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

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Carroll County Commissioners' Pay Cut by Delegation

According to this article in the Conway Daily Sun, the County Delegation comprised of the 15 NH House Rep's for Carroll County, voted 6-4 to reduce the stipend paid to the two commissioner seats up for election this November.
I can certainly understand and agree that we should not be paying for incompetence or rewarding county leaders for reaching into our pockets with supplemental budgets, but this action strikes me as vindictive and counter productive. It also seems to be pointing the finger of blame solely on the commissioners for all the county woes.
It is especially concerning that two legislators, Mark McConkey ( R) Freedom who made the motions and our own Glenn Cordelli, who spearheaded the shortsighted county farm closure, seem hell bent on perpetuating the ongoing feud, instead of reaching out to find solutions to county problems.

I hope that voters remember these things come November. We need collaborative leaders working to solve real problems on behalf of all constituents. We don't need two more years of one sided obstructionism and finger pointing.


Fred Van Magness said...

Thank you for the update on this "sorry" organization, whether it is the Delegation or the Commissioners. However, there is more "meat on the bone" from the article that you did not capture and points to misguided governance by our own elected Representative who apparently have not gotten the message on cutting costs. The following is a quotation from the same Conway Daily Sun article:

"In other action, Rep. Carole Crawford (R-Moultonboro) suggested increasing the pay of the county attorney to "entice" people to run. The present salary for the position is $72,932. "If Coos County can go $76,000, why can't we?" asked Crawford.

But McConkey said serving as an elected official is a "calling" and that County Attorney Tom Dewhurst (R-Bartlett) has not asked for a raise.

Crawford's proposal and another to bring the salary to $74,932 both failed.

Register of Deeds Lisa Scott (R-Sandwich) then asked that her pay be increased from $50,000 to $58,000. A motion to bump her pay to $53,000 failed, and it was kept at $50,000".

It is incredible that the Registrar of Deeds actually asked for an increase of 16% at a time when there is a serious budget problem and her department has not been right-sized or seen major productivity improvements. And the suggestion that increasing the pay of the County Attorney has something to do with attracting candidates for Commissioner is confusing at best. Ms Crawford apparently has not gotten the message that folks are unhappy with out of control spending at the county when she proposes increases like this. So we have Rep. Cordelli chasing eliminating the farm and Ms. Crawford wanting to increase attorney salaries to attract candidates for office. I am dumbfounded and certainly do not understand the connection. Wonder how our delegation folks voted on the increase in pay for the Registrar of Deeds? Instead, why can't our representatives tackle BIG cost items that have adverse impacts to Moultonborough taxpayers and demand action, like eliminating the duplicative charges to Moultonborough for the County Sheriff and Dispatch which we have no need for. Or why aren't they tackling the need for timely audits and forensic audits? Or why aren't they quantifying the apparent surplus from last fiscal year and offsetting the current year budget increases with some of this money? I wonder how much we pay the delegation folks for their time and maybe we should start to cut there...??? Bottom line...IMHO, our delegation representatives DO NOT GET IT !!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

They are all up for re-election this November.

State Rep Glenn Cordelli said...

Let me address a few points.
1. Most of the State Reps (the County "Delegation") are trying to control costs. We cut the Commissioners requested $3 million increase in spending (over last fall's supplemental budget increase) by $1 million.
2. It was my proposal last fall to include funds for the forensic audit in the supplemental budget by including the cuts that had been voted by the Commissioners. They had neglected to include those cuts in the proposed supplemental budget. It has been eight months now. The auditors doing the 2015 financial audit supposedly will look at some of the items we requested in the forensic audit but we do not know the scope of that work. One item the Commissioners are resisting to even discuss is the inclusion of non-employees and former elected officials in the retirement and dental plans. These payments were identified by their own HR staff a year ago and nothing has been done to investigate.
3. I introduced legislation last year to require an annual County financial audit. It was defeated. You might also recall that it was my questioning in my first year that discovered the financial audits had not been done.
4. Salaries- we voted to bring the Commissioners salaries in line with similar sized counties. Why should they be paid a salary similar to Strafford County with a population almost triple that of Carroll County? The Commissioners made no recommendation to the Delegation about any salary increases for other officials. The only request from an elected official was from the Registrar (most of us never actually saw the request) whose salary was increased in the last review. The Sheriff was at the meeting and stated he was not asking for an increase.
5. We encourage the Commissioners to look at the suggestions some of us have made concerning farmers in the county who are interested in leasing of forming coops to use the farm property. I do not believe the farm is a core county government responsibility especially when it is a net cost to the taxpayers. My focus is the ongoing discussions we have been having about expanded opportunities at the county complex to provide real educational and agricultural opportunities to benefit of the citizens of Carroll County. We had at great meeting and discussion this week at the Remick Farm & Museum. I intend to have our next Learning Center committee meeting in Moultonborough.
6. I also also working with the proposed culinary academy to try to get their operating license. I met with the Department of Education yesterday. The academy will lease space at the old nursing home. There are great opportunities and interest from area restaurants for their program and great possible cooperation with the proposed Learning Center.
7. And as I pointed out to the Commissioners this week, why are we the only county in NH not to have the 2016 budget available on the county web site?
Please call me if you would like to discuss any of this further.

From someone that has attended County meetings said...

Keep-up the good work Glenn!

Moultonboro Blogger said...

In reading a story in today's Conway Daily Sun, the county farm sub committee does not include any members of the minority party nor any commissioners. I find that approach to not being very conducive to problem solving and will only continue the animosity and finger pointing. A better way forward is to work together inclusively.

State Rep Glenn Cordelli said...

The paper is incorrect - shocking. Rep Tom Buco is a member of the committee but was unable to attend this meeting. He is a Democrat and is also the Delegation represntative to the Cooperative Extension.

non-resident ... said...

"A better way forward is to work together inclusively."

Just like Moultonborough!

Moultonboro Blogger said...

Yes just like Moultonborough. I am assuming that non residents comment was meant sarcastically. Moultonboro has evolved and despite our best efforts to be as inclusive as possible, the small group of negative S##T stirrers are constantly trying to drag us down.

Anonymous said...

"Moultonborough Blogger" at 8:34 - Amen to that. The vocal minority is destroying the future of our town, while the silent majority stands idly by.

Not a minority said...

Are we saying towns meetings are not held each year? There's a process to be followed, even in democracies. Elected officials determine what happens between them. Some decisions are popular, others are not.

Silent majority said...

The majority of people didn't attend town meeting. The vocal minority are being led by a few people spreading so much bs you could run a good size farm. They are placing the future of my town where I have resided for most of my adult life in great jeopardy.

Long time resident said...

Where does this vocal minority come from? Town meeting doesn't require the whole town to be there. BS may be in the yes of some, that can't get their way. Is one particular town meeting a problem? If a town is in NH, no matter who thinks they own it, the process is clear, if not the politics.