Robert Kruszyna: Quote by Oscar Wilde proves accurate

To the editor:

One of my favorite quotations is attributed to Oscar Wilde: “America is the only country that has progressed from barbarism to decadence without passing through civilization.” We are certainly proving that, aren’t we.

Robert Kruszyna,
Randolph

Claude Pigeon: Change in political party is immoral

To the editor:
I am writing to express my disappointment in Robert Theberge’s recent announcement. He has informed his constituents of his change of party, leaving the democrats to join the republicans. While I commend Robert for his long commitment to north country politics, I must condemn his defection. When he ran for office and was elected, he ran as a democrat. The people did not vote for him. They voted for the ideals and the platform represented by his party, and their faith in his ability to uphold those ideals. By defecting, he is effectively denying his constituents, the very people who trusted him, of that representation. It’s a political switch and bait. I assume it must be legal since he has done it. Legal or not, it is immoral. You cannot tell your supporters you are one thing and then be something else. I think he should resign both his positions and then run again as a republican. Then, he will know what his constituency thinks.

Claude Pigeon,
Berlin

Judy LeBlanc: Power must be put back into the hands of the selectmen

To the editor:
As a taxpayer and resident of Gorham, I have listened to and participated in discussions about the rising tax rate with other friends and neighbors.
Everyone is concerned about the upcoming re-evaluation and the impact it would have on an already high tax rate and eroding tax base, so I decided to do some research and comparisons to other towns similar in equalized valuation and population.
It was an eye opener. I started to attend budget committee meetings and board of selectman’s meetings and, frankly, didn’t much like what I saw. It was obvious that the budget committee tried to make informed decisions based on the information they were given and when they asked for more information, over time it became clear that the town manager would drag her feet in providing that information, even going so far as to forcing a budget committee member go to the town hall to retrieve the information for the budget committee herself.
So, I decided to review minutes of past meetings, board of selectman and budget committee. It was after reading those minutes in succession that I saw red flags start to appear. So, I re-read those minutes over and over and only then was I able to “connect the dots.”
It became apparent that the biggest part of our problem was the town manager form of government and the power it gives to the town manager to act on their own. That power is provided by RSA 37:6 such as superseding decisions made by the board of selectman as was done with the hiring of interim firechief/EMS director, insert funding for merit raises when a motion to leave $7,000 in the 2015 operating budget failed to receive a second but here it is in the 2017 budget without any further discussion in any of the minutes that I could find.
The budget committee’s concern was the what, the how and the who would benefit as the process was not clearly defined. There was concern that the water and sewer department as well as the library had not been included in any discussion that might have taken place pertaining to the merit raises.
This raised the concern that these raises could become exclusive.There were also comments from the selectmen present that they were not on board with this as presented.
A budget committee member commented on the lack of communication between the town manager, department heads and board of selectman.
I had drafted a aarrant article to discontinue the town manager form of government and with the help of many others got more than the required signatures required to put it in front of the people. I was astounded by the response and who had signed it. I had done my “homework” as many can attest to, and we need, in my and many others opinions, a town administrator who can perform all the duties of a town manager but without the power.
The power to act must be put back into the hands of the board of selectman whom we elected to act on our behalf and not given over to a non-elected official as has happened in the last few years. Many other small towns have abandoned the town manager form of government in favor of a town administrator. It’s time for Gorham to do the same.
Judy LeBlanc
Gorham

Sam Mercier: Binette close to reaching hockey milestone

To the editor:
To be the first to do anything is extraordinary. The only thing standing between Rylie Binette, and becoming the first girl to score 100 goals for girls hockey in Berlin, is five more. Binette has put in over 11 years of hard work and dedication, having played since she was seven. She played eight years of youth hockey; playing with the boys helped her gain tremendous strength.
Throughout the years Binette has developed her skill to become an essential playmaker to any team she's been apart of, scoring goals consistently, and picking up countless assists. She has become everything a coach wants in a center: speed, soft hands, consistency, and accuracy. She has been a starter for Berlin for the past three years, and a thorn in every team’s side. Rylie has already scored 35 goals this season, including five consecutive games with hat tricks, so achieving five more will be a simple task for her.
The Mountaineers next game is home on Tuesday the 14th at 6 p.m. against Concord. It is possible for her to score the 100th then; if Binette does not during that game the next two are away at Bishop Guertin and Bishop Brady, on the 21st and 24th respectively. If she scores the big goal at either one of those, she will be recognized on senior night, the 25th during a 3 PM game. No matter how her career ends, Rylie has had a fantastic one, making finals twice so far, and final four the other year, hoping to make finals again, and has put up fantastic numbers each year. I want to personally congratulate Rylie on her accomplishments throughout high school, and for being able to commit to the University of Southern Maine for hockey. Congratulations Rylie! Good luck, and go get ‘em!
Sam Mercier and Audrey Coulombe
Berlin

Lorraine Leclerc: Theberge should resign as state representative

To editor:
I was appalled this morning when I read the front page of this paper. I am asking that Robert Theberge resign as a State Representative. I voted for him because he was a democrat. Changing parties should not be allowed once you've been elected by your constituents. The constitution says that politicians are elected to serve the people, We The People not Me The People.
Lorraine Leclerc,
Berlin