Taxpayers group calls for end to Exit 4A spending

To the editor:

The Alliance of Derry Taxpayers calls upon Derry’s Town Council to immediately stop any further funding of the proposed Exit 4A.

This is a project that makes no economic sense and should have been abandoned years ago. It’s like a vampire sucking taxpayer money. It’s time to put a stake in 4A.

The economic analysis of Exit 4A, performed by the ADT, indicated that, to be a prudent investment for Derry taxpayers, the exit should be expected to generate at least $240 million dollars in additional commercial development for Derry. That’s equivalent to bringing 24 Super Wal-Marts into town, making the economics an impossibility.

On Wednesday night, it was revealed that the new cost for Exit 4A was estimated at between $25 and $30 million dollars. The ADT claims that those numbers do not include interest on the bonds and that Derry taxpayers would have to shoulder almost $40 million in new debt. The Alliance of Derry Taxpayers called upon any supporters of Exit 4A expenditures to bring forth credible growth projections for public debate.

In addition to condemning the exit’s funding on financial grounds, ADT expressed concern over the exit’s impact on the downtown area. Exit 4A will remove traffic from the downtown area and reverse its revitalization. After Exit 4A is built, there will be a call for a commission to study why all the businesses have left Derry’s downtown, predicts ADT.

Exit 4A will put Derry into a deep financial hole from which it will take decades to recover. Once again, the powers that be are considering a project that won't meet its goals and that is detrimental to the taxpayers.

Doug Newell


More like the Big Dig every day

To the editor:

Last week's public meeting on the exit 4A project has offered some interesting perspectives as to how things are going with this project. The most asked and ignored questions were, "How much is this going to cost" and "Who is going to pay for this?" These questions were virtually ignored by project engineers, consultants, the members of the executive council, Londonderry town manager, Derry’s town administrator and the people who support this project.

I asked the Londonderry town manager and Derry town administrator who was going pay for the project. Their response was that each town has committed $5 million. When asked if we were going pay 50/50, I got the same response. Further questioning about the cost and who is going pay for it went unanswered. At the very least, those two questions should have been answered. We should know who is going to pay the $24.5-$75 million for this project.

With the exception of Kevin Coyle, the taxpayers of Derry had no support from our elected officials. Even more disappointing was that none of Derry’s state representatives spoke. This is a critical and expensive project and we need our state representatives to step up to the plate. Sen. Letourneau stated the importance of safety for this project. If this is such an important safety issue, I call on Sen. Letourneau to help secure funding for this project.

I listened to all the different figures thrown around about the cost of the project. The lowest figure was $24.5 million, which of course was submitted by the consultants. We can immediately dismiss that figure. The highest cost I heard was by the guy who said, "It's a government project, just multiply it by three and you have the total cost." That cost was $75 million and may be on the high side, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that is the final cost. When you factor in the principle, interest payments for bonds, inflation, delays and cost overruns, I think he might be right.

This new exit is never going to get rid of the traffic because it will draw many more cars through our town. This will be from new businesses, new residents and new traffic heading toward Chester. A road project of this magnitude is not going to put an end to traffic, it will only delay a worse problem. The quality of life of those who are directly affected by the projects will deteriorate and there will be much more pressure on our infrastructure.

I am opposed to this project because of the growth problems and cost to Derry. This project will never, ever result in lower taxes.

The person that said it’s going to be Derry’s "Big Dig" is absolutely right.

Thomas Cardon


Who's insulting veterans?

To the editor:

Rep. Alfred Baldasaro seems to believe that veterans are insulted by people who want them to have better health care. When I arrived at Sen. John McCain's event Friday at Londonderry's American Legion Post, I was stopped by police officers who'd been asked to intercept an antiwar protester easily identified by her apron and basket of cookies. Talk about profiling | my wicker basket of goodies, frosted with a pie chart of America's discretionary budget, gave me away before I could give them away!

Soon, Rep. Baldasaro belligerently ordered me off of the premises because my presence was "an insult to veterans." Hmmm. I was representing PrioritiesNH, which advocates for an additional $3 billion a year in spending to improve veterans' health care, an additional $5 billion for homeland security, and other programs that serve veterans and their families. The funding would come from eliminating some of the military pork projects that Sen. McCain often and rightly criticizes. The previous night, we were thanked by veterans in Concord for pushing Sen. McCain on this issue.

So, who's an insult to veterans? Cookie Mom and PrioritiesNH for advocating for better services for them? Or Rep. Baldasaro for keeping that from happening?

Christine "Cookie Mom" Frydenborg


Chirichiello is a one item councilor

To the editor:

Golly sakes, I was shocked, shocked, to learn that Councilor Brian Chirichiello was laying off all his problems and most of his doggone angst, at least according to the plume of steam emanating from the convoluted meanderings found on his white hot political blog, about the ongoing horrors he’s being forced to endure on Manning Street to just three people: Ann Evans of Derry Feed, Albert Dimmock of local fame, and me.

While this single concern is uppermost in the good councilor’s mind and seems to occupy his every waking hour, houses are being abandoned in Derry at an increasing rate, local foreclosures are growing in number, our outrageous tax rate is severely impacting those on fixed incomes and those with children, our school system costs are escalating despite a decreasing number of pupils, the public/private roads controversy remains unresolved, the number of town employees and vehicles are experiencing an explosive growth, among the many items which are adversely impacting our citizenry. And all of these subjects should equally trouble the good councilor in addition to his mounting fears about the possible completion of Manning Street and its dreaded consequences. But Councilor Chirichiello is a one item councilor.

Councilor Chirichiello always links the vast sum of $80,000, the cost of the Manning Street completion, to monies so vast to be nigh uncountable and a waste of money so serious as to amount to near negligence on behalf of the town council.

I say poppycock to that rather tired argument. The Town of Derry lost a good, old-fashioned million dollars on the fabled Ash Street development without blinking an eye, after calling it a “profit,” all with the hopes that someday, maybe, it’ll all get paid back in “future” taxes, assuming 100 percent occupancy forever and the river don’t rise. That’s one million dollars with a one and six zeros after the minus sign. How much has been spent on the good old Wal-Mart studies and now Wal-Mart may move to Londonderry? And now we may buy some farmland for the Conservation Commission which folks can’t even walk on when it’s being planted, and what can we do with furrowed land in the off season, and one of its key selling points is a seasonal maze constructed in the corn?

Come on, Brian, with these items in mind, spend $80,000 to help folks driving in the perpetual downtown maze.

John Burtis


Having the name doesn't get it done

To the editor:

Sometimes getting elected to any office has (unfortunately) little to do with real qualifications or talent. So many times in the history of the United States we have elected those who had birth rights and the same last name as a popular predecessor. We go way back 200 years to the John Adams and John Quincy Adams. In the 20th century, we have the Roosevelts and of course now the Bush family.

Here in New England, who has to be reminded of the power of the last name Kennedy? Having that birthright can be a blessing or a curse. Take for example our current president. He had name recognition and ascended to the presidency because his name happened to be Bush and his father’s influence and success, but once he got there, he discovered that he was way over his head. Vice President Dick Cheney is the most powerful vice president we have ever had, and that is because there is a puppet sitting at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

In New Hampshire, we have had the Gregg family (Gov. Hugh Gregg and now Sen. Judd Gregg); we had some whose last names were Bridges attempt to get elected with that name recognition and in Massachusetts, we have Nikki Tsongas, even though qualified, she is certainly maximizing and building off of the Tsongas name of respected senator, Paul Tsongas.

All of that brings us back to New Hampshire and the senatorial race where Senator Sununu, totally unqualified, was elected because of his last name. Really, what were his qualifications? His father John Sununu was a very good governor and later chief of staff to the President of the United States. But John, Jr. was absolutely elected because people recognized his name. If he had run with a last name of Jones, he wouldn’t be in Washington today.

What has Sen. Sununu accomplished since New Hampshire sent him to Washington? I can’t think of a single accomplishment aside from being a rubber stamp to the president and the president’s arrogant stand on the Iraqi war. I served in the USMC. I know what it is to be in the military. I know what it means when we send our young men and women into harm's way. Is that what we want from our Senator, to be a rubber stamp, a clone, a puppet? Well, I don’t. I want someone who has their own mind, who has made something of themselves and has a track record to stand on. I prefer someone who has earned the right to be a member of the exclusive 100 club of the United States Senate. I want to be proud to say that X, Y, or Z is our senator. Can anyone stand up and say with pride that John Sununu is our senator? He is an embarrassment to our great state and great tradition of Bridges and Norris Cotton.

I support (former) Gov. Jeanne Shaheen for United States Senator. She has a resume and did it without having ridden in on anyone’s coat tails, but her own.

Joel Saren


One Veteran's Opinion

To the editor:

Treason, traitor or playing to, what's the difference?

Carol Shea Porter, Paul Hodes what a disgrace to the military families throughout the country whose sons and daughters served our great country; protecting and preserving freedom.

How could they question Gen. Petreraus' integrity, professionalism and many years of loyalty to our country? How could they stay quiet to the characterization of America's top commander in Iraq?

They both continue to support the white flag, retreat mentality and in my opinion, supports the enemy. They both replicate Jane Fonda’s treason/traitor ways during the Vietnam war and should be charged with aiding and abetting the enemy.

Just my opinion!

Al Baldasaro

1st Sgt. USMC Retired


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