Messenger Newspaper claims Town Administrator Trovato pressured paving contractor to falsify Western Avenue report! Improper conduct must not be tolerated!

see+no+evil (Copy) The October 6, 2017 edition of The Messenger (Page 5) states unknown sources as saying Mr. Caleb Connor (Pike Industries the road paving contractor), “felt pressured by Administrator Trovato to certify that the reclamation went down 18, but he refused to falsify his report.”

This contradicts testimony given by project engineer Mike Vignale at the Board of Selectmen (BOS) meeting minutes on September 19th 2017; Item 2 Old Business, “With regard to the stones and reclaim, he [Vignale] said he did not see the reclaim go in and when talking to people they only came across a few stones. Looking at the exposed edge of reclaim, he measured it to be 18 inches thick. He looked in about 30-40 locations, and took measurements. Chair Blomback asked if in his opinion it was ready to be paved. He said yes. He said there were gaps in the guardrails but they will be replaced in a few weeks.” [emphasis added]

In an email sent to the BOS (page 11 of 82), Mr. Connor explicitly states that the machine used by Pike could go to a maximum depth of 22 inches, Pike only went to a NHDOT industry standard depth of approximately 10-12 inches.

This entire project has been filled with controversy. An unauthorized change in approved construction sequencing of drain placement and paving has not only delayed this project way beyond the scheduled  August completion date but has cost us an additional $19,000 as well.

Now more controversy has arisen over the lack of boulder removal. A quick review of the approved engineering plans, Division 2100 Earthwork Part 1 General Section 1.3 D (page 7 of 31) clearly states how the boulder issue is to be handled, “Removal of boulders within the existing pavement area within 24” of the current finish grade and over 2 cubic feet.”

Clearly the approved plans call for the inspection for boulders to be conducted to a depth of 24 inches!

Yet Pike has confirmed that their reclamation was only to 10-12 inches and the Town’s engineer claims he has measured 18 inches! ???????????

Everyone should be concerned that this entire project is being mismanaged.

The necessary information is not being gathered and put into a concise report…and that is the job of the Town Administrator. This dysfunction will drive contractors make contractors to think twice about bidding on our proposals. And when they do bid, they most certainly will build in an increase “aggravation fee”.

The BOS must take swift action to investigate this allegation of improper conduct by the Town Administrator!

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

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



It’s October 1st…Budget Time…What’s in your wallet? What YOU can do to change your Property Tax Rate…

property-tax-cartoon (Copy) Don’t wait until it is too late! Start planning now on how you want to do to help control your property tax rate.

The most important that you must know is that YOU do have a say in how much property tax you pay.

Become a local government expert. The best place to go for a basic understanding of how local government works is the NH Municipal Association’s web site. Use their search bar in the upper right corner of the home page. Type in Annual meeting and find a whole slew full of writings.

You can search and find information about anything town government does. Take advantage of their publications. You can find a list of their published resources here.

Budget Advisory Committee/Board of Selectmen budget development meetings are scheduled for Saturday November 4, 2017 and Saturday November 18, 2017 @ 8:30 am. Hopefully the town’s new live streaming network will be up and running so you can watch the meetings from home.

Those joint meetings consist of each Town Department coming before a group of 10 people and explaining their budget requests. Hopefully copies of the proposed budget requests will be published on line at the Town’s web site. I would strongly urge each and everyone of you demand Town Hall to place the proposed budget on the web page.

The proposed budget, in its entirety is created and stored in an electronic form by employees who are paid from our property tax dollars and on computers paid for by our property tax dollars.

Therefore, there should be no reason why it cannot be placed on a tax payer funded web page.

As soon as the Budget Advisory Committee (which OHB is on)  sets their date to review the proposed budget and deliberates recommended changes to the Select Board, I will let you know.

We are the legislative body…We control what is spent at town hall…Study the budget from the beginning and don’t wait to the last minute…ask questions and demand answers!

Median Household Income in Henniker is below the state average. We have the 10th highest tax rate…this is not sustainable!


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

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





Out of the woods…OHRV trail expansion targets Rush Road and Hillside Drive for Country Spirit Connection!

HONING IN II (Copy)  OHRV trail expansion once again took center stage at the BOS meeting Tuesday, September 19, 2017. This time BOS Chairman Kris Blomback alerted the audience that the OHRV committee is trying to expand the trail system to connect to Country Spirit Restaurant.

The committee originally floated the idea of using the sidewalks over the Rte. 114 bridge to cross over Rte. 202/9 from the north. However, the State of New Hampshire put the brakes on that idea.

Mr Blomback noted that the OHRV committee (Blomback is Select Board Representative) will once again be exploring the use of Rush Road to go under 202/9 to make the connection to Country Spirit. Looking at a map any sane individual can clearly see that the path from Edmunds’ parking lot to Hillside Drive would be the most logical connection to Rush Road. Wake up Hillside Drive homeowners!

Despite the fact that back on March 4, 2014, this very same request to use Rush Road was denied by the State of New Hampshire. What has changed? If the State of New Hampshire allows this now….one must recognize the contradiction and demand answers from the Attorney General’s office. (read here)

        “Mr. McGirr noted that one point made by Ross Bennett was that the Contoocook Valley ATV Riders are trying to turn Henniker into a tourist meca. They are in fact, just trying to get from one point to another. The club went to the Selectmen to ask for permission to utilize Rush Road, but the State said no to Rush Road. The club went back to the drawing board to come up with another route to connect the trails. (page 2 paragraph 3)

This expansion has always been billed as necessary for our local business. But of course when Mr. Bennett suggested that this might bring too many people who don’t respect the trail system and the peace and tranquility it provides residents in the Rural Residential Zone, (BOS meeting February 18, 2014)

“He [Mr. Bennett] is worried that the ordinance as written is not good for public welfare and is expressly written to develop OHRV tourism in town.” [snip] “Mr. Bennett noted that a recent article about the law enforcements issues in Coos County refers to a “wild west” mentality surround the trails and Fish and Game and law enforcement offices receive complaints about ATVs everyday”


Then two weeks after mr. Bennett’s comments March 4, 2014 , Scott Dias was quick to respond.

“Scott Dias, Craney Hill, sympathizes with the concerns brought forth. He said that there is a group of about 35 people and they most likely will not all be riding at the same time. He does not agree with the comparisons to the North Country because they are in economic doom and are trying to do what they can to create tourism. Mr. Dias supports the ordinance.”

What is most disconcerting is this, back on January 21, 2014 Chairman Blomback expressed his “concerns for liability” and the safety of ATV which are not recommended on paved roads. (page 2 paragraph 5)

Now anything goes. What has changed since 2014??? Why have your concerns gone away Mr. Blomback?

We were told that up North economic doom caused them to throw all caution to the wind and open up the north country…and HAVOC ensued.

Henniker is not as rural as the North Country…opening up property improved is cause for concern…and the peace and tranquility of your home is at stake here!

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

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





Henniker’s Unpaid, Un-Redeemed Tax Problem…. Answer: RSA 80:76 Tax Deed…

delinquent-taxes1 (Copy) Trying to understand the overall tax requirements to run a town can be quite confusing. One has to work through a blizzard of RSA’s that regulate how all taxes (including your property tax) are created, levied and collected.

Then there is the creation of the town budget that outlines how much property tax actually needs to be collected. By the way…Department Heads will be presenting their budgets to the Board of Selectmen on Saturday, November 4th and Saturday, November 18th. Both of these meetings will start at 8:30am and be held at the Town Hall.

(I urge the public to attend these two meetings so you can observe how the budget is constructed. The Budget Advisory Committee (volunteers appointed by the BOS) will meet after that to deliberate suggested alterations of the draft budget. Since OHB is on that committee, I will alert you to the time and date of that meeting.)

Once one gets through the above mentioned required rules and regulations, you will discover that Town Government must operate under more rules and regulations  when trying to collect the UNPAID property taxes.

So what did OHB do over the summer? I opened an account online at the Merrimack County Registry of Deeds (click here). Inside this web site one can do title searches of all properties in Merrimack County, including good ole Henniker.

The drop down search menu for documents on this site is extensive, easily over 300 different types of personal documents are indexed and searchable. Including, mortgages, mortgage discharges, foreclosures, property tax lien notices, property tax liens and property tax lien redemption.

RSA 80:76 Tax Deed requires the Town’s Tax Collector to deliver a Collection Tax Deed to the Town on properties that have failed to redeem  properly recorded Tax Lien. (RSA 80:76) 

As er the RSA, the Town of Henniker has the right to refuse the Tax Deed as outlined below:

  • II. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph I, the collector shall not execute a deed of the real estate to a municipality when the governing body of the municipality has notified the collector that it shall not accept the deed because acceptance would subject the municipality to potential liability as an owner of property under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980, 42 U.S.C. section 9601 et seq., the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, 42 U.S.C. section 6901 et seq., RSA 147-A and 147-B, and any other federal or state environmental statute which imposes strict liability on owners for environmental impairment of the real estate involved.
    II-a. In addition to the circumstances described in paragraph II, the governing body of the municipality may refuse to accept a tax deed on behalf of the municipality, and may so notify the collector, whenever in its judgment acceptance and ownership of the real estate would subject the municipality to undesirable obligations or liability risks, including obligations under real estate covenants or obligations to tenants, or for any other reason would be contrary to the public interest. Such a decision shall not be made solely for the private benefit of a taxpayer.
    III. When a governing body has, under paragraph II or II-a, served notice upon the collector it shall not accept the deed, the tax lien shall remain in effect indefinitely, retaining its priority over other liens. The taxpayer’s right of redemption as provided by RSA 80:69 shall likewise be extended indefinitely, with interest continuing to accrue as provided in that section. The tax lien may be enforced by the municipality by suit as provided under RSA 80:50, and through any remedy provided by law for the enforcement of other types of liens and attachments. If at any time, in the judgment of the municipal governing body, the reasons for refusing the tax deed no longer apply, and the tax lien has not been satisfied, the governing body may instruct the collector to issue the tax deed, and the collector shall do so after giving the notices required by RSA 80:77 and 80:77-a.

Upon reviewing Henniker and Merrimack County Registry of Deeds records, one will find properties on the Town of Henniker’s Tax Lien list that are more than 2 years un-redeemed and NO Tax Deeds have been executed.

The last tax deed issued and recorded at the Merrimack  County Registry of Deeds is dated August 13, 2014. The 5.6 acre property is located at the corner of Longview Drive and River Road (lot 612-B2)

A review of Board of Selectmen minutes shows no agenda item refusing the acceptance of any Tax Deeds for the reasons indicated in the RSA, despite numerous properties being tax delinquent for more than two years.


Part II: how some homeowners, since the 1980’s, have been gaming the system by paying their two year lien in May and in June are right back on the unpaid tax list with a fresh new lien which will be paid in two years.

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

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

Western Ave. Rebuild Project Out of Control…Town Administrator’s Project Reports Not Accurate!

PROJECT MANAGEMENT The BOS has lost control of the Western Ave. rebuild project! The headline in this week’s Messenger newspaper says it all: NON-COMPLIANCE (read here).

In a stunning development, The Messenger is reporting that Town Administrator (TA) Christine Trovato’s report to the BOS have been less than accurate;

      “Compounding the situation, a more serious matter arose last week. A few weeks ago, the Board was informed that the concrete head-walls Road Agent Tom Weston ordered for the project did not match the culverts to be inserted into them, requiring extra time and expense to enlarge the openings. The Board asked the Town Administrator to look into the cause and report back. In an apparent effort to protect Weston, Trovato informed the Board that all headwalls are the same size and need to be enlarged on site, a statement Mitchie Corp, supplier of the headwalls, later adamantly refuted, saying they delivered what was ordered which were improperly installed. A spokesman further stated that Trovato never checked back with them when the problem arose.”

This is not the first time the TA’s actions have been called into question. On several occasions this blog has uncovered situations where policy has not been followed. (read here) (read here)

The time has come for the BOS to take definitive action. I think we all know what needs to be done here… 



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

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

“Older Person” toilet jokes crosses the line Planning Board…Now what???

STINKS (Copy) At the April Planning Board meeting during a discussion about expanding the “Older Person” housing ordinance a joke was made about the bathroom habits of the elderly.

The reaction of the board members is quite disturbing:

So sad to see a Selectman and Planing Board members laughing so hardheartedly at this form of base humor.

What say you voting public?

“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…..

http://www.onlyhennikerbruce.comwater users





Planning Board Chair Dean Tirrell keeps everyone in the dark…Fails to use tax payer supported web page to inform public…Select Women Hooper fails to advise board of their duty to inform????

A HENNIKER PLANNING BOARD (Copy) Henniker has acquiesced to calls for transparency and has finally begun posting some supporting documents for the Board of Selectmen meetings

One would think that Select Women Hooper would take this initiative over to the Planning Board, where she is the BOS representative, and advocate for the planning Board to do the same.

Apparently not! (agenda)

It would appear that the concept of transparency and participation is not embraced by the Planning Board’s new chairman, Mr. Dean Tirrell.

The June 14, 2017 agenda had a few noteworthy items. I would think that the 202/127 intersection information would be worth repeating at any opportunity.

And, I wonder what Zoning Changes they were talking about last night? As we all have found out…zoning ordinance and planning board policy compliance is not exactly being asked of everyone.

Colby Hill Inn for example. Expansion and creation of their Bar Barn has fail to comply with town policy…and no one seems to care.

If Colby Hill Inn is considered a non-conforming commercial use then any expansion or alteration of their property must go before the Zoning Board for review:

Zoning Regulations; 133-72 Non-conforming Uses Alterations: Alteration, expansion or change of a     non-conforming use or structure shall only be permitted by Special Exception by the Zoning Board of Adjustment if it finds that….


If compliant the Colby Hill Inn is required to go before the Planning Board for Site Plan review:

Planning Board Chapter 203; 203-3 Applicability
A.General- Subject to the exceptions stated below, these regulations apply to any of the
following actions, regardless of whether the action includes a subdivision or re-subdivision of the site:
1.Any new commercial,industrial, multi-family development of land (including,
but not limited to, the construction of any building, any addition to a building, any
other structure, or parking areas).
2.Any Change of Land Use, as described below.
3.Any expansion of the physical size of an existing non-residential land use.
B.Definition-A “Change of Land Use” occurs when there is a change in the quality,
character, or intensity of the use of a building or site, such that there is likely
to be a noticeable impact on the neighborhood or the town. A Change of Land Use may occur even though the general classification of use remains the same and even if the proposed change does not involve construction. A Change of Land Use is determined from the most recent use to the proposed use.
The standards of review listed in Article V of these regulations also indicate the kinds of impacts that would be considered in determining whether a Change of Land Use would occur.
OHB is amazed at how our board members just fail recognize they have a duty to follow procedures that will insure public awareness. Why  is that Mr. Tirrell??? Ms. Hooper???

“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…..

http://www.onlyhennikerbruce.comwater users