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

Sunday, January 31, 2016

The County Budget

Some very good commentary on a recent post about the proposed increases in the Carroll County budget and the Delegation directive to trim it by $2 million. I had hoped that the new County Administrator and Finance Director would have a solid plan to move the county forward with clear and concise input from the Commissioners. I am not seeing that at all. Hasn't anyone in Ossipee learned from the experiences of the past few years?
It brings to mind a point I made at a recent BoS meeting when asked what we can do about the county budget and I responded that the most important thing we can do is not simply vote along party lines. Vote for the most qualified candidates. I really think that the county seat should be non-partisan along the lines of local government. Keep politics out of it.
Mellisa Seamans who writes for the Carroll County Independent and has covered the county for many years, ran for the Republican nomination last election cycle and did not win the primary. We ended up with a candidate who may have been very qualified, but who eventually quit when the heat was turned up during the budget fiasco in 2015. Mellisa would have brought some common sense to the table and her years of listening and writing about county affairs would have been very valuable. Our current County Treasurer and former commissioners Chip Albee, ran for Commissioner as a Democrat along with former Commissioner Dorothy Solomon and both were defeated. Let us not forget the Aisha Kenney debacle that began with her election in 2010 with a party line vote.
I don't know what the next election cycle will bring or which seats are up, but I hope some of the above named candidates throw their hats in the ring so that we can get the affairs of the county in order. As Fred Van Magness wrote, we need leadership in Ossipee.

3 comments:

Mellisa Seamans said...

This year there will be two county commissioner seats on the September primary and November general election ballots. The first is District 1 (currently held by David Sorensen) for a two-year term. The candidate must be a resident of Bartlett, Chatham, Conway, Eaton, Freedom, Hart's Location, or Jackson. The other seat is currently held by Chris Ahlgren who was appointed by the delegation. The District Three candidate for this four-year position must reside in Brookfield, Effingham, Tuftonboro, Wakefield, or Wolfeboro.

Thank you for your comments that I would have brought common sense and valuable experience to the table. I had a lot of support and a pretty good run for a first-timer. As for any future plans to run for county office, I have none. The experience was enlightening to say the least. The candidate who won never appeared at any candidate events and even announced well before the election that he really didn't want the job and for voters to choose someone else. Very nice guy, impressive employment history and volunteer experience, but who ultimately said the few months he spent in county office was a big waste of time. I trudged ahead and asked to be appointed commissioner when he quit but was passed over by all but two members of the delegation - Chair Umberger and Vice-Chair McConkey. I've asked a few reps why but have yet to get a straight answer so still perplexed about what I could have done differently. Lastly, I have applied for and even interviewed for county jobs and been denied. With that, I have come to a new understanding. I honestly think they enjoy operating in chaos. I would have been on a mission to end it.

Mellisa Seamans said...

This year there will be two county commissioner seats on the September primary and November general election ballots. The first is District 1 (currently held by David Sorensen) for a two-year term. The candidate must be a resident of Bartlett, Chatham, Conway, Eaton, Freedom, Hart's Location, or Jackson. The other seat is currently held by Chris Ahlgren who was appointed by the delegation. The District Three candidate for this four-year position must reside in Brookfield, Effingham, Tuftonboro, Wakefield, or Wolfeboro.

Joseph Cormier said...

Front Page Carroll County Independent

Commissioners decline to cut $2 million from county budget
BY MELLISA SEAMANS


EXCERPTS:

OSSIPEE — With the Carroll County budget topping out at nearly $31 million, the county dele­gation sent a clear mes­sage back to the county commissioners – sharp­en your pencils and find $2 million to cut.

The tone of the com­missioner’s meeting two days later on Jan, 27, however, was that the commissioners did the best they could and there is no place to cut. “Tell the delegation we did the best job we could on this budget. We put in what we thought we needed and took out what we thought we didn't.

If Mr. McConkey wants $2 million cut, let him figure it out,” said Babson, who also made a motion to toss the ball back to the delegation and let that 15-member panel of state representatives figure out where cuts should be made.

They agreed to let county administrator Ken Robichaud have a week to scour the budget and bring back a recommendation to the Feb. 3 commissioner’s meeting.


Stay tuned!