WHO’S STEALING YOUR VOTE?

VOTE STEALING  In Hillsboro it is the School Superintendent! Page one of this week’s Messenger has a story entitled: Back from the Dead. I urge everyone to read it here.

Apparently, the voters of Hillsboro-Deering School District voted down,  314 yes to 436 no, a bond of $700 K last year. Now the Messenger reports that, “School Superintendent Robert Hassett proposed simply putting the $72,807 lease payments in the operating budget, thus avoiding voter approval altogether. As he told the Board, “Whether a bond or a lease, if you put this to a vote, you will loose.”

The audacity of the School Superintendent! SCREW YOU VOTERS…JUST COERCE THE SCHOOL BOARD TO PLACE IT IN THE BUDGET AND APPROVE IT!

The fact that the school board members are in favor of such a tactic is outrageous!

Be prepared Henniker voters. We will be place under a similar  ultimatum with the new teachers contract next March. There are no signs, as of yet, that the current board will get tough in negotiating a reduction of some of the benefits in the new teacher’s contract. So unless we voters get organized, no alternative to the negotiated contract will be available.

Time to meet is now…

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Members of the Henniker Legislative Body time to show your Yankee heritage…Stand Up And Be Counted!

'We will not kick the can down the road... Does anyone know how to use a can opener?' The Steve Forster mess began in May of 2012.When the first complaint came in, proper procedure was never used to investigate the complaint. There was no hearing before the Select Board, who by ordinance are the arbitrators of such disputes:

ARTICLE XIII Administration (pg 32 Zoning Regulations: read here)
133-51 Enforcement by Board of Selectmen It shall be the duty of the Board of Selectmen, and the Board is hereby authorized, to enforce the provisions of this chapter.
133-54 Injunction or other legal action to enforce chapter. Upon any well-founded information that this chapter is being violated, it is the duty of the Board of Selectmen to take immediate steps to enforce the provisions of this chapter by seeking an injunction in Superior Court, or by any other legal action as set forth in RSA 676:17, 676:17-a and 676:17b

 

For over four years now Mr. Forster has never been extended the courtesy to be summoned before the select Board to see  the facts obtained by a town investigation into the complaint nor address the facts that the neighbor complainer thinks they have. Yet our local government has unleashed all of its powers to prevent this commercial farmer from advertising his farm to the general public. All kept very neatly out of the public eye, just like the town’s unlawful confiscation of Lorin Mulligan’s property. A law suit this town has lost and has lost badly.

We have lost so much in keeping a this farm from thriving. NH has a farm sustainability crisis and agritourism was enacted to help stop the decline in working farms here in NH. farm-viability-report-1

It should be inconceivable and frightening to everyone that such a fundamental tool  for a commercial enterprise, attracting the general paying public to a business, could ever be denied by a governmental body.

The Select Board in 2012 did indeed kicked the can down the road. And when the outcome was not what we the people wanted,the legislative body of the people, used their can opener and approved not one, but two warrant articles that clearly set forth that these types of events are not only acceptable, reasonable, ancillary and accessory but indeed a necessary element of the future success of our local farms.

IT IS QUITE CLEAR, THE LEGISLATIVE BODY KNOWS HOW TO USE THEIR CAN OPENER! IT IS CLEAR THAT THE PROBLEM WAS SOLVED BY THE ACTIONS OF THE LEGISLATIVE BODY!

It is also clear that one branch of our local  Government did not receive nor understand the message.

So now it is time for that legislative body to use our can opener once again and speak its mind at the ballot box and solve this problem.

Access to public records

see-clip-art In April, the New Hampshire Supreme Court reversed a lower court decision in the case Green v. School Administrative Unit #55. (read here)

The court stated the following;

     “Because the “purpose of the Right-to-Know Law is to ensure both the greatest possible public   access to the actions, discussions and records of all public bodies, and their accountability to the people,” we “resolve questions regarding the Right-to-Know Law with a view to providing the utmost information in order to best effectuate these statutory and constitutional objectives.””
The court continued, [snip] “we agree with the plaintiff that the “[d]issemination of public, non-confidential information in commonly used [electronic] formats ensures the greatest degree of openness and the greatest amount of public access to the decisions made by the public officials.”

Lastly, the court stated the following, “Furthermore, producing electronic documents is often more efficient and cost-effective than producing them in paper form.”

The examination of public records is not only our right, it is our duty. No one should be unfamiliar with the actions of our government and the effects those actions have on our lives.
Most importantly, no one should be chastised for their efforts to gain knowledge about  what our governmental bodies are doing.
Finally, no one employed by the government should ever try to intimidate or spread misinformation about the intentions of any individual who chooses to exam the public record in search of the truth.
I just bought a bigger magnifying glass…..

Teacher’s contract…part deux! Is our legislative body in CONTROL here?

Hocus_Pocus_Powwow On July 21st, I wrote my first blog alerting everyone to make sure we pay attention to the new teachers contract for 2017. I advised you all that it will be presented to the legislative body for approval at the March meeting.

The new contract will be negotiated this fall and NOW is the time for the legislative body to begin organizing and formulating our questions and become active in the negotiating process, instead of waiting for the final outcome and feeling helpless with no other options but to approve a take it or leave it proposal!

I cautioned each and everyone of us to keep a sharp eye trained on SAU 24 and the actions they will take to continue down a path of unsustainable cost increase,  just to protect the abnormally high compensation for healthcare benefits packages that are offered to the employees of SAU 24. These healthcare benefit packages are extreme and are the sole cause of the budget increases since 2009.

In my blog (read here) I sent you a link on how to read the school district’s proposed budget.

After this year’s meeting, I examined in detail  the healthcare insurance premiums offered to district employees.We the  legislative body and our lack of understanding along with our Elected School Board members unwillingness to negotiate vigorously to control of these insurance coverage policies, has added approximately $300,000 to last year’s budget. I have confirmation from a School Board remember and by being ind direct contact with Kathleen Sargent SAU 24’s Business Administrator that the healthcare insurance increase for the new contract that will be negotiated this fall will be 3.3%.

A simple fix in the policy of healthcare insurance benefits is possible and we would see a reduction of almost $300,000 in the school budget (calculated without the 3.3% forth coming increase). This policy change would be consistent with how the private sector uses in the offering of healthcare insurance to employees. If you want to read your current teachers contract and examine how 85% of the insurance premiums are paid for by we tax payers  you can read here: (henniker_teach3 agreement).

The first signal that no policy change is going to be considered and the SAU is digging in to play hardball with the legislative body comes in the hiring  the hiring of, Cindy Sargent (any relation to Kathleen Sargent SAU Business Administrator mention above???) as Human Resource Benefits Specialist, as reported here on page 3 of the current Messenger Issue dated August 5, 2016 (sau 24 benefits hire Messenger_080516_1-21.)

I wonder why  SAU 24 needs to hire a SEIU labor Union employee? What exactly is our elected School Board going to do…capitulate and not effectively negotiate a new benefits package?

Pay close attention to the smoke signals coming from the POWWOW!

GET INVOLVED NOW…NOT LATER!

Dr. Bruce J Trivellini

 

 

All my Chicago friends…wake up and pay attention…Hold onto to your wallets!

tax rocket I am not an actuary and I don’t play one on TV! But the recent 28% utility tax hike in Chicago and the reporting of that tax increase in the Chicago SunTimes has me a bit mathematically bewildered. (read here)

“The plan is to start with a 7 percent tax, double it in year two, impose a 21 percent tax in year three and end at 28 percent in years four and five. The average Chicago household currently pays $686.04 a year for water and sewer services that use 7,500 gallons of water. City Hall maintains that the new tax can be enacted by the City Council in September under the city’s sweeping home-rule power and does not require state legislative approval. It is expected to cost the average homeowner $4.43 more month or $53.16 a year in 2017. In the fourth year, the added tax burden will be $225.96 a year.”

Clearly the SunTimes calculation are from setting the tax increase from the baseline of $686. But this is the calculation for the tax added just for the PENSION FUNDS. What about the normal increases designed to keep up with the depreciating condition of the water and sewer system??? Surely that current average cost will increase from $686…it has to if you want the system to stay solvent.The reported yearly cost average in 2011 was $450/household…a 52% increase in just 5 years.

Everyone knows, or at least they should know, that in the year 2021 if you hold to the rate of increase since 2011, the average yearly cost will be $1042/household. Now add the $225 dollars mentioned above you get $1267.

Now watch this:

  • year 1:             $686 x 7% increase = $734
  • year 2:           $734 x 14% increase = $836
  • year 3:           $836 x 21% increase = $1012
  • year 4&5:   $1012 x 28% increase = $1295

If you all think that in 2021 your average yearly water and sewer bill is only going to be $878/household ($686 plus the 28% proposed increase)…You all are in for a big surprise!