Steven J Connolly

Thursday
Jul022015

Let It Move Forward. 

Previously,  I had reported on Senate Bill 88 relative to the "study of intermodal transportation" in New Hampshire.

Governor Hassan has signed this bill into state law. Senate Bill 88 Has Been Signed Into State Law. Hopefully this law moves New Hampshire Forward.

Hopefully this will move forward. Just last week I had a conversation with a contracts administrator at DOT about the NH state owned rail line from Groveton to Littleton that sits now, unused and rusting. I've been told that the state will likely file a "notice of exemption" and be removing the tracks just south of wing road in Bethlehem down to Littleton.

Another reason why this study is needed.

Friday
Jun262015

Balsam's Pushback. 

I've been very frustrated with Senate Bill 30 and the whole Balsams Bailout proposal. All of it.

But today I'm seeing some signs of at least a 'small pushback' which I'll be attempting to report on.

Let's get going.To anyone that believes that the NH taxpayer won't be paying for the Balsam's Bailout. I'd encourage you to read the Caledonian Record newspaper

There is alot of public relations and media fluff associated with this whole idea, whether it is responsible journalism is a question that clearly lingers and exists. And as I've reported I've contacted the Caledonian Record newspaper directly with my concern(s) that their reporting is basically Dixville Capital LLC sponsored material, not objective reporting.

So this morning I'm reading the Caledonian Record newspaper and their reports of a Coos County Commissioners meeting in which the commissioners are being explained some of the needs of the Balsams project by Coos County Planning Board Chairman John Scarinza. One of the requests/needs is for a code enforcement officer and/or building inspector which can be met by the use of the State Fire Marshal.

Who pays for the services and transportation of the state fire marshal from Concord to the Balsams?

"On the topic of building inspector, Scarinza told the commissioners they could hire a private party per RSA or hire the state fire marshal office to perform the function for the county."

And the story gets better....  

From what I read Coos County Sheriff Gerald Marcou, as a part of this Balsams Bailout wants "could be an impact on the sheriff's department from the additional development and needs to know if to budget for additional staff."

To anyone who actually believes that NH taxpayers do not have to pay for this Balsams Bailout I'd encourage you to read this quote again.

"The county commissioners voted 3-0 to accept Scarinza's reccomendation, with Commissioner Tom Brady asking for a letter of agreement stating the developer will agree to pay all costs."

Commissioner Brady needs to do more than just ask.

DEMAND.

 

 

Friday
Jun192015

State Shadows. 

I'm reading the conference committee report for H.B. 25 "Making Appropriations For Capital Improvements."

Some interesting reading here.

So I'm scrolling down though the 'expenditures' columns past all the roof and water system replacements and come on to Rail Improvements-Equal Match To Private Funds  600,000. And it's in Coos County an area of NH I've been spending alot of time in recently.

What is this? HB 25. Does This Legislation Include $600,000 For A Railroad In Coos County?

Then I read down further into the footnotes: "Capital Budget; project purpose amended state treasurer authorized appropriation RSA 6-A."

Is this a matching grant for the St. Lawrence & Atlantic Railroad in Coos County?

This seems like a "shadow government" to me.

Thursday
Jun182015

NH Budget Gimmicks. 

The state budget is due to be finalized in a matter of weeks.

The threat of Gov. Hassan to veto the legislation HB1,HB2 is not entirely unfounded. And the reason(s) is:

Gimmicks. Closing Tri-Counnty CAP offices is a mistake.

There will always be creative accounting methods used in the state budget. This is more commonly known as robbing peter to pay the paul. But when these gimmicks and games affect vulnerable and defenseless people this is when it becomes completely wrong. This morning I awoke to the announcement that Tri-County CAP is closing most of it's intake/field office for fuel assistance. I do not have the list in front of the but I believe Berlin,Tamworth and Laconia remain open while the rest close:Lebanon,Colebrook, Groveton, Woodsville, Littleton. What the press release also doesn't state is that these offices are not only intake applications for fuel assistance but they also deal with homelessness and referral for other issues like drug abuse.

-What do you want to be that Senate Budget Writers transfered or took money away from Tri-County CAP and gave to Health & Human Services to keep "their offices open." Some of which were scheduled to be reduced and/or closed.

Something is really wrong here. I hope that Gov. Hassan displays some real leadership and vetoes this state budget there is simply too much bad and not enough good.

Alot of individuals will be very cold this winter.....

 

Thursday
Jun182015

Where Is Councilor Kenney? 

Draft Letter To The Editor.

About a month ago I attempted to contact Executive Councilor Joe Kenney about some concerns in district number one. Two pieces of legislation have passed or are nearing passage that could affect life "North of Concord."

The first is Senate Bill 30 also called the Balsams Bailout which allows a $28 million dollar state loan guarantee to be used to finance a questionable and risky real estate project in Dixville Notch. I asked Councilor Kenney if he would support this state contract if it comes before the Governor and Council. Next I asked Kenney about economic development and jobs both of which are important in district one. I asked the first term councilor if he is working to appoint anyone to state boards and commissions in areas like economic development and transportation. Councilor Kenney hasn't responded to me. Guess as a long-term citizen of district one I've come to expect quality constituent service like that of his predecessor, Ray Burton who always responded to everything! And no problem was ever too hot to handle!

I've heard rumors that Councilor Kenney serves as a Lt. Colonel in the Marine Corps Reserve and his military deployments inhibit his ability to serve in the Executive Council. This poor constituent service is unfortunate. Both of his political opponents in the last election(s), Mike Cryans of Hanover and Christopher Boothby of Meredith stated that if they were elected this would be a full-time dedicated position for them.