Wednesday, January 19, 2011


At a public selectman’s meeting several weeks ago Matt asked the other selectman to come up with proposals for a 2, 5 and 7 % budget cut proposals to see how that would impact the town services and departments; keeping in mind that public safety, Fire and Police, major emphasis on Fire to keep as much services as they can in tack. The other selectman said that it was too early to do that and they needed to wait until the budget reached the selectman.

When the budget reached the board, the selectmen were talking about at least level funding. Matt voted responsibly against most spending increases and proposed spending proposals only to find that they couldn’t even level fund the budget and appeared to make cuts to the spending proposals and not to the budget. As a point of reference and discussion he made a motion for a 7% budget cut. Some of the selectmen acted like rats fighting over cheese accusing him of not saying anything before this, etc, etc and etc.

Well he did and waited to see if the board was serious about making any cuts to the BUDGET and not just providing lip service to the process. As they came to realize Matt is quiet but committed to do what he says.

It was also good to see members of the audience support him in his quest to reduce our taxes with positive suggestions for cuts. I was truly pleased to see that and not just complaining. I hope those who like to go to the selectman’s meetings will continue to provide positive input, it will benefit the town and hopefully save us money.

Sunday, January 2, 2011


According to the Seacoast News Papers that was the comment from some of our local politicians on the Exeter/Anthem situation. I guess if you don’t know what to do you probably will do less damage if you stand on the side lines and watch. Quite frankly I have never been one to sit on the side lines when there was work to do.

Last Weds. I met with Roger Sevigney, the NH Insurance Commissioner, Roger, Matt and I have an excellent working relationship, and we had a frank and honest private conversation. Roger is on top of this and is walking a regulatory tight rope with limited but some authority to get involved.

The prior insurance commissioner was involved in the Tufts insurance debacle. If some of you remember Tufts was a big HMO, on the financial ropes, couldn’t come to grips with the Exeter Hospital pricing, lost Exeter (I was told about 16,000 subscribers throughout the area) then lost Bath Iron Works in Maine and folded up and left NH. So we are now going through a second Exeter Hospital/Insurance carrier situation with the insured being used in the PR war. Actually I believe the fight has gone too far and both entities have severely hurt their reputations.

In the last campaign I don’t know if I got the message out as well as I would like; when (at candidates forums or going door to door) people would ask what I thought the biggest cost drivers were in health care/health insurance I would say, “greed”; GREED, on the part of the hospitals and greed on the part of the insurance companies. Unfortunately greed is a built in factor in a capitalistic society. The only time government gets or should get involved is when it becomes a consumer protection issue or consumers are getting screwed in any other way. We don’t want to regulate; but, we need to have the authority to get involved when a situation gets out of hand.

Like I said, I met with Roger and I believe he is on top of the situation and I made my and Matt’s feelings known.


The speaker of the house, speaker William O’Brian (some refer to him as “Billy O”, has given his marching orders, the house will prioritize the budget and financial part of our business as the prime objective. Of course there other bills out there repeal gay marriage, parental notification and others; but, it is more of a routine maintenance in the legislature than a social reform swing in any direction. I have a couple of bills one to study insurance contracting with medical providers and a couple of other study committees, one dealing with pre-buys for oil contracts and a few others; but, being on finance the main gist with Chairman Ken Weyler and marching orders from Billy O is budget, budget and budget. We’ll get the other stuff done and will fix our finances as well. Remember the old saying, “If you put liberals in office they spend, if you put conservatives in office they save”. The republicans are in office and we tend to be fiscally conservative.


I did a little checking around and it looks like it would be legal to elect our tax assessor. That would make him directly responsible to the voters and tax payers and not the Selectman or Town Manager. That way maybe we would avoid the Vision Appraisal fiasco of them increasing our tax bill and refusing to come to check the taxpayer’s property.

What it appears it would take would be 25 petitioners to sign a warrant article/petition to put it on the town warrant. Anyone that wants to can go to it.