$1.5 billion generated by agriculture in NH, $336 M direct sales of agriculture products… a whopping $1.2 Billion attributed to AGRITOURISM…

FARMERS The economic impact trend numbers are pretty clear, Open Space Recreation on NH Farms grew over 300% from 1996 to 2012.

January 1999, the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests published a study detailing the impact Open Space has on NH’s economy.

Agriculture [see Executive Summary table page 1]: Direct income from farm related products in 1996 were $413 M. Direct and Indirect income attributed to Open Space was $377 M.

By 2012, just 5 short years [2007] after the first Agritourism amendment to RSA 21:34 A (read here),  Direct and Indirect income from Open Space Agritourism events  grew by almost 300%, to $1.2 BILLION! (read here)

During that period farms direct sale of farm products dropped slightly to $366 M.

Clearly OPEN SPACE RECREATIONAL Activities play and important role in NH’s overall economy. There should be no doubt that the revenue streams from Agritourism are vital  to our farmer’s survival.

After all…would you want open space or cluster bunched housing???

Does Henniker want  to bring people into Henniker to spend their money and be a player in a $1.2 Billion industry…or not?

By contrast, a Plymouth State study shows that direct and indirect spending by snow mobile activities in 2012 brought in $298 M and independent studies show OHRV-ATV direct and indirect income around $128 M.

We need to wake up and stop destroying ourselves!


“There are things public officials would never do if they thought somebody might call them out on it.”

OHB…keeping it real… making it easier for you to find the facts so you can draw your own conclusions…..






Spencer Bennett tattle tails to town…Steve Forster just trying to have an “occasional gathering of people who are well known and share a warm regard for one another”…and his awful neighbor stalks and takes photos!

lousy neighbors Do you want to live in a town where government officials tell you who can come and enjoy your property?

That is exactly what Town Administrator Trovato wrote to Mr. Forster in a letter dated September 1, 2015. Letter from town of Henniker

Today, May 27, 2017 Mr. Forster is doing just what the town told him he could do, have an occasional gathering of family and persons who are well known and share a warm regard for one another and Spencer Bennett sends a letter to the BOS, Planning Board, ZBA, Town Administrator and town attorney alerting all of them that he wasn’t invited to the gathering of family and he is not a person whom anyone shares a warm regard for!

Tough luck Spencer…NO PARTY FOR YOU!


This town has some real problems!

OHB…keeping it real… making it easier for you to find the facts so you can draw your own conclusions…..



OHB’s phone rings off hook…Cordell Johnston Lectures NH Library Trustees Association on Right-to Know…tells how Henniker’s Planning Board improperly used non-public sessions…

phone-ringing Hat tip to Henniker resident and lawyer extraordinaire Cordell Johnston who gave a wonderful talk to the NH Library Trustees Association on Tuesday May, 23, 2017. Within minutes of the completion of his talk OHB’s office phone began ringing off the hook.

You see there were about 15 bloggers in the room analyzing everything Mr. Johnston had to say.

Mr. Johnston gave the Trustees sound legal advice on Right-to-Know and how to run proper meetings.

He told the story how 20 years ago as a corporate lawyer,  when he first joined Henniker’s Planning Board, the board would  go into a non public session whenever it wanted to discuss things they didn’t want everyone in town to know about. Clearly an improper use of a non-public session.

OHB contacted Mr. Johnston by phone, he told me how he went to an Office of Energy and Planning (OEP) training session, realized right away that the town was improperly using the non-public sessions and promptly set the town straight.

Thanks Cordell!

However, OHB has clearly shown that the town officials has failed to keep up with the times and continues to violate the law regarding the use of emails, text messages and the use of private cell phones…all things that were of little concern back in 1997.

Cordell, OHB challenges you to give your 1 hours talk to the current Henniker officials and all of us in the public. I PERSONALLY WILL PAY YOU FOR YOUR 1 HOUR OF TIME!

Clearly  this town needs your help!


OHB…keeping it real… making it easier for you to find the facts so you can draw your own conclusions…..



Select Women Hooper blatantly misstates facts about Hillside Drive Variance…BOS oblivious to ZBA granting the variance in violation of RSA 674:33!

TRUTH (Copy) On May 16, 2017 the BOS was asked to review the decision of the Henniker ZBA in Case 2017-001; NOTICE OF DECISION ZBA 4-19-2017

In that decision Lot A-17 was granted a variance for road frontage from 105 feet to just 70.96 feet. A 30 foot reduction form the required 100 feet.

RSA 674:33 requires the following 5 criteria confirmed before granting a variance:

  • (1) The variance will not be contrary to the public interest;
  • (2) The spirit of the ordinance is observed;
  • (3) Substantial justice is done;
  • (4) The values of surrounding properties are not diminished;
  • (5) Literal enforcement of the provisions of the ordinance would result in an unnecessary hardship. (A) For purposes of this subparagraph, “unnecessary hardship” means that, owing to special conditions of the property that distinguish it from other properties in the area: (i) No fair and substantial relationship exists between the general public purposes of the ordinance provision and the specific application of that provision to the property; and (ii) The proposed use is a reasonable one. (B) If the criteria in subparagraph (A) are not established, an unnecessary hardship will be deemed to exist if, and only if, owing to special conditions of the property that distinguish it from other properties in the area, the property cannot be reasonably used in strict conformance with the ordinance, and a variance is therefore necessary to enable a reasonable use of it.

#5 (A) requires that the subject property has a special condition that distinguishes the  property fro all other property in the area. This is the primary condition for Hardship to be established.

Hillside Drive’s applicants failed to establish that the property had any special conditions what so ever.

What was granted was not a variance but a total evisceration of the road frontage minimum requirement ordinance.

Now comes Select Board member Hooper who gives the following explanation of the application and decision:

She states four things that are contrary to the notice of decision linked above and rthe plat of subdivision recorded 39 years ago:

  1. No change in size of the parcels- INCORRECT: notice of decision calls for one property’s frontage to be reduced from 105 feet to 70.96 feet while the adjacent property gains 30 feet and goes from 120 feet to 155 feet of frontage.
  2. The parcels have been evenly divided- INCORRECT: see point #1
  3. To allow appropriate access- INCORRECT: as we have seen in a previous post this is an adverse possession-trespass problem. Access has noting to do with this application Hillside Drive trespass
  4. A lot of engineering has been done in Hillside Drive and sadly some of those property lines weren’t done as clean as they should have been-INCORRECT: property lines were platted and recorded in 1978 over 39 year years ago. Many mortgages have been issued on the subject properties and no legal authority has claimed that the lot lines were incorrect. HILLSIDE DRIVE RECORDED PLAN MAP Lot A-17 and A-18 page 2

The fact that the ZBA violated Henniker Zoning Chapter 133-69 went right by the entire BOS. (page 45 of 88)

There is no excuse for not knowing the facts (RSA and Town Ordinance) about issues brought to the BOS’ attention, especially when you Ms. Hooper choose to speak about it.

Once board members misstate facts…the board has lost all credibility and that is why this BOS is so dysfunctional.

The BOS is our last resort for the inappropriate actions taken by appointed committees.

WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT a BOS that is dysfunctional and cannot assure us that the process is not being corrupted?

It is unconscionable that the BOS refused to even examine and deliberate the facts of the unlawful awarding of a variance on Hillside Drive.


OHB…keeping it real… making it easier for you to find the facts so you can draw your own conclusions…..



‘Henniker Selectmen Ignore Bidding Policy-Award Four Contracts’…What do we do when the puzzle pieces no longer fit?

ZBA PUZZLEThe Messenger’s Headline says it all. (page 9)

Like the proverbial slap on the backside with the wet towel, every tax payer in Henniker should be feeling the sting from the recent actions taken by the Board of Selectmen (BOS) on May 2, 2017.

Over $400,000 of our taxes was let out to contractors in a very unorthodox fashion. OHB understands that the town is at the 11th hour and needed to set these contracts in order to get Western Ave. rebuilt during this construction season.

However, doing business in this fashion does not bode well for the town’s future projects. When the BOS and the town act ineptly, contractors take notice and we get fewer qualified bidders.

In the past, we  have been told that this will not happen again. Yet here we are repeating the same old story.

In addition to the failure of the bidding process, two winning quotes were past their validation date.

First, Michie Corp’s quote was dated January 4, 2017 and transmitted to the town on January 31st. The BOS had no idea at the meeting if those quoted prices were still valid. (note: only page 1 of 3 was placed in the online packet it was unclear if the BOS had all three pages of the quote) (page 38)

While Central NH Concrete’s (Henniker) bid is undated and Phoenix Precast Products (Concord) quote is dated April 24th, both appear to be afterthoughts.  (page 39 & 40).

And secondly,  GWS Fence & Guardrail quote for, $107,018.15, was valid only “thru April 2017”! (page 42)

We tax payers rely on the BOS’ bidding policies to prevent these types of late hour, no choice decisions! Note to BOS…YOU FAILED US!

What happened to the oversight that assures US that all the puzzle pieces are in place and our tax dollars are being spent wisely?

And, what do WE do when we realize all the puzzle pieces no longer fit?

All of us work hard to earn a living….WE tax payers deserve better!

OHB…keeping it real… making it easier for you to find the facts so you can draw your own conclusions…..





Planning Board stifles participation…fear of change has destroyed the committee’s growth and development!

DIVERSITY (Copy)Wednesday April 26, 2017 was a sad day for Henniker. The Planning Board refused to appoint two entirely new individuals to its committee. Myself who, according to Mr. Leigh Bosse of The Messenger Newspaper, the board knew too much about and Mr. Mathew Grimes whom the board new too little.

It is obvious that both of us are eminently qualified to preform the duties of a Planning Board member. Clearly the board’s fear of being reigned in and being held accountable through deliberation and participation was the primary reason, for some, to  reject my request.

Reports from all over the world indicate that citizen participation at all levels of government has been fading. Those reports also emphasize that the remit of all local government systems is to deliver a wide range of services to the community that it serves. However it is increasingly recognized that development is a multi-dimensional process incorporating quality of life objectives can only be successfully delivered through direct participation, good corporate governance and diverse partnerships.

The refusal to appoint myself and Mr. Grimes, in light of Mr, Bosse’s assessment as to the reasons why, did nothing more than prove exactly what so many folks here in Henniker believe, are too fearful to say publicly and  local politicians go out of their way trying to convince everyone that the process is not broken, when it is so easy to see that it is.

Change is difficult but it is necessary for our survival…citizen participation in local development is the key to the equality, inclusiveness and sustainability of development.

Otherwise we will continue on with dysfunctional boards and the governmental process  will continue to suffer. The Planning Board is not hurting me…the Planning Board is hurting the community


OHB…keeping it real… making it easier for you to find the facts so you can draw your own conclusions…..