Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Belknap County House Candidate For a Military Coup

Putting aside the strong political leanings existent today in our country, not much that is said or written shocks us anymore. Or so I thought. Jim McCoole, a Republican candidate for one of the four seats in the New Hampshire House of Representatives representing the city of Laconia in a letter to the Laconia Daily Sun last week said that “Since his (Obama’s) re-election in 2012, I have been hoping that out of the thousands of generals and admirals in our military, that just a small handful would emerge with enough courage and conviction, to take him into custody, and make him stand trial for treason.”
Reported Michael Kitch of the Laconia Daily Sun took on the topic in today’s edition and spoke to McCoole, who was largely unapologetic and  denied he was making a serious threat, but when confronted denied his own words and said it was “ totally rhetorical.” "I would definitely want some way or other for Obama to be removed from office, but I would not support a coup. I'm not suggesting we take over the government by force."

The problem Jim is that you did write those words. You wrote a letter, presumably read what you wrote and stated clearly what your intent was and then emailed it in. This was not sarcasm or innuendo or rhetoric. 
His excuse: fear of  being labeled a “ nutcase.”
Now some will argue for his right of free speech, which I in fact agree with. People can say just about anything they want no matter how stupid or ignorant or even if it makes one look like a nutcase. 

His statement though of military removal  of a sitting President , while a candidate for the General Court is very troubling. He misses quite a few steps in the legal and democratic process, you know Jim, ( or maybe you don’t?) the thing that makes us the great and free country that we are. 
Some I am certain will see this as a purely partisan issue and want to let him slide or feel any critical comments are biased. They are not and I would make the same argument no matter the party or President. No one should let this slide especially his own party leadership. Or Jim McCoole.

We have had way too much of that "brushing aside" the past few years and it is damaging the heart and soul of this country. 
McCoole is not fit in my opinion to run for office and become a lawmaker and he should withdraw his candidacy.
He ended his letter with a biblical quote from the book of James 3:1, which says, "... not many of you should become teachers, because we who teach in the church will be judged by God with stricter judgment." "What if the same principle also applies to political leaders..."
It does Jim and it also applies to those that aspire to be political leaders. 

Monday, September 26, 2016

State of New Hampshire, Regional Planning Commissions, County Population Projections, 2016, By Age and Sex.

The NH Office of Energy and Planning published their population projections last week for NH towns, cities and counties.The  "State of New Hampshire, Regional Planning Commissions, County Population Projections, 2016, By Age and Sex."The projections are for  state and county  for the period 2020 through 2040.
A few caveats. One from myself and one from the report ( below). Mine is that the basis or starting point is the 2010 census which indicated a 10% loss in Moultonboro's population. I am not convinced that those numbers were accurate, so the  "projection" from 2020 through 2040 may still be falsely low. I think we may need to wait until 2020 for the next census to get a firmer grip on where our population stands.

From the report: "Population projections are not predictions. The projection process attempts to identify probable assumptions and then extend those assumptions into the future, via a mathematical technique. By themselves, projections can serve as a general guide to likely future population trends. The projections can also serve as a beginning to alternative projection efforts. Data users are encouraged to use these projections to evaluate other projection efforts. While these projections extend out to 2040, it is important to keep in mind that the longer the forecast span, the greater the chance for errors. As in previous decades, OEP will revisit these projections and adjust the forecast depending on any changes in trend."

Overall, it is just one more piece of data useful in planning for the future, always keeping in mind that it is very tricky to predict trends on just about anything, that far out in the future.

Highlights:
  • By 2040, every New Hampshire county is projected to experience natural decline – an excess of deaths over births.  
  • The population age 65 and over will increase from 178,268 in 2010 to 408,522 in 2040, an increase of 230,200. 
  • The population age 85 and over will increase from 24,761 in 2010 to 85,121 in 2040, an increase of 60,300. 
  • The population under age 15 will decline from 232,182 in 2010 to 214,819 in 2040 and fall from 17.6 percent to 15.0 percent as a proportion of the total population.  


Sunday, September 25, 2016

Response to a Comment

The following in black italics is a comment from Glenn Cordelli who I guess didn't like my post regarding Ed Comeau. My responses are in blue.

Government Paul does not see a need for accountability in government. Was fraud committed? Who were the employees (or elected officials) kept on the benefits list? Were claims paid out to ineligible people? 
 I presented facts and not name calling as you did. Your use of an ad hominem by resorting to labeling  me as " government" proves my point that your interest lay in promoting an ideology, not in providing leadership. My goals are open, cooperative and frugal government with common sense leadership. I believe we must have people in the NH House  that are reasonable and truly want to work for ALL constituents and are beholden only to them, not extreme organizations like the Koch brothers funded Americans for Prosperity. 
If you believe that fraud was committed, why not file a complaint with the AG's office? 
The Delegation has been silent on this since Ms. Newlins report to the Delegation was accepted by the NH DRA and the Delegation long ago.  It would be incredibly disappointing to see the Republican Delegation majority use their bully pulpit to push for another witch hunt. Enough already!
Why not just sit down quietly with Ken Robichaud and the Commissioners and try to get a few facts before making accusations that fraud was committed? 
Yours and Comeau's time would be better spent working across the aisle in Concord and within your own party in Ossipee. 
I have been told that others knew about this going on and that the commissioners were notified. But nothing was done. Why? To quote Hillary, "What difference at this point does it make?"
Ah yes, the famous " I have been told" That doesn't mean smearing reputations with innuendos ..... and lets focus on NH shall we? 
And Government Paul likes to talk about cooperation and officials getting along but then tries to smear a fine representative who does happen to believe in accountability.
I presented facts to the public regarding Ed Comeaus political and extreme ideology which voters may not realize. They perhaps thought they were voting for a Republican but what they actually got was  a Libertarian with an organization and finances bent on taking over the legislature. The truth is not a smear. It is the scary truth.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Right to Know Request : What is the Real Motive?

NH Rep. Ed Comeau Carroll County District 05 (Ossipee, Wakefield, Effingham and Brookfield) has filed a formal Right to Know request with the Carroll County Commissioners for what appears to be a truckload of information ( some as far back as 1998)  on the erroneous payments for dental insurance premiums for ineligible county employees over a number of years.  
In October 2015, now retired County human resources generalist Deb Newlin, in a written response to Delegation Chair Karen Umberger's request for a full report, stated she knew about the problem since August of 2012. Over the ensuing years, 80 people were removed from the dental insurance plan, including three who were deceased. Twelve retirees elected to remain on the plan, and have been paying their premiums since January 2014, The County’s dental bill has been clean since the end of February 2014.

The problem was brought to light by the NH DRA in the process of their review of the county over the summer of 2015. At the October 19th 2015 Delegation meeting, it was noted by NH DRA that 
the county human resources generalist has a full accounting of the depth of monetary impact of this problem and noted the generalist has resolved the problem. In September 2013, the monthly dental bill was $11,197.67 per month. After clean up by November 2015, it was reduced to $7,326.34 per month. The approval process has been addressed and now involves three sets of eyes: a human resources generalist, finance manager, and an accounting department manager now approve all coverage payments. Newlin was also able to recoup about $19,000 from the insurance company under the three-month rule that allows employers to correct mistakes up to three months and receive a credit.

In Thursday's Carroll County Independent,  Comeau's email press release announcing his request was printed. It stated in part: "When the people are afraid of their government there is tyranny, when the government is afraid of the people there is liberty." It is a quote mistakenly attributed to Thomas Jefferson and speaks volumes in my opinion as to the genesis of the RTK request.

We are after all talking about sloppy bookkeeping and poor financial practices at the time, again, practices that were long since corrected, right? It does not come close to the allegations made in his email.

I suspect that his real motivation has more to do with his Free State ideology rather than fulfilling his role a member of the county delegation or even as a private citizen.

Ed Comeau was elected to the NH House in 2014 and is seeking a second term. He moved to New Hampshire in 2010 as part of the Free State Project. According to Free State Project Watch : "Why is Ed Comeau’s FSP Affiliation Important?The ultra-extreme Free State Project voted on a state (New Hampshire)  to move 20,000 people to, with the stated purpose to take over state government and dismantle it....Comeau does not believe in regulation. He told a reporter at Porcfest – the annual festival for the Free State Project – that FDA protocols regarding food handling are not needed because, “If [a vendor] poisons me, I won’t buy his food.” Comeau believes that the free market and competition will solve these problems – and would simply leave the next person in line to be poisoned as well. "
I believe that there are more responsible means to get to the information requested (again I will repeat that the root causes have been addressed and corrected) rather than a grandstand play with quotes about liberty and tyranny.

 There will be two new commissioners next year and every legislator’s seat is up for election. We need reasonable people in Concord and Ossipee that can get things done and are willing to work for the good of all of Carroll County’s citizens, and not simply be in office to promote an ideology. 

Friday, September 23, 2016

School Enrollment up Slightly/ Recreation Programs In Full Swing

In this week's Meredith News there was a front page story about our schools. Of particular note was the mentioned increase in number of students by about 20 , an almost 5% increase. The schools also saw a large  increase of students tuitioning in to our district. Very positive news.

Related to this is the very busy Moultonborough Recreation Department. As the picture below tells the story, 130 MCS students ( 57% of the MCS K through 6 population), are registered in either soccer or volleyball. For more information on the Rec. Department programs, click here.








BoS Worksession Highlights


  • The New Hampshire Municipal Association Legislative Policy conference is today and the BoS over the past few weeks have weighed in on how they would like our delegate, Walter Johnson, to vote. The results were tallied, the floor proposals were discussed and voted upon and Moultonboro will have its votes counted.
  • The Employee Personnel Policy and Procedures Manual was revised and changes were reviewed. The manual was reviewed by counsel and PRIMEX. No major changes were made to the policies. 
  • The "new" Old 109 Route 25 intersection and road was looked at by our DPW director and Chief Wetherbee and some recommended minor changes were made, such as reducing the speed limit to 25 mph from the current 30 mph. Stop signs were not recommended at his time at the Lees Road intersection. as there may be a number of deficiencies in the area that would not qualify it for a stop sign. More study will be needed, but the BoS agreed that the roadway delineators at the intersection have been a big help. 
  • The Convention of Committees will be held at the Library on October 24th at 6pm, not the Lions Club. Format will be participatory and the BoS will be there to listen and answer questions. 

Thursday, September 22, 2016

"Oppression"

You may have caught this letter to the editor in yesterdays Laconia Daily Sun by Moultonboro Tea Party spokesperson Don Ewing in which he asserts ( wrongly) that simply voting Republican would end oppression in our country. One sentence in particular caught my attention: " Republicans want all Americans to succeed, to get good educations, to have good jobs, to live in safe neighborhoods, to have loving intact families, and to have good reasons to expect a better future."  
Probably a surprise to Ewing is that many of us of all political parties also want that. The problem is that extreme ideology makes it a " can't get there from here" conundrum. 
It's easy to pick apart Ewing's assertions, with the simple facts that 9 out of 10 of the poorest states are Republican and 97 of the poorest 100 counties are in red states.

See what I mean? 

My point is not that Republicans are the root cause of all our problems. That would be as absurd as the content of most of  Don Ewing's frequent letters. My point is that extremism prevents us from even properly addressing our problems. 

Most Republicans are not extremist as evidenced by the recent primary. With the possible exception of the Republican gubernatorial primary, most voters were closer to the middle than to the far right. People are tired of the rhetoric and ideological fights. This is relevant to myself and our local elections come November 8th as incumbent NH House Rep. Glenn Cordelli is an active member of the Moultonboro Tea Party. 

 Extremism does not solve problems or bring us together. It pulls us apart and prevents reasonable dialogue. Democrats, Republicans and independents can actually work together to solve problems and get things done. Extremists such as our local Tea Party, continually throw roadblocks into any form of compromise and that does nothing to help the citizens of our NH House district. 

Ending this gridlock is why I chose to run to represent you in the NH House. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Convention of Committees/Public Land Sale

Our third annual Convention of Committees will be held on Monday October 24th at the Lions Club. The time has not yet been set  and the details will be worked out at our work session this Thursday.

Two (2) public hearings will be held by the Select Board at 7:00 p.m., or as soon thereafter as the agenda permits on October 6, 2016, and October 20, 2016, in the Ernest Davis Meeting Room at 6 Holland Street, Moultonborough, NH on the proposed sale of two (2) parcels of tax deeded land and one (1) Town owned parcel (land only):
Parcel #        Map           Lot               Location 
1                   130             021             Spitzen Street
2                   166             007             Rose Lane
3                   170             002             4 Whittier Highway (land only)

Monday, September 19, 2016

Appointed County Sheriff, Registrar of Deeds and County Attorney?

A suggestion was made to look into the possibility of appointing a County Attorney, Register of Deeds and Sheriff.  There are pros and cons to this of course, but the first step was to find out if it is possible. Turns out it is not an option, as per Article 71 of the NH Constitution:

Art.] 71. [County Treasurers, Registers of Probate, County Attorneys, Sheriffs, and Registers of Deeds Elected.] The county treasurers, registers of probate, county attorneys, sheriffs and registers of deeds, shall be elected by the inhabitants of the several towns, in the several counties in the state, according to the method now practiced, and the laws of the state, Provided nevertheless the legislature shall have authority to alter the manner of certifying the votes, and the mode of electing those officers; but not so as to deprive the people of the right they now have of electing them.

Changing this for any of the positions listed would require a constitutional amendment. 

 In towns and villages, there are strong feelings to keep positions elected and let the voters decide to " hire or fire" at each election. While it may not be the most important thing on every ones mind these days, with a county of 18 towns and 16 "villages" spread out over 992 square miles, it may have some merit to explore it further in the future. 

I personally believe that the voters have three excellent candidates in now uncontested races with incumbents Sheriff Richardi and  Registrar of the Deeds, Lisa Scott and soon to be elected Michaela Andruzzi for County Attorney. I do believe that we should look into increasing salaries a bit for the County Attorney's staff to stem the tide of turnover. 

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Voter ID: It's the Law. Be Respectful to the Ballot Clerks.

As I think most of us are aware, NH does have a voter ID law. I can't nor do I want to speak about what happens in other states, but in NH, you can indeed vote without a valid photo ID. There are a number of processes in place to still allow you to vote ( as outlined below in the informational guide published by the NH SOS.) There is also a very simple way to vote if you do not have a valid photo ID.  "In addition to the forms of photo identification authorized in subparagraph (a), the identification requirements of paragraph I may be satisfied by verification of the person's identity by a moderator or supervisor of the checklist or the clerk of a town, ward, or city."
Some voters ( not many thankfully) choose ballot day to express their dissatisfaction with the law, by being overbearing or downright disrespectful to the volunteers who spend 13 hours or more working the polls. Thank them for their hard work and dedication, don't disrespect them.