Joseph D. Kenney: North Country voice critical for state government

To the editor:

In the coming weeks, the Governor of New Hampshire will nominate various New Hampshire citizens to serve on any of the 300 plus State Boards or Commissions. As your Executive Councilor I would like to hear from you if you would like to serve on some of these State Boards or Commissions. Having North Country citizens serving on these State Boards or Commissions are critical to having your voices heard on many important topics in state government.

A list of these State Boards and Commissions can be found at http://sos.nh.gov/GC2.aspx. The type of openings can range from the Board of Licensed Dietitians to a Water Treatment Plant Advisory Committee. If interested please send a letter of interest along with a resume, to Meagan Rose in the Governor’s office (271-8787) and a copy to Executive Councilor Kenney, State House, Room 207, 107 North Main Street, Concord, NH 03301 (271-3632).

Remember, the Executive Council welcomes public input on State Board and Commission nominations that are brought forward by the Governor for consideration and confirmation. As a your Councilor, we are trying to fit the best people with the right talents for each State Board and Commission.

I look forward hearing from you.

Joseph D. Kenney,
Executive Councilor District 1
Wakefield

Bob Pelletier: All veterans should be recognized for their service

To the editor:

There was a recent article in the paper titled, "Mayor downplays all Veterans Tax Credit". I would like to respond but let me take a little time to provide our citizens with some background.

Under current law, RSA 72:28, a tax credit is awarded to honorably discharged veterans who served a minimum of 90 days and served during certain conflict dates. It doesn't matter if they served in combat or not. The state has enacted a new version of the law, RSA 72:28b, that is exactly the same except there are no time periods. All veterans would be eligible for the credit under the new law. The problem is, this would require our council to accept this or for it to be put on a ballot and voted on in a town meeting. (according to the newspaper article)

I served during the dates in question and was honorably discharged so I am eligible for the tax credit. Why should I get the credit and my fellow veterans who served honorably but not at the right time, not receive the credit? This is ludicrous and the state realized that and updated the flawed law. Veterans who were in the military had no say as to weather or not there would be a conflict while they served. All veterans should be recognized for their service.

I submitted a petition signed by 32 citizens in order to get the city managers to review this situation. I presented this information to the council on Jan 23. The council generally seemed supportive of the change but our mayor downplayed the notion of adopting the law according to the newspaper article. This is just one more indication that our leaders don't seem to represent the interests of our citizens. They eliminated the visiting nurses that so many Berlin residents loved and now they are not willing to treat our veterans fairly. State representative John Martin of Bow said, "this is a matter of treating all those who served in the military on a fair and equal basis", and I couldn't agree more. Serving during peacetime is still serving and all veterans were prepared to fight when called upon to do so.

Here in Berlin, eligible veterans receive up to $125.00 tax credit. The minimum allowed is $50.00 and that is what Berlin awarded until recently when it was increased to $125.00. The maximum allowed would be $500.00 and up to 60 percent of communities provide the maximum amount to vets. I asked the council to consider increasing the amount to the maximum. We here in Berlin pay one of the highest property tax rates in New Hampshire. Where does it all go? Not to our streets, winter or summer. Not to our Nurses. Not to our veterans.

I urge the residents of Berlin to contact their councillors and the mayor to let them know that we honor all our veterans around here, regardless of what the dates were when they served.

Bob Pelletier,
Berlin

Emily MacDonald: We are the voice, we stand for the children

To the editor:
I have been passionate about advocacy since becoming a nurse almost 30 years ago and interested in becoming a CASA volunteer for at least the last 15 years. I put off becoming a CASA due to family and professional responsibilities, feeling I wouldn’t have the time to devote to volunteer advocacy. I signed up for CASA training in the winter of 2015 and completed my training in April. I’ve recently passed the 1-year mark of my first case and I realized very quickly that although there is an initial learning curve, being a CASA is not anywhere near as time consuming as I had anticipated and the rewards are much greater than I predicted. “ Be the Voice” is not just a catchy organizational slogan but the heart of what a CASA-GAL both does and is. We are the voice, we stand for and with the children, and we are often the only person they trust to help them get through their experience to a brighter place. CASA is training new North Country volunteers beginning March 27 in Lancaster. You, too, can be the voice for an abused or neglected child. Learn more or apply online at www.casanh.org. Being a CASA volunteer is extremely rewarding and the time commitment is very manageable even with a full-time job. My only regret is that I didn’t do it sooner.
Emily MacDonald,
Berlin

Pastor Dean A. Stiles: Snow removal was better than expected

To the editor:
I want to thank the city highway department for an awesome job of cleanup this week. I'm the pastor of First Baptist Church on the corner of High and School St. With the two storms this week, I did not expect to see the snow banks removed till sometime next week. To my surprise, I heard the sound of the city equipment Friday morning around ten a.m. and the snow was removed. Thank you for a job well done. May God bless each of you.

Pastor Dean A. Stiles,
Pastor First Baptist Church, Berlin

Melvin Heidt: Roads are not maintained like they used to be

To the editor:

I would like to start this letter off by saying when I moved here in Sept 2015 went through my first winter I praised to my friends that the roads were kept clean then comes the Feb 2017 noreaster I left my home at 430pm to go to get dinner from valley creek and took my normal route down 6th to wight to hillside and back got half way up 6th ave slide backwards into a snowbank got out of that then tried going up several streets until no avail I finally got home at 530pm,.I guess we need a new city manager I guess I should run.

Melvin Heidt,
Berlin