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

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Doing the Right Thing

It was a bit surprising to see my name atop a letter to the editor in today's Laconia Daily Sun, ( and I suspect will be in the other papers as well) especially from someone I have known for a number of years and have a great deal of respect. The letter writer did not attempt to contact me at all to discuss this. A recent letter to the editor which ranted against this project and was rife with misinformation, was submitted by his wife. When did this become a personal vendetta?
I don't have an issue with seeing  my name in the paper even in a disparaging manner, that goes after all with being an elected official. It is discouraging though that political ideology trumps doing what is in the best interest of all constituents and the best interests of the town. Saying "no" to everything as some would prefer me to do is not good government. Selectmen are bipartisan and do not run with any party affiliation. This isn't national politics.It's about representing not only those that vote for you, but those that didn't as well. It's about addressing the needs of even those in the minority and things that benefit the community at large.
It was disappointing that the letter writer did not present a single fact of how we got to this juncture. Only the same incorrect statements that there is no "accurate data" to support the need and that it is a vocal minority that will attend Town Meeting to support a " tax increase." Facts will not matter when you are so entrenched in ideology.  The fact is that as a member of the Governing body, I will follow the direction of the Legislative body.
I followed the data closely on this contentious issue and it led me to the factual conclusion that there is indeed a need for more gym space and that there is insufficient space available currently to accommodate a comprehensive year-round Recreation Program for all ages.
Am I a fiscal conservative? Yes, I have been for many years. That does not preclude doing what is the right thing for the entire community, even those in the minority,  and sometimes that costs money. The letter writer stated that "Instead of reducing taxes, government, including local government, encourages taxpayers to take on and keep the level of debt. Always increases, never decreases." With all due respect sir, that is just nonsense. The obvious problem with that argument is why? What would be our motivation? Do people seriously believe that we sit at town hall and plan to encourage taxpayers to take on and keep the level of debt? We live and pay taxes in this community as well.  I would remind the writer that the Town has no long term debt other than lease payments on some capital equipment. This isn't Washington D.C. Please try and separate national political ideology from the reality of meeting the needs of our local community and also doing what is best for the community at large.
As I have said  in the past, if you are truly interested in getting facts and real information, please contact our Town Administrator, Recreation Director or a Selectman. From what I have been privy to, the behind the scenes campaign is full of inaccurate assumptions and very personal biases.
Come to Town Meeting March 12th and please, please take the time to get accurate information before deciding your vote.