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Forum, July 1: We should pay city councilors and get our money’s worth


Sunday, June 30, 2019
We should pay city councilors and get our money’s worth

Pretty poor job we’ve made of it up here, separating ourselves from the mother country. The landed gentry still run everything on the Merrie Olde England model. But that’s what happens when local governance is treated as a hobby rather than a full-time job.

The fine young people we need to bring us as far into the modern world as can best be hoped for are somewhat busy already, doing lots of good in both paid and volunteer employment while trying to pay the rent and get a little sleep every couple of weeks or so. Their calendars are over-bursting.

If we persist in calling this place a “city,” perhaps it’s long overdue we act like a modern municipality and pay our city councilors and get our money’s worth out of ’em.

It might thereby be possible to attract people who will have the capacity to see the big picture and not only their tiny little fiefdoms.

Soundeth I overly wroth? Well, the more I see and hear and experience for myself, the more curdleth my temper. Yours should too.

Because it wouldn’t matter what projects and expenditures our City Parental Units choose to indulge themselves in if we had enough resources for all the rest of the stuff essential to a healthy and sensibly growing community, too. But we don’t — or at least it seems that those in charge don’t seem to believe that we do.

It’s hard to confront the comfortable status quo, with everyone knowing everyone in six dozen ways from Sunday, them and their kids and their little dogs, too.

But if we really love this place — and not just for the limited amount of time before each of us shuffles off this mortal coil, but for all who may come after and want to live pleasant and happy lives too — we need to figure out a very much better way of running things.

SARAH CRYSL AKHTAR

Lebanon

Stop wasting time and money on bogus investigations

We have to follow the rules of our legal system. But in the aftermath of the Mueller investigation, a basic bedrock of our entire legal system has been forgotten — you are innocent until proven guilty. Special counsel Robert Mueller has ignored this.

Harvard Law Professor Emeritus Alan Dershowitz had been backing Mueller until Mueller’s press conference. Dershowitz blasted Mueller for what he said, pointing out that Mueller has stood legal procedure on its head in this instance.

This is what Mueller said: “If we had had confidence that the President clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.”

This statement is a disgrace. It is not up to the special counsel to say, in effect, “We think he did something, but we can’t prove it.” If he could not find the crime, the investigation is ended and the president is cleared.

In the Justice Department, the special counsel has the same rank as a U.S. attorney and is bound by the same rules of conduct. One of these rules is that those who have been investigated and are not indicted are not named. This was a special situation, and the rule could be bent. But the statement was beyond the pale. This is also why grand jury testimony is sealed — the presumption of innocence if there is no indictment.

As Attorney General William Barr stated, “So it was bogus, this whole idea that Trump was in cahoots with the Russians is bogus.”

Hang it up and move on. Congress should get back to work and stop wasting time and money on bogus investigations.

PATRICK O’CONNOR

Weathersfield

Grateful for the apparent lack of support for border policies

I am grateful to not have to read of local right-wing support for the cruel and morally bankrupt policies targeting the thousands of apprehended refugee children at the southern border.

I just hope maybe this silence means that supporters of President Donald Trump are willing to look the other way for whatever personal reasons, rather than being A-OK with the lies about why and how these kids are being mistreated.

That would be really scary.

MICHAEL SCHORSCH

Orford

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