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Beware of returning to extremist politics in Belknap County

Laconia Daily Sun – March 4, 2024

In response to Mr. Norm Silber’s letter of Feb. 12. I apologize for hurting Mr. Silber’s fragile feelings by mislabeling him as a Free Stater. It’s easy to get confused when one examines the Free State-like, extremist libertarian destruction while Mr. Silber was in the county delegation.

He and his libertarian lap dogs gutted the Belknap County budget for human services over successive years. The Daily Sun reported regarding the 2018 budget: “The Belknap County Economic Development Council was cut from $75,000 to $1, Genesis Behavioral Health was reduced from $31,425 to $1, the Greater Lakes Region Child Advocacy Center from $11,000 to $1 and Community Action Program funding was cut by $13,000 particularly for family planning funding.”

It was Mr. Silber who, with fellow delegation budget committee members Barbara Comtois, Michael Sylvia, Glenn Aldrich and Ray Howard, persuaded a majority of the delegation to gut the county budget by 11% in 2021, over the strenuous objections of the County Commissioners. The commissioners warned deep cuts to the county departments would lead to staffing shortages. It did. The county nursing home couldn’t increase pay, couldn’t attract enough staff to be at full patient capacity, and lost potential Medicaid reimbursement. The NH Business Review wrote in 2022: “Instead, the [county] convention budgeted $11.5 million for the nursing home, almost a million less than the [county] commission recommended and just $325,000 more than in 2019 when the facility was operating at full capacity.” (3) Norm Silber tried to reduce government by budget sabotage. He held a position that could have made a positive change in our amazing county. Instead, he chose to use his power and influence to callously weaken the protections of our most vulnerable citizens.

Belknap County voters need to make sure we don’t return to Mr. Silber’s extremist politics.

Prudy Veysey


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