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

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Who Runs the County?

In yet another example of not playing well together, the Carroll County Delegation and the Carroll County Commissioners are on divergent paths in trying to find a way forward for the county farm.
It may be a moot point since the delegation cut $90K out of the budget and the farm will probably not have the funds to continue past this coming August.
Does the farm make money of lose money? There doesn't seem to be a clear answer

A Delegation subcommittee, chaired by one the most vocal opponents to funding the county farm, Rep. Glenn Cordelli, seeks to turn the farm over to the University of NH Cooperative Extension to create an agricultural learning center.  The first meeting was held this past Saturday.
The Commissioners are holding their own meeting this morning with the H.P. Kendall Foundation out of Boston to look at options for the farm.
The goal of the Kendall Foundation is "to create a resilient and healthy food system in New England that increases the production and consumption of local, sustainably produced food."
The Kendall Foundation does not review unsolicited grant applications, only invited ones, so the presence of Andy Kendall, the executive director at today's meeting, may mean that some grant funding may be a possibility.

Two paths are underway, but the Commissioners are the decision makers in this process, not the Delegation. As Yogi Berra once said, " When you come to a fork in the road, take it."  Seems like the Commissioners and Delegation have each done just that.


Fred Van Magness said...

It is clear to me that incompetency rules, whether it is the Delegation or the Commissioners. The solution rests in electing more responsible people, first for the Commission, then the Delegation. Of first priority should be the establishment of an Advisory Budget Committee to help sort out the budget finances and evaluate, with data and not personal impressions, the various options for fiscal control as well as proposals like the elimination of the farm. It is a sad commentary that the various officials cannot at least agree on whether the farm makes or looses money. And where do we stand in the forensic audit process to determine where the surpluses went? It is indeed nice that our representatives on the Delegation are coming tomorrow night, but where are the Commissioners and the Administrator. I thought we were going to have them present a long time ago to explain the financial mess. Instead, arrogance remains their strong suit. Why haven't we made progress in reducing/eliminating our share of costs for the Sheriff's and Dispatch. We have our own police force and do not need them. What is our share of these costs in our annual allocated budgeted amount? We are subsidizing the small communities with our tax dollars. The formula must change....where do our Rep's stand on this issue and what are they specifically doing about it? How much are we subsidizing the Nursing Home vs. our share of the residents? I would much rather have Mr. Cordelli and Ms. Crawford focus on reducing our costs than playing with the farm. I would demand they attend a monthly BOS meeting and report on progress of these issues until they get them solved. Just my opinion on a broken process and organization.

Anonymous said...

Long ago and not so far away I occasionally bought various products from the Carroll County Farm (CCF). I bought fire wood, bailed hay lambs and piglets to raise for (warning for you folks who buy all their meats from the clean and tidy meat case... this may offend you) the freezer in the fall. The prices were some of the best around and it helped with rehabilitation of some of the inmates. This was just a smattering of the products and services they offered. Since the land had no mortgage or tax, the workforce was largely inmate supplied and their products were as good or better than other sources. The farm manager became a dear friend. As I got to know him he was very intelligent and experienced in all aspects of agriculture. He unfortunately passed away in a very tragic house fire decades ago.
Has all that changed? With the resources that anyone connected with agriculture would drool to have and the opportunity, at least, for it to be one of the few sources of county income... why are we even thinking of closing CCF; or worse turning it over to a state run institution.
As Mr. Van Magness said "incompetency rules". No one ever gets fired for incompetency or any other reason for that matter.
In managing a farm of that size and scope CFF could (and did) provide training for inmates in trades far beyond the farm itself. From heavy equipment to trucking, bookkeeping and cost management with profit in mind all could make the difference for an inmate keeping on the straight and narrow.