A group of runaway legislators has taken over the Belknap County Delegation. They no longer represent the citizens they pledged to serve. They have been overtaken by runaway extremism and have an agenda that is harmful to the health of our county.
The Belknap County Delegation (sometimes called the County Convention) consists of 18 state reps from Belknap County. They were elected to serve by Belknap's voters. Importantly, in addition to their duties in the State House, they also serve as County Officials and as such play an important role in our lives.
That process has run amok in Belknap County!
FREE STATERS. Our Delegation is populated by Free Staters and Libertarians whose beliefs and agendas represent a tiny fraction of our county’s population. They hide their extremist views under traditional party banners, and then surprise their constituents with their votes - -far outside the mainstream. Over half the Belknap delegation fits this radical mold! . . .And two of them signed a manifesto declaring themselves no longer citizens of New Hampshire!
Governor Chris Sununu said it best:
"The Libertarians are not Republicans. Okay? I know a lot of them like to sign up as republicans and pass themselves off as Republicans. But they're not. Not even remotely."
SECESSION FROM THE USA! This is not a joke. Four of our delegation’s members voted to support a bill for New Hampshire to secede from the United States! Here it is. One of its sponsors, the CHAIRMAN of our Delegation, keeps his hands at his side and his lips closed during the Pledge of Allegiance! Are these the people you want representing you?
GUNSTOCK MOUNTAIN RESORT. The County Delegation is empowered to appoint and remove Gunstock Commissioners. They have used that power to declare war on the Gunstock Area Commission and on Gunstock’s outstanding management team. In the span of a few months, they used their appointment power to effectively dismantle the Gunstock Area Commission, which acts as Gunstock's Board of Directors. When they attempted and failed to hijack Gunstock Resort through legislation that would have given them control over Gunstock’s budget, they replaced four of the very commissioners who helped produce the best years in Gunstock history.
In appointing replacement commissioners, our runaway delegation passed over highly qualified candidates with ski area and financial backgrounds and instead stacked the commission with like-minded individuals who are making noises about privatizing the resort and stifling investment in expansion -- the very key to survival in today’s competitive environment.
Today, instead of fostering a healthy collaborative relationship with Gunstock's management team, the new commission has opted for open warfare. The ultimate losers will be Belknap's citizens.
And they wrongfully claim that our county-owned gem is a burden on Belknap’s taxpayers. In fact, every penny of its $17 million in revenue comes from visitors to the resort! What are they up to??
BUDGET CHOPPING. Our delegation has openly committed to “serve the taxpayer” by reducing taxes through a slash and burn attack on every molecule of the county budget. As a result, every county service has suffered, including the Sheriff's department, the County Attorney's Office, the Nursing Home (see below) - - even Meals on Wheels! Nobody likes to pay more taxes than they should, but most responsible citizens are willing to pay their share for essential services across our county.
The extremists in the delegation use promises of low taxes to further their radical anti-government agenda.
BELKNAP COUNTY NURSING HOME. For reasons that no caring person can possibly understand, your Belknap Delegation has put our nursing home on life support. How? By a reckless agenda of heartless budget slashing that has produced a deficit of over $350,000 on payroll costs alone! By refusing to budget for an industry-standard wage scale, they have prevented the nursing home from hiring qualified people, and as a result one third of its beds remain empty while many of our senior citizens have no place to go for the care they need. Shameful!
And it does not end with staff wages. Your delegation ruthlessly chopped the professional development budget to $5700. For 65 – 70 professionals! Do the math!
And in a recent meeting one of your delegates asked: “Should our County have a nursing home at all?”
We can and should do better!