Council should put private road issue to rest

To the editor:

On May 7, the Town Council will hold a public hearing on the long debated private road issue. We now have new faces on the council, and this is a perfect opportunity for the council to show that the hard working taxpayers of this community are important to them.

Town officials would have you believe that it will cost over a million dollars for the council to accept these roadways. The fact is these roadways were always part of the town’s budget before the council adopted a policy drafted by former Public Works Director Alan Swan in 2001.

Don’t be misled, these roadways do not have to be rebuilt to be accepted. The town’s only responsibility is if they are notified that an insufficiency exists on the roadway, they are to investigate and repair it if the insufficiency is a danger to safety and health. Roads already in existence do not have to meet current road standards to be considered public.

Residents have not asked for their roadways to be rebuilt. They have only asked for what all other taxpayers in Derry receive | roadways that are passable to and from their homes.

It is my sincere hope that this new council can bring this issue to rest. Town officials had many legal options to continue to maintain these roads in 2001. Instead, they chose a path of alienation and division.

I hope this council will heed the advice of one of Derry’s most famous residents, Robert Frost and "Take the Road Less Traveled" to bring this issue to an end.

Paul Kimball


The greatest show on Earth

To the editor:

Boy, our Town Council meetings can sure degenerate into monkey business over public safety contracts at the drop of a hat, and man, does John Moody, our $450 dollar a day and obviously high strung interim town administrator, have a hair trigger.

Perhaps the pressing daily exigencies of the position are a bit too much for him to handle safely. His public comportment sure says so.

Moody had another one of his celebrated meltdowns Tuesday night, and bolted the rail over Councilor Kevin Coyle’s simple questioning of his, and the embattled fire chief’s, authority in signing sweeping contracts for emergency services with Chester and Auburn, each of which puts Derry on the hook for a quick $45,000 a year in revenue, where Derry bears the full administrative costs for any appeal, without bringing them to the full council.

This $123 a day river of cash provides a limitless line of advanced life support ambulances and 24/7 dispatching services to each of the two towns in question, regardless of the number of calls received and without a single definitive allocation of total dispatching time and compensation or any other attributable cost for this service like vehicle depreciation, insurance, fuel, and labor costs, because there is no schedule of values attached to either of these contracts.

Thanks to another RSA 91A request made of John Moody, I received these two documents, and in keeping with a town policy which seems to apply only to residents, I had to pony up $9.25 for the privilege of obtaining these two abbreviated nuggets of information.

Rick Metts raised the bigger question as he hoisted three ponderous sheaves of paper in the air | the very items for which we pay attorney Ed Boutin a veritable fortune to decipher | the Derry Town Charter, our Administrative Code, and the Rules of the Council.

Sadly, nobody | because there is no order of precedence clause determining which element supersedes the other, and whether or not the charter has any governing authority on Moody’s and Klauber’s contractual powers | has any idea what they control, in what order, and when.

Metts, who gets it, could leave an indelible mark on the town’s fortunes by better defining these nebulous documents and reshaping them to clearly indicate who can do what, when, where, and why.

Determined not to be left out of the growing fracas, Chairman Craig Bulkley jumped all over Coyle with his concerns about Coyle’s activities, and whether or not he votes as an attorney or as a person, in a jackrabbit quick series of testy philosophical questions | a real laugh riot except that we, the taxpayers, are footing the bill for this burlesque.

Yep, Derry Council Live is the best reality TV show on the dial.

John Burtis


Understanding the charter

To the editor:

After reading comments in the paper made by Derry Councilor Janet Fairbanks several weeks ago regarding John Moody not knowing who he worked for, and now seeing comments made by Councilor Coyle regarding his conversations with and requests of the fire chief, it is evident to me that they aren't as aware of the provisions of the Town Charter of Derry as they should be.

It is either that, or they prefer to disregard those articles they may find inconvenient. The former would be surprising, given their involvement with the recent Charter Commission. Maybe their participation there was too focused on their specific agenda.

I am referring specifically to Section 8.7 of the charter. It is a short but clear paragraph; the last sentence of which is "Any member of the Town Council violating the provisions of this section, as determined through procedures established in this Charter, shall forfeit the office." Go online and give it a read.

Jim Morton


Response to Carol Shea-Porter

To the editor:

Carol Shea Porter, what Congress do you speak for? Is it for all in the House, or just the Democrats and handful of wannabe Republicans who vote with Democrats all the time? You surely are not speaking for many families of veterans that are serving our great country.

I believe that our newly elected Congresswoman fails to tell the whole truth on what was in the military funding bill that she voted for. I am proud that our president is standing up for our troops and Americans by vetoing the funding bill, which is a surrender bill.

Please do not spin the truth on your vote. Tell the American people that you want to run the war from Congress with the Monday morning quarterbacks (retired generals).

Why did you not mention the provisions in the Troop Funding Bill which tied the Presidents hands; where, for example, if an embassy is attacked or hostages are held, the president will be forced to get authority from the Senate and House Appropriations Committee 15 days prior to sending in troops to save our Americans. Now are his hands tied?

Why did you not mention that many Democrats voted at the veterans' expense to fund millions of dollars to special interest groups (farmers) in spinach, rice, peanut storage, and shrimp in the Gulf, citrus growers and livestock farmers?

Hello, do you think New Hampshire residents do not follow what is going on in Washington D.C? Do you realize we have over 150,000 veterans here in New Hampshire, not counting the many parents like myself who have kids in the military and are disgusted watching you raise the white flag with your surrender timetable.

Your public display of surrender, your timetable put on our troops and your cut and run mentality, which can’t stomach what is going on, feeds the enemy to kill more of our Americans, which in turn sends a sign of weakness around the world.

Your vote to tie the president's hands in supporting the troops is a disgrace to all Americans. I agree with the polls that show that we don’t like the war, but they also show that Americans want to finish what we started and not surrender. Don’t cut that funding.

You claim the bill provides substantial increases in funding to protect and care for our soldiers. Are you trying to convince us that you are the great savior of our veterans by adding in monies to support our injured? The president asked for the money to cover our warriors who were injured, the president asked for monies to purchase the new and improved Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Equipment that was recently tested and brought forward for our military.

Why are you and many Democrats trying to take credit for what the president asked to fund, and if you knew what you were talking about, you would not be calling Marines, Navy, Coast Guard and Air Force, soldiers.

I know that you are happy singing "Kumbaya" around the camp ire and serving donuts and hot cider to the peace activists who woke up from the Vietnam war. That is your right to protest, as veterans gave their life so people like you can exercise your freedom of speech.

As my Congresswoman, you must set the example and not fall back into your Vietnam days with your white flag mentality.

If you were so concerned about the troops and want to make a stand on the war, why didn’t you stop all the pork spending attached to the funding bill and just stand your ground against the war. I might have a little more respect for you on your vote.

Please stop using our troops as your pawns to pass millions of dollars in subsides. Please stop the quarterbacking with the generals who think they have a better idea than the generals on the battlefield.

As a military family, I would appreciate if you do not speak for me. For the many veteran families that she claims she speaks for, stand up and tell her she is wrong.

Our Congresswoman had an opportunity to speak to all residents at her scheduled press conference from the Statehouse a few weeks ago, but got scared because of the veterans' families that went to Congressman Hodes' office demanding he stop his cut and run mentality.

Oh, I forgot | on the scheduled day of our Congresswoman’s press conference, she canceled it because there was a scheduling problem, so she did not show. I believe she was scared to face the veterans that were waiting for her. Hmm, did she cut and run?

Al Baldasaro

State representative


Protecting New Hampshire's libraries

To the editor:

This month, a New Hampshire organization that supports New Hampshire's libraries will celebrate 50 years of safeguarding the liberties and access to information of citizens of the Granite State. Because they have been so effective in doing what they do, you probably have never heard of them.

The oldest organization of its kind in the nation, the New Hampshire Library Trustees Association (NHLTA), protects the autonomy of New Hampshire's libraries and is a resource for trustees across the state. It is a nonprofit organization that provides regional meetings, conferences, networking opportunities, newsletters, workshops and annual trustee orientation sessions for New Hampshire library trustees.

When New Hampshire's library trustees were having a hard time accessing the money that was appropriated to the library, NHLTA came in with a lobbying storm. The organization went to the statehouse week after week to lobby for the rights of New Hampshire's libraries and library trustees.

In 2000, Senate Bill 89 passed, granting library trustees autonomy from local governments and the ability to ask the municipal authorities to pay them the money that had been raised and appropriated for the library by the town.

These continuing efforts are a testament to NHLTA's dedication to serving library trustees throughout the state. In addition, the organization is recognized nationally for its 85 percent membership level, trustee education, and its service on a national level.

NHLTA recognizes the challenges facing libraries in the state and across the nation and works each day to mitigate them. These challenges include funding, keeping up with technology while retaining the library mystique as a sanctuary, and protecting the U.S. Constitution's first amendment rights.

To celebrate its 50 years of success, NHLTA will hold a Gala Dinner on Friday, May 11. This event will take place at the Grappone Conference Center in Concord, and the theme will be "Focusing on Libraries in the Future."

During the summer, the organization will also be holding presentations by a historian portraying Andrew Carnegie at several libraries across the state that were funded by grants from Andrew Carnegie.

Lillian Edelmann


New Hampshire Library Trustees Association

Unbelievable actions by Democrats

To the editor:

It is hard to believe the arrogance of the leaders and many members of the Democratic Party that are in our Congress. Do they really believe that they know more about how to conduct the war in Iraq then the administration that is charged with the conduct of the war, or are there other motivations that account for their actions?

Let’s see what some of these other motivations might be.

First, as they have demonstrated time and again, most Democrats hate President Bush with a vengeance and are willing to compromise their patriotism just to get back at him.

Second, now that they have a majority in the Congress, they are willing to do anything to ensure that they gain the power of the presidency in 2008. Again, they are willing to aid the enemy, demoralize our troops and put any stumbling blocks they can to hurt the conduct of the war.

The Democratic Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, recently went to the Middle East and met with the head of Syria, Bashar al Assad. This is one of the countries that is known to sponsor terrorism, train terrorist fighters and homicide bombers. The administration asked her not to go.

At the same time Pelosi would not meet with our general in charge of the conduct of the Iraq war, and particularly "the surge" in Iraq. General Petraeus is recognized as a devoted, extremely capable leader of our troops in Iraq, and yet she refused to meet with him. 

How does one draw the line when it comes to determining a person’s patriotism? How much aid to the enemy by reckless pronouncements and actions would constitute calling someone a traitor? We each can set our own line, but to me, I feel that she crossed it some time ago.

To Pelosi, it is probably fair to add our New Hampshire Congress representatives Shea-Porter and Hodes. I find it hard not to extend the blame to these for any increase in attacks or deaths of our military. They, along with Pelosi, encourage our enemies. Where would you draw the line on their patriotism?

Mary Smyk


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