After almost four years of railing against the wasteful spending going on here in the city of Keene, you might be under the assumption that this place is a lost cause and subsequently choose to settle elsewhere. Don’t. Keene is a great place with a lot of good people and a lot of potential. The truth is this sort of nonsense is going on across the country and in a lot of places it is much worse. The key difference here is the strong liberty community that has chosen to keep tabs on the powers that be and hold them accountable for their misguided decisions. We’ve cleared our eyes of the veil of apathy to see the truth for what it is.
To the wise old city bureaucrats and school officials: this may be your legacy, but it’s my inheritance. I WILL NOT stand by and watch while you squander it. You may get your way this year, but I’m not going to make it easy for you.
As some of you may well be aware, the Keene School District plans to cut 36.7 full-time positions, close an elementary school, and has projected a loss in enrollment of around 80 students. And yet, as you probably already expected, the budget will still be going up.
The school district has presented us with a proposed operating budget of $64.98 million, an increase of $181,394 from the previous year. Should that article fail, the default budget of $65.66 million will kick in. So, lose/lose. But here’s the real kicker: Due to less incoming revenue in the form of state tuition and previous-year surplus, the actual impact on the Keene taxpayer will be an additional $1.7 million increase. This will amount to a 5.31 percent increase on the school portion of your property tax.
These yearly increases in both school and city spending are unacceptable and ultimately unsustainable. If the school district were a private business it would have gone belly-up years ago due to its mismanagement of funds. But unlike the private sector, the public school system doesn’t need to sell you a good product to stay in business. They’ll get your money regardless of the quality and affordability of service they provide us. Or else they’ll take your house.
In an attempt to reign in this out-of-control spending, I have introduced three warrant articles that will help school board members and administrators with their future budget preparation. They include a budget cap of .5 percent, a reduction of $500 per student per year until the student tuition matches the state average, and the formation of a committee to study the feasibility of withdrawal from SAU 29. I’ve also included a fourth article to cease participation in the one-size-fits-all common core program. Sadly, all four warrants will undoubtedly be amended in such a way as to remove their original intent at the deliberative session this Saturday.
If there is one thing the school and its supporters excel at, it is removing any alternative options from the ballot.
“Who doesn’t support a mothers right to feed? Don’t give me the liberal talking points Amanda. If it’s a woman’s natural inclination to pull her nipple out in public and you support that, than you should have no problem with a mans to stare at it and grab it. After all, it’s ALL relative and natural, right?” – State Representative Josh Moore
Does Moore really believe that a woman going topless justifies a man committing assault and grabbing it? It’s hysteria like this that needs to end. They are breasts. Men and women both have them – it’s a basic human liberty to be as clothed as one wishes on your own, or public property.
Moore and his cohort, state representative Al Baldasaro were subsequently eviscerated on Amanda’s facebook thread, by countless libertarians. During the process, Baldasaro weighed in with another rude quip:
“No disrespect, but your nipple would be the last one I would want to see. You want to turn our family beach’s into a pervert show.” – State Representative Al Baldasaro
(All spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors by Moore and Baldasaro were left intact.)
Somewhere along the line, Slate published a piece featuring Moore and Baldasaro’s ridiculous support of oppressing topless freedom. That then led to several more major websites picking up the story. Here’s a quick rundown:
If there are only a few bad apples in policing, how do they rise to the top of the ranks? The last case of a corrupt police chief reported on this blog, less than one year ago, involved New London, NH’s then-chief threatening college girls into stripping so he could photograph them nude in the police department basement.
Now, in the case of Canterbury police chief John Laroche, he’s accused of multiple cases of sexual assault (rape) against a teenage girl. To be clear, the girl was of the age of consent, however Laroche was in a position of authority over her, as he was in charge of the Police Explorers program, where teenagers explore whether they would like a career in law enforcement. Apparently, it’s also not uncommon for them to explore their sexuality with the officers.
Well, they’re at it again. The federal grant-chasers of America are doing what they do best — finding expensive projects to invest in that we didn’t know we actually needed. Enter the Jonathan Daniels Road Calming Pilot project, an initiative to get more kids riding their bikes to school by adding more safety features to our already safe roads. Never mind the fact that this is the last year of JD Elementary. To get a better idea of their proposed plan I attended their Tuesday night meeting for questions and comments.
In order to receive the $132,000 grant, the project must be carried out by outside contractors. The city, which could probably perform this same project for a fraction of the cost, cannot be involved in the hands-on labor. Sounds fishy already. Some of the costs listed included $2,000 stripped road crossings, $5,000 radar speed signs, and $6,000 raised crosswalks.
“But it’s free money.” No. There is no such thing. Someone is picking up the check. In this case it’s getting tacked right on to the federal credit card.
“But think of the children.” I am thinking of the kids. Like my daughter, who stands to inherit this massive credit card bill.
“But this project could prevent future accidents.” What accidents? Between 2007-10 (the stats that were included in the project plan) there were 15 total accidents. All of them were minor, including the school bus that hit a parked car, and all occurred on Maple Ave. or in the school parking lot. Not a single accident occurred in Maple Acres, where the proposed project will be implemented.
“But more signs will make us safer.” No. This city is already suffering information overload from too many signs. Drivers should be paying attention to the roads, pedestrians and other vehicles, and not be lambasted by some sign every 20 feet. If anything, the city of Keene should be emulating the street system we have in Maple Acres: wide-open streets with limited street signage and road markers. (more…)
I got a sad letter from my attorney this week. He informed me that the Supreme Court of NH upheld the lower court’s decision to deny my application for a license to carry a handgun discreetly. You can read the decision here:
What happened to the cannabis decriminalization bill that overwhelmingly passed the house with more than 80% of NH state reps voting for it? In an embarrassing display of ignorance, watch as multiple NH senators spout off various prohibitionist lies and nonsense in this hearing that came at the end of a 12-hour day for liberty activists at the state house. Despite initially having enough votes to pass the measure, prohibitionist senator Carson moves to strip some more from the already-crippled bill. This ultimately kills it, for political reasons.(Technically it’s “tabled” until 2016.)
The good news is this is the first time the NH senate has ever had a floor discussion on the issue (the house has passed decrim six times in eight years), as ignorant as much of it was, it’s a step in the right direction. The next step is to target the bad senators for either education or elimination in 2016’s election. More detail on what happened below the video, from someone who was with me witnessing the debacle.
HB618 (Marijuana Decrim) is dead until January, at the earliest. Last night, the Senate voted 15-9 to overturn the committee’s recommendation of ITL (inexpedient to legislate/kill this bill) so that Senator Pierce could introduce a compromise amendment. This was encouraging.
At the point the vote was taken, Senator Sharon Carson (R-Londonderry) walked out of the session and began loudly yelling and ranting about how she couldn’t believe this was happening, (more…)