Many voters are still concerned about election integrity. They ask me what can be done to assure the votes, ALL the votes, get counted properly. The general answer that they receive is to not worry, the system is fine. Of course, they have their doubts and even Hillary questioned the 2016 results.
Here in New Hampshire we have three polling locations that were found to have mishandled ballots. So telling people every thing is fine is less than satisfying. While we know that three locations in the state have had problems, we don’t know what we don’t know (for the youngsters that’s roughly from Rumsfeld). The problems in Laconia had been going on for a long time and yet were just revealed. Where will the next discovery be made?
If the people are not confident in their elections, one of their first thoughts is ‘then why bother voting.’ Fewer voters gives more control to those whom have a higher incentive and receive special privileges from their government.
We need more voters not fewer. We need to turn out voters at such a high number that it overwhelms their ability to rig the system. We have to have faith that justice with prevail.
Others are working on grassroots solutions. Check out The Resolve for some ideas. As is all in politics, we sometimes need to respectfully disagree. I support John Plumer over their preferred candidate for senate in District 2.
There is no quick and easy solution. And even if there were we would still need to remain vigilant to maintain a legitimate election system. Have faith, be hopeful, and most of all take action; bring your neighbors to the polls on September 13th.
Beware citizens, there are radicals and extremists roaming the countryside. That’s what all those signs littering the streets would have you believe. Oddly enough they seem to consider freedom to be a radical concept. This, in the ‘land of the free,’ doesn’t make sense.
In order to understand what’s really going on, you need to consider the source. It appears that the source is working from an instruction manual. Perhaps they are using Saul Alinsky’s ‘Rules for Radicals’?
Alan Posnack audaciously claims to be the leader of the citizens of Belknap County. He and a small band of entitled elitists scatter their trash across the county in an attempt to appear to be supported by the average people of the area. These are the same sorts of people that want to ban ‘single use’ plastic bags. They lack the self-awareness to see the irony of the mess they create.
The modern “progressive” project has centered on changing the key factors of cultural and freedom: attacking the culture, undermining constitutional restraints on government, and expanding the public sector until it dominates American life. A group seeks to topple the central pillars of a system is by definition “extremist,” no matter what they call their opponents.
I’ll happily accept the badge of honor offered by ‘progressives’ for my work in leading the most conservative county delegation in the state of New Hampshire. They are a small minority desperate to distract you from the catastrophic failures of the Biden administration of which you are reminded every time you reach for your wallet.
The July 20, 2022 Gunstock Area commission meeting saw more than fireworks. The ‘world class management team‘ was dissatisfied with the seating arrangement and went for the nuclear option.
You can read the leftists view of events at the Archive.org site. Or if you want a report with video evidence, hit the GraniteGrok.com.
The kingpin of the operation, now former commissioner Kiedaisch, signals that he had foreknowledge of the events. On his way out he says that the commissioners will need to get to the ski area bright and early to stand in for management. And having been a long time business man he should have known the consequences of the management’s decision. Almost every business owner knows that departing/disgruntled mangers are to be walked off the premises immediately. The management team should have known that it would cause significant damage to Gunstock.
Tom Day also reveals that this was likely a planned maneuver. One might wonder who is included in ‘we.’ Some might call it a conspiracy to damage Gunstock. Gunstock is not an employee owned ski area, it is a county asset.
Without skipping a beat the Citizen for BelknapPAC jumped in with a full page advertisement in the local paper.
While they say that they ‘stand with Gunstock’s employees,’ they seem to ignore the fact that even a short shutdown of the business will harm the majority of the workers. The management ‘team players‘ are well compensated and can afford a bit of time off in the summer. On the other hand, the wage earners are counting on every paycheck. The ‘professionals’ quit and the PAC, with no hint of irony, applauds the political stunt, then claims to stand with the employees. It certainly looks like Alan Posnack thinks you have to expect, and accept a bit of collateral damage.
As a reminder, this all started with a commissioner actually doing his job. When management and former commissioners threw up a stone wall, they thought that would end any queries. When more questions were asked they began a campaign to rid themselves of those with enough integrity to pursue the truth.
Those who had much to hide are now gone, those who sought the truth will start cleaning up the fall out.
The Biden administration has given us an energy crisis. Let me know how you think the NH legislature should respond, take the survey.
The citizens of
Belknap county are mainly hard working middle class people with a
good bit of common sense. They skew toward retirement age and many
are getting by on their social security benefits. Well, they had
been getting by before the Biden administration destroyed the
economy. Now the Democrats are desperately seeking ways to distract
our attention away from the unfolding disaster they have wrought upon
Along come the AstroTurf agitators of Citizens for Belknap. The real citizens of the county can easily see through their deceptions and their claimed need to rid the county delegation of ‘radicals and extremists.’ The front man of the group is well know in conservative circles to be a far left activist.
Belknap county is a
solid conservative area in which all state representatives are
currently Republicans. This drives the leftists crazy and it seems
to have drawn the attention of big money donors from outside of our
county and state. Knowing that the real political battles will be in
the primary elections, that is where they have chosen to spend their
money. They will be targeting good solid Republicans, and supporting
less principled and more malleable individuals.
Those on the left like Citizens for Belknap have a far different perspective than the real citizens of Belknap county. From their perspective the people of the county are right wing extremist or as Hillary declared ‘DEPLORABLES.’ The people elected a solid group of Republican representatives in 2020 and have reaped the reward of good government (at least at the state level). Yet, this group will refer to us as ‘radicals and extremist’ as they question the integrity of the voters. The voters of Belknap county got it right in 2020, those saying otherwise are impostors with ill intent.
Mark your calendar for the September 13 primary election!
Detractors and distracters make claims that the drama surrounding Gunstock are driven by my desire for control of the Area. This nonsense is just screeching by the outrage mob. My desire is simple; good governance.
When commissioner Gallagher resigned I hoped that action might smooth out the turbulence of governance at the Gunstock Area Commission (GAC). It was not that Gallagher was the cause of the problems, but it provided an opportunity to replace him with an individual whom would not be influenced by power seekers.
With Gallagher’s resignation the position opening was advertised in the local newspaper seeking applicants. Shortly after the advertisement started running, I received an email from the county administrator.
Noting this error I publicly acknowledged the error in a letter to the editor of The Laconia Daily Sun.
incorrectly states the position will be a five year term. This is my error. While the delegation has in the past filled a vacancy for a five year term, the enabling statute is clear that the vacancy is to be filled for the remainder of the vacant term. I apologize for that error.
Chapter law 399 of 1959 is the enabling statute of the GAC. Short of much controversy it is primarily of interest to the GAC. Now that all eyes are on Gunstock my past error is going to receive plenty of attention.
Back in 2020, with issues of viruses filling the news, the delegation voted to replace commissioner Nix with Rusty McLear. As it was the last year of Nix’s term, I misunderstood that we could appoint for a full 5 years. Why bother filling a position for 5 months?
Interestingly, as Hepburn points out, commissioner Kiedaisch asked about McLear’s term in October of 2020. Why did he ask about that?
He asked because he had read Chapter law 399. He knew that the law only allowed the appointment to fill the remainder of the Nix term.
Did he share that knowledge? No.
Did he think that an opinion of a representative would trump the law? If so, that little bit of deception by omission is about to bite him.
An honest chairman of the GAC would have shared this information and asked for the reappointment of McLear. And the delegation, with the power of appointment, could have simply reappointed McLear without going through advertising for a replacement. Why would we bother seeking new candidates after such a short time. Nothing in the statute requires the formality of taking applications.
This foolish maneuver on the part of Kiedaisch now puts in question every vote of McLear since his term, by law, ended in November of 2020.
GAC is scheduled to have an emergency meeting today, March 11, 2022. While not on their agenda, they should seek to have the delegation fill the seat vacated by law in November of 2020.
The county commissioners are troubled by restrictions placed upon them by the delegation. They have requested to have limits on transfers within the budget removed. Whereas they have a habitude of building into their budgets large surpluses, this would allow for spending far beyond that which is necessary. It is also a typical scheme directed at increasing the fund balance. Such excess taxation without need is egregious in light of the large tax hike coming even if we hold the line on restricting spending to necessities.
The law requires “Appropriations by the county convention shall be itemized in detail.” As such the delegation sets the budget by line items within each department. The commissioners’ request would have us violate the law by giving them a simple bottom line budget for the entire county operation.
The law allows the delegation to appropriate a contingency fund of up to one percent of the budget, ~$300,000, to meet unexpected expenses. As you will see in the 2022 budget, (and this is consistent with past practice) the commissioners use the nursing services department as a buffer for additional spending or for increasing the fund balance. This, in practice, creates a pool of money in the order of 3% of the county budget, which gets redirected to areas perhaps not contemplated for appropriation by the delegation. This unjustly increases taxation.
The Covid crisis, created by a manufactured virus and blown out of proportion by a government propaganda campaign, has taken a toll on people around the globe. It has broken our medical care industry. All nursing homes in the county are all struggling to find nurses. The county nursing home, funded by taxation, has the ability to outbid all others to acquire nurses at the most inflated costs. The unseen cost, should we choose to drive pay rates higher, is that we would steal nurses from other homes. Will it force the closure of a privately run nursing home? The adjustments made by the executive committee smartly balance the needs of our facility with the needs of all the county nursing homes.
The commissioners consider limitations on spending authority (appropriations) to be “a tool to try to bend the Commissioners to a small number of individuals’ political will.” The delegation has elected an executive committee to do the work of assuring adherence to the budget as passed by the delegation. When the executive branch of government seeks to remove oversight by the legislative branch, red flags should be flying. They are seeking a rubber stamp delegation. The executive committee is not interested in playing games of ‘political will.’ Instead they seek to hold the commissioners to following the law.
The commissioners are lobbying for the restoration of $650,000 which was trimmed from their bloated request. This is ~2% of the budget. If we look at the past decade we can see that the budget passed by the delegation – NEVER enough to satisfy the commissioners – supplies enough on average to leave ~7% to be returned to fund balance. This means that even after ‘cutting the budget to the bone,’ taxpayers were hit with a bill 7% higher than was needed.
Your memory need not be exquisite to recall that just last year, after the executive committee finished its work, the commissioners requested the restoration of $444,824 to the budget. This request was rejected by the delegation. At the end of the year over $800,000 was returned to fund balance. The delegation clearly made the right choice in approving the executive committee’s recommendation.
The delegation has high expectations for our department heads, and they always match their performance to that high standard. Our system of government is wisely divided such that the executive branch is not unrestrained. The legislative branch (the delegation) has a duty to appropriate only those monies necessary for the proper operation of the county. The law allows a contingency fund of 1%, yet the commissioners and delegation have allowed budgets with an excess of 7% more than necessary.
The executive committee has, once again, reviewed the commissioners’ budget and done their best to match the budget to real world needs. Their years of experience have served the taxpayers of the county well. The commissioners’ condescending remarks are contemptible and unnecessary. The delegation chose the members of the executive to do the work of carefully examining the commissioners’ budget and bringing a prudent budget for the full delegation to vote upon.
The shadowy group known as Citizens for Gunstock (CfG), aided and abetted by The Laconia Daily Sun have been busy politicking against those whom seek integrity in the operation of our beloved little ski area.
They falsely claim that the public will not be heard regarding the
selection of a replacement Gunstock area commissioner. The truth is
that Monday’s meeting will begin with public comments. In fact, all
delegation members’ contact information is public and we listen to
the people daily.
Some claim that our selection process is in some way nefarious and unnecessarily rushed. It is hardly a secret that commissioner Gallagher resigned. The request for applicants has been advertised in the newspaper for a couple of weeks. At this point we have applications from three very well qualified candidates. All delegation members have received those applications and they will have 4 days to review them, and if they wish, contact the candidates. If you have not been following the issue, there is in fact a need to fill this position without delay. The current board is set in a deadlock with a strong possibility of 2 to 2 votes. Delaying to fill the void would be irresponsible. The delegation can override my position but it is my duty to give them that choice expeditiously.
The “sneaky Petes” of CfG misdirect the public with a charge that due process is being denied. Using that term invokes feelings of violation of constitutional protections. Marxists love to yank your ‘feelz.’ Due process is a protection for someone accused of wrong doing. Candidates for a position are due equal consideration. They will receive such at our meeting as they always have had in the past.
Speaking of due process, all of the controversy regarding Gunstock
arose from the commission’s zeal to rid itself of one of its own.
They did so without giving that commissioner due process, instead
they dropped unsubstantiated claims in the laps of the delegation.
One is left to wonder why they couldn’t simply operate with perpetual
4 to 1 votes.
The CfG trot out the ‘poison the well’ fallacy, suggesting that
the ‘game is rigged’ and condescendingly claiming that your elected
representatives are nothing more than political lackeys. Such insults
are contemptible and shameful, and are beneath response.
I will note a couple of problems with the advertisement seeking applications. First, it was supposed to read that the deadline for applications be received at the county office on Friday at 3pm. This will allow the weekend for the delegation’s review. Second, it also incorrectly states the position will be a five year term. This is my error. While the delegation has in the past filled a vacancy for a five year term, the enabling statute is clear that the vacancy is to be filled for the remainder of the vacant term. I apologize for that error. Both of these issues with the ad are inconsequential as the law would allow the delegation to fill the position without an application process.
Unfortunately we may need to address the previous improper filling
of the vacancy created when commissioner Nix resigned in 2020.
Technically the position filled by Rusty McLear would have expired
when Nix’s would have ended. Someone might claim him to be a de
facto office holder. More drama incoming?
It has been asserted that I am a supporter of privatization of Gunstock. This is simply not true. While I am open to considering such a move, I have not made a commitment to such action. Sadly the leftist are unable to understand nuance.
The Marxists at CfG have selected their choice of candidates for the position, Heidi Preuss. They are lobbying hard to put this Kiedaisch acolyte in place. Fortunately this candidate is easily dismissed; she applied for the position last fall and failed to attend the meeting. She even published a letter in the Laconia Daily Sun claiming to have been railroaded away from the meeting.
In their reporting on candidates The Laconia Daily Sun couldn’t resist putting their thumb on the scale, dredging up old charges of political in-correctness against Doug Lambert. I’m sure they are digging for dirt on Dr. Strang, perhaps he has prescribed hydroxychloroquine or ivermectin!
Behind the scenes it is hard to say exactly what is going on, and this is the source of the problems at Gunstock: secrecy. Commissioner Kiedaisch has a grand plan but only shares bits and pieces with the public. It leaves large areas open for speculation. For instance, he has stated that the plans for a hotel on county property will be locally owned. How can he know that a local owner will provide the best contract for the lease of a site? More questions quickly fall behind that one. Will the developer have a preexisting relationship with any of the commissioners?
Another issue with Gunstock is the local character of the ski area. As a county owned asset many local residents have grown up on the slopes of Gunstock. The vision of commissioner Kiedaisch of the future for Gunstock, although not explicitly stated, is in the image of Deer Valley Resort. The model of Deer Valley focuses on less crowding and higher ticket prices. This is skiing for the elite. If you have attended any recent meeting of the commission, you will know that is their current direction. And where has Ms. Preuss lived for the majority of the last couple of decades? Park City, Utah home of Deer Valley. I wonder if her return to Laconia was coordinated with commissioner Kiedaisch’s appointment?
What the delegation needs to hear from the public is their opinion of this model that is being promoted by commissioner Kiedaisch. Will future generations of local children be welcome, and be able to afford to learn to ski at Gunstock? I have no doubt that the elite will be coming out on Monday to protect their interests, but will we see the hard working citizens of the county?
Another crisis at the Belknap county nursing home has arisen. It must be dealt with on Monday, Thursday is too late. In a story at the Laconia Daily Sun, Michael Mortensen asked the right question, “why the commissioners were resorting to a special meeting rather than waiting for the commission’s next regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday.”
Many answers to the question are long standing issues that are well known and have been considered for years. If you are familiar with the proper method of reading the Laconia Daily Sun, you’ll know you need to sort through a bit of fluff before you find the nugget of truth. And in this case, it is this; “the requirement that all health-care workers must, by Dec. 5, be vaccinated against COVID.”
Joe Biden has demanded workers be forced to accept an experimental medical treatment and highly educated medical providers are willing to be fired rather than take the risk.
The county administration counted on these workers knuckling under to the pressure to accept the jab. Now with a week to figure out what to do the commissioners will look for a Hail Mary pass. While Biden controls the printing press and can freely (at great expenses to the citizens) throw money at problems, the county commissioners are limited in their response. They might squeeze the county taxpayers for more money; something private nursing homes can’t do (yet are forced to compete against). Or they might consider giving exemptions to those who conscientiously stand for bodily integrity and autonomy; a right of every New Hampshire citizen.
While there have been many calls for Governor Sununu to bring the legislature into a special session to address these vaccine mandates, he has chosen to ignore the brewing crisis.
Having been around the block a time or two, I won’t be surprised to read the follow-up story in the Laconia Daily Sun which blames the county delegation for the crisis.
The Gunstock Area Commission (GAC) is a public body and is required to operate in compliance with RSA 91-A. If they were following the law there would be minutes and notices coming from the Master Planning Committee outlining the work of the committee. They can not produce any such record.
A further troubling issue is that they admit that there has been no vote on that which is included in their Master Plan. Above we can see that they did vote to ‘bake into’ the following year’s budget $100,000 toward producing the Master Plan. One might think that such a contract might have some sort of guidance toward the goals of the Master Plan. One is left to speculation.
This sort of government operation in the shadows is sadly not uncommon. Our Right-To-Know laws are much too weak, and place the burden of oversight on the public. A citizen would have to file a suit in superior court in order to resolve the issue.
In this instance there is a more direct solution available. The county delegation is responsible for the appointment of GAC members. We also have the ability to remove commissioners ‘for cause.’ Violation of RSA 91-A sure seems to be a reasonable cause for removal of the chairman in charge of the commission.
Let’s start with a point on which all agree; Gunstock is a valuable county asset. As such it is in the interest of all in the county to assure it continues to be properly run and maintained. As far as I know there is no one that is interested in closing or harming Gunstock.
Many people have been chiming in with their opinions on the proper operation of the Gunstock ski area. Having attended most Gunstock Area Commission (GAC) meetings for the past couple of years I have to ask, where have you been?
If all those who write letters to the local paper had been attending GAC meetings, we might not be in the position which requires involvement of the delegation. The letters you write are based solely on information delivered by sources that have their own agenda. You have been used to support a plan of which you know little. Even those who have been following the actions of the GAC have only partial knowledge of the soon to be revealed Master Plan. It might be a useful exercise to ask the GAC when they voted to approve the Master Plan and when the public was allowed to comment on said plan.
Gunstock is a county owned and operated asset. It is not a private business. The GAC is a public body appointed by the Belknap county delegation. As a public entity it is required to adhere to the public meeting laws under RSA 91-A. The development of the Master Plan has had little to no public input and seems to have been produced by a subcommittee of the GAC, yet such a subcommittee has not met publicly nor produced minutes of any meetings. If this is true it is a violation of the right-to-know law, RSA 91-A. If it is not true the GAC can produce records of meeting dates and minutes, along with recommendations from the subcommittee made to the GAC. I have seen no evidence supporting the existence of such records.
Many letter writers have questioned the timing of the delegations action against members of the GAC. It was not the delegation that demanded the removal of commissioner Ness. The GAC put this issue on the table when they produced a defamatory and baseless claim against Ness. The GAC voted to get a legal opinion regarding the validity of their ethics policy, yet the resulting report from attorney Quarles wandered into defamatory allegations which lacked support of any witnesses or testimony. The GAC voted to censure commissioner Ness without due process. This key failure, to assure that the claim which was delivered to the delegation had merit, is the reason it was dismissed.
While there is currently insufficient evidence available, the GAC votes lacking verifiable facts might be considered reckless and harmful actions against a public official and should be referred to the Attorney General. The report produced by attorney Quarles went beyond the issue of the ethics policy which was approved by the GAC. The report was clearly defamatory. Motivation for the production of the report may be tied to commissioner Ness’ diligence in seeking information necessary to his duties as a member of the GAC. As the scope of work was beyond that which had been authorized, a case for the misuse of funds may be made. Improper Influence – RSA 640:3, Criminal defamation, RSA 644:11, Obstructing Government Administration, RSA 642:1, Official Oppression – RSA 643:1, Conspiracy – RSA 629:3, are criminal elements that may be at issue, along with civil claims that could be brought in the future.
It has been said that the actions of the delegation are unprecedented, and it is true. Unfortunately it is also extremely rare for a board to seek the removal of one of its own members. Once again the delegation is not the initiator of the events. We as a delegation have a duty to ensure that the GAC is properly serving in the public interest. To do anything less is to shirk our responsibilities.
Among many false allegations is an assertion that Gunstock might be closed. This is pure nonsense. Those who spread such absurdities only wish to irresponsibly drum up fear. One is left to speculate as to the source. Perhaps the Laconia Daily Sun would like to advise the public as to the people behind Citizens For Gunstock’s full page ads, or those 2 pages of petition signatures. Sadly it is unlikely that those who signed the petition had much knowledge of that which they signed.
The GAC repeatedly claims credit for the great performance of Gunstock in the past year. While it was a very good year, it would be hard to find a business in outdoor recreation that did not do extremely well in the year of COVID19; housebound people were deprived of their normal activities which would have them in close contact with other people. Boston area skiers unable to get on airplanes swarmed to the north making it a great year for all eastern ski areas. It certainly didn’t hurt to have a reasonably good winter for snow cover. This is said not to diminish the efforts of the employees but to simply put the great fiscal performance in perspective.
Speaking of the financial success of Gunstock, the GAC never fails to remind the public that they have always paid off in a timely fashion their Revenue Anticipation Notes (RAN). It is indeed true. What they never mention is the $6,000,000 default in 2000 which was picked up by county taxpayers. I can assure you the payments made to the county over the past 20 years have not amounted to recovering that loss. I’ll not venture into what kind of bonding might be suggested in the new Master Plan as I have no such knowledge.
As was noticed on Nov. 6, 2021, “On Monday October 25, 2021 attorney Thomas Quarles presented to the Belknap county delegation a Request for Disqualifications (RFD). This request was addressed from four members of the Gunstock Area Commission (GAC), Kiedaisch, Gallagher, McLear, and Dumais. In this request it is made clear by the use of their titles that they are acting as members of GAC.” What is not clear is how attorney Quarles was hired without a meeting of the GAC. This is contrasted by the vote on Nov. 10, 2021 in a public meeting (for which public comment was not allowed) to have attorney Quarles file for a temporary restraining order against the delegation. It appears that attorney Quarles was hired in an unnoticed meeting, prior to producing the RFD, in violation of RSA 91-A. If true, this stands as ‘just cause’ for removal.
Another perplexing question arises from that Nov. 10, 2021 vote to retain counsel. The temporary restraining order explicitly seeks to protect commissioners Kiedaisch, Gallagher and McLear from removal. They had a clear conflict of interest yet they were the only commissioners voting to approve the motion to engage counsel. Expending funds from Gunstock for their own personal protection might be viewed as ‘just cause’ for removal.
Once again, I know of no one that wants to close or harm Gunstock. My only agenda is open and transparent operation of a county asset. I will continue to work for good government and a successful Gunstock Mountain Resort.
Rep. Mike Sylvia Chairman, Belknap County Delegation
PUBLIC MEETING NOTICE:
November public meeting of the Gunstock Area Commission will be held on
Wednesday, November 17th at 6PM in the Historic Lodge at Gunstock
Mountain Resort. To view the public notice and tentative agenda, please