Trashing the Constitution

Governor Chris Sununu has extended his “stay at home” order through May 31. In it he purports to instruct free New Hampshire citizens that they may not leave their homes except for certain reasons that he, and he alone, approves. And he instructs state and local police to enforce his order. New Hampshire Attorney General Gordon MacDonald has issued a memorandum to law enforcement advising them that they can arrest people for violating Sununu’s emergency orders.

U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr has called these stay-at-home orders “disturbingly akin to house arrest.” The governor does not have the authority to place American citizens under house arrest.

Shortly after Sununu issued his first stay-at-home order in March, I contacted Tuftonboro Police Chief Andrew Shagoury to tell him I would not be complying with an unconstitutional order. Andy wrote back to me, stating, “We will not be arresting you if you leave your house.”

For the record, I have not complied with the governor’s house-arrest order since he first issued it on March 26. I have left my home numerous times for reasons that the governor does not condone and that are none of his business. And I will continue to do so.

I am renewing my declaration that I believe the governor’s order to be unconstitutional and that I will not comply with it. I will leave my house at any time for any reason that I see fit.

On Tuesday, Andy reaffirmed to me via email that he has no intention of arresting anyone for violating the governor’s stay-at-home order. I greatly appreciate Andy’s approach to this situation. In many municipalities across the country, however, police departments have overstepped their bounds to an alarming degree. We have seen people arrested for paddle-boarding alone in the ocean and for letting their children play on nearly empty playgrounds; for opening a tattoo parlor for business; rabbis and ministers have even been arrested and fined for leading religious services. The mayor of Chicago recently threatened to monitor and arrest people if they even discuss house parties on Facebook.

All of these incidents are shocking to the American way of life. I hope you join me in condemning these violations of our fundamental God-given rights.

The U.S. Constitution, and other laws of the land, have not suddenly disappeared.

For instance, RSA 149-M requires New Hampshire towns to provide a disposal facility for “Solid Waste.” The statute defines “Solid Waste” as including “Refuse,” and it defines “Refuse” as including “Construction and Demolition Debris.” On April 26, 2020, Clay Gallagher, the supervisor of the Tuftonboro transfer station, called the Tuftonboro police department on me because I arrived at the transfer station with a trailer full of construction and demolition debris (“C & D”)—namely old rotten wood boards.

As I told Thomas LaFavre (the officer who responded to Clay’s call), I do not appreciate being treated as a criminal for simply going to the transfer station to dispose of garbage. The town’s officers must have more important things to do with their time. The town should comply with RSA 149-M, which has not been voided or altered during the COVID-19 pandemic. There is no logical rationale for prohibiting town residents from dumping their construction debris in the four containers set up—more than 100 feet from the transfer-station office—for that purpose. 

C & D is no small thing. Clay reported that, in February, C & D accounted for 45 percent of all the waste that Tuftonboro shipped to the landfill. Safe waste disposal is a basic civic responsibility of all towns. Piles of C & D (rusty nails, rotting wood, loose insulation) near our homes can be a serious public health hazard, which is why the general court enacted RSA 149-M in the first place.

I went to the selectmen’s meeting this past Monday and asked them why they had stopped taking C & D. Selectman Bill Marcussen told me with an air of authority that the law requires them only to take household trash and that C & D is optional. However, when I read him the actual plain text of the law, he became very quiet. Selectman Chip Albee then admitted that he has never read 149-M, a shocking admission to make. Shouldn’t the selectmen have bothered to read the law before they voted unanimously to break it? Selectman Lloyd Wood then told me that my time was up and that they had many important things to talk about.

But what’s more important than fidelity to the law? Elected officials and law-enforcement officers alike swear an oath to uphold and defend the U.S. Constitution and the laws of the land. The ban on C & D remains in place. If the selectmen have a legal justification for this, they should offer it.

Town Results in 2018 Midterm Elections

Here are the official vote tallies for Tuftonboro, provided by the town clerk, Heather Cubeddu. A green check mark indicates the winner of the race, even if the candidate received fewer votes in Tuftonboro.

GOVERNOR:

  • Jilletta Jarvis 11
  • ✅ Chris Sununu 898
  • Molly Kelly 527

REPRESENTATIVE in CONGRESS:

  • Dan Belforti 13
  • Eddie Edwards 786
  • ✅ Chris Pappas 627

EXECUTIVE COUNCILOR:

  • Tobin Menard 22
  • Joseph D. Kenney 813
  • ✅ Michael J. Cryans 538

STATE SENATOR:

  • Tania M. Butler 18
  • Jeb Bradley 926
  • Christopher T. Meier 480

STATE REP – District 4 (Two seats):

  • ✅ Glenn Cordelli 774
  • ✅ Karel A. Crawford 659
  • John A. Morrissey 528
  • Caroline Nesbitt 546

STATE REP. – District 8 (One seat):

  • ✅ William M. Marsh 849
  • Richard T. Stuart 536

SHERIFF:

  • ✅ Domenic M. Richardi 1,334

COUNTY ATTORNEY:

  • ✅ Michaela O’Rourke-Andruzzi 723

COUNTY TREASURER:

  • ✅ Joseph L. Costello 993

REGISTER OF DEEDS:

  • ✅ Lisa Scott 1,322

REGISTER OF PROBATE:

  • ✅ Meg Lavender 977

COUNTY COMM. DISTRICT 1:

  • ✅ Terry McCarthy 820
  • Bert Weiss 541

COUNTY COMM. DISTRICT 2:

  • ✅ David L. Babson, Jr. 994

CONSTITUTIONAL QUESTIONS: QUESTION 1:

  • ✅ YES 1,018
  •  NO 210

QUESTION 2:

  • ✅ YES 1,029
  • NO 229

Tuftonboro’s Glenn Cordelli Reelected to State House

Glenn Cordelli has been re-elected to represent Tuftonboro, Moultonboro, and Sandwich, in the New Hampshire House of Representatives in Carroll County District 4. Karel Crawford, of Moultonboro, was also re-elected to represent Carroll 4. Bill Marsh, who represents Tuftonboro in in the at-large district of Carroll 8, was also re-elected.

Selectmen Seek to Vastly Expand Police Department

In a request for proposal to study the feasibility of building a new police facility, the selectmen seek to more than double the size of the police force and almost double the department’s vehicle fleet. The selectmen are looking to possibly increase the department from four full-time officers to six and from no part-time officers to four and from four police vehicles to seven.

Hiker Injured Near Mount Shaw

The Union Leader reports:

TUFTONBORO — Conservation officers assisted a hiker to safety after she fell on a trail in wintry conditions, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department said Sunday.

Patricia Tarpey of Gilford, her husband and their dogs were hiking with some friends near Mount Shaw when she fell and injured her right shoulder around 1:20 p.m. Saturday, Fish and Game said in a release.

Trail conditions were a mix of snow and ice when Tarpey fell and members of the hiking party called for assistance, according to the release.

Conservation officers helped Tarpey make her way back down the slick trail for about two miles until she reached her car around 5:45 p.m., Fish and Game said.

Temperatures were in the mid-30s Saturday with snow and sleet. Fish and Game said Tarpey and the other hikers were equipped for the conditions with warm-weather and climbing gear.

Election Results March 13, 2018

Board of Selectmen

  • ✅ Lloyd Wood: 295
  • Robert “Bob” McWhirter: 248

Budget Committee

  • ✅ Thomas J. Young: 289
  • ✅ Helen Hartshorn: 278
  • Chris Sawyer: 233
  • Barry Ennis: 196

Moderator

  • ✅ Daniel F. Barnard: 498

Trustee of the Trust Funds

  • ✅ Dave M. Braun: 466
  • Write-in Votes: 4

Cemetery Trustee

  • ✅ Susan H. Weeks: 412
  • Write-in Votes: 17

Library Trustee

  • ✅ Gordon Hunt: 461
  • Skip Hurt (Write-In): 28
  • Total Write-ins: 41
  • Fictitious Characters: 2
  • Undervotes: 59

Supervisor of the Checklist

  • ✅ William “Bill” Rollins: 495
  • Write-in Votes: 8
  • Undervotes: 60

 Zoning Change

  • ✅Yes: 410
  • No: 133

 

These numbers are accurate to the best of my knowledge.

Strong Turnout for Town Election, Despite Snow (Updated Count)

Volunteers count ballots under the direction of Moderator Dan Barnard. March 13, 2018

Update 8:07 PM: The total number of zoning ordinance ballots is 562, while the number of town officer ballots is 563. The difference is due to an absentee voter who returned only the town officer ballot.

Election volunteers begin counting ballots, March 13, 2018

Update 7:10 PM: With the polls closed, the preliminary count is 563 ballots (including 71 absentee ballots and excluding two spoiled ballots).

Election volunteers divide ballots into piles of 50. Then the ballots are checked and if any discrepancies are discovered, the pile is rechecked.

A spoiled ballot is defined in statute:

    659:22 Spoiled Ballots. – If any voter spoils a ballot, he may receive others, one at a time, not exceeding 3 in all, upon returning each spoiled one. The ballots thus returned shall be immediately marked “cancelled” by the moderator over his signature and, at the close of the polls, shall be preserved as provided in RSA 659:95.

Source. 1979, 436:1, eff. July 1, 1979.


Bob McWhirter greeting voters on election day in the snow, March 13, 2018

Tuftonboro residents have been arriving at the Town House all day to vote in the town election. Only two of the races are contested, the selectman’s seat –between incumbent Lloyd Wood and challenger Bob McWhirter — and two budget committee positions — a four-way contest between incumbent Helen Hartshorn, Barry Ennis, Chris Sawyer, and Tom Young.

At 2PM this afternoon about 450 ballots had been cast in person, according to Heather Cubeddu, the town clerk. In addition, 70 absentee ballots had been received by yesterday’s 5PM deadline. That means the turnout this year is already larger than it was last year.

Lloyd Wood (Right), during a selectmen’s meeting at the Town House, March 13, 2018

Last year 373 total votes were cast in the selectman’s race, which was held during what was called winter storm stella. Many residents in town lost electric power and some roads, such as Sodom Road, were closed due to downed trees and power lines.

Sodom Road, March 15, 2017