Thoughts On A Sunday

Spring-like temperatures arrived in New Hampshire yesterday, with more following over the next few days. Frankly, I'm relieved. With this winter-that-almost-wasn't I was tired of the weather weirdness. Either it should be winter or it shouldn't. Considering that December and January were some of the warmest on record (some folks were still boating on a wide open Lake Winnipesaukee as late as January 14th), and then the plunge into the deep freeze in February and March, it's no wonder I'm a little weather weary. Usually we see the sub-zero temperatures between late December and early February. It's all a little confusing to a body.

The early changeover to Daylight Savings Time isn't helping all that much, either.


The peak of the local political silly season arrives on Tuesday, with elections for town officials and voting on numerous town and school warrants taking place in our little town.

For the most part there hasn't been all that much controversy except in one area. - the Budget Committee. There has been more brouhaha, angst, and recriminations over our Budget Committee than any other issue facing the voters this year. It doesn't help that there a number of candidates running to fill three slots in the committee that seem to favor style over function. They're concerned mainly about civility within the committee rather than spending, which is were they should be focusing their efforts.

The 'lack of civility' used as a rallying point for these candidates is a non-issue. It is something that was blown way out of proportion that has become a straw man. During our town's deliberative session, one resident cited the committee's “contempt for the taxpayer” as a reason for supporting the dissolution of the committee in toto. My question to him at the same meeting was “How is looking out for how the taxpayer's money is being spent showing 'contempt for the taxpayer'?” He was showing his contempt for the committee and the taxpayer by his statement.

Another question: Will 'being civil' also mean that the Budget Committee will be a rubber stamp for the Board of Selectmen and the School Board? Under the code of ethics these candidates are putting forward, will denying or changing a request for funding be considered a violation of that code? If so, then all of the taxpayers in our town are in big trouble.


Continuing on the topic of local politics, many other towns throughout New Hampshire will also be holding their Town Meetings and voting in local elections this week, deciding who should serve in office and how much money their towns will spend over the next fiscal year. It is democracy in action at the local level, something that far too many people tend to ignore.

One of the old sayings that is as true today as when it was first uttered long ago: “If you didn't attend town meeting and vote, then you have no right to bitch about anything.”

I don't know how many times in the past that I've attended Town Meeting in the various towns in which I've resided over the years, staying until the end, commenting and voting on various warrant articles, only to hear some time later someone moaning and complaining about one thing or another that the town is doing or not doing. More often than not when I've asked if they attended Town Meeting or voted in the local elections, the answer was “No.” At that point I'd make the quote above and stop listening to them. They forfeited their right to complain when they couldn't take the time or make the effort to attend. It's one day out of the entire year and they can't make plans to attend? It isn't as if the date of Town Meeting isn't known well in advance.

More then once I've heard that same person comment, “But it's only one vote. My vote won't make a difference,” or something to that effect. And I've shot right back at them that more than one warrant article has passed or failed by one vote. One vote.

Sometimes they just don't get it.


It may be that the DNC has miscalculated in its decision to back out of a Presidential candidate debate in Nevada hosted by Fox News.

The decision has garnered editorials, blog posts, and comments galore slamming the Democrats for being far too partisan.


In case you missed this, Brad Delp, lead singer for the rock group Boston and long time New Hampshire resident, died at his home on Friday. He was 55. There were no indications of foul play.

I can say that I've had the pleasure of meeting him on more than one occasion over the years, and he was one of the most down to earth people I've ever met. He didn't let his celebrity change who he was, didn't buy into the hype that so often colors or poisons musical artists.

I saw Boston play well before they made the big time and even then there was something different about their sound. One of those things was Brad's vocals, so different from so many others that his were instantly recognizable.

Damn, I'm going to miss him.


The buzz about a possible presidential run by former US Senator Fred Thompson keeps growing. And it's not like Thompson has acted to kill the buzz. Frankly, I am far more enthusiastic about him than any of the other Republican hopefuls presently campaigning.

Some say that he'll be getting into the race far too late should he decide to run. But these 'some' need to remember that the first caucuses and primary are still 10 months away. Some of the hopefuls on both sides will have either burned out or done a crash and burn long before then. Thompson still has a large window of opportunity. I'm betting he'll jump into the fray, but at a time of his choosing and no one else's.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where political posters and signs litter the countryside, sap is filling the buckets, and where all too soon Daylight Savings Time has arrived.

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