Jim, this situation reminds me of the time you accused the county of having a $3 million hole in our budget from surplus ProShare we received from nursing home operations.
You were wrong then and you are wrong now.
I don't actually know because I've never done it, but I suspect it would be hard to stash $13 million. Where is it Jim? It doesn't appear in our audit our in our financial statements. So where did it go? Your fascination with DRA forms notwithstanding, at some point, if your allegations are true, that money has be to somewhere, doesn't it? So where is it?
The County has nothing to hide. I have nothing to hide. A couple of years ago I made multiple offers to you to sit down over a cup of coffee and answer any questions you had about how the county manages its finances. You declined.
So I'll make the same offer to anybody on this site who thinks the county is up to no good. If you honestly think your county government officials are ripping our taxpayers off to the tune of $13 million over a 3-year period, then you should be really angry. Angry enough to find out the truth for yourself and not trust the analysis of a person who has made similar false (and sensational) claims in the past that have also proven to be 100% wrong.
Jim, are you still "investigating" the $3 million hole in our revenue budget from ProShare a couple of years ago? How did we ever survive a $3 million hole in our budget? Or maybe there never was one.
Anyway, I will be more than happy to talk on the phone or sit down over coffee with you or anybody else who wants to know how these DRA forms work and what RSA 24:21-a means and the limitations of the DRA web portal. You can call DRA directly and speak to the Municipal Bureau Supervisor, Bruce Kneuer. He'll talk to you about the MS-46 and MS-42.
I will explain how we enter data into DRA's web portal, when our access gets locked out, and how we have to work with DRA to make any changes caused by supplemental appropriations. I'll also explain what RSA 24:21-a is all about and how we try and meet that requirement with the existing MS-46 form. I'll explain the timeline of Jim's first emails which led us to realize there were indeed some errors on the forms and how we worked with DRA to fix them.
Please feel free to call me at 863-2560 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sullivan County Manager
laura(Sunday, June 13 21 04:46 pm EDT)
Changing documents and suddenly finding new documents to try to explain Jim’s first article away was a very pathetic move that certainly suggests that a cover-up is underway. Today’s bombshell may send shockwaves throughout the county government. It should, as many seem responsible for this heinous overreach by elected officials and the county manager to overtax the public. It is reprehensible and unforgivable.
Ben(Sunday, June 13 21 03:34 pm EDT)
Today’s article makes me think of another old Kenny Rogers song that is very appropriate. Coward of the County. It seems here the Cowards of the County are the delegates, who are letting the County Commissioners and the County Manager gamble away the futures of all Sullivan County citizens with this tax-and-spend scheme that grossly over taxes the public. I think this is the result of a lot of collusion amongst many county government leaders. It looks like it is time for the voters to clean house and bring back some semblance of honesty and decency to our county government, which is definitely not there today.
Don(Sunday, June 13 21 01:08 pm EDT)
This whole thing stinks to high heaven. It looks like there is a lot of rot in Sullivan County’s government that needs to be excised. The County Manager would be a good place to start.
Rick(Sunday, June 13 21 11:58 am EDT)
Derek Ferland is actively using deflection techniques to avoid being blamed for this scandal. The DRA’s fillable forms and Jim Sullivan’s intellect are not the problem. Derek Ferland, his subordinates and his elected leader cohorts are the problem. The citizens of Sullivan County need to wake up and see what is going on and maybe because of Jim Sullivan’s efforts they may.
Gail(Sunday, June 13 21 11:01 am EDT)
Mr. Sullivan's articles both this week and last week paints a very disturbing picture. It seems pretty clear to me that Mr. Ferland needs to go as he seems to be the mastermind behind this despicable scheme to squeeze more taxes out of all of us than what the county really needs to function. Maybe some if not most of the elected officials need to join him out the door. People have been financially struggling in this area for years but now especially with the Covid virus that practically shut the world down for over the past year. What do our elected representatives decide to do, these heartless people tax us even more so they can have a slush fund of money to play with. Our money. I am furious about this.
Tom(Sunday, June 13 21 10:42 am EDT)
Well played Jim. You suckered though shady government officials real good. You even got some high-ranking county official to sneak into the county offices and secretly change a county document to try to cover their asses with both hands. I'm wondering if that's a crime. If not it should be. Now you drop the bomb today with the audit report stuff that proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that the county leaders have been overtaxing all of us for years and now even more so with Mr. Ferland at the helm. What a bunch of creeps and I am really disappointed with Joe Osgood for misleading all of us by writing on the forum here that you were completely way off base and just plain wrong, reckless and irresponsible because the overtaxing of all of us in Sullivan County never happened and guess what it really did happen and you damn well proved it. Either Joe knew and tried to hide it to protect himself and his colleagues in the county government or he did not know and he should have since is being well-paid to be a County Commissioner. Great job standing up for all of us citizens in Sullivan County. You are doing more for all of us than all of these elected bozos combined.
John J.O’Connor(Sunday, June 13 21 08:27 am EDT)
Jim, Great in-depth article.
Another base hit up the middle!
Jim Sullivan(Sunday, June 13 21 07:58 am EDT)
New article published today.
Sullivan County's secret policy of over-taxation – the rest of the story!
Or as I like to call it, the dropping of the other shoe.
This article is published on the News Flashes page of this website.
John J O’Connor(Thursday, June 10 21 01:50 pm EDT)
Tony… great question… and the truthful answer is… I don’t know.
I don’t know how many Jim’s articles influenced city hall decisions.
I think it’s safe to say at times he posts thought provoking articles that make people ask questions, do these questions lead to career changes?
Look at the past.
Claremont has gone through a couple of DPW Directors during this sites time, a couple of City Managers. Did Jim’s extensive the investigations and articles lead to them leaving ?… you would have to ask them.
Again 3/10 is in the Hall of Fame.
John J.O’Connor(Thursday, June 10 21 01:40 pm EDT)
Kip… I don’t dislike you, I don’t know you. It would be ignorant of me to dislike someone without knowing them.
Brian, typed words can be misleading but I can assure you I have never threatened anyone, used obscene language or did anything a reasonable person could ever perceive as being intimating or bullying, but I’m m not responsible for what you understand.
The wager was about the level of tolerance Kips site has but I do appreciate his honesty.
I’m certain I am on an island in regards to censorship, I don’t get offended so I’m amazed when others are.
Again Kip, thank you.
tony(Thursday, June 10 21 01:03 pm EDT)
John, you raised the batting average comparison. I have been in and out of this forum for years, Can you name how many of Jim's crazy stories has lead to a firing, reprimand or serious change in a city policy? He has misinterpreted accounting documents several times claiming fraud but it's never panned out. Still waiting on Jim to get it right. Name the times his accusations have been proven? We will wait.
tony(Thursday, June 10 21 10:14 am EDT)
Wow, John, Wagering on yourself being an obnoxious crude bully and winning is something to be proud of. Not just any wind bag could pull that off.
Kipp(Thursday, June 10 21 09:49 am EDT)
You're welcome, Jon! Honestly not sure how you wound up back in the group anyway..an oversight I am sure. Your previous behavior (after several requests to shut up) was a prime example of what I do not tolerate on the page, and I nipped you in the bud before it was surely going to go south. You don't like me, and the feeling is mutual...so how about we move on with our lives and not worry about one another. Enjoy your "winnings"...perhaps another gold chain in your future!
Brian(Thursday, June 10 21 08:18 am EDT)
Everything that comes out of your mouth has some condescending tone, double meaning or is offensive. Your history of online bullying proceeds you tough guy so did you really win?
John J O’Connor(Wednesday, June 09 21 09:00 pm EDT)
I’d like to give a huge thank you to Kip Ryan.
I made a bet with someone who said you were extremely open minded and would never block someone from your “What’s up Claremont “ site, unless they were threatening, obscene or being a bully.
So I set out to win my bet by posting something on his site that was not obscene, threatening or could possibly be perceived as bullying.
I submitted a post about how censorship is cowardly and true to form, I was blocked.
So Kip, thank you for blocking me… it was a sizable wager.
Chicken little(Wednesday, June 09 21 02:20 pm EDT)
William, I completely agree, wait and see .
This isn’t the first time Mr.Sullivan has proclaimed that the sky was falling and last time I looked, the sky was still in the same place.
William(Wednesday, June 09 21 07:15 am EDT)
I think some of you are jumping to conclusions too early about nothing being wrong with the County's financial reporting discrepancies. I think Mr. Sullivan showed more than enough documented information to prove that further investigation is necessary. Apparently he is doing precisely that and Mr. Ferland is being an obstructionist by dragging out the process. Mr. Osgood seems to be trying to cover his own backside because although he is a new County Commissioner he still must have been involved in some way with this year's documents that Mr. Sullivan found discrepancies on that apparently started his investigation. Mr. Osgood seems to disagree with Mr. Sullivan's approach of trusting documents over the words of public officials who may have something to hide. Mr. Sullivan's professional approach is exactly what makes this website such a useful free public service to everyone who wishes to avail themselves of it. I think we should all step back and take a breath and adopt a wait-and-see approach until Mr. Sullivan finishes his investigation. He already stated on this public forum that he would admit he was wrong if and when he obtains proof that it actually happened. He wrote that he has not received any documentation yet that shows that any errors were made. If County administrators made errors on the documents or did not place on the County website revised documents then how is that Mr. Sullivan's fault? It also seems very suspicious to me that when questions are asked new evidence is suddenly found that may exonerate County administrators and elected officials. It seems a little too convenient to me but I will still reserve judgment until Mr. Sullivan's investigation is over any reports what he found on the Sullivan Report.
John J.O’Connor(Tuesday, June 08 21 09:06 pm EDT)
Thank you for looking into this, being a former State Representative, I am aware that the county budget goes through multiple levels of scrutiny. If what Jimmy is alleging is true, it would have been detected immediately.
Don’t judge Jimmy by this. A pro baseball player would be considered a superstar if he gets a hit 3 times in every 10 at bats.
Jimmy does better than that on this site.
Paul(Tuesday, June 08 21 07:10 pm EDT)
Oh here come the libtard comments. Oh the mean keyboard warrior hurt my feelings and can't debate with fact so uses ridiculous lables to show dominance. Get real.
To Joe Osgood. Really bro? Now you have to question what Jim writes but never did before? Well, thats just foolery and makes me question your judgement.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, June 08 21 01:39 pm EDT)
Joe Osgood got some things wrong in his last posting. I have no grudge with County Officials. I reported exactly what County Officials stated on those DRA documents. So far I have not received any information that proves anythng I stated in my article is wrong. If that happens then I will happily admit that I was wrong as I have done a few times in the past. I have no desire for a sit down meeting because I want documented information as that sets a higher standard. I am drilling down for more information, just not in the way that Mr. Osgood wants me to with a sit down meeting. I requested a copy of the new documents with the revised FY 2020 budget numbers that the County Manager alluded to in his recent email addressed to me. I just received a link from Mr. Ferland to fill out a right to know request, which will take more time for me to receive the information, I will do so but if the County Manager wants to drag this out then it is on him. I'm patient, I can wait.
Liberals never stop joey(Tuesday, June 08 21 01:30 pm EDT)
Joey is a libtard you can tell " get back home to serve the people " just another idiot in there mommy's basement deservent loser
Joe Osgood(Tuesday, June 08 21 11:08 am EDT)
Joey from Joe
Let’s start with this: Does anybody really think the county could overtax the county by $13 million and not have it noticed? That is ridiculous. The county is audited every single year. It would have been flagged. But it wasn’t flagged because it didn’t happen. If Jim spent any time thinking about this he would have realized how ridiculous that was. Shame on him for rushing to publish this article just because he has a grudge against county officials for what reason I don’t know.
In the past I have generally had great confidence in Jim’s reporting because he has always put up thorough documentation and usually he admits when he has made a mistake. That said I have never been in the know of what he has been reporting. Jim has been right on in many instances and proven wrong In some. He prides himself in being an investigative reporter.
Till yesterday I took him at his word. But when I found out he missed the boat when investigating this county subject and I advise him to drill down further to connect his financial claim he refused. A simple inquiry to the manager would have saved much drama. This is an attempt to give the County Manager, County Commissioners and the County Delegation a black eye. And Joey by the way this is not a time frame involving my position. Jim has always mentioned his admiration of Perry Mason being his idol because he gathers all of the facts. Well his numbers did not add up and when offered the facts he wanted to be spoon fed them. Investigators investigate. They don’t sit back and expect information to be dropped in their lap. The County Manager has offered clarity that seem to have fallen on deaf ears.
I have gotten more than enough information while on a weeks vacation to be satisfied that the county has not in any way been ripped off. I also attended a two hour biweekly meeting zoom yesterday that will be available on line. To be honest with you I’m am a bit saddened that I will now have to question what Jim posts from now on. Mistakes are made. Own them when you make them. The bottom line, the money is where it is supposed to be.
I would encourage anybody on this forum to call 477-9744 or email email@example.com me directly to find out more. Or contact the county manager directly and get information for yourself and make up your own mind about what is going on. Thank you John for your vote of confidence I really appreciate that. I pride myself in being honest and a straight shooter for the people of this county.
John J.O’Connor(Tuesday, June 08 21 08:47 am EDT)
I have complete faith in Joe Osgood. Joe is honest, truthful, old school gentleman, who’s word is his bond.
If he says he will do an in-depth look into, you can take that to the bank because it will be accomplished.
Thank you Joe and enjoy your much deserved vacation.
Joey(Tuesday, June 08 21 08:28 am EDT)
The irony of Joe Osgood having issue with a website he praises only when it goes after something he is looped in on. Have seen several issues Joe raises online and in the public that are not factual and are easily researched. Where are you Joe? Spending more time out of the area? As a County Commissioner I hope you hurry back to serve the people.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, June 08 21 07:32 am EDT)
Joe, I did read the County Manager’s disturbing email where he states that County Officials made many errors when filling out the forms submitted to the NH DRA, (presumably for multiple years since Mr. Ferland assumed the position of County Manager). The County Manager tried to downplay all of these supposed errors by calling them oversights. He also stated that in regards to FY 2020, (apparently because I showed the vast differences between the Delegation approved and Final budget numbers within my article), there is a another document with an entirely different set of budget numbers that was submitted to the NH DRA but never published on the Sullivan County website. The County Manager attributes that as another “oversight”. I have submitted a request for a copy of this newly surfaced document. I intend to publish the County Manager’s email once I receive this previously unknown document and have had a chance to analyze it. This still does not explain the large differences regarding FY 2018 & 2019. Perhaps new documents will now surface with completely revised budget numbers for those years as well.
Joe Osgood(Monday, June 07 21 09:48 pm EDT)
Jim I just read the email the manager sent you and cc me. It appears that there is a few pieces of documents you are missing and some normal and regular events that took place that line up the dots. As I said before I am out of town but I will finish up my follow up when I get back into town.
Dennis(Monday, June 07 21 01:23 pm EDT)
This is very simple. Our elected leaders of Sullivan County colluded with paid administrators to greatly exaggerate expenses by $27,679,394 in only three years to create a large surplus to maintain their tax-and-spend policies and keep some money in the cash reserve for future spending. These deceptive practices prove that none of them is worthy to be in the positions they currently hold. Their actions have violated the trust of citizens in Sullivan County.
Jim Sullivan(Monday, June 07 21 12:15 pm EDT)
Joe, with all due respect, reading your statement you seem to have prejudged this issue by arriving at the conclusion that the County is right and I am wrong before you have fully looked into the matter. I know that you are a new County Commissioner and I hope that you will look at this with an open, unbiased mind. I do not see in Mr. Ferland’s reply, (which I published as a matter of full transparency), an offer to sit down to any meeting and I would not be interested in that anyway. I am requesting a reply in writing so that I can publish it on my website again as a matter of full transparency so everyone will see the County’s response to these concerns. If the numbers stated on the MS 46 documents are correct as you say, then everything that I wrote about in my article is correct and County Officials generated $13,055,454 in budget surpluses (over-taxation) in regards to Fiscal Years 2018, 2019 & 2020 and budget padding for those three fiscal years total $27,679,394. That is not idle speculation those are hard cold facts, as that is precisely what is stated on those MS-46 documents that County Officials submitted to the NH DRA. I simply created tables that compared two sets of budget numbers for each of those years (originally approved versus closed out final numbers) and did the math to calculate the differences. The results were so stunning that I decided to publish what I found so far to let the unsuspecting citizens of Sullivan County know what I had found. However, I also made it clear that a further inquiry had been made and that I was sending a copy of my article to the entire Sullivan County Delegation and to the County Commissioners, once again for complete public transparency. Apparently, you think I jumped the gun and you are certainly entitled to your opinion, which is one that I respectfully disagree with. If County Officials have a good explanation for this then I look forward to seeing it in writing. Anything you can do to facilitate that would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Joe Osgood(Monday, June 07 21 11:12 am EDT)
Jim, I read with great interest your post about the Sullivan County. I have done some research on the MS 45, 46, and 45 forms. As the investigative reporter that you claim to be. In your report you post a copy of an email from the county manager. He clearly offers to sit down and explain where you may have gone wrong. Any investigative person would have taken him up on that. If you report on something and don’t go after all of the facts that are offered to you how can you give a complete analysis of what happened. Currently you are only throwing out opinions without facts. I am going to look into this further but I am out of town and it might take a couple days. Obviously you are reporting on some thing that is before my time as Commissioner. I do have some knowledge of it as a state rep. I would suggest that you do take up the offer that the county manager gave you. I would be glad to sit in on that meeting. Thanks Joe Osgood.
PS. Jim I assure you I am looking into this and I truly believe that in the end the finance end of this will be accurate on the county’s end. I am finding a cumbersome paper trail between the county and the DRA has created your concern and I see changes coming.
Gail(Monday, June 07 21 09:18 am EDT)
I am not sure the County Commissioners know what the heck they are doing. I do not understand how they could miss a $2 million difference between what was reported one year and the next on these documents going to the DRA. These are supposed to be finished numbers that should not be changed by yet they were. I would like to know who changed them. The County Manager? The County Commissioners? Or some other people?
Sarah(Monday, June 07 21 08:19 am EDT)
It looks as if the county commissioners are filling out documents with false information and sending that information to the NH Department of Revenue Administration. Would the state attorney general consider that a crime?
Joel(Sunday, June 06 21 10:19 pm EDT)
Our county representatives are not doing their jobs representing us. They need to stop listening to the manager and start thinking for themselves and start doing what is right for the citizens. If the budget is overestimated by a third then cut the budget a third and tell the county department directors to live within their means like all of us do.
Erik(Sunday, June 06 21 04:06 pm EDT)
What are our elected leaders doing at the county level? Don't they realize how hard a time everyone is having getting by without them surreptitiously taxing us more than what they need to operate the county government just so they can stockpile a war chest of money for future spending schemes. I am thoroughly disgusted with all of them.
William(Sunday, June 06 21 02:03 pm EDT)
My mind is still reeling from the shocking Sullivan Report exposure of the sleazy business practices of government officials of Sullivan County. I have read the article twice and I think it all boils down to a few key points. For at least three years FY 2018, FY 2019 and FY 2020 the brazen expenditure budgets were inflated to the highest degree with a grand total of over-estimation coming close to $28 million, with $10.7 million of that budget inflation occurring in FY 2020 alone. Over-taxation surpassing $13 million during those three fiscal years. All occurrences transpired since Mr. Ferland became the Sullivan County Manager. It is unthinkable that the County Manager and his subordinates who manage each government department with budgets that executed those over-estimations during budget preparation to facilitate those enormous budgetary surpluses all had no idea what they were doing subsequent years in a row. I agree with Mr. Sullivan that it is likely that the FY 2021 budget and the budget for FY 2022 have similar sizable over-estimations for the express purpose of budgetary surplus creation. County Commissioners and members of the Delegation also bear considerable responsibility, as it is their job to scrutinize each budget before its passage and in hindsight to assess how the fiscal year went after the budgets are closed out at the fiscal years’ end. Our elected officials have quite miserably failed every Sullivan County resident. As a taxpayer, I am outraged.
Jim Sullivan(Sunday, June 06 21 11:36 am EDT)
Did Sullivan County Officials exceedingly over-tax Sullivan County Taxpayers by $13,054,454 in only three years time and is this over-taxation still continuing?
Article appears on the News Flashes page of this website.
adam(Thursday, June 03 21 09:34 am EDT)
Merit Plan Vote was 100% for union. Better put a few more dollars in the budget.
Bob(Wednesday, June 02 21 11:05 am EDT)
Mostly uncensored get poked, or what ?
Was surprised to see a Claremont controversial topic post, posted yesterday.
Wayne McElreavy(Wednesday, June 02 21 10:08 am EDT)
Cerberus. Interesting. The same company that purchased the HB Group, which included the former Holson Company on Twistback Road, and promptly shut it down.
The Shadow(Wednesday, June 02 21 09:24 am EDT)
The story of Cerberus-
Paul(Wednesday, June 02 21 08:40 am EDT)
Donk mow your lawn, fix that trash heap yard and stop worrying about things you can't comprehend. Maybe some reading comprehension classes. Just because you are a Johnson doesn't mean you need to stockpile dilapidated property by the way.
Jim Sullivan(Wednesday, June 02 21 06:49 am EDT)
Majority stake of Red River Technology sold to Cerebus Capital Management LP.
Press Release published on the News Flashes page of this website.
Donk(Tuesday, June 01 21 12:35 pm EDT)
I wonder how long it will take Koloski to apply for and receive these micro loans being awarded to small business.He seems to always be there with his hand out.
After the rain the curve on Sugar River Dr. is getting bad again.I'd say it's a Band-Aid on a Bullet wound.
Jim Sullivan(Monday, May 31 21 03:50 pm EDT)
Two new articles published today.
1) May 26 Council meeting synopsis.
2) What is the Morris Administration trying to hide?
Both articles are published on the News Flashes page of this website.
Dave(Wednesday, May 26 21 08:08 am EDT)
I like the idea of privatizing city services to give the taxpayers a break on their property tax burden. Why is it that Sullivan is the only one looking out for us when he is not even on the city council anymore?
Todd(Wednesday, May 26 21 06:55 am EDT)
Does it surprise you that Morris found a way to pervert the board of assessors, as if he has perverted everything else in the city government. The worst thing about this is the city councilors are allowing him to do it.
Gail(Wednesday, May 26 21 05:32 am EDT)
It looks like the board of assessors are nothing more than flunkies for the administration when they are supposed to be representing the general public.
Matt(Tuesday, May 25 21 08:12 am EDT)
I do not think that $970,000 surplus that Mary Walter was talking about really exists at all. The councilors must be really stupid, naive, or both.
Squeaky Wheel(Tuesday, May 25 21 07:20 am EDT)
At Dennis! Donk got his potholes filled. Someone in his house must work for the city. 😁
Travis(Tuesday, May 25 21 05:26 am EDT)
What is the fascination Morris has with red trucks? I know he used to be a firefighter but seriously is time for him to grow up. All he seems to want to do is buy more red vehicles, give big raises to all the city employees, and stick it to the taxpayers as much as he can. The councilors seem okay with that at least most of them.
Dennis(Monday, May 24 21 05:19 pm EDT)
No extra paving money but Morris and Damren get their neighborhoods get the best paving of the year and the rest of us get nothing. This is typical behavior from Claremont’s political machine.
Sarah(Monday, May 24 21 04:32 pm EDT)
The unassigned fund balance is broke and Morris and Walter are using common core styled math to make it look like there is more money in the cash reserve account than there really is in it.
Kathy(Monday, May 24 21 02:58 pm EDT)
The Council should hold off spending any of that American Rescue Plan money until they know how they can spend it without incurring a penalty of having to repay the money. Right now, that money should be removed from the budget.
Bill(Monday, May 24 21 08:34 am EDT)
I heard from a very reliable city hall employee, the reason Mary is leaving is because of this current budget.
Mary has had several loud arguments with the City Manager
about his accounting, she has told him what he is doing is not acceptable accounting practices.
Greg(Monday, May 24 21 07:43 am EDT)
Mr. Morris’s budget is a hodgepodge of accounting tricks to make the numbers come out where the Council wanted them to but they are not based in reality at all. I think Jim is right and there will be many budget deficits next year if the councilors do not fix this now. I just have grave doubts that the councilors will be willing to accept this challenge let alone follow through and make the tough decisions these challenges will require.
Patricia(Monday, May 24 21 06:39 am EDT)
Jim your ideas about cheaper electric rates would be terrific for Claremont if the city could make that happen. These are ideas that should be coming from the city manager and planning and development director but neither of them have the intelligence of the ambition to do something like this. The same goes for the city councilors. We definitely have the wrong people managing city affairs.
Richard(Monday, May 24 21 06:22 am EDT)
The Claremont city council is pitiful. Every time they are faced with a decision no matter how trivial they kick the can down the road to avoid making a decision. How many meetings has it been for the ATV problem? A whole bunch and still no decision. These councilors are wannabe leaders without the skill set just like the city manager they hired. I agree with William that the councilors will vote approval of the city managers budget lickety-split to avoid conflict and dealing with all the problems looming in the near future. Allen Damren announced earlier this year that he would not be seeking another councilor term. He is already planning his escape just like Mary Walter. Rumors are swirling around Claremont that Charlene Lovett will also step down in December when her term expires. It would not surprise me and she is not a leader but a follower of the administration and nothing more. The city finances are a wicked mess and our elected city leaders are not lifting a finger to do anything about it. That is the reality of this tragic situation. I believe it will get far worse before it gets any better because it will take new leaders to try to begin turning this around.
William(Sunday, May 23 21 04:40 pm EDT)
Jim, thank you for giving the councilors ideas on how to improve the city budget. The city manager they hired is a real piece or work and he is inexperienced, out of his league and very foolhardy with the public dollar. I just have no illusions about this city council. The most of them are puppets of the city administration and incapable of independent thought. I see a fast vote of passing the manager's budget without much fanfare. I also am hearing through the grapevine that many of them are not considering running for reelection in the fall. They realize the dire straits the city is in financially, a point that you forcibly drove home to everyone today. They have no desire to be on the council when it all hits the fan very shortly. This is a no guts city council.
Jim Sullivan(Sunday, May 23 21 01:26 pm EDT)
Two new articles published today.
1) A look at the budget.
2) My recommendations to the City Council regarding the Proposed Fiscal Year 2022 Municipal Budget.
Both are published on the News Flashes page of this website.
Donk(Tuesday, May 18 21 03:34 pm EDT)
That corner needs dug up to the dirt and started over or the $38 in grave and $338 in labor will be washed out in a week.
Why the fuck these asswipes do the job that is supposed to be their profession.I got enpough talent and know on my street that we probably could do the job over a weekend.
Todd(Monday, May 17 21 09:09 pm EDT)
Yeah, you get a token's worth of gravel while City Manager Morris and Assistant Mayor Damren get an all newly paved neighborhood. This is fair? If we are not going to get services anymore does this mean we do not have to pay our property tax bills anymore?
To Donk(Monday, May 17 21 08:04 pm EDT)
Donk - We got $38 worth of gravel on the corner today!!! Yea!!
Gary(Monday, May 17 21 05:58 pm EDT)
It looks like the city's financial books are a red hot mess and city leaders are trying to hide the truth from the public. If it wasn't for the Sullivan Report the public would be in the dark about all of it. Our city councilors were elected to represent us the people but they seem to represent the city administrators and city employees and other special interests instead. Except for the Sullivan Report it doesn't seem like anyone is looking out for us.
Michael Demars(Monday, May 17 21 02:17 pm EDT)
I have a much newer headshot photo if you would like it :)
Donk(Monday, May 17 21 10:51 am EDT)
I think Mary is worried about the pensions and the funding.Don't worry Mary, the pensions are insured.Thousands of truckers are now collecting those insurance payments, in lieu of their pensions.I believe they are receiving around 20 cents on the dollar of what they were supposed to receive.So budget frugally Mary, budget frugally.
Jim Sullivan(Monday, May 17 21 08:11 am EDT)
May 12, 2021 Claremont City Council meeting synopsis.
Article appears on the News Flashes page of this website.
Laura(Friday, May 14 21 06:20 am EDT)
Morris is getting away what all this stuff because stupid and incompetent people are drawn to the council seats like a moth to a flame. They are not exactly a bunch of road scholars.
John J O’Connor(Wednesday, May 12 21 09:24 am EDT)
Hopefully, this will all be addressed at tonight’s Council meeting.
If the City Manager did what is alleged, he must be fired IMMEDIATELY.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, May 11 21 04:54 pm EDT)
That is true, however it is stated as estimated because it is subject to the setting of the property tax rate, which is not done until November by the DRA based on the new property valuation for Claremont, which changes every year. Whereas the City of Claremont Municipal Budget is approved the prior June. In 2020, Claremont's property valuation increased which should have decreased the estimated property tax rate, instead the property tax rate increased by $.28 more than what it should have been with the property valuation increase up to the exact dollar amount to the penny that the City of Claremont originally "estimated". What are the odds of that? This doesn't pass the smell test.
Buddy Horn(Tuesday, May 11 21 04:09 pm EDT)
Not to be snarky, but I would like to point out that in your article on the tax rate the city budget documents you copied clearly labeled the tax rate as "Estimated".
Ship Show(Tuesday, May 11 21 12:50 pm EDT)
Could it be that no other bidders want to have their name on a job that is going to cause a traffic problem. This design is ridiculous. Truckers already have trouble navigating the routes through the city. One way traffic on Pleasant Street will go down as one of the biggest bloopers Claremont ever made.
Joanne(Tuesday, May 11 21 11:44 am EDT)
I’m wondering if Morris will negotiate a deal with this sole bidder of the Pleasant Street project to do less of a job than advertised to keep more money in the city’s coffers for Morris to use however he wants?
Peter(Tuesday, May 11 21 10:41 am EDT)
Just for the record 2000 gallons of water is 16,660 lbs. But I do agree with you. Can you imagine how much damage that will do if it slams into a small car at an intersection?
Henry(Tuesday, May 11 21 10:41 am EDT)
I am wondering about the parking situation for downtown. Half of the parking slots on Pleasant Street will be removed and as we can see, the so-called new parking spots are mostly fictitious. The councilors should be demanding to see the parking plan, but that would take effort and a little practicality on their part.
Over Weight(Tuesday, May 11 21 10:32 am EDT)
I still want to know how a hiring committee can recommend a manager after many hours of work and present their findings to the council and twenty minuets later they hire the WRONG one. This disaster is not on the hiring committee. In a city full of fire hydrants we don’t need a front line fire truck carrying 12,000lbs of water on every call. That’s what tankers are for.
Donk(Monday, May 10 21 11:05 am EDT)
GET RID OF 'EM
Colby(Monday, May 10 21 08:18 am EDT)
I’m not a lawyer, but I have stayed at a few Holiday Inn’s in my lifetime,,,,, this is a crime.
Tony(Sunday, May 09 21 03:21 pm EDT)
I’m furious about this hidden property tax. I’m also furious with the city councilors who let this happen. I have no idea who they are representing but they sure as heck are not representing me or my family and I doubt they are representing you and your family either.
Jim Sullivan(Sunday, May 09 21 01:02 pm EDT)
In reality, all a clean audit means is that the roughly forty or so transactions that the Auditors checked (along with a few other things) were all done correctly. In other words, the right dollar amounts were put into the right places within the City’s Financial Records for those forty or so transactions that the auditors checked. Forty or so transactions is an extremely small percentile of all the many transactions that the City of Claremont conducts in the course of one fiscal year. If anything what is conducted every year is more of a spot audit and bears no resemblance to an in-depth forensic audit.
Needs Audit(Sunday, May 09 21 11:17 am EDT)
This can’t be!!! We pay a professional audit team to audit our books annually. Anyone want to listen to Jon Stone now. We NEED a forensic audit. NOW
Gail(Sunday, May 09 21 11:04 am EDT)
When I read the long list of insubordinate offenses that Mr. Morris and his employees have committed over the past several months it just drives home the point of how useless and pathetic our current lineup of city councilors are. If Claremont is to survive this financial crisis and prosper in the future then we need new leadership starting with new city councilors and a new city manager. The ones we have now are just not cutting it.
Ray(Sunday, May 09 21 10:29 am EDT)
How much did Walmart or New England Family Housing tax liabilities increase?
Want to help the local business and residents, start by putting a special tax on corporations like those.
Mike(Sunday, May 09 21 09:41 am EDT)
This is just another example of how weak our city councilors are and why we need to elect new representation in November. Jim Sullivan says the budget and the city’s finances are worse than he thought they would be. That has got me very worried because I’ve known Jim for a lot of years and he is not one prone to exaggeration. We know he has the budget and other documents he’s gathered over the years. I know he cross-references those documents when he researches his articles. That is why so many people like reading the Sullivan Report because it is true investigative journalism about Claremont. If Jim’s worried then all of us should be worried too. I guess we’ll all find out on May 23rd just how bad things really are.
Todd(Sunday, May 09 21 09:30 am EDT)
Is it even legal for the city manager and the finance staff to change the city budget after the city council approves it? If this is the case, then why is the city council even approving the budget it in the first place if the administration can do whatever the hell they want with it whenever they want to do something with it? Is this whole budget process just for the sake of keeping up appearances? To make people think that their elected officials matter and that they have say over what happens to the public’s money?
Don(Sunday, May 09 21 09:21 am EDT)
Just when I thought I’ve heard everything I read this morning about the secret $.28 property tax rate increase concocted by Morris and his hench-people in secret behind the closed doors of City Hall. I don’t think it matters why he and his staff did what they did because what is more important is that they kept it a secret from everyone. Jim is right, they had the chance to come clean with the new budget book by jotting down any changes they may have made but Jim says no changes were made. However the proof is in the pudding, the property tax rate increased by $.28 more than what the taxpayers were told and it just so happens to be the same municipal property tax rate of $15.17 that Mr. Morris wanted in the first place. That cannot be a coincidence as the statistical probability is just too high. Mr. Morris has changed City Hall and the rest of the municipal government into a den of unethical administrators of our tax dollars and the city councilors are just sitting there doing nothing and letting everyone here in Claremont be taken advantage of by these unethical people. They all make me sick.
Jim Sullivan(Sunday, May 09 21 07:35 am EDT)
Three new articles published today.
1) The Morris Administration's secret property tax rate hike!
These three articles can be found on the News Flashes page of this website.
Back at Donk(Saturday, May 08 21 11:56 am EDT)
I live out there. The biggest problem I see is the first corner after getting on off Chestnut St. You would think someone at highway could figure out that that needs more than an overlay. Fix It and Fix It Right!!!!! If they know how.
Donk(Friday, May 07 21 05:46 pm EDT)
PEOPLE BEWARE OF THE POTHOLES ON SUGAR RIVER DRIVE
SOME OF THESE HOLES ARE 10" DEEP AND SOMEONE IS GOING TO GET HURT OR KILLED AND I WILL TESTIFY FOR THE BLATANT NEGLEGENCE
Donk(Friday, May 07 21 02:00 pm EDT)
With all these supposed raises within our local government it will increase the due pensions exponentially.This will be the nail in Claremont's coffin.As it is the roads are so bad I'm thinking of selling and going on walk about, see where things are run better.I'm thinking Tennessee.
Jim Sullivan(Thursday, May 06 21 06:48 pm EDT)
Morris Administration's Fiscal Year 2022 Municipal Budget has a huge deficit before it is even publicly presented!
Article published on the News Flashes page of this website.
Wayne McElreavy(Thursday, May 06 21 04:08 pm EDT)
Not sure if this came out of Bruce Temple's list or maybe someone is thinking of this, but this might be helpful --
May 19, 2016 Page 125
Scott Sweet, Public Works Director, presented a PowerPoint showing all the areas that are covered by Public Works including Streets & Roads (Highways), Sanitation, Transfer Station,
Cemeteries, Water and Sewer. He detailed some of the pending and proposed paving projects:
• Pending Paving (bond $1.5 million): Sullivan Street, Edwin Avenue, Central Street (Pearl to Union), Pearl Street (Myrtle
to Central), Pleasant Street (South to East), Walnut Street (School to Myrtle).
• Paving CIP Plan 2016-2017 $750,000 (this is what he asked for): Washington Street,
South Street and Oakwood Drive
• Paving CIP Plan 2017-2018 $750,000: Thrasher Road, Centennial Street, Grissom Lane, Ridge Avenue (upper) Acer Heights, Chellis Street, Orchard Road, Whitcomb Lane
(portion). City is attempting to obtain an additional grant for lower Main Street.
• Paving CIP Plan 2018-2019 $750,000: Durham Avenue, Grove Street Myrtle Street,
Summit Road, Chase Street, Ellery Street, Pappas Road. East Street may be paved with a TAP Grant.
• Paving CIP Plan 2019-2020 $750,000: Paddy Hollow Road, Clay Hill Road, Highland Avenue, McKenzie Drive, Francis Street, Franklin Street, Spofford Street, Spruce Street,
Trinity Street, Parsons Avenue, Richards Court.
• Paving CIP Plan 2020-future $1,739,000: Winter Street Extension, Red Water Brook
Road, Old Newport Road, West Terrace Street, Slab City Road, Twistback Road, Langseth Avenue, Old Church Road
(lower), Hartford Street, Bellevue Avenue, Schmitt Street, Edgewood Street, Osgood Avenue, Benton Avenue.
Chambo(Thursday, May 06 21 12:08 pm EDT)
"Adam" if you haven't noticed no one on here seems to have a bleeding heart over your merit plan posts. So Jim C., I mean Adam. Keep up the good work. Like pissing in the wind in this arena.
Jim Sullivan(Thursday, May 06 21 10:53 am EDT)
John, I do remember Bruce Temple making a paving list but I do not remember how extensive it was and I do not have a copy of it.
Adam(Thursday, May 06 21 10:16 am EDT)
I would not be planning too much paving. You will need some of that money to pay the Merit Plan to make up for years of no pay increases.
John J.O’Connor(Wednesday, May 05 21 02:21 pm EDT)
Because of decades of neglect, 99% of the roads in Claremont need to be repaired.
Get in line....
I do remember a list that was made up by Bruce Temple that rated each and every road in Claremont and gave an estimated time when paving would be conducted.
Jim.... am I right about this list ?
Donk(Wednesday, May 05 21 11:09 am EDT)
The streets of Beirut are in better shape than Sugar River Drive.
I pay my taxes regularly,now may I have my street paved?
Enough is enough!!!!!!!(Tuesday, May 04 21 08:16 am EDT)
Where is the Financial Director, shouldn’t she be weighing in on this ?
As far as paving is concerned, I remember a chart made out a few years ago that had prioritize which roads needed to be repaired first. Where was Grove St. on that list ?
Gloria(Monday, May 03 21 03:14 pm EDT)
I cannot believe that Mr. Morris wants more money for the Pleasant Street project and he wants to negotiate a cheaper price when he already has over half of $1 million in excess. I cannot imagine what he wants to do with all that money. I am glad Mr. Sullivan is looking into this because the city councilors, our elected officials are supposed to be looking out for the public’s best interest, but obviously, they are not.
Tyler(Monday, May 03 21 11:07 am EDT)
It is a kick in the face that the taxpayer will be on the hook for over $4M to pay for a Pleasant St pipe dream...when nearly every other road in town desperately needs to be repaved. Surely Washington St is more important than additional street parking, benches, and lighting for the new Section 8 housing tenants?
Richard(Monday, May 03 21 08:32 am EDT)
I think we are all learning that we need to be a little choosier whenever voting for city councilors. The latest batch we have is terrible. They say they love our community but they really do not because if they did Mr. Morris would have been fired long ago. The city councilors that we have today are afraid to make decisions on their own without extensive handholding by Mr. Morris and his staff. Claremont is bereft of real leaders.
Linda(Monday, May 03 21 06:59 am EDT)
I knew that Mr. Morris was not working out as our city manager but I never thought that he was stupid enough to have his own street paved at the expense of everyone else. Did he actually think no one would catch this? Jim Sullivan catches almost everything and then publishes it on his website. The Sullivan Report is the watchdog for local government and thank goodness, they are.
Bob(Monday, May 03 21 06:22 am EDT)
I do not like the idea that the taxpayers will be paying interest on that $500,000 for 20 years when it was not necessary to borrow that much money. I think we all know that Mr. Morris is an imbecile but what does that make the city councilors who all fell for this gimmick?
Todd(Monday, May 03 21 05:49 am EDT)
I do not see Charlene Lovett, Allen Damren or James Contois ever voting to terminate Mr. Morris no matter what he does because for the most part all of them are puppets of the city administration. With Erica Sweetser bailing out, that means there is at least one more holdout in the remaining bunch of councilors consisting of Andrew O’Hearne, Jonathan Stone, Nicholas Koloski, Debora Matteau and Dale Girard. Who do you think are the holdouts?
William(Monday, May 03 21 05:22 am EDT)
Ms. Sweetser, you may be resigning for the reasons you say but that does not change your job performance on the city council. You and your colleagues on the city council have ignored many important issues that Mr. Sullivan has raised on this website and from what I have read he has been routinely informing all nine councilors of these issues and none of you did anything about any of these problems. That is not the definition of leadership. That is the definition of dereliction of duty and cowardice.
Craig(Sunday, May 02 21 09:21 pm EDT)
What the heck is Mr. Morris and Mrs. Merrill thinking about the pleasant restaurant project? This nonprofit agency seems to have zero money and the project is over $2.4 million underfunded but they are spending money to move the project forward anyway. I agree with Mr. Sullivan that the government agencies that authorized the project money so far did so with the understanding that the project would be completed. Will the Claremont taxpayers be footing the $2.4 million bill that remains? Even if this Music Center opens up how is the nonprofit group going to be able to afford to pay the rent and keep the lights on? Will this be another taxpayer subsidy like the community center?
Erica Sweetser(Sunday, May 02 21 09:00 pm EDT)
Jim, everything isn't some sort of conspiracy. Whrn I got elected I had 2 jobs. One of which was at night, evenings. When I got elected I left my evening job because I knew there would be council and board meetings. I took about a 30% pay cut then. But yes I signed up for that when i ran. 3 months later my day job closed because of covid. Only being open at night. So I took another pay decrease only being able to have weekend availability because meetings are during the week. When I got elected I also took a break from my education. The last couple of months I am back in school, working on a degree and certificate program simultaneously and I have found myself back with 2 jobs to make up the income i lost during covid. And I'm homeschooling my 6 year old. In June I will go to an 8 week school term as opposed to the 14 week term I'm doing now. So the same work with less time. I simply did not plan on covid destroying my income and I tried to hold on as long as i could. But now I am just so busy I knew that by June I would have no time beyond work, schoolwork, and homeschooling. The seat deserves someone who can commit time outside of meetings. Yes, I did debate whether to stay until after budget vote. But whomever gets the seat will have to work within the budget set. I did not think it fair for me to stay and vote and then resign in June. Some may not agree with my decision but I simply have to do what's best for my family. But the voters deserve more than someone who could now just show up for meetings and not put work in. However I think Claremont has so much potential and I'll probably be a thorn in someone's side since I now know how things work and don't work. But in ways that I have the time for.
Tom(Sunday, May 02 21 06:04 pm EDT)
It’s amazing how the city officials think. When did fair and equitable become picking the pockets of senior citizens clean to benefit the business community? Will these water and sewer rate increases be another city council rubberstamp?
Ryan(Sunday, May 02 21 04:41 pm EDT)
Good luck Jim. At times I think you're the only one really looking out for the taxpayers and you're not even on the city council anymore. I do see Debora Matteau, Dale Girard and Nicholas Koloski asking questions and trying to get some answers but that just isn't enough when you have a city manager and city employees keeping the councilors in the dark and misleading them at every opportunity. With everything you have exposed on your website the City Manager should be fired and his replacement should be hired with the understanding that he or she will clean house.
Jim Sullivan(Sunday, May 02 21 01:58 pm EDT)
Donk, I intend to find out. I have already requested a hard copy of the proposed Fiscal Year 2022 Claremont Municipal Budget and since the Council supposedly received their copies this past Friday it is now considered public record. It will be interesting to see how long it takes Morris to release a copy to me. Also, an electronic copy is generally published on the City website, but given this administration's resistance towards public transparency it is anyone's guess when it will finally appear on the City website.
Donk(Sunday, May 02 21 12:09 pm EDT)
I think you are going to see Morris directing a lot of funds from projects,grants,and bonds into the general fund in the near future.He will use this to masque the true costs and financial screw ups and misdirected funds into places that that particular money was never intended to pay for.I think the biggest place to watch are Claremont bank statements and outlays.
There's where he intends to bury the bodies.
Jim Sullivan(Sunday, May 02 21 10:46 am EDT)
New article published today.
Several surprises during April 28 Council meeting.
Article published on the News Flashes page of this website.
Jim Sullivan(Sunday, May 02 21 10:45 am EDT)
Dave, the Assessing Consulting Firm is supposed to re-assess roughly 1/5 of the properties in Claremont each year. So those property owners may see a property assessment change later this year. If so, they will be notified by mail later this year.
Dave(Saturday, May 01 21 12:20 pm EDT)
I have seen a man with a truck (Vermont tags on it) parked around Maple Ave area going around measuring Houses. Magnetic sign on truck said City Accessor's office. Are we in for another property tax increase?
It’s Time(Saturday, May 01 21 07:49 am EDT)
@ put your efforts into something that matters. Much of what Andy brings is valid. Someone just needs to knock a BIG Chip off his shoulder and give him an Attitude adjustment.
Put your efforts in something that matters(Friday, April 30 21 06:53 pm EDT)
Someone needs to tell Andy to stop trying to be a policeman of the meeting and get something done instead of running his mouth about rules and crap! no one cares if you haven't noticed
Travis(Tuesday, April 27 21 05:55 am EDT)
Ed Morris is incredibly arrogant and the city councilors are weak, which makes a terrible combination. This is why so many of these unbelievable and unacceptable things keep happening because there is no one in charge with a strong sense of ethics and decency. The voters need to turn out in November to elect new people if any run for office.
Don(Monday, April 26 21 01:13 pm EDT)
Peter that’s assuming both are still in the city government next year. Damren says he is quitting at the end of the year and I hear he is moving to Florida just like Victor Bergeron did and I’m not so sure Morris will still be the city manager by then.
@ JJO(Monday, April 26 21 12:23 pm EDT)
John O’Conner I suggest you do your homework. The last city manager search committee recommended a city manager. Presented it to the council. And 20 minutes later the entire Council voted for a different manager.
Peter(Monday, April 26 21 12:07 pm EDT)
Caitlin, except for the homes of Morris and Damren all of the property assessments of the Bluff roads paved will probably all be jacked way up.
Rachel(Monday, April 26 21 10:11 am EDT)
Those councilors appear incompetent to the public at this moment because they refuse to take appropriate action by terminating Mr. Morris's position with the city. If nothing changes by election time these councilors will be the one terminated by the voters. It may still happen the longer they take to do something.
John J.O’CONNOR(Monday, April 26 21 08:28 am EDT)
I completely agree, Mr. Morris is over his head and not qualified for his current position, he still won’t be fired.
There are current members of the council that were on the last 2 City Manager search committees and I’m sure they don’t want to look incompetent by firing another of their choices.
In a perfect world, he would be fired and both positions would filled with qualified people, unfortunately this isn’t a perfect world.
Keith(Monday, April 26 21 08:10 am EDT)
With all due respect Mr. O'Connor, Guy Santagate was hired without a Finance Director, and Assessor and a Public Works Director employed by the city during that time. Mr. Santagate was a quality candidate and a qualified City Manager. I do not see the difference between then and now. Ed Morris is no Guy Santagate and he never will be. He is taking advantage of his authority and the inability of city councilors to make their own decisions. Claremont needs a new City Manager.
John J.O’Connor(Monday, April 26 21 07:46 am EDT)
How stupid can you people possibly be ?
Mr. Morris has job security. The council was reluctant to fire him before Mrs. Walter announced her retirement, they didn’t want to look incompetent by firing a “second” City Manger.
Now, they can’t fire him while searching for a Financial Director, they would look dis-functional to any potential candidate.
Job security isn’t just for Union workers, just ask the City Manager.
Richard(Monday, April 26 21 06:17 am EDT)
Ed Morris and Allen Damren should both immediately resign their respective positions with the city government. Their inexcusable behavior with the salary compensation study that was caught on video and released to the public thanks to City Councilor Jonathan Stone combined with this new paving scandal is beyond unforgivable. They have both tarnished their respective positions within the city government and they have greatly embarrassed the entire community of Claremont. The decent thing would be for them to resign and if they do not then the City Council should terminate Ed Morris's employment and strongly encourage Allen Damren to quickly resign.
Caitlin(Monday, April 26 21 06:09 am EDT)
I wonder if all of the property assessments of all of the bluff houses will go up a lot next year because of the paving done this summer? Is that the next step in Mr. Morris’s plan?
Kevin(Monday, April 26 21 05:36 am EDT)
The quality of leadership in Claremont has certainly sunk to a new low. None of these councilors seem to be paying attention except for only a few but they never seem to do anything armed with this information. Mr. Sullivan keeps giving them more information and they still don’t do a damn thing to help the constituents who elected them in the first place.
Craig(Sunday, April 25 21 05:34 pm EDT)
The special interests get everything the rest of us get nothing except the bill and the city councilors could care less.
Ryan(Sunday, April 25 21 04:11 pm EDT)
I think Mr. Morris is for Mr. Morris as he does not care about the Claremont taxpayers or any of the citizens in our community. Think about it. He commissions a $45,000 salary study that he plays a role in picking the communities to compare Claremont to and he picks communities that are not good comparisons to Claremont because they are wealthier so the outcome of the study is that the city employees are underpaid by a lot. Then he tries to leverage that to a city council approval of large pay increases so then he would have probably asked for a raise himself to keep the distance between the staffs pay and his. I have been told that Mr. Gleason was in Weathersfield or at least he did and that is how he knew Mr. Morris when Mr. Morris was the town administrator for Weathersfield. Mr. Gleason was out of work and I have been told close friend of Mr. Morris so he got a job as our public works director without any real employment experience in that area. Today we find out thanks to the Sullivan Report that the summer paving money has all been diverted to pave Grove Street where Mr. Morris and Assistant Mayor Allen Damren lives when other roads really need the paving. Like all those roads that went from asphalt to gravel. Mr. Morris does not care about anyone else but himself and perhaps a few friends and he is using our tax dollars to take care of himself and those friends like the officials from Sullivan County that will be operating the sober house on Sullivan Street. The city councilors need to wake up and smell the coffee and fire Mr. Morris posthaste.
Greg(Sunday, April 25 21 03:39 pm EDT)
Morris is certainly a busy man. He over borrows for the Pleasant Street project by over $500,000 and he also shifts all of the summer paving money to his neighborhood all right under the noses of the city councilors. It takes former city councilors to point these things out because the new councilors are too stupid to figure things out themselves. How pathetic is that.
Todd(Sunday, April 25 21 03:03 pm EDT)
Well Jean they are lifting one finger and directing that finger to all the taxpayers and that finger is the middle one.
Jean(Sunday, April 25 21 02:57 pm EDT)
I have lost all faith and trust in all nine of our city councilors. They should be doing more to protect us and they do not seem to be lifting a single finger to do it.
Dennis(Sunday, April 25 21 02:06 pm EDT)
I read the document in the paving article where the city describes all the work that will be done in the bluff for the paving plan and those neighborhoods are going to receive a heck of a lot of really great upgrades. What do the rest of us get? Not a damn thing. Just the tax bill to pay for the bluffs property value upgrades. Morris and Damren get the gold mine and the taxpayers get the shaft.
Rick(Sunday, April 25 21 02:04 pm EDT)
Every week I read the Sullivan Report to get an education of what is going on in local government. I have lived here for going on 19 years and I have never seen things as bad as they are today. I voted for Charlene Lovett several times because I thought she was a good leader and her military background was a plus. You cannot get me to vote for her ever again and the same goes for almost every one of the city councilors because they are all a bunch of do-nothing phonies.
William(Sunday, April 25 21 01:27 pm EDT)
The city manager should be fired right away by the city councilors. He colluded with the mayor and the assistant mayor to keep critical information away from the other councilors about the employee compensation report. He oversaw the staff who changed financial records in January to make the city’s finances look better than what it is. He allowed a consultant to practically double the property assessments for utilities over what the DRA says the properties are really worth to greatly overtax the utilities to keep Claremont’s municipal property tax rate lower than what it really should be. He allowed his staff to take old applications for a city board to be changed so they would look like new applications and that is fraud. He allowed the DPW director and the assistant director for the DPW to mislead everyone on water and sewer rates for other communities for example they stated Lebanon’s rates by over 60%. Bid awards are very sketchy as a lot of them seem to be with only one company putting in a bid and it looks like some bidders are given special treatment to guide the bid award to them. Mr. Morris has diverted all of the summer paving taxpayer’s money so that his street and those in the neighborhood around him would be paved with the very best treatment possible while other asphalt streets are becoming gravel roads. I just cannot wrap my head around why the city councilors are just sitting there and doing absolutely nothing about all of these atrocities. I do not get it.
Tony(Sunday, April 25 21 12:29 pm EDT)
Cowardice is not a good leadership quality and there definitely is a yellow streak that runs up the backs of just about everyone on that Council.
Ray(Sunday, April 25 21 11:41 am EDT)
The city councilors are supposed to look out for all citizens but the ones we have now do not care about us they just say they do because they lie as much as the city directors, who show us phony information to justify spending tax dollars on certain stuff they want. Like pay raises, new vehicles, water and sewer rate increases and the financial health of the city government. The city councilors are not doing their job.
Sarah(Sunday, April 25 21 10:52 am EDT)
That sucks, the city manager and the assistant mayor gets terrific roads paid for by the taxpayers while other folks have crappy roads and then other folks have their asphalt roads replaced with gravel roads to divert the money for the paving job for the city manager and the assistant mayor. All the while the city councilors ignore the whole thing. Business as usual here in Claremont. Our councilors should hang their heads in shame.
Gary(Sunday, April 25 21 10:01 am EDT)
I do think there are a few leaders on the city council. Nevertheless, I think there are too few because Mr. Sullivan says they need at least five councilors to fire Mr. Morris. That means we have no more than four real leaders and there may not even be four on this council.
Brad(Sunday, April 25 21 09:45 am EDT)
The city councilors are petrified with fear. They must be or they would have fired Mr. Morris a long time ago.
Teri(Sunday, April 25 21 09:14 am EDT)
I think it is because the councilors do not want to know what is going on. Jim Sullivan is sending them email after email informing the councilors about all these incredible things that Mr. Morris is doing with the help of his staff. These things are not conjecture but the truth because Mr. Sullivan includes the proof usually city documents in his articles so that everyone knows this is not fake news or conspiracy theory but the actual truth. Let’s face it we have terrible leadership and we have to change that in November.
Tom(Sunday, April 25 21 08:00 am EDT)
The problem is Ed Morris. He is the city manager and he runs the day-to-day affairs of our city government. The responsibility and the blame fall on him. I watched the finance committee meeting when he was willing to conspire with the Mayor and Assistant Mayor to withhold certain important information about the municipal employee compensation study with all of the skewed numbers because of unreasonable comparisons with communities that are unlike Claremont. I also watched the city council meeting with the rate increase proposal for water and sewer and then read the Sullivan Report article about all the lies within the presentation. Mr. Morris is doing the same thing by withholding information about what he and his staff members are doing with the utility property assessments that are way out of line with the DRA’s property assessments to deviously lower the property tax rate in Claremont that puts us in a lawsuit situation. They are manipulating the city’s financial records and changing city documents. Then there is the Pleasant Street Project that required a $4.8 million municipal bond that put the taxpayers into debt for over 500 K more than what was needed. He and his people are purchasing many vehicles for the public works department with questionable purchasing tactics that seems to benefit a favorite vendor and Ed Morris is pushing for extremely large pay raises for the entire city staff. Today we learn that Ed Morris diverted all of the summer paving money, our tax dollars, to pave Grove Street where he and the Assistant Mayor live and the surrounding neighborhood when other streets in Claremont are turning from asphalt to gravel or gravel like surfaces and those taxpayers who live at these places in Claremont may never see pavement on those roads ever again. Why are the city councilors letting this happen?
Jim Sullivan(Sunday, April 25 21 06:40 am EDT)
Four new articles published today.
1) Morris Administration seeks delay with second thumb drive request.
2) Looking underneath the surface of the Morris Administration's paving plan we find a shocking discovery!
3) Open letter to the Claremont City Council regarding $4.8 million municipal bond for the Rethink Pleasant Street Construction Project.
4) Merit Plan Case settled!
All four articles are published on the News Flashes page of this website.
Barbara(Friday, April 23 21 01:09 pm EDT)
The quality of reporting at the Eagle Times has really gone downhill as of late. More and more of the paper is devoted to national or international news and less space for local new stories, which is supposed to be the niche of the Eagle Times. I know Mr. Sullivan focuses on local political news offering his valuable website service at no charge to anyone and I happen to appreciate that, as do many of my friends in this community. One of the latest stories about the Claremont School District joining a school funding lawsuit is very important news and the Sullivan Report is the only one that has covered it locally. The Eagle Times and the Valley News have both ignored this important news event. I also found the behind the scenes actions of Mayor Lovett with other Mayors throughout NH to also be quite interesting because she is acting beyond her elected station. It is not a matter of whether I agree or disagree with her actions is that she is taking actions in our community’s good name without any authority. Perhaps she is of a mind that if the city councilors are not going to take any action with the outrageous behavior of Mr. Morris that she has carte blanche prerogative to do whatever she wishes as well. Perhaps she is correct and the inaction of the city councilors is certainly going to give the voters food for thought with the upcoming November elections.
Jim Sullivan(Thursday, April 22 21 07:31 am EDT)
Two new articles published today.
1) Claremont School District joins School Funding Lawsuit!
2) Mask wearing in Claremont back on the City Council agenda!
Both articles are published on the News Flashes page of this website.
Johnson(Wednesday, April 21 21 05:12 pm EDT)
FYI I do not believe the councilors violated anything. They directed Morris, not the DPW directly.
Nor would sitting on the Interview committee be a violation, IMO. They are not telling Morris who to hire. Those members would have no more authority than any other participant. They would just be sharing their recommendation.
I think you are reading too much into this one. But that is just my perception.
Copy And Paste(Wednesday, April 21 21 05:06 pm EDT)
Picture a fire truck and you are likely to see red — fire engine red. But when it comes to safety, human factors and ergonomics research paints a different picture. Much of what we know about human factors and ergonomics relies upon psychological studies of human visual and auditory perception. This research shows that because the color-transmitting cones in our eyes don't work well in the dark, some colors are easier for us to see at night. We are most sensitive to greenish-yellow colors under dim conditions, making lime shades easiest to see in low lighting. A 2009 study by the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), a division of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), also concluded that fluorescent colors, including yellow-green and orange, are easiest to spot in daylight.
Jim Sullivan(Wednesday, April 21 21 03:38 pm EDT)
Johnson, first of all I did not misrepresent the facts regarding the Finance Director Search Committee. Yes, it is true that Councilor Jonathan Stone did offered an opinion that three Councilors should serve on the Committee but that was before any volunteers came forward and it was only an opinion of one Councilor not the majority opinion of the legislative body. After Councilors Debora Matteau, Dale Girard & Andrew O’Hearne volunteered; City Manager Ed Morris reiterated that he only wanted two Councilors to serve on this committee, one on each interview panel. Assistant Mayor Allen Damren then stated that Morris would work with three Councilors (more like a demand than a recommendation) and that is when Morris capitulated very quickly. The Claremont City Charter is very clear that Councilors are not allowed to recommend or order the City Manager to either hire or terminate anyone. Serving on this Committee, these three Councilors would be required to recommend someone be hired for the position of Finance Director to City Manager Morris, which is a direct violation of the Claremont City Charter. Neither Morris nor Damren nor anyone else has the authority to override the Claremont City Charter! Everything I stated in my article regarding the Finance Director Search Committee is factually correct.
In regards to the Councilors who voted in favor of giving City Manager Morris a directive to keep the DPW Vehicles fire yellow were not overstepping their authority and interfering with the day-to-day affairs of the City. If it were simply a matter of the Councilors not liking the color red, then you would be right Johnson. However, the Council has the responsibility and the authority to set policy. That is precisely what these Councilors did with that decision setting a safety policy not only for the sake of the City DPW Employees but also for the general public as well because the color red would simply blend in with other vehicles whereas fire yellow stands out and is easily seen by motorists. That is the original reason why the Santagate Administration changed the Claremont DPW vehicles to fire yellow and that was an excellent decision for all parties concerned back then and it still is today. I wish the Council would set policy more often instead of acquiescing to the wishes of the City Administration most of the time.
Johnson(Wednesday, April 21 21 01:30 pm EDT)
There is nothing wrong with the fire truck’s specs. Chief Burr said he is letting his firefighters familiarize themselves with it, set it up the way they would like (including equipment and settings) and he is not rushing it.
There is nothing wrong with the truck and it will be in use once his crew is ready.
Wrong Truck(Wednesday, April 21 21 10:18 am EDT)
Does the city have an equipment purchase committee? They used to. Check! that committee should have minuets of the meetings that specked out that new fire truck. If there is no committee then who took it upon themself to just order what ever they please. It appears they had little knowledge of what the firefighters feel we need.
Pam(Wednesday, April 21 21 10:16 am EDT)
The pilot's lounge is unfinished. New furniture was supposed to be ordered, and nothing. The FBO, the guys in charge of the airport, have to sit in their cars and be available to pilots coming in because they have no furniture inside. There is no communication with planes coming and going because radio is down. It took a very long time to be able to sell gas. Considering the starting date of this building, it should have been completed long ago.
Bob(Tuesday, April 20 21 07:26 pm EDT)
What a waste...why are they afraid for their jobs? They are union boys!! If they are concerned about the truck being spec’d out improperly and a possible safety concern, get the union brass on it!! Force the city to find out who screwed up and hold them accountable. That’s what unions are all about aren’t they??
Jonny(Tuesday, April 20 21 07:14 pm EDT)
Andy, that firetruck information is concerning!! Anyone remember when we bought fire trucks that wouldn’t even fit in the firehouse?? That has happened more than once!!
Johnson(Tuesday, April 20 21 06:41 pm EDT)
I’m curious Mr. Sullivan that, after citing the Non-Inteference code in the City Charter, you lather praise on four councilors for violating that vey Non-Interference code.
Which is it, Mr. Sullivan? If, as you suggest, that offering your preference of candidates to the city manager - who invited them to join — is grounds for removal, then are you not suggesting these four councilors should be removed for ordering a city department how to operate?
Also, you misrepresented the facts. Jonathan Stone suggested three councilors participate, not Allen Damren. Kind of a big gaffe on your part, given you built an entire conspiracy premise around that misreport.
Laura(Tuesday, April 20 21 08:08 am EDT)
Mr. Morris should not have job security when he should receive his job termination. Our city councilors are failing us.
John J. O’Connor(Monday, April 19 21 08:01 am EDT)
What you people don’t understand is the current City Manager’s job is safe.
With the retirement of Mary Walters, Mr. Morris now has job security.
It would be embarrassing to have to advertise for a new City Manager while interviewing for a new financial director, no one with any credibility would apply for the position, ultimately we would be in the same situation we are now in and that’s having a City Manger that’s over his head.
Marie(Sunday, April 18 21 06:08 pm EDT)
What a rotten trick that the assistant mayor and the city manager tried to play on a whole bunch of councilors. I cannot wait for Mr. Damren to retire from the city council. He is just bad news. I hope the city manager will soon follow the finance director right out of the door. We need better people working at city hall..
Jim Sullivan(Sunday, April 18 21 04:31 pm EDT)
Pam, what exactly are you referring to?
Jim Sullivan(Sunday, April 18 21 11:31 am EDT)
Pressure and temperatures rise at April 14 Claremont City Council meeting!
The article appears on the News Flashes page of this website.
What A Waist(Sunday, April 18 21 08:36 am EDT)
Jim, Andy is spot on! You won’t get any firefighter to admit that truck is not spect out for a city. They are all afraid for their job. I can’t believe our new manager has fire service experience and allowed this truck in town.
Pam(Sunday, April 18 21 08:31 am EDT)
While you are checking into the new fire truck issue, see what other problems Brian Burr has caused with the airport building. The new facility is a disaster.
Jim Sullivan(Sunday, April 18 21 07:34 am EDT)
This is the first that I have heard about something being wrong with the new fire truck Andy. I promise I will look into it and see what I can find out.
Andy(Sunday, April 18 21 06:00 am EDT)
Maybe if the council did stick their nose into city vehicle purchasing, we wouldn’t own a new 3/4 million dollar fire truck that is currently sitting unused. Word is it was not spec’d out properly. Any insight on that Jim?
Jim Sullivan(Saturday, April 17 21 08:15 am EDT)
This morning I posted the following comments on the Eagle Times website in response to reporter Patrick Adrian's article entitled "A line crossed?" This is in regards to the Council voting to keep the paint color of the Department of Public Works vehicles fire yellow. We will see if the Eagle Times Editor publishes it!
First, the Claremont City Council did not overstep their elected authority when a majority decided to keep the current fire yellow paint color on the Department of Public Works vehicles. The Council’s elected duties include setting policy and that evening the Councilors who voted in the majority set safety policy not only for the Public Works employees but also for the citizens of Claremont because red colored vehicles do not pop and stand out like those painted fire yellow. There are simply too many red colored vehicles on the road so red Public Works vehicles would tend to blend in thus putting Public Works employees at risk. This is why Former City Manager Guy Santagate and Former Public Works Director Paul Fredette made the vehicle paint color change to fire yellow and it was a solid, well thought out decision. Assistant Mayor Damren is merely venting by stating his own personal opinion and nothing more. The Council through their actions regarding the vehicle paint color did not cross any line!
Secondly, Reporter Patrick Adrian stated in his article “custom paint jobs can delay the vehicle acquisition by two to seven months or longer, depending on the dealership or its orders in cue. These delays sometimes trigger additional costs to the city department by having to keep other vehicles in service, which increases their wear or need for repairs”. That in my opinion is a little misleading because Morris Administration Officials were originally claiming a nine-month or more delay in receiving the vehicles if the fire yellow color was chosen. This is actually documented in the August 4, 2020 meeting minutes of the Department of Public Work Safety Committee. During the April 14 Council meeting, Councilor Dale Girard accurately stated that the State of New Hampshire bid for 2021 Public Works vehicles was awarded to McFarland Ford of Exeter New Hampshire and it clearly states for all vehicles “Paint: Specialty Color (other than standard factory color”) Delivery 120 days after receipt of purchase order”. That is only four months not nine months! The Morris Administration more than doubled the actual time it takes to receive a specialty colored vehicle!
Do The Research(Saturday, April 17 21 07:24 am EDT)
Hats Off to the Claremont City Council for taking charge. If the council makes a motion and votes on it it becomes a directive. Perfectly within their authority. Something they don’t do often enough! Their decision to keep the highway vehicles highly visible in low light conditions is admirable. Let’s keep our personnel safe. Thanks.
Ryan(Thursday, April 15 21 06:47 am EDT)
The story that appeared in yesterday’s Eagle Times about Mary Walter’s retirement and how Mr. Morris’s city government is contesting the employees of the merit plan forming a union just made me shake my head in disgust. The Sullivan Report wrote about these incidents a while ago and Eagle Times Reporter Patrick Adrian is supposed to be covering events in Claremont. Mary Walter’s retirement was announced two weeks ago and regarding the merit plan employees unionization efforts, the Sullivan Report published confidential emails about that, which were not supposed to be released to the public but were to Francis Gauthier, who passed them on to Jim Sullivan. The Sullivan Report also revealed to the public about the case in front of the labor board because the city does not want to deal with another employee union. This just shows how terrible a reporter Mr. Adrian is because Mrs. Walter’s retirement was announced live on CCTV and simultaneously streamed on Facebook but it takes him two weeks to find out about it, it is as if he is oblivious to everything going on around him. Mr. Adrian’s wife works for the city of Claremont, she is one of the merit plan employees seeking to join the union, and apparently, Mr. Adrian does not have a clue about any of it until two weeks later. This might not be fake news but it might be considered biased news because Mr. Adrian’s bias regarding the merit plan union was obviously slanted toward the city employees getting large raises, as his wife is one of those employees, which is a conflict of interest for the reporter, who did not report his conflict. This is how low mainstream journalism has sunk in Claremont.
Gary(Monday, April 12 21 08:45 am EDT)
Let’s face it we have imbeciles running our city government starting with Ed Morris. The city councilors just sit there oblivious. Jim Sullivan is at least trying to educate the councilors and I applaud his efforts. Nevertheless, I keep remembering famous saying by comedian Ron White “you can’t fix stupid”. Jim might be trying to do that with this council of ignoramuses.
Tom(Monday, April 12 21 07:48 am EDT)
This consultant added nearly $28 million to the property assessment of PSNH/Eversource in three years. There is no attorney or property appraiser on this planet that can justify that. Jim Sullivan is right the city government is going to lose this case.
Richard(Monday, April 12 21 06:38 am EDT)
The problem with our city councilors is that they never get past the asking questions stage. They all seem terrified about the doing something stage. That is why none of them are good leaders.
Bob(Sunday, April 11 21 09:33 pm EDT)
From what I can see when Mr. Morris became city manager and he hired Mr. Hamilton they could see what Mr. Sansoucy was doing and when PSNH filed that court case they decided to double down and they increased PSNH's property assessments by another $6 million in 2019 and then added over $3.2 million more to the PSNH's property assessments in 2020. These people are nuts and the taxpayers are now going to have to bail out their bad management practices. Way to go Claremont City Council you are really looking out for the Claremont taxpayers. Not!!!
Charles(Sunday, April 11 21 05:43 pm EDT)
What Mr. Morris and his assessing people did to the utilities is outright theft. Property assessments are supposed to be market value not whatever the heck you want them to be to serve your own political agenda. I think Mr. Morris should be fired and the contracts of Mr. Hamilton and Mr. Sansoucy should be immediately ceased. If our elected councilors do not do that then they should be fired on election day.
Sarah(Sunday, April 11 21 04:13 pm EDT)
Claremont's city finances are a frightful mess. I do not understand how the city councilors allow this to happen right under their very noses. Watching over the city government is their one job and they cannot seem to manage to even do that properly. Mr. Morris is not up for the job of city manager and the city councilors refuse to terminate his employment and our property taxes will go up higher and higher because of their inability to do what is necessary. The voters have to be more choosy with whom they elect in the future because we are witnessing today the consequences of electing the wrong people for the city council.
Jim Sullivan(Sunday, April 11 21 08:40 am EDT)
Two new articles published today.
1) An open letter to the Claremont City Council regarding Utility Property Assessments that have the very real potential of destroying Claremont's finances and significantly raising Claremont's Property Tax Rate!
2) Tracy Pope resigns from the Zoning Board of Adjustment!
Both articles appear on the News Flashes page of this website.
shawn(Sunday, April 11 21 06:37 am EDT)
this url https://davidharrisjr.com/steven/bombshell-investigators-for-attorney-deperno-reportedly-discover-modem-chips-embedded-in-michigan-voting-system-computer-motherboards/
shows that in Michigan when they inspected Dominion Voting machines that Dominion lied and they found the machine motherboards in michigan had Telit wireless modems capable of connecting to Dominion servers through a private vpn like people use to bypass ISP's and basically be invisible to detection by normal methods. So this means all their statements are now in question and likely also lies.
Donk(Friday, April 09 21 01:42 pm EDT)
We as the lowest income community cannot afford to continue supporting and updating the Sullivan County Home.This is where the grant writer to the Federal Government could play a massive part.Otherwise it will have to close wig by wing.
Sad but true(Wednesday, April 07 21 08:46 am EDT)
I have to agree with Bob, close it down.
Bob(Tuesday, April 06 21 04:51 pm EDT)
Is there some state law that says counties have to have a nursing home? If not close the place and save the taxpayers the grief and money.
Steve(Monday, April 05 21 08:59 pm EDT)
I am not a fan of a sober house in Claremont but at least Derick Ferland is looking out for our tax dollars.
I would much rather see the county going forward with the nursing home. I have watched most of the meetings on that project and it appears some of our reps on the finance committee want to train wreck the plan. It is ridiculous to think waiting will cost less. Ferland has put a good plan forward and we should go for it.
Donk(Monday, April 05 21 04:24 pm EDT)
Why do I have to pay for druggie losers that their own families wont even have?
I'm having a hard enough time staying in my house without paying for other people.Out of the 8 Billion these are who you would house and feed?
Let 'em go
Jim Sullivan(Monday, April 05 21 04:04 pm EDT)
Sober House Bond Update!
Details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Brad(Monday, April 05 21 07:57 am EDT)
The budget outlook for next year does not look good. Mr. Sullivan calculates at least $1.2 million of expenses or revenue loss that will have to be found elsewhere in the budget to level fund the property tax rate for the city. Then on the other hand we have the city manger and the public works directors buying up new vehicles like crazy with bid practices that do not smell right and the city manager wanted to add over $1.2 million for salary raises for all of the city employees. I do not think the city manager gets the deep you know what the city finances is in or he and his staff members don't care just so long as they get theirs. The council needs to put a stop to this.
Joanne(Monday, April 05 21 06:28 am EDT)
Mr. Gauthier has been very helpful to Jim Sullivan lately. I do not know the man but I am very grateful that he is making the time and effort to help the people of Claremont. I wish Mr. Gauthier would run for the City Council in November. We do not have that many people on the Council that seem to care about the average working-class citizens. I think he would be a welcome addition at least from a citizen’s point of view.
Artie(Sunday, April 04 21 09:04 pm EDT)
And because of a family situation, the Mayor will not seek re-election.
I was aware Jim and the Mayor were such close, personal friends to a point where she shared family related issues with him.
Interesting, very interesting....
Tony(Sunday, April 04 21 05:49 pm EDT)
Lying to your boss usually gets you fired. If you are the city manager of Claremont it may get you a pay raise because the city councilors we have today suck.
Jim Sullivan(Sunday, April 04 21 04:12 pm EDT)
I will not play the guessing game with anyone regarding what I deleted from Mayor Lovett's email. I will reiterate that it had absolutely nothing to do with either her elected seat or city government. It had to do with her family, which is why I deleted it. I will not comment further about this matter.
Jill(Sunday, April 04 21 04:08 pm EDT)
I am glad to see the Jim Sullivan is going to make some suggestions about the budget because he is right the councilors will need all the help that they can get. I think it is up to all of us to look at the budget when it is available, come up with suggestions if we have any, and pass them on to the councilors if we do not want our taxes going up higher than they already are. Mr. Morris and Mrs. Walter are just not cut out to be the city manager and the finance director. Fortunately, Mrs. Walter is retiring but Mr. Morris is too young to retire and we have nine city councilors who may all be too spineless to even consider firing him let alone do it. I hope that in November we have many new candidates for the city councilor seats who are not afraid to do what is necessary for the betterment of us all.
Another day, another problem(Sunday, April 04 21 03:25 pm EDT)
The Sober House is experiencing major cost over runs not budgeted or anticipated and they need an additional bond to finish the project.
Surprise, surprise, surprise!!!!!
My prediction about the Mayor’s “personal “ note , she will not be seeking re-election in the fall.
William(Sunday, April 04 21 03:07 pm EDT)
The next budget is beginning to worry me because I do not believe Mr. Morris will ever recommend laying off any city employees because he is too much of a union man. I think the reason why the union contracts all went from being stalled to being passed by the councilors is that Mr. Morris did not negotiate on behalf of the taxpayers but on behalf of the union workers themselves so we had no one representing us at the negotiating table. That bothers me and it should bother every other taxpayer. Tack on all of the lying and deception and it is clear that Mr. Morris is not worthy of holding the important position that he has. I am not convinced this pathetic lot of councilors will ever vote to fire Mr. Morris. They would rather have the city go down in flames then publicly admit that they made a mistake by hiring him. Their arrogance and hubris will hurt Claremont in the end.
Bill(Sunday, April 04 21 01:57 pm EDT)
The need for new leadership seems to be the problem for the city, the school and the county governments.
Ryan(Sunday, April 04 21 12:43 pm EDT)
The sober house project has been a disaster from day one as the cost of the project, the number of ex-inmates living in the downtown facility and practically everything else about the project seems to keep changing from week to week and month to month. The construction crew has been there for a few months now doing work on the building and the Franklin Street side of the building is blocked off, it has been for a few weeks. The funding for this project should have been nailed down months ago and now the county leaders are going for a county bond. Is this just complete incompetence from our county leaders or has the project cost shot up again? The same thing has already happened with the Sullivan county nursing home project as a lot of engineering work and tax dollars was wasted and now a completely new project is needed that is even more expensive. As a taxpayer, I am very unhappy about these developments and I am wondering if new leadership is necessary because the present day leadership does not seem to know what they are doing.
Steve(Sunday, April 04 21 12:08 pm EDT)
Our city councilors are a disgrace to the public office that they hold. The city manager and his subordinates are consistently lying to the public and to the entire council and the nine city councilors treat it as business as usual as if this type of behavior is okay and expected. What is wrong with these people? If an employee lies to you the proper response is to fire them, end of story. Their cowardice will destroy Claremont.
Dan(Sunday, April 04 21 11:17 am EDT)
Today’s articles is why I read the Sullivan Report every week. I like to be informed about what is really going on in Claremont because the local newspapers are just recycling old news to fill up space and when there is a Claremont story it is never well researched and instead of telling the truth, the articles are usually politically spun to make government leaders look somewhat intelligent and moderately competent.
Ken(Sunday, April 04 21 10:49 am EDT)
Doesn’t Mr. Morris and the councilors realize that by trying to stop the city employees from legally forming a union they are only creating more animosity between staff and management? They are all taking everything so personally but they do not treat problems intelligently or rationally. Claremont is suffering from an epidemic of bad management and it is weighing a heavy toll on all of us taxpayers.
Sarah(Sunday, April 04 21 10:35 am EDT)
Well this latest article is a real revelation. I never realized the dire shape the city’s finances were in and this new budget is going to be a real doozy because I have no trust in Mr. Morris or Mrs. Walter or any of Mr. Morris’s other staff members with everything that has been going on lately. I would suggest all of the city staff members having to take mandatory ethics classes if I thought it would make a difference but I do not believe that it would. One would need to have a desire to act ethically in order for that to work.
Tom(Sunday, April 04 21 09:40 am EDT)
The new highway director seems like a real idiot and he appears to have no problem lying to the public and to the councilors just like his boss Ed Morris. Misquoting Lebanon’s water and sewer rates by over 60% is not a small miscalculation but an out and out lie. On top of the red truck leasing scandal the public works department is in a shambles just like the finance office, the assessing office, the planning and development office and the parks and recreation department. All of these departments are under Ed Morris’s wretched leadership and all of the city councilors continue to fiddle around and do nothing while Claremont burns.
Jim Sullivan(Sunday, April 04 21 07:43 am EDT)
Three new articles published today.
1) What's going on with the Sober House?
2) New revelations regarding very deceptive information within the Morris Administration's Water & Sewer rate increase proposal PowerPoint Presentation!
3) Delaying tactic?
All three articles appear on the News Flashes page of this website.
Stupidity at best(Thursday, April 01 21 08:32 pm EDT)
Pam is another example of a ignorant stupid person who is running her dick suckers on a computer go get a job and learn something about life
Scott(Thursday, April 01 21 06:33 pm EDT)
Pam, you need to learn how to use the NH SOS website. Alex Scott was the attorney hired to register the llc for the principle owners. Look closer and you will see the principle owners. Please don’t pass on information if you don’t know what you are doing.
Pam(Thursday, April 01 21 09:16 am EDT)
I saw that the active shooter sitch in Claremont yesterday is reported in online newspapers as happening at 247 Sullivan St. It's that building across the river from where you guys at Sullivan Report operate - that used to package herbs etc. for retail distribution. The owmer and operator of the facility is listed as "Sugar River Storage llc" and the registered agent is Alexander Scott, the former Police Chief of Claremont. What a coincidence! He even lists the address as his office being in "Suite C" in the building.
So what is the opinion of you investigators over on Factory St?
Frank Gauthier(Tuesday, March 30 21 08:50 am EDT)
Does your system charge your customers the correct amount for water? This webinar will help systems answer this question by demonstrating the Water & Sewer Rates Analysis Model, an Excel tool developed by the Environmental Finance Center at The University of North Carolina. This free, basic cash-flow modeling tool allows water systems to input their current rate structure, estimates on number of customers and water use, and the expected costs for the system. The tool then automatically projects the end-of-year fund balance for the next several years, indicating whether revenues will be high enough to cover expected expenses. Users can then enter in another rate structure and compare the end-of-year fund balance side-by-side to the one projected using current rates. This allows users to try out scenarios of adjusting their rates to meet their financial goals in the next few years, and can help users determine whether they need to adjust rates, and by how much, in order to achieve financial sufficiency. The tool can be used by systems that set volumetric charges for water as well as systems that only charge flat monthly fees.
I have found this tool that you can download. It’s an Excel calculator tool for calculating water and sewer rates and their consequences into the future, perhaps as far as 20 years. I am giving you the link below that you can download. It’s an Excel spreadsheet calculator. Since you have Windows 10, you have Excel. This goes with the dashboard link that I sent you yesterday.
My personal opinion is that the changes the Claremont Water Sewer Enterprise want to make to the water and sewer rates make it more complicated so they can hide things from the Claremont ratepayers. This calculator, I believe, will unlock all their complications and expose the truth! It would be interesting to plug the data from the Claremont NH City Council meeting sewer and water rates increase presentation into this calculator to see how it really shakes out! What do you think, Jim?
Use this tool to help set water and/or wastewater rates next year by projecting the utility's expenses, revenues from rates, and fund balance for the next few years. Uniform ("flat") and block rate structures for up to 12 rate structures can be assessed. Data inputs are minimal, and the tool has been updated to offer several new features and improvements to make it easier to test scenarios and help determine whether the utility needs to adjust rates in order to achieve financial sufficiency. This tool is designed specifically for small water/wastewater systems and should be used annually. The tool is free to download and use.
The only reason the City Council has not fired the City Manager is purely out of embarrassment.
A majority of the present Council were involved in the hiring and firing of the last City Manager (McNutt) and do not want the embarrassment of firing Morris.
McNutt and Morris were not their first choices. Their first choices, after being offered the position with a very lucrative financial package, declined the position.
With Mary retiring there is no way the City Council will fire Morris.
Alex(Monday, March 29 21 08:35 am EDT)
City staffers all have the same affliction. Greed
Henry(Monday, March 29 21 07:36 am EDT)
I cannot believe that the city is buying a bunch of red trucks when red is the color of fire engines. I know from reading the Sullivan Report that that the city manager is probably far more qualified to be a firefighter than as the city manager but this doofus must have a thing for red vehicles because it looks like all the vehicles in Claremont will be red by the time he is done.
Kevin(Monday, March 29 21 07:09 am EDT)
Let me get this straight. The city manager is the employee of the city council. During his time as their employee he has conspired with the mayor and the assistant mayor to hide information that would undermine the veracity of a consultants city employee salary study that had its study criteria manipulated by the city manager and his staff to arrive at a fictitious predetermined outcome that all city employees are grossly underpaid to line the employee’s pockets with more money. The city manager and his staff are also editing audit reports before they are released and altering financial reports for the Claremont Savings Bank Community Center and the monthly expense report to falsify the appearance of the city’s financial health. Old applications for a city board were also altered to create the phony appearance that they were new. The public works department purchased a red truck and influenced the bid outcome by limiting the number of dealers, requesting the previous year’s model of a Ford vehicle and then accepting a bid from a local dealer for newer model and then using the trade-in of two vehicles while understating auction value of those two vehicles to make the numbers work so it is less than the state bid. The soon to be departing finance director and the city manager authorized that purchase despite the irregularities. The public works department is also following a stupid paving plan endorsed by the imbeciles on the city council that will only treat each road once in 20 years and part of that plan is to turn asphalt roads into dirt roads to save money for other things as big pay raises for all city employees. The public works department is pitching a water and sewer rate increase that hides the true cost to the increase to the ratepayers. On top of that mess, the city manager and his staff are now giving out confidential documents to citizens. All the while the city councilors are debating as to how much of a raise to give the city manager for a job well done. And people wonder why Claremont never reaches its unrealized potential.
Ray(Sunday, March 28 21 08:34 pm EDT)
City staffers all think they are entitled to receive more compensation than anyone else gets by working out in the real world where the taxpayers all live who pay for everything that the city leaders spend.
Matt(Sunday, March 28 21 05:59 pm EDT)
I keep shaking my head and wondering how long is it going to take the councilors to finally get off the fence and fire Ed Morris. I talked to a past city councilor the other day and she said that it takes five city councilors to vote yes to fire the city manager. Looking at the members of the city council, I think that Mayor Lovett and Assistant Mayor Damren will never vote to fire Mr. Morris because they are all political bedfellows. Ms. Sweetser and Mr. Contois are also unlikely to vote to fire Mr. Morris because both of them do not seem to live in the real world like the rest of us do. In my opinion that are both a couple of airheads. That still leaves five city councilors. Mr. O’Hearne and Mr. Stone are both in my opinion all bark and no bite. Mr. Koloski talks a good game but that is all it ever seems to be talk. I think Ms. Matteau and Mr. Girard are the only two normal, rational people up there. I also think that Mr. Morris realizes that he is dealing with a weak and pathetic group of city councilors so he and his staff members can do all the antics they want without any repercussions.
Wendy(Sunday, March 28 21 04:58 pm EDT)
Rebecca Vinduska poo pooed a pay raise that was about $2K a year if I remember correctly. She said thank you but we need more. Wow!
Dennis(Sunday, March 28 21 04:28 pm EDT)
Right now, I am just disgusted with our city government and I am terribly disappointed with our elected leaders on the city council. If they do not quickly turn this around then I am hoping enough new candidates will run to throw most of them out of office. Right now, I only see three councilors worth saving Debora Matteau, Dale Girard and Nicholas Koloski. At least they are asking questions and trying to find the underlying cause of things. Andrew O’Hearne does ask questions but he also seems very afraid of Ed Morris. Maybe I am imagining that but it looks that way on TV.
Lynn(Sunday, March 28 21 04:23 pm EDT)
John C's shorts are all in a bunch. I read the Sullivan Report because the news here is not conspiracy theories and all of the government documents that are published in the articles are very hard to refute and all of the other information is sourced which is why this is not fake news. I think John may work for the city or maybe even be one of the merit plan folk wanting to form their union in secret and Mr. Morris and his employees screwed that up by giving Mr. Gauthier those private documents in the thumb file. John C is throwing darts with a blindfold hoping that he hit something. Epic failure.
John C(Sunday, March 28 21 04:07 pm EDT)
Sitting here eating popcorn like a fiend, trying to guess what the next plot you all can spin. More-so why, if Jim Sullivan is such a genius why hasn't he ran. Should be lot's of seats available this fall, so please jump in...You are all so good at ragging on every single person in town, smearing them in any way you can, its disgusting. Everyone of you are finding fault and think jim sullivan is some sort of demigod. Why don't you all get together and have him run for Mayor. Between him and Nick Koloski, Claremont should get lot's done, NOT!!!!
Steve(Sunday, March 28 21 02:46 pm EDT)
Linda you raised a very good point. I saw Jim at Walmart last week and we spoke for a few minutes about what is going on with the city. I told him he was finding a lot of dirt about our city government and how I and a lot of folks in Claremont appreciate his website and what he and AJ do for the community by keeping us informed. Jim told me that what worries him the most are the things that may be occurring that they are not finding. That is a sobering thought.
Erik(Sunday, March 28 21 01:43 pm EDT)
Greg is right. Claremont cannot survive two more years with that buffoon Morris in charge. We need new city councilors if the ones we have now won't do the job and fire a city manager who is just not working out.
Linda(Sunday, March 28 21 01:17 pm EDT)
I appreciate Jim Sullivan’s suggestions about closing the Transfer Station and changing the water rate structure to make if fair for all the ratepayers. Jim cares about our community. I wish I could say the same about our elected leaders on the city council. I no longer have any faith in them because Mr. Morris is still gainfully employed with the city and doing God knows what in secret that will not benefit our community.
Tom(Sunday, March 28 21 12:44 pm EDT)
I think that Ed Morris threw Mary Walter under the bus as he did the ex-dpw director not too long ago to try to save himself from termination. I hope that the departed employees being tossed at their feet do not sway the councilors from terminating Mr. Morris’s employment.
Diane(Sunday, March 28 21 12:18 pm EDT)
I am glad Mary Walter is retiring. She should have been fired years ago. Others in the city government need to go as well. Ed Morris, Jeremy Clay and Nancy Merrill immediately leap to mind. I am sure there are others as well that deserved termination of their employment with the city.
William(Sunday, March 28 21 11:17 am EDT)
Greg, thank you for the nice comment. Jim, thank you for correcting my error. I mistakenly thought that the other dealership donated the fireworks too.
Greg(Sunday, March 28 21 11:09 am EDT)
William summed it up nicely. The Sullivan Report has uncovered a lot of disturbing stuff about what the city manager and his assistants are doing quietly in the background. The city councilors all know about this and they are doing nothing about it. It is as if they condone these reprehensible actions. If the city councilors do not take strong action then they will need to be replaced this upcoming election.
Jim Sullivan(Sunday, March 28 21 09:34 am EDT)
William, I appreciate your comments but I have to make just one correction. It was actually McGee Toyota that donated the Fourth of July Fireworks for I believe the last two years in a row.
Nicole(Sunday, March 28 21 09:25 am EDT)
What is it going to take before the city councilors get together and fire Mr. Morris?
Tony(Sunday, March 28 21 09:21 am EDT)
Just when you think that, you have heard everything. Covering roads up with dirt to avoid fixing the infrastructure to pave the way for higher pay raises for city staffers. Bad priorities from a bad city manager and bad public works managers.
William(Sunday, March 28 21 08:58 am EDT)
Here are some of Ed Morris and his gang’s greatest hits.
Changing city records and manipulating information to suit their political agenda.
Altering applications for the Downtown TIF District Board to make old ones look new.
Using the trade-in of two public works department vehicles to massage the numbers by understating potential car auction prices to steer the business to a local car dealer that donated fireworks and a police car to the city.
Greatly overstating revenue for the community center.
Hiding the true taxpayer cost of operating the community center.
Redesigning the monthly expense report for January, eliminating financial information and using two different accounting methods to embellish the amount of what cash is remaining in this year’s budget.
Audit reports edited by the city manager and his staff before it is released to the city councilors and the public.
City employee’s compensation study compromised by meddling city manager and his staff by their choosing which communities to compare with Claremont to inflate salary recommendations for themselves.
Recommendations to increase Water and sewer rates toned down with the deceptive tactic of only citing the yearly percentage increase of fixed fees and flat rates while intentionally leaving out the higher percentage increases.
Changing the color of all the public works vehicles to red so people will confuse them with fire vehicles.
Quietly turning asphalt roads into dirt roads to bring Claremont back to the dark ages.
Mr. Morris’s routine inability or refusal to answer questions posed by the city councilors.
Mr. Morris’s routine insubordination of not following through with council orders.
Mr. Morris and his staff giving out confidential documents to a member of the public that now appears on the Sullivan Report website.
The finance committee scandal when the city manager, the mayor and the assistant mayor all colluded to withhold inconvenient information about the city employee compensation study.
So why are the city councilors refusing to fire Mr. Morris?
John J.O’Connor(Sunday, March 28 21 08:39 am EDT)
I’m not sure what would constitute immediate dismissal for the City Manager but I would have to think divulging confidential information would be an extremely good reason.
It will be extremely interesting to see how the City Council either handles this or spins this.
I would also like to thank the Honorable Frank Guathier for all his hard work on behalf of the citizens of Claremont. Frank would be an excellent candidate for the upcoming council election.
Please let’s encourage Frank to run for office, he is the type of person we need as a city councilor!
Rick(Sunday, March 28 21 03:51 am EDT)
Covering up asphalt roads with dirt and handing out confidential records to anyone off the street takes a special kind of stupid. What are our elected officials on the city council thinking about? The decision to fire Morris is a clear one.
Bill(Saturday, March 27 21 09:11 pm EDT)
It is incredible that Mr. Morris and his subordinates can be so stupid as to release confidential memos and documents to the public. It is plain laziness and stupidity. With everything else going wrong under his so called management the councilors will be nuts if they do not fire him.
Jim Sullivan(Saturday, March 27 21 03:31 pm EDT)
Several surprises during March 24 Council meeting.
Guy(Thursday, March 25 21 08:17 am EDT)
Happy days are here again, Mary is retiring!!!!!!
William(Wednesday, March 24 21 07:06 am EDT)
What gets me is the current state of the city’s finances and how the books look like they are being cooked so the idiots on the city council will think that everything is great when the finances are really in the dumper. If it was not for the Sullivan Report and the efforts of Jim Sullivan and AJ Maranville and their friends who seem to be helping them, all of property owners and us citizens would never know the truth. The E- Ticker News and the Eagle Times are only interested in publishing what seems to be local government sanctioned news and the Valley News and the Union Leader do not regularly cover Claremont news and when they do most of the time the reporters seem to be ill informed of what is really going on here.
Frank Gauthier(Tuesday, March 23 21 06:39 am EDT)
Watch Dog YouTube Clip 9-23-20 Claremont City Council Meeting Truck Leasing BIG DOLLARS $$$$$$$ TO THE TAX PAYERS !!!
Adam(Monday, March 22 21 01:44 pm EDT)
Maybe all of those e-mails are trying to figure out how to deal with the Merit Plan going union.
John J. O’Connor(Monday, March 22 21 10:21 am EDT)
I would like to give a huge shout out the the Honorable Frank Guathier.
Great job Frank!!!!!!
Jim Sullivan(Monday, March 22 21 07:10 am EDT)
Serious questions raised regarding recent leasing of DPW vehicles.
Article found on News Flashes page of this website.
Keith(Sunday, March 21 21 03:59 pm EDT)
The Sullivan Report’s last two articles have been mind-blowing as they show how f-ed up the city’s municipal government is under lame-o city manager Ed Morris. The city councilors are responsible for not firing his butt a long time ago and for everything that he is doing that is contrary to what is best for the citizens of Claremont. The longer he stays the more things are getting f-ed up so they are just as much to blame for this mess as he is.
Tom(Sunday, March 21 21 03:10 pm EDT)
I noticed that an update appeared showing that the council did approve those vehicle leases after all. A quick public retraction displaying the public documents showing the truth indicates that Mr. Sullivan is a man of honesty and integrity and that the news printed on this website can be trusted because if proven wrong about something the record will be set straight.
Patricia(Sunday, March 21 21 12:46 pm EDT)
I never realized how hard a time Jim Sullivan has trying to get public information for his website so that he can inform us of what is really going on. It seems that Ed Morris and his staff have a lot to hide and we do have a real chicken-shit city council. I hope we the voters can work together and address that problem in November on Election Day.
Peter(Sunday, March 21 21 12:06 pm EDT)
Let’s face it; there is just bad management all around with our city government.
Brian(Sunday, March 21 21 11:22 am EDT)
The Morris administration is up to their necks in deceptive practices. The finance department’s city records are so unreliable that they have become works of fiction. The DPW is manipulating figures, structuring bids, and controlling their distribution to apparently aim their new vehicle business towards a certain business. The planning office staff is altering city documents to make old applications look new. The finances for the community center are atrocious and the finance and parks & rec departments are colluding to hide the truth about what it is really costing the taxpayers each year to keep the doors open. The city planner should have been fired long ago for neglect and incompetence and neither the city manager, the public works director or the assistant public works director have the career backgrounds necessary to hold the jobs that they presently have. This is occurring under the city manager’s questionable leadership. All the while, several of the councilors shoot their mouths off at every meeting venting their anger and that is just a big waste of time because they do nothing about actually solving the problems starting with firing Mr. Morris posthaste. Unfortunately, the people who are suffering the most are the taxpayers who are paying for this disaster.
Todd(Sunday, March 21 21 10:26 am EDT)
What the hell is up with Morris and his staff buying all these expensive trucks all of a sudden? Didn’t Morris hear the city council tell him to hold back on the spending and bring them a budget for next year that does not raise property taxes higher? Is Morris just stupid or is he arrogant because he knows he is dealing with a chicken-shit city council? Why do I think the city council is chicken-shit? Morris is still here.
David(Sunday, March 21 21 09:10 am EDT)
Thank you Mr. Gauthier for your efforts to acquire those emails for Mr. Sullivan. You are performing a terrific public service. Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Maranville are the only two people in Claremont were trying to educate and inform the general populace about the reprehensible things our local government leaders do in our name with our tax dollars. I appreciate you helping them in that endeavor.
Richard(Sunday, March 21 21 09:06 am EDT)
Decision-making is not this council’s strong suit. They are extremely challenged when faced with a decision they must make without extensive guidance and a lot of handholding from the city administration. This may be why they are having so many meetings about Mr. Morris’s job performance.
Gail(Sunday, March 21 21 08:45 am EDT)
Perhaps the voters have to get rid of the councilors first in order to get rid of Mr. Morris next.
Matt(Sunday, March 21 21 08:29 am EDT)
I have no idea what the councilors are waiting for? All they seem to do is have nonpublic meeting after nonpublic meeting but they never seem to accomplish anything. Don’t they understand that Morris needs to be fired?
Jim Sullivan(Sunday, March 21 21 08:13 am EDT)
New article published today.
Morris Administration out of control!
The article is published on the News Flashes page of this website.
Ken(Thursday, March 18 21 06:09 am EDT)
The Sullivan Report is the only new source we seem to have anymore. The Eagle Times looks like a clip and paste grade school project with articles from outside of our local area taking over what should be a local paper with local news. The few articles that have local news are full of mistakes and one-sided in favor of local government interests. The other local press offerings are not much better. This weeks Sullivan Report article was very long but very informative as well. The documents gives the story authenticity because you know that you are reading the truth and not fake news. This website is performing a true public service. Mr. Morris and his staff are doing things they should not be doing and the city councilors are burying their heads in the sand and doing nothing about it, which I am very angry about. It is a good thing this is an election year.
I’ll believe it when I see it.(Wednesday, March 17 21 09:14 pm EDT)
Speaking of useless.... it seems certain members of the council are publicly stated that the Pleasant Street project will be the savior of Claremont. It’s been repeatedly said that the tax base will increase significantly and it will be the answer to our infrastructure prayers.
I remember the same thing being said when they built Walmart and look how well that turned out, it killed downtown.
Randy(Wednesday, March 17 21 07:07 pm EDT)
Morris and his people are out of control. They are abusing their authority and the city councilors are letting them do it.
Tom(Tuesday, March 16 21 05:37 pm EDT)
This city administration acts like the most corrupt that I have ever seen in my 40 odd years as a resident of Claremont. Why is the city councilors all sitting on their hands and doing nothing about it?
Jim Sullivan(Monday, March 15 21 09:10 pm EDT)
Another very interesting City Council meeting!
Article appears on the News Flashes page of this website.
John J O’Connor(Monday, March 15 21 08:56 pm EDT)
500 pages of Council Emails ?
If that’s true, I wonder how many unauthorized meetings they had during this time ?
I think the city is Bluffing, 50 cents a page with a potential cost of $250 sounds like the administration is trying to discourage you from getting them.
Makes me wonder, what is in those Emails and what is the City Manager hiding?
Buy the Emails!!!!!!
Jim Sullivan(Wednesday, March 10 21 06:44 am EST)
Jessica, you are very welcome. Also, thank you for all the kind words, they are greatly appreciated. I wish you the very best for your business.
Jessica Miller-Ibey(Wednesday, March 10 21 05:59 am EST)
Thank you so much for saying something about the meeting on the 1st of March. I’m the owner of Brun Gardner Properties and I thought your article was very true in that Tracy Pope’s behavior was not becoming for Claremont and sad for any business owner that has to go before her.
Thank you for standing up and saying something as it helped tip the scales back to the positive for Claremont. People need to stand up against people abusing their power. She slandered my name as a business woman in very start of the meeting, with zero reason other than to try to destroy a successful businesswoman’s reputation that is new to town.
You are right that her live stream slander of an applicant could warrant a lawsuit some day. She slandered me as a business woman I believe at one point calling me as a bad one as I sat there on muted mic unable to say anything against her ranting.
I want you all to know that this is the only person that has been unwelcoming from the city. The rest are excited and happy we moved here and so for that I’m grateful. I’m also grateful to you for standing up against her blatant abuse of power with your well done article.
It shocked my husband and I both as behavior like this usually is not allowed to go on.
Its also a reminder that we all can be a part of deciding who gets what positions by getting involved in our local government by writing the Mayor and Govenor of NH about our issues.
I wrote the Mayor and did not hear back but Nancy from the Information office called me and she is fabulous and has been great to work with.
Thanks again, Jessica Miller-Ibey, owner of Brun Gardner Properties
Jim Sullivan(Wednesday, March 10 21 05:56 am EST)
Lawsuit settled! Details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, March 09 21 09:07 pm EST)
School Ballot Results from today's voting can be found on the News Flashes page of this website.
Adam(Tuesday, March 09 21 09:47 am EST)
Great news that we will now be able to get the Merit plan back the increases they missed in the years the City gave union employees raises and merit plan zero. 5% to start will be a step in the right direction.
Special(Monday, March 08 21 08:32 pm EST)
I'm not sure why but pope has thought she was something special for a long time nothing but a clerk who thinks she is something get her out thanks for helping but no thanks
Ray(Monday, March 08 21 11:41 am EST)
Claremont does need a city grant writer to oversee the department specific writers and fill in the gap for the departments without their own. Somebody needs to be ensuring Claremont receives all available applicable federal funding. Especially in this current climate with a brand new stimulus bill in the works.
Shawn(Monday, March 08 21 06:34 am EST)
It is because the city councilors all talk a good game but they really do not care about what Claremont citizens really need like better roads and a lower tax rate. All they care about is pay raises for city staff and tax breaks and special favors for the special interests that they cater to with our money.
Richard(Monday, March 08 21 05:47 am EST)
I do not understand how high ranking executives in the city government can keep their jobs when they do them so poorly? The city councilors were elected to do what is best for the citizens of Claremont. How can our elected city councilors all choosing to casting a blind eye to all of this flagrant insubordination and obvious incompetence be what is best for Claremont?
Guy(Sunday, March 07 21 09:10 pm EST)
How dare you criticize Tracy Pope, didn’t you know she is a kidney transplant survivor?
Not that that matters, but I’m sure people will mention it to explain her behavior and garner sympathy.
People like her feel they can say anything they like because no one would dare criticize them because they had a near death experience.
Being sick doesn’t allow you to be disrespectful.
Ken(Sunday, March 07 21 08:32 pm EST)
It looks like the city's financial books are in disarray. Mr. Morris is responsible for his staff's shortcomings and he should be cleaning house and hiring new people that can do the job. Posting money coming in only twice a year is nuts. The city collects about 600K a year and the money is deposited only twice a year is crazy. It is lazy bookkeeping, with a lazy city manager doing nothing about it.
Ray(Sunday, March 07 21 04:53 pm EST)
Tracy Pope should resign from the Zoning Board. If not then the Councilors should kick her off.
Jim Sullivan(Sunday, March 07 21 11:13 am EST)
Three new articles published today.
1) Out of control!
2) Morris' answers to finance questions.
3) School Budget Vote on March 9.
All three articles are on the News Flashes page of this website.
Adam(Friday, March 05 21 08:57 am EST)
Well the union cards are in and have been given to the city manager. now we just wait for the Vote.
John J O’Connor(Friday, March 05 21 07:26 am EST)
Jim... I’m sure this bill will be re-written multiple times before being passed but the bottom line, it will eventually pass.
Claremont should get out in front, for a change, and spearhead the Tiny Home movement.
The Honorable Frank Guathier first mentioned Tiny homes to me back in 2016, he would be a great resource of information because I know he did some in-depth research on this subject.
Jim Sullivan(Thursday, March 04 21 08:33 pm EST)
The legislation as written would allow self-contained water and solid waste systems for tiny homes and that would supersede Claremont regs. I agree that tiny homes should be allowed but the legislation as written should not be passed by the legislature. It needs a rewrite to fix a few flaws within it.
John J.O’Connor(Thursday, March 04 21 07:00 pm EST)
Sanitation is important and I can only assume if a Tiny home is set up in a residential neighborhood and not in the wilderness, the unit would be hooked up to city water and sewer.
Why does the city want to limit the locations? Sounds like property prejudice to me.
Newly constructed Tiny Homes would be an asset to any Claremont community.
Jim Sullivan(Thursday, March 04 21 09:19 am EST)
John, City Officials are concerned with the wording in the pending legislature that if it became law and Claremont allowed tiny homes in the community under this new law then the City would have to allow tiny homes anywhere in Claremont that allows single-family homes. Claremont Officials want to control where tiny homes would be allowed within the community. There are some other issues as well, such the proposed law allows self-contained solid waste units within the property instead of making the owner hook up to City water and sewer utilities if available.
John J. O’Connor(Thursday, March 04 21 08:18 am EST)
I’m trying to understand the controversy in regards to Tiny Homes.
As I understand it, the construction requirements for these Tiny homes will still be the same as new construction. Plumbing and electrical codes must be adhered to. Construction materials must be up to the strict code requirements as new construction so why is there an issue ?
The construction of Tiny Homes would be an economic boom for New Hampshire and would help solve the workforce housing issues in Claremont.
So what am I missing?
Dirtbag al sharpton(Wednesday, March 03 21 07:57 pm EST)
Al Sharpton is a looser glad to see that Firestarter scumbag chime in
Donk(Wednesday, March 03 21 07:50 am EST)
Being as we want to be hip and current with the times,perhaps we should consider rainbow colored city vehicles
We would also highly encourage trans-gender personnel for open positions within the police,fire,and DPW
I think promoting such a stance would really put us in favor as far as federal and even state grants while on the subject of grant writers
We could even get out there on the cutting edge and encourage the super morbidly obese to certain positions
Another to consider are our newly minted into sobriety from our sober living facility,I think ex-drug addicts would make for fantastic police
Al Sharpton(Wednesday, March 03 21 07:11 am EST)
Rebecca.... only a racist and bigot would say something like that.... so which are you ?
Rebecca(Wednesday, March 03 21 01:59 am EST)
Putting a Museum of African American History in Claremont NH is the equivalent of putting a Jewish holocaust museum in the Lakota Sioux Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. The building would be better used for a business therefor creating jobs and bringing in tax revenue, not a tax exempt museum pushing a
What a dream(Tuesday, March 02 21 09:43 pm EST)
This group of councilors and the manager will make it so nice you can leave your needles and drugs at the free county beds for scumbags and cross the one way street with the painted rainbow sidewalks to eat on the new sidewalk that we will be paying for in our tax bill and after walk to the museum real classy place I'm glad it includes all except the poor stiffs that will be paying the bill all these groups get what they want at the dime of us who go to work to give them the money to blow on these pipe dreams
Archie(Tuesday, March 02 21 08:43 pm EST)
Everyone must support the BLM museum or they will be labeled a racist!
The beautiful museum will be a big hit(Tuesday, March 02 21 08:17 pm EST)
Our city is doomed with this nothing more than a manager of a small department store running it a guy who knows nothing about anything but trying to put out a fire that doesn't qualify him to manage anything OBVIOUSLY
John J O’Connor(Tuesday, March 02 21 08:31 am EST)
The City Council is acting like a disorganized dictatorship. After receiving numerous warnings from the Council, the Mayor has consistently expanded her self made duties causing turmoil, negative reactions and hurt feelings for her fellow council members.
The released tape of the financial meeting gave the citizens a look behind the scenes. They saw the Mayor and Assistant Mayor conspiring to mislead the public and council to appease the City Manager.
Makes me wonder what is being said by these two when the doors are closed and the cameras are off ?
Lisa(Tuesday, March 02 21 07:52 am EST)
Sounds like a nonprofit organization. If they are just renting space then that is great. If they buy the building then it would take another building off the tax rolls in the TIF district and further increase the deficit. That would not be a good deal for the taxpayers. It all depends on what they are doing.
Ran into an old acquaintance at the Walmart yesterday who works for City Planning with an office at the Visitor Center.
I was told that a Bethel AME-initiated "Blacks In New England History Museum" is planned for one of the mill buildings here.
Folks from Mass are sponsoring it.
MAAH.org | Museum of African American History |
Fact Check(Monday, March 01 21 08:11 pm EST)
Human factors and ergonomics researchers have found that bright yellow vehicles are less likely to be involved in accidents.
Red may be the traditional color of fire engines, but human factors and ergonomics research finds that lime-yellow fire vehicles are less likely to be involved in accidents.
Picture a fire truck and you are likely to see red — fire engine red. But when it comes to safety, human factors and ergonomics research paints a different picture. Much of what we know about human factors and ergonomics relies upon psychological studies of human visual and auditory perception. This research shows that because the color-transmitting cones in our eyes don't work well in the dark, some colors are easier for us to see at night. We are most sensitive to greenish-yellow colors under dim conditions, making lime shades easiest to see in low lighting. A 2009 study by the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), a division of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), also concluded that fluorescent colors, including yellow-green and orange, are easiest to spot in daylight
Nathan(Monday, March 01 21 02:41 pm EST)
Ed Morris is a disaster as a city manager. It is painfully obvious that he does not have the experience to do the job and our elected councilors should do the right thing by the citizens of Claremont and terminate his employment posthaste.
Erica Sweetser(Monday, March 01 21 01:49 pm EST)
I apologize for my typo. I'm on my phone and can't seem to edit my comment. But I actually pride myself on not picking sides within the council chamber.
Erica Sweetser(Monday, March 01 21 01:47 pm EST)
Perhaps you are unsure of what side I am on bevause I don't think my job is "picking a side". We should be critically thinking about every situation rather than trying to be one side or another. Some may view that as a bad thing, but I don't see my job as being part of one side or another. It should be on Claremont's side.
Todd(Monday, March 01 21 12:11 pm EST)
Red DPW vehicles? Has Ed Morris lost his flipping mind? Fire trucks are red not DPW vehicles. The city manager is even a bigger doofus than the last one the councilors hired.
Linda(Monday, March 01 21 11:43 am EST)
I really like Jim Sullivan’s idea about shutting down the transfer station and transferring the savings over to the street paving budget. To me that is a win-win because it eliminates a money-losing proposition at the transfer station and increases the spending on street paving and that is something everybody in Claremont wants to see happen because the road conditions are horrendous.
Tom(Monday, March 01 21 10:40 am EST)
There definitely seems to be two factions, Morris and Lovett and Damren and then the rest on the other side. The only one I am not sure about is Sweetser because she is all over the place with her public comments.
Richard(Monday, March 01 21 09:04 am EST)
I'm not surprised that our city leaders are at odds with each other. What Allen Damren, Charlene Lovett and Ed Morris did by planning to withhold important information from the city councilors and the public was a betrayal that can never be forgiven.
Jim Sullivan(Monday, March 01 21 07:34 am EST)
Two new articles published today.
1) City Officials continue to squabble.
2) Money-Saving Suggestions sent to the Council.
Both articles are published on the News Flashes page of this website.
Alex(Saturday, February 27 21 10:44 am EST)
The collusion to hide damaging information about the consultant’s city employee compensation study that involved the city manager should have been grounds for his immediate termination. Instead, the councilors accept a halfhearted apology that seemed very insincere. The voters need to face it; they have elected a spineless city council that is incapable of making difficult decisions. They need to be replaced in November.
Ted(Saturday, February 27 21 07:30 am EST)
Why are the councilors keeping the city manager? How many chances is a guy supposed to get before he does enough screw ups to get fired? The nine councilors we have today are a travesty and a disgrace.
Adam(Friday, February 26 21 12:19 pm EST)
Good news that a majority of the Merit plan Employees have signed Union Cards to force a vote for a union. That should prevent the years of skipping over the non union workers for raises.
Richard(Wednesday, February 24 21 09:17 am EST)
If the $39,299 assessment for Norm St. Aubin's property is correct because of the rebate then the board of assessors approved a property assessment change that is more than 666% lower than what it really is. That is not a small error just like the over 18% over-assessment of the Goodfellas property is not a small error either. It seems as if several people do not know how to do their jobs and that includes the city manager and the members of the city council, who are allowing this farce to continue.
Kevin(Tuesday, February 23 21 07:48 pm EST)
Maybe all city employees, councilors and board members should be enrolled in a mandatory ethics class. With all the colluding and questionable decisions it seems to be the answer because it's unlikely that any of these public officials are going away anytime soon.
Jill(Tuesday, February 23 21 06:55 pm EST)
Terry's right. In my opinion Mr. Kennedy did not do the right thing and keeping quiet about his conflict. As an owner of the abutting property he should have disqualified himself from the vote. There is no other way to look at that.
Terry(Tuesday, February 23 21 05:02 pm EST)
I just read the latest article and that most certainly is a conflict of interest. Mr. Kennedy should have said something and not voted on this settlement agreement. I do not know how they would have given the Goodfellas property owners their settlement agreement but that is a problem that the city should have handled. Mr. Morris is just not doing his job.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, February 23 21 03:10 pm EST)
Conflict of interest or poor judgment?
Article is published on the News Flashes page of this website.
tony(Tuesday, February 23 21 01:06 pm EST)
Great to see the union cards have been rolling in!
Steve(Tuesday, February 23 21 10:24 am EST)
The Sullivan Report is having no problem finding inherent incompetence within the city administration. Claremont has a finance department that seems incapable of basic accounting and math skills. An assessing department with similar problems with an assessing expertise and math skills. The staff responsible for filling out the forms in both departments in those in management responsible for reviewing those forms to make sure they are accurate overall not doing their jobs. Councilors and assessing board members are also not doing their due diligence by reviewing the documents and comprehending what they are saying because if they did they would see the errors and in the assessing board’s case they certainly would not approve barefaced errors in the assessing staff should not be recommending those errors for approval. Mr. Morris hired an inexperienced director of public works when the department already had an inexperienced assistant director of public works, which will probably result with poor management decisions somewhere down the road. I watched the planning board meeting last night and Scott Osgood the city planner is a disaster. I watch the meetings regularly and he is never prepared for any of the agenda items in the same is true for the zoning board meetings that he also attends. This is not a hobby for him this is a paid position and does not seem up to the job. Last night they brought back a new item to add to the capital improvement plan, the City Hall dome renovation project that will cost nearly $800,000. The planning board and just reviewed and recommended the entire plan to the city councilors and they passed the plan item at their last meeting or the one before that. Now this project has to be added to the plan. If it wasn’t for the meeting minute taker, Mr. Osgood would have struck again with his ineptitude and nothing would’ve been done. Mr. Osgood just spoke about the addition but he never requested that the planning board review the project and set a priority number and then create a recommendation and pass on to the city councilors for their approval as an addition to the capital improvement plan. Mr. Morris was no help either because he said nothing about the necessity to do that until the meeting minute taker spoke up. Mr. Morris is a numbskull too and he has a bunch of numbskulls working for him in different departments.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, February 23 21 09:13 am EST)
The Eagle Times has been publishing online editions on their regular schedule. I read today's online edition this morning. Have you tried refreshing your browser?
Do your job !!!!!!(Tuesday, February 23 21 08:55 am EST)
Is the Eagle Times still in business ? The online edition has not changed since Friday
Charles(Tuesday, February 23 21 08:43 am EST)
What got me was all the different property assessments for Norm St. Alban’s small acreage lot. Is it $23,000 like the meeting minutes read? Or on the other hand is it $27,520 like the administrative abatement list reads? Or is it $39,299, which would have to match the cash payout that the assessor recommended and the board of assessors rubberstamped? Who knows? Unfortunately, it seems that the highly paid assessing consultants and the board of assessors does not care. Will the councilors do anything about this or will they just look the other way and ignore the problem as they are doing with the terrible conditions of our roads and for so many other problems they do not want to address.
Rick(Monday, February 22 21 03:11 pm EST)
The Sullivan Report raised a good point about the over-assessment of the old odd fellows building by over 18%. Located in the Downtown TIF District that is always requiring a cash infusion from the taxpayers, if you are an unscrupulous city official it would make sense to over-assess the buildings in the district to increase revenues to lower the annual ask for money from the taxpayers to balance the books for the district. It is unprincipled but I can see why it would be done because assessments are of subjective and if the officials city officials are caught, the city leaders can always say they made a mistake without ever suffering repercussions. In the sick twisted world of bureaucrats they would consider that a win-win proposition.
Brian(Monday, February 22 21 12:27 pm EST)
It seems to me that the assessing consultants are telling and showing the Board of Assessors one thing when it is really another thing entirely. Just as Mr. Morris was doing when he colluded with the Mayor and Assistant Mayor to withhold important information about the pay raises from everyone else. The finance office is also distributing false information. This seems to be a widespread problem within Mr. Morris’s administration. Is this widespread gross incompetence or intentional disinformation? The Council’s do-nothing approach is not working for the best interests of the citizens of Claremont.
Mike(Monday, February 22 21 12:20 pm EST)
What is Ed Morris doing all day in his role as city manager? The finance office is a shambles. The Sullivan Report article shows the unassailable proof that the city’s financial books are poorly kept and filled with errors. Ed Morris hires a director of the public works department, who has absolutely no experience. I am sorry, but managing a few municipal buildings as an employee of a public works department hardly qualifies someone to manage an entire public works department the size of the one in Claremont. It sounds like Ed Morris hired a friend who needed a high-paying job. Now we learn, also thanks to the Sullivan Report, that the assessing office is also as poorly managed as the finance department as their documents and property assessments are filled with errors as well. It is obvious to citizens, those of us who pay extremely high property taxes, that Ed Morris is not up to the job and the longer he remains the worse the city government will become. The city councilors should have already taken action but they constantly languish whenever they need to make a decision without guidance from the city administration. Presumably, it will be up to the voters in November to elect new leadership that will be capable of making the necessary decisions to reset our local government for success.
Katherine(Monday, February 22 21 09:48 am EST)
I remember Mr. Hamilton, the contract assessor speaking before the city council during the discussion phase of creating this assessing board and Mr. Hamilton made it quite clear that those appointed would have to possess above-average intelligence and require some intensive training to be able to perform the job in their quasi-judicial role as board members. I agree with Robert that the board members seem incapable of reading comprehension and simple math, as do the two consultant assessors, which does not bode well for either the assessing department or the city taxpayers. Another disaster courtesy of Claremont’s inept city manager Ed Morris.
Robert(Monday, February 22 21 09:36 am EST)
It sounds like the board of assessors and the assessing consultants hired by Mr. Morris our dreadful city manager are all asleep on the job. Assessing is meticulous work and it seems that none of these individuals possesses basic reading skills or is capable of rudimentary mathematics. One would think that both would be prerequisites for the jobs and appointed positions these individuals hold.
Jim Sullivan(Monday, February 22 21 06:49 am EST)
New article published today.
Good day for Claremont Goodfellas & another grossly erroneous Morris Administration document discovered!
The article is published on the News Flashes page of this website.
Tom(Monday, February 22 21 06:46 am EST)
Chris, that may have been true in the past when things have changed. The Progressives have controlled Claremont for many years and have practically taxed the working class in this community into near bankruptcy. Their hubris and greed seem to know no bounds. People can only be pushed so far and many in this community have reached their limit. They are beginning to wake up and see the damage the Progressives have caused to our great community. I firmly believe that if good people rise up and apply for city council seats for the November election that they will defeat most of the incumbents who have turned their backs on the general populace long ago. The removal of the Progressives from public office is the only recourse average citizens have to regain control of their municipal government and bring back true representative government.
Chris(Sunday, February 21 21 08:56 pm EST)
Yada, yada, yada... it’s the same shit over and over again. Every election you people are always screaming for new blood on the council only to see the same ones get re-elected and mostly unopposed.
When will you people realize this site does not represent the majority of the citizens but only a small amount of cave people.
Sarah(Sunday, February 21 21 11:01 am EST)
I wholeheartedly agree. The majority represents the special interests and not the average citizens of Claremont. If we want true representation, we need new leadership as the present-day leadership has utterly failed us all.
Janice(Sunday, February 21 21 09:53 am EST)
It would be great to have every seat on the city council challenged with someone new. Many of the present-day members have been there for far too long making the city council stagnant and complacent, as they no longer do the work of the people.
Tom(Sunday, February 21 21 08:11 am EST)
I read an article in today’s Valley News that 14 candidates have applied for five open seats on the Hartford Select Board. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we have a large number of candidates run the City Council in November so the voters would have some real choices.
Carl(Friday, February 19 21 02:52 pm EST)
It looks to me like Lovett, Damren and Morris are practicing selective honesty. It makes me wonder how long they have been doing this. The finance committee meeting is only the first time they actually got caught doing it.
Pete(Friday, February 19 21 09:29 am EST)
I cannot believe how incredibly stupid and arrogant our mayor, assistant mayor and city manager are. Saying the things that they said on the meeting that was filmed is truly idiotic. They were so confident that the meeting would never be released publicly that they let their arrogance drive their actions. I am glad that Dale Girard showed some integrity and try to sway the other three to do the right thing and reveal this information to councilors in public but while everyone knows that, you cannot fix stupid it is also true that you cannot fix corrupt because that fix must come from within.
Jim Sullivan(Wednesday, February 17 21 05:22 pm EST)
Confirmed COVID-19 cases at Disnard Elementary School, Claremont Middle School & Stevens High School.
More details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Diane(Wednesday, February 17 21 12:33 pm EST)
How can anyone ever trust Mayor Lovett, City Manager Morris and Assistant Mayor Damren after what they have done? The city councilors may not be able to force Mrs. Lovett and Mr. Damren out of public office but they can certainly vote together and terminate Mr. Morris to give the members of the public a sign that the city councilors can be trusted by not protecting their employee when he or she does something inherently wrong. That would at least instill some confidence to the public that our local government is not entirely corrupt and beyond salvaging.
Steve(Wednesday, February 17 21 11:46 am EST)
The finance committee meeting video is proof positive of the corruption at City Hall. Heads should roll instead of hefty raises doled out.
Matt(Wednesday, February 17 21 07:25 am EST)
If the actions of these three fine upstanding citizens Lovett, Damren and Morris was so above board and proper then why were city staff members only willing to comment about how justified and matter of fact those actions were so long as they did so under the protection of anonymity?
Tony(Tuesday, February 16 21 02:49 pm EST)
Wow, the vote to give 2.5% but skip the retroactive portion was quick. Do they think they merit plan employees can’t add? So the union employees get the entire year worth of increase but they short the non-union. Hell they have skipped years of increases for non-union and never made it back up to them. Get ready to pay real wages soon Claremont.
Jeremy(Tuesday, February 16 21 02:45 pm EST)
Mrs. Lovett and Mr. Damren and Mr. Morris would have done well to remember the old adage “Oh what a tangled web we weave when we practice to deceive.” It would have spared them a lot of public embarrassment and the ruination of their reputations.
Roger(Tuesday, February 16 21 02:09 pm EST)
Mr. Morris does not deserve to serve another day as city manager of Claremont.
Tom(Tuesday, February 16 21 12:31 pm EST)
The councilors simply see us as a means to a political end; most of them are as phony as a three-dollar bill. Maybe with the next election we can turn out enough of these councilors to change things. Damren’s retirement from the council will be a big step in the right direction because in my opinion he is one of the biggest snakes in the garden as shown on the videotaped finance committee meeting. It exposed the true selves of Damren, Lovett and Morris as people who should not be in positions of power.
Kaitlyn(Tuesday, February 16 21 09:40 am EST)
Ed Morris’s lack of experience, knowledge and professional skills making him a poor choice for city manager. His ethics are also in question as are those of Charlene Lovett and Allen Damren. It is time for a change of leadership.
It’s time for them to go !!!!!!!(Tuesday, February 16 21 09:24 am EST)
It’s time for the Mayor and Assistant Mayor to resign from their positions.
They have violated the trust of the people and can no longer be trusted to be an advocate for the citizens of Claremont.
Brenda(Monday, February 15 21 02:04 pm EST)
What is up with the downtown TIF district? In six months it raises $4890 and change but spends $598,173 and change when the district is constantly broke and has to borrow money each year from the taxpayers just to stay afloat. It sounds like the books are being cooked and maybe that forensic audit Councilor Stone wanted might not be a bad idea for the TIF district.
Michael(Monday, February 15 21 11:30 am EST)
The accounting books for the city are a hot mess. I do not understand why the city manager, the finance director, the city treasurer and all of the city councilors do not read these reports about the city's finances. This is their job and they cannot work up the initiative to do it. I looked at the documents that Jim put on his website and these questionable entries are glaring. Anyone reading these documents would easily see them. I think it is time to clean house at City Hall.
Carl G(Monday, February 15 21 08:27 am EST)
I just read the Sullivan Report article today. It is beginning to appear that every city manager we hire fall short of managing the city departments. I am beginning to wonder if the city departments are not a good old boys club that has a cleverly designed agenda capable of pulling the wool over the managers eyes. Although there’s not much excuse for a manager not noticing problems and lends to the fact that the managers could possibly be inexperienced in noticing these problems. I would like to blame this on hiring committees but it has been reported on here several times that the finalist picked by the hiring committee was changed by the council and the top pick was not chosen. It looks like we need a manager that manages departments instead of a manager that is managed by the departments. Especially for the pay scale that we are paying in such a small and depressed community. A properly managed city managed by a capable and transparent manager could put negative reports from the Sullivan Report to rest in a hurry. That is if the Sullivan Report could come up with something negative to report on.
Jim Sullivan(Monday, February 15 21 06:30 am EST)
Two new articles published today.
1) City Finance Report shows huge discrepancies and disturbing information!
2) Tensions run high at the February 10, 2021 Claremont City Council meeting!
Both articles are published on the News Flashes page of this website.
Tony(Thursday, February 11 21 03:26 pm EST)
The video meeting is unnerving. To see people that I have known for years act in such a despicable manner is quite disturbing. There is just no forgiveness for their actions. Their reputations are ruined and justifiably so. Charlene and Allen have violated the public trust and that can never be reclaimed. Mr. Morris’s actions deserve only one action of recourse from the city council and that is his immediate termination.
Ron(Thursday, February 11 21 02:33 pm EST)
I watched the February 1 finance committee meeting and what Mrs. Lovett, Mr. Morris and Mr. Damren did is an open and shut case of an inexcusable act. I have no idea what the councilors may have done at their impromptu called private meeting to doubtlessly discuss the city manager’s future with the city of Claremont but if he was not terminated for this inexcusable act then I will have lost all respect for all of the councilors. I agree with the Sullivan Report that public censure for Mrs. Lovett and Mr. Damren are in order as it is unfortunate that there is no recall provision in the city charter to remove either of them from public office as that is what each of them truly deserve. While Mr. Damren will not be seeking reelection to his council seat, Mrs. Lovett probably will and she will need to be voted out of office. I hope someone with some moral character will choose to run for mayor. Someone like Debora Matteau perhaps?
Jim Sullivan(Thursday, February 11 21 07:16 am EST)
Kipp Ryan the founder and one of the moderators of the local What's Up Claremont Facebook page recently wrote the following on his Facebook page when posed with a similar question essentially asking who the Claremont School Board candidates would be on the ballot.
"3 uncontested candidates. Josh Lambert, Heather Whitney, Steve Horsky".
Wondering(Wednesday, February 10 21 05:32 pm EST)
Anyone even know when school board applicants are announced?
Jim Sullivan(Wednesday, February 10 21 01:58 pm EST)
Two articles published today.
1) Claremont Budget Deliberative Session over in 12 minutes.
2) Spin control in full swing regarding municipal employee pay raises.
Both articles are on the News Flashes page of this website.
Donk(Friday, February 05 21 05:14 pm EST)
Morris is trying to cheat the people of Claremont out of their money.We already pay the highest taxes in state asshole.
Go work somewhere else
Rodney(Friday, February 05 21 03:26 pm EST)
I firmly believe that the three amigos Lovett, Damren and Morris have all got to go. A public apology will not be enough because plotting and scheming to deceive the public and the other councilors is unforgivable. I saw it on video and that you cannot un-see. There is no way they can claim this is fake news. They did it and they should have to pay the consequences for their reprehensible actions.
tony(Friday, February 05 21 01:58 pm EST)
Not sure why all the fuss about the compensation report. If the council does nothing, then all the rest of the workforce will have learned that the way to get actual raises is to be part of a Union like Fire and Police. Game over, you will be paying more anyway.
Bob(Friday, February 05 21 11:06 am EST)
John O'Connor This is not a one off. This has been going on for years, all the way back to when they first took their respected positions. When the mayor speaks to a topic on the agenda at the beginning of a meeting and a councilor says "we can't talk about this it is ion the agenda" and they mayor does not stop talking and the councilor then says "why are we breaking the rules" and without any hesitation the Asst. Mayor says "because we can" and the mayor continues the rest of her statement on the topic. That tells you everything you need to know abou the Mayor and her Asst. flunkie!!!
John J O’Connor(Friday, February 05 21 07:57 am EST)
Before everyone jumps on “ they must resign” bandwagon, let’s give them a chance to explain.
After watching and re-watching certain portions of the meeting, I was left with the impression that the Mayor and Assistant Mayor assume the citizens of Claremont are “too” stupid to understand or maybe they wouldn’t agree with the decisions of this committee or the actions of the City Manager.
My advice, come clean.
Most politicians say and do things they later regret and they get all jammed up because they tried to cover up their actions when a simple apology would have solved the problem.
So before people sprint to a rush of judgment, give the Mayor and Assistant Mayor a chance to explain their insulting behavior.
David(Thursday, February 04 21 04:04 pm EST)
I viewed the finance committee meeting that everyone is talking about and saw the Mayor, Assistant Mayor and City Manager say things that they would never say in public. It was unbelievable to watch but absolutely true because the video proves that it is all true. The public can finally see how these people think and act for real. I have great respect for Councilman Dale Girard. He showed great restraint and he valiantly tried to convince Charlene Lovett, Allen Damren and Ed Morris about the necessity of transparency when dealing with government affairs. They did not care. These three should not be holders of any public office or any government position of any kind. It is as if they have no conscience or capacity for shame whatsoever. Claremont deserves better leadership. I hope for Claremont’s sake that the councilors fire Mr. Morris tonight at their nonpublic meeting. He has broken the public’s trust, as have Charlene Lovett and Allen Damren. The longer the councilors wait to take firm action against Mr. Morris, the worse things will deteriorate and the more the public’s trust in their city leaders will wane.
Copy&Paste(Thursday, February 04 21 03:12 pm EST)
This is a copy and paste but true
(Sunday, January 31 21 03:36 pm EST)
Members of the hiring committee were shocked when the council flipped on the top pick for manager. Looks like the committee had it right and another bad move by the council.
Ryan(Thursday, February 04 21 12:44 pm EST)
We need more elected officials like Dale Girard, is just that simple. Honesty, ethics and a sincere desire to represent everyone and everyone’s best interests is what is needed with Claremont’s municipal government and with the school district and the county government. Morris, Lovett and Damren have all got to go.
Donk(Thursday, February 04 21 12:13 pm EST)
Can we please show this pretender Morris the door?
I don't even mind paying the next manager more, just as long as he/she represents the taxpayers of Claremont and NOT the public unions.
Hats off to our new councilor
Aiden(Thursday, February 04 21 12:06 pm EST)
Wow what a fantastic article, great job guys. I cannot believe the mayor the assistant mayor and the city manager are all that incredibly stupid saying those things when they are being recorded. I know they thought they were not being watched and the meeting would never be shown to the public but still that is just sheer arrogance and stupidity at work. I know Damren will not run again for council. The voters should redouble their efforts to throw Charlene Lovett out of public office. Hopefully, someone will run against her in the next election. Mr. Morris should be fired by the council without hesitation and without question and I hope that will happen at their nonpublic meeting tonight. There I have said my piece.
Jim Sullivan(Thursday, February 04 21 10:01 am EST)
Two new Special Reports.
Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Fresh Air(Wednesday, February 03 21 04:35 pm EST)
I sure Dale Girard sticks to his guns. Nothing like having a business man on the council.
Reporter(Wednesday, February 03 21 03:28 pm EST)
To clarify The Eagle Times report of $37,158 for merit pay raises, that figure came from the Finance Committee’s letter to the council in January (see January 27 council meeting packet). Additionally, that figure only applies to the current fiscal year. The Finance Committee stated a “a slight increase” next year.
Donk(Wednesday, February 03 21 01:41 pm EST)
We can now say with confidence that our city manager is a complete piece of shit.
Guy(Wednesday, February 03 21 01:15 pm EST)
It’s amazing what people will say when they don’t think their comments will not be heard by others.
I now understand why the Assistant Mayor announced, 9 months ahead of time, that he will not be seeking re-election.
It’s time for the Mayor and Assistant Mayor to step down now. They have lost trust of the people.How can anyone believe anything that comes out of Mr.Morris’s mouth.
Trust takes a lifetime to build and a second to lose.
Jim Sullivan(Wednesday, February 03 21 11:14 am EST)
Finance Committee meeting exposes Merit Plan pay increase scheme cover-up!
The article appears on the News Flashes page of this website.
Donk(Tuesday, February 02 21 02:07 pm EST)
I mean inebriated indigenous person
Donk(Tuesday, February 02 21 11:51 am EST)
Dave, we already pay enough property taxes to maintain the roads.It's the other things we're wasting money on that's the problem.$48,000 for a consultant to tell us we don't pay enough seems very wasteful to me.
Membership fees that truly pay for most of the cost for the community center would help.I can see subsidizing is somewhat, but not to the degree that we are with most of the taxpayers of the city unable to use what they're paying for.Looks unconstitutional to me,but I'm no expert.
O'Connor is right about the roads being pleasing to the eye making people more apt to buy.Schools being in good shape is another big attraction.This doesn't mean more money for teachers,this means good upkeep on buildings.
I think tearing down the blighted eyesore buildings would be a big plus.This Pleasant Street bond would have been much better used in getting the blight and the streets looking good.rather than whatever the hell they're trying to do.Does anybody even know what their aim is?
Jim has already exposed the huge lack of parking spaces and the true costs of this bond being a lot more than was pitched.This,along with the fact we know that these kind of projects always require more cash infusions has me worried.Morris has this on his plate to fix and he has the Gall to ask for more money for the employees makes me wonder about this mans intelligence.Somebody should tell him we're in the midst of a pandemic.Hardly the time to start spending like a drunken Indian.
Steve(Tuesday, February 02 21 10:36 am EST)
I am thrilled that Allen Damren is quitting at the end of his term. I wish he would quit now. Perhaps he is sensing a political storm brewing with all of these financial troubles that are all coming to a head that the city council and the city manager are all ignoring. I believe massive increases in property taxes aren’t coming because budget cuts are never an option with the likes of Nick Koloski and Charlene Lovett and others on the Council. Many of them talk a good game but that’s all it is talk.
Richard(Tuesday, February 02 21 10:07 am EST)
Dennis the councilors are just going through the motions because the only thing that most of them are interested in is pushing forward a political agenda to benefit their friends and political allies. The only thing the rest of us are good for in their eyes is paying for everything.
Dennis(Tuesday, February 02 21 08:42 am EST)
I am so disappointed with all of the councilors just quietly letting Mr. Morris get away with all this bullshit. He is arrogantly insubordinate to many of them when he dodges questions just like President Biden’s new press secretary or gives vague answers that mean little or nothing. He doesn’t provide information to the councilors when he is asked and sometimes he has to be asked multiple times before he finally gives them something. If I did that where I worked I would be canned in a heartbeat and I would deserve to be. I do not understand why the councilors are just so casual about Mr. Morris’ obvious shortcomings, his lack of experience and his unprofessional management style.
Jeff(Tuesday, February 02 21 08:00 am EST)
Let us not forget Jim Sullivan says he is checking into this whole bond payment recommendation to take care of the almost $800,000 deficit that Mr. Morris and his pinhead subordinates caused. Mr. Morris is claiming it is a solution when it is just another problem in the making. There is the whole illegality of using water and sewer money for things that is not supposed to be used for and probable illegality of spending the money way in advance of when the money is even due. Then there is the possibility that their plan was to take more money out of the water and sewer funds than they were supposed to for them to bridge the funding gap without telling anybody they were taking too much money. It could be that there are even more deficits coming up down the road after seven years. I am guessing no one outside of city staffers have seen the bond payment schedule because the councilors are all too lazy and complacent to ask for a copy, look beyond what they are shown and told and work up the energy to do a little homework to figure things out. This could be why Jim Sullivan wants to see it. I think most people in Claremont know that most if not all of the councilors are lazy and stupid and they have no incentive to do a better job. When Jim Sullivan looks at the bond payment schedule, he may find more deficits and who knows what else. More and more people in Claremont are figuring out that Mr. Morris and the city staff cannot be trusted. The same is true for many of the councilors too.
Tom(Tuesday, February 02 21 06:24 am EST)
I cannot believe that a city manager can screw up as much as Ed Morris has and still keep a job. Mistake after mistake after mistake and the city councilors just sit there meekly doing nothing about it. What is wrong with Claremont? The city council is what is wrong with Claremont. The taxpayers need to fix this in November when they vote for a whole new city council.
Dave(Monday, February 01 21 09:24 pm EST)
Spending more money of the roads is a good thing, but raising taxes to do it is not. Spending elsewhere in the city budget must be cut by an equal measure to accomplish this. The councilors must stop treating the taxpayers like their own personal ATM Machines. I am glad to see that Allen Damren is stepping down at the end of the year. He is a terrible representative because he only represents special interests and only wants to increase bureaucratic spending, he never supports tax cuts. Then, most of the other councilors never do either.
John J. O’Connor(Monday, February 01 21 08:31 pm EST)
Erica, don’t acknowledge the trolls. If they don’t have the courage to use their God given name, they don’t deserve a response much less an explanation.
I agree with you that the tax situation is perilous, I have always felt you have to spend money to make money and out roads need a serious infusion of cash.
Eye appeal is buy appeal, if investors don’t like what they see as far as infrastructure is concerned they will not invest. Why invest in a city that won’t invest in itself ?
Erica Sweetser(Monday, February 01 21 07:11 pm EST)
Neil, I also specifically said that spending needs to be targeted. As in spend it in ways that lead to increased revenue for the city. The more revenue you have the less you have to get from taxes. To do things like fix all the roads everyone complains about. I agree that useless spending that increases the tax rate is just that. Useless. I have 2 jobs, am on 4 boards, plus the council, homeschool my kiddo and go to school myself. As a single parent. So I don't think lazy is a term I would aim at myself. If you ever want to chat about what you would like to see more or less of in the city please feel free to email me.
Erica Sweetser(Monday, February 01 21 06:54 pm EST)
Neil, Unfortunately I have pretty severe allergies. A few weeks ago I had an allergic reaction and the mask made it impossible to breath through the reaction. So I removed myself from being around people as I had to get the mask off. Not because the meeting didn't go my way.
William(Monday, February 01 21 05:20 pm EST)
I'm glad to see that Damren is going at the end of this year. It's about time and I would like to see other incumbents do the same, especially Nick Koloski and Charlene Lovett. They have all been on the city council for far far too long.
Jim Sullivan(Monday, February 01 21 03:57 pm EST)
Assistant Mayor Allen Damren publicly announces that he will not run for reelection to a Claremont City Council seat!
Details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Donk(Monday, February 01 21 03:04 pm EST)
This Pleasant Street clusterf**k is the Morris equivalent to Santagate's TIF that wound up being bailed out every year by taxpayers.
Next thing you know he'll want a bridge named after himself.
FOOL ME ONCE,SHAME ON YOU
FOOL ME TWICE...
Mark(Monday, February 01 21 01:52 pm EST)
Boy, almost $30 million for that capital improvement plan sounds very excessive. It looks like the Department Directors put everything into this plan including the kitchen sink. So much for fiscal restraint in the Morris administration.
Susan(Monday, February 01 21 12:32 pm EST)
Ed Morris has proven how bad a city manager he is when he attempted to convince the councilors to use the pandemic reimbursement money for boiler repairs. That was some shady stuff and if it was not for Debora Matteau speaking up he may have gotten away with it. Now the latest expose on the Sullivan Report reveals another shady plan to withdraw large amounts of water and sewer cash reserves to bail out the $5.8 million bond repayment snafu by Ed Morris and his subordinates. The legal questions alone should have caused Ed Morris to hit the pause button and then there is the mathematical problem of withdrawing more from the water and sewer cash reserves than what the Claremont water and sewer ratepayers will all over 20 years for the downtown project. Now that the public knows the truth, will Debora Matteau or another Councilor show some bravery and talk up about this at the next city council meeting? Or will this all be swept under the rug until six years from now when some of the municipal bond payment will have to be paid by the taxpayers? Or will whomever is in charge then just sweep it under the rug by adding it to the budget in another don’t ask don’t tell maneuver by city officials? It is incidents like this that causes the public to distrust government officials as much as they do. It is a shame that our city officials cannot just be honest with the citizens of Claremont.
Phil(Monday, February 01 21 11:05 am EST)
Mayor Lovett seems obsessed with increasing Section 8 housing in Claremont. This will set disastrous policy for Claremont. More families living in those type of apartments are a burden on social services and the school district and apartment buildings that do not bring in enough property tax revenue to pay for all the city and education services the tenants suck up. This is not a viable economic strategy for Claremont. This policy only helps to developers who rake in large amounts of public funds to build these apartments, get tax breaks, and then reap big profits once the tenants move in. Mayor Lovett and her cronies are working for the developers not the citizens of Claremont and they all need to be thrown out of public office in the next election.
Kevin(Monday, February 01 21 08:09 am EST)
I was surprised to see that the councilors did not give James Contois a second to his off the table motion for the merit plan raises. That had to be a slap in the face to the city manager as I think this makes three or four times at least that the majority of the councilors have rejected his salary increase proposals. You would think that Mr. Morris would take the hint but he just keeps plugging along as if he is hoping to wear enough of them down to win a majority vote of big raises for all of the city employees. Allen Damren is for sure a real piece of work. He scolds the councilors for not casting a second to Mr. Contois’s motion when he could have made the second himself. I am surprised that none of the councilors pointed that out to him. Are they all that stupid or are they all afraid of him? On the other hand, are they taking political correctness too far to the point that it is interfering with solid judgment on city issues? I think the councilors all need to find their voices or find the door and leave for good.
Neil(Sunday, January 31 21 04:25 pm EST)
Erica Sweetser is out of her depth. When she ran for election, she said she wanted to control the property tax rate and push it back down to give working families a break. Now that she is in power, she wants to spend tons of money on road repairs. I know they are needed but Claremont families cannot afford new taxes right now on top of the high taxes we already have. The councilors need to find another way to pay for these road repairs. They can start by casting aside this crazy idea of giving big raises to city employees. If any of them are unhappy with the pay scale then they can always look for work elsewhere just like everyone else in the private sector can. I also do not like the way she is kowtowing to Morris about the donation policy. It is the Council’s job to look over the shoulder of their one employee the city manager to make sure that he is doing a good job. If she is too lazy to do her job or go home and hide when the meeting does not go her way then she does not have the work ethic or the temperament for the job of city councilor. She is a good meal server, maybe she should stick with that instead.
Slick Move(Sunday, January 31 21 03:36 pm EST)
Members of the hiring committee were shocked when the council flipped on the top pick for manager. Looks like the committee had it right and another bad move by the council.
William(Sunday, January 31 21 03:24 pm EST)
Morris and his staff made a blunder of almost $800,000 figuring out the yearly bond payment amounts. Then the same idiots make another blunder of almost $230,000 with their so-called solution that does not fix the problem. A strategy that might be just as illegal as the recommendation Morris and his staff made to the council about how to pay for the boiler. It is time for the councilors to wake up and smell the coffee and fire Morris before he messes things up for the city even further.
Matt(Sunday, January 31 21 01:03 pm EST)
If another job search is imminent then I hope this time the Council gets it right and stops listening to Madame Mayor and her brownnosing henchmen Allen Igor Damren. Claremont needs professional management not wannabes looking to climb the career ladder. I will not go to the obvious firefighter joke about Morris; well I guess I just did.
Renee(Sunday, January 31 21 11:47 am EST)
It is looking like Ed Morris’s days at City Hall might be numbered. It looks like there are enough of the city councilors who are displeased with his disgraceful job performance that the councilors cannot come to a consensus about a pay raise. Not a good sign for Mr. Morris’s future.
Alex(Sunday, January 31 21 11:15 am EST)
I thought Morris acted shady with the salary compensation study with their use of New Hampshire communities that do not stack up to Claremont as a good comparison example. The whole study seem purposefully skewed to validate large raises for all the city employees and that seems to include Morris too. Then we have the JSL deal, the sober house pilot deal and the boiler fiasco with the city manager trying to sweet talk the councilors to pretty much do something dishonest with the COVID-19 aid money. Now this new problem with the $5.8 million bond and the lies we were told that it would not raise the property tax rate. Then he says all fixed the city will take the money from water and sewer funds and we find out from the Sullivan Report that it is not been fixed as there is nearly a quarter of $1 million deficit and it could be more. I have a feeling the other shoe is going to drop when Mr. Sullivan gets that information from the city about all of borrowing finances. I do not trust Morris at all.
Steve(Sunday, January 31 21 10:34 am EST)
I think the Sullivan Report article raised a bunch of good questions about the possible illegality of using water and sewer funds prematurely to bailout the city’s general fund for the renovation project and the dispatch upgrade project that has nothing to do with water and sewer concerns. The councilors should have asked to see the bond payment schedule and they should have approved that final decision instead of leaving and into incapable hands of Mr. Morris. Then there’s the same with the pay raises and Mr. Morris’s attitude and his continued push to make the pay raises happen at the cost of over $1 million a year to the taxpayers. I believe it has arrived at the point of gross insubordination and incompetence and with everything else that has happened it is time for Mr. Morris to be terminated from his position as city manager.
Brian(Sunday, January 31 21 09:41 am EST)
One hell of a mess with the $5.8 million bonds for the downtown project and the dispatch center for the cops. Morris and his motley crew of imbeciles screw up the math and underestimate the first seven years of bond payments by nearly $800,000 and to try to save their skin Morris says no problem they will take the money out of the water and sewer savings accounts. The nitwits on the council say that’s okay it’s a great idea and that’s that. None of those doofus figured out that the great plan that Morris the inexperienced city manager cooked up with his motley crew calls for taking more money sucked out of the water and sewer savings accounts than their fair share of the project costs. I’ll bet that Morris thought he had at least six years before the shit was going to hit the fan on this screw up instead of less than six days. He didn’t figure on the Sullivan Report exposing his incompetence and cover-up plan that won’t work because it still leaves a big deficit and it might not be legal in the first place. Morris must know by now that the councilors are all as dumb as dirt because he keeps taking advantage of it. I will admit the councilors are getting a little smarter. They did not fall for his spending plan for the boilers with the Covid money that could have gotten the city in big trouble later with the state and federal government if they audited how Claremont spent the money. Why would any of the councilors trust Morris anymore after all the crap that he’s pulled is beyond me.
Jim Sullivan(Sunday, January 31 21 08:03 am EST)
New article published today.
January 27, 2021 Claremont City Council meeting synopsis.
Another Claremont Taxpayer bailout may be looming!
The article appears on the News Flashes page of this website.
Keith(Friday, January 29 21 10:30 am EST)
The sober house complex in the old Eagle Times building is just sounding more and more like a really bad idea. With all the problems with the finances and the shaky rental income situation with the scatterbrained policy of allowing the ex-inmates to avoid paying rent by volunteering somewhere is nuts. It just seems to me that this program is going to be a burden to the Sullivan County taxpayers because of inadequate revenue and to the Claremont taxpayers with the loss of property tax revenue. A bad deal all around for the taxpayers but more bureaucracy expansion of the County government for the tax-and-spend bureaucrats.
Donk(Wednesday, January 27 21 04:31 pm EST)
The unions will never go to a 401k style pension plan,at least not until the pensions are reduced from the funds having gone broke.
What should concern Claremont citizens more than anything is a city manager with democrat leanings.This is man sitting at the table representing us at contract time with the unions.What I've seen thus far is that he is not representing our best interest at all.It's quite the contrary in fact.Hiring consulting companies to try to squeeze every last penny out of taxpayers for increased compensation to our employees is the opposite of what I would expect from a manager.If his performance is being reviewed I wish someone would let him know who he actually works for.When I paid my taxes I didn't include a direction for a blanket study of the compensation of the public employees.
While the public employees may not make quite as much as their counterparts in the private sector,which at this point is quite debatable considering their pensions and health insurance that we in the private sector could only dream of.They also enjoy far more holidays and job security that pretty much ensures that they will not miss a paycheck throughout their entire career.To me,that's worth a lot.Like I said in an earlier posting,if you are not happy with the level of compensation the humble people of Claremont are offering,you are free to expand your horizons and move on.I would be more than happy to give you a reference to your potential future employer.We are not a wealthy town as many on the compensation comparison list enjoy much greater incomes than the citizens of Claremont.We can afford what we can afford.Telling you that we can pay you as much as the wealthier towns would be lying to you and lying to ourselves.
We can afford what we can afford.
The same goes for the education side of our tax bills.If student population continues to drop to the degree that it has,then so too should the overall costs to the taxpayers.
Bob(Wednesday, January 27 21 01:50 pm EST)
The unions need to go to a 401k style retirement and get rid of pensions. This will save a ton of money in benefits for the city and school district
Rick(Wednesday, January 27 21 07:21 am EST)
I am opposed to this school deliberative session plan that puts all of power into the school board members because you know they will never cut the budget ever. It will either get rubberstamped approved by the voters or the default budget will kick in there will be no other options.
Thiswillworkwhenpigsfly(Tuesday, January 26 21 04:40 pm EST)
In the end, it would be cheaper for the County to pay the rent on apartments for the newly sober convicts whose families have turned their backs on and have no friends they haven’t f**ked over.
Has any completed a cost analysis ?
Donk(Tuesday, January 26 21 02:59 pm EST)
Has anybody calculated what the health insurance premiums are going to cost for our sober living turned over a new leaf people living in the Sobriety House?
They will have to have minuscule co-pays and deductibles like our underpaid public employees.
Have they drawn a decent smoking lounge in the plans,with outdoor heaters and comfortable furniture?
Tracy(Tuesday, January 26 21 02:17 pm EST)
The councilors have to stop listening to Mr. Morris all the time because he is a real idiot and they need to start applying common sense to the city’s problems.
Steve(Tuesday, January 26 21 10:09 am EST)
I saw on WMUR that the mayors and school administrators sent a letter to state leaders demanding more school aid because the school aid funds are decreasing. Mayor Lovett said the enrollment in Claremont is down 4.6% and the lunch money aid is down 2.4%. She was complaining that Claremont saw a reduction in school aid. Well, the school aid is calculated by the student population so less students means less school aid. It is simple math and it seems that Mayor Lovett and all these mayors and school administrators cannot understand that. Because of the pandemic, many parents are pulling their kids out of school so fewer kids should mean the need for less money. It just goes to show that these bureaucrats are never satisfied and will always want more and more government money no matter what the circumstances may be.
Donk(Monday, January 25 21 01:43 pm EST)
Nobody will hire anyone that has drugs and thievery in their backround.
It takes all of a minute to find them all radioactive
Glenn(Monday, January 25 21 01:13 pm EST)
I can’t wait to find out what kind of sweet deal the Goodfellas got for their building assessment. There always seems to be some kind of deals cooking up at City Hall that the public would most definitely never know about if it wasn’t for the Sullivan Report.
Jim Sullivan(Monday, January 25 21 11:49 am EST)
Kevin, on August 26, 2020 all nine City Councilors at that time unanimously approved Resolution 2021-10, a $4.8 million municipal bond to finance the Rethink Pleasant Street Downtown Renovation Project.
Kevin(Monday, January 25 21 11:43 am EST)
Does anyone know if all the councilors voted for the bond for the downtown Pleasant Street project?
Karen(Monday, January 25 21 10:15 am EST)
It looks like the sober house project’s finances are pretty shaky just like the renovation plan for the County Home that fell apart all on its own because of terrible management and planning.
Todd(Monday, January 25 21 09:13 am EST)
I’m glad Mr. Ferland spoke up to at least try to get the school district some cheaper electricity to help lower our taxes a little more. Nancy Merrill does not give a crap about Claremont because she does not live here. I think she lives somewhere in the Lebanon area. Mr. Morris does not give a crap about Claremont either even though he does own a small home here on Grove Street. He is going to be a short timer if the councilors get a clue about his terrible management style and crappy job performance. Although I do not think Charlene Lovett and Allen Damren would ever want to admit that they made a mistake pushing for the hiring of Mr. Morris. Both of them have made so many mistakes all they ever try to do is cover them up and try to make Claremont look like everything is wonderful when the opposite is true in some ways.
William(Monday, January 25 21 06:45 am EST)
I think the only deals that Mr. Morris knows how to negotiate are bad ones for the citizens of Claremont and great ones for the other party wanting to make the deal the first place. He gave pay raises already to all the union employees when the union contracts were stalled under the three previous city managers because Mr. Morris with the city council’s assistance rolled over and gave the unions practically everything they wanted. Now he wants to sweeten the deal with huge raises for all of the city workers including himself. He makes a great deal with the Barretts for the JSL building, a big property assessment reduction and a cheap sales price of only $5K. Negotiated another great deal for the County with a very cheap payment in lieu of taxes sweetheart deal that delays payments for one year and he really cut the price down for three years and then probably no payment in lieu of taxes or any other taxes in the future. Now they say Mr. Morris may negotiate with our newest city councilor a land rental deal where our new city councilor is going to plotz his shiny new airplane hangar up at the city airport. Mr. Morris and Nancy Merrill said that the lease was supposed to be whenever the property taxes were for the dimensions of the land but then they later said they were going to negotiate a lease price. I did not know that property assessments were negotiable. I guess I missed that lesson in civics class. This solar powered lease deal and the deal for electricity for the city may save us some money on taxes but Mr. Morris should have made a bigger push to sell more of that electricity to folks in Claremont. Cheaper electric prices for businesses and residents might appeal to other businesses and folks to come move here. A great economic development opportunity wasted. Mr. Morris is too busy working to strong arm the city councilors to vote in big raises for all the city employees to do the job he was hired to do. It is time for another city manager.
Jim Sullivan(Monday, January 25 21 06:12 am EST)
Two new articles published today.
1) Another change regarding Sullivan County Sober House.
2) Steel Mill Solar update.
Both articles appear on the News Flashes page of this website.
Tony(Sunday, January 24 21 01:40 pm EST)
Charles don’t forget about the paving plan cooked up by Jeremy Clay the inexperienced assistant public works director not to be confused with Alex Gleeson the inexperienced public works director. That cockamamie plan only fills potholes and lightly skim coat’s most of the roads just once in like 25 years. Talk about a disaster in the making it the councilors just about with themselves when they heard the plan because it gave them the excuse they wanted not to put about $1.5 million a year into street paving. Don’t forget even though they are complaining they still want to give big raises to the city staffers when they’re not giving public money to their friends.
Guy(Friday, January 22 21 08:11 am EST)
Mr. Morris is above his head in his current position. I’m sure he is doing his best but sometimes doing your best isn’t good enough.
Brad(Friday, January 22 21 07:35 am EST)
I watch the council meeting and I distinctly remember that it was councilor Matteau that asked the tough questions about the boiler. She is the one who made Mr. Morris squirm. Councilor Koloski did ask questions but his questions are never probing or tough. Councilor Koloski generally asks easy to answer questions or blase comments. I think he does it to get attention because he suffers from low self-esteem. Does Councilor Koloski asked questions, yes lots of them but his questions usually do not change the outcome of anything. It's quality not quantity.
Jim Sullivan(Thursday, January 21 21 03:34 pm EST)
Charlie, I respectfully disagree. I do remember Mayor Lovett stating an opinion that Call Call Firefighters should have been included in the Compensation Study, which they were not. Mayor Lovett is only one City Councilor and it would take a majority vote of the Council to include Call Firefighters into the study by giving the City Manager a direct order to do so. Otherwise, Lovett would have given an illegal order to a cCity Employee and be subject to dismissal from the Council. As far as the last Council meeting is concerned, the pay compensation proposal was strictly for the Merit Plan Employees, which has absolutely nothing to do with the Call Firefighters. Councilman Koloski abstained once again without needing to do so because there was no conflict of interest. In my opinion, he was simply looking for political cover to avoid making any decision that could raise the ire of some of his constituency and possibly damage his reelection chances in November. As always, I call them like I see them.
Charlie(Thursday, January 21 21 02:21 pm EST)
Mr. Sullivan your incorrect about Koloski and the need to excuse himself from pay raise discussions. You are correct the charter allows him to serve as a call firefighter. I have watched the meetings in detail. On more than one occasion the Mayor has requested call firefighter information and noted it should be included. It was noted call firefighters should have been spoken to and interviewed in the study. Call firefighters recieve hourly pay based on responses to calls and training plus a stipend. You would miss these details as you are too blinded by your dislike of Koloski. I know as I actually asked the City. It also clearly states a member should recuse if there is a perceived conflict of interest. Members of any board can also recuse for any reason no reason given if they chose. Bottom line is if he didn't excuse himself you'd write about it and if he did you'd write about it. I can tell by when you praise something on here done by his actions you don't include his name. This time around it was applying the brakes on the boiler conversation. I know as I watched it.
Charles(Thursday, January 21 21 12:04 pm EST)
I don't understand how the city council could so blindly give approval to a big multimillion dollar project that does not have a decent parking plan and they may not even have a single new parking space but they are stripping away half of the parking spaces downtown between Pleasant Street and School Street. It is the dumbest thing I ever heard. Mr. Morris is a loser of the city manager and the city councilors are protecting him by not holding him responsible for and management.
Larry(Thursday, January 21 21 09:50 am EST)
I am dismayed by the school boards negligence in reviewing the new school budget with zeal. The city councilors are not much better and the city manager is a disaster as his primary focus is on pay raises for everyone with the possibility of himself as well. His questionable management philosophy would have our roads go back to the time of the old West with dirt roads and all of us driving around wagons or on horseback as our road race continue to be ignored without a viable maintenance plan. The community center failed to meet the promise of a $100,000 per year taxpayer subsidy and based on Sullivan Report articles the taxpayer subsidy is continuing to grow with each passing year. City Hall and other publicly owned buildings continue to decay without proper maintenance. The councilors act like the school board and just pass whatever is put under their noses with little or no changes made.
Jim Sullivan(Thursday, January 21 21 07:03 am EST)
Excellent question Mike. I was thinking along those same lines, which is why in a few days I am going to submit a request for information so I can obtain a copy of the meeting minutes, which the City has not been posting on their website, as well as other documents from that meeting that will now be considered as public record. In regards to the parking situation for the Rethink Claremont Revitalization Project, the plans for the project show the city obtaining 40 parking spaces from Claremont Goodfellas Property LLC, 8 parking spaces from Bank of New Hampshire and 8 parking spaces from Cline Penneth M Family Trust, located adjacent to the Municipal Parking Lot on Broad Street. That totals 56 parking spaces and according to the parking plan for the Rethink Claremont Revitalization Project, 112 new public parking spaces must be created. Meaning that the parking plan, if you can actually call it that, is 56 parking spaces short, a 50% deficit. It may actually be a 100% deficit if the Morris Administration cannot obtain those 56 parking spaces from the private property owners. I checked not too long ago and at that time, there still was no agreement reached with any of the three property owners. The Morris Administration is being very vague about this ethereal parking plan.
Mike(Thursday, January 21 21 06:44 am EST)
Jim, doesn’t the city need to acquire a considerable number of parking spaces from the Claremont Goodfellas property? I remember reading that in one of your website’s articles. Is this settlement agreement to keep them happy or perhaps it is a component of a secret deal for the city to acquire those parking spaces?
Karen(Wednesday, January 20 21 05:08 pm EST)
Thank you Jim for looking into what is going on in Claremont. If it was left up to the Eagle Times and the E ticker nobody would know anything except what government leaders want us to know and the truthfulness of that is very questionable. The news reporters of today do not seem to have any ethics.
Jim Sullivan(Wednesday, January 20 21 03:59 pm EST)
Brad, I read every public notice and I did see the proposed settlement agreement for the Claremont Goodfellas' 2019 property tax assessment on the Claremont Board of Assessors meeting agenda for today. According to the Vision Government Solutions website, in 2019 their property assessment increased from $429,400 up to $475,800 a little less than an 11% increase. That is apparently what they want an abatement on. By comparison, for tax year 2020 the property assessment dramatically dropped from that $475,800 figure down to $412,000, a 13% decrease and a property assessment that is $17,900 lower than it was back in 2018. I intend to send in a Right to Know request for a copy of the meeting minutes and other documentation that I can obtain in a few days, once the meeting minutes will become available to the public. I will report what happened once I receive the information. Property assessments in Claremont seem to have no rhyme or reason. I also agree with you than public transparency in regards to municipal government actions is nowhere near what it should be.
Brad(Wednesday, January 20 21 03:40 pm EST)
I was interested in watching the Claremont board of assessors meeting scheduled for today at 2 PM. I am interested in the Claremont Goodfellas proposed settlement agreement. At least that is what the agenda read. There is no live feed on the Claremont Facebook page as there are for other meetings. The board of assessors meetings do not air on CCTV. Meeting minutes for the board of assessors are not current on the city's website as the last meeting minutes available are from the end of June of last year. Government transparency does not seem to be a high priority with Mr. Morris and his workers. I wonder if another sweetheart deal for friends and the administration is happening today during this public news blackout?
Ray(Wednesday, January 20 21 11:29 am EST)
At least the councilors showed a little bit of brains when they collectively said hold it on the boiler repair. I agree with Mr. Sullivan, it is totally nuts for the city manager to even suggest spending government money earmarked for one thing on something else entirely and assert that it is proper because the finance director gives her blessing. Mr. Morris urged the city councilors to authorize a reclassification of those COVID monies, something which I think is illegal because it certainly sounds as if it is illegal. I completely agree with the action steps taken by the city councilors to seek a legal opinion and I agree with Mr. Sullivan’s suggestion for the city councilors to request written permission from a properly authorized government official before taking further action. Mr. Morris should be terminated for incompetence among other things
Adam(Wednesday, January 20 21 09:51 am EST)
I am happy Dale Girard got the nod. He is a hometown boy who has done much good for the community quietly behind the scenes. He is the exact opposite of drama queen, limelight seeker Nick Koloski and that is a plus.
William(Wednesday, January 20 21 08:26 am EST)
I read something in the Eagle Times today about the Deliberative Session virtual meetings that will be held Claremont and Newport. People in Newport seem to be more engaged in the budget process. They are complaining about the part of the new deliberative session rules adopted by both school boards that take the power away from the public to change the dollar amount of the budget and puts it directly into the hands of the school boards, who let’s face it won’t do a damn thing about changing a thing. It guarantees high-priced budgets and high property taxes and rigs the system in favor of the school administrators and school board members who favor tax-and-spend policies. The legislation expires at the end of this year but that does not mean that the legislature will not expand it if they are pressured by school administrators around the state of any lobbyists they might hire make this change permanent. This pandemic has really rigged local politics against the taxpaying public. Meetings held online that is a bigger obstacle for public input and in Claremont some committees and boards are advertising meetings without the meeting agenda so the public has no idea what they may be working on or if they want to participate. The latest example is the Claremont Development Authority as advertised in today’s Eagle Times. The pandemic is being used as an excuse to build up additional walls to close off public transparency and that is a very worrisome thing.
Time to Go(Tuesday, January 19 21 09:51 pm EST)
If Mary had any decency or moral fiber, she would admit to herself she is not able to do her high paying job anymore and retired.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, January 19 21 11:36 am EST)
I just checked, the Eagle Times finally posted today's edition.
Matt(Tuesday, January 19 21 10:28 am EST)
Eric, I have a different theory. I think there are too many public officials with too much of a focus on a political agenda such as Black Lives Matter, transgender issues, Democrat versus Republican and other issues that should not be handled on a local level. There are other avenues to deal with these issues but not at the city council or school board level. Other things need to be focused on and in my humble opinion they are being ignored. Maybe these issues are not sexy enough for our elected officials but they are important.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, January 19 21 10:21 am EST)
I called the Eagle Times about an hour and a half ago and the lady I spoke with had no idea about the status of today's edition. She said the publisher and the editor were in a meeting, so I simply asked her to let them know that today's edition not been posted on the website. I just checked at 10:15 AM and still no edition for today nor any new articles on the Eagle Times website.
John, thank you for the nice complement. I do remember Mary saying during the budget review last May that she intended to retire within about two years. So her retirement is drawing near but I sincerely doubt that Ed Morris will push her out the door any sooner than she wants to leave.
John J O’Connor(Tuesday, January 19 21 09:36 am EST)
You can get more useful information from a “school newspaper “ then you can from the Eagle Times.
Great insight Jim, seems no one knows what Mary’s job consists of except Mary, she has made herself extremely valuable.
Last time I looked, the financial director wasn’t getting any younger, she is obviously suffering from a medical issue (not the first time) and no one else can do her job.
This is a recipe for disaster.
Its time for Mary to retire !
Eric(Tuesday, January 19 21 08:56 am EST)
It seems that most people who run for local government office in Claremont these days have a political agenda or they are trying to social climate in some way. They are doing it for themselves and not for altruistic reasons or a desire to help the community of Claremont become something better than what it is today. I believe that is why Claremont is in the sad situation that our terrific community finds itself in today.
Michael(Tuesday, January 19 21 08:23 am EST)
I did not like how all of the CDBG grant application requests for 2021 were all used up the very first meeting of the year. There is a $500,000 limit each year and the two applications together add up to $600,000 so I am guessing that because they said up to $300,000 each that somebody is going to have to scale back their request and it may be both applicants. What I do not like is that it seems that the only people able to get these grants in Claremont are close friends and colleagues of the councilors and the administration. Influence peddling and backroom deals seem to be the business model for City Hall these days just like Tammany Hall in the bad old days of New York City.
Steve(Tuesday, January 19 21 07:53 am EST)
What's going on with the Eagle Times? It's 7:55 AM and still no online newspaper edition for today. There is not even any new articles in the news section of the website. Did everybody who works at the Eagle Times forget to set their alarm clock or has the newspaper folded up again for a second time?
Chris(Monday, January 18 21 05:32 pm EST)
Roger, You may want to do your homework on "Joshua Lambert". A vote for Lambert is a vote for increased spending and higher taxes.
Roger(Monday, January 18 21 05:20 pm EST)
Kaitlyn someone named Joshua Lambert is running for the school board. I saw a post on Facebook. So there will be at least one new candidate for the job. I have no idea who he is but he has my vote because the school board members are not doing their elected duty of closely reviewing the budget. You cannot tell me that there is nothing that could be cut from a budget that is nearly $38 million. These school board members are just refusing to do because they do not want to reduce the budget at all.
Donk(Monday, January 18 21 03:35 pm EST)
These people continue to work out special tax deals or having properties completely removed from the tax rolls.This is all while asking for even more money and benefits.
GREED IS KILLING CLAREMONT
Jim Sullivan(Monday, January 18 21 03:07 pm EST)
I would like to thank everyone for your kind words. Emily, to answer your question it took me about 10 minutes to put that table together. I use voice activation software with my computer and I know how to find information on the Internet very quickly, which saves me a lot of time.
Emily(Monday, January 18 21 03:00 pm EST)
Jim thank you for the COVID information. It was very startling but important information for everyone to know about. Our city leaders have told us for so long now that Claremont is doing fine, nothing to see here. Once again, we have been lied to. As you always show, it is always about the numbers and I do not know how long it took you to research this information but I am glad you did because it tells us that we all need to do a better job of staying safe until everyone is vaccinated and this pandemic is eventually brought under control. Mr. Morris is either lazy, stupid or he feels the need to politically spin everything to make things look better than they truly are. I no longer trust the man and I think the council would be wise to terminate his contract.
Keith(Monday, January 18 21 02:56 pm EST)
I did watch the council meeting and I noticed that the councilors did not utter a complaint about the missing financial reports. Not one out of the eight city councilors. The point was driven home nicely about the apathy of the Claremont school board but the apathy also seems to have spread to the city councilors. Everyone just seems to be going along to get along as if they all do not care about what is occurring that is not to the benefit of the general public. It appears the average citizenry does not have elected representation anymore in Claremont.
Laura(Monday, January 18 21 02:12 pm EST)
No finance reports indicates that the city councilors are all in the dark about what is going on with the current budget. Is that intentional? Is something wrong that Mr. Morris is trying to hide from everyone especially from Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Maranville? Loved the gone fishin sign by the way, a nice comedic jab that was very appropriate
Chris(Monday, January 18 21 01:06 pm EST)
The Sullivan Report made an excellent point about the missing finance reports. If this was not an intentional ploy to keep the city’s finance reports out of the public eye and away from the councilors and the city treasurer is unable to perform such an easy task then perhaps she is not qualified for the job. People get sick and Mary Walter is no exception. It is not her fault that she needed surgery or time for convalescence. I am blaming Mr. Morris for being so lackadaisical in his managerial style if you can even call when he does managerial. It is my understanding that he is paid far more than any other city manager in the history of Claremont and that includes Mr. Santagate. Let’s be real here Mr. Morris is no Mr. Santagate by any stretch of the imagination. He came to the job with little experience and he never managed a city of Claremont’s size before. So why is he commanding such a high salary?
Craig(Monday, January 18 21 12:13 pm EST)
Mr. Morris’s attitude and job performance is abysmal. He obviously does not like Mr. O’Hearne and it seems that the feeling might be mutual. That does not give Mr. Morris a free pass when it comes to misleading statements about public record availability. I trust Mr. Sullivan’s take on the subject because he uses the right to know law to get his hands on public documents more than anyone in Claremont. I remember when Mr. Santagate was city manager and how he used to complain often about Mr. Sullivan’s inquiries into city affairs. Claremont needs a good watchdog and since Mr. Folta has retired from the scene, Mr. Sullivan seems to be the only one we have left willing to look out for the common man and common woman because our city councilors are surely not doing that. It seems all of the city councilors have been compromised one way or another and it looks like it is the same way with the members of the school board and the county delegation.
Dan(Monday, January 18 21 11:31 am EST)
I noticed the same thing when reading the Sullivan Report article that all the public giveaways seem to go to friends and associates all with their hands out for something. Claremont is becoming a lot like a modern-day version of Tammany Hall, one of the most corrupt local governments in US history. Our city councilors seem to be willing collaborators.
Kaitlyn(Monday, January 18 21 10:49 am EST)
Mr. Sullivan you made some very strong points about the school boards terribly behavior. The one big thing they are supposed to do every year is thoroughly review that budget proposal with a fine toothcomb. It looks like this year they are only giving a cursory look to a four-page budget executive summary written by Richard Seaman. That brings public official laziness and rubberstamping to a completely new level. The taxpayers should be outraged by their callous behavior. I hope new school board candidates will apply because I will vote for them over any of the incumbents and I would suggest that everyone else to the same.
Richard(Monday, January 18 21 10:21 am EST)
The expression on Sweetser’s face when Matt Mooshian did not win the councilor’s seat said it all. She looked visibly depressed. I am wondering if that is why she made that lame excuse, went home and broke her promise to return to the virtual meeting. I have never met the woman but I am wondering if she had a temper tantrum because she did not get her own way. She does not strike me as leadership material. It is not because she is a woman, her gender has nothing to do with it, her attitude and job performance is the problem.
Jeff(Monday, January 18 21 09:59 am EST)
Rebecca Vinduska’s comments do not surprise me. I know there are many city employees who are decent people but there seems to be a majority consumed with greed. They do not care that people are struggling right now because of the Covid crisis or how much they have to pay for their property taxes or if they will lose their homes because they cannot afford to pay the high taxes anymore. All these city employees seem to care about is more money in their pocket and to hell with everyone else. I am glad the councilors are pushing back on this issue although I can see that Mayor Lovett and Assistant Mayor Damren want to give the raises no matter what because they care more about their special interests than they do about the rest of the citizens of Claremont. I hope both of them are voted out of office in November along with Councilor Koloski who is avoiding the issue for political reasons and any other councilors that may support the large outrageous raises recommended by the city manager and his handpicked consultant.
Tom(Monday, January 18 21 09:16 am EST)
Great article about the council meeting. I noticed that the meeting had a common thread running through it. Friends and nonprofit organizations with close political ties to the city and its leaders all having their palms out to accept public funds or something else that would directly benefit either themselves or their organization and the city councilors gladly granting their desires with public funds or public resources each and every time except for the merit plan people. I really do not like how business is conducted lately in Claremont. It was bad before but it is getting worse now.
Jim Sullivan(Monday, January 18 21 09:07 am EST)
Two articles published today.
1) January 13 Claremont School Board meeting synopsis.
2) January 13 Claremont City Council meeting synopsis.
Both articles are published on the News Flashes page of this website.
William(Saturday, January 16 21 02:30 pm EST)
Wow our illustrious Mayor Charlene Lovett sure can politically spin with the best of them. I watched the Council meeting from the comfort of my home and I was amazed by her version of events that placed a positive government friendly spin on every item she touched upon inside her weekly article. The woman clearly has her head somewhere up in the clouds and she wants to bring everyone else up to a similar altitude where the air is thin and one cannot think clearly. I look forward to reading the Sullivan Report’s more down-to-earth realistic version of events that transpired during the city council meeting.
Jim Sullivan(Friday, January 15 21 12:06 pm EST)
Remote Learning extended within the Claremont School District.
Published on the News Flashes page of this website.
John J. O’Connor(Tuesday, January 12 21 08:31 am EST)
Great article Jim, the SAU should be sending you a W2 for doing their job.
Travis(Tuesday, January 12 21 08:18 am EST)
What is up with the Eagle Times not reporting the right news by reporting a property tax rate reduction of $.60 without explaining that $.10 of that reduction is from the state government and has nothing to do with the Claremont school board or Mr. Tempesta or anyone on his administrative staff. That is shoddy reporting and it is deceptive as hell. It sucks that people have to pay to read the Eagle Times and folks cannot trust what is printed in the newspaper. What it amounts to is fake news. The so-called journalist should be ashamed.
William(Monday, January 11 21 04:05 pm EST)
I read an article that sparked my attention on Granite Grok. That article was entitled, the proper use of per-student cost. I suggest everyone finds and reads it. The gist is that the present day cost per student is stacked with a lot of add-ons that are not really necessary. The author suggests taking the student costs from 1995, pre-Claremont lawsuit, and multiply that with the cost of living since then and you will come with a total of about $8000 per student. Then have school administrators and school boards live within those means and deduct from the budget all the other wasteful spending. It would certainly drop the property tax rate a whole bunch and with so many people financially hurting because of the Covid crisis, it sounds like an idea worth investigating. I know we talk about city officials showing some leadership I think it’s time for school officials to show the same thing.
Craig(Monday, January 11 21 01:43 pm EST)
I just wanted to say that I always appreciate reading the Sullivan Report articles. The articles always well researched and I like how we are shown the documents so we can see where they pulled their facts from. If the Eagle Times and E-Ticker did that with the articles they publish then most of the time they would be showing pictures or drawings of the anuses of government officials because that’s where many of the so-called facts for their fake news seem to come from.
Todd(Monday, January 11 21 12:00 pm EST)
I think the city, the schools and the county are all being run right into the ground by a large group of imbeciles that were either elected or hired by the imbeciles the voters elected. It is too bad that Moe, Larry and Curly are deceased because as incompetent as they were on screen they would be a step up from whom we have running the show today.
Ron(Monday, January 11 21 10:39 am EST)
I wonder what the folks in the SAU office do all day long? They are certainly not doing their jobs because they are not paying attention to what they are supposed to be doing. It wasn’t too long ago that there were a lot of school staffers not paying attention on the lunch program collections or getting paperwork into certain government agencies on time and that cost the taxpayers a lot of money. We have school principals and staffers at the high school not doing their jobs and their negligence now has the school district in court. Now state aid is cut more than our local school big shots thought it would be and nobody at the SAU office seems to have a clue about a thing. Mr. Sullivan finds out about it and is once again ahead of the curve in front of everyone else. If the schools were managed by professional administrators then things like this would never happen.
Christine(Monday, January 11 21 10:11 am EST)
I just saw this on Facebook and I had to check the article out. I am new to Claremont but I have to tell you I glanced at several of the articles on this website and I really like what I see and I will be a regular reader from now on. I subscribed to the Eagle Times but in just a few short weeks I see that they do not put much effort into reporting the news and they recycle news articles for several days to fill their daily editions. I also have looked at the e- ticker news and I am not all that impressed with that publication either. It looks slick but the content is heavily slanted towards pro-government views. The biases are obvious and unpalatable and I will never read their publication again because I am not into fake news.
Bob(Monday, January 11 21 09:50 am EST)
I appreciate seeing the handout from Mr. Seaman. I found it very interesting reading. I think shenanigans may be afoot with the special ed trust fund money and I sure am glad to see that Mr. Sullivan is looking into this matter because the school board members are sure not doing the jobs they were elected to do and that is to represent we the people’s best interest. I noticed that the budget expenses are over $1.5 million less but the dollar amount needed to be raised by property taxes is going up by over $500,000. Not exactly a great showing for our school leaders.
Gail(Monday, January 11 21 08:43 am EST)
When rigid Richard Seaman was the chairman of the school board he was very good at glossing over facts and trying to quickly pass spending motions without any real review of anything. In my opinion that is just his work habit style and he is doing the same thing as the school’s finance director. I’m not surprised he left things out. What I am surprised about is how he and the superintendent missed the big October change of state aid. I find it hard to believe that the state would do that without sending notifications to each school district. Is the SAU office in such disarray that mail is lost or important emails are not read? Under the previous superintendent, the SAU office was in a shambles. Is the same thing happening now?
Brad(Monday, January 11 21 08:32 am EST)
A deficit of over $365,000 is a heck of a lot of money. How the heck did Richard Seaman miss this? I hope you are all paying attention and realizing that if Jim Sullivan hadn’t noticed a problem with the numbers that this deficit never would have been noticed until much later in the school year and then school leaders would have an even worse problem on their hands. I think the superintendent bears some responsibility too. He is supposed to be staying on top of things too. This is the problem with the school district nobody ever takes responsibility for anything and nobody is ever held responsible for anything. We still have a principal and other staff members at the high school that turned a blind eye when a special education student was in trouble and they are both still employed with the school district. That situation did not change when the family filed a lawsuit against the school district. With no one being held responsible for their actions there is no professionalism and there is no protection for our students. Heads should be rolling but all our school board members are doing is burying their heads in the sand and doing nothing. They are not showing any leadership at all.
Jim Sullivan(Monday, January 11 21 06:29 am EST)
Unexpectedly State Aid for the Claremont School District significantly drops for 2021 & 2022! Creating big deficit for FY 2021 and possibly FY 22 as well.
Article published on the News Flashes page of this website.
Jim Sullivan(Sunday, January 10 21 09:20 am EST)
Sorry, I do not know which School Board Members are up for reelection this year. Their elected terms are not stated on the SAU #6 website. I suggest that you call the SAU #6 office tomorrow and I am sure they will tell you.
Wondering(Sunday, January 10 21 07:59 am EST)
Jim, do you know which school board members are up for reelection right now?
Dr Paul(Friday, January 08 21 10:10 pm EST)
Pam has Koloski’s DNA all over it.
Jim Sullivan(Thursday, January 07 21 02:05 pm EST)
SAU #6 Officials issued a public notice regarding remote learning that will begin tomorrow. The notice is published on the News Flashes page of this website.
Bob(Thursday, January 07 21 11:19 am EST)
Pam: typical you name call, it is the only thing you have, I could care less about your original post and since the only thing you understand is name calling and degrading of people I would have to say you are one of those Liberal left wing nut jobs who never take responsibility for their own words and actions play the victim and blame all their problems on some one else, if you want to see a real idiot look in the mirror!!
Jim Sullivan(Thursday, January 07 21 09:06 am EST)
Two COVID-19 reported within Claremont School District.
Article published on the News Flashes page of this website.
Robert(Tuesday, January 05 21 03:54 pm EST)
Since when does Mark Limoges sit on the police commission? Sounds like you are clearly uneducated and have an ax to grind. Maybe you should try posting factual information if you want to sound credible.
John J, O’CONNOR(Tuesday, January 05 21 01:41 pm EST)
Pam... if you had any balls you would post your real complete name so Mr.Stone , Mr. Belisle, and Mr. Limoges could sue you for slander and libel.
But since your a coward, I wouldn’t expect you to do that.
Remember, free speech isn’t always free, there is a cost for everything.
Please explain to me the topic of my original post - which is now gone or shut up.
Since Sullivan is your God tell me, exactly what document are you referring to that Sullivan has that disputes my post and proves that this site is very, heavily anti-Koloski - posts which he NEVER deletes
Also, please tell me the original topic which was deleted or shut up because you are ignorant.
BTW NOT A PRIVATE PAGE - NO SUCH THING WHEN THERE IS NO PASSWORD REQUIRED lol rube
Bob(Tuesday, January 05 21 11:37 am EST)
Pam: "WEAK" and if you don't like this site so much and it's owner may I suggest you start your own site and collect all the facts and refute any evidence posted here with proof. Oh and by the way this is a private page and all the name calling and degrading of the owner of this page does not make you virtuous or grant you any special rights to post what ever you want and then call it censorship when it is removed. Get your own page so you can write whatever you want. Nobody listens to buthurt people ranting like a child who can't get their way.
Steve(Tuesday, January 05 21 11:30 am EST)
Pam, give it up. Jim never writes anything that he can't back up. Read his articles, they are all sourced with documents. Let it go.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, January 05 21 11:09 am EST)
Pam or whoever you really are that is a very simple question to answer.
Claremont 4 Real published an article on August 20, 2019 entitled "The “Sullivan Report” Slurs Claremont4Real -Due To A Forum Full Of Stoopid Rubes" with a picture directly underneath of what appears to be two hillbillies. I kept a copy of the article. The entire article was about poor Nick Koloski being blamed for the "City's woes" and how great his restaurant is. The article also credited me for deleting the comments that went too far making allegations that could not be verified. Essentially doing the same thing that I'm doing to you "Pam" as has been always our policy from the very beginning. Fortunately this is something I rarely have to do as most people who comment do not cross the line. Hopefully you will see this as a learning experience because I do not like to delete anyone's comments.
The Claremont 4 which doesn't have a single "pro-Kolosky" article as you wrote just below.
Prove me wrong and post the link.
You can't. You are projecting.
What you run is an "incredibly supportive website" of all things anti-Kolosky.
Projection is an early sign of dementia - I suggest you get a proof reader/fact checker...
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, January 05 21 09:49 am EST)
To Pam or whatever your name is since according to your email information (that is never shown on the website) you are somehow affiliated with the apparently defunct Claremont 4 Real website that was incredibly supportive of Councilor Nick Koloski. The reason why I deleted both of your comments is because there is no proof that anything you're claiming is the truth. However to be perfectly clear I am not calling you a liar because what you state may be true, I simply don't know and there is no way to verify it. Since you state that your intent is to contact Councilor Nick Koloski, my advice is for you to reach out to him directly either by his City Councilor Councilor email address found on the City of Claremont website or call him at his restaurant when it's open later today. You could also contact the Claremont Police Department with your concerns. Those are the proper channels to use. Please with all due respect,do not post those unfounded accusations here again because I will only have to delete them again. Thank you.
The Mayor Knows(Tuesday, January 05 21 08:27 am EST)
The entire City Council is either too stupid to see the problem or they are the problem.
The Mayor is extremely involved in the day to day operations of the City, she has been seen in City Hall on an almost daily basis.
I want to know what she knows and when did she know it because there is no way she was not aware of this 300k slush fund, her silence on this issue is an indicator that she knows a lot more then she is letting on.
I’m sure she will plead ignorance but no one will believe it because of what a control freak she is.
My only hope is maybe one of the newer Councilors will step up and DEMAND action be taken but I won’t hold me breath.
Seems they all share the same brain.
Nathan(Monday, January 04 21 11:01 pm EST)
I think it is time for a forensic audit of the two TIF Districts as Mr. Sullivan suggested. I also think it is time for the councilors to show some leadership, transfer that $300,000 and change into the city’s general fund accounts, and spend the money on road paving. I know $300,000 will not go to to far but it will be better than what we have put aside in the budget now, which is practically nothing because of bad councilor leadership.
William(Monday, January 04 21 05:23 pm EST)
Read an article from the Center Square about a report done by the Tax Foundation that they entitled, Where State Unemployment Compensation Trust Funds stand in December. The source data for the report comes from the US Department of Labor. The report lists all the states in the union and New Hampshire is not looking too good. The net trust fund balance is $123,072,715 as of December 17, 2020. Through the week ending December 12, 2020 there were 20,743 beneficiaries receiving an average weekly benefit of $346. I did the math and the fund will run dry into deficit spending in 17 weeks. I know that will be some money replenishing that trust fund but let’s be realistic just how much do you think New Hampshire brings in each week when they are paying out on average $7,177,070 each week. Things are not looking good.
Don(Monday, January 04 21 05:02 pm EST)
As long as you have folks like Nick Koloski and Charlene Lovett and Allen Damren on the city council, it will be nearly impossible to make any good changes because they are there to only support the wishes, the desires and the greed of special interests with political influence. No one else to them matters. We are beneath their notice except when they want our vote at election time then afterwards they forget all about us again for two more years.
Teri(Monday, January 04 21 03:28 pm EST)
I would like to see the councilors transfer that $300,000 out of the Downtown TIF accounts and put that money towards road paving for this spring. Forget about the low traffic roads such as Franklin Street and fix up the higher traffic roads for the taxpayers who are paying a very high tax bill every year to support a city with a very small population.
Tom(Monday, January 04 21 02:35 pm EST)
It looks to me as if our city leaders created an off the books slush fund for themselves that already has over $300,000 in it. I wonder if the money is still there or if the loot was embezzled and split up between one or more shady characters.
Gary(Monday, January 04 21 12:21 pm EST)
Claremont city government has always been shady but it has gotten much worse over recent years. Mr. Morris does not like government transparency and the city councilors are aiding and abetting by not holding Mr. Morris's feet to the fire and making him act as a professional city manager. Pathetic leadership leads to pathetic and unsatisfactory results. I do not see anything changing for the better until maybe next year and that depends on the November election results for the city council.
Jim Sullivan(Monday, January 04 21 10:04 am EST)
To Just Asking: The Council packet for the January 13 meeting is not available yet. It will not appear on the City website until sometime on Monday, January 11 at the earliest and then it will only be available for a very short timeframe. If you want to read it I suggest you download it onto your computer before it disappears. You will also notice that the PDF will say reduced, suggesting that certain documents are not made available to the public. More of the Morris Administration's "public transparency".
To John O'Connor: Thank you for the kind words they are greatly appreciated. I agree that a focused forensic audit is in order not only for the Downtown TIF District but for the River Road TIF District as well. Millions of dollars passed through those accounts and in my opinion, several questionable accounting practices took place such as the River Road TIF District collecting more money than it needed to meet expenses for several years and then lending those funds totaling $2,979,745 to the Downtown TIF District, which was never repaid. I have found no state legislation that allows that practice. Based on my research of the state legislation TIF funds collected must be spent on expenses for that TIF District only not some other one. Yet the municipal government did it anyway.
John J. O’Connor(Monday, January 04 21 08:52 am EST)
Good work Jim.
All this time I thought you were slacking or in semi- retirement, little did I know how in-depth you were getting with the city finances.
As our former City Manager was fond of saying, “ this doesn’t pass the smell test.” It might also explain why during an extensive nationwide search for a new City Manager, the best and brightest candidates turned down the position. Leaving Claremont no choice but to select the runner up, twice!
It’s time for the City Council to listen to Councilor Stone and hire a Forensic accountant to finally get to the bottom of all this.
If you know a felony has been committed and you don’t report that felony, you have committed a felony.
Words of wisdom for all our elected Officials.
Just Asking(Monday, January 04 21 07:21 am EST)
Anyone want to share how one gets the Council Packet off the new and improved city website.
Jim Sullivan(Monday, January 04 21 06:54 am EST)
Finally some answers regarding Claremont's Downtown TIF District.
The article is on the News Flashes page of this website.
Steve(Thursday, December 31 20 05:02 pm EST)
Mostly Uncensored used to be cutting edge with truth reporting and editorial cartoons that showed our government leaders and their actions for what they really are. Lately except for the Sullivan Report articles that are posted there it is a wasteland of mediocrity. I've been very disappointed with page for some time as it seems to be taking a pro-government direction. Maybe some of the government leaders are influencing this new direction.
Jen(Thursday, December 31 20 03:31 pm EST)
Maybe Mostly uncensored has drank the same Kool Aid as Eagle Times, and E Ticker news, and is getting kick backs for not exposing all that's wrong with Claremont.
Come on Mostly uncensored, and not follow the pays of the other Claremont news sources.
Rick(Thursday, December 31 20 02:13 pm EST)
I see that NASA is looking to the New Hampshire business community for help with their next moon mission. Maybe we could send the entire City Council and Mr. Morris to the moon and call it an exploratory economic development fact-finding trip but make it a one-way voyage only. That would certainly be a boon for Claremont. Cheers everyone and have a Happy New Year.
William(Wednesday, December 30 20 11:56 am EST)
Something else that has been missing on Mostly Uncensored is more about the new unqualified director of public works. The man has no credentials or work experience at all in regards to the position he was hired for. Managing buildings for a public works department is a far cry from managing the largest department in our fair city. What does this new director know about street maintenance, cemeteries, recycling and the operation of water and wastewater treatment facilities? Absolutely nothing but he seems to be an unemployed friend of the city manager so it's okay for Mr. Morris to hire an ignorant candidate to this high paid position and the councilors do absolutely nothing about it. Amazing. We have the worst management in New Hampshire for our city and county governments and the school administration is not all that stellar either. I remember years ago when Mr. Santagate said he would hire the best of the best for Claremont's municipal government. Today we seem to have hired and elected the worst of the worst.
Bob(Wednesday, December 30 20 11:30 am EST)
That's why I'm a fan of Mostly uncensored. The one who runs that page isn't affraid to post anything. Very surprised that Mostly uncensored has'nt been posting more on this Morris character, and the current City Council.
Janice(Wednesday, December 30 20 10:01 am EST)
I am appalled by the behavior of the city councilors. Mr. Morris is out of control with his unprofessional behavior and actions. His willingness to give special treatment to certain individuals at taxpayers expense and connive and manipulate to give city employees enormous salary raises to the detriment of all other city services is in my view more than sufficient grounds for his termination. However I do not see this group of councilors working up the nerve or the energy to fire Mr. Morris. City services will continue to deteriorate in quality while our tax burden increases until a change of leadership is made. I believe next November is when the entire city council is up for reelection, I suggest we as voters make a New Year's Resolution to replace all of them.
Joe(Tuesday, December 29 20 07:53 pm EST)
Everyone is looking but only a few, a very small few, too few to make a difference, care.
Tom(Tuesday, December 29 20 01:32 pm EST)
It sickens me to see how Ed Morris conducts business at City Hall when nobody is looking. Back room deal after deal benefiting friends and colleagues seems to be Mr. Morris’s modus operandi. A quick review of recent events all reported in the Sullivan Report is all that is necessary to create an unassailable case that even the most gung ho, diehard, true believer city councilor such as Nicholas Koloski for example could not shake the confidence of with lies or half-truths or innuendo. The selling of the Junior Sports League Building with the large property assessment reduction dramatically lowering the annual property tax bill presumably requested by the interested buyer and the low $5,000 bid price handed in by that buyer, the only bidder. The corrupted municipal employee compensation study with unrealistic municipal community comparators preapproved by high-level municipal employees with a conflict of interest, culminating with an outrageous set of conclusions and recommendations. Manipulation of data to reach predetermined conclusions regarding senior citizen exemptions and veterans tax credits to maintain current income and asset levels not changed in I believe the article reported for 12 years to contain increased expenditures to divert taxpayer funds to increase municipal employee compensation. Manipulation of data to reach predetermined conclusions regarding a dramatically revised and obviously unrealistic road-paving plan that cuts costs in half to divert taxpayer funds to increase municipal employee compensation. Funds spent to demolish a downtown building directly benefiting a local developer of low-income housing. This same developer received millions of dollars of public funds with assistance from the city of Claremont’s municipal government. Sullivan County officials announce their intention to purchase the former Eagle Times building and subsequently receive a very large property assessment reduction, and an extremely generous three-year term payment in lieu of taxes agreement with a one-year deferral and apparently free infrastructure upgrades courtesy of Mr. Morris and the taxpayers of Claremont. Mr. Morris also hired a new public works director that seemingly has no practical job experience and possibly a friend of Mr. Morris from his days working as town administrator for Wethersfield Vermont. All the while, our nine elected city councilors meekly sit and say or do nothing. One can only imagine what will happen next and what those actions will cost Claremont taxpayers.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, December 29 20 07:41 am EST)
Some sobering news regarding Sullivan County Sober House.
Article published on the News Flashes page of this website.
Steven(Monday, December 28 20 08:57 pm EST)
Dale Girard would be an excellent choice but let’s be honest, if he is chosen, his wife would be pulling his strings.
Seat(Monday, December 28 20 08:51 pm EST)
I hear Dale girard was putting his name in the hat for kiers at large council seat but being a business owner who has obligations of keeping people employed and figuring out budgets im sure that we will push him aside and get this fuck stick mooshian who is a looser
Richard(Sunday, December 27 20 09:20 am EST)
Guy, it is not a rumor, the e-ticker news announced that Matt Mooshian placed his name in for consideration for the open city councilor seat. It also announced a list of 20 citizens endorsing his appointment. There were a few familiar names on that endorsement list resigning councilmember Abigail Kier, former school board chair, firefighter Brian Rapp, state representatives Gary Merchant and John Cloutier, former state representative Ray Gagnon, from the chamber director Shelley Hudson and his close friends Sam & Trish Killay. The others I am not acquainted with. I do not trust this particular collection of councilors and I believe Mr. Mooshian is their fair-haired golden boy so to speak and will receive the nod of approval from the majority of councilors. It would not surprise me if this succession were prearranged before Abigail Kier announced her resignation because I doubt the Kier’s decision to move to Washington DC was on the spur of the moment.
Guy(Sunday, December 27 20 08:24 am EST)
Patrick Adrian is a moron and a puppet for the city and county administrations.
His articles are barely readable, he can hardly string together coherent sentence’s and this is what passes for a journalist.
Rumor has it that Matt Moonshine has submitted his name for considering to be the next At-large City Councilor, wouldn’t it be nice to have a councilor without a personal agenda?
Matt Moonshine is a local community activist, who if appointed, will waste the city’s and Councils time with a national agenda that has no bearing on the day to day activities in Claremont.
Hopefully there will be other candidates to choose from.
Mike(Saturday, December 26 20 10:01 am EST)
I don't know if you caught the latest from reporter Patrick Adrian in the Eagle Times. He praises county officials for keeping tax increases low and starting new programs at the same time. The truth is county officials, the delegation and county manager, spent millions of dollars in cash reserves built up by previous county managers and delegations who were all wiser and more professional than the nincompoops we have today. Now the cash reserve is at bare-bones minimum where it needs to stay to maintain county policy of cash reserves so future increases in spending will now all go on the property tax rate. This is not leadership it is sheer lunacy thanks to the imbeciles we have in power today. Their inapt leadership has put the county government in a precarious financial position with no way out except to increase taxation.
Jim Sullivan(Thursday, December 24 20 11:06 pm EST)
Happy Holidays to all of our loyal readers.
Mike(Thursday, December 24 20 05:17 pm EST)
something else to consider is the unemployment rate in Claremont. For October it was 3.6% and while it is true that it is dropping the last time it was at 3.6% was way back in 2015. This is not the time for government officials to be footloose and fancy free with taxpayers money. It's a shame that our public officials do not feel that way as they continue to spend like there is no tomorrow on things that really add no value to the populaces general well-being and quality of life.
Erik(Thursday, December 24 20 03:05 pm EST)
Claremont's population for 2020 is stated at 12,945, a small uptick of 13 citizens over last year. That is still a 1,002 decline of population since 1990. That is still a 7.2% drop in population. There is no way to sugarcoat this, Claremont has been in a steady overall decline. I do not know why Caroline did not use the 2020 population number instead of the number from 2019 but it does not change the overall truth of the matter. Claremont is in a state of decline and the property tax burden is in all probability the primary cause. Claremont's tax-and-spend government leaders, county, city and school are destroying this community with their liberal spending policies that seem to do nothing to improve the quality of life in our community but instead seems to be geared toward enriching the lives of a selected few special interests instead. These fools running our local government branches into the ground make the Grinch and Ebenezer Scrooge look like pikers.
Duh(Thursday, December 24 20 01:28 pm EST)
Caroline, how do you look at numbers in 2020 and presume Claremont didn't gain population while looking at Claremont numbers from before that?
Caroline(Thursday, December 24 20 11:39 am EST)
A fresh research report published by the Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire found that New Hampshire’s population grew by 5,500 people between the months of July 2019 & July 2020, the largest population increase in New England. Claremont New Hampshire did not benefit one iota from this population upsurge. United States Census Bureau data clearly illustrates Claremont’s dwindling population from 13,947 in 1992 only 12,932 and 2019. A decline of 1,015 citizens or declared as a percentile over 7.2%. I postulate that Claremont’s exorbitantly high property tax rate, which is the highest throughout the State of New Hampshire, and the corresponding tax burden as the driving force for Claremont’s continuing diminishing populace.
Jim Sullivan(Wednesday, December 23 20 06:20 am EST)
Goshen Tuition Agreement Update.
Published on the News Flashes page of this website.
Donk(Tuesday, December 22 20 03:25 pm EST)
Perhaps the new owner of the JSL Building could take the time to shovel his sidewalk.People are having to walk in the street,including women with baby carriages.If the city is so short on revenue perhaps they could impose fines for unshoveled properties not done after 3 days?
Owning a house,building,or business carries with it responsibilities like cutting grass and shoveling sidewalks.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, December 22 20 09:15 am EST)
New article. Synopsis of December 16 Claremont School Board meeting.
Goshen Tuition Agreement may not be as lucrative as it seems.
Remote Learning Students receive over 75% less interaction time with their Teachers.
The article is on the News Flashes page of this website.
Janice(Monday, December 21 20 11:35 am EST)
I agree with Mr. O'Connor. The taxpayers of our fair community pay a fairly hefty price for property taxes when you compare Claremont's per capita income to its property tax rate and the burden that places on the taxpayers. It is not a matter of enough money as Claremont's budget is well over $17 million. I believe it is a matter of priorities that are improperly set by the city manager and the city council. I did a little quick research and see that the city leaders only allocated $650,000 for the paving of our city streets. An amount far too small to maintain Claremont's roadways with any measure of success. The day after the snowstorm my husband and I had to run some errands and Mr. O'Connor is accurate with his assessment of the condition of Claremont's roadways. The state plow drivers did a magnificent job whereas the city plow drivers to the horrible job. I had to drop something off at my brother's house off of Maple Avenue and Maple Avenue was in tragic condition. I have lived in Claremont by an entire life and have never seen the roadways so poorly plowed. The sidestreets were even worse. I do not know if this is because of a weak, inexperienced management team, insufficient funding or both but if this is any indication of this management team's work product then this does not bode well for our future.
John J. O’CONNOR(Monday, December 21 20 09:54 am EST)
And another thing.....
You mentioned the DPW budget. Claremont has the highest tax rate in the state, is having clean, plowed roads too much to ask for ?
Residents are constant told there isn’t enough money in the budget for road construction or repair but it’s a crime if there is not enough money to plow the streets in an acceptable manner based on the taxes being paid by its citizens.
John J.O’Connor(Monday, December 21 20 09:41 am EST)
Duh (great name),
My upper valley and lake region travels took me all over , including Danbury (46inches).
The state roads were impeccable, fantastic job, plowed down to the pavement. Local roads had snow on them but you can see they had been plowed multiple times.
There are roads in the Maple Ave. and Bluff areas that look like a plow has never been down the street.
Duh, I suggest you drive around and see for yourself, pick up some cheese and we can “whine” together.
I’m just saying what a majority of Claremont’s residents are thinking .
Duh(Monday, December 21 20 08:49 am EST)
Well John, I do believe Claremont got considerably more snow than anyone, except Croydon. If you look on the upper valley FB page people are hitching about Lebanon's roads, which have a considerably higher road budget than Claremont does. But sure, we'll go with your whining.
John J. O’Connor(Sunday, December 20 20 08:44 pm EST)
It’s award season and in the spirit of giving I would like to give Claremont’s DPW the award for having the “worst” roads in the upper valley.
They also received recognition for having the “worst” secondary roads, not only in the upper valley but the lakes region also.
I spenta considerable amount of time this weekend driving through these areas , I am very satisfied with the decision to give Claremont’s DPW these awards since I drove these roads extensively and witnessed the conditions first had.
Claremont’s roads were deplorable.
Great start for the new DPW Director, hope you learned something from this disaster.
Tony(Saturday, December 19 20 05:55 pm EST)
I see Councilman James Contois is up to his favorite pastime again of kissing asses. This time the recipient is Councilwoman Abigail Kier as she is moving to the Washington DC area. Contois is constantly kissing the asses of everyone with praise whether it is deserved or not. It is so sickening to watch on TV and if I see his name on a letter I will not read it. My wife did and told me what was in it. I hope he doesn't win reelection next time round.
Bob(Friday, December 18 20 04:31 pm EST)
Just so everyone knows the JSL is full of Asbestos and Lead and needs to be cleaned our before the good ole boy can produce food in it. I think an email to NH DES is in order.
Henry(Friday, December 18 20 11:38 am EST)
It does not surprise me that Nick Koloski would support censorship because he is so pro-administration that he wants everything controlled. It greases the wheels for when Nick will want another big favor from the municipal government. When I read the part about when Nick flip-flopped on his position repeatedly sounds about right because Nick needs everyone to love him because of his warped fragile ego.
Shawn(Thursday, December 17 20 03:16 pm EST)
Jeff Barrette placed a short video tour of the JSL building on Facebook. I expected to see a very rundown building but instead I saw a building in remarkably good condition. I remember when the city administration swore up and down that the building was about to fall in on itself and needed to be closed down for public safety reasons. That does not look to have been the case. The same excuses were given when the outdoor pool was permanently closed. I remember Councilor Nick Koloski swearing that the physical condition of the JSL building was dire and he supported the administration’s position to close the property down. It seems that was a lie. I have never had much faith in Nick Koloski, as I believe he has sold his soul to the city administration in exchange for large favors every now and again. I am pleased that Mr. Barrett’s businesses are thriving but I am displeased with the knowledge that the city administration and the city council gave away an asset in such good condition so cheaply. An asset that was not as much in disrepair as we were led on to believe. In my estimation the public was lied to once again by people we have misplaced our trust into.
Christina(Thursday, December 17 20 01:30 pm EST)
It is atrocious how the city councilors are treating the elderly by maintaining an exemption income limit set 12 years ago. Prioritizing pay raises for city employees by ignoring everything else is not a proper plan of action to move our city forward. Mr. Morris seems to have motives that are not in the best interests of Claremont’s citizenry. Our city councilors elected by the people need to represent the people but they are failing to do that as well. Road conditions are not what they should be and failing to allocate proper funding each year is not a solution. The hiring of an unqualified public works director compounded with the earlier hiring of an unqualified assistant public works director is not a situation that will create good outcomes. Mayor Lovett and the other members of the city council are failing their constituents by continuing to listen to an unqualified city manager, who is setting the wrong priorities for Claremont.