private resi­dence, is now owned by the United Methodist Church, and rented to another congregation. This building, adjacent to the ‘skating pond,’ now needs cosmet­ic work and a re-use plan so that it can once again play a vital com­munity role in Moul­tonborough Village.
In discussion of eco­nomic development strategies, the Village Vision Report (en­dorsed at Town Meet­ing in 2015) encourages the active re-use and redevelopment of exist­ing historic buildings (rather than demoli­tion) in order to main­tain our Town’s unique village character, scale, and streetscape. Pro­grams such as RSA 79-E, the Community Tax Relief Incentive (adopt­ed in 2009) can assist in the redevelopment of privately owned his­toric properties, while promoting mixed-use development and en­hanced downtown vi­tality.
There are noticeable recent improvements in Moultonborough Village, along what was once ‘Main Street,’ now the heavily trafficked Whittier Highway (Route 25). In 2016, lo­cal businessman Scott Lamprey acquired and rehabilitated two vacant buildings for mixed use (retail and residential) next to the ‘destination’ Old Coun­try Store (c. 1781). Such active reinvestment in the traditional village is encouraged by the recommendations of the Village Vision Re­port, and now also by guidelines of the Vil­lage Center Overlay District (VCOD).
Both ends of Moul­tonborough’s histor­ic village on Route 25 experienced major physical changes in 2017. In June, a Dollar General store opened across from the Central School. In September, the former Country Fare Inn (1843, built as Moultonborough’s first Methodist Church) was demolished to make way for the recently opened Berry Pond Re­tail Center.
Loss of any more remaining historic buildings at the core of the historic village would negatively im­pact Moultonborough’s unique character, streetscape, and sense of place. Saving com­munity landmarks and retaining small-town character are seen as essential in statewide efforts to attract invest­ment, draw new resi­dents and visitors, sup­port local businesses, and promote econom­ic vitality and year-round tourism. What role could Moultonbor­ough’s at-risk commu­nity landmarks play in village revitalization?
Key community landmarks in Moulton­borough Village, most noticeably the Taylor House and the Moulton­borough Grange Hall, are now under threat by neglect, lack of plan­ning, and development pressures. Both are sig­nificant for their com­munity history and for their architecture. Will these character-defin­ing buildings survive, and find new uses? Could the Grange Hall be transformed into a dining and theatre es­tablishment with its upstairs stage? Could the Taylor House be­come a community building, or profession­al offices?
Community mem­bers are encouraged to participate in planning for the future of Moul­tonborough Village, and the future use of town-owned properties in the Village Center Overlay District, by attending the Plan NH Charrette public input sessions (3:30-5 p.m.; 6:30-8 p.m.) and com­munity BBQ on Friday, July 20 at the former Lions Club.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Draft of NH House Special Session Bill to Address Wayfair Decision on Internet Sales Tax Collection

It' not exactly short and sweet, but NH House members will be asked to vote on some version of this bill when the special session convenes on August 15th. This issue should transcend politics and partisanship and not get bogged down in election year bravado, especially in light of President Trump's praising the Supreme Courts decision.
Whether NH can unilaterally defy what has been ruled Constitutional by the US Supreme Court remains to be seen.
Personally, and not being an attorney, I believe that states should have the right to protect its business community and if it means that NH leads the way to another Supreme court battle to hold on to that right, then so be it. Some things are worth fighting for.

  4. AN ACT requiring notice and approval of certain actions to commence audits of collection liabilities arising under certain sales and use tax statutes and prohibiting New Hampshire remote sellers from disclosing private customer information to foreign taxing authorities in connection with the collection of certain sales and use taxes.
  8. This bill prohibits foreign taxing jurisdictions from requesting information from, conducting examinations of, or imposing sales and use tax collection obligations on sellers in New Hampshire , unless the foreign taxing jurisdiction provides notice to the New Hampshire attorney general. This bill also prohibits sellers in New Hampshire from providing private customer information to any foreign taxing authority for purposes of determining liability for collection of certain sales or use taxes unless the seller has provided a written notice of the request for such information to the attorney general. The bill does allow sellers to comply with any directive of a foreign taxing authority, while preserving the seller’s rights under the statute, if the seller determines that such compliance is in the seller’s best interest.
  9. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
  10. Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.
  11. Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]
  12. Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.
  14. In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Eighteen
  15. AN ACT prohibiting New Hampshire remote sellers from disclosing private customer information to foreign taxing authorities in connection with the collection of certain sales and use taxes and requiring notice of certain actions to commence audits of collection liabilities arising under certain sales and use tax statutes.
  16. Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:
  17. 1 Protection of Private Customer Information and Rights of Remote Sellers in Connection with Certain Foreign Sales and Use Taxes. RSA 78-D is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:

Monday, July 9, 2018

CIPC 2019 Project Rankings. Phased Improvements of Ice Rink, First Responder Medical Vehicle, Road Projects Highly Ranked

The CIPC 2019 proposed project rankings can be found here: CIPC 2019.  The CIPC Master Scoring List  contains the projects by department, cost, ranking, and class ( urgently need to not recommended),
There were numerous questions from attendees at tonight's public hearing, but no changes were made by the CIPC and it was determined that the 2nd public hearing scheduled for next Monday would not be needed and has been canceled.
Suggestions were made during the hearing in regards to the availability of supporting documentation. It was suggested that in the CIPC report that will be presented to the BoS later this summer, some detail is included as to the rationale for each item being recommended for capital spending. It was also pointed out that at this years Town meeting, there were no CIPC representatives to address questions from the Legislative body as warrant articles were debated.
The Recreation Department is seeking improvements to the ice rink at Krainewood Meadows in three phases, none of which are dependent on each other to include replacing the dasherboard in 2019 as phase one.
The CIPC while a statutory committee, is only advisory in nature. The BoS with the recommendations of the Town Administrator will make the final decisions as to what the Legislative body will be asked to approve at the 2019 Town Meeting.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

SAVE THE DATE: Moultonborough Community Charrette Friday and Saturday, July 20 - 21, 2018

Moultonborough Village Revitalization - PLAN TO PARTICIPATE

Help Plan for the Moultonborough Village of Tomorrow!

Friday and Saturday, July 20 - 21, 2018

July 20th - Public Input and Listening Sessions at
3:30pm & 6:30pm

July 21st - Presentation by the Plan NH Team at

Friday, July 6, 2018

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Baseball, 4th of July and Politics

This year, 4th of July parades all around NH were well attended by citizens, marchers and political parties of all persuasions. Candidates for federal offices were especially visible as it is an election year.
Just Google "politicians marching in July 4th parades" and you will find close to 9 million hits.
At tonights BoS meeting a citizen expressed his opinion that politicians and political groups marching in our 4th of July parade was in poor taste and he did not like it.  He also expressed concern about the recent peaceful protest held at Sutherland Park against the separation of children from families of illegal immigrants at the US border.
I certainly respect his opinion and his first amendment right to express those opinions. I respectfully disagree with his opinions, however.

 A brief discussion ensued and none of the BoS ( let me emphasize that: NONE of the BoS) would entertain any restrictions on free speech.

As a candidate for State Rep., I marched in our July 4th parade ( actually rode in a vehicle) with fellow Moultonboro-Tuftonboro-Sandwich Democrats and many along the route found the cardboard donkeys some marchers wore to be entertaining and fun. Participating was our first amendment right:".. .freedom of speech", as was the protesters a few weeks back to "peaceably assemble and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." As a gun owner, I also support my second amendment right to keep and bear arms ( hey imagine that, a Democrat with a gun!). In fact , I support all 27 amendments to the US Constitution. I'm sure that the concerned citizen at tonights BoS meeting does as well. 
The thing of it is, we need to be more tolerant of each other and of our differing beliefs. Isn't that what the 4th of July is all about? 

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Moultonboro July 4th Parade: Thank You to the Organizers, Lions Club and All Who Participated

The hot weather notwithstanding,  the annual Moultonboro July 4th parade was well attended. The heat did raise concerns about the marchers, and walkers were routed to buses at the Life Safety Building and offered water for the trip over to the Lions Club/ Moultonboro Function Hall. The room was just about full as attendees were treated to grilled burgers, franks and numerous salads.
Parades don't just happen, they require planning and preparation.
Kudos to parade organizers, Kathy and Bruce Garry, Sally Carver, Moultonboro Fire and Police departments and also to the Lions Club members who cooked and served the food.

When you run into them about town, take a moment to say thank you!

"One Flag, One Land, One Heart, One Hand, One Nation Evermore" Oliver Wendell Holmes