Confusion is inversely proportional to the information being received…until you reach TMI

confusion-i The September 23, 2016, issue of The Messenger page 5  report on our culverts (read here), clearly sheds some light on the axiom professed in the title of this blog post.

It is beyond comprehension that we, the people who make up the legislative body, have to look to the local newspaper to get information that should be made routinely available to us by our Town Administrator and her staff.

The Messenger’s article  exposing the firing of a town employee clearly raises some serious questions as to why this employee was terminated and the conduct of town officials.

Since the Messenger has reported that they are in receipt of documents indicating, “a grievance filed by former highway employee Dale Havunen, who was then fired on July 20th”, the Henniker Select Board should release all documents, including meeting minutes regarding this grievance and the firing of Dale Havunen, which will bring to light all the allegations purported to be in said grievance.

confusion-iii

By failing to inform the legislative body, by refusing to release these documents,  any reasonable individual could conclude that someone is being protected from something….whom might that be and what are they being protected from????

These questions need to be answered.

 

Why the news media should not pick winners and losers of Presidential debates. October 4, 1976…President Ford was the smartest man on the stage!

solidarity-walesa_time The supposed gaffe; “Oct. 6, 1976
At his second debate, President Gerald Ford (R) asserted: “There is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe, and there never will be under a Ford administration.” Asked to clarify, Ford said he doesn’t believe the Poles and others consider themselves “dominated” by the Soviet Union. Jimmy Carter (D) fired back, “I’d like to see Mr. Ford convince Polish-Americans and Czech-Americans and Hungarian-Americans that those countries don’t live under the supervision and control of the Soviet Union.”

Apparently Jimmy Carter and most of those who voted for him didn’t understand nor realize how right President Ford was. In June 1976, four months before the debate, Polish workers staged their first open rebellion against the Soviet Union. Workers struck factories in Warsaw’s three districts, Plok, Random and Ursus. When the riots in June were put down the polish workers formed the Komitet Obrony Robotników (KOR)or The Workers Defense Committee. in September 1976….40 years ago.

By the end of the ’80’s…with the help of  the first Polish Pope (John-Paul II 1978) Poland was indeed officially free of Soviet dominance.

These acts of defiance and heroism, for more than a decade, showed the resolve of the Polish people that they  did not think of themselves as being DOMINATED BY THE SOVIET UNION. Due to Russian suppression of the press, Jimmy Carter, many Americans and most of the free world, knew little or nothing about these movements on the night of October 4, 1976. We would come to know about these protests in small bits and pieces. We came to know it as, Solidarność : Solidarity.

President Ford knew…and what is now considered to be a gaffe in American Politics may have been nothing more than an accidental revealing of American intelligence information.

President Ford was the smartest guy on stage that night…the only gaffe was electing Jimmy Carter. His four years has proven that.

Let us not make that same gaffe again with hillary!

“My kind of town Chicago”….it really ISN’T. The “Progressive Paradise”..where nobody wants to live!

chicago-decay I just returned from the City of my birth…Chicago (aka: Chiraq). Landed on Wednesday and go the hell out alive on Sunday. 5 days.I was there attending a two day class at the American dental Association building. My wife was there to have fun with friends and family while I worked.

During one 24 hour period, 20 people were shot and 6 were dead! On Saturday evening…a beautiful fall night….at 7:30 pm right on Chiraq’s biggest and most elegant boulevard, Michigan Avenue…in front of the world renowned Art Institute, a man was shot in the head. My wife stood at that very same location not more that 6 hours earlier.

Despite all the glittering Las Vegas style lighting and hoopla (landing I could actually read who was batting and pitching in the Cub v. Cincinnati game from my plane seat) Chicago is a proverbial shit hole.

The Democrat’s has controlled the Mayor’s office since 1931. I am sure that is some kind of dubious record. The  Democrat’s control 49 out of 50 seats on the city council. Corruption is everywhere. Barely a month can go by without a major scandal and the FBI Chicago office staffs the largest public corruption task force in the United States.

According to census records, from 2000-2010, Chicago’s population fell 6.9% to 2,695,598 people, fewer than the 2.7 million reported back in 1920.

The Wall Street Journal Reports-

A larger-than-expected exodus over the past 10 years reduced the population of Chicago to a level not seen in nearly a century. The U.S. Census Bureau reported Tuesday that during the decade ended in 2010, Chicago’s population fell 6.9% to 2,695,598 people, fewer than the 2.7 million reported back in 1920.

Even blacks have had enough.

The exodus took a big chunk out of the city’s black population in particular, shrinking it to 887,608 from 1,065,009, according to William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution think tank in Washington

On Saturday, I took a stroll in Lincoln Park Zoo. The beautiful promenades of outdoor cages intermingled with small indoor enclosures and wonderful views of the lake, have given way to inside claustrophobic trails, overgrown landscape that has but all choked out the beautiful views of lake Michigan.

So I headed over to the most serene place in the Zoo the Seals pond. What numb nut decided to put up a portable main stage type tent right in front of the Seals…and blast bullshit music all day long?

No wonder they have just two seals in the exhibit and no one bothers to stick around long enough in this noise to even view them. The noise was deafening. I remember when you had to stand 20 deep in a line and the entire bench gallery was packed with people. On this lusciously cool and sunny Saturday…not a sole sat next to me on the grotto’s benches!

The wonderfully restored Cafe Brauer, the finest example of  Frank Lloyd Wright’s  Prairie Style Architecture (that was not designed by Wright), has become obscured by a mixture of two bit troubadours and carnival hawkers singing and selling every piece of crap imaginable.

Wake up Chicag0…you are not a successful as you think you are! Wake up Chicago…you need a new political system!

 

Drums keep pounding A rhythm to the brain…. La de da de de, la de da de da

cartoon-government-control And the beat goes on! We should all unplug the matrix cable from the back of our heads and reclaim some of our critical thinking skills.

The procurement of a vaccine for a child is the responsibility of the parents and certainly not that of the school system nor the taxpayers who pay that school system’s budget.

Unless of course you want the government to come in and set up indoctrination camps and control your children from cradle to grave….

GWEN IFILL: Wrap-around services, what do you mean?

ARNE DUNCAN: What I said earlier.So, we need to lengthen the school day.We need to lengthen the school year.Our calendar is based upon the agrarian economy.

Children in India and China are going to school 25, 30, 35 more days a year.They’re just working harder than us.So, we need more time, particularly for disadvantaged children, who aren’t getting those supports at home.

If children are hungry, they need to be fed. It’s hard to learn if your stomach is growling. We need to take that on. If students can’t see the blackboard, need eyeglasses, we need to do that.If students need a social worker or counselor to work through the challenges they’re facing at home in the community, we need to do that.

And so I — my vision is that schools need to be community centers. Schools need to be open 12, 13, 14 hours a day six, seven days a week, 12 months out of the year, with a whole host of activities, particularly in disadvantaged communities.” (read here)

 

“Substantial Justice & Spirit of the Ordinance”… The ZBA puzzle….

zonning-puzzle-size-ii  The NH court system has established, through intense litigation, Five criteria that need to be fully satisfied  to be granted  a variance by your local Zoning Board. Those five criteria are:

  1. Hardship
  2. Public Interest
  3. Spirit of the Ordinance
  4. Substantial Justice
  5. No Diminution of Value

Clearly,  these five criteria must be considered by the town’s  Legislative Body when all new Zoning Ordinances and subsequent amendments are being drafted, debated and enacted into local law.

I would like to focus in on criteria #’s 3 & 4.  One of the best reviews of the five criteria was written Henniker resident Cordell Johnston (Attorney and Lobbyist for the Municipal Association) entitled The Five criteria in the 21st Century. (read here)

Let’s consider Criteria #4: Substantial Justice. One of the hardest concepts to understand by beginning board members is Substantial justice. In short I will refer to Mr. Johnston’s clear and concise definition;

         “The limited case law that exists on this factor indicates that granting a variance
will be deemed to achieve substantial justice if, in the absence of the variance, there would
be a loss to the property owner that is not outweighed by a gain to the general public;23 stated differently, substantial justice is done if granting the variance would not cause a harm to the general public that outweighs the benefit to the property owner.”

Certainly one can see that by drafting and approving a zoning ordinance, we the voters most certainly could not approve laws that harm property owners and cause harm to the general public. Yet the current ZBA obviously feel that the two amendments approved by the Legislative Body in March, have no benefit to the general public and therefore are being VETOED by their recent decisions. No substantial Justice can be done by hurting a farmer, Mr. Forster, and by denying the town and the state, the increased tax monies generated by a successful business. No, I think that it is pretty clear that the legislative Body wants the additional tax money from a successful farm.

Regarding Criteria #3, it is clear that the March 2016 amendments, voted on by the Legislative Body , “will not be contrary to the public interest”. In fact both the private property owner and the general public are being harmed by the ZBA’s refusal to acknowledge the wishes of the legislative Body.

In doing so we expect the ZBA to honor the Spirit of the ordinance as constructed and amended!

So you think that common core math prepares your children for college?

contract-devil-iiThe common core math standards was designed by a man named Jason Zimba.

Here is how Mr. Zimba answers Dr. Sandra Stotsky’s questions about common core math standards…math standards are not designed to prepare students for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) studies, but also that they are not designed to get a student into any selective college, even in a non-STEM discipline.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJZY4mh2rt8

 

 

 

Laws matter…and a good example why consent agendas are bad.

shadow-government May kudos to Select Board member Tia Hooper and then Select Board member Leo Aucoin for notifying the public on January 5, 2016 of a clear violation of RSA 91-A:2. The RSA is quite clear, (I) “For the purpose of this chapter, a “meeting” means the convening of a quorum of the membership of a public body, as defined in RSA 91-A:1-a, VI, or the majority of the members of such public body if the rules of that body define “quorum” as more than a majority of its members, whether in person, by means of telephone or electronic communication, or in any other manner such that all participating members are able to communicate with each other contemporaneously, subject to the provisions set forth in RSA 91-A:2, III, for the purpose of discussing or acting upon a matter or matters over which the public body has supervision, control, jurisdiction, or advisory power.” (read RSA here)

In short a “Public Bodies may deliberate on matters of official business only in meetings held pursuant to and in compliance with this RSA, which means properly noticed PUBLIC MEETINGS.

January 5, 2016: Agenda Item 11, (page 5, read here) Town Administrator’s report: It appears that Town Administrator Christine Trovato sent one text message to the ENTIRE Select Board regarding a matter of business under the jurisdiction of the Select Board. By sending this test message to the entire Select Board, Ms. Trovato sought to engage the entire board in a deliberation of a matter that would be put on the Consent Agenda for the January 5th meeting.

When Mr. Huftalen questioned the Town Administrator about this text message, Ms. Trovato confirmed that she did send text message communication to the board members. More importantly, the minutes reflect that Ms. Trovato chose to characterize the communication as, “individual messages” plural. (read here page 6)

Screen shots of the text message sent from Ms. Trovato’s phone clearly indicate that the text was sent as a group message to all board members at once so the communique could be contemporaneous, which is strictly controlled by the RSA.  The to header reads, Bob, Leo, Scott, Tia, Kris.  (read here pages 7-8-9)

To make matters worse, Chairman Blombeck and Select Board member Scott Osgood actually replied by text message, advising Ms. Trovato that they would indeed support the matter that was being placed on the Consent Agenda. (read pages 7-9 here).

Consent Agenda items are items that are routinely voted on by the board without deliberation. A Consent Agenda item can be deliberated at the request of any Select Board member.

It should frighten all of us that the entire Select Board is being sent text messages and quite possibly emails, with no record of what these communications contain and not being archived for public inspection.

I think that it is time for the voters of Henniker to take action.

 

 

Where or where might those little facts be?

public_records_cartoon I have asked on four separate occasions for a copy of the Budget Advisory Committee’s 2016 recommendations; “Dave Woolpert, Chairman of the Budget Committee, stated they reviewed all requests presented to the select board and he reports that most of the concerns they submitted to them were taken into consideration. Mr. Trivellini asked if that report is available and if so he would like a copy. Town Administrator Trovato stated it is available from the front office. (read here page 4). I asked again at town meeting and by email twice.

Why is it so hard to get a response and a copy of an official public document?

I have heard testimony at Select Board meetings about some of the major project’s that are not being even considered because of the cost and potential to raise tax rates above current levels. I urge you all to read minutes and look closely at what is being said. The lack of written reports each month at Select Board meetings is significant.

No one seems to want to divulge the accurate amount of money in these law suits;

  • Bob Garrison v. Town of Henniker (Green Mountain Explosives) where the ZBA attempted to add commercial activity to the Rural Residential Zoning when it is explicitly prohibited.
  • Joe Morette v. Town of Henniker, where the ZBA tried to block development of a work force housing by disagreeing with a traffic expert’s opinion and design while the town had no such professional report that refuted Mr. Morette’s expert claims
  • Lorin Mulligan v. Cosgwell Springs, where the water department disregarded easement deeds that were plainly written from the ate 1890’s by the Norton Brothers to the Gove borthers for a tank and water pipe.
  • Forster v. Town of Henniker, continuing because a complaint over a zoning violation was never heard before the Select Board and now the ZBA wants to totally disregard two ordinance changes.

Why are we wasting our money here while important public service projects are going unfunded?

Why don’t those department heads speak out about the lack of funds being sent to them? Why are just “making do”…”squeaking by”?