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

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Lakes Region Planning Commission Executive Committee November 12th 2014

The most relevant portion of this video begins at about 5 minutes in with a discussion of a letter our BoS sent to the LRPC requesting a more equitable apportionment of member fees from the heavy reliance on property valuation to a more common formula used by most of the regional planning commissions of population. Our argument is that using a formula of property valuation causes us to subsidize just about all the other 29 member towns that are members of the LRPC. Of interest to me in watching this video is that the chair of the executive board, Warren Hutchins who represents Laconia ( population 15, 951 per 2010 census) was strongly opposed to our request as his city would have to pay more ( about $3,000) annually.  In addition, 20 of the 30 member communities would see there fees increase. He suggested that if we want to make a formal request we do so to the full commission and at a meeting when there is a large turnout of member communities. Hard to imagine that those other communities would vote willingly to be weaned off of our subsidy. The cash cow scenario is alive and well.
A clarification is in order here. I did on behalf of the BoS bring the request to the full commission back in September and was advised then that the issue would be taken up by the executive committee. That same commissioner now believes it should be taken up by the full commission.
The end result is that we can expect a letter advising us that the executive committee rejected our proposal for a more equitable member fee formula and offered to once again come and speak to us.
The choices then are that we continue to pay the full fee of approximately $10,000 or withdraw from the LRPC as a full members and become associate members that do not pay fees , but have no vote at the table.  The LRPC is holding the " we will no longer represent you" card over our heads, but we are holding one over there heads as well: if we withdraw, they lose not only the full $10,000 fee , but they also face a public relations  issue as the premier town in the lakes region may no longer be a member of the club.
I suspect that there will be a lot of discussion on this matter in the coming months. The LRPC made a number of valid arguments for their position and I look forward to hearing all sides of the argument.


 

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why on earth would you want to belong to this group that is working for the feds? You don't need a PR firm to come between you and town meeting!!!! Get out of LRPC. Membership is not mandatory, at least for now.

Anonymous said...

Leave LRPC....they can threaten, but we can ACT !!!! Stop funding this useless organization. STOP>>>STOP>>>STOP.

Mt. Rattler said...

When did that Day come when we realized we couldn't make our own decisions without a nanny over our shoulders? I say, forget them, pull out, and maybe other municipalities would follow suit. Anon is correct, these Regional Commissions are nothing more than another tier of Governance. Why do we need an intermediary between our local Government and the State? Or the Fed? I find it really hard to swallow the fact we cave in to popular political correctness. We are a donor town, giving to poorer communities, we are now footing a larger share of this organizations budget, because the likes of Laconia can't cough up another $3000.00 . It's sad. It's sad how people want to spread our wealth, as a community, around, without our say on how it's done. Who gives this commission the authority to tell us what we need to pay so we can participate? Where have the hard lessons gone that taught us to be strong through principle? Withdraw, save some face, and wait till they are on the verge of becoming obsolete when others follow suit. And then they will grovel to our Town Hall asking us to come back on "our" terms. Come on Moultonborough where are your balls?.

Joe Cormier/jcormier2@myfairpoint.net said...

"The LRPC is holding the " we will no longer represent you" card over our heads, but we are holding one over there heads as well: if we withdraw, they lose not only the full $10,000 fee , but they also face a public relations issue as the premier town in the lakes region may no longer be a member of the club."

Well said ...

$10,000 a year can provide a lot of influence ... if it were to go to a lobbyist firm, instead of LRPC!

NH Lobbyists:
http://sos.nh.gov/lobby.aspx

http://www.ncsl.org/research/ethics/50-state-chart-lobby-definitions.aspx

LRPC services:
http://www.lakesrpc.org/servicesstart.asp


Anonymous said...

WITHDRAW!!!!!