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Forum, Jan. 31: A Decade of City Council Service Ends


Tuesday, January 30, 2018
A Decade of Council Service Ending

Having represented Ward 2 on the Lebanon City Council for 10 years, I have decided to not run for re-election. I have reached this decision for a number of reasons. I am not jaded or tired (well, maybe a little tired). In fact, I have always found working with the council to be, interesting, compelling, necessary and, at times, difficult but rewarding.

I am in my late 60s, semi-retired and spending more time out of town. I also feel that, after 10 years, it’s time for some new blood. I must confess, I will not miss the time commitment.

To my fellow councilors, current and past, it has been an honor and privilege to have worked together. In spite of any differences we have, it’s always been about what is best for Lebanon, the city I have made my home since the early 1980s.

I will miss my long-time friends on the council, as well as the new council members.

Working with the city staff was always a pleasure, and they always had time to discuss, answer questions, or gather more information. To our new city manager, I say “Welcome” and sorry we won’t have a chance to work together. To the department heads: Keep up the good work.

Feb. 7 will be my final meeting. Going somewhere warm for a bit. Thanks to all, be well, and enjoy.

Bruce Bronner

Ward 2 Representative

Lebanon City Council

Tax Time Help Is Available

The 2017 federal and state income tax filing season is about to begin and the AARP Tax Aide Foundation is offering help at two Upper Valley sites.

Appointments at the Claremont Senior Center start on Friday, and can be made by calling 603-542-5998. Appointments at the Upper Valley Senior Center in Lebanon begin on Feb. 6 and can be made by calling 603-448-4213.

There is no cost for this service, and seniors and low-income families are encouraged to take advantage of the service.

Peggy Mitchell

Canaan

Stay Warm and Conserve Energy

I bet if you’re like the 35-plus people who attended the Weatherize Upper Valley Kickoff meeting for Plainfield and Cornish this past Wednesday, you don’t want to go through another winter like this. You don’t have to. You can take advantage of this wonderful program organized by Vital Communities to efficiently insulate your house and stop cold air from getting to you (at least while you’re home).

This program is being offered this year in Plainfield, Cornish, Lebanon, Lyme, Orford and Piermont in New Hampshire and Woodstock, Pomfret, Bridgewater, Springfield and Chester in Vermont. Not only will you stay warmer, you could cut your energy use and costs dramatically. Start off with a $100 home energy audit in which certified contractors will perform a comprehensive assessment of your home’s efficiency. You can then elect to make improvements from their recommendations. And if your home is particularly leaky, you may qualify to receive up to $4,000 in project costs from NHSaves.com.

The Plainfield and Cornish energy committees are particularly excited about this program as it brings our towns another step closer to becoming less reliant on fossil fuels, and another step closer to realizing our desire to be 100 percent committed to using renewable energy. In the Upper Valley, heating and transportation costs are a big part of household budgets, and Weatherize Upper Valley is a great way to take action. I encourage you to visit vitalcommunities.org/weatherize to see how you can stay warm next year, save money and help our environment.

Steve Ladd

Co-Chair, Plainfield Energy Committee

Seeking a Dignified President

The Forum occasionally prints letters from Trump supporters who whine that liberals or unspecified “others” are preventing the president from doing his job or imply that criticism of this man is simply sour grapes about losing the election.

The election charge is an old, tired canard. Setting aside the facts that Donald Trump “won” only because of an outdated oddity known as the Electoral College, and that Hillary Clinton garnered nearly 3 million more popular votes, liberals and Democrats have moved way beyond that.

Just who is preventing the most powerful man on Earth from doing his job? And if that is the case, how can he be doing “incredibly good things”? Can’t have it both ways.

Any greatness we have is rooted in our being a nation of laws, in having a set of written standards (the Constitution and the Bill of Rights), a system of checks and balances that includes an independent judiciary and press, and an essential generosity. But that doesn’t satisfy conservatives, who yearn for a Teddy Roosevelt brand of chest-thumping, “America First”  jingoism, with a whispered racist subtext: whites-only. News flash: those days are gone, friend.

With globalization and the economic and military growth of many nations — including many non-allies like China and Russia — America is going to have to play ball. We are longer the 800-pound gorilla.

Look, fair-minded people of both parties simply want their president to act in a dignified, presidential manner, to tell the truth, to put forth some consistent beliefs and to compromise when necessary. Trump has only impulses. He lashes out on Twitter, insults our allies, cozies up to our enemies, contradicts and undermines his own staff. He knows little about his job and cares less. I don’t know what you, personally, expect to gain from this president, but in the end he will disappoint you. He cares only about winning, fame and attention, and money. He cares not a whit about you. If you supported him, you’ve been scammed.

Arthur E. Norton

Woodstock