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Letter: Executive Council’s Immense Power

Executive Council’s Power

To the Editor:

All of us must think very carefully about who we want to replace Ray Burton in the election to be held Tuesday for New Hampshire’s Executive Council. We must be informed and then we must vote.

From material once provided by Mr. Burton, I learned of the immense power the Executive Council has. It is shocking ­— and it is unique to New Hampshire. I moved here 22 years ago from Pennsylvania, and the Council was unknown to me until several years ago. I find it astonishing.

The five Council members are elected every two years. Their duties are explained: “All state departments and agencies must seek approval of receipts and expenditures of state and federal funds, budgetary transfers within the departments and all contracts with a value of $5,000. The Executive Council approves the spending of a major portion of the billions of dollars appropriated annually by the legislature. They must approve the appointment of judges, notaries public, justices of the peace as well as requests for pardons.”

And there’s more: “The Executive Council of the state of New Hampshire has the authority and responsibility, together with the Governor, over the affairs of the State as defined in the New Hampshire Constitution, the New Hampshire statutes, the advisory opinions of the New Hampshire Supreme Court and the Attorney General.”

The Republicans keep saying that they are seeking a man just like Ray Burton. Someone who goes to every single event in his or her area? Is this really what is needed? If our state insists on having this Council, what should be emphasized, in my opinion, is the need to have a person of honest and just temperament, with understanding of the needs and concerns of our citizens, the ability to reason with intelligence and a progressive point of view. Check out Peter Glenshaw. He looks worthy to me.

Rose Law Miller

Hanover

More School Choice in Vermont

To the Editor:

Are you paying attention? South Burlington’s school budget is going up 7 percent. Norwich’s is similar. Other school budgets will also increase. Recently, I learned that the Rivendell Interstate School budget is increasing 1.7 percent. The board is to be congratulated. This is the second year in a row that they have held the line on spending.

The school funding process in Vermont is so complex very few people can understand it. There is talk about fixing the school budget problems in the Legislature. What are the chances that when they get done with the fixes it will only be more complex?

What happens when a business has competition? It looks for cost savings and more efficient ways to do business that makes its product more competitive in the marketplace. So, legislators and Agency of Education and unions, let’s compete. Let’s make it easier for independent and charter schools to exist rather than make it harder. Then, to increase competition even more, allow universal school choice. That would only be fair as towns without schools have choice now. Why shouldn’t all students have choice?

So if you are worried about your property taxes and the cost of education, go to school meetings and speak up. There were only two members of the public at the Rivendell meeting for a school district that spans four towns.

Mary Daly

Fairlee

The writer is finance chairwoman of the Orange County Republican Committee.

Bring On the Pond Party

To the Editor:

“The ice was here, the ice was there, The ice was all around …” in Coleridge’s Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner, as well as recent Valley News stories, photos and home deliveries. Our paper was not delivered Jan. 11 for the first time in my memory. The ice storm prevented Penny, our dependable paper deliverer, from making her crack-of-dawn road trip. Ice will be all around Occom Pond soon as we harvest a few hundred blocks to build a castle, slides and sculptures on Feb. 1. The following Saturday, Feb. 8, Hanover Parks and Recreation will throw its annual Occom Pond Party.

The Valley News “Ice Harvest” photo (Jan. 14) on Squam Lake was inspiring for our castle crew. A famous French Canadian song describes this season well: “Mon pays ce n’est pas un pays. C’est l’hiver. Translation: My country it is not a country. It is the winter.” Bring on the winter, snow and ice.

William W. Young

Hanover

Indebted to Pam Spaulding

To the Editor:

As principal of Lebanon High School and athletic director at Lebanon Middle School, we would like to take the opportunity to express our sincere gratitude to Pam Spaulding, Lebanon High School administrative assistant to the athletic/cocurricular director. In the absence of a full time athletic/cocurricular director, she has been an integral and important part in the operation of our programs. Her time, effort, dedication and investment to our students, coaches and the community of Lebanon went well beyond her job description. We are indebted to her for setting a positive tone during this difficult time.

On a daily basis, we hear from coaches, students, parents and community members, athletic directors and coaches at other schools, NHIAA leadership and referees regarding the outstanding job Pam is doing. The words of praise are well deserved.

We want to extend our heartfelt thanks to Pam Spaulding.

Nan Parsons

Principal, Lebanon High School

Linda Preston

Athletic Director, Lebanon Middle School

Lebanon