Steven J Connolly


Gov. Hassan Water Works. 

So I’m writing this and considering Gov. Hassan’s recent speech in Plymouth about water and its importance to New Hampshire.

If this were Kansas or Nebraska or even Iowa in the midst of a drought effecting the invested crops of grain farmers this type of speech might have some sincere validity. The first thought on my mind now is:

"Okay, what special interest(s) groups is Hassan really trying to support here. I’m thinking of a nice consulting state contract in support of this."

A subsidy for New Hampshire water.

I looked up the definition of subsidy just to see where it leads.

Subsidize- 1. To Support With Subsidy. 2. To buy the aid or support of with a subsidy, often as a kind of bribe.

Think Webster’s Dictionary does a better job explaining than I can.  



LCHIP Dump Out. 

LCHIP is surrounded with issues of favoritism, politics and elitism and is a questionable use of valuable taxpayer money.The legislative fiscal committee and it's budget writers are doing a good thing in raiding the Land and Community Heritage Improvement Program also known as LCHIP.

This program needs to be dumped out completely.

Not only is it a questionable use of taxpayer money it's goals, organization and selection policy I think merit some serious questions if not investigation. It would be easier just to scrap the entire program. New Hampshire can't afford to preserve special interest properties just like it can't afford to run a ski area at a financial loss and run empty toy trains down to Boston.

Back to LCHIP I'd first question their selection criteria and how their "experts" decide which projects to fund. I believe this question is wrapped in politics, favoritism and basks in elitism while worthwhile projects are sidelined if considered at all.

I'm not going to sit here an cite specific examples but this does go on.

LCHIP should be dumped out.





Working With Our Neighbors. 

This is another issue I've submitted to DRED Commissioner Rose via Governor's Councilor Burton.

This too is a blog that appeared on this very board. It's a possible and/or proposed interstate highway project leading from Maine to the powerful markets of the midwest.

The issue I've poised is that the Maine officials behind this idea are likely finding it easier to deal with a foreign, socialist government then deal with their next door neighbors.

That's why the road goes through Canada!

Somehow I don't see this changing. Especially on this side of the river.

But I'll wait for the response, if I get one and post it here.

Should Rochester Be Thanking Bass? | Main | Where Are The Reforms Kevin? »

Jul 13 2012

Creating Jobs. Imagine That.

Maine East-West Highway by passes New Hampshire.
This is a shot of the Maine road that I've discussed before a project (in green) that will lead to millions of dollars of economic development, taxbase and jobs.
Maine officials of all sorts should be commended for their efforts to do this for their state.
Too bad we don't have this type of leadership in New Hampshire.
What I also neglected to report is that this proposed road is going to be privately owned and financed with some limited policy assistance from the state. In other words, a public-private partnership that works!!!!
Imagine if this road were diverted southward through New Hampshire and Vermont enroute to the Midwest and how this would not only improve the economic conditions but would foster a new level of cooperation between the states involved.
There would have to be some leadership in Concord for this to happen.
They'd be creating jobs... imagine that.



How NH Taxpayers Get Railroaded. 

Investing in any NH railroad project carries a great deal of risk. More often than not it's a losing position for the NH Taxpayer.So I’ve submitted both issues and question(s) to DRED Commissioner Rose via Governor’s Councilor Ray Burton.

These next few blogs will be some background and basis information about what I’ve asked for. I’m trying to stay positive here but my real feeling is that the only responses that are headed my way will be a mixture of fluff, flawed ideas and bad politics.

How NH Taxpayers Get Railroaded.

This is a copy of a blog that appeared on this very board. The project happened under the watch of then DRED Commissioner George Bald.

I’m now wondering if the future will be the same for investing in a railroad project like this one.

Executive Councilor Ray Burton proposes to spend $850,000 of taxpayer money on a crumbling railroad line that runs through northern New Hampshire.

The St. Lawrence & Atlantic Railroad known as the SLR runs from Norton, Vermont through Groveton and Berlin before ending up in a small emaciated town in southern Maine named Danville Junction. The SLR was once a viable and profitable railroad but today this is no longer, with reasons running from the decline of papermaking to the competitve advantages of intermodal trucking throughout the northeast. So my question is why exactly Councilor Burton proposes to spend this $850,000 on what essentially amounts to a financial subsidy for a failing railroad in northern New Hampshire?

Councilor Burton responded to my request by outlining the $850,000 being used for about 23 miles of railroad improvements and added the role of the Federal Government in this project. “To his credit Congressman Hodes has secured another $450,000 for this project.” Burton stated. In a letter to the Editor Burton also mentioned “economic stabilization” as a reason why this project should go forward. During the past two years the papermills in Berlin, Groveton and Gorham have either shut down or sharply reduced capacity. Somehow I don’t Councilor Burton taking any position on these mill closures which resulted in some 600 workers losing their jobs. Papermills incidently, that would have provided rail traffic for the St. Lawrence & Atlantic Railroad. I also don’t recall Councilor Burton mentioning anything about the very idea of “economic stabilization” when the mills announced they were closing.

I’ve been following the SLR and its operations since at least 1994 including its predessors, Emons Holdings Inc. and the Canadian National Railway. Every economic analysis I’ve done on this railroad shows a carrier that has done nothing but cut overhead costs, lay-off workers and continually ask for governement grant money. The later of which seems to have the strong support of the long-time councilor from the north.


Trying To Find Out. 

I’ll start this blog off by saying inasmuch as it might appear this way it is not my intention to continue to use this board to continually complain, harp and bitch about the nomination and now confirmation of DRED Commissioner Jeff Rose.

But I’m still really unhappy.

I think this whole situation underlines what is wrong with New Hampshire and the entrenched sub culture that exists in Concord. It’s a culture of control, it’s a culture of nothing being said but everything being understood, it’s a culture where whispering in the ear is the norm and not the exception.

They do it quietly...

Yesterday, I got in touch with Governor’s Councilor Ray Burton to learn exactly why he voted for Commissioner Rose; there really isn’t much point in asking why since the vote was clearly 5-0 I never sensed there was ever any real opposition to this nomination.

See what I mean.

So instead I tried to express my concerns and there are many about the poor performance of DRED and what the future may bring.Governor’s Councilor Burton stated that he would ensure my question(s) and concerns will be forwarded to Commissioner Rose.

I’ve submitted a number of substantiative and financial concerns.

I’ll post the responses as soon as I get them.