Barry Ennis for Budget Committee

I’ve been concerned for years about the amount of revenue that the town needs to generate to have the best of everything. We’re a small town; we don’t really need to have the best of everything. And I think we could sharpen our pencils and cut down on a lot of the things that we have — that people seem to think we need, but we don’t really need them. I think we should just get by on what we have — your basic needs, not your wants — and live without frills.

I’ve been asked by a lot of people to run for office because they think I may have some input on that. So I figure it’s finally time that I give that a shot and get involved in the town government a little more than just being an outspoken critic of it most of the time. I’ve been a self-employed businessman for 35 years. Prior to that, I was a school teacher, and worked on school budgets. I have a Bachelor’s degree in social science (which has something to do with government). And I’ve always managed my own budget over these years, being self-employed.
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Carrying Pictures of Chairman Now

Regarding the issue of public comment at selectmen’s meetings in Tuftonboro, which is supported by many, including the “Grunter” as well as Hector M. Ledoux, I have this to say to the current chair of the Tuftonboro board and her authoritarian rule. Let’s call her Chairman Now.

That has a nice despotic sound doesn’t it? For local government, engaging in public intercourse should be a desirable and pleasant experience. Try it, Carolyn. You might like it. Why I would even bet that Marcussen and Woody would come to enjoy engaging in it also.

This post appeared as a letter to the editor in the November 3, 2016, Granite State News.

Everyone Should Be Able to Ask Questions at Meetings

Here comes another Fourth of July. Independence Day they call it. A year ago in a letter that never got published, I called out the Tuftonboro selectmen for having their heads buried in the sand with their no public comment gag rule, also known as the McWhirter Muzzle rule, at selectmen meetings.

Well, I was wrong. Duffy and Wood may have had their heads buried in the sand, but Selectmen Chair Carolyn Sundquist obviously has hers stuck somewhere else.

At a budget committee meeting on May 24, Sundquist, who is the selectmen’s representative to that group, said that the public doesn’t have a right to speak, and “Could I just ask, what would come from the public that would make us change our minds on something?” Talk about a condescending attitude!

At the June 20 selectmen’s meeting, she refused to share a memo with the cemetery trustees because there “would be no public benefit from the trustees seeing it.” How would she know? She doesn’t allow or listen to public input. If one can ask a question, all should be able to ask a question. All in or all out. All men are created equal. To say one person can speak because she’s the reporter doesn’t cut it.

No special exceptions. It’s called democracy. It’s why we celebrate our freedoms. It’s government of the people, by the people, and for the people. Sundquist has become Tuftonboro’s version of Hillary. The best thing that could happen to Tuftonboro would be if Carolyn Sundquist became Carolyn Soonquits.

Watching Phineas Graves rolling in his grave.

This post appeared as a letter to the editor of the Granite State News.