Belknap County Delegation to Consider Budget Tonight

After some three and a half months have passed since the initial unveiling of the Belknap County budget as presented by the Commissioners (see Bastion story HERE), the Delegation will finally take its turn.

The process was initially set up to feature a budget sub-committee of the 18 members of the Delegation to study and make recommendations to the full body. While the work of the committee was completed, it was revealed that their series of meetings were improperly posted and did not follow New Hampshire’s Right to Know Law (RSA 91-A), thus rendering the findings and recommendations moot.

This was especially unfortunate in that the Representative that brought this to light in what could be characterized as a “gotcha” moment apparently knew about the mistake for quite a period of time. Rather than being helpful and constructive and pointing out her discovery when the snafu occured, she waited until very late in the process and used it as an attack on the Delegation Chair Harry Bean in an obvious attempt to sow chaos and impair the required and necessary work of the Delegation as it crafts the annual budget. With the legally required meeting notice time periods, these machinations have brought the final budget assessment and deliberations to the 11th hour- Without Delegation action prior to an April 1 deadline, the Commissioner’s budget becomes the final “default” document.

There have been accusations made by certain people that the Delegation is not giving this a proper review because the budget sub-committee’s work is invalid. While that IS true with anything done in an improperly conducted meeting that has become null and void is not to be considered, the fact remains that members of the Delegation have had ample time as individuals to review the proposals. If they are so inclined, they could have asked questions of county personnel or the Commissioners. There is no reason to claim that, going into tonight’s meeting, more information is needed. If any of a particular contingent within the Delegation claim otherwise, then it’s on THEM. It will be rather obvious that their REAL intent is to derail the process in an attempt to portray Chairman Bean and others as being inept, as has been stated in several places on the Internet. Chairman Bean served several years on the Gilford Town Budget Committee, on past year’s County Delegation budget work, and sits on the NH House Finance Committee which covers the STATE budget. I’m pretty sure he knows how to understand budgets.

The Delegation meeting takes place tonight (Wednesday) at the County Complex here in Laconia at 6:30PM. Interested citizens should make an effort to attend and observe. See who is attempting to conduct the County’s business and who is trying to thwart the process. As they do so, ask yourself why. What is their purpose if not to cause mayhem? Oh, they might claim to be about “good” government- that will be mighty rich if things go south…

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