Tricky Nicky has been very quiet on Facebook. Could he be clearing up his off color posts so he can for against Stone. John O’Connor should go to the council and expose Nick foul statements. I guess Nick needs to go. Then maybe the favoritism can stop.
Rachel(Wednesday, February 13 19 11:09 am EST)
Tonight we'll see if the councilors all fall into line like a bunch of brain-dead lemmings and vote in the positive to transfer the money from the police department to pay the attorney and consultant fees for the councilors. I'm sure they'll try to say oh no it's not really the police officer money where touching but something else from the police department to try to gain some political cover for what they're really doing. I for one will not buy any excuse to come up with and I hope none of you do as well. These councilors will say or do anything to cover their own asses. This is why we need new leaders.
Jerry(Wednesday, February 13 19 10:33 am EST)
We can spend $90,000 ea. for 3 special needs students that will never work,but we can't pay $83,000 for a needed police officer.
Here's an idea- Let those 3 special needs students stay home,we hire a cop,and put $180,000 in the bank.
Ken(Wednesday, February 13 19 09:42 am EST)
This Council has a spending problem. The Claremont voters need to kick Claire Lessard, Allen Damren, Charlene Lovett, Abigail Kier, Nick Koloski & Scott Pope off the Council in November. The taxpayers can no longer afford their liberal tax-and-spend way of thinking.
Diane(Wednesday, February 13 19 07:55 am EST)
Claremont has a lot of raw potential that will never be realized with the terrible leaders we have today because they repeatedly place their own selfish interests before the greater good.
Karen(Tuesday, February 12 19 02:07 pm EST)
The Council spending one heck of a lot of money firing and replacing Ryan McNutt. It seems to my husband and me that to these councilors money is no object. They figure they can keep spending lots of dough because they can always tax the public more money. The voters need to elect new people to the Council that will be more frugal with our money.
Erik(Tuesday, February 12 19 01:19 pm EST)
I agree, Mark Chase does not seem to be well-suited to management of the police department. Crime is on the rise and he sits and twiddles his thumbs. It seems the police chief is also going to roll over and let the Council take the money he set aside for hiring a new police officer. If he doesn’t fight to keep this money then he needs to go. If he won’t fight for his officer’s safety and the safety of the public then Claremont would be well rid of him.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, February 12 19 11:25 am EST)
Laura, earlier this morning I submitted a Right to Know Request for the Claremont crime statistic report comparing November 2018 with November 2017. I expect to have the documents within a week or so, then we will review the information and report our findings in an article.
Laura(Tuesday, February 12 19 11:05 am EST)
I would like to know what kinds of crimes are going up and just how bad things are. Perhaps it is time for a new police chief too.
Don(Tuesday, February 12 19 09:24 am EST)
Doesn’t anyone on the city council have any intelligence at all? Taking money away from the police department for any reason to pay lawyers and consultants for indecisive city councilors to feel better about the decisions they make is just plain stupid. Stealing the funding to hire a new police officer when Claremont is undergoing a crime spree is a whole other level of stupid. The voters have to replace these clods in November.
Rick(Tuesday, February 12 19 07:17 am EST)
The Police Chief pulls the local crime statistics from his monthly report to the Council that people can read on the city website to hide from everyone the rising crime rate in several categories presumably to try to save his job. The Council can't stop spending oodles of money on consultants and attorneys because they need to be mollycoddled to counter their indecisiveness. The bills are piling up and the Council spent money they didn't have so their solution is to stop the police chief from hiring another police officer by taking that money to pay for their expensive safety net of handlers. Gotta love Claremont and the stupid public officials it produces.
Jerry(Tuesday, February 12 19 07:05 am EST)
Mary Walters is a big part of the problem!!!!!
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, February 12 19 03:15 am EST)
Two articles published today!
1) McNutt’s termination proving to be costly to the taxpayers!
2) Council to raid Police budget to pay for Lawyers and Consultants!
Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Thomas(Monday, February 11 19 02:10 pm EST)
I think the councilors are nuts to make applicants for city manager submit to a psychological exam. I doubt many will go for that and we may end up with another unqualified city manager. Boy oh boy the city council has got to go.
Jerry(Monday, February 11 19 01:04 pm EST)
The student population is going down dramatically,why isn't the school spending going down?
Jerry(Monday, February 11 19 01:02 pm EST)
$90,000 per student annually!
This is for people that will never have to work.Are we nuts or what? That's a lot of loot for re re school.
Soak the parents,not me for Christ's sake!
Industrial Property Owner(Monday, February 11 19 10:22 am EST)
I haven't participated in a while but I just had to comment about the extreme shortsightedness and foolishness of our city council. Procrastination is never a good management tactic. Psychological assessments of applicants is a touchy subject and it could very well cause well-qualified applicants to withdraw themselves from consideration. It is a frightening thought that there is the very real possibility of the 2019 city council being in total control of the municipal government in July in the event that a city manager is not hired by then. I'm sure that clause within the city charter was placed there to prevent the presence of a long-term interim city manager. I'm also sure that the authors of that clause did not consider the possibility of the voters electing a large group of incompetent nincompoops all at one time placing them in charge of the city government. The only thing we can do is hope and pray that this process does not encounter any glitches and that a competent professional city manager can be found and hired before July 1.
Jim Sullivan(Monday, February 11 19 08:00 am EST)
Two articles published today.
1) School Deliberative Session for Fiscal Year 2019-2020!
2) The City Council begins to search for the next City Manager!
Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Andrea(Friday, February 08 19 04:58 pm EST)
Maybe it's time for all of us to chip in and hire a lawyer and hit these jerks where it hurts, they all need to be prosecuted.
Sarah(Friday, February 08 19 03:17 pm EST)
We know we have bad city leaders when they are not even smart enough to properly fund the paving line in the budget. Nevertheless, they have no problem spending lots of money on lawyers, consultants and big multimillion-dollar projects that will do nothing for the true betterment of Claremont. These bad city leaders are Claremont’s worst enemy because they are stopping our community’s progress.
Gary(Friday, February 08 19 01:48 pm EST)
I am still upset about all the special treatment that the owners of the Topstone building are receiving. A lot of public funds and grant money paid with public funds are being used to examine and come up with a plan to clean up the toxic site that still has not been evacuated yet for public safety reasons. It seems to me that Nick Koloski’s city councilor status has a very long reach within City Hall. A write off of about $225,000 in back property taxes that the taxpayers will never see because of this secret sweetheart deal. A 76% property assessment reduction to sweeten that deal even more. So far Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Maranville cannot seem to find any building code infractions when the ex-city manager and the ex-city solicitor swore there was a very long list to talk the city councilors out of taking possession of the building for back property taxes that were never paid. While the former city manager and the former city assessor from MRI secretly negotiated the tax write off and property assessment reduction deal with the owners of the Topstone property. This whole thing has been a scandal right from the beginning and few city councilors are taking these revelations seriously. Naturally, Nick Koloski is not because he has a conflict of interest but what is Scott Pope’s interest in all this? He has fought every opportunity to gain taxpayer relief and justice for this issue. He has taken sides with Nick Koloski, which in my opinion is the same side as the owners of the Topstone building. Why Scott Pope is betraying the trust of taxpayers for this issue is very puzzling to me. I doubt he will ever state the real reason why he is doing this but it does not matter. Scott Pope has shown his true loyalties and they do not lie with you, me or any other average citizen in Claremont. Scott Pope does not deserve to be a city councilor or serve on any board or committee in relation to the city, county or schools. Scott Pope is bad news and it is time for him to be permanently retired from public office courtesy of the voters of Claremont. Let us hope that 2020 will usher in a new era of true representative government with elected officials that are honest and transparent with the citizens they serve. To do that we need new leaders because our present-day leaders have failed us repeatedly.
Gail(Friday, February 08 19 12:49 pm EST)
I saw a copy of the agenda for the next Council meeting in the newspaper. Mayor Lovett is going to sing the praises of Peter Wright at the next meeting. After reading how large financial losses for the hospital occurred under his watch leaving the hospital in precarious financial jeopardy with Mayor Lovett’s help no less as she was a member of the Board of Directors for Valley Regional Hospital during those years, I do not know how Mayor Lovett can honestly bestow any honor whatsoever on Peter Wright. It makes a mockery of other worthy citizens deserving of such notoriety. This just proves to me that Mayor Lovett’s words and actions cannot be trusted under any circumstances and it is time for the voters of Claremont to repudiate her for the type of person that she is and cast her off the Council in November.
Travis(Friday, February 08 19 11:20 am EST)
We certainly do the new leadership. Clods like Scott Pope and Nick Koloski have been on the Council for far too long. Neither of them are intelligent nor representing the average taxpayer. Charlene Lovett and Allen Damren I representing the so-called upper crust of Claremont, the special interests who believe themselves to be the behind the scenes movers and shakers of our community. Claire Lessard is well intentioned but incredibly dimwitted with nothing really to offer. She wanted to keep Ryan McNutt for heaven sakes, and we now all know how bad his record was in Lancaster Massachusetts and that he did not learn from the mistakes that he made there. I believe Jonathan Stone also needs replacing because of the viewpoints he made on Facebook are not in tune with the average Claremont citizen and that makes him a poor representative of the people. Abigail Kier is just too much of a tax and spender for my taste, which only leaves Councilors O’Hearne & Zullo as members worthy of reelection.
Michael(Friday, February 08 19 07:10 am EST)
I blame Mayor Charlene Lovett and Assistant Mayor Allen Damren for not looking out for the taxpaying public’s best interests. These two definitely have control issues. They both want to be in power but they do not seem to know what to do with the power once they have it. They badly handled the Topstone scandal and Mr. McNutt’s sneaky attempt to give 15% to 30% raises to the top paid municipal employees just to give the city assessor’s position a salary boost so he could hire the one person that he wanted who demanded higher compensation. The community center continues to lose money and public works and secretarial employees within the municipal government still have no contract and cannot even eke out a 2% pay raise in contract negotiations. As leaders go Lovett and Damren are remarkably incompetent and the other members of the council are not exactly brilliant leaders either. Some I believe are there for their own self-aggrandizement or for personal financial reasons. I am hopeful with so much local unrest that this election year will bring out new candidates to replace city councilors that most definitely need to go. In my humble opinion, the only city councilors worth salvaging are Andrew O’Hearne, Jonathan Stone and Jeremy Zullo. The others either have been there for too long, accomplishing nothing or have conflicts of interest or a propensity to represent special interests to the detriment of the constituents they were elected to represent. It is time for a change and the only way to make that happen is to elect honest citizens who will have only one goal in mind and that is to represent the best interests of the citizens of Claremont.
Katherine(Thursday, February 07 19 03:47 pm EST)
Mayor Lovett and the rest of the city councilors need to stop with the wasteful spending and focus on the true needs of the community. Claremont's roadways must be paved and maintained. That takes money that our city councilors are simply not allocating to the proper budget. Their management skills are abysmal between their constant need to spend money foolishly to justify their existence and their predilection to avoid making difficult decisions by tabling issues or sending them to committee upon committee for review. Forget the Pleasant Street revitalization and start reenergizing the community with functional roadways that are not an embarrassment to the taxpaying public.
Dan(Thursday, February 07 19 01:55 pm EST)
I hope the city councilors do not go forward with a $5.5 million downtown plan. That money would be better spent on fixing up the city roads that we all use every day. Cars are being beaten to shit because of all the bumps and potholes and those are the main thoroughfares. Don’t get me started about the back roads they are even worse. No funding for three years and then less than $250,000 for this year. What the hell are these councilors thinking? The roads will not fix themselves and what little money they are putting in the budget won’t even fund a modest Band-Aid approach. Come this November my family and I will not vote for any incumbent. None of them have proven worthy of our vote.
Joel(Thursday, February 07 19 12:54 pm EST)
I appreciate Jim and AJ showing everyone the important excerpts from the old traffic report so we know the upside and downside of each alternative. I also appreciate their checking with the NH DOT to confirm that the city council isn’t as omnipotent as they think they are in that they do not have the authority to either shut down or make a change to one-way traffic on Pleasant Street. I really believe that all but three of the city councilors (Zullo, O’Hearne & Stone) are either complete imbeciles (Lessard, Koloski & Pope) or higher functioning idiots with a love for expanding government bureaucracy and spending through increased taxation of the citizenry (Lovett, Damren & Kier). Claremont needs to elect new city councilors in November.
Lisa(Thursday, February 07 19 11:47 am EST)
I think it’s a pipe dream to believe that Pleasant Street will ever come back to what it used to be. Years ago, you needed old-fashioned stores because you didn’t have the Internet where you could buy stuff online and have it shipped directly to your home easy peasy lemon squeezy. Times have changed and our elected officials have to join the rest of us in this century and change their thinking. If they can’t that it’s time for us to elect new leadership this November.
Mike(Thursday, February 07 19 11:17 am EST)
I agree with Tom. Level the Topstone building and to hell Nick Koloski.
Tom(Thursday, February 07 19 11:10 am EST)
I do happen to support Nancy Merrill’s solution because she is dealing with building owners that are thumbing their noses at the system and getting away with it. Probably because they have a city councilor in their pocket so to speak as their primary tenant. If they can find the source of the contaminants then they may be able to take that property owner to court and have them clean up their property, the Topstone property and everything else in the middle. I’m guessing that’s the plan. As far as the Topstone property is concerned, I think the city should condemn it, evict all the tenants and then call in the wrecking ball and demolish the entire place as a matter of public safety and health.
Todd(Thursday, February 07 19 09:51 am EST)
Nick sure is a little weasel. I get a bang out of how many gullible people there are in Claremont. Nick does all these donation collections using his business as a drop-off point for other people to make donations supporting different causes. Toys for kids. Clothing, backpacks, tents, etc. for the homeless. Cash for the student lunches. Every time he grabs the media headlines for distributing other people’s donations when he put either little or no money into the kitty himself. Then the dopes in Claremont and the stupid news media all gush and say what a wonderful humanitarian Nick is when he really is an opportunistic narcissist with a devious mind. PT Barnum would have been proud of this one because Nick is living proof that there is a sucker born every minute for he is playing almost everyone in Claremont for a sucker. People need to wake up and see Nick for what he really is.
Renee(Thursday, February 07 19 08:04 am EST)
I am so sick and tired of all the special treatment that Councilman Nick Koloski receives from city bureaucrats and elected representatives. He continues to protest that he has absolutely nothing to do with the Topstone property but I certainly don’t believe that and neither do anyone else that I’ve talked to about this. Nick acts like an entitled little spoiled brat whose position on the Council has gone to his swelled head. I remember when he put his restaurant in in the city planning office and planning board gave his special treatment by not making him do an expensive change of you study that every other business owner faced with a similar situation in Claremont has had to do in both the past and afterward. Lebanon just decided once again not to move forward with Keno gambling in their community but the good old Claremont Council rammed it right through so Councilor Nick could have gambling in his bar. The owners of the Topstone building aren’t paying their taxes and it’s time to take the building and sell it to recoup that money. Oh No! Can’t do that the building’s toxic and it has lots of code violations but it’s not so bad that Councilor Nick can still run his assorted businesses in the building. Huh? When new Councilors came aboard and it looked like the tide was turning in the Topstone building might become city property now ex-city manager and the MRI hired assessor work behind closed doors secretly to wipe the slate clean on nearly one quarter of $1 million worth of back property taxes and dropped the property assessment by 76%. All the while Nancy Merrill in the planning office sweet-talked the Upper Valley Lake Sunapee Regional Planning Commission to get grant funding to pay for a study of the environmental brownfield hazard site at 101 Mulberry St. known as the Topstone property. She did this because the owners of the Topstone property wrote a letter to the NH DES telling them they have no money to take care of the hazardous materials on their property. They have wells on their property but they stopped monitoring them and sending in the test results. After that study was finished Nancy Merrill sweet-talked the NH DES to pay for five monitoring wells, testing and other investigatory services costing about $45,000 and putting those wells in the city’s right-of-way next to the Topstone property. Once again, the owners get out of paying to monitor the environmental hazardous problem that is there. If anyone doesn’t believe that all of the special treatment is because Councilor Nick is the largest tenant in the building then I would love to speak with you and offer you a very sweet deal for your chance to buy the Puksta Bridge for very reasonable price. You could set up a tollbooth and make a killing.
Jim Sullivan(Wednesday, February 06 19 03:34 pm EST)
Harry, one of the owners of Topstone Holdings LLC stated in a letter addressed to the NH DES, which we have published more than once, stating that the property is not generating enough revenue for the owners to pay for anything regarding the environmental issues of the property. Claremont Planning & Development Director Nancy Merrill convinced the NH DES to place five monitoring wells on the City's right-of-way abutting the Topstone property and conduct an environmental study. NH DES will pay for this work. It is City Official's hope that this study will determine the source of the contamination. Time will tell. Topstone Holdings LLC is paying nothing for the services that are occurring on the City's right-of-way. I hope this clarifies the situation for you.
Harry(Wednesday, February 06 19 01:34 pm EST)
So??? Does that mean Topstone is getting a free ride as well??
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, February 05 19 09:29 pm EST)
Harry, while researching that article I contacted the NH DES and found out that they are paying for this project out of their Brownfield Project Funds.
Harry(Tuesday, February 05 19 08:25 pm EST)
Who the heck is paying for these brown field wells???????
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, February 05 19 02:02 pm EST)
Two new articles today.
1) Topstone Brownfields Hazardous Environmental Site Update!
2) City holds public forums to begin discussion how to revitalize Pleasant Street in Downtown Claremont!
Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Susan(Saturday, February 02 19 01:17 pm EST)
Neither the Eagle Times nor the Valley News reported the names of the Claremont school board candidates. Their reporting is getting so bad that they are not even reporting non-controversial news in a timely manner. Thank you Sullivan Report for keeping your readers well informed.
Jerry(Saturday, February 02 19 10:08 am EST)
I agree with Todd,Brian Rapp is bad news for taxpayers.
I wish we could buy him out of our town.
Todd(Saturday, February 02 19 12:46 am EST)
Brian Rapp is bad news, the school board stripped him of the school board chairmanship and then the voters wisely kicked him out of office. A vote for him is a vote for a step backwards.
Ashley(Friday, February 01 19 09:00 pm EST)
Thanks Jim for putting up the list of school board candidates. We appreciate all that you do.
Jim Sullivan(Friday, February 01 19 05:18 pm EST)
List of Claremont School Board Candidates just published.
Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Larry(Friday, February 01 19 08:42 am EST)
John Big acknowledgment at the last council meeting. Just saying. And were they advised about it?
John(Thursday, January 31 19 10:38 pm EST)
Bill Barrette retires after 14 years from the DPW and not one single city councilor or city administrator bothers to show up for the retirement party. What the heck is up with that?
Jeff(Wednesday, January 30 19 08:30 pm EST)
And when they clear the council what next? The FBI? Are you sure this isn’t Nick? He is the one that always brings up the AG.
Dave(Wednesday, January 30 19 06:50 pm EST)
Can we send in the NH AG to investigate all of these allegations. Thats the only way your going to know what happened behind all those closed door meetings
Ryan(Wednesday, January 30 19 02:07 pm EST)
The public needs to demand an internal City Council investigation in regards to abuse of powers.
If David Putum is telling the truth, we have a problem.
Who investigates those that need to be investigated?
A motion should be made during the next meeting, by the public, during Citizens forum, to have an independent citizen committee investigate these serious abuse of powers allegations.
Donna(Wednesday, January 30 19 12:18 pm EST)
Corruption takes many forms. I do not believe for a second that Claremont’s municipal government is corruption free.
With everything, that we see on the Sullivan Report with documented proof on everything how can any rational person not think that corruption is rampant at City Hall.
Ken(Wednesday, January 30 19 11:53 am EST)
It sure looks like Mayor Lovett has things to hide and perhaps other councilors do as well. I suspect it has something to do with the comments that Dave Putnam made at the last city council meeting about Mayor Charlene Lovett allegedly interfering with city department officials and that led to the resignations of the public works director and the city planner. If Mr. Putnam’s allegations are correct that Mayor Lovett violated the city charter and those are grounds for her removal from public office. That certainly, sounds like motive to suppress Mr. McQueen’s report by declaring it a personnel document and confidential so it is not subject to one of Mr. Sullivan’s right to know request and having the damaging excerpts of that report published on the Sullivan Report for everyone to read free of charge.
Gary(Wednesday, January 30 19 09:25 am EST)
I was very happy when Councilman Zullo requested a written report from MRI about the communication consultation that was done by Mr. McQueen. I think releasing that report to the public would provide the public with more insight as to why Mr. McNutt was fired. I do not understand why Mayor Lovett is so adamant about this written report remaining confidential if all it will include is recommendations on how to communicate better. Something else is definitely going on here because none of this looks Kosher.
Ron(Wednesday, January 30 19 09:06 am EST)
Claremont never disappoints when it comes to political intrigue. Thank goodness, we have the Sullivan Report to dig it out because if it were up to the regular press none of these things would ever be brought to light. The E- Ticker News, Valley News and the Eagle Times are all about suppressing any negative news about any local government entities or local officials instead of reporting it as legitimate, professional journalists are supposed to do. The Sullivan Report does a great job with all of their research and who can argue about any of it when the documents are published right alongside the article.
Matt(Wednesday, January 30 19 07:35 am EST)
I knew that Mr. McNutt had to go once the Sullivan Report broke the story about the Topstone property and the quarter of a million-ish dollars property tax debt gift and the 76% property assessment reduction that our now ex-city manager secretly negotiated to give the owners of the Topstone property and then not tell anyone that he did it including the city council. The benefiting property owners just so happen to be Councilor Nick Koloski’s landlords. That whole deal stunk to high heaven and that is more than enough reason to fire the man. I also can understand why Nick Koloski voted to keep Mr. McNutt on and the voters need to deal with Mr. Koloski at the next election if he even bothers to run for reelection. Personally, I think he and Claire Lessard do not have a chance in hell in winning reelection because of their terrible voting record because they both continue to vote against the public good.
Jessica(Wednesday, January 30 19 07:23 am EST)
The meeting minutes from Lancaster really changed my mind about Mr. McNutt. I was sort of on the fence if he should stay or go. I now see that the City Council made the right decision to terminate his future employment with Claremont. I too believe that MRI should not be considered to be involved in any part of the process to hire the next city manager. I would also suggest that any of the members of the last selection committee not apply this time around, as their ability to properly investigate the background of finalists has already been proven to be incredibly lacking. The City Council must get it right this time and in order to do that only citizens willing to do a good job and do all the hard work necessary to make good choices instead of just phoning it in so to speak need apply.
Mark(Wednesday, January 30 19 05:34 am EST)
I agree. I think MRI is bad news and all the MRI employees working for the city today should go away and the Claremont city government should never hire the company ever again for anything.
Tom(Wednesday, January 30 19 05:00 am EST)
I see there is no coverage in the Eagle Times and in the Valley News about the dissatisfaction Lancaster Massachusetts Selectman had with Ryan McNutt as their town administrator. You would think the fact that the complaints were eerily similar to the reasons why the Claremont City Council terminated Mr. McNutt qualifies as news. I'm not surprised as both newspapers and the E- Ticker News appeared to be more interested in controlling the news their readers see the city of just reporting what happens or what happened and letting their readers draw their own conclusions. Kudos to the Sullivan Report for being better local journalists than the rest.
Gail(Tuesday, January 29 19 09:41 pm EST)
Job are you saying that David Putnam was lying when he said that he spoke with both Scott Sweet and Mike McCrory who both told him that Mayor Lovett's constant interference was the cause for their departure? David is a very trustworthy person and he has donated many hours to the community through the school and city. I believe him and for him to say those things in a very public setting on live television for heaven's sake then it just has to be true. I know a lawyer will call it hearsay but while that may be it dosen't make it any less true. I also have friends in city government and they say that Mr. Damren is also overstepping his bounds as well. I wish there was a way to look into this in a public setting and find out the truth once and for all and if councilors did violate the city charter then they pay the price for their actions. If not then they are vindicated and then these nagging questions can be put behind us and then all of us can as you say let it go.
Job(Tuesday, January 29 19 08:59 pm EST)
Leave it to Gail to find a way to spin something to make the Mayor and city council be painted in a negative light. Since you seems todo this all the time, I have to ask what axe do you have to grind against these people? Jim has proven that Ryan was the wrong choice for Coty Manager, the council did the right thing in firing him, and that there is NO proof where the council ever overstepped their boundaries or micromanaged the City staff so why are you still trying to convince people that they did? Why don’t you do what they say in the movie Frozen and “Let it go”.
Gail(Tuesday, January 29 19 07:44 pm EST)
I believe McNutt was a bad city manager but I also believe that Mayor Lovett and other members of the city council are overstepping their authority and micromanaging the city manager and city department directors. Claremont has a broken city government and I do not know how we fix it until the November election when we have the opportunity to vote out all nine of our elected representatives.
Madeleine(Tuesday, January 29 19 05:25 pm EST)
John, you are correct, Mr. McNutt was the Council’s second choice. Laura, yes Mr. McNutt is not a nice man. Just look at the way he treated the municipal employees who work for the public works department and the secretarial municipal employees. He would not give them any raise at all but he wanted to give as much as a 30% raise to all the department directors, just so he could hire a city assessor for the exorbitant price that candidate wanted to be paid. Claremont deserves a better city manager than him. I hope the City Council reflects on this new information that the Sullivan Report brought to light, chooses a different search company than MRI and under no circumstances appoints any member from the previous Citizen search committee to the new one. If these are the only people that apply than the Council should forgo having a search committee and do the search internally with a subcommittee of Councilors.
John(Tuesday, January 29 19 05:11 pm EST)
How on God’s green earth was this information overlooked by the previous search committee?
If I remember correctly, Mr.McNutt was the second choice and was only offered the position when the first person declined.
Laura(Tuesday, January 29 19 04:40 pm EST)
Thank you Sullivan Report for publishing these meeting minutes from Lancaster Massachusetts. It certainly adds clarity to the McNutt situation. I was especially taken aback from the comments attributed to Mr. McNutt on page 2 of the July 5, 2016 meeting minutes from Lancaster. Particularly the part where Mr. McNutt supposedly stated I am the boss, don’t have to be liked. Wow, the arrogance emanating from this man is almost palatable.
Jerry(Tuesday, January 29 19 01:42 pm EST)
Who is MRI's competitor?
Shall we shop around?
Posting something on Monster might bring some talent,preferably not from Massachusetts.
Todd(Tuesday, January 29 19 01:12 pm EST)
These meeting minutes from Lancaster tell a very interesting story. McNutt is doing a terrible job yet he arrogantly asks for an extension to his contract, more vacation days and a salary bump. In response, the select board canceled his contract early and bought out the remaining time just to get rid of him. It seems practically everyone from staff to committee members to members of the select board in Lancaster were all displeased with him and McNutt replies he has no idea what anyone is talking about. I’m glad he’s gone but I have no confidence that this Council can pick a better replacement, especially with MRI helping out again after the terrible job they did last time. I’m sure MRI’s services don’t come cheap and Claremont taxpayers are not getting their money’s worth from this company.
Richard(Tuesday, January 29 19 11:42 am EST)
Allen Damren used to work for MRI. I remember reading it on the Sullivan Report, something about a Municipal Academy of some sort that MRI was running with NH Municipal Association.
Jerry(Tuesday, January 29 19 11:37 am EST)
If these people didn't do due diligence in the hiring of Mr. McNutt why aren't we clawing back that finders fee? It seems you could throw a dart at a dartboard for equal results.God knows we have enough lawyers on the payroll.Let's get the money back that should never have been paid.Pope's in cahoots with this bunch,isn't he?
Dennis(Tuesday, January 29 19 11:10 am EST)
Amy, the city manager search committee that resulted with the hiring of Ryan McNutt comprised of Jeremy Biggs, Donald Clarke, Martin Davis, Margaret Hurley, Lawrence Johnson, Cheryl Jones, Donald Limoges, Deborah Matteau, Kyle Messier, Robert Porter, Brian Rapp, Melissa Richmond and Bethany Yurek. The city hired Municipal Resources Incorporated to perform the search duties and work in concert with the search committee. I think we can all agree they all did a terrible job and I sincerely hope that none of the citizens try to involve themselves with the next city manager search. I also believe that MRI should be taken out of consideration for this next job search to replace Mr. McNutt. I am becoming very troubled as they becoming more and more intertwined with Claremont city government. This company never seems to produce quality product. Case in point MRI Assessor Joseph Lessard and the Topstone property scandal.
Tom(Tuesday, January 29 19 11:07 am EST)
Amy, MRI was hired by the city to perform the job search so their representatives should have thoroughly vetted Mr. McNutt. They clearly did a terrible job. So why is Mayor Lovett and the City Council using MRI again for the job search for the next city manager? It seems kind of dumb if you ask me.
Amy(Tuesday, January 29 19 10:54 am EST)
Why didn’t the search committee do a better job vetting Mr. McNutt’s background?
Jerry(Tuesday, January 29 19 10:06 am EST)
Whomever is in charge of code violation should be brought before the council for questioning.Should a piece of this roof fall off and kill someone,or an interior floor collapse due to the roof leaking for how many years the LLC that is Topstone would have limited liability.The Claremont taxpayers on the other hand,would be completely on the hook to make damaged parties whole.A suit like that could cost millions! To me,as a Claremont citizen I am absolutely shocked at the blatant negligence of our inspectors.Why do we continue paying the paychecks of people that don't do their job?
Jerry(Tuesday, January 29 19 09:55 am EST)
I can't help but wonder if McNutt was deceptive in his application for the city manager position.It seems he was very concerned that the Lancaster press be kept in the dark over his employment situation.
If deception was made,through omission or otherwise severance pay should be forfeited.
Should he decide to file a termination suit against Claremont,this Lancaster packet should be included in the discovery.I would file a counter suit to recoup this temporary manager salary on the grounds of his deception upon original employment.
Robert(Tuesday, January 29 19 09:36 am EST)
I’m wondering something totally different. I’m wondering if one or more of the city councilors found the Lancaster meeting minutes before the councilors deliberated Ryan McNutt’s employment fate and used the same reasons as the Lancaster officials to terminate Mr. McNutt to give themselves political and legal cover. That way if there was any backlash or pushback these councilors could simply produce the Lancaster meeting minutes as proof that McNutt had done the same thing before in another community.
Rick(Tuesday, January 29 19 09:29 am EST)
I wonder whose idea it was for the Council to hire a communications expert to try to teach Ryan McNutt how to communicate better. Since we now know that Mr. McNutt had the same problem in Lancaster MA, is it possible that Mr. McNutt somehow made a subtle suggestion to a dissatisfied Claremont City Council that communication is the problem? Perhaps he arrogantly thought that since he went through the same thing in Lancaster before that he could manipulate the Claremont City Council into keeping him by satisfying them with this training. Mr. McNutt is a very intelligent man and the Claremont city councilors are quite severely intellectually challenged.
Linda(Tuesday, January 29 19 07:08 am EST)
Eagle Times Editor Bill Chaisson really has egg on his face today. In today’s edition, he chastises the City Council for terminating Ryan McNutt and he endorses the rehiring of Mr. McNutt. Mr. Chaisson is also of the belief that the entire City Council is acting out of bounds in relation to the city charter. In my opinion, Mr. Chaisson has a warped, misguided view of the city charter. City councilors do have authority, they have the ability to set policy and give direct orders to the city manager as a City Council, but not individually. The city charter has appropriate checks and balances if the city councilors and the city manager all do their part the right way. In my opinion, the city councilors did the right thing by firing Mr. McNutt. I believe that even more strongly now that I have read the meeting minutes from Lancaster on the Sullivan Report.
Jennifer(Tuesday, January 29 19 06:29 am EST)
These eye-opening meeting minutes prove that Ryan McNutt is a creature of habit. He keeps doing the same thing over and over again without learning from his mistakes. I believe the city councilors did the right thing by firing him. That is of course except for councilors Nick Koloski and Claire Lessard, who always put the best interests of the city administration before those of their constituents and as such both deserve to be removed from office at the next election. Thank you Sullivan Report journalists Jim and AJ for showing us this information. Once again you ever done a great public service.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, January 29 19 03:51 am EST)
Two new items today.
1) School Board notice.
2) Something everyone should know.
Full details on the News Flashes page on this website.
Andrea(Monday, January 28 19 03:52 pm EST)
Hi all, I felt the need to write this and let everybody beware to read their bills and not just pay them. My husban just got a bill from the city of Claremont for two hundreded five dollers and twenty cents for his vehicle registration and the thing is, he is a bonafide one hundred percent total and permenant sevice conected disabiled veteran and has never ever payed this amount. I guess Claremont is so hard up for money that they are going after our most vulnerable tax paying citizens to recoup some of the money that they have so generously wasted for frivolous things.
Sarah(Monday, January 28 19 02:31 pm EST)
I am glad that you are looking into the Topstone properties code violations. It will be interesting to see if they are real or another work of fiction by city administrators who are pursuing a political agenda and are not bothered by ethics or integrity.
Jason(Monday, January 28 19 12:36 pm EST)
So Nick using his position as Councilor tryied to and accomplished testimony at the state. Should a councilor notify the council if they use their position for personal gain. Not really sure but appears sly.
Jim Sullivan(Monday, January 28 19 08:59 am EST)
The Topstone Property: Where are all the code infractions?
For full details go to the News Flashes page of this website.
Larry(Friday, January 25 19 04:22 pm EST)
Speaking of council meetings. Under managers report “nothing to report. Ask a question and I will answer it” councilor asks a question. “ah I don’t know that right now. I will get you an answer” proof the manager is keeping the council in the dark. Could be the Mayor and assistant are trying to inform themselves as to the workings of the city. Makes sense. That is within the scope of their position. Maybe the manager should have done his responsibly and kept the council informed.
Gordon(Friday, January 25 19 04:10 pm EST)
Dave, lots of trashy accusations about mayor and council interference on trash talk WUC. Big fat 0 of proof. Watching last 3 months of council meetings before the manager is fired offers lots of proof of arrogance and lack of informing the council of important dealings within the city from the manager. Think suit is the other way.
Jerry(Friday, January 25 19 10:09 am EST)
I would love to see Joe Osgood or even Jim Sullivan as city manager.
WHO KNOWS THE CITY BETTER?
Jim Sullivan(Thursday, January 24 19 02:10 pm EST)
Synopsis of last night's Council meeting. Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Jim Sullivan(Thursday, January 24 19 02:09 pm EST)
Dave, that would be a question for an attorney.
Dave(Wednesday, January 23 19 05:59 pm EST)
Question..could the taxpayers of Claremont bring forth some type of civil suit against the city of Claremont namely the city council and make them prove to us that there is or is not wrong doing on the part of the council??
Dennis(Wednesday, January 23 19 02:55 pm EST)
I don’t know why we are spending so much money on this two day a week part-time city manager when Mary Walter is perfectly capable of running things until a new city manager is hired. Look at all the money the taxpayers would be saving. The city councilors we elected unfortunately all have a spending problem and the taxpayers are the unfortunate ones have to keep paying. It is time we stop reelecting people like Scott Pope and Nick Koloski and Charlene Lovett and Allen Damren etc. and start electing new people who will really look out for us instead of local VIPs with their own personal agendas.
Gordon(Wednesday, January 23 19 12:40 pm EST)
Rick you make a good point about the only good three but they are new and need guidance as to their authority. It is far more than they know. Trouble is the established bureaucrats have kept the last six councils in the dark as to their powers. It is being discussed about outside training and that needs to happen sooner than later. Before the hiring of a new manager. The next manager needs to know that keeping the council informed is of utmost importance. If the Mayor and Assistant Mayor need to be reigned in so be it. Get them the guidance they need as well. Some other councilors could come around if the know what they can and cannot do. Nick is one of the bureaucrats so he is a loss cause.
Rick(Wednesday, January 23 19 10:40 am EST)
Many people are talking about what’s going on in Claremont and most of the things that are being talked about that is not sports related comes directly from the Sullivan Report’s investigative reporting. Overall people are not happy with our current city council. I too am displeased with most of the councilors but I do like O’Hearne, Stone and Zullo but I do not think they have much of a chance of winning reelection if they continue to remain silent because their silence makes people believe that they are going along with the unseemly shenanigans of the other councilors. The three gentlemen may make up a minority but they still have a voice and they need to start using it during televised meetings to publicly state what they are unhappy about. There must be a way to do that without breaking any confidentiality rules if they can just speak in general terms without revealing anything that is supposed to remain secret. For example, they should say during a public meeting that they want Mr. McQueen’s written report to be released to the public without anything being redacted from the report. Even if the other councilors disagree at least they will have made the public realize that they are not like the other city councilors, who are abusing their authority to push forward their political agenda. I think in January 2020 we will have a totally different city council because the voting public is fed up with all this nonsense.
Robert(Wednesday, January 23 19 09:34 am EST)
The City Council is spending a lot of money on special requests made to Attorney Broth. These councilors sure have no problem spending the taxpayer’s money on frivolous things because they are incapable of making decisions themselves without all kind of moral and legal support. They are all terrible administrators and leaders. I believe they are covering up what they are secretly doing behind closed doors by rejecting all those legal bills because they probably give clues to what the City Council is secretly up to and it may not be anything that we as a community would support. If the City Councilors do not trust the public to know the truth then why would any of us continue to trust them? I say vote them all out of office in November.
William(Wednesday, January 23 19 09:20 am EST)
Meeting 11 times behind closed doors in the course of one year is in my opinion highly suspicious. Our elected officials holding secret conversations behind the privacy of closed doors on nearly a monthly basis smacks of collusion and underhanded activity. The city council should not be routinely operating in secret. I am also very displeased with Mayor Lovett, for calling so many of these backroom meetings and I am disappointed with Assistant Mayor Allen Damren for going along with Lovett’s hide everything from the public mayoral leadership style. Add in the Topstone scandal that was exposed by the Sullivan Report, the secret large pay increase for all of the department directors that almost was snuck through but failed thanks to the Sullivan Report revealing the truth to the public and the dirty politics tactics by city officials to stop Mr. Sullivan from obtaining documents that could implicate one or more city councilors as having violated the city charter’s noninterference rule. With all the events of the past few months one thing is unmistakable, Claremont’s municipal government is corrupted with officials who are instituting and proceeding forward with their own personal political agenda that is not in the average citizen’s best interests. In November, it is time to take out the trash and terminate most of the city council. In my humble opinion, the only three city councilors worth keeping our Jeremy Zullo, Andrew O’Hearne and Jonathan Stone, as they are the only three who are not sold out the citizens of Claremont to the municipal administration and the special interest groups that run them and several members of the city council.
Todd(Tuesday, January 22 19 06:00 pm EST)
Gordon, I agree with most of what you stated. I do not agree with your statement that Lovett is the only councilor who is micromanaging. I understand from friends who work for the city that Damren is equally responsible for the micromanaging. Then there is the political favors for Nick Koloski. A long list dating back to when Guy was city manager. Most of them relate to the Topstone property where I understand Nick pays little to nothing to rent all the space for his businesses. If the Topstone was condemned then Nick would be out of business because he could never afford to pay market rate for the space his businesses needs to operate. With all the tax liens still on the books with the Registry of Deeds his credit score must be nearly as low as the building good rating for the Topstone property. That's no joke.
Gordon(Tuesday, January 22 19 04:41 pm EST)
Claremont needs a face lift starting at city hall. The council needs to get their heads out of their butts and start directing the city in a manner that will not drain the bank. Other than the Mayor the notion that some are micromanaging is BS. Those that have realized that the management is leaving them out of the loop and are asking good questions and are protecting the tax payer. Topstone is a good example. Councilors Stone and O’Herne were trying to get answers and rather than getting them the manager gave the debt away behind the councils back. They are trying to do their job and are being pushed back by a management team that is trying to think big in a little city. The next manager should be from Claremont. These outsiders are killing us. Joe Osgood as a citizen is smarter than most on the council and is doing a great job exposing the shortfalls of management and council. He should be a councilor if not the manager. I enjoy his input at council meetings. The Sullivan Report is good for exposing mismanagement using documents when the management can’t find ways to hold back. More people need to start getting involved before these spenders run us into the ground from as the manager says 55 thousand feet.
Brad(Tuesday, January 22 19 01:55 pm EST)
I believe there is a power struggle within our city government. Certain councilor’s thirst for power cost Ryan McNutt his job and these power-hungry councilors are looking for a mindless puppet to replace him. I also believe this conspiracy goes far deeper than that. The local press is not doing their job as watchdogs for the public. They write positive politically correct puff pieces to create a fairytale that everything is all right and that our leaders are wonderful job when nothing could be further from the truth. The e- ticker news is the worst of the worst as their saccharine filled stories read more like fairytales than nonfiction. The news editor of the Eagle Times is simply oblivious as to what is really going on here in Claremont. Judging from his editorials, he lives in his own little world that is far removed from Claremont. It shows in the lackluster effort given to the writing of their new stories and I called them stories because we do not really represent Claremont’s true reality. Political correctness and political spin designed not to offend any local politician or local government bureaucrat appears to be standard operating procedure at the Eagle Times. What both they and the e- ticker news are doing to their readers by transforming news into propaganda and positive public relations for government officials and marketing it as legitimate news is inexcusable behavior that can never be forgiven. The Valley News is not much better as the coverage in Claremont is spotty and while a little more hard-hitting it is still not the level of journalistic excellence that one should expect from their newspaper. The only wildcard is the Sullivan Report. They at least try to be the watchdog for the citizens of Claremont. Neither Mr. Sullivan nor Mr. Maranville are what anyone would call politically correct, however they both have a great love and affection for this community. Anyone who doubts that does not know them as I do. I have lived in Claremont my entire life of 42 years and I well remember their time on the city council. Both of them usually caused a ruckus but they were doing the right thing having to deal with self-centered, narcissistic, opportunists who were pushing forward their own political agenda and they did not care what their political agenda did to the citizens of Claremont. Does any of this sound familiar? Remember the saying, the more things change the more things stay the same. That is certainly true in Claremont especially when members of the city council who have their own agendas such as Scott Pope, Nicholas Koloski, Allen Damren and let’s not forget our less than glorious Mayor Charlene Lovett. I believe they are the cancer that is destroying our fair city and the citizens of Claremont need to make every effort to remove all four of them from public office now and forever more.
Jerry(Tuesday, January 22 19 01:15 pm EST)
McNutt giving hundreds of thousands of delinquent dollars to out of state landlord/land speculators without communicating anything to the council is worse than anything I've heard of the councilors doing.
Now lets see who has the sack to shutter the falling down Tombstone Bldg. for code violations.We have inspectors that are supposed to work independent of politics.They are just too frightened of losing their jobs,so they do nothing.The alternative to working for the city is just unpalatable.Any other employment in the area is a fraction of what the city pays and a big nothing as far as benefits.This is why McNutts was trying to grow the city by expanding the welfare population.Anybody that doesn't work for the city,the state,or medical facility has no reason to come or even be here.The jobs in the Claremont area are crap,and they will always be crap here.Property taxes will run out the few remaining people that had a few bucks.Let's be honest,who the hell wants to be shoveling snow in sub-zero weather in their old age?
Answer : no one
Tom(Tuesday, January 22 19 09:37 am EST)
I think Ryan McNutt hit the nail on the head when he said that micromanaging of city councilors was ruining our city government. I do believe that Mayor Lovett and other city councilors really did violate the city charter and the noninterference rule. I also believe that they are covering it up to try to prevent their ouster from elected office because they are driven by their lust for power and they will not give it up for anything. I also believe that city officials working in City Hall are also conspiring with these city charter-violating councilors to keep them on the city council whatever the cost.
Sarah(Tuesday, January 22 19 07:48 am EST)
I like to browse through the city council packet before watching the meeting live on CCTV. This particular city council packet is extremely light on information. In point of fact, the only information besides the agenda for the meeting is Ordinance 564 that is about renewable energy. The city manager’s report with an update of 139 Main St. and the termination of the lease agreement at map 117 lot 16-003 is not included and neither is there any information about Ordinance 565, which is about the establishment of a board of assessors. Is a dearth of information about everything the future of Claremont’s city government now that Mayor Charlene Lovett appears to have taken over? Is this more of her open and transparent government?
Stephanie(Monday, January 21 19 09:21 pm EST)
As bad as what Councilor Stone did I think the micromanaging by other city councilors is worse than those councilors should be removed from office.
Linda(Monday, January 21 19 07:44 pm EST)
The city administration when McNutt was in charge refused to answer any questions about the big tax giveaway and huge property assessment reduction for the Topstone property. MRI was involved in that with their property assessor. Now the arrogance and cover-up mode continues with the interim city manager from MRI, refusing to answer questions and redacting nearly whole documents that in my opinion should not be redacted at all. Government should be open and transparent not in Watergate style cover-up mode. I too believe that Mayor Lovett and other city councilors broke the city charter rules and they should be removed from office. The city leaders and administrators who are covering up for their actions should be voted out of office or fired from their jobs. We need honest people leading our city.
Katherine(Monday, January 21 19 04:04 pm EST)
Refusing to answer questions, redacting documents with zeal, classifying public documents as personnel records to prevent public inspection and spending large sums of taxpayer's dollars to maintain this cover-up and protect city councilors who in all likelihood broke rules and the city charter that should cost them their seats on the city council has all the earmarks of a city government rife with corrupt government officials. The voters of Claremont need to wake up and clean house in November by voting out all of the incumbents on the city council.
George(Monday, January 21 19 02:03 pm EST)
Claremont’s city government is getting more corrupt with each passing day. I believe Mr. McNutt when he told the newspaper’s that the city councilors were overstepping their authority and breaking the rules in the city charter as they micromanage the city government. I think several of the city councilors broke that noninterference rule and they are all subject to dismissal. I think they are all covering up and doing their damnedest to stop Mr. Sullivan from finding out the truth and publishing the proof on his website. It’s pretty sad when the corrupt officials are the ones in charge and pulling the strings to cover-up their misdeeds.
Sally(Monday, January 21 19 01:02 pm EST)
With Mary Walters as acting city manager why do we need the one from MRI seems like a total waste of money to me. As the council only has 180 day to fine his replacement the money would be better spent looking for a new manager.
Jim Sullivan(Monday, January 21 19 11:23 am EST)
Two new articles today.
1) CCTV Announcement.
2) The cover-up continues!
Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Jerry(Saturday, January 19 19 10:43 am EST)
For those that have realized it there is a group of people within the city running the city from behind the scenes. They have convinced the council that they have no power and need not be informed of what is going on. This is not the case. If the council continues to sit on their hands this city is doomed to continue to be driven by unelected bureaucrats. The council is part of a check and balance government and it is clear we are not under that now.
Jim Sullivan(Friday, January 18 19 05:21 pm EST)
Section 31 of the Claremont City Charter (published below) grants the City Manager the authority to appoint administrative officials. There is a clause within Section 31 Re: Council notification. However the wording is a little vague regarding whether that applies to temporary appointments. One would think the Interim City Manager would inform the Council of his appointing an Acting City Manager just as an act of common courtesy and respect. He may or may not have done so.
31. - Power to Appoint and Remove.
The manager shall have the power to appoint and remove, subject to the provisions of this charter, all officers and employees in the administrative service of the city; but the manager may authorize the head of a department or office responsible to him/her to appoint and remove subordinates in such department or office. It shall be the duty of the manager to furnish the council in writing with the identity of any person whom he/she proposes to appoint as the head of any department or office at least ten days prior to the date on which the appointment is to be made. If the council has any objections to the person proposed by the manager for appointment, it shall certify its objections to the manager in writing within said ten-day period. All appointments shall be without definite term, unless for provisional, temporary or emergency service not to exceed the maximum periods which may be prescribed by the rules and regulations of the merit plan.
Rick(Friday, January 18 19 04:15 pm EST)
I cannot believe how long it is taking councilors to draft an ordinance to create a board of assessors. How hard can it be? The voters sure elected imbeciles this time around, hopefully at the next election they will be smarter in November and elect new people with at least half a brain and no personal agendas like Nick Koloski with the Topstone building.
Jason(Friday, January 18 19 07:36 am EST)
Jimmy Does the interim manager have the power to appoint his acting without notifying the council giving them a chance to give input and suggestions. Thinking recently it was stated that the charter states the manager can appoint but needs to notify the council. More reason to educate the council.
Jim Sullivan(Thursday, January 17 19 04:12 pm EST)
While at City Hall today I spoke with Finance Director Mary Walter, who informed me that Interim City Manager John MacLean had appointed her to be Acting City Manager on the days that he is not present at City Hall. McLean is presently contracted to work only two days per week.
Janice(Thursday, January 17 19 02:34 pm EST)
I understand Mayor Lovett and Assistant Mayor Damren are always at City Hall. Way too much for councilor business. I think their egos are overpowering their common sense.
Richard(Thursday, January 17 19 08:10 am EST)
There is an interesting article in the latest edition of the NH Business Review about a legislative bill to bring sports betting to willing municipalities. The setup is practically the same as it was for Keno wagering. I will bet you Councilor Nick Koloski’s palms are sweating at the very thought of having sports betting in his sports bar. He is probably already working the councilors as he did for the Keno vote so he can open a sports betting establishment inside the dilapidated Topstone building. If this measure passes the state legislature, I have no doubt that Mayor Lovett and her cronies on the city council will gladly accommodate Councilor Koloski’s greedy desires and pass a local measure for him.
Brad(Wednesday, January 16 19 03:39 pm EST)
Who the heck made Mary Walter the acting city manager? I watch the council meetings and no one ever said a damn thing about that. I read today’s article and I am of the opinion that a cover-up is in full swing at City Hall. My son works for the city and he has told me that the three buttinskies from the city council are Miss high and mighty Mayor Charlene Lovett, her political crony Assistant Mayor Allen Damren and still wet behind the ears Councilman Nick Koloski. If proof could be found that all three are guilty of interfering then all three of them could be thrown off the city council and then you might have group of leaders that might actually be able to get something done. At least the staff members would stop being harassed and bothered by these three power-hungry city leaders.
Steve(Wednesday, January 16 19 03:30 pm EST)
I am very pleased that Joe Osgood is continuing the fight to rescind the Topstone property settlement agreement. The Sullivan Report did an excellent job explaining very simply that the settlement agreement is illegal because the legislative body, which for Claremont is the City Council, did not approve the settlement agreement. In fact, all of the Councilors swore to the public that they knew absolutely nothing about this incredibly generous settlement agreement until the Sullivan Report broke the story to the public. Mayor Lovett and the remaining eight city councilors are all incredibly ignorant when it comes to their duties and responsibilities and the authority that they have. Once they are informed of those duties they cower at the thought of having to make a decision and actually take swift and strong action without using the city administration as a safety net. Unfortunately, the last two city administrations have not worked in the best interest of the public in regards to the Topstone property. I also believe that Councilman Koloski’s presence on the City Council is the reason why all of these incredible coincidences have occurred, as his businesses are all located within the Topstone property. Such as the unwillingness of the city administration to recommend seizing the property for failure to pay taxes while taking other properties across the city without any qualms about it. Then there was the quarter of $1 million property tax waiver, the 76% property assessment reduction, the hands-off approach of building and fire safety inspectors with the building that has pieces of its roof falling off, environmental safety hazards on the property and a building good assessment rating of only 2%. The property is clearly a danger to the community and yet they city administration allows Councilman Koloski continue to operate a restaurant, a bar and other businesses geared to attract young children into a decrepit building that is clearly a public safety hazard to anyone with eyes. How many things have to happen before people begin to realize that something here is just not right?
Jim Sullivan(Wednesday, January 16 19 12:53 pm EST)
Two new articles today.
CITY GOVERNMENT COVER-UP?
WHAT THE INTERIM CITY MANAGER’S CONTRACT MEANS TO THE CLAREMONT TAXPAYERS!
Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Diane(Tuesday, January 15 19 03:55 pm EST)
Your article about Valley Regional Hospital was quite shocking. The financial documents you show to your readers are undeniably factual. I am so infuriated with the E- Ticker News and the Eagle Times for their fictionalized versions of the hospital’s financial stability and Mr. Wright’s managerial accomplishments. I am also displeased with the Valley News but the reporter did mention in her article the financial losses of the hospital but she spun them into a positive suggesting that Mr. Wright was reducing those financial losses. According to the financials Mr. Wright created the losses his first year in charge at the hospital and the hospital has been drowning in red ink ever since. This in my humble opinion does not constitute success in any way, shape or form. However, this fictionalized version of events disseminated to the press and ultimately to an unsuspecting public is nothing less than I would expect from the cast of characters on the hospital board, which includes the likes of Mayor Charlene Lovett, City Treasurer Lisa Richmond and for a brief time Assistant Mayor Allen Damren. They may all believe that they are pillars of the community but in my humble opinion, their honesty and ethics leave much to be desired.
Terry(Tuesday, January 15 19 01:42 pm EST)
Mr. Sullivan, I loved your post today. You concisely stated the scandal ridden Topstone property saga and highlighted the obvious collusion and corruption that must have taken place under the two prior municipal administrations. Councilman Nick Koloski is a far greater threat to Claremont’s public image then Councilor Jon Stone. I agree that Councilman Stone’s comments on Facebook are quite unfortunate but they do not rank close with Councilman Koloski’s behavior as he keeps swearing that he has nothing to do with the Topstone property but he is constantly trying to stop the Council from taking any effective action. I do not know why Councilman Scott Pope is in Councilman Koloski’s pocket but I have lost all faith and respect for Councilman Pope because of his unforgivable behavior trying to keep an obvious public safety hazard open to the public putting lives in jeopardy. The only sensible course of action is to condemn the Topstone building and evict all of its inhabitants. Why the Council is not taking swift action by ordering the now interim city manager to condemn the Topstone building in the name of public safety is beyond comprehension and strongly suggests that political motivations are at work.
Lisa(Tuesday, January 15 19 11:08 am EST)
Today the Union Leader published an editorial entitled A code for Claremont? Read the First Amendment, please. Boiled down it says Mayor Charlene Lovett and other councilors are overreaching to think they can legally create a code of conduct to add guidelines for councilors using social media because it would be a violation of First Amendment rights. The editorial staff’s advice is for the Council to either censure Councilor Stone or move for his removal or appeal to the voters not to reelect him. Councilor Stone cannot be removed from office per the Claremont city charter so that option is out but the others are viable. Mayor Lovett loves her political correctness and she does everything she can to try to control every aspect of every meeting. So does her cohort Assistant Mayor Allen Damren, who tries to work in the shadows and let Lovett bask in the limelight because of her over inflated ego and subject herself to political heat while he stays nice and safe behind the scenes playing the puppet-master with Lovett, as is unwitting puppet.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, January 15 19 07:25 am EST)
I posted the following on Facebook so I thought I would share it here as well.
The owners of the Topstone Building (Topstone Holdings LLC) receive from the City Administration a $222,725 property tax waiver combined with a 76% property assessment reduction. The City’s Assessing Department gave the Goddard Building a Building Percent Good Rating of 14% when Former City Manager Ryan McNutt condemned the building and evicted all of the tenants of that building. The building at 139 Main St., which Former City Manager Ryan McNutt claimed is about to collapse and fall into the street so the City must pay to have the building demolished for public safety reasons has a Building Percent Good Rating of 15%. The City’s Assessing Department presently gives the Topstone Building a Building Percent Good Rating of only 2% meaning that 98% of the building is substandard and there are environmentally hazardous materials on the property yet City Officials cast a blind eye and allow the building to remain operational and allow the public access to the building. Could the reason why all of these fantastically incredible things have occurred be that the main tenant of the building are the businesses of a sitting City Councilor by the name of Nick Koloski? Or are all of these things monumental coincidences?
Jim Sullivan(Monday, January 14 19 01:55 pm EST)
Three articles today.
WHAT THE PRESS FAILED TO COVER REGARDING PETER WRIGHT’S RESIGNATION FROM VALLEY REGIONAL HOSPITAL!
CLAREMONT’S UNSPENT SPECIAL EDUCATION ALLOCATION: THE TRUE STORY!
JANUARY 9 COUNCIL MEETING SYNOPSIS!
Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Harry(Thursday, January 10 19 09:12 am EST)
Councilman Nick Koloski is nothing but a good magician. He tries to divert your attention with the magic wand in one hand, (his big heart) while hiding the rabbits in his hat (his all-around shadiness).
This sociopath needs to once and for all be voted off the council.
Tom(Wednesday, January 09 19 01:57 pm EST)
Nick Koloski voted against McNutt’s termination. Did he really think that McNutt’s job performance was improving or was he trying to protect himself and the owners of the Topstone property from fair treatment by the fire and building code inspectors that other Claremont property owners experience because it could mean either costly repairs or closure of one or both buildings?
Jennifer(Wednesday, January 09 19 12:42 pm EST)
With Mr. McNutt gone Councilman Koloski’s insider protection at City Hall may have left as well. Perhaps the building inspector and the fire code inspector will now go and check out his rental property and the Topstone property and do the right thing for public safety reasons. I believe the Topstone property should be closed right away and all the businesses inside evacuated permanently. I do not know the condition of Councilman Koloski’s rental property it might be all right or it may be a slum but I do think that city officials need to look into that to make sure that the citizens living in that building are not putting their lives in danger by renting from Councilman Koloski.
Gary(Wednesday, January 09 19 10:37 am EST)
I have always thought that Councilor Koloski is shady. He collects donations for various causes like toys for kids and clothing and whatnot for the homeless and then he bundles it all up and makes a big splash in the newspapers that he is donating all these items when he is just delivering other people’s donations. I know he supposedly gives some of his own money towards these causes but he is hogging the limelight by taking credit for other people’s donations as well to make himself look like a superstar. That tells me he has psychological issues and I do want someone like that on the city council making decisions that directly affect my family and me.
Katherine(Wednesday, January 09 19 08:37 am EST)
They say a picture is worth 1000 words. When I saw the photo of the Topstone Building with a piece of the roof dangling on the side ready to fall off the only word I could think of is WOW! The building percent good rating is something I never heard of before but it is a very good and easy piece of information to understand about how well put together a building is in regards to public safety. The Topstone Building has a building percent good rating of only 2 so 98% of the building is less than good. Pieces of the roof are falling down and the building owners receive nearly a quarter of $1 million in property tax debt relief plus a 76% property assessment reduction they that out of spending any money to clean up the hazardous material on their property and they can continue to do business as usual. How is that even possible? Councilman Nick Koloski operates his business out of this building. To say this has nothing to do with the treatment the owners are receiving is naïve, the Councilman is obviously receiving favoritism of some sort to allow the doors of his businesses to remain open at their current location. The building on Main Street that Mr. McNutt was pushing to have demolished that shares a common wall with a property owned by the same developer of the Goddard Building in downtown Claremont has a building good rating of 15 and allegedly needs to come down immediately. However, the Topstone Building with a rating in only single digits and very close to being in negative numbers is no threat to the public whatsoever. I am also curious about Councilman Koloski’s rental property with a building percent good rating of only 40 that is a lesser number than the one for the Junior Sports League Building that the city condemned with Councilman Koloski’s assistance because that building was allegedly a public safety hazard. It seems to me that Councilman Koloski is consistently receiving preferential treatment and no one does anything for nothing so it makes me wonder what Councilman Koloski is giving in return for this preferential treatment. Since this is an election year I hope the citizens of Claremont wake up and permanently retire Councilman Koloski from the City Council. Claremont deserves leaders who are representing them and not their own best interests.
Jerry(Tuesday, January 08 19 07:37 pm EST)
Topstone needs to get an engineers opinion as to how safe the roof is. McNut dropped the ball on that one. Corruption in City Hall. Councilor gets preferential treatment.
Hot Dog(Tuesday, January 08 19 07:22 pm EST)
BIG DOG half your list put where we are today.
Jerry(Tuesday, January 08 19 01:44 pm EST)
So why on Earth would we sell the JSL Bldg. to the county for $1,while taking a $700,000 bldg. off of the tax rolls?
What is to be gained by Claremont?
We're actually better off leaving it empty.We wouldn't be on the hook to care for ex-convicts that can't earn enough for rent or eat from their part time service job.
That's one losing proposition to me.The other surrounding communities bear no sharing of the burdon.
Move along Sullivan Co.,nothing for you here.
Big Dog(Tuesday, January 08 19 01:29 pm EST)
Now that McNutt is done/gone and out of the Picture, I would like for a local person to step up!
Perhaps there is good woman manager that lives in the Community, or bring back some of our senior staffers who have retired.
Keith Raymond - Vicki Lee - Candace Crawford - Jim Feleen - Rick Bergeron - Alex Scott, Peg LaPoint or Bruce Temple.
All very capable leaders for our small community. Common Sense approach.
Angela(Tuesday, January 08 19 12:38 pm EST)
In regards to Councilman Koloski's rental property if any of his tenants are welfare recipients then should they not be subject to the same rules as everyone else? What I mean is should rental payments be withheld until Councilman Koloski brings his rental property up to code? 40% okay cannot be up to code because it means 60% of the property is a dump perhaps even considered as a slum. If residents are forced to move because of code violations is the landlord responsible for paying for all moving expenses and first month last month rent, etc. that is incurred by the tenant through no fault of their own. Just wondering. Mr. Koloski's Councilor status should not make him above the law.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, January 08 19 10:50 am EST)
New article. JSL Building update. You will not believe what we found! Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Dennis(Monday, January 07 19 03:35 pm EST)
McNutt was a terrible city manager. He accomplished nothing and was paid handsomely to do precisely nothing. The city councilors made a terrible choice but what concerns me is the fact that most of the membership of the city council is the same and that could mean another bad choice for city manager is pending. I also do not like the fact that they are using Municipal Resources exclusively to service all of the city's temporary staffing issues. Allen Damren has past ties with the company and I do not know if that has anything to do why this company is exclusively supplying all of the temporary staffing needs to the city. I think Allen Damren and Charlene Lovett are both on a power trip and I am not convinced that the direction they are taking Claremont in is the right one for Claremont to be taking.
Stephanie(Monday, January 07 19 01:57 pm EST)
I do believe that Jim Sullivan and AJ Maranville played a crucial role in Ryan McNutt's termination as city manager. They routinely pointed out to the city councilors their rights and duties as well as the proper procedures they should follow as city councilors. Mr. McNutt and his pet attorney would have the city councilors believe that they have no authority at all and that is simply not true. Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Maranville also informed the city councilors about critical occurrences related to the municipal government that Mr. McNutt chose to keep the city councilors in the dark about. The Topstone holdings property tax debt wipeout of over $220,000 and the 76% property tax assessment reduction immediately leap to mind. Joe Osgood also played a major role in the whole Topstone drama. John O'Connor and Paul Lacasse also played a supporting role. Then there was the whole convoluted attempt by Mr. McNutt to hire a certain property assessor is another example. First Mr. McNutt tried to increase the job grade classification to increase the pay scale, when that failed he tried to give pay raises ranging from 15% to 30% to select highly paid city administrators that was to include the chief assessor's position. All the while refusing to grant a paltry 2% pay increase to well deserving public works and secretarial employees. Bob Picard played a supporting role by speaking in favor of the city employees. I am also not a fan of Mr. McNutt's social engineering agenda through housing to set the stage for a large influx of welfare and other social services using people to move to Claremont and further increase our property tax burden with higher welfare and police budgets and all sorts of increases for the school budgets. It just did not seem to be any rhyme or reason to all of these grandiose plans or should I say schemes. I am pleased that Mr. McNutt is no longer city manager.
William(Monday, January 07 19 10:55 am EST)
From what I can see the council fired Mr. McNutt for a host of reasons and I would say they are pretty accurate reasons seeing how Mr. McNutt comported himself during city council meetings. It also appears there may have been a tug-of-war between Mr. McNutt and Mayor Charlene Lovett for control over Claremont’s municipal government. I have heard from some of my friends who work for the city that Mrs. Lovett is too involved in the running of the city municipal departments. Of course, that is their opinion and it may not rise to the level of interference that would cause Mrs. Lovett any legal problems.
Jim Sullivan(Monday, January 07 19 06:54 am EST)
Two articles today.
1) Let the finger-pointing begin!
2) Public Forum scheduled.
Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Big Dog(Friday, January 04 19 04:06 pm EST)
McNutt was a misfit for this Council, and the Leadership they are looking for. 7 TO 2 IS PRETTY CONVINCING TO ME!
Ted(Friday, January 04 19 08:45 am EST)
The Council gave McNutt his walking papers. Hallelujah! It is about time the Council started acting like city leaders instead of blind city manager followers.
Shawn(Thursday, January 03 19 04:07 pm EST)
McNutt fired is great news for Claremont. We now need to keep these MA bureaucrats our of Claremont both on the city and the school sides of our local government.
Jim Sullivan(Thursday, January 03 19 09:19 am EST)
Council fires McNutt. Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
John(Wednesday, January 02 19 09:01 pm EST)
Say goodbye to Mr. McNutt... My advice.... Don’t let the door hit ya where the good lord split ya.
Todd(Wednesday, January 02 19 04:21 pm EST)
I predict that McNutt will be terminated quite soon and he will receive a very generous severance package as a going away gift. Then these idiot councilors will hire another unqualified moron to take McNutt’s place. It would not surprise me if Damren took the job since he thinks he is so damn smart. Wouldn’t that be a revolting development?
Jim Sullivan(Wednesday, January 02 19 01:56 pm EST)
New article published today.
Claremont City Officials continue to stonewall regarding our inquiries about Attorney Mark Broth. Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
John(Wednesday, January 02 19 09:51 am EST)
Charlene Lovett and Allen Damren both have past history with Valley Regional Hospital as they previously served in a managerial role for the Hospital. I have little doubt that they will support any location anywhere in Claremont for Valley Regional Hospital’s Mental Health Facility. Who knows it may even be located in the old JSL Building once County Officials get their hands on it for probably a dollar. This is the problem with our current municipal government, many have conflicts of interest and special interests that they cater to and the general public always pays the price. Charlene Lovett and Allen Damren are both social climbing, special-interest pandering frauds as are many of their fellow councilors. New leadership across the board is needed if Claremont is going to survive.
George(Tuesday, January 01 19 02:10 pm EST)
I do not want to seem harsh but I agree with IPO that other communities must take care of their own low-income citizens and stop shipping them to Claremont. It is sickening when our own elected leaders work in collusion to import more low-income people to a community that has far too many within it already. We have far too many liberal dimwits on the city council and in the municipal administration at City Hall. It is time to make a clean sweep of the crappy leadership Claremont has and start over. 2019 is an election year.
Mary(Tuesday, January 01 19 12:32 pm EST)
I noticed transportation was a factor in deciding that Claremont would be the best place for this ex-convict transitional housing complex. Don’t forget that Mayor Lovett was instrumental in getting Claremont taxpayer funding for the bus service and now they are trying to get more funding to expand the bus service all the way to the Upper Valley. Mayor Lovett is one of Claremont’s worst enemies as she is one of the instrumental leaders bringing more and more social services to Claremont that will attract more of that needy population to move here. The Sullivan Report has already shown all of us readers how the welfare budget is increasing and it is about to break the budget. It will increase far more when all of these people start moving to Claremont and then the Claremont taxpayers will really be paying through the nose to financially support all of these people who do not offer any viable benefit to any community.
Patti(Tuesday, January 01 19 11:55 am EST)
City staff is under the impression that Ryan McNutt’s days as city manager are numbered. His arrogance, ignorance and ineffectiveness will be his undoing.
Tom(Tuesday, January 01 19 10:09 am EST)
I would like to know what is going on with all these nonpublic meetings? Why all the damn secrecy? Charlene Lovett promised open and transparent government. So did not Allen Damren and others who ran for the city council. All of them act like Washington politicians, who lied to the public to be elected and then do whatever the hell they want once they are in power. I do not like all of the secrets and all the secret meetings being held behind closed doors. Like Jim and AJ, I thought MRI was hired to teach communication skills to the city manager and the councilors. I do not see why this has to be held in secret session. I believe Jim and AJ are correct that Attorney Broth’s involvement suggests that other political agendas are at work here and the public is intentionally being kept in the dark as their tax dollars are being spent for reasons that we are not made aware of and the city councilors have no intention of telling us what they are doing in our name. I too believe it is time for new leadership all around.
Industrial Property Owner(Tuesday, January 01 19 09:45 am EST)
The Valley News published an article yesterday on the subject of the proposed ex-convict transitional housing facility at the former Junior Sports League building. Their article was brief, vague and extremely limited in scope. The reporter interviewed County Manager Derek Ferland, who was evasive with his answers. The Sullivan Report article was far more informative as they did research and gathered much more information making for a much more interesting article. They also took a wider global view and gave their readers food for thought regarding the direction Claremont is being directed in by City Manager Ryan McNutt, Mayor Charlene Lovett, Assistant Mayor Allen Damren and the other seven City Councilors. Frankly, this is not a direction I wish for the city to go, as I believe it will be calamitous. Intentionally attracting populace that will increase the tax burden when Claremont already has by far the highest property tax rate in the entire state is sheer insanity. I am not a Grinch, I do believe helping out our fellow men and women in need but I also believe that everyone should do their part. Why is it that these facilities are not located in Sunapee, Newport, Cornish, etc.? Why is Claremont the dumping ground first for the areas trash with the now defunct Wheelabrator Incinerator and now those most in need of social services? Why do the Claremont taxpayers have to bear the burden for other communities, that willfully ignore certain segments of their population in the hopes that they will move elsewhere to become someone else’s problem? Why do our city leaders continue to create an oasis destination spot for those most in need of welfare and other social services? Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Maranville are correct in their astute contention that Claremont’s leadership have no plan and thus working two diametrically opposed political agendas simultaneously and sabotaging Claremont’s chances for true growth and prosperity in the process. Claremont’s municipal leadership is abysmal and is in much need of replacement. I am not convinced that any of the City Councilors are worth saving and Ryan McNutt should be terminated posthaste for lack of both experience and job performance.
Gail(Monday, December 31 18 05:39 pm EST)
Mr. McNutt, Mayor Lovett and the rest of the Councilors are out of their minds. They have to be because who in their right mind would ever try to entice ex-convicts, runaway problem teens and low income welfare and other social service using families to move into their community so they can be a burden to an already overburdened and overtaxed populace. Mr. McNutt and the City Councilors must be insane to think that this is a path to prosperity for Claremont. Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Maranville are correct with their conclusion that this will deter middle-class and upper-class families from ever considering to reside here in Claremont. I just cannot believe the stupidity at City Hall.
Jim Sullivan(Monday, December 31 18 02:32 pm EST)
Two new articles today.
1) Will the Claremont JSL Building become transitional housing for ex-convicts?
2) City Officials continue to resist disclosing the truth about Attorney Broth's legal services!
Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Me Myself AndI(Thursday, December 20 18 01:05 pm EST)
It amazes me how many people are starting to see through Nick. If he is doing something it is all about him. He uses others donations splashes his face all over it and takes credit for. Got shut off by a big outfit that figured him out.
Travis(Wednesday, December 19 18 03:16 pm EST)
Politically correct imbeciles who are sniveling cowards also do not make good city councilors. Other pathetic qualities Claremont city councilors have these days.
Dan(Wednesday, December 19 18 11:21 am EST)
Nick Koloski sure is a little weasel. He says he’s going to vote for the pay raises for the merit plan employees and then he waffles and flip-flops when he sees his fellow councilors vote against the measure. What a dishonest wuss.
Gail(Tuesday, December 18 18 02:30 pm EST)
The people of this Councilor do not have the courage to stand up to Ryan McNutt and direct him what to do even though they are his boss. Cowards and imbeciles do not good leaders make. Claremont voters need to elect better candidates.
Todd(Tuesday, December 18 18 01:43 pm EST)
Ryan McNutt is the dumbest city manager I have ever seen. No matter what question you ask him his pat answer is I don’t know. I can’t believe the city councilors are so lily-livered that they cannot bring themselves to stand up to him and fire him for poor job performance.
Mike(Tuesday, December 18 18 12:01 pm EST)
The encroachment problem on the rail trails has been ongoing for many years. Nick Koloski, a longtime member of the conservation commission has promised rail trail users a solution for many years but never accomplished a damn thing. Koloski is fraud, all mouth and no action and it is time for people to wake up and see that.
Ken(Tuesday, December 18 18 09:28 am EST)
I've noticed over the past six months or so that the Claremont City Council procrastinates on decision-making in many ways. They ignore problems staring them right in the face. They also send back resolutions, ordinances and proposals to either municipal committees or the attorneys for legal review. Hardly anything is getting done and what is accomplished takes far too many months to do so. The lawyer fees the taxpayers of Claremont are paying must be horrendous. The Council keeps hiring more and more attorneys, so many is beginning to look like OJ's dream team of attorneys holding the hands of Claremont City Councilors telling them it's all right to make a decision. I'm really disgusted with Mayor Lovett and Allen Damren and the rest of the City Councilors for being so unprofessional and wishy-washy about everything. It is time for new leadership in Claremont not only on the City Council but we need a new City Manager and other key department heads. Parks & Recreation, Planning & Development and Finance for starters.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, December 18 18 07:41 am EST)
New article. December 12 Council meeting synopsis. Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Another Claremont Tax Payer(Saturday, December 15 18 11:57 pm EST)
So, how long before SAU#6 tries to convince the school board that allowing Lempster to join us will save Claremont tax payers money.
Joe(Saturday, December 15 18 02:57 pm EST)
HELLO!! This is a community of 13,000 people and less than half of them have a good income. There are many locals capable of running a community of this size efficiently. A community of this size should not be looking for and paying for individuals capable of running large communities. Because of the size of this community we end up with all the rejects and they come here and convince the big thinking leaders we need things we can’t afford. Sadly because of the debt they have gotten us into we are at least 20 years of sacrifice to fix it. That is if the public finally wakes up to this fact. If not we shall be a ghost town in the end.
Dave(Friday, December 14 18 05:38 pm EST)
A recent Stevens HS Grad would probly have more common sense than the Department Heads we currently have running this city!!
Tony(Friday, December 14 18 04:17 pm EST)
Wow, that's not good news for Claremont's future as department heads leave and positions go unfilled. You will have to hire from the local high school graduates to fill department directors positions.
Jim Sullivan(Thursday, December 13 18 03:04 pm EST)
Last night the Claremont City Council strongly rejected City Manager Ryan McNutt's 15%-29% across-the-board pay raise for Claremont's highest-paid non-union municipal employees (A.K.A. Merit Plan Employees). Councilwoman Claire Lessard was the only Councilor who supported the outrageous pay raises. Mayor Lovett was noticeably absent from the meeting. Voters need to remember how Councilor Lessard voted on this issue if she ever dares to run for reelection!
Titanic Survivor(Thursday, December 13 18 02:52 pm EST)
Bob Jackson (RIP) was the problem. Then Guy Santagate. Now Ryan McNutt.
In my youth while growing up in town, I eventually realized that no community circles the wagons better than Claremont. The only problem? Instead of aiming outside of the circle, everyone fires within.
I'm just thankful that I was airlifted from the Titanic before it hit the iceberg. It is, nevertheless, sad to watch.
Todd(Tuesday, December 11 18 01:22 pm EST)
Mr. McNutt has violated the public’s trust as well as the trust of the Council. That said, there is no other choice but to terminate his position and the sooner the better.
Shawn(Tuesday, December 11 18 09:56 am EST)
Jim Sullivan and AJ Maranville are both former city councilors who knew their stuff when they honorably served. Today they still know more about what’s going on than all the councilors combined. They say that the councilors have the power to give the union workers of the public works department and the clerical employees a fair raise and a new contract. Well okay then boys and girls of the Council get busy and put an end to this embarrassment once and for all.
Abigail(Tuesday, December 11 18 09:44 am EST)
Well that communications training that McNutt just received from MRI really worked out well didn't it? I wonder if the nitwits on the city council will rehire MRI for thousands of more tax dollars to give McNutt even more training. Sensitivity, negotiating, general intelligence, etc.
Laura(Tuesday, December 11 18 08:51 am EST)
Ryan McNutt is out of control as city manager. He is abusing his power and disrespecting city councilors, municipal employees and the taxpaying public at every opportunity. He should be fired.
Kevin(Tuesday, December 11 18 08:04 am EST)
The city manager is crazy to pull a stunt like this. He must think he can do anything because the Council is too lily- livered to a stand up to him and fire his sorry ass. He may be right because I have no faith in this Council of fools.
John(Tuesday, December 11 18 08:02 am EST)
Just a quick question.... where will all this money come from ?
Considering the City is working with a “bare bones “ budget , I wonder if the administration has already “projected “ what the increases will be in the updated property evaluations before these evaluations have even occurred?
Being a City Manager is a difficult position, even on a good day. It seems Mr. McNutt goes out of his way to make his professional life difficult.
If I didn’t know better I’d think someone wants to be fired.
Dave(Tuesday, December 11 18 07:19 am EST)
Because Stephan Hamilton owns his own consulting company, I wonder if Ryan McNutt negotiated a secret deal with him to allow Hamilton to continue working consulting side gigs if he becomes the permanent city assessor?
Donna(Tuesday, December 11 18 06:45 am EST)
I can only imagine how the employees must feel when they hear the truth about how they are not worth 2% raise when their bosses are worth 15-29%. This is going to demoralize the employees. The city council must step up and make this right. I wish Jim Sullivan and AJ Maranville and other old-timers were back on the Council right now because they would make this right because they would never stand for this crap. The councilors we have today are all weak willed idiots who want the job and what little glory comes with it but they all have no idea how to do the job even moderately well.
Ryan(Tuesday, December 11 18 06:40 am EST)
Ryan McNutt’s bungling of the Topstone abatements, the assessor position grade change and this current faux pas with the obscene pay raises for top administration officials while throwing crumbs or nothing at all to the people actually do all the work is the last straw. It’s time for the Council to fire McNutt.
Gail(Tuesday, December 11 18 05:16 am EST)
I find it hard to believe that any of the city councilors will give this outrageous pay raise any serious consideration. The taxpayers will not swallow any more frivolous spending.
Greg(Tuesday, December 11 18 04:51 am EST)
What the hell is McNutt thinking? The nine a measly 2% pay raise for dedicated employees of public works and municipal clerical positions of giving their overpaid bosses a 15% – 29% pay raise instead. If the councilors grant this wacky request then they all have to be voted out of office.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, December 11 18 03:05 am EST)
City Manager Ryan McNutt is proposing a 15% – 29% pay hike for Claremont’s highest-paid employees while refusing to give Public Works & Clerical Workers a 2% pay increase! Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Sarah(Friday, December 07 18 11:42 am EST)
I am not a fan of Bill Chaisson either. I do not like his writing style as he has a propensity to leave out important facts and details that do not support his position or political predisposition. For example, his recent editorial about how in his opinion Claremont needs a high price city assessor, when he failed to come clean and admit his conflict of interest regarding his close connection with one of the owners of Topstone Holdings LLC. Bill Chaisson should have disclosed the fact that the Eagle Times is a tenant of one of those owners. Especially when he takes a very unpopular stance supporting Ryan McNutt and Joseph Lessard and their decision to grant outrageously high property assessment abatements and tax debt forgiveness to the owners of Topstone Holdings LLC. In another editorial he wrote that also was published this week he stated that market rate valued apartments for Downtown Claremont is the answer to local economic growth. Bill Chaisson neglected to state that the Goddard building project does not meet that standard, as most of the apartments will be for low-income Section 8 residents, who will all probably turn to the city’s welfare department to pay their rent and that will increase our property tax burden immensely. I do not trust Bill Chaisson’s editorials as they appear to be slanted to his own thoughts, they lack balance and accuracy and they are far too local government official friendly to the point of being government propaganda, much like the news articles throughout the Eagle Times newspaper.
Jerry(Wednesday, December 05 18 07:31 am EST)
I just finished reading Mr. Bill Chaisson’s editorial in today’s edition of the Eagle Times. He admits to being an apartment dweller living in Unity. Therefore, in my opinion, he should not be trying to use his editorial position with the newspaper to promote his liberal ideas and influence increased taxing and spending increased taxation burden on Claremont property owners and apartment dwelling citizens forced to pay higher rents as a result of increased taxation. Mr. Bill Chaisson has no skin in the game, as he is not a resident.
Chris(Tuesday, December 04 18 03:12 pm EST)
Boy, that Joe Lessard is a terrible property assessor. He undervalued the Farwell property by 47% after devaluing the Topstone property by 76% and given the owners of the Topstone property a property tax bill right off of almost a quarter of one million dollars. Since the Farwell property is owned by the CDA, a government agency of the city of Claremont that somehow pays property taxes on the building, it makes me wonder if it was undervalued on purpose to give the CDA a break like the owners of the Topstone property received. Once again the taxpayers take it on the chin for the special interests.
Richard(Tuesday, December 04 18 11:59 am EST)
An editorial appeared in today’s edition of the Eagle Times, written by editor Bill Chaisson about his cockeyed opinion of how the city councilors of Claremont are basically totally screwing up property assessments in Claremont with their recent decisions. Mr. Chaisson is totally against the idea of forming a Board of Assessors, he also claims that this was some sort of knee-jerk reaction to the Topstone Holdings LLC property abatements controversy, which he seems to fully support the large property abatements and past tax debt forgiveness granted to the owners by Mr. Lessard. Mr. Chaisson never mentioned his conflict of interest, one of the owners of Topstone Holdings LLC owns the building where the Eagle Times offices are located. Apparently, Mr. Chaisson does not want to get on the wrong side of his landlord or the person whom it is my understanding collects the rent and handles any nuisances regarding the property located on Crescent Street. Of course, I am referring to Councilman Nick Koloski. Mr. Chaisson is also hypercritical of the position of city councilors to not increase the salary range for the city assessor because one applicant is demanding more money. I do happen to agree with Mr. Chaisson’s comment that the city assessor must be dispassionate and value properties correctly. However, that as far as our mutual agreement goes. Mr. Chaisson once the city councilors to cave into this unknown applicant’s salary demands, not create an assessing board and stop doing things as he says on the cheap. In other words, spend taxpayer’s money and do not stop. Mr. Chaisson fails to take into consideration the fact that all assessors are state certified so throwing more money at any applicant will not guarantee increased professionalism or competency. The funny thing is Mr. Chaisson resides in Newport, so he pays no taxes in Claremont. He also was not much of an editor. Underneath his photograph under the website version of his editorial the caption reads Beth Chaisson instead of Bill Chaisson, showcasing his abysmal editorial eye to detail professionalism, either that or Mr. Chaisson is revealing something about his personal life that I do not care to know about.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, December 04 18 10:24 am EST)
Two new articles published on the Sullivan Report today. Full details on the News Flashes page.
Andrea(Friday, November 30 18 08:28 am EST)
There has to be a way to get these dim-witted people out off office before it's to late. They are all on the road to bankrupt Claremont. None of them have Claremonts best intrests at heart with all the mismanaging of money, lying, and corruption. We need to get them out NOW.
Tom(Wednesday, November 28 18 12:14 pm EST)
That Nancy Merrill is useless. Every time she goes to the podium to speak, she knows very little about the topic that she is talking about. This is not a volunteer job she is doing this is her paid position and she is paid much more than she is worth. She should have fired her years ago but somehow she has managed to keep her job that she seems to be extremely unqualified for in just about every way possible.
Steve(Wednesday, November 28 18 10:56 am EST)
The councilors are dragging their feet with the Board of Assessors policy work. At the rate, they are moving it may take a year before we ever see one. By then a lot of damage can happen as all the property assessments can be jacked up by then.
Dan(Wednesday, November 28 18 10:00 am EST)
Charlene Lovett, Allen Damren, Ryan McNutt, Nick Koloski, Scott Pope, Claire Lessard, Joseph Lessard. It kind of says it all doesn’t it? You want to know why Claremont’s going down the tubes, the clowns I just mentioned is your answer.
Linda(Wednesday, November 28 18 09:39 am EST)
I remember when we thought that Debbie Cutts was a terrible female Mayor, those were the good old days compared to now.
Gail(Wednesday, November 28 18 08:05 am EST)
Little Miss Lovett sat on her tuffet wondering “my oh my what ever shall I do”?
“I know” she said, “I’ll turn my head and hope all the bad things will go away”.
William(Wednesday, November 28 18 06:57 am EST)
It is not surprising to me to find out that even with the addition of over 24 million dollars to the city’s property assessment valuation due to Municipal Resources Incorporated’s assessing representative Mr. Lessard’s grossly inflated property assessments that the municipal property tax rate is still rising while the school, county and state local property tax rates have all decreased. Our city manager and city council are out of their minds and out of control. The Topstone tax rebate sent a chilling precedent that will have very negative ramifications for Claremont taxpayers. Every property owner who files a property tax abatement can now file for rebate of prior-year taxes that they paid. I have no doubt in my mind that the deep-pocketed utilities and business property owners will now do just that to recoup their losses and then some. Do not forget if we lose any case, we also have to pay their legal fees as well. In the case of the utilities, I think we will lose every single case just looking at the disparity between what Claremont has highly assessed the properties for and what the state says the properties are worth. Taxes are going to go up far more than anyone may think with the all of these abatement cases that will be filed against the city. The welfare budget expansion means more welfare cases are coming in, the $5 million downtown rehabilitation project to benefit the downtown building owners and developers with parking for the welfare residents living there, the growing taxpayer subsidy for the community center and pay raises for the merit plan employees but not for public works and clerical workers. I am sure I have missed several things because this Council cannot stop spending money on things they should not while not spending money on things they should like road pavement repairs and upgrades. We all have the Sullivan Report to thank for educating us about all of the important issues that our city leaders wish to keep hidden from all of us because they do not want us to know the truth. It is a shame that the other members of the local news media only report what they witness at meetings that are usually well controlled to maintain a political spin of city leaders and carefully worded press releases that are handed to reporters from city officials.
John Bennett(Tuesday, November 27 18 05:49 pm EST)
I thank you for noticing the error. I will inform the NHSCon the Arts of the mistake. I will tell them to insert a $.00 in its place. I volunteer. Thanks again for noticing.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, November 27 18 10:48 am EST)
Claremont's 2018 property tax rate set! Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Jim Sullivan(Monday, November 26 18 02:33 pm EST)
The Grantee Information Form for Organizations document that was included in the grant application clearly states that it is asking regarding Claremont Opera House Incorporated for the annual salary of the administrator of the grant. The reply is your name and plus or minus $69,000. Yes, it does state the word retired after your name but the document specifically asked for the annual salary of the administrator of the grant.
Also, we never stated that you ever took a salary from Claremont Opera House Incorporated in the past, as IRS 990 Filings for Claremont Opera House Incorporated clearly state. This grant application cross-referenced with those past IRS 990 Filings implied that the $69,000 administrative salary was something new that would occur during Fiscal Year 2019.
That being stated, we most certainly want to set the record straight if it needs to be. That is simply a matter of accuracy and fairness. We will gladly do so provided you answer just a few clarifying questions.
1) You state that the $69,000 (give or take) represents your annual income. Based on your resume, do you mean your retirement pension from the Claremont School District and possibly Social Security and possibly retirement pension from The College of Lifelong Learning?
2) If so, then why was the $69,000 amount stated in the grant application as administrative salary?
With all due respect, since personal retirement benefits paid by entities other than Claremont Opera House Incorporated is clearly not administrative salary paid by Claremont Opera House Incorporated, the amount stated on the grant application regarding administrative salary should have been zero.
I look forward to your response so we can set the record straight.
Louanne Lewit(Monday, November 26 18 02:00 pm EST)
Dear Mr. Sullivan,
I really wish that you had called like a journalist would asking for clarification instead of hastily putting your comments in your forum. Thanks for your congratulations on the grant. However, Had you called I would have told you that John Bennett has never received a salary from the opera house. He has, in fact, offered his services for FREE many, many times over the years which is one of the reasons he was voted Citizen of the Year. The salary that we probably incorrectly put on the grant was his "personal" retirement income that has absolutely nothing to do with the opera house. Please do not confuse his personal, hard earned retirement income. That is why I had put the word "retired" in front of the income. And, I would also have told you that we are required to have someone from the City Council on our board. I believe that was the case when you were on the council and John Formidoni was on our board....and then Debra Cutts...John Bennett has given much of himself over the years to the opera house and he has been deeply hurt by this. He has loved the opera house and has done whatever he could to keep it viable for the community of Claremont. He was even instrumental in saving the opera house decades ago. Everyone here selflessly gives of themselves and is here because of a love for the opera house and what it brings to the community. I personally work for less than what the executive director earned 20 years ago and I also do the office manager and assistant positions that were once done by others. Please understand how hurtful your comments have been and try to make amends for it. We all make mistakes. I understand... In looking at the grant I can see how you could potentially have misunderstood it but a phone call would have cleared it all up and no harm would have been caused to someone who only ever gave everything he could to help save and keep the opera house running......and to keep history alive. Feel free to call me at the opera house. 603-542-0064.
I'm sure that you didn't intend to hurt anyone. I just ask that you clear up the misunderstanding.
John Bennett(Monday, November 26 18 11:48 am EST)
This is a sad day for me who has VOLUNTEERED 50 year of my time and money to the Claremont Opera House. Mr Sullivan has taken my personal income required with my resume as a qualified person to administer the grant and erroneously connected it to the income of COH,INC.
I have never received any salary from COH,INC.
Jim Sullivan(Monday, November 26 18 09:55 am EST)
New article entitled “Look What Is Hiding Behind The Curtain”. You won’t believe what the Board of Directors of the Claremont Opera House Incorporated non-profit recently did until you read for yourself the irrefutable documented evidence that we uncovered and have now published! We were shocked when we discovered it! Spoiler alert! Mayor Charlene Lovett is a member of this particular Board of Directors. Full details on this website’s News Flashes page.
Dennis(Friday, November 23 18 03:44 pm EST)
I see the Eagle Times finally got around to report about the Nov 13 council meeting a week and a half later. They focused on the assessor position not getting filled right away, the council's blessing to start an assessing board and the mess that Arrowhead is in. I think they got a lot of their information from the Sullivan Report articles.
Todd(Wednesday, November 21 18 10:52 am EST)
If you think things through you will see that Jim and AJ are using the Sullivan Report to paint a very realistic picture of Claremont’s local governments. Frankly, I do not like the way the direction the city government is going. Mr. McNutt and the city council through their actions, indecisiveness or intent to do nothing are taking unfair advantage of senior citizens, veterans (extremely low exemptions and tax credits), clerical and public works municipal employees (no pay raise or signed contract) and commercial, industrial and utility property owners (over-taxation through inflated property assessments to generate tax revenue for the wastrel city government. This is done to directly benefit special interests such as firefighters, police officers, the developer of the Goddard building and the owners of Topstone Holdings LLC (and Councilor Nick Koloski indirectly) to name a few.
Papa Jupiter(Wednesday, November 21 18 09:53 am EST)
How many public works employees are leaving to go work in the private sector?
ans. They are already overpaid and enjoy benefits that are unheard of in the private sector.
Papa Jupiter(Wednesday, November 21 18 09:49 am EST)
If the clerical worker pay is so bad why did the latest hire quit working at a local bank and start working at Claremont City Hall?
ans. The pay and benefits are already higher than the private sector.
Peter(Wednesday, November 21 18 09:06 am EST)
Today’s city councilors are a disgrace. They accomplish nothing of true public benefit. They only seem interested in benefiting friends and colleagues and to hell with everyone else such as the municipal clerical and public works employees, elderly and veteran homeowners and the at large public in general.
Tim(Wednesday, November 21 18 07:08 am EST)
It’s simple; the city councilors of today are sellouts to those with the most political influence. If you do not have any influence then you do not exist in their eyes.
Linda(Tuesday, November 20 18 02:01 pm EST)
I watched a repeat telecast of this last city council meeting because the Sullivan Report article sparked my interest. I cannot believe that Mayor Lovett is so gung ho about investing a lot of money that Claremont taxpayers do not have in Arrowhead. What has me even more stunned is that other councilors are in support of joining her to appropriate our tax dollars on something like this when they tell the city employees from the public works department and all the secretaries that city leaders cannot give them even a modest raise after giving big raises to the firefighters and the police officers. I do not understand the thought process of this latest collection of city councilors. It is time for new leadership.
Richard(Tuesday, November 20 18 12:55 pm EST)
This Council has a pattern of behavior. Put all decisions through countless committees to send back recommendations to spread the blame if anything goes wrong with any decisions they make. They are more interested in political correctness and political cover and catering to the special interests then they are doing what’s right for you, me, and all of the other hard-working citizens of Claremont.
Walter(Tuesday, November 20 18 11:39 am EST)
Don’t forget McNutt was the Council’s second choice. This makes me wonder about the quality of the applicant pool and why they didn’t re-advertise the position instead of hiring an inferior candidate.
Todd(Tuesday, November 20 18 11:32 am EST)
I am getting sick of Mr. McNutt’s 50,000-foot high management too. Is unfair treatment of members of his city staff is unforgivable. The city councilors must be displeased with his work as they are performing quarterly job performance review checks when Mr. Santagate only saw a job performance review once a year.
George(Tuesday, November 20 18 10:17 am EST)
Wow! The welfare budget is really getting out of control. Why are Mayor Lovett and the rest of the city councilors sitting on their hands and doing nothing about this? Don’t they realize this housing scam of Mr. McNutt’s is nothing more than subsidized housing for the poor and working poor? Claremont is already doing more than enough for welfare recipients it is time for other communities to step up and do their part. Mr. Santagate understood that but Mr. McNutt does not. Of course, I don’t think he really cares because I do not think that he will last nowhere near as long as Mr. Santagate did.
Sharon(Tuesday, November 20 18 09:29 am EST)
Most of the city councilors are opportunistic social climbers and for them the wants and desires of special interests always trumps what is best for the general public. The only way you can change that is to change the people who are representing you on the city council.
Tom(Tuesday, November 20 18 08:17 am EST)
I think it is terrible how veterans and seniors are treated by the Claremont city councilors. Other communities with lower property tax burdens treat their veterans and seniors better. Mayor Lovett and the other city councilors are such phonies. They say how much they care for the citizens but they really only care for certain segments of the population. Their primary concern lies with police officers, firefighters, certain developers, certain non-profit agencies and oh yes themselves, Nicholas Koloski and his landlord for example. It is shameful the way our city government is manage these days.
Jennifer(Tuesday, November 20 18 02:41 am EST)
These bonehead councilors want to spend more of the taxpayer's money to benefit top municipal administrators, developers of new welfare housing and non-profits like the Arrowhead crew and the Dental Clinic. At the same time these same bonehead councilors do not want to appropriately spend our tax dollars to treat clerical and public works employees fairly like the police officers and firefighters. They also do not want to treat senior citizens and veterans who own homes in Claremont fairly as other surrounding towns do with their citizens. I do not know where the heck their priorities are but they sure do not reflect my values and I am sure they do not reflect the values of most if not all of my fellow Claremont citizens. That is the reason why these bonehead councilors do not deserve our support and trust anymore. It is time to elect new leadership that represents the way we think and act.
Rebecca(Monday, November 19 18 08:02 pm EST)
I watch all the city council meetings as I like to keep abreast of what my locally elected officials are doing with our tax dollars. What bothers me are the contradictory rationalizations and excuses that city councilors use to either spend or not spend taxpayer’s dollars. The city councilors ordered a study of the grade 11 positions for the non-union merit plan employees to be followed with a study of all the other pay grades for merit plan employees. The city councilors, or at least most of them, appeared to have the intention of pay scales for merit plan employees. City councilors expressed an interest in giving the Arrowhead nonprofit agency several items on their wish list with the use of our tax dollars. City councilors seemed to be on board with spending over $5 million to create a better environment more parking for what will presumably be for welfare recipients who immigrate to the downtown region. City councilors balk at the opportunity to order the city manager to give the public works and clerical employees a modest pay increase and leave their health benefits as they are. They claim there is no money for the pay increases but they had no similar concerns when it came time to give pay increases to firefighters and police officers and they seem to have no concerns about giving pay raises to directors and upper management of the administration. The city councilors are hypocrites.
Industrial Property Owner(Monday, November 19 18 06:22 pm EST)
Another great exposé by the Sullivan Report as Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Maranville once again looks past the obvious on the surface that the inferior local press disburses to their readers and delves deeper with investigative reporting to uncover the truth and report superior, documented news to their readers.
I share the concerns about the growth of the Welfare municipal department expense budget and the conclusions drawn by Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Maranville are quite astute. Mayor Lovett’s efforts with other local officials to expand social services, for example, drug rehab clinics, needle exchange programs, expansion of the dental clinic, facilitation to assist the non-profit agency to purchase the building on Main Street that is becoming a hub of social services, etc. could very well be perpetuating the influx of welfare recipients. The Goddard building construction project will undoubtedly create housing for more low-income residents. If I recall correctly 60% or more of the apartment dwellers must be very low income, with income levels of around 70% of Claremont’s very low median income if memory serves. Zoning changes that would assist other downtown building owners to replicate Mr. Lacasse’s project in their respective buildings and Mr. McNutt’s $5 million downtown renovation plan to create infrastructure for these low-income residents should concern every taxpayer. Only the Sullivan Report has the old-fashioned work ethic to follow journalistic professionalism and ethics hold government officials accountable for their actions. That is the true function of the fourth estate, referring to the watchdog role of the press, which is important to a functioning democracy. Something the reporters and the editorial staff of the E- Ticker News, the Valley News and the Eagle Times all seem to have forgotten.
The inconsistent treatment of union personnel by City Manager Ryan McNutt is also cause for concern. Robert Picard voiced what many people are thinking. Give the clerical and public works personnel a modest raise and retain the same insurance coverage and policies currently given to police and fire personnel. The administration can try to negotiate for something different the next round of employee contract talks. Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Maranville voiced their support and I add mine as well. Many in the community would do the same in the spirit of common courtesy, mutual respect and fairness.
Jim Sullivan(Monday, November 19 18 04:30 pm EST)
Bricker's Restaurant building sold.
November 13 Council meeting synopsis.
Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
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Ron(Friday, November 16 18 10:35 am EST)
I am pleased to hear that the Main Street sidewalks will not always be looking as ghastly as they do now. I too am concerned about the school budget for the next school year. Hundreds of thousands of dollars of expenses do not simply go away. It takes determination and priority shifts and difficult choices to make a level funded budget a reality. Adding $125,000 to the special education budget for a poorly thought out new program that may only service six children is ill advised at any time but especially now given the challenges the school board members will face with the next budget as it is. The special education program plan should either be scrapped or retooled to be either cost neutral or generate savings \ new revenues.
Deborah(Friday, November 16 18 06:38 am EST)
I am very appreciative of the Sullivan Report because it is the only source of local government news that treats their readers like adults. They do so by reporting the truth including the bad news instead of the politically correct news we receive all a time from the mainstream local news media. The Sullivan Report is also the only local new source that publishes documents or portions thereof that backs up what they report. I appreciate the high journalism standard and the humor and satire that is sprinkled throughout some of the longer articles. I just had to say that because I am a first time writer on the Public Forum.
I have many concerns about our municipal and school governments and the way they handle our tax dollars. I have been part of the silent majority for too long and this is my first attempt at speaking out. The concern I want to write about today is the school budget. School Board Chair Frank Sprague’s written comments about pressures that are building regarding next year’s school district budget are disconcerting. Mr. Sprague identified about $300,000 in new spending that does not calculate in its equation the personnel contractual compensation increases previously approved by the voters. That may edge up the property tax rate by as much as one dollar. Will the school board have the political will to make drastic cuts to level fund the budget? I am not convinced and neither should you be.
I am equally concerned about the special education alternative program championed by Assistant Superintendent Cory LeClair. In my opinion, creating a program that would cost taxpayers another $125,000 or more each year to service only six students does not seem to be a good return on investment. I know that may sound harsh but the reality is Claremont’s property tax rate for 2017 is the highest in the entire state of New Hampshire by $3.47 compared to Berlin followed by Keene with the tax rate of $5.44 below that of Claremont’s. Our community cannot sustain its current high property tax rate and Claremont certainly cannot grow as economic development efforts are stifled by the crushing property tax burden in Claremont. It is time to reassess our priorities within the school district and the municipality, separate what is necessary from what is nice to have a focus on scaling back expenditures and return to basics.
I am hopeful that Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Maranville can present to the school board a better plan for special education reform that will retain all of our out of district placement students to reduce our tax burden and create the opportunity for increased revenues with special education tuitions from other school districts. It is out-of-the-box thinking like that which Claremont needs most.
Jim Sullivan(Thursday, November 15 18 02:02 pm EST)
City Manager Ryan McNutt's response to my inquiry regarding the plan for the sidewalks on upper Main Street is published on the News Flashes page of this website.
Jim Sullivan(Thursday, November 15 18 06:47 am EST)
New article regarding present condition of upper Main Street sidewalks. Full details on the news flashes page of this website.
Kevin(Tuesday, November 13 18 03:24 pm EST)
If Frank Sprague is right then we are looking at about a $500,000 budget hike because of extra expenses and lost revenue. I do not have faith in the school board to eliminate that whole $500,000 and now they want to add another $125,000 for a special education program that really does not add too much value to the taxpayers but it sure jacks up the budget. The Sullivan Report article was very enlightening because it shows that the $125,000 deficit is the good news and will probably be a higher deficit than that. That would bring the budget increase to about $725,000 and if I’m not mistaken that is about a dollar on the property tax rate. The taxpayers cannot keep paying more money for schools because the taxpayers about the breaking point now. The city leaders are just as bad with their spending plans that do not add any real value to our way of life either. The tax-and-spend days of local government has to stop while we still have a chance to make things better.
Ed(Tuesday, November 13 18 02:14 pm EST)
Why are we spending so much money on special ed students that will never contribute much of anything?
Wouldn't this money be better spent on the talented children?
I mean c'mon,all these people getting fat paychecks for what?!
Katherine(Tuesday, November 13 18 01:52 pm EST)
Typical Claremont school leaders BS. Create a program to save money and have it end up costing more money than it saves. This time it is a special education plan that will cost the taxpayers $125,000 more each year than what we are paying now to help out six kids while another 30 kids are shut out of the program give either five or six new hires cushy high compensation jobs. Oh yeah let's do that says the school board. With a bunch of dolts.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, November 13 18 11:45 am EST)
New article. School News Briefs. Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Chud(Thursday, November 08 18 02:11 pm EST)
"are their substitutes and agents"
So why are they charging the public for right to know documents if we already pay them?
By way of paychecks and salaries
Jim Sullivan(Wednesday, November 07 18 03:57 pm EST)
2018 CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT QUESTIONS
Constitutional Amendments Proposed by the 2018 General Court
1. "Are you in favor of amending article 8 of the first part of the constitution to read as follows:
[Art.] 8. [Accountability of Magistrates and Officers; Public’s Right to Know.] All power residing originally in, and being derived from, the people, all the magistrates and officers of government are their substitutes and agents, and at all times accountable to them. Government, therefore, should be open, accessible, accountable and responsive. To that end, the public’s right of access to governmental proceedings and records shall not be unreasonably restricted. The public also has a right to an orderly, lawful, and accountable government. Therefore, any individual taxpayer eligible to vote in the State, shall have standing to petition the Superior Court to declare whether the State or political subdivision in which the taxpayer resides has spent, or has approved spending, public funds in violation of a law, ordinance, or constitutional provision. In such a case, the taxpayer shall not have to demonstrate that his or her personal rights were impaired or prejudiced beyond his or her status as a taxpayer. However, this right shall not apply when the challenged governmental action is the subject of a judicial or administrative decision from which there is a right of appeal by statute or otherwise by the parties to that proceeding."
(Passed by the N.H. House 309 Yes 9 No; Passed by State Senate 22 Yes 2 No) CACR 15
2. “Are you in favor of amending the first part of the constitution by inserting after article 2-a a new article to read as follows:
[Art.] 2-b. [Right to Privacy.] An individual's right to live free from governmental intrusion in
private or personal information is natural, essential, and inherent."
(Passed by the N.H. House 235 Yes 96 No; Passed by State Senate 15 Yes 9 No) CACR 16
Chud(Wednesday, November 07 18 01:44 pm EST)
What were questions 1 & 2 on the ballot?
Tom(Wednesday, November 07 18 01:40 pm EST)
Ryan McNutt’s termination is long overdue. Mayor Lovett and her city councilor colleagues are incapable of making difficult decisions on their own. The Claremont voters need to replace all of them at their first opportunity.
Jennifer(Wednesday, November 07 18 11:50 am EST)
Claremont’s city councilors are out of their depth about practically everything. They are not up to the challenge of bringing Claremont to the glory that it could and should be. Mr. McNutt is also not up to the challenge and needs to be fired.
William(Wednesday, November 07 18 10:53 am EST)
A $47 million property assessment increase for industrial and commercial buildings occurring in only one year is hard to swallow. I know that most of the city councilors are incredibly stupid, you only need to look at the faces around the councilor’s table to realize that, but just how gullible are they really to believe the $47 million lie that is coming out of the offices of the city manager and the assessor? Perhaps they are so intimidated by Mr. McNutt and his bulldog of a lawyer that they would rather place their tails between their legs and do nothing rather than risk the ire of and possible public humiliation from Mr. McNutt. In my opinion, the tail is definitely wagging the dog here in Claremont’s municipal government.
Richard(Wednesday, November 07 18 09:29 am EST)
I do not trust any of the property assessments done by Mr. Lessard of MRI. His past record of drive-by property assessments precedes him. His present-day work performance is also not a confidence builder, case in point the Topstone property. I have no idea if Councilman Koloski used his influence to manipulate the wonderful outcome for his landlords to the detriment of all Claremont taxpayers but I do have a difficult time believing that Councilman Koloski was unaware or uninvolved in any way, shape or form. I do not believe that residential property values in Claremont are stagnant and actually declined in the current marketplace. I do not believe that commercial and industrial property values increased by over $47 million in one year. I do believe that property values were manipulated in order for the outcomes Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Maranville found through their examination and investigations of Mr. Lessard’s declared property values and Mr. Lessard’s filing of Claremont’s 2018 MS-1 document to the NH DRA. In my opinion, there is corruption here and the city councilors are culpable even if they are only accessories after the fact because they are doing nothing to protect the Claremont citizenry.
Donna(Wednesday, November 07 18 08:52 am EST)
As I see it Ryan McNutt and MRI are Claremont’s biggest problems right now but I see two other big problems as well that a hiding behind the scenes. Allen Damren our Assistant Mayor with his long historic connections to MRI I cannot believe that Mr. Damren did not exert considerable influence to hire MRI for the city manager search, the interim city manager services, assessing services and communication counseling. Mr. McNutt may feel a debt of gratitude to MRI for landing the Claremont City Manager’s position and this combined with Allen Damren’s close personal ties with MRI it seems MRI will not be leaving Claremont anytime soon. The other big problem I see is Mayor Charlene Lovett who defers to Mr. Damren about all decisions while she creates the illusion of herself being in charge, which is nothing more than a delusional fantasy within her own psychologically troubled mind.
Jim Sullivan(Wednesday, November 07 18 07:03 am EST)
Claremont election results are published on the News Flashes page of this website.
Chud(Tuesday, November 06 18 02:21 pm EST)
you should accidentally send a link for your latest newsflash to the BTLA people that you're appealing the Topstone giveaway to.Industrial man is right,a $47 million increase in a backwater like Claremont CAN NOT BE RIGHT.
Industrial Property Owner(Tuesday, November 06 18 01:54 pm EST)
Adding over $47 million in property value to industrial and commercial buildings around Claremont will be indefensible with either the Board of Tax and Land Appeals of New Hampshire or any Judge within the Superior Court Circuit. That is an insane amount of additional property value for an anemic local real estate market to generate it a period of 12 months. Any property owner will be able to use the data researched by the Sullivan Report to place reasonable doubt on any property assessments set by Joseph Lessard of Municipal Resources Incorporated. The Topstone Holdings LLC abatement fiasco and the large disparity between property assessments conducted by the State of New Hampshire and Municipal Resources Incorporated for the City of Claremont will also make for compelling evidence to discredit any property assessment arrived at by Mr. Lessard. I am quite concerned about any aggrieved property owner going the extra mile and filing for prior-year property tax monies as well as they are already filing for an abatement. Angry property owners facing significant property tax bill increases will be more inclined to do so out of spite and they may very well be able to present a compelling case to receive additional funds in either a settlement or judgment. The Claremont City Councilors need to pull their heads out of their buttocks and terminate Mr. McNutt immediately as his continued employment as city manager is dragging Claremont deeper and deeper into financial crisis.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, November 06 18 10:16 am EST)
New article.MRI property assessment changes target business community! Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
George(Friday, November 02 18 03:30 pm EDT)
This new city council promised they would be different. Boy are they ever! They are the worst bunch of city councilors we have ever had and that is saying something considering the likes that we have had before during the Santagate years. We need intelligent fiscally conservative representatives instead of the ignorant tax and spenders we have today.
Steve(Wednesday, October 31 18 01:16 pm EDT)
I think the whole set up with MRI and Allen Damren and Ryan McNutt is real shady. I do not like the conflicts of interest or the results of MRI's work in Claremont. I also believe that Nick Koloski benefited somehow when his landlords received a quarter of $1 million tax forgiveness from the city and a 74% cut in their property assessment so they will have much lower property tax bills in the future. Claremont's city government is so corrupt these days that the only way to fix it is to start from scratch and vote everybody out of office who is on that no good city council.
Jim Sullivan(Wednesday, October 31 18 12:16 pm EDT)
I just came back from the City's Assessing Office at Claremont City Hall. I spoke with Kim, the Assessing Clerk. I specifically asked her when the data regarding Claremont property assessments for 2018 would be fully updated on the Vision Government Solutions website as the Claremont taxpayers are paying service fees to have the information updated on a monthly basis. Kim was not aware of any delay but when she checked on her computer she saw that the City of Claremontt had not sent updated information for a while now. I asked how long a while was but she did not answer that question. Kim did say that the process was supposed to be automatic but for some reason the information had not been sent. So I asked another question, specifically when will the Vision website have the updated information online? Kim manually sent an electronic data packet with all of Claremont's completed updated property assessment information for Tax Year 2018 to Vision Government Solutions while I was there. She then said the Vision website should be fully updated in about a week and that she would stay on top of this to make sure that it is done. I thanked her for doing so and I left. Coincidence or intentional delay to keep the public (especially the affected property owners) in the dark? You decide!
Chris(Wednesday, October 31 18 11:59 am EDT)
Interesting article today. I really enjoyed the part about Allen Damren’s multiple connections with MRI. One thing you guys should have added the fact that Damren served on the LGC Board of Directors when the state was investigating their practice of overcharging municipalities, schools, and the employees of these government institutions with higher than necessary health insurance rates. The LGC board diverted those extra monies to bolster funding balances in other struggling LGC insurance pools. I recall reading about other questionable expenditures the LGC board authorized with these funds as the revenue source, such as retreats and other events at high-priced venues.
Jim Sullivan(Wednesday, October 31 18 09:59 am EDT)
New article.October 24 Claremont City Council meeting synopsis. Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Tony(Wednesday, October 31 18 09:22 am EDT)
Fortunately this blog is proving to be just as Impotent as usual. No real threat to the actual power base of Claremont. It is a great public service Jim provides for all the conspiracy writing fantasists to have their own safe room to vent. He even allows them to remain unknowable so they don't have to reveal the lunacy of their beliefs. how many of you would speak a word of this if your friends, family, and Churches knew the ideas you support on this site. Many of you would never post again. So thanks Jim for providing the fringe a 'safe room' and incubator for their wildest fantasies.
Andrea(Sunday, October 28 18 09:49 am EDT)
My husband and I agree with all of the comments in this forum, we pay our taxes when due, and like every one else we get nothing in return except a lot of bull from the people that Claremonts elect decides to hire. Stop being lazy, and stop using Municipal Resources Inc. and do the interviewing and hiring yourselves there's no reson for an outside entity to do this, it is a wast of money, you all would proably do just as good or better then MRI. Mr. Mcnutt is just another Mcgoodwin, out of towners know nothing about how to deal with or run Claremont and could care less , just in it to win it, spend, spend, spend all on the tax payers backs. Everyone of the council members ought to be ashamed of the predicament they have put us in once again, gat a back bone and start doing the jobs you were all elicted for. At the rate we are going Claremont is going to turn into a ghost town.
Joe(Wednesday, October 24 18 10:46 pm EDT)
Take note of Section 49-B:2 IV (b) "Governing body" means the board of selectmen, the board of aldermen, or the council in a city or in a town with a town council.
TOWNS, CITIES, VILLAGE DISTRICTS, AND UNINCORPORATED PLACES
HOME RULE-MUNICIPAL CHARTERS
49-B:1 Purpose and Intent. – It is the purpose of this chapter to implement the home rule powers recognized by article 39, part first, of the constitution of the state of New Hampshire. To that end, the general court hereby provides a vehicle whereby a municipality may adopt a form of government that best addresses local needs. At the same time, however, the general court recognizes a need to require uniform procedures and practices when there is a corresponding state interest. Therefore, this chapter is intended only to provide a procedural framework by which a city or town may amend its actual form of government. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to create any power in, or confer any power upon, any city or town beyond that necessary to carry out the amendment of a charter or form of government as set forth in this chapter. The general laws of this state shall remain in full force and effect, and they shall be construed to be consistent with this chapter to the greatest extent possible in the effectuation of this chapter's stated purpose. Accordingly, this chapter shall be strictly interpreted to allow towns and cities to adopt, amend, or revise a municipal charter relative to their form of government so long as the resulting charter is neither in conflict with nor inconsistent with the general laws or the constitution of this state.
Source. 1979, 241:1. 1988, 223:1, eff. June 29, 1988.
49-B:2 Scope of Authorization; Definitions. –
I. Any incorporated town or city, regardless of population, shall be entitled to exercise the home rule powers recognized by article 39, part first, of the New Hampshire constitution, and implemented through this chapter, to create a charter commission and to present to its voters by referendum a municipal charter, in which they may establish either a town or city government.
II. If the proposed charter denominates the municipality as a town, the charter shall be prepared pursuant to RSA 49-D.
III. If the proposed charter denominates the municipality as a city, the charter shall be prepared pursuant to RSA 49-C.
IV. In this chapter:
(a) "Elected body" means the mayor and board of aldermen, mayor and council, and city council in a city adopting a charter under RSA 49-C and a town council or representative town meeting in a town adopting a charter under RSA 49-D.
(b) "Governing body" means the board of selectmen, the board of aldermen, or the council in a city or in a town with a town council.
(c) "Legislative body" means a town meeting, representative town meeting, city or town council, mayor and council, and mayor and board of aldermen.
(d) "Municipality" means a city or a town.
(e) "Municipal officers" means the mayor and board of aldermen, mayor and council, and city council in a city, and board of selectmen and town council in a town.
(f) "Municipal year" means the fiscal year of the municipality.
(g) "Operating budget" means total appropriations, as determined by the department of revenue administration, exclusive of county and school taxes; principal and interest payments on bonds and notes; and amounts in satisfaction of court judgments.
(h) "Revocation" means the repeal of an entire charter such that the resultant form of government is the form in existence immediately prior to the adoption of the charter being repealed.
Source. 1979, 241:1. 1988, 223:2. 1991, 162:1; 304:3, 4. 2003, 289:9, eff. Sept. 1, 2003. 2014, 292:1, eff. Sept. 30, 2014.
Trish(Wednesday, October 24 18 01:33 pm EDT)
I am really worried about what is going on with the property assessments. I do not trust this Joe Lessard character at all. I also think it is time for the city council to fire Mr. McNutt. He hides things from them and he does things that they do not want him to do. Any other employee in any other company doing these things and they would be fired immediately. What makes the city manager so special?
Brian(Wednesday, October 24 18 11:54 am EDT)
What makes me angry is the fact that the assessor and the city manager continue to leave out important information when supposedly explaining things to the public. They let everyone believe that the NH BTLA forced the city to sit down and hammer out an agreement with Topstone Holdings LLC. None of that was true. Mr. McNutt and Mr. Lessard did not come to terms with Topstone Holdings LLC and told the NH BTLA that they wanted to go to a hearing. Something happened after that that made city manager McNutt and assessor Lessard change their minds and practically give Topstone Holdings LLC everything they wanted. Hell I would like a quarter of $1 million refund on my taxes but I would never get it because I will not cozy up to Nick Koloski or any of the other city councilors to do it. There is not enough beer in the world to get me that drunk. I know people are going to say Koloski has nothing to do with this but I am calling BS. Nothing any of you will say will ever make me believe that Koloski is not involved somehow.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, October 23 18 12:48 pm EDT)
Claremont's MS-1 filing: The rest of the story! Wait to you see what we found! Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Industrial Property Owner(Sunday, October 21 18 09:41 am EDT)
The outlook for the City of Claremont’s municipal government is looking increasingly grim with each passing day. The Topstone Holdings LLC abatement catastrophe has created an environment of distrust. The public is distrustful of Ryan McNutt, an untested city manager that was the city council’s second choice and presumably hired out of desperation because they are incapable of sound leadership left to their own devices. The city council, or at least several members of this council appear disenchanted with Mr. McNutt’s lackluster job performance and his propensity to not answer questions as vague responses appears to be his forte. Mr. McNutt seems to prefer to keep the councilors and the public in the dark as much as possible in regards to the financial health of the city and any controversial actions taken by either himself or others working under his questionable supervision. Clues abound as to at least a faction of the council’s displeasure with Mr. McNutt. Quarterly job performance reviews were unheard of before Mr. McNutt’s hiring, annual job performance reviews were always standard operating procedure. Now coaching from the former interim city manager that is a consultant from Municipal Resources Incorporated appears to be the order of the day with a 90-day contract to teach communication skills, rudimentary skills everyone should have. A waste of money for an incompatible and unqualified city manager. This will not solve the larger problems facing the city of Claremont. Despite his austerity measure rhetoric, all Mr. McNutt has done thus far is set the stage for large-scale government spending to promote housing initiatives which appears to be the only skill set and Mr. McNutt’s wheelhouse judging from his resume. Mr. McNutt is sticking with what he knows unfortunately what he knows is not enough to meet the challenges Claremont is facing let alone solve any of them. I am an avid reader of the Sullivan Report and having done my own research, I concur with their conclusions that the Goddard project is not for workforce housing but for low-income Section 8 housing as clearly stipulated in the regulations that Mr. LaCasse must follow to meet the requirements of his government funding for the building renovation project. Most of the apartments will be for very low income residents hardly considered workforce housing. City officials are willfully misleading the public to make this project appeared to be something that it is not. Undoubtedly to rationalize spending over $5 million in bonding to create adequate parking spaces for more low income tenants in other downtown buildings presently unoccupied. This will not stimulate economic development but it will stimulate the property tax rate increasingly higher and the members of the city council unfortunately do not possess the mental acuity to realize the danger of pursuing this path any further. Either that or they simply do not care and wish to have an achievement to claim as their own even if the achievement is not an achievement at all. Similar to the Downtown TIF District, now requiring a taxpayer bailout of over $3 million and let us not forget the Claremont Savings Bank Community Center that is precipitously losing membership with the inverse effect of increasing the annual taxpayer subsidy to maintain the facility. Both projects were sold to the public as tax neutral and economic development generators. Neither of these promises truly occurred with either project. All the taxpayers have to show for these completed projects are higher property tax bills. Hardly the progress anyone would wish on Claremont. MRI’s new property assessments thanks to Joseph Lessard are also of great concern because the business community and the utilities will not accept higher property assessments that are deemed excessive. They will file for abatements and in all likelihood; they will win their individual judgments with the courts or the NH BTLA if necessary. The Sullivan Report raises a very valid point about the setting of a dangerous precedent by Mr. McNutt and Mr. Lessard regards to the Topstone Holdings LLC abatements. By granting forgiveness of almost one-quarter of $1 million, in back taxes, penalties and interest they have opened the door to other similar claims especially from utilities who have nothing to lose and everything to gain. A dangerous precedent that I believe will have negative consequences for Claremont taxpayers in years to come.
Tom(Sunday, October 21 18 06:48 am EDT)
I think Jim Sullivan did an amazing job making the case for appealing the Topstone Holdings LLC abatements that the MRI Assessor Joe Lessard and City Manager Ryan McNutt agreed to give to the people who own the building where Councilor Nick Koloski has his businesses. I do not believe for one second that Nick Koloski’s connection to this meant absolutely nothing. I have never seen such special privileges and favors given to out-of-state property owners. A nearly quarter of million dollar write-off of tax money the property owners owed to the city that really belong to the taxpayers and a 74% reduction in their property assessment that slashed their future tax bills as well. I am also not too happy about the whole Goddard Block deal. I do not want to see an influx of welfare people come to Claremont. We have too many social service programs here now and creating more Section 8 housing to draw more welfare people to Claremont will increase the welfare budget and the police and fire budgets that the taxpayers will have to pay more for school taxes because more kids will be attending. That is not what I would consider progress. Mr. McNutt, Mrs. Lovett and Mr. Damren all seem to think so and I think many of the other city councilors do as well. These liberals are destroying our city and forcing out the middle class and the elderly who are not living in government-subsidized housing. I believe Claremont is going in the wrong direction and I do not see our community turning the corner until a new city manager and new city councilors are in place. This could take a few years and many bad things could happen before then. Like a $5 million bond for parking spaces for these welfare recipients. Oh, I’m sorry I forgot to use the secret buzzword workforce housing residents. Of course, it is a load of crap when the income limit requirements are so low that no one could hold a full time job and actually make that little money and survive. Therefore, you have either welfare or working poor living in these apartments. How does that help Claremont?
Brian(Sunday, October 21 18 06:03 am EDT)
I think it’s great about the $443,000 rebate too. The problem is the city council already spent all of that money by giving away freebies and tax breaks to their cronies. Oh and don’t forget the city manager lessons for Ryan McNutt. Yeah the geniuses on the council want the taxpayers to pay for that too.
Kathy(Sunday, October 21 18 05:40 am EDT)
I think it was good news that the school board decided to give back $443,000 to the taxpayers because they had left over money in last year’s budget. I understand they had to give at least some of the money back but to give back all of it was a smart move on their part. I know they are struggling with the food services billing but I think that is an issue with the company itself and not the school district. I have heard many stories from parents about billing errors charging for food that was not served. Perhaps this accounts for some of these unpaid bills. The school board should take charge and have a representative from the company come to a meeting and hash out these billing problems. Perhaps they need a new billing system to make sure that parents are only billed for what their children buy. School leaders also need to do a better job of signing up families that qualify for free or reduced meals to get rid of that part of the problem. Overall, I think the Claremont school board is doing a swell job but they need to focus their attention on this and fix this problem for good.
Richard(Saturday, October 20 18 05:26 pm EDT)
I am sick of this MRI group running our city. They ran the city into the ground back when Bob Porter was city manager and now Ryan McNutt is opening the door for them to come back. Joe Lessard’s back as the assessor after the crap he pulled in 2000. I was one of the Washington Street property owners that he took advantage of with his unprofessional drive-by method of assessing. Fortunately, the quick property reassessment afterwards fixed the problem so I did not have to go for an abatement. I am a homeowner and I really didn’t know how to go about it and in retrospect I probably should have tried to get my money back for that one-year’s amount of higher taxes I paid. Live and learn. I am worried about my new property assessment, I intend to check it out, and I will look into the property assessments of my two daughters because I just do not trust Joe Lessard after what happened last time. Now another MRI consultant is going to teach the city manager proper manners and act like a marriage counselor between the city manager and the city council. I have a sneaky suspicion that after the 90 days of group counseling is over this consultant is going to suggest a full-time retainer for himself and MRI to keep the avenues of communication open between the city manager and the city council. He will want to be paid a nice fat paycheck to hand hold all of these idiots in Claremont’s city government. I have another sneaky suspicion that the imbeciles on the city council would be receptive to paying that bill because it will help with all their insecurities and after all it is only taxpayer’s money so what the heck. The fact that Allen Damren is an ex-employee of MRI does not sit well with me. I cannot help but wonder if the relationship between Allen Damren and MRI is not in the past as we all think. Maybe I am wrong and this is all completely innocent and above board but the thought did occur to me since Allen is so gung ho about the MRI staff and supporting their behaviors at every turn.
Alicia(Saturday, October 20 18 04:49 pm EDT)
The City Council just loves wasting the taxpayer’s money. Whenever there is a problem just throw money at it and maybe it will go away is their motto. This Council needs to stop listening to that tax-and-spend liberal doofus Allen Damren and start listening to the taxpayers. We need better candidates for the next election because this bunch of dimwits have to go.
Chris(Saturday, October 20 18 03:14 pm EDT)
I think the utility companies will have no problem winning their cases when all they have to do is show the state’s greatly lower property assessment and go with that. Case closed we lose again each and every time. I am so sick of this screw-up for a city manager. I am equally sick of our city councilors. They keep spending more and more of our tax dollars in a wasteful way following this terrible city manager’s lead because they are not able to come up with a better plan on their own. I do not want welfareville in downtown Claremont. I do not want to spend $5 million of our tax money for parking spots for these welfare deadbeats who do not work and are paid to sit on their ass and make more kids to fill our school system and raise our taxes even higher. I have no idea what the hell Charlene Lovett and the other intellectually challenged councilors are thinking but they all need to be voted out of office if they cannot get their act together and just say no to city manager McNutt’s lunacy. I do not want to pay good money for city manager lessons for McNutt. Just cut him loose, pay his severance pay, and let’s move forward shall we.
Steve(Saturday, October 20 18 01:24 pm EDT)
Jim and AJ are on the ball looking out for us. Their new article about the property assessments in Claremont should have everybody spooked. Next year is going to be one hell of a year if the utilities all file for property tax abatements. The ones that were hammered with wicked bigger property assessments and wicked bigger tax bills will most definitely be filing because they have the money and the wherewithal to do it. I think the commercial property owners that were stung will also file. I see bad times ahead when all this money has to be refunded. Maybe Allen Damren will suggest hiring more MRI staff to fix things because that seems to be his answer to everything these days.
Todd(Saturday, October 20 18 12:30 pm EDT)
I cannot believe that our elected band of misfit idiot councilors are willing to spend as much as $6500 to give communication lessons to the ignorant, out of touch boob they hired for city manager. I have never personally met the man and I do not want to. He is as arrogant as they come. He clearly does not know what damn thing and he pales in comparison to Guy Santagate. After the backroom deal with Councilman Koloski’s landlords that wiped away all their tax debt and drop their property value by 74% to give them cheaper property tax bills in the future I say it’s time to show Mr. McNutt the door instead of investing more money into a city manager in name only. Mr. McNutt certainly does not have the wherewithal to be a true city manager. Mayor Lovett and the other city councilors may be in love with him but the taxpayers certainly are not.
Jim Sullivan(Saturday, October 20 18 09:14 am EDT)
New article. Claremont’s annual Citywide property assessment valuation report is in. Wait until you see what we found! Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Joe Osgood(Saturday, October 20 18 03:45 am EDT)
In Claremont the tail is wagging the dog. The manager and his lawyer (paid for with tax money)has wagged the council into believing that the assessors releasing of 222,000+ of liens and lowering the value of a building to ridiculously low numbers when they were not involved in the process is legal. And this BACK ROOM DEAL has not been approved by the Board of Tax and Land Appeals and will not be until the governing body (THE COUNCIL) approves any agreement. I can not believe this council. Sadly some of whom want to do something but when you have to go with a majority and most of them want to sit on their hand and do nothing but spend 💰 to get wagged even more the good ones are made to look bad. Wikipedia CLEARLY identifies the City of Claremont New Hampshire’s Governing Body as the City Council and the BTLA Clearly states that ( to avoid any BACK ROOM DEALS) until the council agrees to any agreement between the assessor and the tax payer it is not a done deal.
Not sure hiring MRI to help communicate is a good idea when when an assessor employed by MRI is what got us into this mess. A manger who was in this BACK ROOM DEAL does not need a communicator. He needs walking papers. More than the assessor and the manager are involved in this DEAL. This is tearing this community apart.
New Hampshire comprises 13 cities and 221 towns, plus 25 unincorporated places. These governments conform to Dillon's Rule; that is, they are creatures of the state whose powers are limited to those expressly granted to them by law (NH RSA Title III). Municipalities also have powers necessarily implied by those express powers, and those essential to the local government's existence, but this authority is narrowly construed, in contrast to the practice in most of New England. For statistics on New Hampshire municipalities and comparisons to municipalities elsewhere in New England, see New England town.
Cities are governed by Boards of Aldermen (in Manchester and Nashua) or City Councils (all other cities)
Only the part of this is prudent in this case but this is the entire council definition from the Claremont City Charter. Take note of “The entire administration of ALL fiscal, prudential and municipal affairs of the City of Claremont shall, except as otherwise provided, be vested in a city council of nine (9) councilors”
16. - The Council.
The entire administration of all fiscal, prudential and municipal affairs of the City of Claremont shall, except as otherwise provided, be vested in a city council of nine (9) councilors, consisting of a mayor, an assistant mayor, and four (4) councilors elected at-large and one (1) councilor elected per ward. Each councilor shall hold office for the term of two (2) years. For the purpose of transition all councilor's terms expiring on even years shall be extended for one (1) year to the next odd year election including the mayor's and assistant mayor's term. All councilor seats elected in November 2005 shall be elected at large with the exception of the Ward 2 seat that would normally have expired on December 31, 2004, but for the one (1) year extension provided for herein.
The office of the councilor shall be deemed vacant if any councilor takes up residence outside the ward from which he/she is elected or, in the case of the at large representative, the at-large councilor moves outside of the City of Claremont. Vacancies in the office of councilor resulting from a failure to elect a candidate thereto, or which occur at any time after the election of a candidate thereto, shall be filled by some qualified person who receives the votes of a majority of the remaining members of the city council. Such appointment shall be made at or before the second regular meeting after which such vacancy occurs and the councilor so appointed shall serve until his/her successor takes office. In the event a vacancy occurs, there shall be an election conducted at the next regular municipal election and the councilor elected to fill the vacancy shall serve for the balance of the unexpired term. The city clerk shall act as clerk to the council.
Jim Sullivan(Friday, October 19 18 07:09 am EDT)
Four new articles today.
For full details go to the News Flashes page of this website.
Jim Sullivan(Thursday, October 18 18 04:37 pm EDT)
Still haven't received a reply from City Manager Ryan McNutt about the current job status of Assistant DPW Director Victor St. Pierre and City Planner Michael McCrory. However the City Planner's position is now being advertised on the Claremont City website. Once again our inside sources, who told us that McCrory was jumping ship are spot on. We know it really irritates the City Councilors that 2 former Councilors always knows more about what's going on in the city government than they do. Especially when they have to learn about it from either us or one of our loyal readers.
Craig(Thursday, October 18 18 04:24 pm EDT)
I think most of the city councilors will be voted out of office anyway. The only two safe city councilors are Jonathan Stone and Andrew O’Hearne if they still want the job by then. Jeremy Zullo also has a chance of reelection but he has to be a little more aggressive with his questions and show more discontent with the city management if he wants to be reelected.
Trish(Wednesday, October 17 18 03:22 pm EDT)
Charlene Lovett is a hypocrite. As Mayor, she keeps telling everyone that she represents a completely open and honest government but then she keeps holding secret meetings behind closed doors so none of us knows what is going on. There have been accusations that some of these closed-door meetings are illegal because the reasons why they are meeting in private do not fit the legal criteria for holding a non-public meeting. The councilors just want to hide stuff from us because they know if we knew the truth we would all be very angry with them and probably vote them all out of public office at the next election.
Kathy(Wednesday, October 17 18 12:32 pm EDT)
Is Mary Walter really sick? I recall she has been “out sick” several times over many years. The way I hear it is whenever the city manager wants the finance director out of the office and unavailable. Much like what just happened with the city assessor, he was unavailable for almost 2 weeks and the assessing office was closed for a number of days right after the Sullivan Report inform the public about the Topstone Holdings LLC abatements. I do not believe any of this is a coincidence I think there is just more going on behind the scenes in secret than the public is being told.
Dan(Wednesday, October 17 18 11:21 am EDT)
I want Mr. McNutt terminated for different reasons. I am a strong proponent of privatization of municipal services as they are generally cheaper than maintaining unionized employees in-house and the quality of service remains unchanged or improves. A win-win for Claremont taxpayers.
Cheryl(Wednesday, October 17 18 09:26 am EDT)
Bob, I disagree with you on one point. I believe Mayor Lovett does want to keep costs down she just has no clue how to do it. I do not believe she is qualified to be Mayor because she seems to be incapable of independent thought and she is not very good at problem solving. Claremont has not had a good mayor for well over a decade. It has been one narcissist numbskull after another seeking the limelight to bask in their imaginary glory while the city continues to flounder and falter. I do believe though if a plan of action were to come about that would reduce taxes and maintain city services that Charlene Lovett might support such a plan. I say might but she may be worthy of staying on the city council unless there is a better candidate running against her.
Bob(Wednesday, October 17 18 08:34 am EDT)
I do not see Mr. McNutt as an agent of change. Nor is our current City Council because there is too much old-time deadwood the past city councilors and others who share the philosophy of all bureaucratic government is good and expanding said government is the goal. I am speaking of Councilors Lovett, Damren, Lessard, Koloski, Kier and Pope. They are all unsalvageable liberal tax-and-spend nincompoops.
ed(Tuesday, October 16 18 04:36 pm EDT)
Personally, I would prefer Mcnutt gone and the DPW privatzed.No better time than now,since the head administrator is already gone.We can have the roads plowed and the grass cut without paying high paychecks,health insurance premiums,and pensions.Let's hire local contractors to handle it all.
Matt(Tuesday, October 16 18 03:57 pm EDT)
I completely agree that Mr. McNutt must be terminated. The union employees have been without a contract for long enough. As long as he’s there he is going to be an obstructionist to any fair negotiations. He is determined to throw up roadblock after roadblock to maintain the pay scales within the expired contracts. The city employees deserve better treatment than Mr. McNutt is capable of giving.
Jennifer(Tuesday, October 16 18 11:37 am EDT)
Is the Council going to give McNutt of vote of no-confidence or are they going to stop messing around and terminate his contract?
Ralph(Tuesday, October 16 18 11:21 am EDT)
Another secret meeting of the city council. Our scatterbrained Mayor Charlene Lovett always talks about openness and transparency as the pillars of Claremont city government when all this apparently corrupt municipal government does is one backroom deal after another with everything secret from the public. If it wasn't for Jim and AJ and this website the public would know nothing about anything as these scoundrels continue to do things behind closed doors that they too embarrassed to tell the public about. Claremont needs leaders that are honest and ethical and right now those qualities seem to be in very short supply on the council.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, October 16 18 10:15 am EDT)
New article. Is something afoot? Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Molly(Tuesday, October 16 18 09:32 am EDT)
Mr. McNutt is an ineffective leader. I believe he is entirely out of his element with absolutely no idea what to do. He is focusing solely on housing because that is where his entire knowledge base lies. The city councilors did a terrible job hiring an untrained and untested city manager. They need to remove him from his position and hire a competent replacement.
Jessica(Tuesday, October 16 18 08:44 am EDT)
I share the growing dissatisfaction with Ryan McNutt the city manager. He is accomplishing nothing except creating spending plans to waste taxpayers money on foolish things. $5 million for a downtown revitalization that will turn the downtown into a welfare haven will add to our tax burden instead of subtract from it. Mr. McNutt is ignoring the community center financial crisis as membership numbers continue to decline and the taxpayers financial support continues to climb. Union employees want a fair shake at the negotiating table and Mr. McNutt won't even sit at the table to negotiate. Yet he has no problem giving out-of-state property owners who made a bad investment attacks forgiveness gift of over $222,000 and a 74% reduction in their property assessment to lower their future tax burden while the rest of us who live in Claremont have to make up the difference with higher taxes. Mr. McNutt doesn't care because he does not own property in Claremont so he pays no taxes. He also does not care to answer difficult questions as he continues to say I don't know or all get back to you and yet he never does. He is rude and disrespectful to the city councilors and the public and Mayor Lovett in the city councilors continue to take it on the chin because they all seem afraid of conflict. Children unable to do an adult job we have representing us on the city council with possibly three exceptions. Mr. O'Hearne and Mr. Stone for sure and possibly Mr. Zullo, I haven't made my mind up on him yet. The rest of either willing to go along with Mr. McNutt or they wallow in self doubt and are ineffective because of it.
Jim Sullivan(Monday, October 15 18 02:12 pm EDT)
We have not yet received a response from City Manager Ryan McNutt regarding our inquiry about the current status of the Assistant Highway Director and City Planner positions. However, on the City website the Assistant Highway Director position is now being advertised while the Highway Director position has been removed. Has Victor St. Pierre been promoted to Highway Director? Who knows? City Officials aren't talking! So much for government transparency!
Jim Sullivan(Monday, October 15 18 02:06 pm EDT)
New article. Growing public dissatisfaction with City Administration. For full details go to the News Flashes page of this website.
Jim Sullivan(Saturday, October 13 18 04:41 pm EDT)
Are top McNutt Administration Officials abandoning ship?
Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Jim, thanks for the shout out for the "Ask Me Anything" event. Should be a good one. As for the comment from "Mike" below, I will be running the feed on WUC in an effort to keep it clean (meaning not profane...you know how people tend to be when they are safely behind a keyboard). That is the extent of my "moderation duties" for that evening. Also, to your comment about "having to be approved" to join the page, that is generally how FB groups work and I specifically have it set up that way to keep it to local people. Someone from Dallas, TX with no ties to this area has no business being on a local community page. Just wanted to make that clear. With almost 11,000 members, I am pretty liberal with who is allowed in. I am hopeful that folks will tune in (on WUC, or CCTV, or even attend at the community center) and participate. Ryan has been insistent that this truly be an "ask me anything" event and he will answer. As for the timing conflicting with the Fireman's Ball? There are always going to be conflicts and you aren't going to make everyone happy. I can ask Ryan if he would allow those attending the ball to submit their questions to me and I could ask them at the event. With it being recorded and also broadcast on WUC it will be readily available to watch afterwards.
Ed(Wednesday, October 10 18 03:16 pm EDT)
inquire to those BTLA people about 1099 earnings issue.I bet they aren't even aware of the funny business.Send the question to the other interested parties as well.I know they'll be poopin' in their pants over it.
Shawn(Wednesday, October 10 18 10:05 am EDT)
I do not like the idea of the Topstone property owners getting a tax break from the federal government on top of everything else because Ryan McNutt and Joseph Lessard are playing fast and loose with the rules and regulations that they are supposed to be upholding. I am greatly dissatisfied with our nine elected officials on the city council. All of them just sat there and said nothing while an attorney hired by City Manager McNutt effectively silenced everyone with his bull in a china shop demeanor. Everyone connected with the city government cowered in fear while a few brave citizens namely Joseph Lessard and Paul LaCasse gave some compelling reasons why the councilors should not listen to the attorney but the councilors were too cowardly to even consider standing up to the attorney. Our city government has all the appearance of being corrupt and incompetent all at the same time. Our elected officials and the administrative staff they wholeheartedly support are the problem and not the solution.
Michelle(Wednesday, October 10 18 09:21 am EDT)
I was on the fence about the city manager for a while now. The whole Topstone affair and the arrogant way he conducted himself at the special meeting about the Topstone property was the deciding factor for me that for the good of the city of Claremont and all of its people Mr. McNutt must be fired. If the city councilors failed to do so than they all should be fired at the polls during the next election.
Walter(Wednesday, October 10 18 08:56 am EDT)
Thought I would do what the Sullivan Report does on a regular basis and do a little investigation about an issue that has been troubling me. The city councilors information packet for tonight’s meeting had a monthly report from the welfare department. It says they are serving 32 families. I looked up the city budget and the welfare department is budgeted a dollar amount of $371,747. That figures out to $11,617.09 annual cost per family. The Sullivan Report exposed the truth about the Goddard building project that 22 of the 36 apartments have to be low income apartments generally known as Section 8 or welfare housing. Once this building is completed if 22 new families move-in and then apply for welfare benefits it will nearly double the city’s welfare budget and that will come all out of us taxpayers. Make no mistake this is not workforce housing as Scott Pope and Mayor Lovett and Assistant Mayor Damren and City Manager Ryan McNutt would have us believe. This is welfare housing pure and simple. The worst thing is these idiots want to spend over $5 million to build more parking and infrastructure improvements to support this while welfare haven and allow other downtown building owners to replicate and create more welfare housing in their buildings. It boggles the mind why they want to do this but they are going ahead with this anyway and it is doubtful anyone will be able to stop them.
Dennis(Wednesday, October 10 18 08:35 am EDT)
Mayor Lovett is too busy trying to make yourself look good in the public eye when she is not admiring herself in the mirror. The rest of the city councilors are too stupid or too spineless to act on anything without guidance from the city manager. It is certainly a sad state of affairs.
Craig(Wednesday, October 10 18 07:36 am EDT)
What the hell is wrong with idiots who are running our city government? A rat infestation at the community center, declining memberships and their solution is to offer short-term memberships when nobody wants to join in the first place because no one has a good reason to go there. It also looks like city leaders are going to play with the property assessments and jam all of them up so we are paying more taxes in our bills but the property tax rate is lowered to make our liberal tax-and-spend city officials look good. It is all smoke and mirrors with these people and no substance.
Erica(Wednesday, October 10 18 07:07 am EDT)
The tennis courts have to stay at Monadnock Park. Mayor Lovett and city councilors find the money and fix them up. There are not enough public tennis courts in Claremont as it is so please do not take away the few that we have.
Adam(Wednesday, October 10 18 06:40 am EDT)
The community center is losing money like crazy and the managers who are running it into the ground have no clue what they are doing and that is from the dopey director all the way up to the moronic city manager and the nine dimwitted city councilors. Childcare services and a juice/snack bar are marvelous ideas that would generate excitement and attract new members. These are the features consumers want when they go to a health club and that is exactly what the community center needs to turn its financial picture around from in the red to in the black. The facility is great but it is the management that truly sucks.
Industrial Property Owner(Wednesday, October 10 18 06:22 am EDT)
I do not support the idea of people paying only what they can afford to be a member of the community center. That is just more taxpayer-funded subsidies for people who use community center. The qualifying criteria will probably be subjective to be quite inclusive and very expensive for the Claremont taxpayers, who are already taxed to the limit of reasonable judgment. Will Claremont taxpayers be secretly subsidizing non-resident members as well? Will these subsidies be accounted for in the city’s financial records or remain hidden as so many things are with this new administration? Since Mr. McNutt has a soft spot for non-residents and a willingness to use Claremont taxpayer’s funds to lighten their financial burden than probably so.
I am concerned about Municipal Resources Incorporated and Assessor Joseph Lessard in particular when considering their past history with the city and their unprofessional assessing methods designed to greatly increase property assessments beyond fair market value to achieve a political goal of an artificially low property tax rate. I remember the drive by looting scandal and how Vision Appraisals corrected the situation about a year or so later. I fear history will have to repeat itself once again but in the meantime it will make for hard choices for many families struggling as it is right now who may see a significant increase in the property tax bill in November. One can do a lot in a month and a half’s time. Anyone who is not concerned about this time extension does not have a full grasp of the situation.
Rats at the community center? Really? Just when you thought you have heard everything this comes up and no solutions are discussed or stated in the meeting minutes I am assuming or the Sullivan Report would have stated the outcome. Of course, the Parks & Recreation Committee is advisory only and what I can see completely incompetent. Director Mark Brislin is certainly no prize either as he routinely is unprepared to answer simple basic questions posed by city councilors about his own departments. Poor management equals substandard results and that seems to be the biggest problem with Claremont’s municipal government. Several of the directors and the city manager should all be terminated and new hires should be scrutinized and vetted thoroughly to bring fresh ideas and verve to their managerial positions to spot new life and vitality into Claremont’s municipal government.
The negotiations regarding the Great Lakes parcel is also concerning because of Mr. McNutt’s predilection for secrecy. It is painfully obvious that the public was not aware of these ongoing negotiations until the Sullivan Report exposed them through their routine investigative journalism. I would be interested to find out if the city councilors were aware negotiations and if so why did they decide to keep this information from their constituents.
These scattered municipal issues all have one common thread that binds them together. Claremont’s municipal government is broken presumably beyond repair with the current leadership that caused the break in the first place. New leadership, new ideas and a new drive to make things better is what is needed. I am not convinced that any of the present-day leadership intelligence or the political will to make the hard choices necessary to make the necessary improvements.
Richard(Wednesday, October 10 18 05:45 am EDT)
I am a little concerned about the negotiations going on with Daniels Construction. Ryan McNutt is not a good negotiator as he gives away everything with the taxpayers getting nothing in return. I cannot help but wonder if Daniels Construction is going to walk away with one hell of a payday at taxpayers’ expense for giving us practically nothing in return. The Topstone Holdings LLC abatements, the Edward MacGlaflin land swap and the recent ratified union contracts are all examples of Mr. McNutt’s figmental powers of negotiation. The man could not run a lemonade stand without screwing it up. I also believe that Mr. McNutt intended to keep this negotiation a secret from the public and probably from the city councilors as well. That seems to be his modus operandi as he rewards special interests to the detriment of the Claremont taxpayers.
Tom(Tuesday, October 09 18 09:33 pm EDT)
Mark Brislin is a big doofus. He walks around with a stupid look at his face all the time and with all the problems of the community center with the declining memberships you would think they would come up with something better than redesigning the fee schedule. That is like moving the deck chairs around on the sinking Titanic. It is not going to do a fat lot of good. AJ and Jim had a good idea a while ago about putting in a juice/snack bar and offering childcare services to draw in more mothers with children to increase membership and make this community center more of a social gathering place with the juice/snack bar. That is sound thinking but city officials are too stupid to realize how great an idea that is and put it into practice.
Lisa(Tuesday, October 09 18 05:38 pm EDT)
I noticed that the rat problem at the community center was never mentioned that any of the city council meetings. It also never made the local press. My two boys go there quite often and now I am quite concerned about their health and safety because vermin can carry and spread disease. City officials need to get on the ball and start fixing these problems. Our taxes are high enough that we should be getting better services for our money.
Terry(Tuesday, October 09 18 03:39 pm EDT)
There is a nonpublic meeting with the council for personnel issues Wednesday night. It is an add-on because it was not part of the original meeting agenda. Maybe you will get your wish Brian. Maybe we will all get our wish for a new city manager because the one they have right now really sucks.
welcometothejungle(Tuesday, October 09 18 03:35 pm EDT)
Whistleblowers to the IRS are receiving finders fees for under reported income and unreported income.The City of Claremont would be equally on the hook as the Topstone Building owners.Conspiracy to defraud carried the same penalties as the fraud itself.The actions of Claremont may actually go beyond civil and quite possibly be crossing the line into criminal infractions.Complacency or ignorance,it makes no difference,Claremont better lawyer up.I fully intend on reporting the $222,000 disparity between the owners filed returns and the income boost reality.McNutt can call this phantom money all he like.It doesn't mean he's right,because I know he's WRONG.I also believe the new superintendent of schools,as well as county officials may have a dog in this fight too.McNutt may have the power to gift away Claremont taxpayer monies,but he most certainly cannot give away school and/or Sullivan Co. money
George(Tuesday, October 09 18 02:40 pm EDT)
McNutt and Lessard are now giving the owners of Topstone Holdings LLC an income tax break of almost one quarter of $1 million by not filing the proper paperwork with the IRS. How many gifts are these two imbeciles going to give these out-of-state owners. Is Koloski that important to McNutt's political schemes?
Brian(Tuesday, October 09 18 02:33 pm EDT)
It’s really cute that Ryan McNutt doesn’t think the quarter of $1 million tax bill that the Topstone Holdings LLC folks owed wasn’t real money or a real bill. He must think we are really stupid or gullible or naive or whatever to believe his BS. I hope the City Council fires his ass and soon.,
Rick(Tuesday, October 09 18 01:32 pm EDT)
I’m worried about the property assessments. I do not trust Joseph Lessard to do the property assessments after what he did to Washington Street properties the last time he and MRI staff ran the assessing office. I fear property assessments are going to skyrocket so Mayor Lovett and the other tax and spenders on the council can go hog wild more spending like the $5 million downtown makeover for welfare housing that they are calling workforce housing when it really isn’t that at all.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, October 09 18 12:02 pm EDT)
New article just published.
Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Ed(Tuesday, October 09 18 10:15 am EDT)
If they must continue feeding the children,despite parents not paying,pay for it using the football team and sports games money.
I know we couldn't possibly ask teachers to pay more than 2% of their health insurance premiums.
Jim Sullivan(Monday, October 08 18 06:53 pm EDT)
The newspaper article stated that by law school officials must continue to feed the kids.
Ed(Monday, October 08 18 05:31 pm EDT)
Why are the school cafeterias continuing to serve children so deeply indebted?
I'm sure the parents find money for cigarettes and beer.
Chris(Monday, October 08 18 12:09 pm EDT)
Scott Pope, a timid weasel who stands for nothing. I read today’s article in the Eagle Times about the naming dedication of the bridge to nowhere held in Guy Santagate’s honor. Scott Pope naturally praised Santagate in his comments to the press. The same Scott Pope, who was barred from returning to the Council by Santagate when he abruptly stated his resignation and walked out of a meeting but had not submitted it in writing to make the resignation official. The same Scott Pope, who saw his wife Tracy terminated by Santagate. Scott Pope, praising the man who did these things to himself and his wife. Is this the type of spineless coward we want representing us?
Todd(Monday, October 08 18 08:45 am EDT)
Union Leader has an article about the school lunch program that is over $32,000 in the hole because parents are not paying their lunch fee bills for their kid’s meals at school. The school board is considering hiring a collection agency to recoup the money that is owed to the school district and ultimately the taxpayers. City Councilor Nick Koloski somehow wormed his way into the article that was written by EX-Eagle Times reporter Damien Fisher. Koloski says it is a terrible idea that he does not support. Figures, Nick has been a deadbeat for many years with all the liens slapped on his business that are still listed as open and presumably unpaid on the Sullivan County Registry of Deeds website. Nick’s landlord is the biggest tax delinquent in Claremont until recently when behind closed doors the acting city assessor under the direction of the city manager wiped out all but $8000 of the tax debt forgiving about $223,000. If that wasn’t generous enough the acting city assessor dropped the property’s assessment by 74% so Nick’s landlord can pay even less taxes going forward. Nick Koloski, self-proclaimed champion of the people who work the system and screw the Claremont taxpayers in the process.
Mike(Saturday, October 06 18 03:23 pm EDT)
The entire ask me anything publicity stunt is nothing more than a gimmick if you ask me. Kipp Ryan maintains very strong control of his Facebook page What’s up Claremont. First, you need to become a member and get past gatekeeper Kipp Ryan and other like-minded page monitors. Then you have to behave like good little boys and girls by not posting any comments that would irritate their thin skin or upset their delicate sensibilities in regards to their lovefest for city and school government officials. Any questions coming from Mr. Ryan to Mr. McNutt will be well scrutinized and noncontroversial. As far as the live audience at the Claremont Savings Bank Community Center, I am sure measures will be taken to prevent any unpleasant surprises for Mr. McNutt. Perhaps the city’s attorney from the special meeting will be present choosing which questions can be answered and which are to be ignored. Alternatively, city manager McNutt may talk around and avoid answering certain questions or the questions will be given to another biased moderator, who will choose which questions are asked. The fact that the event is on a Friday night and held at the same time as the firefighter’s ball is undoubtedly no accident. The timing is well planned to limit public participation while creating the optics of openness and transparency. These events are a sham as is everything else connected with Mr. McNutt and his administration.
Linda(Saturday, October 06 18 02:17 pm EDT)
Mayor Charlene Lovett is obsessed with optics, how things appear to the public. I’m sure she will attend the firefighter’s ball and work the entire room to make sure everyone knows that she is in attendance. Perhaps she will bring a large cardboard cutout photograph of the city manager holding a martini glass and move it around the room to try to give the false impression that the city manager cares about the firefighters or anyone else in Claremont for that matter.
Irate Claremont Firefighter(Saturday, October 06 18 12:20 pm EDT)
Ryan McNutt, the city manager has scheduled his ask me anything television program at the same time as the Professional Firefighters of Claremont Local 1571 Annual Firemen Ball held at the Common Man Inn. Mr. McNutt should be front and center at the ball in full support of Claremont’s first responders instead of doing damage control for his many past mistakes. Mr. McNutt’s timing of this event is another mistake that will cost him dearly as first responders will not take too kindly to his snubbing of our annual event. This is a slap in the face to all first responders who put their lives on the line every day for the citizens that they serve.
Jim Sullivan(Saturday, October 06 18 10:37 am EDT)
Two new articles published today.
1) Community outreach or act of desperation? This article can be found on the News Flashes page of this website.
2) Newly acquired Topstone Holdings LLC abatement documents bring new facts to light! This article can be found on the Topstone Property Tax Abatement Page 2 webpage of this website.
Ed(Wednesday, October 03 18 03:20 pm EDT)
set up a GO Fund Me link on your website for the $200 for the right to know materials you requested.I will pledge $20 myself.I'm sure you could easily get the money.I think it's a good idea not just for this,but other right to know info as well.
City Hall Insider(Wednesday, October 03 18 01:05 pm EDT)
The city manager and the finance director are in a tizzy about where they can find the money for legal expenses and consultant fees to fight the BTLA appeal that Jim Sullivan and Joe Osgood started. Early estimates placed the cost between $100,000 and $200,000. Legal fee expenses are part of the general services budget and the only budget line item right for picking is the overlay account that is cash reserve for property assessment abatements paid to property owners who are successful with their abatement claims. Because a citywide revaluation is planned the money was set aside for the inevitable claims that would be submitted. The notoriety of the Topstone Holdings LLC abatements have generated a lot of interest and ire with the public. This may encourage more property owners to file for property assessment abatements requiring more funds to be raised to meet the cash settlement payouts. It is still unclear whether the city will get the money to spend on attorneys and consultants regarding BTLA appeal of the Topstone Holdings LLC abatements. The city manager and his finance director may have to go before the city councilors and asked for money to be diverted from either another municipal department or the fund balance cash reserve account. The parks & recreation budgets are being heavily scrutinized as being a prime target for a sizable cash withdrawal and transfer.
Travis(Wednesday, October 03 18 09:59 am EDT)
Ryan McNutt is a terrible city manager. He has not accomplished anything of value citizens of Claremont. He is a former housing director and that is all he seems to know. He is obsessed with changing the housing in Claremont. Section 8 low income housing for Claremont's downtown at the cost the taxpayers of over $5 million. That will do nothing to enhance our economy but it will raise up local school property taxes to pay for all the kids in the school system. Will need more classrooms which will mean bigger schools and more teachers, supplies etc. Probably more buses and who knows what else for what benefit. Mayor Lovett and the other councilors all have their heads secured firmly in Mr. McNutt's buttocks and they cannot see all the damage that he is doing to Claremont with his tax giveaways to special interests and his inability to lower the cost of the city budget. Claremont's leadership is a big disappointment and it is time for the taxpayers to change the leadership starting with the city councilors.
David(Wednesday, October 03 18 08:00 am EDT)
What is up with this McNutt guy? I see in the Eagle Times today that he oversees the housing group for the Marian Phillips Apartments and the managers are running it like Nazi Germany. Anyone who voices a contrary opinion is evicted. Boy, McNutt sure loves evicting people doesn't he? All the folks in the Goddard building so a developer could swoop in by the building for a discount price so that McNutt could get him all kinds of government money to create a palace for welfare recipients right in the heart of downtown. On top of that screwy McNutt and his imbecile followers on the city council want to spend over $5 million for parking and other downtown fix ups to make way for more welfare palaces in the other buildings. Of course they are using the code word workforce housing but Sullivan Report proved that there are income levels that tenants have to meet and may have to be dirt poor in order to get in. Some economic development project. Then McNutt and the councilors are taking properties right and left to that tax deeding thing they can do what they give a free pass to the biggest tax debtor in Claremont. Oh yeah, they happen to be Councilman Nick Koloski's landlords. What a coinkydink. Koloski's landlords receive some wonderful gifts from the city for not paying their taxes leaving a hazardous toxic site uncleaned, almost a quarter of $1 million in tax forgiveness and a 74% property assessment reduction to boot. Of course this has nothing to do with Nick Koloski being the main tenant in the building. Of course not, perish the thought. So what do our elected officials do after the Sullivan Report revealed the city official's dirty little secret and the public is up in arms? Not a damn thing! A lawyer the city manager hired with our tax dollars basically told all the councilors to sit down and shut up and do what he tells them to do. And you know what? The councilors did just that because they are a bunch of cowards who will never stand up for the citizens of Claremont ever. They just proved that. I would like to say thank you to Joe Osgood and James Sullivan for stepping up and trying to protect the best interests of everyone in Claremont because our city councilors refuse to do so. Everyone in Claremont owns both of you a debt of gratitude.
Richard(Tuesday, October 02 18 06:03 pm EDT)
People of Claremont now is the time to call your city councilors and demand that they call a special non-public meeting under personnel and hold a no-confidence vote for city manager Ryan McNutt. Impress upon your city councilors that anyone who fails to do this will be voted out of office in the next election.
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Robert(Tuesday, October 02 18 03:26 pm EDT)
What Claremont’s municipal government needs is accountability. That only happens when you have strong city councilors willing to put the citizens of Claremont first before the councilors own selfish needs or their political agenda. Unfortunately, we do not seem to have one councilor that fits the description of a good representative of the people.
Matt(Tuesday, October 02 18 02:37 pm EDT)
I think it is awful that Mr. McNutt feel no remorse for his actions. Charging hundreds of dollars of information that should cost little or nothing to prevent the information from being put in the hands of a civic minded citizen, who will share this information with everyone community is an abuse of the city manager’s position. Naturally I do not expect any member of the city council to cry fowl because all of them have proven their cowardice at the special meeting when they allowed the attorney to stifle free speech and trample on everyone’s constitutional rights without so much as a whimper. I am most disappointed with Councilors O’Hearne, Stone and Zullo because when running for office they said they would be different and they would fight for the people of Claremont. They lied to everyone and they are not worthy of our support going forward and neither the other six city councilors. Claremont needs nine new city councilors to be elected at the next election followed by determination of the city manager in several municipal department directors, who are ineffective and has been gainfully employed by the city of Claremont for far too long.
Todd(Tuesday, October 02 18 01:56 pm EDT)
Thank you to the folks at the Sullivan Report for publishing the Wheelabrator article. This does not fit the good news only policy of the Eagle Times, the Valley News and the E- Ticker News. I would also like to thank Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Osgood for their efforts to involve the NH BTLA. This state agency will not be bullied by Mr. McNutt, Mr. Lessard and whatever team of lawyers Mr. McNutt hires to cover his ass by spending large sums of our tax dollars.
George(Tuesday, October 02 18 01:27 pm EDT)
Today’s latest about the Topstone Holdings LLC abatements scandal indicates the lengths Ryan McNutt, Claremont’s despicable city manager, will go to contain information about these incredible abatements. Kudos to Jim Sullivan and Joe Osgood for looking out for the taxpayers. Mayor Lovett and the city councilors all look like incompetent, ineffectual elected officials afraid of their own employee the manager and the attorney he hired to terminate public discussion or public dissemination of information regarding this sinister deed. A quarter of $1 million tax write off and a 74% property assessment reduction all going to one group of out-of-state investors is unheard of in Claremont. All of it going to Councilmen Nicholas Koloski’s landlords has all the signs of major corruption. This is politics at its worst and our city councilors are up to their eyeballs in this as they sit there and allow the city manager to dictate what is said and what is not said and what is asked and what is not asked. Claremont needs leaders who will lead and unafraid to fire an insubordinate employee namely the city manager. Not one member of the city council has the courage to truly represent the citizens of Claremont by standing up to the city manager. They all need to be replaced at the next election.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, October 02 18 10:29 am EDT)
Two new articles today!
1) City Administrators continue their tactics to keep public uninformed about Topstone Holdings Inc. abatements! Full details can be found on the Topstone Property Tax Abatement Page 2 webpage of this website.
2)Wheelabrator's Claremont facility slapped with big civil penalty! Full details can be found on the News Flashes page of this website.
Brian(Monday, October 01 18 05:44 pm EDT)
While at Hannaford's doing my grocery shopping I heard about the latest Sullivan Report article. It was the talk at the cash register lines about the BTLA appeal. Everyone was pleased with Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Osgood for representing the Claremont taxpayers while our elected officials on the Claremont City Council all put their tails between their legs and did absolutely nothing to help us.
Ed(Monday, October 01 18 01:12 pm EDT)
Thanks and hats off to Jim Sullivan and Joe Osgood for getting in touch with the NH Tax Authority,making them aware of this huge theft.
We have no desire to give failed entrepreneurs a free bailout.Claremont taxpayers need everyone to pay their fair share,and Topstone ain't paying their fair share.
Jim Sullivan(Monday, October 01 18 09:15 am EDT)
Topstone Abatement Update! You'll never guess what happened! Full details on the Topstone Property Tax Abatement Page 2 of this website.
John(Wednesday, September 26 18 09:24 pm EDT)
Allen Dameran will not be removed from the Claremont City Council.
He will say he was told by legal counsel to have the broadcast shut down.
He has told me it was a decision made by himself and the Mayor to end the broadcast.
Either way it never should have happened.
Jim Sullivan(Wednesday, September 26 18 05:31 pm EDT)
John, a previous Forum Contributor Sara asked a similar question and I submitted a request for information to the city manager. It takes a week or two to get a response. Still waiting. Once I get the response I will publish it for all to read. Unlike City Officials we believe in complete transparency and full disclosure.
John(Wednesday, September 26 18 03:55 pm EDT)
I haven't paid my taxes now in Claremont for a year and a half.My tax bill is now at $9,000.It's really nothing compared to $222,000 that the Topstone owed foe 10 years of nonpayment.I read here in Sullivan's site that they said they forgive taxes all the time.I would like to hear from just 1 person that has been forgiven.I'm not talking about assessment reduction,which seems to be the deceptive double speak these vampires use.I'm talking about a straight up debt forgiveness.Can anybody give me just 1 example? Do you know Jim?
I have never heard of this happening to anyone other than this Topstone theft.
Rick(Wednesday, September 26 18 02:48 pm EDT)
The art of corruption is alive and well in Claremont’s municipal government.
Cheryl(Wednesday, September 26 18 01:36 pm EDT)
It is sad when city leaders feel no guilt about lying to the public. They do it repeatedly without any remorse. It speaks to their total absence of character as they are all devoid of ethics and morality.
Chad(Wednesday, September 26 18 11:37 am EDT)
Anyone who does not think that Claremont has terrible management really ought to start paying attention. These scoundrels are taking the taxpayers to the cleaners.
Ray(Wednesday, September 26 18 10:43 am EDT)
Linda raise some very good points about recent decisions by local city officials. I’m thinking more like bribes as the underlying reason for these irrational decisions. Cash is easy to give out and virtually impossible to trace. Bribes would certainly make some sense of these baffling decisions that are all contrary to the best interests of all the citizens of Claremont.
Ron(Wednesday, September 26 18 10:26 am EDT)
Its political quid pro quo favors that seem to grease the wheels at City Hall these days for sure.
Steve(Wednesday, September 26 18 09:31 am EDT)
Gary Dickerman’s reputation is also on the line. If he chooses to lie to try to save Allen Damren’s city council seat then he is just as bad as Damren.
Kevin(Wednesday, September 26 18 08:57 am EDT)
The jaw-dropping abatements given to the owners of Topstone Holdings LLC, all living out-of-state so a member of the city council can continue to operate his businesses out of a hazardous contaminated building shows the level of corruption that is pervasive in the current incarnation of Claremont’s municipal government. With the notable exceptions of city councilors Jonathan Stone, Andrew O’Hearn and Jeremy Zullo, all of the other members of Claremont’s municipal government are not to be trusted under any circumstances.
Todd(Wednesday, September 26 18 08:34 am EDT)
Lying to hide the truth seems to come naturally to all of Claremont’s municipal leaders so ascribing honesty and morality to any of them is misguided thinking.
Gail(Wednesday, September 26 18 08:05 am EDT)
Allen Damren showed his true colors by quietly working behind the scenes against the best interest of the Claremont taxpayers. Nick Koloski's story about what he knew and when he knew about the Topstone Holdings LLC abatements keeps changing every time he tells it. Neither of these two city councilors can be trusted and it is obvious that the voters put their trust in the wrong two people to represent them. Now we will see if the other seven city councilors can be trusted to adhere to and enforce the rules of the city charter. If Allen Damren does not resign then the ccity councilors should remove him. There is no other course of honest action for them to take.
Linda(Wednesday, September 26 18 06:54 am EDT)
I am not the least bit happy with the city council or the city manager. I do not like all of the giveaways to special interests. The 7 acres of city land to the farmer. All the public funds for the Goddard building so Section 8 welfare people can move in the downtown and be a drain on the city welfare and school resources. The Topstone Holdings LLC abatements of over $222,000 in cash forgiveness and a 74% reduction in their property assessment so they will owe less property taxes in the future. Councilor Nick Koloski can now breathe easy as his businesses still have a roof over its head although it is a leaky one. It only cost the taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars to do it. Allen Damren's deceit is the latest in what is becoming a very long line of shady actions taken by our elected officials. Mr. Damren broke the city charter and he should pay for it with the loss of his city council seat. I am wondering if any of the city councilors will have the courage and the honesty and integrity to broach the subject this evening at their meeting.
Dennis(Wednesday, September 26 18 06:15 am EDT)
I have little doubt that Charlene Lovett and Ryan McNutt are plotting to somehow save Allen Damren from himself and keep him in his city council seat.
Barbara(Wednesday, September 26 18 06:08 am EDT)
After all the emphasis that was put on city councilors avoiding running afoul of the noninterference rule in the city charter by the city’s attorney last Wednesday evening I cannot see any way for Allen Damren to walk away from this breach of that rule unscathed.
Tom(Tuesday, September 25 18 06:32 pm EDT)
I wanted to watch that discussion Mr. O'Connor was having with the assessor and the city manager when the television show went off the air. Allen Damren had no right to direct the camera man to stop filming the discussion. Who the hell does he think he is? I'm glad he broke the city charter with this violation. He deserves to be removed from the city council because of his high-handed methods of working behind the scenes against the best interests of the taxpayers.
George(Tuesday, September 25 18 04:00 pm EDT)
Allen Damren has always been a snake in the grass. Don't forget, he was on the Board of Directors of the NH Municipal Association during the HealthTrust insurance scandal when the board was overcharging municipalities and then using the extra money to prop up other divisions instead of returning the money to their customers the municipality's like they should have. Damren is a former employee of MRI so it stands to reason that he would look out for his former coworker the assessor who drove up and down Washington Street and zapped all the property owners with big property assessments about 15 years ago. Yeah Allen and the assessor have one hell of a track record together.
flyonthewall(Tuesday, September 25 18 01:28 pm EDT)
if the public may appeal the assessor's abatement,I would highly suggest the appeal be in signed petition form.I can tell you that everyone I have spoken to about this would be more than glad to sign the petition.
To me,this bullshit they called a public meeting just reinforces my desire to sell and leave Claremont.I have never seen local government as corrupted as Claremont.Rotten to the core and nothing worth saving.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, September 25 18 12:11 pm EDT)
Two new articles.
1) IN AN EFFORT TO CEASE TELEVISING OF TOPSTONE ABATEMENT DISCUSSION ASSISTANT MAYOR ALLEN DAMREN VIOLATES NON-INTERFERENCE RULE!
2) OUR ASSESSMENT OF CLAREMONT’S SPECIAL MEETING WITH THE ASSESSOR!
Full details on the Topstone Property Tax Abatement page of this website.
John(Sunday, September 23 18 01:42 pm EDT)
At the meeting it was stated that 79 properties had abatements, totally @$980k , in 2017.
Andrew LaPointe(Sunday, September 23 18 06:46 am EDT)
How big of a bribe was paid to make the topstone taxes disappear
Jim Sullivan(Friday, September 21 18 05:22 pm EDT)
Sara, that is an excellent question and unlike our uncooperative city officials we will do my best to try to get an answer for you. If you watched this week's disgraceful City Council meeting you will realize that any questions I pose in writing to the City Manager does not have to be answered. So there is no guarantee of a written response. However I can and will ask for any documentation listing how many property tax bills were abated (not to be confused with property assessments reduced) over the past few years. That they have to produce or say there is nothing to produce. I will submit that request on Monday and it may take up to 10 business days for them to respond or they could ask for more time if they wish citing lame excuses like "requiring legal review" or "requiring consultation with assessor" which is what I have been dealing with presently trying to get information regarding both abatements for the Topstone property (property tax bill and property valuation abatements). When I get the answer (whatever that answer may be) I will publish it on the website for all to see. Sara, I am very glad that you asked this question because it will now show all of our readers the difficulty we now more frequently have obtaining information for our articles from City Officials. This from a government that continues to claim publicly that they are open and transparent.
Sara Tyler(Friday, September 21 18 05:03 pm EDT)
Jim and or your readership I was wondering if there is a way to find out how many property tax bills are forgiven annually? It was stated that it's not unusual. I was very surprised to hear this statement. Thanks in advance for the information.
Paul(Wednesday, September 19 18 11:36 pm EDT)
Top Stone Tax abatement
After going to the meeting to night and asking the assessor some questions I believe the building was not worth the 670,000 but it's worth more than 175,000 in my opinion. I would fine it hard to justify that number when in 2007 the present owners bought the building for 495,000 which I have to assume they though was a fair price which was twice its highest sale price ever they must not have done their homework. But they believed it was worth what they paid for or they would not have made the investment I believe the assessment should be what the paid for it FAIR MARKET VALUE. Then it was appraised at 595,700 this figure I believe was over what the building was worth but why did the wait 11 tears to five the abatement?
The meeting in my opinion would have been more productive if the lawyer had not been there the question I asked was answered after the meeting ended.Not buying the excuse that the council was interfering with anyone job, but we're just trying like the rest of us to get to the bottom of the issue.
Hope they consider a Board of Assessors with public input.
Donk(Wednesday, September 19 18 05:11 pm EDT)
Richard, perhaps Nancy Merrill could find some roof grant money for such a historic building in Claremont.Maybe we could have a fund raiser?
Richard(Wednesday, September 19 18 01:09 pm EDT)
Judith Nessett the assessing representative the owners of Topstone Holdings LLC hired to prepare and file their abatement claim to the city claimed dinner filing that the roof is bad and there is no heat in any of the upper floors. Only the bottom floor can be rented out. If this is true than the building is not up to code and City Councilor Nick Koloski lied in his testimony to state officials. I believe he also lied about not knowing anything about the abatement because he wrote about it in his testimony and he seems to have intimate knowledge about how the owners of the Topstone property conduct their business. More than any ordinary tenant would.
Jim Sullivan(Wednesday, September 19 18 11:58 am EDT)
New article. Koloski & the Topstone Building.
For full details go to the Topstone Property Tax Assessment Page of this website.
Barbara(Wednesday, September 19 18 08:53 am EDT)
Tonight at 6:30 PM at Claremont City Hall the City Council will be meeting about the Topstone property tax debt forgiveness giveaway costing taxpayers over $222,000 and I suppose somebody will talk about the 74% property assessment reduction our generous city officials also gave Councilor Nick Koloski's landlord. If you are outraged at this abuse of government authority need to show up tonight and voice your concerns to your elected officials on the City Council. If they don't listen and if they don't take firm action. Such as firings of the assessing firm and the City Manager then we as the voters have to do what is best for Claremont and vote all of them out of office at the next election. It is time for the voters to stand up and be heard please be one of them tonight.
Kathy(Wednesday, September 19 18 04:03 am EDT)
The special city council meeting about the Topstone property scandal is tonight and our local newspaper the Eagle Times still refuses to acknowledge it. It is not in today's edition. Bricker's closing was also ignored. Who knows how many other important stories have been quashed by this newspaper. Everyone should just stop buying this newspaper because the real news is never in it.
Todd(Tuesday, September 18 18 04:33 pm EDT)
The whole thing about the Topstone property and Nick Koloski’s involvement smacks of corruption. Anyone who doesn’t think that Koloski’s connection to the property isn’t the reason for the special treatment is deluding themselves.
Mary(Tuesday, September 18 18 03:41 pm EDT)
When this idea to forgive almost a quarter of one million dollars of property taxes to one property owner came about it should have been discussed at a city council meeting with a public hearing. These city officials forget whose money they are playing around with.
flyonthewall(Tuesday, September 18 18 03:05 pm EDT)
He used to do pick ups and deliveries at certain mile markers on I-91.He's clever enough to run circles around Mc deezNutts.
flyonthewall(Tuesday, September 18 18 03:01 pm EDT)
McNutt can whine about TwinState Property all he likes,he won't see a penny.Twin state is Twin Scam and you've all been had by Frank Sargent.He upped stakes and moved to Florida last year.He's probably working some angle down in North Carolina about now.
Did any of you ever consider doing a background check on Frank?
In the 80's he was the biggest drug dealer in the area.I believe he told me that a local prosecutor was a big customer.You know these lawyers and their egos,just can't stay away from the stuff.We're talkin go fast stuff,not the opioids that have come into fashion recently.
I think he did a dime in the Fed for that one.Another year or 2 when he stiffed Katrina victims as a contractor.
Greg(Tuesday, September 18 18 02:08 pm EDT)
The taxpayers were just raped by our city officials for a second time in regards to the same property. Was it good for you?
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, September 18 18 01:57 pm EDT)
Excellent question regarding IRS Form 1099-C Cancellation of Debt because the forgiveness of the $222,725.09 becomes taxable income to Topstone Holdings LLC. We hadn't thought of that. I have just submitted a Right to Know Law request to City Manager Ryan McNutt asking that very question. I will publish the answer once I receive it as we are now very curious about that as well as we are sure our readers are too.
Tom(Tuesday, September 18 18 01:45 pm EDT)
Make no mistake; crooked government is back at Claremont City Hall.
want to know...(Tuesday, September 18 18 12:37 pm EDT)
Will Topstone receive a 1099-C?
Industrial Property Owner(Tuesday, September 18 18 11:30 am EDT)
During this past Wednesday’s City Council meeting, City Manager Ryan McNutt lamented about Twin State Property Maintenance that owns 14 properties throughout the city. One of these properties located at 139 Main St. is apparently a safety hazard to the public with an uncooperative property owner. Mr. McNutt said that the company owed approximately $100,000 and called the owner “one of our biggest scofflaws”. I find it interesting because the owners of Topstone Holdings LLC owed more than double in back taxes, equally uncooperative in regards to the payment of property taxes and environmental cleanup of the property yet city administration officials treat Topstone Holdings LLC with kid gloves and admiration. To the point that the temporary assessor expunges $222,725.09 of Topstone Holdings LLC’s property tax debt, interest and penalties in addition to granting them a 74% property assessment reduction beginning this tax year. In my personal opinion, the only difference I can see between the two owners is Councilor Nick Koloski’s business relationship with the owners of Topstone Holdings LLC. That of leaseholder, the largest tenant in the Topstone building and the possibility of some type of management role with the building. I say the possibility because Councilor Koloski announced a few years ago at a prior Council meeting that he was the key holder to 45 Crescent St., owned by Jon Calkins, one of the owners on record of Topstone Holdings LLC. City administration officials and Councilor Koloski swear that this is nothing more than a coincidence but their words just sound hollow and insincere. To my knowledge, no other property owner in Claremont has received the special privilege treatment experienced by Topstone Holdings LLC. Certainly not the property owners who lost their homes through the tax deeding procedure because city administrative officials and city councilors did not show these property owners the same consideration shown to the out-of-state property owners that make up the partnership of Topstone Holdings LLC.
Ralph(Tuesday, September 18 18 10:57 am EDT)
I read the minutes to the city council meeting about the drive by looting property assessments from 2000 and noticed at the bottom of the last page that Jim Sullivan inquired at the citizen’s forum about the cost of MRI to the taxpayer. He was standing up for the taxpayers way back then. What the hell are our elected representatives doing for us today? Just sitting there like a bunch of idiots with their fingers up their butts while hundreds of thousands of our tax dollars is given to Councilman Nick Koloski’s landlord. Yeah there’s nothing crooked about that deal.
Alicia(Tuesday, September 18 18 10:39 am EDT)
Councilman Scott Pope received the teaching award that of course made front-page news in the Eagle Times today. However, more important news like the two Topstone abatements are not worth a single word of newsprint. It shows where their priorities are for the so-called news staff. Talk about a puff piece for Pope, the way it is written his inflated ego makes it sound like he is running the technical center and the director is taking orders from him. I am surprised Pope can fit his head to the door it is so delusionally inflated.
Richard(Tuesday, September 18 18 08:35 am EDT)
In my opinion, Joe Lessard is a terrible assessor. I remember the drive by assessments and how he socked it to all the property owners around Claremont. I remember how the property assessments went down with the next legitimate assessments. I never liked MRI. When Bob Porter was the city manager, practically every department seemed to be managed by MRI employees costing the taxpayers beaucoup money. Bad times and we are going right back there again.
Cheryl(Tuesday, September 18 18 07:57 am EDT)
The Eagle Times has still not done an article on the Topstone Holdings LLC property tax debt abatement of almost a quarter of $1 million. Now the Sullivan Report uncovers an additional secret abatement of the property assessment variety this time for Topstone Holdings LLC giving them a 74% property assessment reduction with the quarter of $1 million gift. One of the recipients of these magnanimous gifts from the City of Claremont is the property owner for the Eagle Times. Councilman Nick Koloski works for the property owner in some capacity as the key holder and I understand property manager for that building on Crescent St. The Eagle Times editor and the local reporter, who I am told is his wife, and special correspondent Patrick Adrian, whose wife works for the city in the Planning Department are all acting deaf, blind and mute to this issue. Heck even the sickening politically correct E- Ticker News wrote a short halfhearted article about Wednesday’s upcoming Council meeting that the buried in the back of their current weekly edition. Conflicts of interest should not enter into the picture as to what stories are published and what stories are buried. The Eagle Times has sunk to a new low and has become part of the fake news media crowd. I would suggest anyone who has a subscription to not renew it when it comes due. That is what I intend to do.
Erik(Tuesday, September 18 18 07:41 am EDT)
Wow! A $222,000 gift from the city wiping away their tax debt, a 74% reduction in their property tax assessment that will lower their future tax debt, free environmental cleanup of the property in the works, it must be good to have a city councilor for a tenant and maybe a property manager as well. Claremont corruption at its worst.
Jim Sullivan(Monday, September 17 18 04:04 pm EDT)
The Topstone Saga continues! Wait until you see what City Officials did now! Full details on the Topstone Property Tax Abatement page.
Mike(Friday, September 14 18 01:40 pm EDT)
Mike(Friday, September 14 18 01:38 pm EDT)
I understand that Scott Sweet reigned as Public Works Director? Everyone is jumping ship seems like.
Jim Sullivan(Friday, September 14 18 01:05 pm EDT)
Claremont's Mostly Uncensored Page, a local Facebook page dedicated to Claremont New Hampshire, is having a field day regarding the secret $222,725.09 Topstone Holdings Inc. property tax debt abatement clandestinely enacted by Claremont City Officials on August 31, 2018. The administrator of the page gave us permission to publish a few of their political cartoons regarding the Topstone property tax debt abatement. They are very funny. Check them out on the News Flashes page.
Gerald Moriarty(Friday, September 14 18 11:58 am EDT)
Good thing the council delayed the job performance of the manager.I think that he should be shown the door.This is a lot of money to not be brought before the council.Too much
Jim Sullivan(Friday, September 14 18 10:48 am EDT)
Just came back from Claremont City Hall. I tried to get the property assessment tax cards for both of Topstone Holdings Inc. properties. I wanted to see if one or both of the properties had received a property assessment abatement of any kind on top of the $222,725.09 property tax debt abatement. When I went to the Assessing Office it was locked up tight with a big sign on the door that says it was closed today but there was no date on the sign. Convenient! Begs the question whether the Assessing Office will be closed through Wednesday since it is in the midst of controversy.
Jim Sullivan(Friday, September 14 18 09:41 am EDT)
New article. Regarding Valley News article in today's edition about the Topstone Holdings Inc. property tax debt abatement. Full details on the News Flashes page.
Gerald Moriarty(Thursday, September 13 18 05:27 pm EDT)
The first thing that I would like to see is this assessor getting the boot.
I don't know if Steve Snelling is still around but you couldn't ask for a more honest man.I would rehire him ASAP.
Jim Sullivan(Thursday, September 13 18 03:27 pm EDT)
COUNCIL TO HOLD SPECIAL MEETING REGARDING TOPSTONE HOLDINGS LLC ABATEMENT!
Full details on the News Flashes page.
David vickers(Thursday, September 13 18 12:09 pm EDT)
someone do something about the tyrant town manager of Claremont. according to him the water meters arnt faulty and city residents all lie. these same meters new jersey removed as faulty and robbing there citizens
Steve(Thursday, September 13 18 11:00 am EDT)
45 Crescent St., Claremont, NH 03743
Phone: (603) 543-3100 or (800) 545-0347
News Editor: John Gregg, 603-727-3217
Poopsycle(Thursday, September 13 18 10:49 am EDT)
Could someone post the phone number for Eagle Times newspaper?
Michael(Thursday, September 13 18 06:28 am EDT)
Unbelievable! The Eagle Times and the Valley News did it again. No mention of the Topstone Holdings Inc. property tax bill abatement. The Council spoke about it last night and it was the most controversial subject of the night. It was also the most interesting topic. The media blackout continues. The two newspapers should change their publication's name to the Chicken Times and the Valley Government Sanctioned News. At least then people would know what they were buying, truth in advertising laws and all that.
Katherine(Wednesday, September 12 18 10:23 pm EDT)
I did not like Scott Pope's attitude about the whole Topstone abatement matter. He wanted no part of it and he seemed very angry about it even being discussed in vague terms. He is a city councilor and he is supposed to be representing the public's best interests. What is his problem?
Tom(Wednesday, September 12 18 09:26 pm EDT)
The councilors are clearly feeling the pressure. Mayor Lovett requested a council vote to rescind the rules to add two items to tonight's meeting agenda. One of those items was a brief discussion on the Topstone abatement of taxes for almost 1/4 of $1 million to establish a special meeting to discuss this matter fully. Joe Osgood helped by holding the council's feet to the fire to call that special meeting. The council agreed to meet next Wednesday to hash this all out. Mayor Lovett says the public will be able to speak at that time. Little was said about the incident and Scott Pope acted as if he wanted to bury the whole thing for his good buddy Nick Koloski by saying the whole thing was politically motivated. None of them breathed one word about Jim Sullivan, AJ Maranville or the Sullivan Report as they were the ones responsible for exposing these heinous actions and breaking the story to the public. I think they are all scared of Jim and AJ. I can't wait for next Wednesday.
nunya(Wednesday, September 12 18 04:43 pm EDT)
It has been 1 year and 3 mos.since I have paid Claremonts taxes.I will not feather the nests of teachers firemen or cops,as well as office do nothings at the expense of my own family's well being.I am saving for a move to Tennessee.When the time comes I will strip out every copper wire,and every copper pipe.I will put my furnace in self-destrct meltdown mode until it's a molten puddle of metal on the floor.I will smash every sink and toilet on my way out the door.
Good luck Claremont.I voted for every candidate that claimed decency,but I have yet to see one that couldn't be bought.This is not corruption on periphery,this place is rotten right to the core.As a person I cannot in good conscience support
this corruption with one more penney.
Linda(Wednesday, September 12 18 12:05 pm EDT)
Tired of the City of Claremont passing off a high tax bill to small property owners and writing off large corporate owners tax bills, aka, Topstone and also hiding their faulty water meters overcharging some property owners double what they owe and treating them like criminals. Most are seniors on fixed incomes either have to pay up or get a tax lien on their houses.. or move.. like I had to., yet still tryin to pay off a mortgage. Cant rent house because they charge me a fee to do that too. Will go bankrupt and the town will steal my house too, like they have many others in town. Wonder why all three of my kids left the state and have sworn, never to live in Claremont NH. Too much corruption, hiding the facts of how overcharging small property owners is forcing them out of town. City officials know theses things are going on, yet no one will speak out against these wrong doings or they will lose their jobs. Look what happened to the assessor, Snelling, I think, he said property owners were unfairly taxed and he was fired, I don't care what their excuse was, truth is, he was telling the truth Claremont City Hall, did not want known. How can a small town like Claremont pay higher property taxes than Hanover NH?
Tom(Wednesday, September 12 18 07:14 am EDT)
The people who pass themselves off as members of the local press these days are cowards. They cower at the very thought of reporting anything politically incorrect. Their willingness to not report important news such as this $222,000 corporate cash gift to the largest property tax payment avoider in Claremont makes them all part of the fake news crowd. Yes, fake news is a thing.
Ken(Wednesday, September 12 18 02:58 am EDT)
Not surprising. The BJ Bricker closure still has not graced their pages either so I guess it never happened. The Eagle Times and the Valley News have joined the fake news establishment. The E-Ticker News has been a member of the fake news establishment since their first edition. Citizens of Claremont have to rely on social media and the Sullivan Report for the real local news.
Sarah(Wednesday, September 12 18 01:38 am EDT)
The Sullivan Report broke the story about the nearly quarter of a million dollars abatement of property tax debt for the owners of the Topstone property on Monday. Here it is Wednesday morning 1 : 36 AM and I just read both online Wednesday's editions of the Eagle Times and the Valley News and not a word about this scandalous turn of events. Is a cover up underway?
Michael(Tuesday, September 11 18 04:52 pm EDT)
Jim Sullivan has been actively corresponding with other members of the Claremont's mostly uncensored page on Facebook. Answering some questions about the Topstone Holdings LLC abatement for over $222,000. One person asked if anyone knew the identities of the owners of Topstone Holdings LLC. Jim Sullivan replied with the following quote “the names and addresses of three of the owners and/or managers of Topstone Holdings LLC. Steve Bushey from South Burlington Vermont. Jon Calkins of Windsor Connecticut. Frederick Lowen of Hinesburg Vermont. It is entirely possible that there may be other owners”. Reading Jim’s contribution to the discussion sparked a memory that I confirmed online. Jon Calkins owns 45 Crescent St., where the Eagle Times offices are now located. Councilman Nick Koloski has publicly stated many times that he is the manager of that property. Could Councilman Nick Koloski also be the manager of the Topstone property if he is already managing one of Calkins' properties?
Richard(Tuesday, September 11 18 03:43 pm EDT)
I do not like all the cozy connections with Assistant Mayor Allen Damren and MRI, Councilman Nick Koloski and Topstone Holdings LLC and how the city secretly operates in general.
Bob(Tuesday, September 11 18 03:42 pm EDT)
I remember Mr. Lessard’s time here as the assessor as well. Back then, I did not like his demeanor or the way he conducted himself. I cannot believe he is back to plague Claremont property owners again.
Michael(Tuesday, September 11 18 02:02 pm EDT)
My parent’s house was one of the victims of Joseph Lessard’s special brand of property assessment. He assessed my parent’s home for far more than it was worth. I was in the service them so my older sister assisted my parents with the property abatement forms. It was a struggle but they did receive an abatement but it was a lot of work and effort to correct Mr. Lessard’s mistake. Everyone who did not file for an abatement was screwed by the city and unfairly paid more in property taxes than they should have paid. I hope he is not going to do the city reassessment for that will be a disaster for everyone.
Todd(Tuesday, September 11 18 01:36 pm EDT)
Does anyone know if Nick Koloski had anything to do with this? I thought he was the manager of the Topstone building.
John(Tuesday, September 11 18 12:19 pm EDT)
I seem to recall that our Assistant Mayor Allen Damren formerly worked for MRI. Did Allen play a role in MRI’s return to Claremont?
David(Tuesday, September 11 18 11:22 am EDT)
This whole abatement thing for the Topstone property has the smell of corruption around it and the stink will not go away. Perhaps it is time for the state to intercede and cleanout City Hall administrators by firing them and replace them with qualified honest competent staff members like they did in Chelsea Massachusetts years ago. Just so long as they don't hire anyone from the Municipal Resources Inc. we should be alright.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, September 11 18 09:25 am EDT)
I just sent the following email to Right to Know request for information to Claremont City Manager Ryan McNutt regarding the Topstone Holdings Inc. abatement. He has already confirmed receipt of my email request for information. I will share the City's response once I receive it.
One other thing. I also received an email from Mayor Charlene Lovett and according to her she was not aware that this abatement had occurred. Suggesting that the City Councill was not aware that the temporary Assessor secretly wiped out all the tax lien debt for Topstone Holdings LLC and removed all the tax liens from the lot with the building on it. Since I'm the one who broke the news to them we will never know if City Administration Officials ever intended to either tell the Council or the public what they had secretly done!
Here is a copy of my information request. Take a look at what I am asking.
I'm requesting the following information under the Right to Know Law.
1) A copy of the Topstone Holdings LLC abatement request document if the owner submitted one to either the City Manager or to the City's Assessing Office or any other municipal department.
2) The legal standard to authorize the $222,725.09 abatement to Topstone Holdings LLC is "just cause". I am requesting an answer to the following question. Specifically, what was the "just cause" that justified this $222,725.09 abatement?
3) Does the City Council have the authority to rescind the abatement granted to Topstone Holdings LLC by Joseph Lessard, the temporary Assessor for Claremont? If so, what is the procedure?
4) Ryan, did either you or anyone else connected with the City Government (City Administration or City Council) either order or suggest to Joseph Lessard to authorize the $222,725.09 abatement for Topstone Holdings LLC?
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, September 11 18 09:22 am EDT)
Shawn, after I published the article I emailed the entire membership of the Claremont City Council, the Claremont School Board, the News Editors of the Valley News and the Eagle Times and the area reporter of the Union Leader a copy of the article and all the published documented proof. I asked the press to please publish their own news story about the Topstone Holdings Inc. property tax abatement to inform their readers. Now none of them can plead ignorance. The true test will be what they do with that information. Will they address it or will they try to bury it? Time will tell.
Shawn(Tuesday, September 11 18 04:05 am EDT)
Since the local press consisting of the E-Ticker News, Valley News and Eagle Times have yet to realize that B J Brickers Restaurant has closed despite the Sullivan Report article quite a while ago and the very obvious for sale sign on the restaurant’s huge sign on Washington St. the most traveled street in Claremont. How long will it take for any of them to follow up on this scandalous tax bill wipeout for the out of town folks that own the Topstone property? My guess is forever.
Jim Sullivan(Monday, September 10 18 08:20 pm EDT)
Apparently, there is some confusion amongst some of our readers regarding whether or not this $222,725.09 property tax debt abatement has been finalized or not.
Yes it is! I verified everything this morning when I spoke with City Clerk Gwen Melcher. On August 31, 2018, Temporary Assessor Joseph Lessard (an employee of Municipal Resources Inc., the firm contracted to perform the City’s assessing duties, at least for now) authorized the $222,725.09 abatement and the $222,725.09 tax debt previously owed by Topstone Holdings LLC has already been completely written off by City Administration Officials secretly without informing the public. All of the tax liens are in the process of being removed from the Topstone Holdings LLC parcel that the building sits on and all that was actually collected from the property owner this past August was $8,000.
Terry(Monday, September 10 18 07:57 pm EDT)
Can’t pay your taxes no problem give McNutt & Company $8,000 and all your tax debt troubles go away. I am thoroughly disgusted with our city manager. I hate to say this but I can’t help but think of the possibility that other monies may have changed hands if you know what I mean.
Mike(Monday, September 10 18 06:18 pm EDT)
What the heck are these idiots at City Hall thinking? Everyone in Claremont is struggling to pay their property taxes and an investment group from out of town is given a $222,000 tax break out of the taxpayer’s pockets by a temporary assessor who played fast and loose with property assessments before in Claremont. No one else has ever gotten anything like that before because that is not property assessment reduction were talking about this is cold hard cash.
Jim Sullivan(Monday, September 10 18 05:01 pm EDT)
Unfortunately Joe what occurred is perfectly legal provided that the reason constitutes "good cause". Whether or not city officials will ever state their reasons is another matter. Industrial Property Owner raised a good point stating that the Council has already set legal precedent to seize properties under the tax deeding protocol for non-payment of property taxes. Inability to pay and now with the Central St. property environmental issues with the property are no longer reasons to not take the property. Forgiveness of those property taxes owed to the City was never a consideration for relatively small amounts of money in comparison to the $222,725.09 abated by the assessing consultant. Where is the fairness and equity for the property owners /taxpayers of Claremont?
Industrial Property Owner(Monday, September 10 18 03:48 pm EDT)
A $222,725.09 property tax abatement in a very small tax poor communities like Claremont New Hampshire is unthinkable and frankly reprehensible. It is not surprising that this dastardly deed was performed in the seclusion of City Hall away from the scrutiny of the public. What possible reason could justify such a thing? Inability to pay? It certainly did not stop the City Council from agreeing to take several properties over the past few years requests of two different city managers. Environmental issues of the property? That too has not stopped the City Council from taking possession of troublesome properties. In fact, it just happened very recently in regards to that property on Central Street. Therefore, there is no legitimate reason for this incredible property tax abatement. It smells of the old boy politics of Tammany Hall. Councilor Koloski’s connection to the property cannot be ignored. Neither can the many political favors bestowed upon him simultaneous with the years he served on the city council. Political favors you ask? To name a few. A waiver to do produce a professional site plan to the planning board as all of the businesses must do if the business is going to constitute a change of use for the property. Placing Keno on the ballot so Councilor Koloski could promote gambling within his establishment. Now changes to food vending laws instigated by Councilor Koloski, who just so happens to own a hotdog stand. This property tax abatement shows the cancer that is forming within our city government made up of city officials who care nothing about the taxpayers, as they are more concerned about themselves and certain special interests. It is time to clean house.
Joe McGee(Monday, September 10 18 03:46 pm EDT)
Can a criminal complaint be filed for this theft and deception?
I have no desire of supplementing the income of Topstone building owners.
What is the owners name and contact info?
Steve(Monday, September 10 18 03:27 pm EDT)
What the hell! Nick Koloski's landlord can't pay their property taxes so they get a $222,000 plus tax break while the rest of us have to pay high property taxes. Then the city grunts are diligently finding this property owner a bunch of grant money to clean up their ecological spill or whatever the hell they got going on there. This isn't fair to the other taxpayers at all. Special interests from out of town get the VIP treatment while the rest of us have to pay higher taxes because of this one property owner. I would not be surprised to find out that Nick Koloski's fingerprints are all over this.
Jim Sullivan(Monday, September 10 18 01:34 pm EDT)
DID CITY OFFICIALS SECRETLY WRITE OFF $222,725.09 WORTH OF TOPSTONE HOLDINGS LLC’S TAX DEBT TO THE CITY OF CLAREMONT?
Go to the Topstone Property Tax Abatement page of this website using the tabs above for full details.
Spread the word about this article. Every citizen and taxpayer of Claremont should read this article.
Tony(Wednesday, September 05 18 11:51 am EDT)
Steven, You missed the point of this page. None of these people would make the wild accusations and statements made here if they had to identify themselves. It is just a Troll Feeding Station. Not real news, or well never without a horrible slant against people who might have slighted a couple of failed former elected officials. Read it for what it is and it can be entertaining. Also is a fine example of the ignorance and bigotry so rampant in Claremont. Go to the facebook pages about claremont which require a name. You will get less Troll drool and more current events.
Steven Plourde(Wednesday, September 05 18 11:24 am EDT)
I have been reading the last 2 weeks of the Sullivan Report of the public forum section. I see that no one puts there last name in when they write a review even if it good or bad. In reading the people's remarks it seems that the people who live in this town are very unhappy with many things. If you are citizens of Claremont N.H. then you should step up and address these situations instead of complaining about them. You can not control many situations so with other resources from ideas and help from others could help solve some of these issues so everyone get involved instead of complaining with out helping. Also when people do not put there last names who know if you are even living in Claremont.
Jim Sullivan(Wednesday, September 05 18 09:40 am EDT)
Topstone Building update! Full details on the News Flashes page.
Robert(Sunday, September 02 18 12:32 pm EDT)
The problem is most of the tax dollars are going to payroll for overpaid and definitely underworked city and school employees that are not held to any standard of accountability whatsoever. Their benefits packages are outrageous as they are far too generous compared to is generally offered to employees of regional private sector companies. I believe the Sullivan and Mr. Maranville people with the only possible solution to this problem that is to privatize as many of the services as possible to reduce the cost of city and school services to the Claremont taxpayer. There is no other way.
Mike(Sunday, September 02 18 10:02 am EDT)
You know things are going downhill when city officials begin begging in the newspapers for donations. First, it was the Fourth of July fireworks and then signage for the pedestrian bridge to commemorate the ex-city manager and now its stone columns for the refurbished gates for the cemeteries. Before you know it city councilors and the city manager will begin an adopt a street or sidewalk program to get our streets and sidewalks paved and plowed. If you do not adopt your street or sidewalk, then wait until spring thaw and then drive around all the potholes on your street without destroying your car if you can.
William(Saturday, September 01 18 02:14 pm EDT)
I am very disappointed with Mark Chase's job performance. At the podium when he addresses the Council he always seems out of sorts. Ill prepared to answer questions and frankly out of his depth. Police Chief is not a volunteer position where one could slide by with ignorance or incompetency. This is the top job in the Police Department that is tasked with protecting and serving all Claremont citizens and the public in general. Crime appears to be on the rise and public officials seem to be colluding to hide that fact from the general public. Several of Chase's police officers have either quit or they have been terminated for their bad behavior. It seems to be a Police Department in total chaos and those in charge of overseeing the Police Department are all casting a blind eye to the obvious problems. I believe it is time for a qualified Police Chief to take the helm and that man is not Mark Chase.
Richard(Saturday, September 01 18 10:39 am EDT)
Make no mistake government officials in Claremont want to hide the truth from us when it comes to bad news. Ryan McNutt, Charlene Lovett and Allen Damren are leading the drive to implement and maintain this cover up policy. These local officials and several of their colleagues want Claremont to appear to be a little perfect community where nothing ever goes wrong. A little utopian community. The secrets that the police department keep from the public is just a small portion of the much larger problem. Imagine how worse it will get once they hire that information officer. I have watched the meetings about this topic and the plan is to have all information flow through that one person so they can control what information is released and the political spin that will be placed on that information. The devious tactics our local officials want to use to control the citizenry by using the press as a tool is called propaganda and disinformation. It worked well in Nazi Germany during World War II.
Jennifer(Saturday, September 01 18 07:56 am EDT)
I will never trust anything Chief Mark Chase or anyone else from our police department ever says again. The way this department handled the near hanging of a local boy, and the fatal shooting left a very bad taste in my mouth. Then there was the incident of the illegal search and seizure by one of the former cops involved in the fatal shooting. This is enough to create justifiable distrust of the police chief and everyone else working with the force. It is time for a new police chief, preferably someone not associate with this department.
Lisa(Friday, August 31 18 06:54 pm EDT)
After denying anything happened for the past few days the Police Department and city leaders finally fess up and admit the truth. Three home invasions perpetrated by one individual is information the public should know about for their own safety. But the truth doesn't fit into the prim and proper whitewashed world of the city manager,Mayor Lovett and the rest of her politically correct city council. I wonder how many other crimes are being committed in the city that our Police Department and city leaders are covering up.
Jim Sullivan(Friday, August 31 18 05:32 pm EDT)
The City of Claremont issued a press release today. Full details on the News Flashes page.
flyonthewall(Friday, August 31 18 12:26 pm EDT)
I just don't understand why the council or McNutt feel that Claremont real estate is booming to the degree that the revenue needs captured every other year?
Claremont real estate has barely budged percentage wise.Nobody in their right mind buys in Claremont.Those that do get it at discount prices,and you know why?
because property taxes in Claremont are far higher than any of the surrounding areas.If you want a free pass I suggest you paint with lead paint and insulate with asbestos.Look what it does for Koloski and the Topstone building,FREE!
If it was truly that toxic they wouldn't allow an eating and drinking establishment,would they? Pretty good case against the city should anyone come down with cancer.The city is allowing business to continue in a hazardous site.Criminal if you ask me.
Matt(Friday, August 31 18 11:47 am EDT)
This property assessment scheme of Mr. McNutt's is very disturbing. The city did not have to spend the money for at least a few more years but everyone from the city manager to everyone on the city council wanted to spend the money this fiscal year to do reassessments now this year because they all believe the property assessments are going to increase by a lot. I think whoever is hired is going to increase property assessments all over the city whether they really should be raised up or not to give the city leaders their desired outcome. Lower tax rate, higher tax burden snuck in through the raised up property assessments and the tax-and-spend train can keep chugging along down the track without any slowdown. I don't think we should be spending $5 million in the downtown area but that's going to happen no matter what because the council makes the decision not the taxpayers and they all want to do it. I think more is coming with other spending plans and the taxpayers are really going to get it socked to them.
Tom(Friday, August 31 18 11:21 am EDT)
This new city government sure seems corrupt doesn’t it?
Jonathan(Friday, August 31 18 10:13 am EDT)
It looks like the city manager is trying to find a way to use public funds to clean up the hazardous waste for the property owner of the Topstone building. He and the councilors only seem to want to do that for special friends. I find it disgusting.
Victimized Homeowner(Friday, August 31 18 07:13 am EDT)
Rumor has it City Hall and the police department are refusing to answer questions about the home invasions and burglaries around Prospect Street. I want to tell you that this happened right to me right at my residence.
Jim Sullivan(Thursday, August 30 18 04:40 pm EDT)
Amanda, thank you for the excellent question. According to the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services website, as of today nothing has happened since June 6, when the Department received a letter from the owners of the property stating in writing that in regards to the Topstone Building and necessary hazardous cleanup, “there is very little cash flow and consequently no funds to facilitate additional work”. Because of your inquiry, I have decided to look into the matter further by emailing an inquiry of my own to the NH Department of Environmental Services asking some questions about the situation including if an actual plan is in place to clean up the hazardous materials or not. I will publish their response once I receive it. Once again thank you Amanda for asking the question and I hope to have an official answer for you and all of our readers quite soon.
Amanda(Thursday, August 30 18 04:15 pm EDT)
Does anyone know if a hazardous cleanup plan is underway for the Topstone building?
Jeff(Thursday, August 30 18 02:51 pm EDT)
Our city government has always taken advantage of the taxpayers one way or the other. If our city manager and city council are planning to deliberately raise property assessments all over the city to intentionally reduce Claremont’s property tax rate they are taking extreme advantage of the taxpayers. If our city leaders plan to expand the Downtown TIF District before those new property assessments take effect to divert those new revenues within the expanded district into the Downtown TIF District bank account then that is in my opinion a plot to defraud the public that is underway. This is probably why McNutt, Lovett and Damren are having so many secret meetings City Hall. They are busy planning money raising schemes for the city that picks the taxpayer’s pockets clean.
Joel(Thursday, August 30 18 12:28 pm EDT)
The other day in the newspaper one of the consultants the school board hired for the superintendent search said right in the paper that the applicants the board will have to choose from will not look that great when they see him. Terrific. I guess the same can be said for city manager applicants.
Kevin(Thursday, August 30 18 11:06 am EDT)
With Labor Day weekend coming up I would be leery of going away for the weekend and leaving my home unattended with all the burglaries and home invasions going on in Claremont. Unless you have a very sophisticated burglary alarm system you may be taking one heck of a chance that your personal belongings may not be here when you get back. For God sakes don't post on social media that you are going away for the weekend that's like pitching a sign in front of your house that says rob me I am not home. I have no faith in our local police department to adequately serve and protect because the level of experience that you would find in most police departments is absent from Claremont's Police Department. Fortunately for us our family are coming to us this year and I am grateful for that. Be vigilant.
flyonthewall(Thursday, August 30 18 10:44 am EDT)
As far as new assessments,you can never change the real value of anything.
The value of anything is what somebody is willing to pay for it.If the assessments are higher than what houses can be sold for,then the assessments are wrong.
When these revaluations come out,I'm sure Mr.Sullivan will make everyone aware of the appeals process.Should City Hall be inundated with appeals,they will have to change course.The idea is to be proactive with your neighbors concerning home values.Don't expect things to be done for you because you are too busy.You are your own agent.Nothing ventured,nothing gained is applicable in this appeals process.
Charles(Thursday, August 30 18 09:19 am EDT)
I do not like the idea about reevaluating all the properties in the city this year when it was not supposed to be done for a few years from now. I cannot help but think that the intent is to raise up all the property assessments well past fair market value to drop the property tax rate to make Claremont look better in comparison to other New Hampshire cities and towns. It is a ploy to trick people to move here. I also think Jim and AJ figured out their plan about expanding the Downtown TIF District so the tax income from the extra property assessment for those 1,100 properties all goes into the Downtown TIF District account instead of the regular city account. These are the actions of an unethical municipal government led by the likes of McNutt, Lovett & Damren.
Ted(Thursday, August 30 18 07:50 am EDT)
I am very concerned about this whole Downtown TIF District expansion possibility. I know the city is not proposing the Downtown TIF District expansion yet but what really concerns me is that Jim asked the city manager point-blank if that was part of the plan and the city manager refused to answer Jim’s direct question. If the answer was no than the city manager should have been emphatic about it to take away all speculation. That makes me believe that it is part of the plan and Jim and AJ figured it out before hand. If the city center map becomes an overlay for the Downtown TIF District then my house and my parent’s house both become victims of the expansion and what we all believe will be devastatingly high property assessments after this accelerated property reassessment is complete and that will greatly increase our annual property tax bills. My parents and my wife and I already pay a large portion of our income to support our local government city, school etc. Paying more because the property assessment went up is like a hidden tax that nobody sees because the property tax rate goes down. It is very devious and it is unfair to the property owners. Our elected officials are supposed to be protecting us but instead all they seem to want to do is spend obscene amounts of money to satisfy their close colleagues and special interests with influence at the expense of innocent working families.
Terry(Thursday, August 30 18 07:09 am EDT)
Still nothing in the Valley News, the Eagle Times or the E-Ticker News about the closure of BJ Bricker’s Restaurant. You would think one of their reporters would get a clue with the huge lettering on the restaurant’s sign saying for sale or lease. Now there is a crime wave on or around Prospect Street, burglaries and home invasions and absolute media silence about all of it. For all we know there could be similar crimes in other sections of Claremont that are also being squelched by the Claremont Police Department so as not to upset the delicate sensibilities of Mayor Lovett and her squeamish city council. Their need to control all the information that is circulated in the news to put the best possible face on everything is disturbing. I wonder what other bad news they are suppressing? They want to hire an information director to control all the news from the city and school local governments. It is called propaganda and it is used to control the masses, that’s us people. It looks to me like city officials have already started controlling the news to keep the public at large in the dark about anything that is not city government approved for release. Thank goodness, the Sullivan Report and social media are not under the controlling influence of these government officials who would like to control what we see, here and think. It is definitely time for new leadership.
Chris(Wednesday, August 29 18 04:57 pm EDT)
I know Ryan McNutt was the city council’s second choice to be city manager but it looks like they were scraping the bottom of the barrel when they hired him.
Cheryl(Wednesday, August 29 18 04:01 pm EDT)
I do not understand why the spree of home invasions and burglaries did not make the front page of the Eagle or the Valley News? Do City Hall executives have that much control of the press?
David(Wednesday, August 29 18 02:05 pm EDT)
It does seem that crime is getting worse in Claremont and the quality of police officers is not up to snuff. I say that because Claremont is a training ground for rookie police officers who then leave to go to other communities that pay more money. Green police officers will not solve crimes we need sharp-minded detectives for that and quite frankly I do not believe they are very spectacular either. Claremont may be coming a haven for criminals. Our police chief does not have the air of confidence around him that his predecessor did. I have lived in Claremont since 1954 and I remember some great police chiefs but Chief Chase will not be remembered for being one of them.
Dennis(Wednesday, August 29 18 01:57 pm EDT)
Mrs. Lovett is the Mayor of Claremont. She is the one that is supposed to set the tone for the city council and she seems to have absolutely no idea what she is doing during the meetings. She is always looking to Allen Damren for assistance and he is as much of a dunce as she is. The city manager is not any help either as he just sits in the corner grinning like the Cheshire Cat, probably thinking how much he is getting paid to do absolutely nothing because the councilors have set such low standards for his job performance.
Terry(Wednesday, August 29 18 01:17 pm EDT)
I spoke with Claire Lessard the other day at the senior center. I know she is a new city councilor but I never realized how incredibly stupid she really is. I asked her about several city issues and she had no in-depth knowledge about any of them. I seemed to know more about these issues than she did. I can’t believe the public elected someone so ignorant to represent them.
Katherine(Wednesday, August 29 18 11:48 am EDT)
Talk about Claremont’s public image. Can you imagine Nick Koloski hawking hot dogs downtown? God knows what he would try to do to attract attention to himself and his weenie wagon. I have no doubt it will happen just like I had no doubt when Nick was pushing for Keno gambling that he wanted to do that in his bar and now his bar is a Keyo gambling establishment. Nick is for Nick and for no one else. Whenever are the people of Claremont going to wake up and kick his sorry butt off of the city council? We need people to represent us on the city council not themselves.
Scott(Wednesday, August 29 18 11:32 am EDT)
Andrew O’Hearne is also trying to become the wheel again at the Statehouse by running for state rep. Last time he hardly ever went to a meeting to cast votes but he wants the job again. I think some of our elected representatives are power-hungry narcissists and they cannot be trusted under any circumstances. In regards to the city owned property that will be demolished next door to his investment property. I do not know if he had a hand in making that happen or not but it is one hell of a coincidence if he did not. I am not so sure I believe in astronomically statistical coincidences.
George(Wednesday, August 29 18 09:33 am EDT)
I don’t like all the government favors and giveaways Mdm. Lovett and her council cohorts are authorizing for members of council and others who have developed a close rapport with the councilors and the city manager. These favors and giveaways usually involve our tax dollars like it’s their own piggy bank to do with whatever they want. I think it’s time for the voters to clean house on the council.
Todd(Wednesday, August 29 18 08:25 am EDT)
Nick Koloski is a disgusting human being. He tries to make himself look like this great humanitarian and the imbecilic reporters in Claremont eat it up with a spoon. I looked him up on the County Registry of Deeds website and he still has not paid off any of his back taxes that he owes to the state. I do not know how he can stay in business. I agree with a previous poster that this whole food truck thing is just so Nick can get a prime spot for his weenie wagon at a cut-rate discount price since he is a local VIP at least in his own mind.
Richard(Wednesday, August 29 18 07:58 am EDT)
It seems like City Manager Ryan McNutt is cultivating cozy relationships with city councilors and members of the business community using our tax dollars to pay for his networking efforts and moving forward his political agenda. It seems our less than illustrious Mayor Charlene Lovett and her always close by flunky sidekick Assistant Mayor Allen Damren presumably share Mr. McNutt’s political agenda. I wonder if they use code words or a secret handshake when they hold their clandestine meetings at City Hall. A secret happy dance when things go their way? What happens secretly behind the closed doors at City Hall stays at City Hall at least sometimes.
Sharon(Wednesday, August 29 18 07:38 am EDT)
Barbara thank you for bringing this to the public's attention. There has been no newspaper coverage of this at all and it should be front page news. More of the news suppression policy of McNutt, Lovett and Damren. Claremont is not all sunshine, lollipops and rainbows like these three want everyone to believe by controlling what the people know and what they don't know. The E- Ticker News is their best cohort followed closely behind by the Eagle Times and the Valley News. The only local news sources that they cannot control is the Sullivan Report and social media and thank goodness for that.
Barbara(Tuesday, August 28 18 08:41 pm EDT)
Has anyone heard anything about the two home invasions and the four burglaries that occurred in the Prospect Street area over the past week? I guess the cops are keeping this hush-hush because crime is on the rise in Claremont and Mayor Lovett and the councilors and the city manager only want good news circulated and bad news buried so deep that no one knows about it.
Matthew(Tuesday, August 28 18 06:44 pm EDT)
I do not like the idea the TIF district expanding all over creation in Claremont. I live on Park Avenue and my home would become part of the downtown TIF district invasion and it would be subject to excessive property assessment increases to dig the city out of the hole our city officials put us in with their out-of-control spending. I know that Mr. McNutt and the Council have not announced anything yet about the downtown TIF district but it does make perfect sense when you see everything else that they are working on. The downtown renovation project and the citywide property reassessment project at least a few years ahead of schedule and now this change of what constitutes the downtown to spread it over a large area of the city. It is being done incrementally and expanding the downtown TIF district seems to be the next logical step in their master plan to turn Claremont into a clone of any congested Massachusetts bedroom community municipality. I moved away from that and now it's coming here in the idiots at City Hall are intentionally bringing it here and they are going to ruin Claremont forever in the process. I am beyond upset.
Alex(Tuesday, August 28 18 05:58 pm EDT)
I am what I guess you would call a closet reader of this website. I have always read it right from the beginning but I have never written a comment before now. I work in Claremont and one of my coworkers heard about the article from one of our customers and read it on his electronic device. I did the same once I had a break and I have to say I am very disappointed with all the backroom wheeling and dealing that goes on at City Hall. It is disgraceful how are untrustworthy city leaders conduct business in our name with our money to benefit colleagues and friends who have somehow gained political influence with the city manager and presumably the city council as well. You hear about these sort of things at the Washington DC level but not at the local level. I thought this new administration with the new city manager and under the leadership of Charlene Lovett would be different. They are just as bad as their predecessors under the previous administration as they charge ahead to move their political agenda forward and cost the Claremont taxpayers millions of dollars for worthless programs that will only line the pockets of a select few. I have known Charlene for several years, our daughters went to high school together although not in the same class. I am very disappointed in her and I do not think I can ever bring myself to trust her again. My wife and her friends and she feels the same way. It's a real shame you think you know people but sometimes they just let you down. Thank you to the Sullivan Report for exposing the truth. If it was not for the Sullivan Report the city leaders would have gotten away with it without any of us ever knowing what they were secretly up to.
Rep. John O’Connor(Tuesday, August 28 18 03:37 pm EDT)
I will be voting to uphold the Governor’s vetoes and this is why .
I’m the 2 terms I have been a State Representative, all I have heard from the business community is we have to get control over the electricity rates. By vetoing these bills,we will be taking steps to accomplish this. Is it perfect ? Of course not, but it’s a start in the right direction.
I have learned in my short time in Concord,that it is impossible to make everyone happy as I am sure my decision will upset a few people but economic development is Claremont’s number one priority and hopefully with this action it will at the very least stabilize electricity rates.
Just thought you should know where I stood . I welcome any and all feedback.
Deb(Tuesday, August 28 18 03:17 pm EDT)
I always liked Charlene Lovett; not anymore. I thought she had the people’s best interest at heart but I think all she is trying to do is use her Mayorship to social climb. I do not think she expected the backlash from local environmental activists in regards to the legislation that the other Mayors want to see enacted by overturning Gov. Sununu’s veto. The fact that the other Mayors are lobbying for the bio mass special interests against the best interests of average citizens who will have to pay higher electric rates if they succeed in overturning Gov. Sununu’s veto is proving problematic for Mayor Lovett. I think Mayor Lovett wants to be a player at the state level and I do not think she cares whom she steps on to do it. The thing is she does not want to upset anyone in Claremont because of her political correctness and her need to be loved by everyone. She has a quandary and I think she is going to be stuck with having to turn down her fellow Mayors if she ever wishes to be reelected in Claremont.
Gail(Tuesday, August 28 18 01:40 pm EDT)
No wonder why Ryan McNutt didn’t name any names when it came to the owners of the properties. Thank goodness Jim and AJ noticed McNutt sidestepping the issue by limiting the information revealed and did their own checking. I don’t trust anybody at city hall these days and that includes the city councilors.
Rick(Tuesday, August 28 18 01:31 pm EDT)
I liked the stunt Jim pulled on the city manager. I think McNutt’s immediate reply proves that he has something to hide. I think Jim and AJ hit it right on the head when they said in their article that the quick response could have been to stop Lovett and Damren from either admitting something or lying about something in writing that Jim and AJ would use against them later. I think the Downtown TIF District will get expanded and I agree with Steve, God help anyone who owns property in the expanded TIF District or in the old TIF District because their property assessment is going to go bang zoom to the moon to bailout the city’s debt and pay for the new parking downtown. The sad thing is most of the downtown parking will probably be used by welfare families that will be living in the new apartments downtown, whose only contribution to our great community is lots of kids to the school district.
Steve(Tuesday, August 28 18 11:08 am EDT)
I think the city leaders do plan on expanding the Downtown TIF District to cover over the whole city center district. I feel real sorry for anyone who owns property in that area of Claremont because I think the property assessments are really going to shoot up through the roof there to bring in more money to the Downtown TIF District. I think this is a big financial scam to rip off the taxpayers to pay for the tax-and-spend policies of these fruit loop city officials we have these days.
Walter(Tuesday, August 28 18 10:54 am EDT)
I am angry about the wall on Main Street. If the wall in common is owned by the developer for the Goddard building then they sure and hell can afford to fix the wall themselves. Why the hell is the city manager making the taxpayers foot the bill? This stinks to high heaven.
Tom(Tuesday, August 28 18 10:13 am EDT)
It seems no matter who we elect to the city council at least some of them have a hidden agenda usually to benefit themselves using taxpayer’s money to do it. Nick Koloski is the prime example receiving favor after favor from the city from waiver of a business site plan to placing keno gambling on the ballot so he can turn his restaurant into a gambling hall. The hands-off approach the council is exhibiting in regards to the Topstone building that owes more taxes than anyone else does in Claremont but still remains in the owner’s hands. Of course, city councilors will say that the presence of Nick’s businesses in the Topstone building has nothing to do with their decisions but I am not stupid enough to believe it. Now Nick is pushing for changes to food vending policies to help food truck and food cart vendors. Nick owns a hotdog cart. He also kept going on and on about how the city should lease out spots for food vendors and how great a location the Broad Street Park is, I think he wants to put his wiener wagon there because it’s always all about Nick. I think the only reason why Nick runs for Council is for all the special favors he can receive for using his vote to go along with whatever the city manager wants. I am wondering now if of the other city councilors are trying to get into the act. Andrew O’Hearne and his life partner and ex-councilor bought an investment property on the cheap. Now the city owns the property next door and instead of selling the building as is the city is going to use our tax dollars to do all the expensive demolition and cleanup work on the property to turn it into a yard. Is this so Councilor O’Hearne and his hubby can scoop the property up from the city for a song and make more money on their investment property? These kind of shenanigans should irritate the hell out of all taxpayers.
Erik(Tuesday, August 28 18 09:41 am EDT)
Incredible article. I watched the council meeting on television with my wife and we did not notice any of the revelations that the Sullivan Report uncovered. Jim and AJ are just so knowledgeable about the city and school that they make the elected officials on both boards look ignorant by comparison. Now that I have read the Sullivan Report article I can see that these things are very obvious if you are paying close attention and notice when certain information is withheld and go find that information yourself. I agree with IPO that this scenario that the Sullivan Report suggests might be real and is exactly what is happening. They are all like cogs working separate but together like a finely tuned antique clock. I recall hearing Allen Damren say in passing that he and Charlene Lovett met privately with the city manager on several occasions. I have known Allen for many years he is a low-key narcissist always having to show off his intellect but now I see that the really is a fraud and not all that smart at all. I think Allen name-drops those meetings to have everyone think that he is a wheel in Claremont. It’s pretty sad when you think about it. There is no reason for all of the secret meetings unless they are trying to pull the wool over the public’s eye. After reading today’s article I no longer trust Charlene, Allen or the new city manager. I believe that they are lying to all of us through omission and that violates the trust we put in them as our city leaders. I think it is time for another turnover of leadership in our city government. This bunch does not have what it takes.
Industrial Property Owner(Tuesday, August 28 18 07:49 am EDT)
I realize it is conjecture to assume that Ryan McNutt, Charlene Lovett and Allen Damren are having secret meetings (although Mr. Damren publicly admits they are routinely doing so) to craft their own political agenda that seems to benefit colleagues and special interests to the detriment of the local taxpayers. However, the puzzle pieces that the Sullivan Report have brought forward fit together so neatly that nothing is contrived. After reading today’s article, I honestly believe that an incremental plan has been set in motion to do the very things declared in the article. It is fairly sophisticated and very well thought out. Expand the boundaries of the downtown. Overlay the Downtown TIF District over this expanded Downtown area. City Council approval of a $5 million bond issue for the ill-conceived Downtown Revitalization Project utilizing TIF financing. Creating expanded revenue for the Downtown TIF District through increased taxation from the ahead of schedule conducted citywide property revaluation on 1,100 properties instead of just 200 properties in the newly expanded Downtown TIF District. Thus reducing the ongoing deficit and perhaps pay the annual payments on the soon to be approved $5 million bond. I also find it very hard to believe that the projects Mr. McNutt chose to complete with tax dollars are random coincidences. I believe Mr. McNutt is practicing the you wash my hand and I will wash yours method of municipal management that I and I am sure others find utterly distasteful. In my opinion, he has accomplished nothing of any measurable value during his employment in Claremont and his intentions for spending large sums of taxpayer’s money in the near future strongly suggest to me that a new City Manager is needed.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, August 28 18 06:29 am EDT)
New article – Synopsis of August 22 Council meeting. We uncovered lots of interesting information fully detailed in the article that no one knows about. The article is on the News Flashes page.
Terry(Monday, August 27 18 06:53 pm EDT)
Still no article about Bricker's from any of the local press. You would think the for sale or lease advertisement on their huge sign would be a clue to these lamebrain reporters. I guess not. Good thing we have the Sullivan Report to let us know what is going on.
Tom(Wednesday, August 22 18 09:14 am EDT)
Thank you Jim. Right on top of things as per usual. I wish I could say the same about the other local reporters.
Jim Sullivan(Wednesday, August 22 18 07:13 am EDT)
Yes, Tom. I emailed an inquiry to the City Manager a few days ago asking what the cost might be and who will pay them. It generally takes a week or so to get a response. When I do, I intend to share those responses (whether they are straightforward answers to my questions or evasive non-responses) with our readers. Thank you for asking.
Tom(Wednesday, August 22 18 06:50 am EDT)
One thing I am wondering about is how much it will cost the taxpayers to fix all the road damage on upper Main Street because of all the rainstorms we’ve had. Because the road is all ripped up because of the construction project, the damage looks quite extensive. The E- Ticker News showed some pictures in their latest addition but their article left much to be desired. Then they usually do, as they are nothing more than sugar coated politically correct articles that are more in line with political propaganda than anything that even vaguely represents journalism. Their reporters never ask the tough questions, as they seem to be afraid that it may upset local politician’s sensibilities. Heaven forbid. Has the Sullivan Report considered looking into this?
Sarah(Wednesday, August 22 18 06:32 am EDT)
Several weeks ago the Sullivan Report informed us of the story of Claremont postal worker Eileen Flannery, who saved a customer from being taken advantage of by a scammer by over $18,000. Today a similar article is in the Eagle Times written by it's Editor Bill Chaisson, several weeks after the Sullivan Report published their article. So far the Valley News and the E- Ticker News have yet to report this heartwarming story. This week the Sullivan Report informed their readers about the impending closure of BJ Bricker's Steak and Seafood Restaurant, I wonder how many weeks it will take before our local press has an inkling that this happened. The quality of news reporting in Claremont is at an all-time low. If it was not for the Sullivan Report the public would not be as well informed as they are.
Jennifer(Tuesday, August 21 18 12:22 pm EDT)
The Sullivan Report broke the story about Brickers Restaurant closing two days ago and the reporters at the Valley News and the Eagle Times still don't have a clue. Typical.
Jim Sullivan(Monday, August 20 18 01:20 pm EDT)
New article. Long time Washington Street business is closing its doors permanently. For full details go to the News Flashes page.
Richard(Wednesday, August 15 18 11:07 am EDT)
Wow I did not realize that the Council had become filled with so many tax-and-spend liberals! If Claire Lessard and Nick Koloski had been present at the meeting it would have been a different outcome because they both sure love to spend the taxpayer's money with abandon. I am very disappointed with Mayor Charlene Lovett. I voted for her when she went to Concord as she ran on the Republican ticket. Watching her in action as Mayor of Claremont there is no doubt in my mind that she is a true blue Democrat through and through making her a RINO in disguise. She has lied to the public about her political leanings so what else is she lying to the public about? I am also extremely disappointed with Abigail Kier as she was touted as a fiscally conservative candidate. Compared to whom? All Kier ever wants to do is spend money and raise taxes and that is the textbook definition of a liberal Democrat, the very opposite of a fiscal conservative. Mr. McNutt is also a big disappointment as he has not accomplished anything of significant value or even insignificant value for that matter during his time here as Guy Santagate's successor. I disagree with naming a bridge after the former manager because the things they credit him with are politically spun and fictionalized to an extensive degree making it a tall tale instead of fact and the man was simply doing the job we handsomely paid him for and he did a terrible job not worthy of praise. So my theory is if a city manager with terrible job performance lasting about 15 years or more warrants a bridge named after him then when McNutt leaves we should name a sewer manhole after him. Seems about right don't you think?
Jim Sullivan(Wednesday, August 15 18 09:18 am EDT)
Two new articles.
1) August 8 Council meeting synopsis.
2) Propaganda Officer hiring put on hold.
For full details go to the News Flashes page.
Mike(Tuesday, August 07 18 08:34 am EDT)
The Sullivan Report gave amazing suggestions about the direction the city and school government leaders should go to create quite a bit more new revenue without raising taxes and doing these things would eventually lower the tax rate and the tax burden in Claremont. What do our city and school officials recommend? It's always more spending and higher taxation. I say the Sullivan Report has it right and our city and school officials need to wake up and start doing their recommendations.
Jim Sullivan(Monday, August 06 18 12:36 pm EDT)
Two new articles today.
1)Sullivan County property tax rate may drop in 2019.
2)Change the paradigm - Part #2.
For full details go to the News Flashes page.
Richard(Thursday, August 02 18 11:48 am EDT)
Mayor Lovett and the other councilors all seem to agree with the city manager that expanding Claremont's welfare population will somehow bring economic development to Claremont. It is totally insane but they are willing to spend millions of dollars of our tax money to put this crazy plan into action. That alone disqualifies them from being considered capable stewards of our local government.
Kevin(Thursday, August 02 18 11:34 am EDT)
Mayor Lovett certainly is obsessed with political correctness and erecting a phony facade to an unsuspecting outside world of Claremont as a community of great success and economic vitality. a fraud perpetuating a lie and her colleagues on the city council and the school board in concert with city and school top administrators are all willing collaborators. The information administrator or whatever they intend to call this new position will be nothing more than a bureaucratic puppet disseminating false information to an unsuspecting public.
Ted(Thursday, August 02 18 09:34 am EDT)
School and city officials seem obsessed with covering up their mistakes and shortcomings with a new propaganda information officer they want to hire as a shared position. Fixing long-standing problems does not seem to be a priority. Claremont's biggest problem is pathetic leadership.
Michelle(Thursday, August 02 18 08:11 am EDT)
I spoke with Jim Sullivan yesterday at Walmart about the Eileen Flanery story. The postal worker who went above and beyond her normal duties to save an elderly resident from being scammed out of thousands of dollars. I told him it was a change of pace article for his website and he said the reason why they published the story is because Eileen deserved recognition and in his opinion if left up to the Eagle Times, Valley News and the eE- Ticker News it is unlikely anyone ever would've heard this heartwarming story. Jim said that the report is that the three publications generally do not perform any investigative reporting. Basically they report what they see and hear at meetings or use local government press releases as the source for a story or report about a fire or a vehicle accident. This story was something the publications would've had to have had submitted to them even have a chance of being released to the public. I believe Jim is right about that because it has been two days now since the Sullivan Report released the story and the only other place I have seen this story is on the Claremont's mostly uncensored page on Facebook. The Sullivan Report was credited for releasing the story. The local press still has no interest in this marvelous story. Really sad.
Jonathan(Wednesday, August 01 18 05:44 pm EDT)
I have no confidence in the present day school administration. The SAU #6 school board seems to want higher standards as they terminated the previous superintendent but they're hiring of this interim superintendent suggests that they are not willing to hold themselves to the same higher standards. This has me concerned about higher taxes to come.
Chris(Wednesday, August 01 18 12:00 pm EDT)
Helpwanted.com airs radio advertisement about a fictional lackluster employee/manager named Dave. With the phrase, don’t hire a Dave. It seems that here in Claremont’s municipal and school governments the only people that are hired are Dave’s and that is why our community is in the sorry state that it is in today.
Sarah(Wednesday, August 01 18 11:36 am EDT)
Mr. Pfeifer told the press and the public that he was retiring in June but it seems he had a job already lined up when you consider the timing of the research job prior to his taking the superintendent job in November. Somehow the Eagle Times thought he retired in 2014 which makes me think that the board members that hired Mr. Pfeifer also all thought the same thing. If Mr. Pfeifer did omit certain periods of his career you have to wonder why. Does he have things to hide?
Jennifer(Wednesday, August 01 18 10:26 am EDT)
Do not forget that Cory LeClair was an unsuccessful finalist applicant for position of President of the River Valley College and she refused to become the Interim Superintendent. This leads me to believe that she has plans to leave SAU #6 as soon as possible.
Industrial Property Owner(Wednesday, August 01 18 10:05 am EDT)
To put things into perspective I did a little research and calculated a rough estimate on a $2.5 million school bond, 30-year repayment schedule at 2 percent interest. Annual repayment to start, roughly $176,375. Currently that translates to a $.25 property tax rate increase. I am not recommending that we accept the state building aid as no clear plan is in place. The administration is so poorly mismanaging the school district they are presently uncertain of what classes to teach or how to reverse the disturbing trend of declining enrollment. The Claremont School Board bears the brunt of the criticism, as they are far too cavalier about goal setting and requiring minimum standards for the administration and holding the superintendent responsible for any performance shortfalls. Perhaps this is the reason why the former superintendent is now the former superintendent; presumably, we shall never know the real reason for his ouster. It seems the SAU #6 School Board is not off to a good start with their recent hire. I am concerned that they will use the same search committee and process to hire the permanent superintendent and that will place us all out of the frying pan and into the fire so to speak.
Todd(Wednesday, August 01 18 09:12 am EDT)
Maybe Cory LeClair is worried she might be the next to go once the contract for the interim superintendent is signed. $2.5 million is a heck of a lot of money and I do not believe that the Claremont taxpayers can afford that right now. What I am concerned about is the absence of a plan for the technical center and the ignorance of the administrators including that of the business manager in regards to the funding schedule for state aid. This is not a volunteer effort on their part. This is their jobs and they are all being handsomely paid in salary and benefits to do it. No one seems to be held accountable for lackluster work. Low expectations yield lackluster results.
Gail(Wednesday, August 01 18 07:36 am EDT)
One day after the Sullivan Report reveals the SAU #6 version of events about the administrators refusal to accept $6 million of technical center building aid from the state if front-page splash article appears in the Eagle Times written by the editor no less. I sincerely doubt that the Eagle Times showed any initiative of their own and sought after the story. I have a sneaking suspicion that the acting superintendent Cory LeClair instigated this article after she read her damning email to Mr. Sullivan on the Sullivan Report. The article is pretty much a puff piece to do some hasty damage control. LeClair says she has no idea why the SAU #6 board never discussed the matter. Really? You were the assistant superintendent in the prior administration for God sakes! I believe she subtly tried to throw superintendent McGoodwin under the proverbial school bus by implying that he unilaterally made the decision to keep the school board in the dark while she pleads ignorance. Former Claremont school board member Alex Herzog, who leveraged his voting record of strongly supporting the administration in all matters into the technical center director’s job, deemphasized the absence of a plan and blame was subtly thrust upon the former technical center director. LeClair and Herzog tried to frame themselves as inheriting a mess with no plan for the technical center, declining enrollments and no idea as to what classes should be taught within the technical center. LeClair’s plan? Go to the school board on August 15 and ask if they want to pursue state aid funding in the next round of dispersals in a few years. Then formulate a plan of action. LeClair and Herzog also admitted to their ignorance regarding Newport school official’s attempt to disengage from the joint agreement with Claremont in regards to enrollment and facility usage that I believe ties directly into the state funding received by each school district. Neither LeClair nor Herzog appear to be on top of things and this puff piece article in the Eagle Times has all the earmarks of a rush job attempt to perform damage control to save their jobs. On a personal note, just from the perspective of my husband and myself the Sullivan Report articles seemed to be the talk of the town yesterday. I first heard about it at work, Valley Regional Hospital. Employees and patients were speaking about the technical center funding, the interim superintendent and the wonderful thing the Claremont postal worker did to that elderly resident. My husband works out of town he did have breakfast at McDonald’s before starting his commute. He said everyone there was pretty upset about the technical center and suspicious of the new interim superintendent the school board intends to hire. If LeClair or Herzog heard similar comments this may have been the stimulus for the puff piece article in today’s edition of the Eagle Times.
Richard(Wednesday, August 01 18 02:03 am EDT)
The state had a schedule for distributing money to communities, If the SAU #6 administrators in charge were competently doing their duties they would have expected the state's offer and been prepared to either accept or reject the offer after a complete public review with the school board. As it stands there apparently was not a smooth transition of management at the technical center and a clear plan for the facility is not in place. There is only one possible conclusion, the previous administration, which except for the superintendent and the technical center director is still in place, is incompetent. I think it is time to implement the Sullivan Report's recommendation to restructure the management hierarchy and eliminate the superintendent's position entirely. Kick the Unity school district to the curb as I presume that Claremont taxpayers are subsidizing their education expenses and become a stand-alone independent school district. Then Claremont citizens can chart their own destiny as far as federal and state regulators will allow us to do so. I am also skeptical about our new interim superintendent, assuming that a contract will be signed. I used Google and presumably found the same articles that Mr. Sullivan had. Interesting reading. My take, he is a very polished, politically correct administrator, who usually says exactly what people want to hear. I question his sincerity and his loyalty. My reason, he abruptly left Littleton announcing his retirement citing unspecified health concerns. The Eagle Times reported him as retiring after leaving that position. How did the reporter get that information? Since the Eagle Times is well known for not doing any investigation on their own it is safe to assume that information came from the school officials who hired the interim superintendent. He said in the Littleton retirement interview that he would somehow keep a hand in the education field. He took a research job and within a few months leveraged it into a superintendent's position for the school district that he was researching. It seems he had no interest in the research position, a means to an end. He also withheld information regarding his termination at SAU # 17 and the lawsuit he filed against this employer from SAU # 93 school officials. It seems to me that he has no loyalty to anyone but himself. I cannot help but think that our school officials at SAU # 6 did a poor job at investigation of his past beyond a reading his presumably glowing resume assumably written by the applicant and whatever he may have told them during his interview. The Claremont taxpayers may come to regret the unprofessionalism of our school board members.
George(Tuesday, July 31 18 07:59 pm EDT)
I am wondering if the tragic story about the transfer student is legit or a work of fiction. Mr. Pfeifer was boxed into a corner and then he just so happens to have this sad tale of woe to throw out to the public at the perfect time to turn himself into a sympathetic character and presumably dampen the flames of parental anger and discontent. I am suspicious.
Educator(Tuesday, July 31 18 04:15 pm EDT)
You won't be doing anything in regards to Mr. Pfeifer's employment in Claremont.That is unless you want a nice big discrimination lawsuit against Claremont.Mr. Pfeifer will settle,but it won't be for peanuts.
Just because Mr. Pfeifer is generous with the overtime for union that work under him,this site will try to undermine that.Some of us are close to retirement,myself included.Overtime helps quite a bit with final pension determination.Mr. Pfeifer has our support!
Rick(Tuesday, July 31 18 02:55 pm EDT)
Jim and AJ proved the value of a Google search before making any important decisions.
Cheryl(Tuesday, July 31 18 01:56 pm EDT)
Kudos to Eileen Flanery. I never knew your name but I have also known you for many years buying stamps and whatnot from you. I always thought you were a nice lady and I am proud to know you.
Steve(Tuesday, July 31 18 01:16 pm EDT)
I do not know about the rest of you but I do not want to spend another $1.5 million on the schools right now. Let them make do with what they’ve got.
Tom(Tuesday, July 31 18 12:28 pm EDT)
It looks like school officials hired another lemon.
Katherine(Tuesday, July 31 18 11:50 am EDT)
Mr. Pfeifer seems to be a bit of a smooth talker with selective memory loss. What the Keene Sentinel uncovered in regards to Mr. Pfeifer failing to inform the SAU #93 school board about his controversial departure from SAU #17 and the fact that he unsuccessfully sued his former employers does not speak well about his character. I am now concerned as to what this will mean for SAU #6 moving forward.
Industrial Property Owner(Tuesday, July 31 18 10:05 am EDT)
Two excellent exposés in today’s batch of articles.
I agree with the acting Superintendent that a project that comes with a price tag of a $1.5 million taxpayer-funded cash match is nothing to be entered into lightly. However, I do believe administration officials overstepped their authority by not first consulting the duly elected Claremont school board before making any final decision in regards to acceptance or non-acceptance of state funding and the strings that come attached.
I must say Keith Pfeifer is certainly an interesting character. Preceding my retirement, I conducted numerous job searches and hired many people over the years. Job resumes and glowing referrals produced by the job applicant should always be taken with a grain of salt. Finalists should always be carefully scrutinized utilizing independent sources whenever possible. Availing oneself of an Internet search engines such as Google is an excellent tool to find relevant background information about a potential hire, especially a high-priced key-person employee. Interim employees should be scrutinized with the same verve as a permanent hire. In their article, the Sullivan Report raises the following salient point “It is unclear whether the SAU #6 School Board was made aware of Pfeifer’s “health issues”, that he had not actually “retired” in 2014 or the fact that Pfeifer unsuccessfully sued a previous employer!” Since this information should have given at least some of the board members cause for concern I suspect the search committee failed to do even a modicum of due diligence. Since it is a personnel matter, we will never know the truth but it seems reasonably certain that the search committee members relied solely on applicant’s resumes and any other supplemental information attached to said resumes. Considering the fact that Mr. Sullivan found this information within a mere matter of minutes does not speak well of the work ethic of the membership of the search committee and the SAU #6 school board. It is unlikely that the SAU #6 board members would ever publicly admit to making a mistake so they will in all probability stay the course and hire Mr. Pfeifer. Let us all cross our fingers and hope for the best.
The Toyota article is well appreciated, as there are few tangible signs of business growth in our local economy.
The human-interest article was very touching. I have no idea how Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Maranville uncovered this little gem but I am so glad that they did. My wife knows Eileen from her many years of serving the public at the Post Office counter. She says that Eileen has a great love and affection for people in that she is not surprised that Eileen would quietly do something like this to help someone from being swindled. People like Eileen make Claremont such a wonderful place to live.
Rebecca(Tuesday, July 31 18 09:29 am EDT)
A flurry of articles from the Sullivan Report today. Comparative with the offerings from the E – Ticker News, the Valley News and the Eagle Times the Sullivan Report imparted the most informative and interesting news. A welcome change from the whitewashed, politically correct fare that fills the pages of the other publications. Three of the four articles have information that none of the other publications reported. The difference between lazy reporting and professional investigative journalism. This is why the Sullivan Report is my favorite source for local news that matters.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, July 31 18 07:56 am EDT)
Four new articles today!
CLAREMONT SCHOOL OFFICIALS DECLINE STATE FUNDING FOR TECH CENTER – THE REST OF THE STORY!
SAU #6 SCHOOL BOARD HIRES KEITH PFEIFER AS INTERIM SUPERINTENDENT! WE FIND INTERESTING BACKGROUND INFORMATION THE LOCAL PRESS MISSED!
CLAREMONT TOYOTA DEALERSHIP SEEKS TO RELOCATE AND EXPAND!
CLAREMONT NH POSTAL WORKER FOILS SCAM ARTIST!
For full details go to the News Flashes page.
Tony(Monday, July 30 18 02:32 pm EDT)
Fortunately none of the rantings here will come to any real impact. As long as you keep satisfying each others needs here in the fringe blog, the city will continue the path to depopulate the unproductive retires and tax complainers.
Educator(Wednesday, July 25 18 01:37 pm EDT)
I've seen people on this website trying to bring down the unions for years now.Many of the union members of the past have reached retirement and have moved on to greener pastures,without so much as a hick-up in their pension checks.Pension checks that are much higher than your current paychecks I might add.
It just shows how foolish it is to work a non-union job or career.Health insurance and pension checks at 55 rather than your what 67 now?
Sarah(Wednesday, July 25 18 12:13 pm EDT)
We are spending way too much money for local government services in Claremont. The unions control the city and the school district and they are squeezing the taxpayers out of every dime they can. If the ideas expressed in the current Sullivan Report article were put into practice it would be an amazing start in the right direction for our community.
Industrial Property Owner(Wednesday, July 25 18 10:24 am EDT)
Love the paradigm shifting recommendations for the Claremont school district. I did a little online research today. At last count the Claremont school district had 1,793 enrolled students, a $34.9 million budget and taxpayers paid $16,851.84 to educate each student. In a small community with New Hampshire's highest property tax rate and a population with a significantly lower than average median income the status quo is no longer viable. Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Maranville are once again ahead of the curve with their innovative suggestions to reconfigure the Claremont school district's managerial structure and redesign the educational delivery system into something that will produce a superior outcome for the attending students.
David(Wednesday, July 25 18 08:29 am EDT)
The Claremont school board needs to start thinking out-of-the-box like Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Maranville. These suggestions are terrific and I believe it would go a long way to lower our tremendous tax burden and turn the Claremont school district into a model for other school districts to follow. Claremont has an opportunity to be a leader in education we should take advantage of it.
Amanda(Tuesday, July 24 18 07:27 pm EDT)
Claremont does not need a superintendent. That report from the Washington think thank is quite conclusive, superintendents are useless. It is time for a management restructuring and implement the new programs the Sullivan Report suggest to create a better education environment for our children and better outcomes for their future.
Katherine(Tuesday, July 24 18 05:58 pm EDT)
Educator represents everything that is wrong with Claremont. Unionized public employees working for either the school of the city have an extremely inflated sense of entitlement. They have worked the system to take control of the city and school elected bodies and essentially controlled both sides of employee contract negotiations. This resulted as the largest contributing factor to Claremont's dubious honor of having the highest property tax rate in the entire state of New Hampshire. Greed and political manipulation is what drives these union employees to take advantage of the working class citizens of Claremont. They do not care about the elderly or the young families with children who are all struggling to keep their homes because of the constantly increasing property tax burden. I want mine and to hell with you and yours is their motto. It is time for a change and Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Maranville have given us some wonderful options to start the process of taking back our city and school governments from those who would do us financial harm for their own selfish purposes.
Educator(Tuesday, July 24 18 05:40 pm EDT)
Claremont deserves exactly what they pay for.While Manchester and Boston teachers are making 1.5x-2x what Claremont teachers receive,why would you expect more of the teachers?
A Ford Focus doesn't perform like a Lexus.We all know why
The same can be said for nurses of the area.The good one's are outta here! You people need to start making more money in order to pay your employees the going rate.Nurses are looking for a 25% pay raise.Teachers will be looking for the same.Cops and Firemen are next.Just trying to keep up with the Jones's.
Crystal(Tuesday, July 24 18 04:31 pm EDT)
You guys came up with some amazing ideas. My son graduated Stevens High School nine years ago. He had great difficulty with math and my husband and I found the teachers and staff to be of no help whatsoever. Fortunately we had the means to hire a private tutor to give our son the skills to pass his math classes. If it was not for the tutor it would have been a much different story. The children of Claremont deserve better than what they are presently getting for an education. Your suggestions are exactly the type of thinking Claremont needs to set things straight. Thank you for sharing them and I hope the school board will embrace them in the spirit that they were given and do what is best for the children.
Gail(Tuesday, July 24 18 04:25 pm EDT)
I think bestowing more authority on school principals to save tax dollars is an excellent idea. Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Maranville are correct that a superintendent and other top administrators do nothing to enhance the learning experience of students. That is the teacher's job. These excellent ideas should be pursued.
Richard(Tuesday, July 24 18 03:12 pm EDT)
Great suggestions. I used the link to read the Brookings report and the authors make a very solid case that superintendents are irrelevant. They do not add any enhanced value to the education of students so why should the taxpayers waste precious dollars on what amounts to be a useless high-priced bureaucrat. I think the school board should get to work on these recommendations ASAP.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, July 24 18 02:05 pm EDT)
New article. Change the Paradigm – Part # 1! Recommendations to improve the quality of education while reducing the burden for the taxpayers. Full details on the News Flashes page.
Steve(Wednesday, July 18 18 03:59 pm EDT)
Educator’s comments sound self-serving. Expanding municipal and school staffing and building new facilities is simply growth by government expansion, which will be devastating to the taxpayers of our community, many of whom are classified as working poor. Those who have local government jobs tend to be fairly well off in our community but the same cannot be said for everyone else. Mr. McNutt’s plan seems to be import any kind of people we can get whether they be welfare, low income or indigent refugee population. Hell of a plan and the imbeciles on the city council all seem to be throwing their full support to Mr. McNutt and his terrible plan.
Todd(Wednesday, July 18 18 01:53 pm EDT)
While some may be well-meaning most of the city councilors elected over the past decade are there for their own purposes. Either a self-esteem booster, an ego thing or a political agenda that is more than likely not in the best interest of the Claremont taxpayers. The days of well-educated city councilors are long gone, by well-educated I mean very knowledgeable regarding municipal rules, regulations, finances and the true needs of the city. Today the city councilors simply sit there until they are told to vote the way the city administration wants them to vote. Most of the votes are unanimous with only a few councilors willing to give token resistance to anything that is not the best interest of the citizens of Claremont. Nicholas Koloski is a prime example of the type of councilor representative that Claremont does not need.
Educator(Wednesday, July 18 18 01:43 pm EDT)
It appears that Mr. McNutt is trying to grow the population of Claremont,which in turn means jobs.With the relocation of refugees throughout the country this probably means some will be coming to Claremont.We will need to hire teachers and staff in all subjects for new English as a second language students.
We may even have to build additional school facilities and staff offices for administrators.I'm sure fire and police,as well as social services will need larger staffs as well.
These are well paying jobs with great benefits.This is a great growth strategy for Claremont.
Kathy(Wednesday, July 18 18 11:52 am EDT)
I never realized how much it cost to educate Claremont’s school-aged children. Apartment dwellers do not bring in enough tax revenue through their rent to come even close to the price it costs taxpayers to educate their children. I suspect it is a little better with homeowners but I am sure there is still a deficit. Mr. McNutt’s plan to double or even triple the size of Claremont’s population will destroy the finances of Claremont families. As well paid, as Mr. McNutt is I am sure he is well beyond the point of caring because it will not affect his paycheck. Few in this community are as well insulated as he is with extremely large salary and compensation packages. I am very disappointed in Mr. McNutt and with Charlene Lovett, Allen Damren, Scott Pope, Nick Koloski and Abigail Kier where all have been part of the city government for quite some time and they continue to make bad decision after bad decision that are causing huge consequences for the Claremont taxpayers.
Tom(Wednesday, July 18 18 10:49 am EDT)
Face it folks we are screwed. Charlene Lovett and Allen Damren are the Tweedledee and Tweedledum of the City Council with Ryan McNutt performing the duties of the Mad Hatter. Anyone looking at this downtown project with an unbiased rational eye would quickly recognize the deficiencies in the plan so well spelled-out in recent Sullivan Report articles. My point; tax-and-spend lunatics presently run Claremont’s city government.
Jim Sullivan(Wednesday, July 18 18 10:36 am EDT)
Mayor Charlene Lovett emailed thanking me for pointing out which Planning Board Members are in violation of state law disallowing them from serving on other appointed municipal boards and commissions. She stated in her email that they are now working to correct the situation.
Industrial Property Owner(Wednesday, July 18 18 09:40 am EDT)
Excellent exposé. The Sullivan Report continues to be the premier source of local government news. The underlying costs to the community for low-income housing are simply astounding. The Claremont taxpayers cannot afford this misguided attempt at economic development. The unified gung ho attitude of Claremont’s municipal officials both administrative and elected suggests large gaps in their knowledge base regarding the ramifications of their actions or perhaps they are so desperate to accomplish something they do not care what it will do to the taxpayers in years to come. Claremont has always had a leadership problem but it has grown worse in recent years. Something to contemplate for the next election.
William(Wednesday, July 18 18 08:52 am EDT)
Every time city officials recommend a new proposal of any kind, the taxpayers always get the short end of the stick. Of course, city officials will never admit to that instead they concoct a story of how the proposal will greatly benefit Claremont, which is never the truth. This whole Goddard Block project is a Claremont municipal government boondoggle disguised as workforce housing. The Sullivan Report already proved that upon completion of this project anyone qualified to live in the Goddard Block would be dirt poor earning well below the average income for the immediate area. The city manager the mayor and their cohorts are all willing to spend millions of taxpayers’ dollars to fix the downtown infrastructure to accommodate a large influx of welfare residents. This latest Sullivan Report article shows the danger to the taxpayer because the school budget expenses will skyrocket with an influx of many new students and the school district will receive additional zero dollars in new revenue from the buildings where these children will live. If the council gives the Goddard Block owners the maximum number of years for tax relief then it could cost the taxpayers $16 million or more over 13 years just for the Goddard Block. What happens if the owners of three or four more buildings follow their lead and fill up their empty upper floors with welfare families? How many more millions will it cost Claremont taxpayers to fill up the downtown with people who are draining Claremont’s limited resources? This is not economic development folks by any stretch of the imagination.
Jim Sullivan(Wednesday, July 18 18 07:03 am EDT)
New article.July 11 Council meeting synopsis. Proposed tax break for Goddard Block. Full details on the News Flashes page.
intheknow(Wednesday, July 11 18 03:09 pm EDT)
The good jobs are low income/new immigrant related within government.No companies are moving so far north with the highest electricity rates in the whole country.Never mind the heating costs and property taxes,or New Hampshire weather in general.The best you can hope for is jobs within government.
George(Wednesday, July 11 18 02:11 pm EDT)
It's true, our city leaders have all the wrong priorities for Claremont and the taxpayers will be spending millions of dollars we don't to fulfill their mad visions for our city. Adding low income people to Claremont's population is foolhardy to the point of insanity. It makes absolutely no sense but our city leaders seem hell-bent of making their sick dream a reality. The sad thing is there is nothing we can do to stop them until another round of elections comes around. Who knows what madness they will inflict on us until then?
Joel(Wednesday, July 11 18 11:10 am EDT)
If the agenda to the Council meeting tonight is any indication it suggests that Mr. McNutt and the city council are about to give the owner of the Goddard block a nice big tax break as a reward for bringing in more welfare housing to Claremont. Our city leaders are insane.
Jennifer(Wednesday, July 11 18 10:47 am EDT)
What I don't like are all the closed-door meetings. Charlene Lovett and Allen Damren want to have them all the time as if they have things to hide. It just doesn't make me want to trust either of them. As far as Mr. McNutt goes I think he is an incompetent boob that convinced the city councilors that he had a little talent and that he would be a good little boy and do exactly what the city councilors tell him to do. I believe Charlene and Allen are the real ones calling the shots and Claremont is going to be in big trouble because the voters elected too power-hungry citizens without a clue as to how to lead to be in charge.
Jerry(Wednesday, July 11 18 08:46 am EDT)
McNutt was the Council second choice after the other man changed his mind about taking the position. The only the accomplishment he has done is evict everyone from the Goddard building for safety reasons that set the stage for welfare housing and a $5 million Claremont taxpayer funded project to bring in even more welfare housing. Then McNutt does the exact opposite by ignoring several health hazards at the Topstone building where Councilor Koloski has all of his businesses. Not good.
Rachel(Wednesday, July 11 18 08:30 am EDT)
Does anyone think that Ryan McNutt is a good city manager? At the meetings he just sits there like a bump on the log rarely engaging in conversation. When he does talk they are brief and very vague statements because I think he doesn't know what he's talking about most of the time and he doesn't want people to figure out that he doesn't know what he is doing. Mayor Lovett and Assistant Mayor Damren are only interested in creating the impression that Claremont is on the move in the right direction. They focus on frills like the train station, the bus service and the farmers market that the taxpayers are all now supporting. They and their cohorts on the city council keep withdrawing more and more money from the city's cash reserves to prop up the budget spending and soon all that money will dry up in the tax rate will rise at a rate no one's ever seen before because the city manager and the city councilors are out of control. Now they want to spend over $5 million of our tax money on a dying downtown to put in welfare housing and maybe a few new businesses downtown that will pay minimum wage jobs. Again creating the illusion of success when there really is a many to be had. Enough Is Enough!
knowbody(Wednesday, July 11 18 08:18 am EDT)
What you fail to realize is the value of that 7.5 acres of rich farmland can be assessed for a lot more rich tax revenue for the highwayman.
Wait 'til the farmer gets his tax bill.