Nick doesn’t care about sports betting, he is more interested in changing the law that would allow him to turn his place into a Strip club.
Todd(Saturday, July 20 19 05:38 am EDT)
Has Nick Koloski started the ball rolling for an ordinance to allow sports betting in Claremont for his establishment? I'll bet he has behind the scenes. Now that he got the food truck ordinance passed for his benefit this will be his next project. It's all about him.
Ben(Friday, July 19 19 05:27 am EDT)
Things won't change until we kick Lovett and her tax and spend cronies on the council out of public office. New councilors with sound financial judgement to change priorities and cut the size of the city budget and tell the local municipal unions that they will not take advantage of the taxpayers anymore is the only way for Claremont to move ahead in a positive direction.
David(Wednesday, July 17 19 10:30 pm EDT)
I think the directors get paid enough and no raises are necessary. If they want to leave let them. The city and the school budgets need to be put on a big diet. Cut the budgets of the fat and give the taxpayers a break.
Rick(Wednesday, July 17 19 03:38 pm EDT)
I see that Mr. McLean is trying to give a big pay raise to all the directors before he departs. Gee, that is very nice of him since he does not pay taxes here. Naturally, Damren, Pope, and Lovett are right on top of this because they constantly pandered to the employees anyway. Koloski and Kier will have their rubberstamps ready at the proper time too. Look at all the mayor declarations Lovett is giving out like candy. I wonder if she prints them in the basement of City Hall because they are as meaningless as counterfeit money. She is just pandering to as many different constituencies as she can to get her and her cronies on the council votes in the ballot box in November. It is obvious and pathetic all at the same time.
Chris(Wednesday, July 17 19 02:03 pm EDT)
The pleasant restaurant property renovation project has me concerned. The Sullivan Report did an excellent job intertwining the Farwell project and the brown block project into the article to give a little bit of history and some excellent advice. This pleasant restaurant project is haphazard as it has no real plan and no real funding but let us move ahead anyway. No one does that in the real world only when there are public funds at hand and tax-and-spend imbeciles in charge does this sort of thing happen because they know there is an inexhaustible supply of taxpayer money to bail them out if needed. The taxpayers should be outraged about this but they will stay at home, do nothing, and complain when the much higher tax bill comes due. In a way, the apathetic citizens of Claremont deserve the abuse that they are receiving.
Jessica(Wednesday, July 17 19 12:36 pm EDT)
I agree with Abby. Anyone who has no respect for rules and regulations has no respect for their elected position or the constituents who put their faith and trust in them. It is time to oust all the incumbents in November.
Abby(Wednesday, July 17 19 10:41 am EDT)
I do not like the councilors who keep breaking the rules to suit their purposes. Lovett, Damren, Kier, Koloski, Pope & Lessard all have no problem breaking rules and ignoring regulations whenever they feel like it. I believe the job has gone to their head and they think they are the rulers of Claremont. It’ time to dissuade themselves of that opinion in November.
Jim Sullivan(Wednesday, July 17 19 10:05 am EDT)
George, we were wondering if the City Administration had followed the purchasing rules to seek bids regarding this contract award as well. This is why I have requested a copy of the bid tabulation form that will list all of the vendors who submitted a bid and the price that they quoted. I should have it in about a week or so and then I will report the findings.
George(Wednesday, July 17 19 09:25 am EDT)
I’m wondering if the city really did get a good deal on electricity. We only have the word of an interim city manager to go by and he made a deal with a CDA member. Perhaps everything is on the up and up but I’m suspicious. It seems just a little too cozy a deal to me.
Sarah(Wednesday, July 17 19 07:52 am EDT)
I’ve never really trusted Charlene Lovett anyway so it really does not surprise me that she would write misleading statements in her articles. She strikes me as the type who will say or do anything to achieve her goals whatever they may be. She wants the city of Claremont to look like this shining example of success because it reflects directly back on her tenure as Mayor. The reality is the city is a failure trying to turn direction but is unable to because the leadership that created the failure is still in power. The voters can correct that in November and I hope they will.
Simone(Tuesday, July 16 19 03:03 pm EDT)
The Mayor is going to propose changing how we elect out elected officials.
Currently, all 9 are up for re-election every 2 years. The new proposal will be to stagger the elections.
Elect 5 one year, the other 4 the next and continue so you will always have experience members on the council at all times.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, July 16 19 02:26 pm EDT)
American Recycling Transfer Station Proposal Update. Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, July 16 19 12:42 pm EDT)
Bob, yes I did see Francis Gauthier’s request for information. In regards to the secret Charter change, I am the one who brought it to the public’s attention by publishing an announcement on this website after I saw it on the first version of the July 24 Council meeting agenda. I have absolutely no idea what it is about and no one is talking at least at the present time. The Council information packet will be published on either Monday or Tuesday of next week on the City of Claremont website, although there is no guarantee that any information regarding this Charter change will be included within it because Administration Officials sometimes “forget” to include documentation about certain agenda items, especially if they are controversial. I do not know if Francis Gauthier had better luck in finding out what this is about than we did, you would have to ask them directly. There is no need to panic because there are proper safeguards in place in regards to making any changes to the City Charter. For an amendment to the City Charter, the Council would have to hold a properly noticed public hearing and then vote to place any proposed amendment changes on the ballot. It would then be up to the voters of Claremont to decide whether or not they want to support this proposed change or not. Despite with the Council may think and no matter how many rules and regulations they want to suspend or outright break they do not have the power to change the City Charter by themselves. No amount of political manipulation by Mayor Lovett or anyone else can change that. You are right that Claremont needs new leadership and hopefully the voters will come out for this next election and make that change a reality.
Barry, currently the Mayor is the one who sets the agenda. The City Manager & the other Councilors all have the right to recommend agenda items but it is the Mayor’s final call as to what is placed on the agenda for any given meeting. This current City Council very stupidly gave Mayor Lovett that extra authority. When I served on the Council, the City Manager & the Mayor had equal authority to place items on the agenda. It always worked well but for some reason Lovett wanted complete control of the agenda and now she has it because we presently have an incredibly weak Council. November’s elections can fix that but only if good people run and the voters then elect them and vote out of office the incumbents who have done a terrible job overseeing city affairs, most of them for many years. In my opinion too many of these Councilors have grown arrogant thinking that they are a power not to be trifled with, which is why the rules are either suspended or broken altogether time and time again. Look how many times that issue came up just this one meeting, Mayor Lovett and company are using the suspend the rules law far too often to push forward their political agenda. It needs to stop and only the November elections and smart choices by the Claremont voters will do that.
Barry(Tuesday, July 16 19 11:11 am EDT)
Jim, does the mayor have the authority to slam non important items on the agenda without bringing it up under future agenda items at a previous meeting? Word around town this was done without the other councilors knowledge at all. Didn’t we just go through this same issue a few months ago? This is not good for Claremont’s image. Looks like the very ones wanting to improve the image are hurting it. Need some new blood with ba**s.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, July 16 19 10:57 am EDT)
Three new articles.
1) American Recycling Transfer Station Public Hearing rescheduled.
2) July 10 Council meeting synopsis.
3) The local housing market is not as rosy as the Mayor would have us believe.
Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Bob Gravel(Tuesday, July 16 19 08:37 am EDT)
Mr. Sullivan, have you seen the latest RSA 91-A request on the New Hampshire Gov.Watchdog page that was directed toward Mayor Lovett? What's up with the secret charter change? The impression I get after reading the request is that Mayor Lovett is again pandering to Sam Killay and his little band of radicals. Only this time she seems to be ashamed of it so she's doing it in secret. The way I understand it, after talking with some people around town, the city councilors haven't been given any information about the charter change so they're also in the dark about this. I also hear that Mayor Lovett has placed this item at the very end of the agenda on July 24, after most of the public have left. That way it could be rammed through without much public oversight. And the city wonders why the citizens don't trust Claremont government! The city doesn't make any effort to develop better relations with the public because they know they already have the union votes and that there will be a very low voter turnout in November. Then there are all the proclamations the Mayor has given out to stroke their egos and assure their votes. But this can be fixed. This can all be turned around if conservative Claremont voters will turn out en masse in November.
Bob Gravel(Tuesday, July 16 19 07:35 am EDT)
Tab, are you out trolling?
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, July 16 19 06:08 am EDT)
Tab, I am not the person who snapped the picture that Nick posed for and then posted on the Internet. Perhaps I'm just not as "sensitive" as you because I am not homophobic but I never saw that photograph as being as you put it "gay". I still don't. However, you are certainly entitled to your opinion and we will simply have to agree to disagree.
Tab(Monday, July 15 19 11:40 pm EDT)
How dare you sit there and tell these people you never thought Nick was gay.
The picture you post of Nick is as gay as it gets.
Shame on you Jim.
Jim Sullivan(Sunday, July 14 19 05:59 pm EDT)
Tab, I am not sure if your comments are directed at either Todd or me but I wish to answer for myself in case any readers believe that these baseless accusations are directed to myself.
First of all this is the first time that I ever heard anyone even hint at the fact that Nick Koloski might possibly be gay. Quite frankly, I could care less if he is or he is not because it does not influence in any way his job performance or actions as a City Councilor or as a local businessperson. A person's sexual orientation is irrelevant just so long as no laws are broken. Speaking only for myself, my opinion of Koloski is based solely on his past actions. In regards to Koloski's weenie wagon, Nick publicly stated that he owned one during a Council meeting regarding the food truck ordinance, when this discussion first began many months ago. So if you want to criticize the source, properly point your ire at Nick Koloski.
Tab(Sunday, July 14 19 05:39 pm EDT)
Your criticism of Nick just shows how homophobic you are.
Nick is a gay business man in a straight world and has had to overcome this kind of bias his whole life.
You would think, after the city embraces “ Pride” month, that Nicks lifestyle would no longer be food for fonder.
As far as food trucks are concerned, I am not aware he has one. I am aware his life partner is in that business, but I haven’t seen that truck set up in town.
So I’d like to know how Nick is benefitting from this new ordinance?
Todd(Friday, July 12 19 10:26 pm EDT)
Now that Gov. Sununu made sports betting legal watch how fast Councilor Koloski gets enabling local legislation passed in Claremont for his sports bar just like he did with the Keno and the food trucks. It's all about Nick.
Jim Sullivan(Friday, July 12 19 03:44 pm EDT)
The City Administration published the agenda for the City Council's July 24 meeting and the agenda states that the Council is going to have a discussion about an amendment change to the City Charter. I wonder what they are up to this time?
Rae(Thursday, July 11 19 09:19 pm EDT)
Deb was a "shoe in" to fill the city council seat. There are rules about how many city councilors can be on the city manager search committee. If she had won city council she would have been sworn in last night and taken her seat at the next meeting. Did the meeting on Saturday get canceled after she didn't win?
Scott(Thursday, July 11 19 08:31 pm EDT)
Did the council secretly pick their city manager candidate already? Is this another rigged application process?
Jim Sullivan(Thursday, July 11 19 12:49 pm EDT)
Council hiring session for the next City Manager abruptly canceled. Details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Jack(Thursday, July 11 19 06:20 am EDT)
Sure sounds to me as though sumpin" was left out of the charter.Council seats and school board seats were never meant for self-enrichment.Seat members,spouses,or immediate members of family should hold no office if under the employ of the city,directly or indirectly.
You all should check out Maryland.The property taxes are 1/3-1/2 that of Claremont.The electricity rates are 33% cheaper than those of us(suckers)in New Hampshire.When the carbon cops tell everyone that they can no longer burn oil,pellets,or wood for heat,due to carbon output,places like Claremont may revert back to nature,because they've been abandoned.
Kevin(Thursday, July 11 19 05:02 am EDT)
Kenniston is a better choice but her connection to the Fire Department through marriage is troubling. Contracts with the Fire, Police, DPW and the Clerical Unions will all be under negotiation real soon and I doubt that she will be unbiased towards raises or support municipal employees paying a greater share of their insurance premiums. I remember her on the school board and she was a big spender so I see no difference here and that is probably why she was chosen because she will be another administration tax and spend rubber stamp. I hope I am wrong but I do not believe that I am.
Jim Sullivan(Thursday, July 11 19 12:58 am EDT)
According to the Eagle Times, Kristen Kenniston was chosen to fill the empty Council seat vacated by Jeremy Zullo. Also, the Council voted to transfer ownership of the Former Pleasant Restaurant Building to the Claremont Development Authority. More details will be in our article the beginning of next week.
Todd(Thursday, July 11 19 12:24 am EDT)
I see the Sullivan Report beat everyone to the punch again. The Editor of the Eagle Times is leaving. He has another rambling, boring, worthless editorial in today's paper but at the bottom it says that he has been the Editor for 14 months and this is his last editorial. No other statement of his leaving or why. Gutless to the end.
Rae(Wednesday, July 10 19 08:57 pm EDT)
Jack the pregnancy center in the Moody Building is actually the opposite of an abortion clinic. It is Christian based but open to all, it offers some prenatal services, but also parenting classes. Abortion is actually not anywhere in it's mission.
Ken(Wednesday, July 10 19 12:19 pm EDT)
Perhaps they changed the venue because they are expecting a very large crowd of citizens. There are a lot of folks against the location of this transfer station.
Molly(Wednesday, July 10 19 12:04 pm EDT)
The Eagle Times has a scoop right under their nose when the advertisement was placed about the public hearing relocation and they don’t even print story about it. Typical.
Jim Sullivan(Wednesday, July 10 19 11:56 am EDT)
Special Report! City Council to hold hiring session. Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Randyy(Wednesday, July 10 19 11:38 am EDT)
It is really becoming obvious that Claremont has bad management in all three of the local governments. City, School and County are all loaded with terrible administrators and elected officials who think the only way to solve a problem is to spend more money without any real plan how to put that money to good use. The only shining hope is Mr. Tempesta at the school because he’s new and we have to give him a chance. I agree with a previous poster, I have little hope for the next city manager because of who is doing the choosing. I also think Deb Matteau will be widely chosen as the next City Councilor tonight because all of the Councilors have prejudged this vote even though it is a violation of their rules. Unfortunately, integrity is not a prerequisite for a City Councilor because if you look around the table during the Council meeting you will not see much integrity or any other impressive qualities among any of them.
Sam(Wednesday, July 10 19 10:21 am EDT)
Claremont has been on the decline for decades. I believe it finally has reached the point of no return at this point we need to make a hard choices one of the would be to take a look how Berlin closing its school system is working as that is a major expense for Claremont maybe we need to downside it or just close the system down. The Fire Department May give a cost saving by making it a volunteer department.
On closing Claremont is a Democratic run city and it shows.
Dave(Wednesday, July 10 19 09:26 am EDT)
Claremont is becoming a dumping ground for all the unwanted businesses and social services and section 8/welfare population. This is Charlene Lovett’s and the rest of the city council’s welcoming community political agenda at work. Section 8 housing, ex-convict housing, teen pregnancy housing, expanded dental clinic, nonprofit music center, needle exchange program and I hear that city officials are pushing for a marijuana storefronts too. That’s when they’re not give them away incredibly large tax breaks to out-of-town property owners. All at taxpayer’s expense.
Jack(Wednesday, July 10 19 07:54 am EDT)
So,I guess construction waste and non-profit social services are the only business that Claremont can drum up.
I drove down Pleasant St. yesterday,all the way to the square.I purposely paid close attention to what the storefronts actually were.I cannot even describe how grim the feeling was.This is no longer Claremont.Half of the stores are empty.Legal aid and some pregnancy place (abortion clinic?)dominate the square.The huge construction of low income housing where Nana's was was really disturbing!
I have been in Claremont for 20 years.I made it my home.It's shockingly obvious that I will be needing to find a new home.
Jim Sullivan(Wednesday, July 10 19 07:27 am EDT)
American Recycling Planning Board Hearing location changed. Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Brad(Tuesday, July 09 19 03:23 pm EDT)
The seven elected officials on the Claremont School Board are no prize either. Hundreds of thousands of dollars lost to the taxpayers in missed school aid opportunities and all of the IRS penalties just for 2016 with more penalties for several other years possible. None of them was watching out for the taxpayers. I do not know what they were doing but they certainly were not performing their due diligence. Presumably, all of the bad staff members are now gone within the SAU office and Mr. Tempesta can begin the work of rebuilding a competent staff. It is up to the voters to rebuild the Claremont School Board with competent leadership. None of the present-day members qualifies in that regard.
Jennifer(Tuesday, July 09 19 12:49 pm EDT)
I am less hopeful about the next city manager considering who is doing the picking. The councilors and local kingmakers who all had a hand in creating the problems we are facing today will be making the decision and in all likelihood will choose a like-minded city manager, who will wish to continue the tax-and-spend policies of the past while ignoring the consequences those policies create. Following the quality journalism of the Sullivan Report, with their in-depth exposes it seems to me that Claremont’s municipal government is running out of time before it all hits the proverbial fan. Presumably, this is the reason why several present-day city councilors will not be seeking reelection in November because they know that their decisions have created an untenable situation that they are incapable of fixing without making some incredibly hard choices, which could include layoffs and large property tax and water, & sewer rate increases. All unpopular choices.
Abigail(Tuesday, July 09 19 11:40 am EDT)
I am hopeful that the new superintendent of schools will be able to hire new staff that will actually do the job they are hired for without costing the Claremont taxpayers hundreds of thousand dollars in lost federal and state aid and IRS penalties. I still cannot believe how poorly managed the school district and the SAU were managed by the administrators and the school boards.
Industrial Property Owner(Tuesday, July 09 19 11:17 am EDT)
While I thoroughly enjoy reading the Sullivan Report’s exposés, I must say I do not enjoy what they generally mean for the much-abused Claremont taxpayer. The exposé about the Claremont Development Authority and the Board’s unprofessional manner of conducting their business is quite disturbing. The CDA Board’s predisposition towards operating in secret and preventing government transparency whenever possible even when certain details could be revealed is troubling when their actions could have some very real serious negative consequences for the Claremont taxpayers. I sincerely applaud Mr. Sullivan’s efforts to have a similar property tax stipulation placed on the Former Pleasant Restaurant Building similar to the deed restriction placed on the Farwell Building. However, I have serious reservations that this present day Council will listen, as they seem to have a propensity to grant favors and lavish public funds on public employees and special interest organizations and individuals with close political ties to members of this Council. I predict that no such covenant will be placed on the Former Pleasant Restaurant Building and an opportunity to generate additional revenue for the Downtown TIF District will be squandered. Just as the Former Eagle Times Building will leave the tax rolls once the property is turned over to Sullivan County for its ex-inmate transitional housing program that will greatly stifle Downtown Claremont’s economic vibrancy, which is presently struggling. Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Maranville raised a valid point regarding the stingy 6% contingency fund for this project when the normal industry-standard is 10%-15%. An example of making the project fit the budget, which is sometimes a recipe for disaster. Another area of concern is the CDA’s operational management of the Farwell Building in regards to rental rates. Even in 2008, $.36 per square foot was unheard of especially for the largest tenant of a building and then cementing those rates for 20 years. It is bad business and it would never be done in the public sector. Of course in the private sector the taxpayers can always be allowed bad investments especially if those investments turn bad because of incredibly bad management. If I recall a member of the City Council at that time was the project manager for the Dental Clinic, and she later became a hygienist with the Clinic after their grand opening. I also recall that another member of the City Council voted approval of this sweetheart deal with the other members of the CDA Board and although no longer a member of the City Council, he remains a member of the CDA Board. Cronyism was running rampant at that time but I do not think it is gone away entirely given the actions of this present day Council in regards to the Topstone Building, the Goddard Building Project and 147 Main St. owned by the same owners of the Goddard Building to cite a few examples. I predict that the Dental Clinic will get another 20-year lease with an incredibly low cost per square foot rental agreement for the upper floor and West Claremont Center for Music & the Arts will receive similar sweetheart deal for their occupancy of the Old Pleasant Restaurant Building. If any operational losses occur with either building, the taxpayers will in some way make up the difference. These abuses of public office will continue so long as those responsible for these terrible decisions remain in power.
Laura(Tuesday, July 09 19 08:38 am EDT)
I hope the new publisher will hire a better editor this time around. My husband and I canceled our subscription after reading Mr. Chaisson’s editorials declaring that the taxpayers need to shut up and pay more money when he himself does not live in Claremont or pay any taxes. I also do not like the political slant of the reporters as they continually side with the local politicians and either sugarcoat or ignore any problems that could potentially embarrass any of these local municipal or school or county government officials. The Eagle Times is supposed to be a hard-hitting newspaper that provides solid journalism to their readers and yes sometimes that will include critical news articles and editorials when necessary. The publication has failed in that regard for several years so perhaps this personnel turnover may turn out to be a blessing in disguise and bring back something that Claremont needs, a legitimate newspaper. The Sullivan Report does an excellent job reporting the political beat but there are other new stories that also need attention and that is where the Eagle Times could do a wonderful public service if management chose to roll up their sleeves and do so.
Rachel(Tuesday, July 09 19 06:31 am EDT)
Did the hiring of a new publisher have anything to do with editor Bill Chaisson's departure?
Jim Sullivan(Monday, July 08 19 01:56 pm EDT)
Two new articles.
1) Major personnel shakeup of the Eagle Times.
2) CDA moves ahead with renovation projects.
Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Jim Sullivan(Saturday, July 06 19 07:37 pm EDT)
I was saying that several Councilors may have prejudged this vote regarding the Councilor appointment and that is a violation of the City Councilor rules if they cast a vote anyway. Of course following the rules requires honesty and ethics. I agree with you Lee the fix does seem to be in and we are not the only two people who see it.
Lee(Saturday, July 06 19 07:43 am EDT)
Jim... are you saying a candidate or candidates have this issue ?
You have been around long enough to know when the fix is in.
Deb Matteau did not gather enough votes the first time to be legitimately placed on the City Manager search committee, so what did they do?
They changed the rules .
I feel sorry for the other candidate’s, they are just wasting their time.
Jim Sullivan(Friday, July 05 19 08:01 pm EDT)
Food for thought regarding Councilor prejudgement. Clause Number 50 of the Council's Rules and Regulations states as follows.
"50. - Conflict of Interest.
Conflict of Interest—If a potential for Conflict of Interest is identified, it should be brought to the attention of the entire Council at the time of discovery. Any member of the Council who might be shown to have clearly prejudged an issue or have a conflict of interest on an issue before the Council, places that issue in doubt and the City at great legal risk, therefore he or she should not take part in discussion or voting on the issue. He or she may, however, participate in the public hearing as a private citizen.
If anyone, on or off the Council, raises the question of prejudgment or conflict of interest on the part of any member and that member is unwilling to voluntarily step down, the remaining members of the Council shall hear any evidence the challenger and the challenged may have; subsequently, the Council, by two-thirds vote, shall decide whether the challenged member may sit. If there is substantial evidence of prejudgment or direct financial interest, the vote should be to require the challenged member to step down. Any two (2) members of the Council may request that the chair or the city manager secure a written opinion as to the potential conflict of interest of any Council member.
Do you think that there will be Councilors who will willingly violate this Council Rule when they select their Councilor appointee?
Steve(Friday, July 05 19 05:07 pm EDT)
If the council is stupid enough to appoint Deb Matteau as councilor than we are completely lost until November. I hear many of the rubber stamping good old boys (Koloski, Pope and their new friend Kier) won’t be running. If so they can do a lot of damage before their term is up. Very unprofessional of a city councilor’s wife to advocate for Matteau before it was even public knowledge. Seems like the Santagate Regime is still in power behind the scenes.
Rae(Friday, July 05 19 03:21 pm EDT)
Now that the applicants for city council have been released does that mean that the wife of a city councilor knew about who the applicants were before it was even released? In order to write a recommendation in the newspaper before hand? Is that really proper?
Jim Sullivan(Friday, July 05 19 01:07 pm EDT)
New article. Names of City Council applicants revealed. Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Ashley(Thursday, July 04 19 08:31 pm EDT)
The councilors Koloski, Pope, Kier, Damren and Lovett will never appoint a councilor who isn't in lockstep with their liberal tax and spend way of thinking. It seems to me that Matteau is a shoe in. The whole system is rigged.
John(Thursday, July 04 19 07:27 am EDT)
We all know Debra Matteau will be appointed.
I am sure the committee will give it final recommendation just in time for her to take her seat on the Council.
If Mrs. Scott Pope has given her approval , it’s a done deal.
I would love to know who the other candidates are, why is this list so secretive?
Seems only the council and their spouses know .
Rae(Wednesday, July 03 19 06:18 pm EDT)
So if Deb gets on the council does she have to relinquish her seat on the manager search committee because there are only supposed to be so many councilors? Or will that rule just get changed too?
Keith(Wednesday, July 03 19 01:09 pm EDT)
I'm so disappointed in our city council. They are destroying everything good about Claremont for some cockamamie political agenda that has a goal of turning Claremont into a sanctuary city. We already have far too many social service agencies that own properties in Claremont and routinely pay hardly no property taxes or no property taxes at all so they contribute nothing to support the cost of necessary government services. We also have far too many low income apartments under the section 8 program but Mayor Lovett and the like-minded councilors, Abigail Kier, Nick Koloski, Scott Pope, Allen Damren and Claire Lessard all want to create more and use our tax dollars to build up the infrastructure of the downtown costing millions of dollars to make this happen. The same liberal minded councilors also support the sober housing for the ex-convicts on Sullivan Street in downtown Claremont. They also supported the needle exchange program and the transitional housing for unwed teenage mothers that will eventually be located down on Main Street. The councilors did nothing when they could have stopped the tax giveaway for the Topstone building and they are going to knock down a building on Main Street and help out the developer of the Goddard building, who owns the attached building next door to this building on Main Street by giving him big tax breaks that will more than pay for whatever cost it will be the fix up his own building which he should have to pay for himself. I also understand reading the Sullivan Report that Nancy Merrill is looking for all kind of government money to pay for the cleanup of hazardous material at the Topstone building, which is privately owned property so why are our tax dollars being spent to clean it up? Don't forget grant money is government money that was collected with tax dollars and don't let these tax-and-spend liberal local politicians and bureaucrats tell you any different. Now they are going to rehab the pleasant restaurant building and have a music nonprofit group takeover the building and probably pay no taxes on that building either after all kind of public funds is used to rehab the building. All Charlene Lovett and the present day city council is doing is pandering to one special interest group after another and that includes the city employees with their raises and their choice of health insurance when they pay hardly none of it and it doesn't matter if another vendor is cheaper just so long as the employees have what they want the sky's the limit on price because the councilors doesn't care about the taxpayers. The city councilors are not representing us and I don't think they ever were.
Bob(Wednesday, July 03 19 10:12 am EDT)
This interim city manager and the councilors have zero backbone. They caved into the union demands and they are keeping HealthTrust, which I do not believe is a cheaper health insurance plan. Everyone on this Council kisses the buttocks of the union employees and they do not care what it cost the taxpayers to appease the union employees. This is one of the reasons why all of these councilors have to go. I also do not think that the top paid city employees deserve a raise just for showing up for work every day and not really accomplishing anything of great importance. I do not know about you but companies own the real world it giving big raises mostly cost-of-living raises if you lucky to get that. We certainly do not get the Cadillac health insurance plans that the public sector employees get. I think it is time they feel a little of the pain we feel and stop picking our pockets to give themselves a better life in our expense. I remember when Jim and AJ suggested looking to outsource as many of the city departments as possible to save money and that there were communities out across this great country of ours that actually save their taxpayers money by doing this. Of course, the city councilors we have today would never go along with that because they represent the unions and not the public. The same with the school board they also kiss the butts of the union members for the schools. New leadership is in order to make this happen.
Lisa(Wednesday, July 03 19 09:19 am EDT)
Tracy Pope's endorsement of Debbie Matteau for appointment to the city council in my opinion suggests that there is a very good chance that the fix might already be in and the interview process might just be a matter of going through the motions to create the appearance of fairness when the decision has already been made behind closed doors. If Tracy Pope wants Debbie Matteau you better believe Scott will vote for Debbie Matteau and I believe Allen Damren and Charlene Lovett and Nick Koloski and Claire Lessard will all vote for Debbie Matteau, game over. This is how things are done in Claremont politics and why nothing ever changes. We will soon know if I'm right.
Steve(Wednesday, July 03 19 09:18 am EDT)
Deb Mattheau is Claremont’s version of a “Kingmaker”.
She has been on the last 3 City Manager search committees, even when she does not receive enough votes, the rules get changed, she gets appointed and now she wants to be on the City Council.
Deb Matthau has had extreme influence hiring the last 3 city managers, she is not apart of the solution, she is part of the problem.
She is extremely close minded and the only opinion that matters is her own.
Anyone But Deb.
Adam(Wednesday, July 03 19 09:05 am EDT)
Claremont is suffering from a plague of dimwits that are all in public office. Administrators and elected officials alike are all destroying the city. Look at the last city manager and superintendent we had along with the SAU #6 crew of the phones running the office that is going to cost the taxpayers millions of dollars in lost financial help and IRS penalties. I just watched Forrest Gump the other day with the wife and I remember the line “stupid is as stupid does” and boy do we have stupid in Claremont at City Hall, at the County offices in Newport and at the SAU #6 office as well as all the elected officials for all three government groups. Stupid leadership is the reason why Claremont is in the terrible fix that it is in today and the only way to remedy this is to throw all the doofus is out of office and out of their administrative jobs and replaced them with intelligent people who will put the public first and told the unions and the special interests to take a hike.
Jim Sullivan(Wednesday, July 03 19 06:50 am EDT)
Councilor Scott Pope's wife Tracy has a Letter to the Editor in today's edition of the Eagle Times endorsing Debbie Matteau for the open City Council seat. In regards to Brian Rapp, the Claremont City Charter explicitly states that no sitting City Councilor may be employed by the City of Claremont while serving on the Council. Rae, you also raise an excellent point as to why nothing ever changes for the better. The same group of people fill those elected seats to represent certain special-interest groups, local government employee unions, certain nonprofits, etc. That is where much of your tax dollars go towards. Coincidence?
Rae(Wednesday, July 03 19 06:07 am EDT)
Are we that hard up for councilors and school board members that we just recycle the same people over and over?
Insider in Claremont(Tuesday, July 02 19 08:26 pm EDT)
Brian Rapp, Jim Feleen are two candidates. Chris Irish and his wife were asked and declined.
Ken(Tuesday, July 02 19 03:59 pm EDT)
What I found frightening about the county article that the Sullivan Report did is the PowerPoint chart that showed the undesignated fund balance or put another way the city’s cash savings account. In 2014 there was almost $6.9 million in that account and now five years later there is only 3.7 million in that account. These county leaders spend over $3.2 million of the cash savings and only five years and now we are very close to the $3 million target number that is supposed to be kept in there at all times. Then there is a $1.5 million budget deficit and $1.3 million is floating around that budget in extra money which is extra taxation on all of us. What the hell? The problem is we’ve kept imbeciles like John Cloutier in power for far too long and all of them right across the board are spending county money like drunken sailors for things like upgrades to a prison where there are hardly no prisoners and $1 million sober house to dump ex-convicts in downtown Claremont. Then because Claremont officials are so F’ing stupid they see that as a positive thing for Claremont and welcome it with open arms as they are pushing to spend millions of dollars downtown to create infrastructure for more welfare families for the new section 8 apartment that will soon be built. It makes no sense but the people of Claremont are allowing it to happen by staying silent so they get what they deserve what higher taxes, more crime and soon to be crowded classrooms.
George(Tuesday, July 02 19 02:15 pm EDT)
I am utterly opposed to the ex-convict sober housing project that the county will site on Sullivan Street in the old Eagle Times building. How anyone can possibly think placing up to 45 ex-convicts in a residential setting right in the middle of Downtown Claremont is a positive move forward for our community must be insane. Case in point Mayor Lovett and all the other bleeding hearts on the city council and the county delegation and all the administrators that work for them who are all on board with this disastrous project. The fact that it’s going to cost over $1 million in public funds should be a red flag right there. I don’t care if the money comes from the federal government, the state, the county or the local taxpayers or if it comes from surplus funds or new funds raised by taxes it is all public money that was paid for by our tax dollars. So any justification is just a bunch of bureaucratic BS. The day care center wisely moved to Charlestown Road. I am sure other business owners looking for a place to locate their business or real estate developers looking for an investment will now look elsewhere too. They would not be wise investors if once they find out that Downtown Claremont will soon be the home to a bunch of ex-convicts and section 8 voucher apartment dwellers in the Goddard building and possibly soon to be other buildings as well they chose to invest anyway and throw their money down a rat hole. I wonder how the restaurants will fare once these new downtown residents begin to strut around their new neighborhood at night mingling their fine upstanding customers when they come and go. I suspect the Common Man and other quality eateries outside of Claremont will see an uptick in business as the downtown becomes a no go area. Nancy Merrill and the other geniuses running the city’s economic development office are a bunch of dunces in my opinion. The interim city manager is just collecting a paycheck until he moves on in a few months so he certainly doesn’t care because like most of the city staff he doesn’t live here so he doesn’t have a vested interest in the community. Mayor Lovett is just flittering around looking for her next photo op and even though she says she’s a Republican she really is a Rino because she is as liberal as they come as are most of the city councilors and they are destroying the city one bad decision at a time. They are just sitting back and allowing the county leaders accelerate the process of turning Claremont into a welcoming community a.k.a. sanctuary city. Give it time it’s happening slowly but surely right under everyone’s very noses except for a few smart people who see it coming but the general populace won’t do a damn thing until it’s too late to do anything about it.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, July 02 19 10:29 am EDT)
John, no one seems to know. City Officials are remaining tightlipped in regards to the identities of the six applicants. It appears we will have to wait and see who they are until the next Council meeting.
John(Tuesday, July 02 19 08:47 am EDT)
Who are the six, that are seeking the open council seat ?
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, July 02 19 06:18 am EDT)
1) Sullivan County budget approved.
2) Synopsis of June 26 Council meeting.
3)Controversial Planning Board meeting to be held on July 22.
Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Gail(Monday, July 01 19 10:21 am EDT)
Our school board and city council elected representation leaves much to be desired. New spending initiatives, giving and maintaining compensation raises, Cadillac health insurance plans and top-quality benefits to municipal and school employees and granting favors and public funds to politically connected special interests seems to be the only thing that school and city officials want to do and none of them seem to care about what it is costing the taxpayers. The voters have elected bad leadership and are now paying the price for their bad choices and that prices incredibly steep. Look at all the problems with the city and all the money lost at the school district and SAU. So much potential and dollars lost because of the voters bad choices. We need to be far choosier about our candidates if we ever want Claremont to return to what it should be.
Beezelbub(Sunday, June 30 19 03:23 pm EDT)
What,so you'll all just re-elect Brian Rapp and make things just the same.All these retreads with their union cards or spouse's union cards don't give a shit if you lose your house over exorbitant taxes.They're just concerned with planning a cushy retirement or where their next vacation is.What sort of deluxe pick-up truck shall I get this year?
Clarewmont is just f***in' pathetic,no way around it but get out.
Ted(Sunday, June 30 19 02:46 pm EDT)
Sitting up there at the school board table and rubberstamping a bunch of motions from the administration is not leadership. We have the same problem on the city council. Our elected leaders do not know how to lead, they simply know how to follow the lead of the administrators. They seem to be there to provide the best of everything to the union employees that work for the city and the school and they do not care what it costs the taxpayers to give the employees the best of everything. Our roads and infrastructure are a mess and the quality of education in the school district is abhorrent and subpar to the point of below average. The taxpayers need to rise up and demand better for themselves, their families and their children or the unionized employees will continue to take and take and give nothing back in return.
Richard(Sunday, June 30 19 01:30 pm EDT)
The amount of money these terrible administrators have cost us is enormous. Adding up everything IPO listed comes to $871,571 so far. If the Claremont school district were hit with three more years’ worth of IRS penalties at $318,500 a pop it would bring the extra costs up to $1,827,071. Heads should have rolled because of this but instead they all got to leave with their reputations mostly intact some of them landing cushy jobs so they can impose their incompetence on other school districts. It’s too bad the Claremont school district cannot sue them for incompetence to try to recoup some of the money that the taxpayers will have to fork out because they were all such bad employees and because our elected officials on the school board was not looking out for us like they were supposed to be doing.
Matt(Sunday, June 30 19 11:26 am EDT)
IPO makes a lot of sense. All of the Claremont school board members have failed us and none of them are deserving of reelection or our support going forward.
Industrial Property Owner(Sunday, June 30 19 10:06 am EDT)
The facts speak for themselves; the administration of SAU #6 has been a complete disaster for several years and the SAU #6 school board bears responsibility for not paying attention and taking swifter action. Their first clue should have been the absence of annual audits report since 2011. It is the school board’s responsibility to review the audit reports and consider them when constructing the SAU budget as well as their individual school district budgets. The fact that the absence of these audit reports did not raise a red flag indicates ignorance and laziness on the parts of these elected school board members and I do mean all of them who served since 2011, no exceptions. I would have listed all the names of these school board members but unfortunately the SAU #6 website only has meeting minutes for the past year there is no archives of meeting minutes whatsoever, an additional lack of transparency from the SAU #6 administration and school board members. The June 2014 retirement of Ann Dieter as the SAU #6 Accounts & Benefits Supervisor was another critical juncture. Primarily the fact that her position was terminated upon her retirement when the SAU employees many people within the SAU & Claremont & Unity school districts this is clearly a necessary full-time human resource position. Terminating this position and thrusting those duties and responsibilities onto another employee, who presumably already has a full plate of duties and responsibilities of their own has proven to be a very costly blunder for the taxpayers, especially those residing or owning property in Claremont. The next indication that something was wrong was Cory LeClair’s $15,000 corrective contribution settlement agreement that the public was not privy to as was the case with the missing audit reports. The fact that paperwork was not filed should have been a clear red flag that proper policies were not being followed for the policies needed to be changed to ensure that all human resource paperwork was filed appropriately and on time. It should have caused the SAU #6 school board in the administration to rethink the prior decision to eliminate the Accounts & Benefits Supervisor Position but apparently that never happened. Moving forward to this year there was the revelation that Claremont lost significant special education funds, although originally overstated by the Union Leader and the Associated Press. Fortunately, the Sullivan Report determined the correct total of the loss calculated at $88,648, but that still shows gross incompetence by the SAU #6 administration for failing to file paperwork and stay on top of these important matters. Shortly afterwards was the revelation that Claremont lost $437,662 of federal lunch reimbursement funds over a two-year period for failure to file paperwork on time. Followed by the chilling announcement that the IRS is charging the Claremont school district with a $318,500 penalty. The Sullivan Report once again did what other local news media refuses to do because of laziness and absence of work ethic, which is to perform some investigative reporting and they discovered that the penalties totaling $318,500 worth for calendar year 2016 leaving three more years unaccounted for as presumably the paperwork for those years were not filed either since the IRS is already seeking paperwork for calendar year 2017. It was also astounded to read in the Sullivan Report article that SAU #6 administrators intentionally ignored IRS notices requesting this information for calendar years 2016 and 2017 and because these notices were ignored the $318,500 penalty was levied. Then there was Keith Pfeifer’s abrupt ouster and from local media reports and the police report information that was released to the public through the media it appears that SAU #6 administration personnel pushed Mr. Pfeiffer out the proverbial door at a cost to the taxpayers of $11,761.35 in yet another secret settlement agreement. Both settlement agreements were discovered and released to the public by the Sullivan Report. Now the latest revelation that Mike O’Neill the ex-business & finance director for SAU #6, who abruptly left his position prior to his current contract’s termination date was working two similar jobs at the same time. One here for SAU #6, the other at SAU #89 Mason NH. How SAU #6 personnel for over five years did not notice that Mr. O’Neill was working two jobs simultaneously is simply mind-boggling. This administration personnel for SAU #6 was clearly grossly incompetent the entire lot of them. The fact that the SAU #6 school board never took action against any of these personnel by demanding accountability through the superintendent speaks to their gross incompetence as well. The new superintendent is coming into a broken bureaucratic system that will need a complete overhaul. Fortunately, many of the responsible parties are no longer working with the SAU and that will give Mr. Tempesta the opportunity to hire his own staff to bring professionalism and stability back to the SAU #6 administrative office. As far as all of the school members are concerned that will be up to the voters to cast them out whenever they are up for reelection over the next few years and yes, their gross incompetence is partially responsible for all of these problems that will prove incredibly costly to the taxpayers over the next few years. If they had any decency they would resign immediately but I am not holding my breath that they will do the right thing as they have not done so during their tenure as school board members.
Laura(Saturday, June 29 19 10:01 am EDT)
I hope that the new superintendent will be able to hire new people that are actually competent or at least moderately so and can turn this sinking ship around so these financial tragedies and scandals can be put to a stop. Our tax dollars should be going towards quality education not penalties or secret settlement agreements for former school officials. They do not need a golden parachute and the taxpayers deserve a hell of a lot more than what we are getting.
Beezelbub(Saturday, June 29 19 08:18 am EDT)
Do we have a lawyer to go on the offensive? How about suing O'Neil for his fraud?
Carolyn(Saturday, June 29 19 06:40 am EDT)
I don’t know how Mike O’Neill was able to pull off his moonlighting for five years or more without anyone noticing. This tells me that the school officials are only there for the paycheck and they are putting in the minimum effort possible to collect it. The school officials on the school boards are so laid-back and ineffective that they just don’t pay attention and they just don’t care about the taxpayers who are paying for an inferior education for all the children in the SAU #6 district.
Jim Sullivan(Friday, June 28 19 08:45 am EDT)
Rae you ask some very good questions and fortunately, I have some answers for you. In regards to Mike O’Neill, he first came to SAU #6 as a MRI consultant to temporarily replace Tim Ball as Business & Finance Director when Ball abruptly resigned. If memory serves, O’Neil only worked two days per week as he was working at other school districts at that time performing similar tasks. I remember it being stated by School Officials that MRI only had a few employees with the necessary skill set for the Business & Finance Director’s position and SAU #6 was lucky to get Mike for two days per week. At that time, it was perfectly fine that Mike was working other places but time dragged on and from what School Officials publicly stated no viable candidates came forward when SAU #6 advertised the open position. Mike O’Neill was then hired full-time and School Officials stated that he had resigned from MRI. That is true because I checked it out at the time and Mike was removed from the MRI website no longer listed as one of their employees. The assumption was that when Mike resigned from MRI he no longer served the other school districts as an MRI Consultant. Clearly, that was not the case as Mike continued to simultaneously provide services to Mason NH at SAU #89 and collect two paychecks instead of one. As his contract with SAU #6 clearly stipulates Mike could only work for anyone else if SAU #6 gave its blessing. I’m not an attorney but having done the Sullivan Report for a number of years I’ve begun to think like one in regards to the precise wording of clauses in contracts. Vagueness breeds creative interpretation and lawyers are well paid to impose the creative interpretation of whomever is paying their legal fees. Mike’s contract states permission requires the written approval of the SAU. So who was that? The Superintendent (which would have been Middleton McGoodwin) or the SAU School Board? Unfortunately, it is subject to interpretation. McGoodwin is gone and it is unlikely that any School Board Member would ever admit to have given permission, especially when any written approval if it exists would be classified a personnel document and not subject to the Right to Know Law. Cory LeClair has given her standard I knew nothing response to Mike’s moonlighting stating she did not know about it until this spring. In the past Cory has also said that she knew nothing about the $88,000 loss special education funds, the $437,662 loss regarding federal lunch reimbursement funds, the failure to file mandatory IRS paperwork that is now going to cost taxpayers $318,500 worth of IRS penalties and those fines could reach $1,274,000 or more before that issue is settled. Cory also pled ignorance to the fact that SAU #6 and the Claremont School District and the Unity School District failed to hire an auditing firm to audit the books for all three government entities for Fiscal Years 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018. Audits for each of those years and now being conducted one by one. That’s a hell of a lot to be unaware of when you are the Assistant Superintendent of Schools. Is any of this the reason why the SAU #6 School Board declined to hire her as the next Superintendent?
In regards to Cory’s $15,000 settlement. I believe she is the only settlement agreement that will be pending regarding the reasons why she received a settlement. Cory’s transfer from the Claremont School District to the SAU #6 Administration caused the problem with her lack of access to retirement benefits that all other school employees receive. It’s unlikely any other employees (or at least many) made the same transfer and there are supposedly new policies now in place to prevent this from ever happening again. I also officially inquired if there are any settlement agreements that have been reached over the past several years and I received copies of all the settlement agreements. The way the Right to Know Law works Government Officials are not required to announce when a settlement agreement has been reached even though taxpayer’s dollars were used to pay off the settlement agreement. Therefore, the settlement agreements remain buried unless any citizen submits an official inquiry asking if any settlement agreements exist and if so demands a copy of the settlement agreement. Then the person gets the settlement agreement they have every right to make that settlement agreement public. If we had not been making those inquiries no one would ever have known about them. I asked the other day if there are any new settlement agreements that have been reached in the answer was no. That does not mean that there are not any that are currently being negotiated. We will continue to ask that question to make sure that no settlement agreements fall through the cracks.
Rae(Thursday, June 27 19 11:12 pm EDT)
Also we are only seeing the fines for the SAU not complying with the laws. If Cory got a settlement due to them not following the law and giving her benefits will there be other employee settlements as well? You can't tell me they only ripped off the assistant super and no one else.
Rae(Thursday, June 27 19 11:02 pm EDT)
https://www.education.nh.gov/data/documents/salaries18-19.pdf https://www.education.nh.gov/data/documents/salaries17-18.pdf https://www.education.nh.gov/data/documents/salaries16-17.pdf https://www.education.nh.gov/data/documents/salaries15-16.pdf https://www.education.nh.gov/data/documents/salaries14-15.pdf https://www.education.nh.gov/data/documents/salaries12-13.pdf https://www.education.nh.gov/data/documents/salaries13-14.pdf https://www.education.nh.gov/data/documents/salaries11-12.pdf How did Sau 6 not know he was employed at another district? It is readily available on the DOE website. And before Claremont he worked in Franklin and Mason at the same time. Didn't that show up in his resume?
John(Thursday, June 27 19 06:57 pm EDT)
Good job Frank.
Gary(Thursday, June 27 19 04:08 pm EDT)
The taxpayers have already been billed for $12,106 in legal fees because of the $318,500 IRS penalties the Claremont school district is about to be penalized for because of incompetent management in the SAU office. Now thanks to Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Maranville and their investigative reporting we learn that the school officials had several opportunities to make this right without the taxpayers pay and any penalties and they ignored every one of those chances. On top of that, the $318,500 is only for calendar year 2016 and there may be penalties coming down the road for the three of the calendar years since bringing me penalty total to almost $1.3 million or higher. Naturally, Cory LeClair and the school board members hushed this all up to try to give this major disaster a much lower profile as the press had a field day with it. That being said none of the big-name news media outfits like WMUR or WCAX or WNNE or the Union Leader or the local papers bothered to do any digging to get at the truth, which left it wide open for the Sullivan Report to scoop them all. Kudos to Francis Gauthier for getting the ball rolling. I agree with Randy that it is time for all new school board members because the ones we have now all let us down big time.
Randy(Thursday, June 27 19 02:58 pm EDT)
Jim and AJ sure outdid themselves this time, hell of an article. How the hell can Cory LeClair and all the rest of the SAU #6 administrators like Middleton McGoodwin and the SAU board members from the Unity and Claremont school districts not know that Mike O’Neill was doing two jobs at the same time. He must’ve been absent many days in Claremont so he could be in Mason New Hampshire doing his other job. Didn’t these morons have a clue? Or did they know and they just didn’t care? Maybe school board members heads need to roll too and we get all new fresh management. These imbeciles certainly are not looking out for the public.
Jim Sullivan(Thursday, June 27 19 12:32 pm EDT)
More astounding revelations about SAU #6 Administration!
For full details go to the News Flashes page of this website.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, June 25 19 11:58 am EDT)
Two new articles.
1) Council approves budgets!
2)Sullivan County Sober Housing Project already sabotaging downtown Claremont economic development efforts!
Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
misfortune teller(Saturday, June 22 19 12:11 pm EDT)
Bob, what you don't understand is that these are jobs programs.These are well paying for nursing,doctors,and all sorts of administrative staffing.
Real estate in Cornish,Goshen,and Plainfield will be booming.These are the places that our newly minted employees will lay their heads.
It's just too bad that Hew Hampshire has the monopoly on liquor stores.Liquor stores do great business where programs like these exist.
Koloski might be able to change the laws to allow at least 1(for himself) strip joints to open here in Claremont.This wiuld be a great source of un-taxable income for the single mothers to stay in their subsidized housing.
I believe those afflicted with drug addiction are being guided by administrative staff at the prisons to navigate the application process to receive monthly disability checks,to give them some walkin' around money.
David C Belisle(Saturday, June 22 19 11:49 am EDT)
The parks department wants to improve the rail trail by exchanging land on Washington Street with land by the river. Hopefully someone will realize the that right of way was purchased with money from rails to trails Federal progam and It will have to be paid back with interest.
Bob Gravel(Saturday, June 22 19 08:48 am EDT)
Suboxone is one of the most heavily smuggled drugs into prison today.
I am doing some forward thinking here. I read an article in the Union Leader this morning about a pilot program of giving out Suboxone in state prison. It sounds like this pilot program for 26 prisoners is going to cost the State of New Hampshire about $535,000 – for both bureaucratic spending and the drugs themselves. With that being said, we all know how when certain programs get started, they only get bigger and proliferate. Also, the fact is that drug addiction is now a legally recognized disease. Over time I can see it becoming a mandate from the State Legislature that our county jails and Sober Housing/Transitional Housing must give Suboxone to their residents. The big worry for me here in Claremont is that if residents are short on money to buy their prescriptions for Suboxone, City Welfare may be required by law to pay for their Suboxone. Two big examples of the cost of Sanctuary City/Welcoming Community importation of drug addicts are the new Sober Housing being planned for Sullivan Street and all the Section 8 Housing being built on Pleasant Street. Our city leaders want a lot more of that in the future. All to be subsidized, of course, by the forgotten taxpayers of Claremont!
John(Friday, June 21 19 11:07 am EDT)
Jim.... a number of years ago, you published a series of articles in regards to virtual classrooms.
Due to the recent turnover at the SAU, it might be extremely informative to read those articles again.
If the Claremont SAU can not start doing things in a more professional manner it might be time to seriously look at virtual classrooms or privatization.
Bob Gravel(Thursday, June 20 19 03:11 pm EDT)
After viewing some of the 6-12-19 Claremont City Council meeting, one thing really stood out in my mind. Lately the mayor has been giving out all sorts of proclamations to almost everyone in city government! My feeling is this is because the November election is coming. The heavy thing on my heart is that probably there will be a very low voter turnout, and the ones who do show up to vote, for the most part, will be city and school employees, union members, and committed friends of the Claremont Socialist party. My belief is that most of the conservative voters will stay home. If only we had a big turnout of conservative candidates and voters, we could have a very different city council! If we had a conservative city council, we could get the property taxes under control and have better city management. We could also have real government transparency.
Tom(Wednesday, June 19 19 02:09 pm EDT)
I am so sick of our city councilors because they are all out to lunch. Families are struggling to pay the high property taxes or the high rents just to live here and the city councilors do everything in their power to spend money foolishly to raise property taxes and squander our community's future. Today's article had several examples such as doing a study with a consultant, more wasted money, to justify giving pay increases to the highest-paid municipal employees a.k.a. the directors who find ways to spend more of the taxpayers money in their budgets. Most of the directors do not live in Claremont so they do not pay taxes here so they don't care. We know that the city employees don't care because they demanded to keep HealthTrust insurance for their health coverage when it couldn't save the taxpayers over $200,000 a year to go with another vendor. The city employees don't care they pay a small token amount while the taxpayers pay the rest for their Cadillac insurance plan.The water rate payers are now getting screwed by the MRI temporary city manager because the fire department will no longer be paying their fair share of hydrant usage so the water rates will end up going up again so the manager can move the money around like the deck chairs on the Titanic to try to keep the city afloat for another year until he is long gone and it will be someone else's problem. The city used to import sludge and process it making about 33 grand a year profit and now they're making next to nothing because of changes in management from bad to worse. Now we'll probably end up costing us money or a Canadian company will come in and do the work themselves and make all the prophets Claremont will probably get screwed in the end like they always do. Just like the solar deal out on River Road will end up I suspect. And our esteemed mayor and a few of her cronies are pushing for higher electric rates for everybody as they support huge subsidies for biomass and solar electric generators so they can reap millions of dollars from inflated electric rates that all of us have to pay. Let's face it the Claremont voters really screwed up when they elected this god-awful bunch of imbeciles to be on the city council. They all have their own agendas and most of these agendas suit their best interests and those of the special interests they represent but they certainly do not represent our best interests. It is time for all new leaders in November.
Jim Sullivan(Wednesday, June 19 19 07:21 am EDT)
1) June 12 Council meeting synopsis.
2) Claremont municipal employee health insurance debate update.
Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, June 18 19 07:39 am EDT)
The two articles that are scheduled to be published this week will be posted tomorrow, Wednesday morning due to a few delays in the preparation process.
Jill(Monday, June 17 19 06:49 pm EDT)
I am very sad to hear of Councilor Zullo's resignation from the city council. I think he was doing a very good job for the tax payers of this city.
Jim Sullivan(Thursday, June 13 19 02:41 pm EDT)
Update regarding HealthTrust municipal employee health insurance issue. Go to News Flashes page of this website for full details.
Beezelbub(Thursday, June 13 19 10:15 am EDT)
Here's an idea,let's privatize the schools and save millions!
Rae(Wednesday, June 12 19 04:24 pm EDT)
Wonder if Cori getting that settlement interfered with the decision of whether she would get the superintendent position?
Jim Sullivan(Wednesday, June 12 19 03:54 pm EDT)
New article. IRS fines Claremont School District $320,000! Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
George(Wednesday, June 12 19 12:07 pm EDT)
It is wonderful to see that Charlene Lovett is looking out for all of us. NOT!!! That woman panders to everyone whether it be developers bringing in more welfare housing to increase our tax burden to supporting sober housing and teenage runaway transitional housing or turning Claremont into a sanctuary city for illegal aliens. Now she is pushing for higher electric rates for all of us so solar producers can pocket more profits. I wonder how this fits in with the Steel Mill Solar project developer’s plans to build a 10 MW solar farm in Claremont. I wonder if Jim and AJ are right and they are going to bust the project into two separate 5 MW solar farms so they can scoop up all the extra net metering revenue so they can line their pockets even more at Claremont ratepayer’s expense. Hell am I talking about New Hampshire ratepayer’s expense. Charlene Lovett definitely does not represent our best interests but I see where am only picking on her and I really should be addressing this to her cohorts on the council as well, Scott Pope, Nick Koloski, Allen Damren and Abigail Kier, which unfortunately makes a majority of the present-day city council. The only bright spot is that the November elections are coming and the voters have the chance to undo their big mistake and throw all the bums I just mentioned out of office for good.
Dennis(Wednesday, June 12 19 09:36 am EDT)
The Sullivan Report is the only safeguard we citizens have to know the truth. I am very unhappy about the city employees screwing us all over after we supported them to get a contract. I had no idea about the HealthTrust insurance backroom deal that was done without anyone’s knowledge. Most of us that work to get some form of health insurance for full-time but we pay for most of it ourselves. These municipal employees pay very little so you would think they would feel some compassion towards the taxpayers who are paying the bill for them and try to help us out by giving us the best deal we can get cost wise while giving them the health insurance coverage they deserve. I also think they should be paying more for their coverage. But nope they do not want that and they want us to pay the highest price possible and to hell with all of us. Will I say to hell with all of them and maybe it’s time we look at contracting out their jobs to private companies if we can save the money and lower our taxes while still getting the good services we deserve.
Steve(Wednesday, June 12 19 07:13 am EDT)
It’s nice to see the administrators of SAU 6 being shoved out the door making room for hopefully better people but it sure is costing the Claremont taxpayers one hell of a lot of money to do it. I also don’t like all the secret backroom deals that we never would have found out about if it wasn’t for Jim and AJ paying close attention and demanding the public documents to prove to everyone what happened in secret.
Matt(Tuesday, June 11 19 02:02 pm EDT)
Man the schools are a mess. McGoodwin, Pfeifer and LeClair all receive secret pricey settlement agreements as the administrator employee turn over at SAU #6 continues. The business manager takes a quick powder after the Sullivan Report uncovers the truth about the big losses with the lunch program and special education program. Over a quarter million dollars gone and the beat goes on no real repercussions for practically anyone. The test scores of the schools are still in the toilet and the budget keeps going higher and higher while the student population keeps going lower and lower. The Claremont taxpayers continue to get screwed by school officials and nothing is ever done. Now we see the same thing going on with the city and the County as Claremont becomes the dumping ground for not only the undesirables on welfare and soon to be come a sanctuary city if bleeding heart liberal Charlene Lovett and her cronies on the Council has anything to say about it. Claremont will also soon be a dumping ground for everyone's trash at the new transfer station down at the junction. Then there is the solar power company that wants to come in that Lovett is pandering to along with the Sullivan County delegation to screw us over big-time with our electric rates because of that net metering scam. Don't forget the sober house coming in with all the soon-to-be released inmates coming to Claremont to live right in downtown Claremont thanks to your Sullivan County representatives and one of them's on the City Council Andrew O'Hearne. Claremont is a joke and the citizens of Claremont who live here are paying the price for the bad decisions consistently made by those who they elect who have an agenda that does not represent what is best for the citizens of Claremont. Until the whining, lazy, imbeciles of Claremont who never vote get up off their lazy asses and vote in good representatives then nothing will ever change. Claremont will continue to wallow in its own filth and its residents will not do anything about it except complain.
Katherine(Tuesday, June 11 19 12:56 pm EDT)
Claremont as always had spotty leadership some good some bad but the leadership we have right now in all three of our local governments, County, City & Schools has sunk to a new low. Secret settlement agreements, secret hidden clauses in contract agreements and now they're not satisfied with raising tax burden and water and sewer rates they are now mucking around with the electric rates to raise them too to line the pockets of their special interest friends at our expense. The voters need to pay attention and begin replacing these dismal failures for representation with other more worthy citizens.
Richard(Tuesday, June 11 19 11:04 am EDT)
All I can say is the local press really sucks in Claremont. Today the Sullivan Report scoops everyone three times over. The city employees, the city administrators and the city councilors secretly screw the taxpayers by caving into city employees demands for a Cadillac priced health insurance plan through HealthTrust. I know Jim and AJ are trying to track down the cost price difference and I will bet it is a lot. Our elected officials don’t give a crap how much more we the taxpayers pay for the same coverage is just so long as the city employees are happy and the councilors good friend Brian Rapp can keep his precious directorship position with HealthTrust because he is a complete zero in local government anymore. Then we find out the County delegation screwed the public by supporting net metering, thank you Andy O’Hearne and the rest of the Sullivan County delegation for stabbing all the electric ratepayers in the back and that goes for Mayor Lovett too. This whole net metering thing is a swindle to make politically connected solar energy produces richer at the electric ratepayer’s expense and so that municipalities and businesses that want to generate electricity can fill their greedy pockets with extra loot too. Then the Claremont school board gave out another secret settlement agreement cash payout giving Cory LeClair $15,000 and not telling the taxpayers about it just as they did not tell the taxpayers about the secret cash payout settlement agreement they made with ex-interim superintendent Phifer. Something the Sullivan Report also exposed. Today the Sullivan Report showed us that we cannot trust any of our local officials at the city, school and county levels. If it was left up to the rest of the crappy local press we would all still be in the dark about everything.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, June 11 19 09:50 am EDT)
Three new articles today.
1) Claremont Municipal Employees secretly force Claremont taxpayers to pay more for their Cadillac health insurance plan!
2) Net Metering: Good deal or scam for the average Electric Ratepayer?
3) Cory LeClair received $15,000 settlement agreement from SAU #6 on January 2, 2018!
Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
mike(Monday, June 10 19 10:10 am EDT)
Hate to base things from rumors but this past weekend heard from a school district employee that Cory LeClair file a discrimination lawsuit against the district and that the insurance company paid her claim to avoid public exposure. I'm sure that Jim and AJ will look into this.
William(Wednesday, June 05 19 08:41 am EDT)
All three local governments are in turmoil. The Claremont school district saw its superintendent fired and the interim superintendent pushed out in what amounted to a palace coup although he received a nice chunk of change for leaving in a secret settlement that the Sullivan Report uncovered. The assistant superintendent and the business administrator, who were in charge when the school district lost a significant amount of money in special education and lunch program reimbursements, are now out of the picture. The assistant superintendent found another job before she was probably terminated and it is possible that the business administrator was not as lucky as he has already left before the end of the school year. Test scores are still dismal and there is no accountability amongst the teachers and administrators for that. The Sullivan Report just revealed how much of a mess the county finances are in. The budget is padded by $1.3 million and there is still a $1.5 million deficit on top of that. The County Home is being refurbished in a multimillion-dollar project that has not yet secured funding. Presumably, the taxpayers will be paying it in the bond and there is no plan as of yet as to how it is going to be paid although probably with a taxpayer hike of $1.2 million per year for the next 25 years. The same scenario was playing out on a smaller scale with the $1 million sober housing project that is placed right in the middle of Downtown Claremont, worse place ever. Half of the money $500,000 is coming from the budget with surplus money and the rest is may be coming from the grant that may or may not be received. If not it will come out of the taxpayers somehow because they are moving forward with this project is likely out with the County Home refurbished project. The $6.9 million jailhouse project is another disaster because we have many empty jail cells in no prisoners to fill them to pay for the project financing costs and now they want to spend $300,000 to upgrade a virtually empty facility. I have always known the John Cloutier was a tax-and-spend fool but I wrongly thought he was the last one left in Sullivan County government. What a mess. Then we have the City of Claremont under the moronic leadership of Charlene Lovett and Allen Damren who have usurped their authority repeatedly and taken charge of the administration by default. This interim person from MRI will not put up a fuss because he is only here the click the paycheck. Ryan McNutt that the bum’s rush out because presumably he would play ball with the tyrannical Lovett and Damren and I feel real sorry for whoever becomes the next city manager because they may be the next to go if they don’t kowtow to the self-proclaimed Lord and Lady of the realm Lovett and Damren. The city’s finances are a mess and taxes will have to go up eventually because so many things are being ignored and problems are exacerbating to the point of crisis. The roads are not the only issue; there is the community center, unfunded employee retirement costs and the City Hall roof just for starters. To sum it all up Claremont voters need to wake up and stopped electing the same fools to public office because they are destroying our community and they are dipping their hands far too deeply into our wallets causing us and our families to sacrifice greatly because they cannot control their urges to spend tax dollars foolishly.
Industrial Property Owner(Tuesday, June 04 19 02:39 pm EDT)
Wow! One heck of an exposé today by the Sullivan Report. The local press has done a poor job indeed regarding Sullivan County’s financial situation. I have very low expectations apropos of the journalistic aptitude of the E- Ticker News, the Eagle Times and the Valley News to adequately report news germane to Claremont. Investigative reporting is the forte of the Sullivan Report, which makes them stand out as the leading local new source in regards to the actions of our local government leaders. Today’s exposé shows that our County Commissioners and Sullivan County Delegation have irrefutably monumentally failed the citizenry of Sullivan County. I remember quite a few years ago when the Sullivan County government was a financial disaster that was turned around with determined leadership and fiscal responsibility. I and I am sure many other citizens of Sullivan County were under the erroneous impression that those days of continued fiscal responsibility and a financially healthy County government were still here. A $1.3 million positive variance deliberately built into the budget to essentially overtax the populace to maintain a hidden slush fund and yet despite that sleazy trickery County Official’s undisciplined spending proclivities still cause a $1.5 million structural deficit atop that. Then there is the Sullivan County Home renovation project that is moving forward despite a viable funding plan. Apparently, a $1,232,000 cash shortage for 25 years is not an impediment to Sullivan County Officials from moving forward. Presumably raising the property tax rate is not a deal breaker for our elected officials. Then there is the County Jail that cost taxpayers $6.9 million to renovate to house 168 inmates that the taxpayers were told was necessary to prevent prison overcrowding. Apparently, that was a complete fabrication because the prison population is remaining at about 35% of capacity leaving 109 prison cells routinely vacant. If this were a hotel startup, they would have been forced into bankruptcy due to spectacularly incompetent management. However, in Sullivan County there are no consequences because the Sullivan County taxpayer will continue to pay for the grandiose mistakes of their elected officials. Moreover, those mistakes continue as another addition to the jailhouse services has already cost the taxpayers $30,000 for designs and will cost another $300,000 in fiscal year 2020 for a new medical observation unit that was never needed before. Then there is the $1 million sober housing project that will be located right in the heart of Downtown Claremont that will houses many as 45 ex-felons all recovering addicts. This will not enhance economic development efforts for either the Downtown or the City of Claremont its totality. As with the Sullivan County Home renovation project, County Officials are moving forward with the sober housing project without first appropriating the funding. An initial $500,000 will be taken from surplus cash resources from the intentionally padded fiscal year 2019 budget that initially came from the taxpayers. Although some can argue that, the taxpayers are from the State and not the County these are still tax dollars being utilized. Another $500,000 will be needed to complete the project, assuming no cost overruns, and County Officials are intending to submit a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant as that funding source. However, there are no guarantees that Sullivan County will be awarded the entire $500,000 or any portion thereof. That may cause County Officials to raise property taxes to finalize the sober housing project. Today’s Sullivan Report exposé should be a wake-up call to all Sullivan County residents that a shakeup of elected officials is needed and perhaps County Administrative Officials as well to bring fiscal responsibility back to Sullivan County governance.
George(Tuesday, June 04 19 09:29 am EDT)
Sullivan County leaders has spent the government right to the poor house and now the taxpayers are going to have to bailout their spending with higher taxes. This is why tax-and-spend liberals should not be in political office.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, June 04 19 07:07 am EDT)
New article. Sullivan County budget woes may mean higher property taxes. Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Fred(Monday, June 03 19 06:24 pm EDT)
Going over some of the budget. WHAT THE HELL ARE WE TRADING TWO FIRE TRUCKS FOR ONE AND A CHIEFS CAR FOR! This is not something to do while you don’t even have a permanent city manager. Another case of the council laying down on the job. All these pieces of equipment are being driven and have no issues to speak of. You have to give them away for dirt. Let’s at least get as much life as we can out of them before we give them away. And as someone stated earlier WE DON’T NEED TOP OF THE LINE TRUCKS. How about giving us tax payers some breathing room.
Bob(Friday, May 31 19 07:44 pm EDT)
When will the people of Claremont wake up! Very few councilors stand up for the tax payers of Claremont. Councilor Kier is completely out of control with wanting to raise taxes, embracing Mayor Lovett’s “Welcoming Policy”, you may know it as “Sanctuary City”. They are so out of touch with reality. We want our roads fixed, reasonable taxes and water rates, businesses will not want to come with Needle Exchanges, Halfway Houses, or the high crime rate here. Maybe the next council can find time to work on real issues!
Carolyn(Friday, May 31 19 03:32 am EDT)
Nothing in the Eagle Times today about the settlement agreement with Keith Pfeifer. Instead they are still writing reports about a council meeting from last week. Today's topic the council's abrupt about face on the social media policy, Mayor Lovett's obsession with it and her last gasp attempt to write a policy within the city's code of conduct. Something the Sullivan Report already reported about on the 28th. The Eagle Times should just throw in the towel and close their doors.
Bill(Thursday, May 30 19 08:44 am EDT)
Carolyn, what did you expect from the Eagle Times? They will hopefully be out of business soon. Claremont can do without a liberal bias paper who is the last to report on anything of any value.
Carolyn(Thursday, May 30 19 08:34 am EDT)
I see the Valley News picked up the Sullivan Report's breaking news story about Keith Pfeifer's secret settlement agreement with SAU #6. The Eagle Times and The E- Ticker News may eventually get around to reporting the story or not as both publications like politically correct feel good news and seem to have little desire to act like real journalists and report real news.
Rae(Thursday, May 30 19 06:41 am EDT)
Mayor Lovett was in the parade. She was wearing fatigues, right ahead of Bernie.
Jill(Wednesday, May 29 19 10:19 pm EDT)
I think that Lovett has checked out and will probably not run for re-election. If she does I believe she will get trounced unless she runs unopposed.
Michael(Wednesday, May 29 19 03:22 pm EDT)
The taxpayers paid for the military service and now the military retirement of Mayor Lovett and her husband yet Mayor Lovett did not show her face for Memorial Day. I have heard that she has also been absent for many other local events when she is supposed to be the city's representative. The fact that Bernie Sanders could bother to show up when Claremont's own mayor did not is a slap in the face to all Claremont citizens as well as to all the veterans who proudly served and those who died so that we can enjoy the freedoms that we do today.
Jim Sullivan(Wednesday, May 29 19 12:21 pm EDT)
New article. SAU #6 settlement agreement with Ex-Interim Superintendent Keith Pfeifer. Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
George(Wednesday, May 29 19 08:35 am EDT)
Once the Goddard building and the sober housing place are fully occupied crime will go rampant downtown. This is the beginning of the sanctuary city agenda of Charlene Lovett and her snowflake liberal followers on the city council. Allen Damren, Nick Koloski, Abigale Kier and Scott Pope if you are wondering who I was alluding to.
Steve(Wednesday, May 29 19 07:17 am EDT)
Claremont is a dumping ground for all the undesirables in Sullivan County and beyond. Our county and local officials are colluding together to make that a reality. I don’t know what’s in it for them but what they are doing is abusing their elected authority to the detriment of all Claremont residents.
William(Wednesday, May 29 19 05:27 am EDT)
Claremont officials are all acting as if they suffer from Dissociative Identity Disorder or in layman’s terms split personality like the main character in a movie Split. The city hires consulting firm McFarland Johnson to head up the Rethink Pleasant Street campaign that is gathering suggestions such as redesigning the traffic patterns and parking areas as well is trying to develop a marketing plan to bring in specialty shops and unique eateries to turn Claremont into a destination spot to draw in out-of-town clientele. While on the other hand the same city administration and planning officials are moving full speed ahead helping with funding in any other facilitation they can for increased welfare housing and transitional housing for teenage runaways and now criminals released from prison. Both trajectories for the downtown are at odds with each other and the imbeciles on the city council and the morons within the city administration all seem incapable of recognizing this obvious reality. Taxpayer dollars are being wasted to try to achieve competing goals that are diametrically opposed to each other. How is transplanting felons and welfare recipients into the downtown area conducive to economic development to transform Claremont’s downtown into a vibrant destination spot? Answer, it isn’t! SAU #6 is in the process of cleaning out their deadwood within the administration with the intent of replacing them with qualified professionals. At City Hall, the last city manager was fired but there remains a lot of deadwood untouched. City officials need to follow the lead of school officials for the betterment of all the Claremont.
John(Tuesday, May 28 19 06:25 pm EDT)
If you think Pleasant st. And downtown are bad now, just wait till the Goddard building is occupied.
The people downtown now are among the poorest in Claremont and only destined to be poorer once that building has 60% of its occupants being low income.
Now, with a half way house proposed for that area, it will bring further problems to an already problematic area.
Just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse.....it does.
Laura(Tuesday, May 28 19 06:10 pm EDT)
Charlene Lovett, Allen Damren, Abigail Kier, Scott Pope and man-child Nick Koloski are all in favor of turning Claremont into a Sanctuary City by calling it a Welcoming Community to try to trick us into turning Claremont into a bigger cesspool that it already has. These idiots are destroying the community and we have to vote them all out of office in November to try to take our city back.
Sarah(Tuesday, May 28 19 03:00 pm EDT)
Claremont is a dumping ground for all the undesirables in Sullivan County and beyond. Our county and local officials are colluding together to make that a reality. I don’t know what’s in it for them but what they are doing is abusing their elected authority to the detriment of all Claremont residents.
Megan(Tuesday, May 28 19 02:45 pm EDT)
There is also the community center where we subsidize memberships for the wealthier residents who can afford the membership fees so they can have some place to go and socialize on our money.
Mike(Tuesday, May 28 19 01:51 pm EDT)
A lot of these so-called sober livers will not be able to hold a job.Many of them take these taxi services up to Lebanon to receive their daily dose of methadone.They need to do this each and every day.
Jean(Tuesday, May 28 19 01:20 pm EDT)
Do not forget the bus service that we are supporting and they want an expanded to the Upper Valley and charge Claremont taxpayers more money so that will be coming soon.
Linda(Tuesday, May 28 19 11:35 am EDT)
They chose the Sullivan Street location so the ex-convicts can score their drugs easier without having to walk far. Claremont already has the distinction of being a welfare town and all these liberal minded city leaders keep supporting new social services. Like Kyle Messier’s dental clinic and Jim Neilsen son’s Remix rehab counseling center and the welfare housing coming soon to the Goddard building, the transitional housing for runaway teenagers on Main Street and now the sober housing for ex-convicts on Sullivan Street. When you keep electing bad leaders who keep ramping up spending for social services and let the infrastructure like the roads go then it should come as no surprise when the city goes to hell in a handbasket.
Nancy(Tuesday, May 28 19 11:18 am EDT)
I think Sullivan Street is a terrible place for that sober house. That is the downtown shopping district and now we’re going to have ex-convicts and welfare recipients all over the place. Not good.
Ken(Tuesday, May 28 19 10:32 am EDT)
This is what happens when you will elect bleeding heart liberals, who do not know the meaning of the word fiscal restraint. This sober house project is going to cost the taxpayers at least $1 million to start up plus ongoing operational costs every year. Half of $1 million is going in the new budget and we are all going to pay taxes on it so how the heck can county officials tell the WCAX-reporter that it’s going to cost the taxpayers nothing? Then they tell the city councilors and the public that there will only be 30 ex-convicts in the building when it’s really going to be 45. Surge my ass, Barrett and Berry both said that there is a big need for sober housing so I suspect that if the Sullivan Street facility is a go there will be 45 routinely filled beds damn quick. Our county and local officials are just not honest.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, May 28 19 08:10 am EDT)
New article. What Sullivan County Officials didn't tell you about their proposed Sober Housing Project and May 22 Council meeting synopsis.
Beezelbub(Friday, May 24 19 09:31 am EDT)
I notice that Berlin (Claremont North) is cutting educational funding by $400k and laying off staff in all departments,including firemen.It seems that they have reached the Rubicon.Nobody has any more money for property taxes.People are literally walking away from their houses.I believe Claremont has also reached the cap for taxation.The party is over for the civil servants.
James(Thursday, May 23 19 04:42 pm EDT)
I am so thankful to live in a community with high taxes, shitty roads, and corrupt government. Love seeing the Mayor pandering to special interests groups that bring no revenue in for the city. Let’s all just feel good.
William(Thursday, May 23 19 03:40 pm EDT)
Have people lost their minds? The city is looking at spending over 5 million on Pleasant Street and now the county wants to put in a halfway house in the same area. What world are these people living in?
Tom(Thursday, May 23 19 01:13 pm EDT)
Tony's harsh comments meant to be hurtful show how many enemies that Jim and AJ have made within the government establishment and their mentally addled supporters. Because of these local leaders who repeatedly betray the general public Claremont has the highest property tax rate in the entire state of NH and nothing to show for it. The roadways suck, the city hall roof is leaking, the community center continues to lose money costing taxpayers more in subsidies to support the elite who use the place, crime is on the rise and the police are ineffective, welfare spending is on th upswing, retirement benefits continue to not be funded to the tune of over $2 million and that is just a few of the things the Sullivan Report informed their readers about. Notice nobody in the conventional press have dared to touch the abrupt leaving of the SAU 6 finance manager? Why is that? Sure sounds like he was fired to me because of the losses in special education and lunch program funding caused by school officials. The Sullivan Report is serving a valuable service and it is getting play on local social media because of it. Tony and his cronies are just sore about it. Poor Tony and company.
Jill(Thursday, May 23 19 12:27 pm EDT)
The county is looking at the former Eagle Publications building on Sullivan St. as a transitional housing facility for former inmates. The idea, in its early stages, was presented to the City Council last evening. The county has been looking for another location after residents spoke against using the JSL Building for such a facility.
Just What We Need!
Tony(Thursday, May 23 19 09:24 am EDT)
Wow, much less traffic on this page. It's good to see your followers are dispersing. Maybe all these years of ineffectiveness have finally sorted you down to just the basest of the fringes. Great work keeping them happy venting here so no real harm is done in the actual political arena.
Kathy(Wednesday, May 22 19 08:44 am EDT)
We need to find a way to get rid of MRI and all these other consultants including all the damn lawyers because that is costing the taxpayers beaucoup dollars.
Beezelbub(Tuesday, May 21 19 05:34 pm EDT)
Thanks for the clarification Jim
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, May 21 19 05:00 pm EDT)
The hydrant flushing is performed by the Department of Public Works billed out of the Water Department Enterprise Fund that is solely funded by municipal water service users, who are called Water Rate Payers. No property tax dollars are involved as they only fund municipal services through the General Fund Budget. Two separate things.
Beezelbub(Tuesday, May 21 19 04:24 pm EDT)
Thanks for the update Jim.
I was thinking about the hydrant leasing situation.While the city will no longer be paying for hydrant use,I was wondering about city vehicle use? I saw them flushing the hydrants and noticed that they are driving City of Claremont trucks.I have also noticed city equipment as well as regularly use city trucks at the pumping stations.
It begs the question,Is the water company paying the city for the use of all these trucks,manpower,and heavy equipment?
My house has a well that I had drilled and maintain.I would hate to think that my property tax dollars are paying for water services that I do not benefit from.I'm already irked at the community center subsidy that would fail if a constitutional challenge were to be brought to court.I'm subsidizing something that I cannot use because I do not pay for membership.
I think it's important to pick pertinent battles.If the battle over some stupid nativity set in the park is more important than the running of a community center that all citizens of Claremont cannot use is beyond me.
Tom(Tuesday, May 21 19 03:01 pm EDT)
I am no longer impressed with the temporary city manager. He is just trying to get along without making any waves and collect his fat paycheck. He is not addressing any of the serious problems in Claremont by pretty much maintaining the status quo and using a few accounting tricks to slide money around the budget to put temporary Band-Aid solutions on bigger problems that will only get worse after he leaves. The Sullivan Report does a good job keeping us informed about things that we really should know about that the local press would rather keep deeply buried so that they can perpetuate the fictionalized utopia version of Claremont that the city and school leaders try to cram down our throats and make us believe. The local press is no more than government propaganda that we pay for. Sad when you really think about it.
Richard(Tuesday, May 21 19 01:19 pm EDT)
I don’t know if union workers on the enemy but they are very expensive and they will not give an inch and negotiations because they want top pay and Cadillac style health and other benefits and it is simply becoming too expensive for the taxpayers to bear. I think Sullivan and Maranville came up with the best idea and that was to outsource at least some if not all of the municipal services to eliminate the union workers, cut costs and transfer those savings to lower taxes for all of us. If the school district would do the same thing, Claremont would be thriving. It is time for new leadership that is not in bed with the unions. That means the likes of Scott Pope, Nick Koloski, Allen Damren et al. need to be permanently removed from office.
Brent(Tuesday, May 21 19 12:15 pm EDT)
Thank you Victor St. Pierre for telling us how much we really need to be investing in our roads and pointing out the fact that our city leaders are choosing funding levels that are woefully inadequate to the task. Same with the leasing program for the vehicles so now about half the fleet needs to be replaced all at once. City councilors continue to sit on their hands and do nothing except when they whip out their rubberstamps to maintain the status quo that has gotten us to this terrible point of near bankruptcy. Of course, property taxes can always be raised to higher record heights because they will not address the issue of union workers and how Claremont can no longer afford them. The school district officials are equally guilty of being in bed with the enemy so to speak.
Dennis(Tuesday, May 21 19 09:48 am EDT)
So another administrator at SAU #6 bites the dust. It makes sense with all the obvious gross incompetence from administrators in regards to the lost special education money and food services money adding up to hundreds of thousands of dollars of lost revenue to the taxpayers that we have to make up for with higher taxes or lost tax reduction opportunities. I believe Keith Pfeifer found out about these things and he was pushed out before he could publicly expose the incompetence and name names as to who was responsible. I am of the opinion that Cory LeClair was intentionally passed over because these incidents of incompetence occurred on her watch as assistant superintendent. I believe she escaped termination by seeking work elsewhere and accepting the superintendent’s job for Cornish and Plainfield. I am also of the opinion that Mike O’Neill the finance director for SAU #6 was not as lucky as Mrs. LeClair was and he was terminated by the SAU #6 board. Of course, we will never know because the minutes of the meeting will probably be permanently sealed but the new superintendent Mr. Tempesta may have demanded a clean house before his official arrival. The Sullivan Report has once again shown how they are keeping an eye out for the public good whereas the local press is nowhere to be found.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, May 21 19 08:28 am EDT)
Update regarding Mike O'Neill's job status with SAU #6 on the News Flashes page of this website.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, May 21 19 06:41 am EDT)
Three new articles today.
1) May 8 Council meeting synopsis.
2) New Superintendent contract details.
3) SAU #6 advertising for new Business Administrator.
Full details on News Flashes page of this website.
jeff(Monday, May 20 19 08:35 pm EDT)
Rachel(Wednesday, May 15 19 07:59 am EDT)
I'm upset about the community center. City leaders cannot turn around the large subsidies that the taxpayers continue to pay year after year so the yuppies of Claremont have a place to go and socialize while exercising. I am not a member but I am paying to subsidize the health club fees of other members with my tax dollars. How is that fair? Of course the councilors do not care because it's my understanding that most of them are being subsidized by us as well since they are members of the community center. Self-interest trumps public good every time in this city.
Mike(Tuesday, May 14 19 01:55 pm EDT)
I was taken aback in regards to the 70% increase in legal fees. Mayor Lovett, Assistant Mayor Damren an ex-manager McNutt are all out of their mind and incapable of making a decision without asking for a legal opinion. I am extremely disappointed with the interim manager for mollycoddling the councilors with handholding at such an expensive amount of money with the grand total of $162,500. That money could be put to so much better use elsewhere. I have no faith in the other city councilors to put a stop to this because they are all tax-and-spend fruit loop snowflakes in my opinion.
Keith(Tuesday, May 14 19 08:38 am EDT)
The Claremont public is in my opinion being taken advantage of by the administrators of Sullivan County. The prosecutor is costing Claremont $128,984 a very high price and I have the distinct impression that this prosecutor is also doing work for Sullivan County probably on Claremont’s taxpayer money. I just think we are all getting taken to the cleaners by this and I am glad that Jim and AJ going to look into this. I do not trust Chief Chase, who hid the rising crime rate from everyone, nor do I trust Mary Walter, the finance director who was not a Claremont resident nor do I trust MRI flunky John MacLean the latest city manager fill in.
Todd(Monday, May 13 19 02:55 pm EDT)
We do need new leadership in Claremont. One Councilor that needs to go the most is Nick Koloski, who was only there for his own enrichment. Topstone tax breaks and tax forgiveness of almost a quarter of $1 million for his landlord, passage of a Keno ordinance for his business. Nick is now rewriting the food truck ordinance to cut costs including insurance coverage, background checks and handling safety requirements to benefit himself for his weenie wagon business. Anyone who thinks that Nick Koloski is altruistic is kidding themselves. Nick Koloski is a fraud and not a worthy public representative.
Trish(Monday, May 13 19 12:59 pm EDT)
My husband tried to speak with Allen Damren the other day about the city budget and Mr. Damren gave him the brushoff. Mr. Damren has a very arrogant tone about him and he seems to have his nose stuck up when it comes to dealing with us commoners. Mr. Damren’s elitist mannerisms are a real put off.
Katherine(Monday, May 13 19 10:30 am EDT)
The community center was going downhill as it is usually very dirty and unkept. Mr. Breslin is an incredibly lazy facility manager and when you speak with him he has this dismissive tone and you can tell nearly right away when speaking with him that he is not very intelligent. Mr. Santagate hired many terrible municipal directors and we are still paying the price for it. Mary Walter’s response to Jim Sullivan about it being all right to use misleading or erroneous numbers in budgets was an aha moment for me. If our city councilors are all right with this then it’s time to replace all of our city councilors.
Linda(Monday, May 13 19 10:11 am EDT)
I cannot believe they are still not funding road repairs properly. They seem to have a Band-Aid approach to everything when they are not ignoring problems altogether. I’m referring to the city administrators and the city councilors both. The Sullivan Report does an excellent job showing our city and school leaders for what they truly are and that is bad managers and bad stewards of the public’s tax dollars.
Industrial Property Owner(Monday, May 13 19 08:24 am EDT)
Another amazing exposé from the Sullivan Report. There was a lot of information in this article it actually took me 2 cups of coffee to go through it all but it was well worth the investment of time. I feel I know more about Mr. McQueen’s budget proposal than perhaps any of the city councilors as most are not known for performing their due diligence. I am quite displeased about the change in hydrant fee rental that will cost Claremont water rate payers more money as they provide benefits to citizens and property owners who are not on the municipal water system. I also believe this budget has inadequate fund allocation for street pavement and road infrastructure capital projects, OPEB liability, Overlay (for property abatement cases) and the necessary City Hall roof repair. There was an article in the Eagle Times recently showing all the buckets the upper floors of City Hall to contain water leaks. That water leakage is causing substantial damage to the building that will create costly repairs such as mold cleanup and replacement of the building’s structure replacement well beyond the roofs replacement. The city administration’s continued use of limited surplus funds to maintain day-to-day operations is a monumentally terrible business practice. The fact that there is question whether there is adequate funds to cover the budget withdrawals allocation is troubling. I also wonder if Sullivan County is taking advantage of Claremont in regards to the prosecutor’s position. Claremont officials have a history of entering into terrible deals for the taxpayer in order to make their work lives easier. I could be wrong but I believe this is one of those times, and I am terribly disappointed with Mark Chase’s performance as police chief. Although I would point out that I am also equally disappointed with the work performance of several other department heads as well including Bryan Burr, Nancy Merrill, Mary Walter and Mark Brislin. They are not exactly a stellar group of overachievers. The community center continues to underperform comparison to the original business model with no plan to turn this around. Legal fees are out of control and that speaks to the poor quality of present-day municipal management. I also found Mary Walter’s wrongheaded, cavalier approach to budget reporting to be quite shocking and I was quite distraught to learn that our interim city manager seems to be support or at least condone Mrs. Walter’s warped and highly unprofessional philosophy. The Sullivan Report has once again performed a great public service by educating the populace of what is truly in the budget instead of lazily reporting the tax impact and a few blurbs stated by city officials as the Sullivan Report’s journalist colleagues choose to do.
Jim Sullivan(Sunday, May 12 19 12:48 pm EDT)
New article. Analysis of proposed 2020 Claremont municipal budget. Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Darrel(Thursday, May 09 19 10:41 am EDT)
Claremont should buy a bus to ship all the welfare free loaders he moved here down there. That’s his idea of increasing the population. Sanctuary City come next.
Jerry(Thursday, May 09 19 10:34 am EDT)
FREE TAX BREAKS FOR TOWN COUNCIL IN PALMER MASS!!
John(Thursday, May 09 19 10:19 am EDT)
Don’t let the door hit you where the good Lord split ya..
Best of luck.
The over/under on the new job is 18 months.
Place your bets.
Jim Sullivan(Thursday, May 09 19 08:55 am EDT)
Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, May 07 19 05:32 am EDT)
1) SAU #6 Board announces Superintendent Contract signed.
2) McNutt named finalist.
Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Steve(Saturday, May 04 19 08:16 am EDT)
Richard, the group of people you mention that are in the stand pipe district also are the ones that if their house is on fire get to utilize the hydrant system. They also get reduced insurance rates for being within a proximity of a hydrant. I am one of those myself. Those out side should the hydrant loop should not pay for my luxury. Same goes for the sewer system.
Richard(Saturday, May 04 19 12:25 am EDT)
Steve, I wholeheartedly agree with you on everything you said except for one point regarding the fire hydrants. Jim and AJ explained that the water department is an enterprise fund and it is funded by the ratepayers who are on the water system and not the taxpayers, who are a much bigger group of property owners, many of whom are not on the municipal water system. It is not fair for the smaller group of ratepayers to subsidize the larger group of taxpayers, now isn't it?
Steve(Friday, May 03 19 08:08 am EDT)
I would like to know why a city department feels they need to charge the fire department for stand pipes “fire hydrants” in the first place. These stand pipes are for the convenience of maintaining the infer structure of their system and are occasionally used by the fire department. Next if we did not supply a vehicle to an out of town fire chief to pound over multiple other towns back roads daily to get back and forth to work it might last longer. And why when we in such a depressed community buying high end fire apparatus from the highest price manufacturers in the country and are we in need of them now?
Kevin(Friday, May 03 19 12:35 am EDT)
I just checked today's editions of the Valley News and the Eagle Times online and nothing in either edition about the interim city manager's budget proposal. Yet, a local blog the Sullivan Report published an introductory article yesterday. That is the difference between the investigative journalism of the Sullivan Report and the fake/propaganda government friendly spun news that appears in the Valley News and the Eagle Times and the E-Ticker News. These three sad pathetic publications have no drive, edge, professionalism, or journalism spirit. It's a shame because the people who live in this local area deserve better journalism than the crap that appears in these three rags.
Joel(Thursday, May 02 19 09:28 pm EDT)
Looks like a lot of finagling on the city budget by the temp city manager and Miss Mary to bring it in at the same property tax rate. I'm glad the temp. manager added dough to the paving line in the budget for the streets but he is ignoring the city hall roof and other issues put on his unfunded list for the councilors to let them do the dirty work he did not want to do. A true political bureaucrat.
Jim Sullivan(Thursday, May 02 19 05:24 pm EDT)
New article. The Proposed Fiscal Year 2020 Municipal Budgets at first blush! Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Jim Sullivan(Wednesday, May 01 19 01:29 pm EDT)
Special Report! Cory LeClair leaving SAU #6! Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Henry(Wednesday, May 01 19 11:11 am EDT)
I cannot believe that the city councilors are so brazen as to allow Nicholas Koloski to pretty much write the entire food truck ordinance himself when he will be subject to that ordinance when he reestablishes his weenie wagon business. Koloski is going to want the very best city-owned spot and will probably receive it with a rigged bid or lottery or however they choose to do it behind closed doors I am sure. Koloski is working to eliminate fire suppression regulations when he is a call firefighter for Claremont. Koloski is also trying to greatly lower insurance standards and eliminate criminal background checks. I am sure there are other things he is trying to eliminate as well to lower the costs of doing business for himself. I have little doubt that the policy committee will capitulate, as Koloski seems to always get what he wants no matter what. Koloski is bad news and the people of Claremont need to wake up and realize that Koloski is only on the Council for himself and for friends and special interests and has no interest in representing the general public. If Koloski runs for reelection then he needs to lose his bid to keep his seat in November’s election. An empty seat would be better than him.
Tom(Wednesday, May 01 19 09:49 am EDT)
Allen Damren believes he is a master manipulator of political intrigue. His elected position has gone to his head and he is not representing the best interests of Claremont citizens. It is clear he is trying to represent corporate interests such as MRI and is supporting tax forgiveness for Topstone Holdings, zoning changes in tax breaks for the Goddard building developers, who are about to get another tax break for building the own on Main Street at taxpayers’ expense. Making up fictitious committees, doing infomercials for a company that didn’t even bid so MRI, his former employer can get this contract and misreporting a vote count to place his candidate on the committee are not the actions of an honest man. Claremont voters should demand elected representatives who have integrity and a strong moral compass. In my opinion, Allen Damren is not such a man neither is Nicholas Koloski nor Charlene Lovett nor Scott Pope. All four of them must be thrown out of office in November.
Steve(Wednesday, May 01 19 08:55 am EDT)
The Sullivan Report scoops everyone on school budget ratification. I do not know why the local press feels the need to cover for the constant screw-ups of city and school officials. Their job is to report the news not manipulate and sanitize the news they print and bury the rest to protect and fictitiously enhance the reputations of elected officials and government administrators because what they are really reporting is fake news.
Jim Sullivan(Wednesday, May 01 19 05:26 am EDT)
New article. Claremont School Board to hold emergency session with public hearing to ratify 2019/2020 School Budget. Full details on News Flashes page of this website.
Tom(Tuesday, April 30 19 12:33 pm EDT)
I am sick and tired of having my tax dollars going to wealthy developers and special friends of the city councilors. The company that owns the Goddard building and all the other buildings around town and the one on Main Street should not be getting more tax breaks and more of our tax dollars. McNutt just gave him break after break and the city gave the developer all kinds of zoning changes and now we're giving him another tax break. Come on people it's time to wake up. We need all new city leaders come November.
Todd(Tuesday, April 30 19 10:18 am EDT)
The little weasel on the Council, Ole Slick Nick was in full greedy opportunist mode with the food truck ordinance. He wants to rewrite the whole policy so that it costs food vendors next to nothing with no protections for the city or the public. When are people going to wake up and see Nick Koloski for who he really is?
Industrial Property Owner(Tuesday, April 30 19 09:29 am EDT)
Another excellent in-depth article. I wholeheartedly agree that Kevin LaCasse and the development firm that he manages/co-owns I believe, should pay to repair that common wall with their own money without any taxpayer subsidy. This City Council is so out of tune with the local populace it is maddening. Taking money from the pockets of hard-working citizens to higher and higher taxation and placing those dollars into the pockets of seemingly wealthy or at least well to do out of town property developers seems to be the modus operandi of the city council and administration, remembering that Mr. McLean is only a temporary MRI consultant and the staff of the administration has not changed in two administrations. This occurring right on the heels of the Topstone Holdings LLC controversy is a clear sign that our elected leaders do not care about the opinions of the populace may have their own political agenda inevitable forward with it no matter what. The revisiting of the mind-numbing 92% water rate increase was very timely as it reminded all of us of the tax-and-spend philosophy of Mayor Charlene Lovett and Assistant Mayor Allen Damren. Councilman Nick Koloski showed his cavalier attitude regarding maintaining the integrity of his council seat as he blatantly tried to manipulate and wordsmith the food truck ordinance to greatly lessen the requirements placed upon food vendors. Koloski himself as a food vendor with his weenie wagon and there is little doubt that he wishes to set up shop this ordinance was passed and given his financial difficulties with all the liens placed against his business he may not have the funds to pay for background checks and sufficient insurance coverage. This is a clear abuse of public office and the other councilors are allowing him to get away with it. Assistant Mayor Allen Damren showed his untrustworthiness once again in regards to the city manager search committee. Damren certainly has been a busy boy. He started with creating a phony committee to justify certain decisions he made unilaterally. Damren followed that Stupid Councilor Trick with an MRI infomercial he presented during a televised council meeting to place MRI under consideration for a city manager search contract, when the company did not submit a proposal. Damren is a former employee of MRI. Damren with the help of Mayor Lovett and MRI employee interim city manager John MacLean set up a secret meeting with MRI’s CEO to apparently tried to broker a deal that has yet to be finalized. During Wednesday’s meeting, Damren attempted to place Debora Matteau on the search committee by essentially rigging the vote count by not accurately reporting the results. Marlene Boisclair also received two votes, as did Mrs. Matteau. Damren tried to use deception to place his choice on the committee. Although caught in the act it did not matter because Mrs. Matteau had the votes on this council although she has stated strong opinions against this process on social media and she was a member of the previous citizens committee that culminated with the hiring of Ryan McNutt. She would definitely not be my first choice for applicant but the councilors have a different political agenda. The ole boys and girls club catering to themselves and to special interests has never been stronger in Claremont than it is today. The voters need to break up this gang of collaborators on Election Day.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, April 30 19 07:05 am EDT)
New article. Synopsis of April 24 Council meeting.
Jill(Friday, April 26 19 08:50 pm EDT)
Deb Matthau’s appointment to the city manager search committee is completely ridiculous. Guess some members of the council want to continue with fostering low income housing on the backs of city tax payers through trying to influence the hiring of a city manager. I believe she was a very big supporter of Ryan McNutt and was very vocal about his termination. I was very disappointed in Councilor Zullo for voting for her. I was in full support of additional women being added to the search committee. I can’t wait to see how this plays out.
Buddy(Friday, April 26 19 05:22 pm EDT)
Deb Matthau personally and professionally benefited from the hiring of the last City Manager.
Shame on the City Council for putting her in a position to benefit again.
She play a very important role in the hiring of the last City Manager, how well did that workout for the citizens of Claremont?
How much tax money has been already spent because of what she did on the last hiring committee she was on ?
Claremont can not afford to have Deb Matthau on this hiring committee but I’m sure she sees a personal profit for herself or her business.
It’s ironic that Deb and her buddy Nick are able to play the system and everyone loves them.
The council made a huge mistake choosing Deborah Matteau, she will most definitely be bias in the decision making process considering she's friends with councilor Koloski . Saying she's slightly unhinged is a understatement. I have serious concerns over her radical views, don't believe me check out her facebook page.
She's a proud socialist, who believes in the delusions of socialism, and her mantra is "TAX THE RICH". Just look at some of her post in the past couple of months, April 13th "I'll vote democrat no matter the candidate" talk about open minded, and this woman is picking a manager? Then you have March 17th post " the biggest threat to the world is not illegal immigration
it's white supremacy, resist! " Well if she doesn't find illegal immigration to be a threat, then she would have no problem opening her home up to help migrants who are ms-13 members, let's see how that works out for her. Then on March 20TH she is pictured
with Beto O'Rourke the same guy calling for open borders and is funded by globalist George Soros, just let that sink in citizens of Claremont. When you publicly show distain for people who are successful and are American citizens through out your post it only proves you are not capable of making rational decisions regardless what sex or race you happen to be. She should have no part in choosing a city manager in Claremont, or for that matter any community in the United States.
Steve(Friday, April 26 19 02:30 pm EDT)
To John. Well said.
John(Friday, April 26 19 12:00 pm EDT)
I was approached by a black person, a Hispanic person, an Asian person and a Transgender person and they all told me they were extremely upset that “their” people were not represented on the search committee. So now will the committee be expanded to include everyone ?
After meeting after meetings, hours of discussion and citizens comments, the make up of the City Manger search committee was discussed, I never heard anyone say that 25% of this committee was to be females.
Council Keir brought up the subject at a meeting. She informed the council that she felt it was extremely important that there be a female Council member on the committee and the informed the council she was too busy to be on it herself and nominated Councilor Lessard . The problem was, the members of the city council were already chosen their council representatives . Councilor O’Hearn graciously stepped down so there could be a female Councilor on the Committee.
Now, Assistant Mayor Dameran’s wife, who did not appear at any of the meetings in regards to this issue, complains to her husband that she feels the feminine race is not properly represented on this committee and now there are 2 additional members who are on this committee.
These “token” females should feel embarrassed, the only reason why they are on this committee is because of their gender, not their experience, not their accomplishments.
Imagine if this committee was comprised of women, do you think men would have been added ?
If you think they would have, I got a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you .
A sad day when discrimination is so easily accepted.
Steve(Friday, April 26 19 09:47 am EDT)
Since when does being a woman prequalify you to be selected for a very important task. Several qualified people came forward to hire a city manager. Some had better qualifications that others. That’s life. So in this particular case it is obvious the men came out on top. If other more qualified women had applied they should have been in the pick. That’s life. This council is what needs a Make over. Changing midstream is BS. Weak.
Bill(Thursday, April 25 19 12:21 pm EDT)
This is a quote from the WUC Page dated 04/24/2019 from a Kipp Ryan Post
Debbie Matteau- "In the end, we missed the mark by deciding to take a "do it yourself" approach to one of the most important decisions we have in front of us. A professional headhunter was/is needed. A (good) city manager is a high level executive and attracting one here is a tall order, and I don't believe for one second anyone on the council is equipped to undertake that task. You don't ask your PCP to perform heart surgery to save money, do you? I'm all for saving money, but this was an ill-conceived process."
Seems like Ms. Matteau has a bias, I also heard she was on Ryan McNutt's Hiring committee. But now she has been appointed to the very committee she does not believe is the right choice?
GO TEAM NICK!
Luke(Thursday, April 25 19 09:52 am EDT)
Escalating Crime Starts in City Hall. This search committee has been highjacked by Koloski and rentlord Debra Matteo. Slum city on the way.
Barbara(Wednesday, April 24 19 06:35 am EDT)
I am a mom of three young children and I am very worried about these disturbing crime statistics that were kept hidden from all of the citizens of Claremont. Keeping the bad news a secret while doing nothing to correct the situation is not helping anyone. The Police Department was put in place to protect everyone. If they do not have the resources that they need then everyone suffers. It is time for the city councilors to wake up and begin leaving our city the right way. They can start with devoting more resources to the Police Department to get those crime numbers more under control.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, April 23 19 07:52 pm EDT)
Council appoints City Manager Search Committee! Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Robert(Tuesday, April 23 19 05:24 pm EDT)
Don’t forget about the sanctuary city/welcoming community bullshit proposal that the flaming idiot liberals on the council namely Charlene Lovett, Abigail Kier, Allen Damren, Nick Koloski and Scott Pope all wanted to bring to Claremont. Imagine truckloads of illegal immigrants and their families all landing in Claremont like an enemy invasion and imagine what that would have done to our already astronomically high property tax rate. You think that crimes bad now wait until they eventually swoop in. Don’t think for a second that these councilors haven’t forgotten that crappy idea because they want to do this they are probably just biding their time waiting to do it in another sneaky way. Let’s all just hope Jim and AJ catch it with their eagle eyes before anything worse happens. We have got the vote those people out in November. We just have to.
Tom(Tuesday, April 23 19 04:03 pm EDT)
You want to know why crime is getting out of control? Is because of all the social services that the liberal city councilors want to bring to Claremont. The County just wanted to put in transitional housing for ex-convicts. Another transitional housing facility is probably going to go in on Main Street for unwed mothers. We have drug rehab facilities here and the County is working on transitional housing for psychologically unstable individuals as well and they want to place that a Claremont too. Claremont is becoming a dumping ground for all the undesirables. The councilors helped the developer on Pleasant Street with government funding to put in what they were saying was workforce housing but the Sullivan Report found government documents that says it’s really Section 8/Welfare housing. The councilors want to spend over $5 million to create parking and other amenities for these new residents, whose only purpose is to leach off our society. This isn’t progress. Claremont needs new leaders who realize that Claremont is being led in the wrong direction.
Sarah(Tuesday, April 23 19 02:09 pm EDT)
If crime is on the rise then the police chief bears the responsibility. It is his job to protect the citizens and keep the crime rate under control. If crime is out of control maybe he needs more officers. I know Jim and AJ showed that Claremont has more officers on the books than other communities have based on population. They also said that Chase couldn’t keep officers on the payroll. The pay scale may need to be fixed but maybe Claremont needs more police officers too because crime is getting out of control.
Ted(Tuesday, April 23 19 01:17 pm EDT)
Alex Scott was a good police chief. I am not convinced that Mark Chase is a worthy successor.
Mike(Tuesday, April 23 19 12:43 pm EDT)
Amy is hiding the truth from the public the right thing? I wonder what the city councilors think about having the truth hidden from them? I’m beginning to doubt Chief Chase’s capabilities.
Amy(Tuesday, April 23 19 12:01 pm EDT)
I like Chief Chase and he brings a lot of experience to the table. I think we need to give a chance to do the right thing here.
Gail(Tuesday, April 23 19 10:24 am EDT)
Wow! Crime is running rampant and we have an overwhelmed police chief who it seems has no idea what to do. Hiding the truth from the public was not the answer. It seems this cover up was done for his own selfish interests to try to save his job. Perhaps it is time for new police chief.
Industrial Property Owner(Tuesday, April 23 19 10:07 am EDT)
Chilling exposé. An excellent example of true journalism. A wave of crime is engulfing the city in relation to assaults, fraud and trespassing and our new Police Chief’s answer to the problem is to cover it up and hide it from the elected city councilors and the people they represent the citizens of Claremont. The city councilors should have noticed and remarked upon the absence of crime statistics and Police Commission meeting minutes instead of going bananas for vibrant looking meaningless information. I have looked over that information before and Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Maranville are correct in their assessment that it is practically useless information because it truly specifies nothing except statewide or countywide percentages that have no real meaning. Style with no substance was an apt description. It is true that our city councilors are not overly intelligent and naïve in many ways making it very easy for them to be controlled and manipulated. It is also true that present-day city councilors are obsessed with how Claremont appears to the outside world and they are desperate to maintain a fictitious façade of everything is perfect when in reality we all know that is not the truth. Perhaps in their simple minds it is easier to maintain the façade than it is to solve difficult problems requiring difficult decisions that go beyond their limited political will. I agree with Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Maranville that the police officer pay scale has been the bane of Claremont for many years in regards to attracting and retaining well-qualified police officers. Now that the public is aware that they are no longer safe in their neighborhoods and in their community, it is time for our public leaders to gather, suck it up so to speak, address the pay scale posthaste, and incorporated into the Fiscal Year 2020 budget that will be approved by the city councilors next month. Once again, the Sullivan Report’s timing is impeccable.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, April 23 19 08:06 am EDT)
Crime escalating in Claremont!
Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
William(Thursday, April 18 19 12:33 am EDT)
Just read the Eagle Times on line and read an article about Newport's school board suspending all public comment indefinitely until they come up with new policies. Apparently two citizens are critical of them and the administrators and they want to put a stop to it. Apparently these members of the school board have never read the Constitution, specifically the parts about freedom of speech and representative government that works for the constituents and not the other way around. How long do you think it will take before the Claremont school board and the city council follow the Newport school board's lead and suspends all public participation and public speech during meetings permanently? Followed by a vote to suspend televising of meetings to completely put and end to local government transparency. Considering all the problems both the city and school has had lately that was mostly exposed by the Sullivan Report both government boards may jump at the chance now that the Newport school board has set a legal precedent that they can use through abuse of their elected power.
Jane(Wednesday, April 17 19 01:35 pm EDT)
The school board bears lots of the blame because they are our elected officials and they are just sitting there listening to the administrator’s excuses without speaking up and demanding answers. They are all complicit in my point of view because they refuse to represent their constituents as they are willing to forgive and forget when hundreds of thousands of dollars has been lost with the bill sent to the Claremont taxpayers.
Jennifer(Tuesday, April 16 19 04:32 pm EDT)
It's unlikely that heads will roll when the people responsible are in charge. The school board only has say over the superintendent and while they could fire Cory I doubt that they have the courage to do so on the heels of McGoodwin's termination and Pfeifer being pretty much tarred, feathered and run out on a rail by the SAU staff administrators who in all likelihood caused all of these problems in the first place. I think Jim and AJ hit the nail on the head when they speculated that Pfeifer was the victim of his own competence. Pfeifer probably found out about all of these problems with the ignored audits, food service debt, lost reimbursements, etc. in the staff colluded to remove him before he went public with his findings. Now there will probably be a big lawsuit settlement that will cost the taxpayers even more money because of these bad administrators that are still working in the SAU office. The new superintendent must clean house or the taxpayers of Unity and Claremont will continue to suffer the consequences of these inapt employees.
Mike(Tuesday, April 16 19 02:21 pm EDT)
One $500k boo boo by the most recent city manager in wiping away back taxes on the Topstone got him the boot.
The $500k boo boo by the schools requires the shit canning of responsible individuals.We should also ask for Pfeifer to become our full time Super with a raise.We so desperately as taxpayers need someone in our corner and I now believe he's the man.The status quo,working at the schools wants things to stay just the way they are.
I just cannot believe that a part time employee has the responsibility of managing such a large sum of money when we have high paid administrators that SHOULD HAVE already been managing it.
I WANT HEADS ROLLING
Megan(Tuesday, April 16 19 11:28 am EDT)
I was happy to hear that the food services program for the schools is generating a profit of about $40,000 a year. We never would have known that if Jim Sullivan had not sent an inquiry to the acting superintendent Cory LeClair. You would think that the administrators would want to know something like that especially if it was going the other way and the program was running a deficit. I do not know what Cory LeClair does all day or what any of the other administrators do all day but it certainly isn't keeping track of the school's finances or sending in reimbursement claims on time like they should be doing. I think once the new superintendent is in it is time to clean house and replace them with all new administrators who will hopefully have a better work ethic than the ones presently employed by the taxpayers.
Richard(Tuesday, April 16 19 11:10 am EDT)
Allen Damren is doing everything in his power to control the outcome of the city manager search. The word on the street is that the mayor and assistant mayor have a local candidate preselected and they are working diligently behind the scenes to give this person the job. I don’t like this Tammany Hall style politics that both of them are bringing to Claremont. It’s time to elect honest leaders in November.
Industrial Property Owner(Tuesday, April 16 19 08:46 am EDT)
After reading today’s articles, I have some concerns. I am of the opinion that Cory LeClair is overwhelmed in her position of Assistant Superintendent and now as Acting Superintendent. Some individuals are promoted past their level of competency and I am afraid that may be the case for Mrs. LeClair. Look at the recent revelations all of which occurred during her watch as Assistant Superintendent. Food service program reimbursement losses totaling $464,960.95 over the past two years because employees tasked with submitting these reimbursement claims did not know how to properly fill out the reimbursement forms and SAU administrators ill timed a change in food service vendor for the Unity School District, which penalized Claremont by a total of $191,213.93. The continuing rising food services that because of the lack of a proper policy disallowing the charging of food. Annual audit reports not conducted since fiscal year 2011, that is seven years with no audit reports filed. The position of SAU Board Treasurer remains vacant for a presumably long undisclosed amount of time that jeopardizes the checks and balances and potential accuracy of the financial records of the SAU. The absence of any policies for the SAU. The unbelievable admission of school administrators that they are unable to comprehend the English language contained within The Abbey Group’s food services contract, which was signed and presumably filed and forgotten. Managing on nothing but prayer and hope is inexcusable and the Claremont taxpayers are suffering the expensive repercussions of this extremely poor management. I can certainly understand why the SAU #6 Board wishes to have an efficiency study/forensic audit conducted given all of the disturbing issues that all point to incompetent management. However, $5,000 is a very small sum of money to invest for this type of in-depth study and it is unlikely to go far to determine the level of gross incompetence see that clearly exists within the SAU office and possibly the managerial offices of all of Claremont’s schools. So is this a feel-good gesture to create a public appearance of accountability or are SAU #6 board members that incredibly ignorant and naïve about the true cost of things? I am also of the opinion that we do not know the full story regarding the bum’s rush that Interim Superintendent Pfeifer experienced. His resume is quite impressive and it is highly unlikely that he would not have noticed some if not all of the troubling issues I just listed. Perhaps he was making recommendations of people to terminate because terminations are clearly in order. I believe a palace coup as the Valley News put it is precisely what happened, the incompetent employees are still running the show so to speak, and they will continue to perform their jobs at subpar level until they are terminated. I agree with Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Maranville that placing the entire burden upon one part-time employee to whip the food service program into shape and maintain proper record-keeping and timely submissions of reimbursement claims is an extremely unrealistic expectation. I have no faith in the current school administrative staff and I am beginning to lose faith in our elected representatives on the school boards to rectify the situation as they seem unwilling to stand up to the administrators and call them out in regards to their gross incompetence.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, April 16 19 06:38 am EDT)
Three articles published today.
1) SAU #6 Food Services Program Update.
2) New good news revelation regarding SAU #6 Food Services Program.
3) April 10 Claremont City Council Meeting Synopsis.
Barry(Monday, April 15 19 08:37 am EDT)
Koloski is not a team player. The Council voted 7/2 to terminate the manager. Who by the way was Santa to Nick. Koloski was devastated by this very reasonable move. Now he is not working with the collective majority vote of the council. His childish spoiled actions shows his immaturity as a board member. Absent the board he can enjoy his opinion but grandstanding his opinion and lost vote should be called out. He is not the only one showing this lack of leadership. It’s no wonder the council is so stuck in the mud.
Mike(Saturday, April 13 19 09:26 am EDT)
I've been thinking a lot on the state of Claremont's education situation.I am very upset that the interim superintendent was forcibly removed by the police.Now I come to find out he was removed because he was going to make the public aware of the $500,000 negligent failure to file proper paperwork for school lunches paid by the federal government.
Am I wrong in assuming that the super is the boss?Are there going to be people fired for their negligent behavior while under our employ?Now the interim super is filing a wrongful termination suit against us.Who has the power to fire the super? II WANT THEM GONE!
Bill(Friday, April 12 19 12:40 pm EDT)
Nice to see Councilor Koloski is back from his vacation. Sounds like he is trying to sabotage the city manager search with his good friend Councilor Pope.
Jim Sullivan(Thursday, April 11 19 10:03 am EDT)
School Officials grossly understate school lunch reimbursement losses! Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Industrial Property Owner(Tuesday, April 09 19 02:51 pm EDT)
Jim and AJ are being sensible about the solar project. Taking a wait-and-see approach until we find out the annual lease price per acre that Steel Mill Solar LLC will offer is a prudent course of action. Then we can all make an informed rational decision as to whether we support this project proposal or not.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, April 09 19 12:21 pm EDT)
Clarification regarding solar project on the News Flashes page of this website.
Kathy(Tuesday, April 09 19 10:30 am EDT)
Why should we tie up acres and acres of prime industrial land so a bunch of out-of-town investors can generate solar energy so they can send it to Connecticut and line their pockets? What’s in it for Claremont? Is it jobs? No! Is it property tax base? No! There may be no property taxes at all except for the amount paid on the CDA land. Who knows how much the city assessor will set that property assessment at? If it’s handled anything like the Topstone building, it will be next to nothing so no real value or tax revenue there. Therefore, it is all up to the lease payment, which could be very little because I doubt the folks at Steel Mill Solar LLC gives a damn about Claremont and does not intend to pay a high or even fair lease payment. I also do not trust our city officials because many of them in my opinion seem the type willing to accept a bribe if one was secretly offered. Cash is hard to trace after all.
Carolyn(Tuesday, April 09 19 08:50 am EDT)
I do not support this solar project at all. If the electricity was used to lower Claremont’s electric rates that would be a big draw for manufacturers to move their facilities and with it jobs to Claremont. Nevertheless, that is not what is happening here, as all of the electricity will go down to Connecticut to help contain their energy costs and make them more attractive to businesses. Once again, Claremont is being taken advantage of just as they were with Wheelabrator and so many other out-of-town investors and developers. When are our city leaders going to learn from the hard costly lessons of the past and begin working for us instead of the out-of-town fat cats?
Dave(Monday, April 08 19 04:46 pm EDT)
I agree with Tom. The taxpayers paid millions of dollars to obtain this industrial land and now city officials want to give it away for peanuts in a lease deal to make out-of-state investors rich at our expense. Didn’t city officials just do this with the Topstone property by forgiving about a quarter of one million dollars in overdue property taxes? What the hell is the matter with these people?
Tom(Monday, April 08 19 03:46 pm EDT)
While I like the concept of solar farming I do not like the location because Claremont needs industrial land dedicated to bringing in good paying manufacturing jobs. Put the solar farm somewhere else in Claremont that’s fine but keep it off the municipal land.
City Hall Insider(Monday, April 08 19 01:10 pm EDT)
Members of the CDA board had no idea about the requirement in their bylaws that does not allow the CDA to play games with the lease deal. The CDA will have to get a fair price based on a fair property appraisal and pay full property taxes on the land that they lease to Steel Mill Solar LLC. The CDA board intended to use that lease money to cash infuse the Farwell building reconstruction project that is underway and already many dollars short. Now the CDA board is at a loss about how to proceed with the Farwell project. Representatives have asked the Mayor and the Assistant Mayor for the Council to quietly change the CDA bylaws to remove that restriction in a nonpublic session and then permanently seal the minutes to keep this action from the public.
George(Monday, April 08 19 11:45 am EDT)
This is another reneging of promises made to the taxpayers. Claremont’s city officials just can’t be trusted.
Dan(Monday, April 08 19 09:34 am EDT)
This might already be a done deal especially if bribery money was thrown around. I swear a lot of the so-called pillars of the community would sell Claremont out for a nickel.
Beezelbub(Monday, April 08 19 09:32 am EDT)
Hey Regina, Vermont awaits you.
Commuting creates greenhouse gasses.You can ride your bike for your commute.
Steve(Monday, April 08 19 09:00 am EDT)
OMG! Lady I don’t know what rock you crawled out from under but you do not have a clue about what’s going on in Claremont. We need an expanded tax base to lower the tax rate and the tax burden here in Claremont. Our children and grandchildren need jobs that pay more than just barely enough to put food on the table. They need to make a decent living wage to provide for their families. The properties in the old River Road TIF District where this solar farm may be located was supposed to provide those opportunities for good paying jobs. A slew of solar panels to make a bunch of out of town investors rich just won’t cut it.
Regina(Monday, April 08 19 08:01 am EDT)
I am absolutely on board with this solar project as it is a wonderful use for the property and good for Mother Earth. The last thing Claremont needs is another factory polluting the air we breathe and possibly the water as well. People commute to their jobs all the time and we do not need more jobs in Claremont.
Industrial Property Owner(Monday, April 08 19 06:51 am EDT)
Another magnificent exposé by the Sullivan Report. A very thorough, well-written example of investigative journalism that thoroughly puts the Eagle Times, the Valley News and the E- Ticker News to shame. While I understand the wisdom of Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Maranville to reserve judgment until the publicly televised April 24 project presentation I happen to share their concerns in regards to removing such a large number of Claremont’s finite industrial acreage from our municipal holdings. I was very impressed that Jim and AJ were able to find approximate project installation costs and estimated annual profits for a 10 Megawatt solar farm facility. This certainly gives us a rule of thumb to work with when ascertaining if the proposed annual lease payments are either fair or intentionally lowballed for the benefit of the presumably out-of-state owners of Steel Mill Solar LLC, its many subsidiaries and parent company. As we are well aware, Claremont municipal officials have a predisposition to poorly negotiate and agree to terms that heavily favor the other party to the detriment of the Claremont taxpayers. I do not trust the CDA Board of Directors at all and while I have not personally met John MacLean, I am quite familiar with the firm he works for Municipal Resources Incorporated and remain unimpressed and distrustful. I also have little faith in the City Council of 2019. I have known several of the members for years and most of them in my opinion are not qualified to be making monumental decisions for our community that will affect Claremont for many years to come. I believe Jim and AJ have the right outlook on this proposal when they stated in their article “the proposed annual lease payments will tell the tale”. It most certainly will.
Jim Sullivan(Monday, April 08 19 06:08 am EDT)
New article regarding proposed 10 MW solar project off of River Road. Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
John(Sunday, April 07 19 11:30 am EDT)
Thanks Jimmy, you never disappoint.
Jim Sullivan(Saturday, April 06 19 04:20 pm EDT)
John, it isn't always about being first. I am waiting for information from SAU #6 Business Manager Mike O'Neill. I had several questions regarding this matter that was not answered in any of the published articles thus far. Once I have that information then I will do an article that will be far more enlightening to the taxpaying public. This is a very serious matter and I want to do it right with information that the public needs to know about.
John(Saturday, April 06 19 03:34 pm EDT)
When are you going to write something about the SAU failing to submit the necessary federal paperwork to obtain almost 500k ?
You’re getting as bad as the “Nicky Times”.
Jim Sullivan(Friday, April 05 19 09:38 pm EDT)
Actually James you are wrong. I investigated on my own because the Council was not given anything but vague propaganda and being asked to approve a $500,000 CDBG application based on nothing of substance. City Officials had not performed their due diligence and that did not sit well with me. I found many tax liens in Florida and found out that the factory was closed and padlocked due to the property having been seized. There were some other issues as well and I went public with them. Sullivan County had already authorized a $500,000 CDBG application at the request of City Officials and others trying to push this deal forward and nobody had bothered to properly vet the company first. I found this information quite easily on the internet in little time and just spent a little of my own personal money to buy the official documents. I was the one who went public with this information and the project quickly died. City Officials used the not receiving the financials as an excuse to save face and not give me the credit for saving the City from the mess that Springfield VT eventually suffered. I didn't care because petty people do petty things and I was used to their negative behavior. I then shared the information with Newport Officials (at their request) when the company tried to get another $500,000 CDBG grant through the Town of Newport and they turned the company down too. Springfield VT and the State of VT eventually took a bath because they went forward with the project.
James(Friday, April 05 19 04:58 pm EDT)
Lollll Sullivan had nothing to do with Cast in Stone.
Santagate refused to sign off on it because they weren't giving all of the financials. Lovely revisionist history on Richard's part.
Trish(Wednesday, April 03 19 11:01 am EDT)
Not to forget the company that was going to Great a central heating system in claremont
Richard(Tuesday, April 02 19 06:30 pm EDT)
Yes Mike the company was called Cast in Stone and Councilor Jim Sullivan saved Claremont from getting bamboozled by this firm. Santagate had already gone to the county and had them approve a CDBG grant application for I think $500,000 and he came to the city for another $500,000 CDBG grant application through the city. Santagate and the administrators all swore that they had properly checked out this company but something stuck in Sullivan's craw so we took it upon himself to investigate and he uncovered the truth that the company was leaving Florida because they were broke and had all kind of liens placed on the business. The folks at Cast in Stone tried to Hook Newport with their line of bullshit and then when that didn't work they suck at Springfield Vermont and took that town and the state to the cleaners. I recall they did do a startup but then they folded quick and left a lot of people holding the bag. Thank goodness Jim Sullivan was looking out for us just like he and AJ Maranville are doing now. I don't trust Nancy Merrill and the others in the city government to look out for our backs because most of them don't even live in Claremont. The councilors like Mayor Lovett are so damn desperate for anything that looks like good news I think they would be willing to sell Claremont out to make a nice splash in the news media to make themselves look good at least in the short-term. You can't trust anyone at City Hall and that includes the councilors.
Mike(Tuesday, April 02 19 05:30 pm EDT)
these solar panel folks are the modern day democrat entrepreneurs.Remember Solindra? These guys got paid millions from Obama's stimulus package.They declared bankruptcy without ever making even 1 panel.They're soaking their feet now on some sandy beach with umbrella drinks,probably criticizing Trump for being a crook.
Didn't we have some bogus stone company try to take Claremont some years ago? Total sham!
Richard(Tuesday, April 02 19 02:14 pm EDT)
These days there seems to be lots of shady behavior at City Hall. There was the Topstone scandal that wrote off nearly a quarter of one million dollars in tax debt for three out of town property owners who just so happen to be the landlord for Councilmen Nick Koloski, who apparently doesn’t like to pay his bills such as taxes and loans because of all the liens placed against the business and recorded on the Sullivan County Registry of Deeds website. Then there is the whole Goddard building project that city councilors and administrators are telling us is workforce housing when it is really welfare-section 8 low-income housing. The former manager had his inspectors declare the building unsafe, condemned the building, and evicted all of the residents. That open the door for a developer to come in, buy the building for far less than its assessed price, and begin this welfare housing project with lots of money from the state and the federal government with the city’s help and the city even through win a property tax break to boot. Let’s not forget the zoning changes that change the whole downtown landscape by letting apartments be on the ground floor to eliminate the need for elevators to get around the ADA rules and the greatly relaxed parking requirement rules that now will cause a problem because it’s only one car per bedroom that in this day and age most couples have two cars. Now the owner of the Goddard building has a problem with a Main Street property because it has a shared wall with another building that is falling down supposedly. The city intends to rip the other building down and is beginning to look like the city a.k.a. the taxpayers will fix up the shared wall so the owner of the Goddard building who also owns this other building won’t have to soak a penny into it. Then you have Allen Damren are so-called esteemed Assistant Mayor doing his damnedest to get MRI his former bosses another lucrative consulting contract by making up a phony committee and then going all out with a big sales pitch on CCTV to sell the virtues of MRI to the Council. Now the Sullivan Report uncovered something that the crappy reporters around here missed about a solar farm that the city manager MRI interim elaborated on during the last meeting. I watched that meeting and I did hear the city manager say to be a 10 MW facility and the Sullivan Report says that will take about 150 acres. The manager did say that this company was going to buy a city property and CDA property and a privately owned parcel but he did not say how many acres that would all encompass. I do not know how much tax revenue a bunch of solar panels on relatively undeveloped land would generate and who knows that might be special tax breaks that we do not know about. I agree with the Sullivan Report that it is doubtful that will create many jobs may be a maintenance/repair person and maybe someone to keep solar panels clean occasionally. I do not like the fact that they are a new business and that their hiding the needs of the business owners. If they are from New Hampshire, we may know these people are and there could be some conflicts of interest that we may never know about because the business owners are hiding their identities. I agree the smells like a sweetheart deal since Claremont usually sells their property cheap and the Sullivan Report is correct that the taxpayers spent millions of dollars to develop the industrial park with TIF money and to give it away maybe two special friends of the city officials and give up the chance to bring in good paying jobs is a slap in the face to all the taxpayers. I cannot help but wonder if one or more of the city officials have been motivated to do these things in a way that we do not understand. Hint. Hint. Hint. The word I am going for rhymes with tribe.
Jean(Tuesday, April 02 19 12:27 pm EDT)
What do you think about Nick Koloski not paying his employment taxes and then going on a Las Vegas vacation? That tells me all I need to know about his character.
Tom(Tuesday, April 02 19 11:52 am EDT)
It looks like another backroom deal with an MRI tie in. First we had the Topstone sweetheart deal with MRI Assessor Joe Lessard into it up to his eyeballs. Now we have interim City Manager John MacLean talking about a wonderful opportunity for Claremont with Steel Mill Solar LLC who hasn’t been in business for more than a few months and they look a little shady with their extreme measures to hide the identities of their owners. Jim and AJ are right they might be locals trying to get a sweet deal at the expense of the taxpayers. Some of the owners could even be councilors and other city officials. This sure stinks to high heaven so far.
Mike(Tuesday, April 02 19 11:38 am EDT)
MRI strikes again. What is it with them and background checks? They did a crappy job with McNutt and now it looks like they’re not doing their due diligence with Steel Mill Solar LLC. It’s time to kick MRI to the curb once and for all.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, April 02 19 09:38 am EDT)
March 27 Council meeting synopsis. Concerns regarding Steel Mill Solar LLC.
Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Jerry(Monday, April 01 19 06:42 pm EDT)
Is the former school superintendent Dr Pfeifer responsible for the $460,000 loss in school lunch money from the Feds,by not filing the paperwork?
I would say we should claw back any salary this boob received while in our employ.
The temp super said that they can make up the money from extra money on hand.Why does the schools have $460,000 laying around doing nothing?
Don't you dare come to me for more money!
Jim Sullivan(Friday, March 29 19 12:43 pm EDT)
SAU #6 Announcement!
Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
William(Wednesday, March 27 19 04:30 pm EDT)
Editor Bill Chaisson of the Eagle Times wrote in one of his dribbling diatribes against all taxpayers who he doesn't think pay enough in taxes while he lives in an apartment in Unity contributing hardly nothing to the common good wrote that the Eagle Times will only report the news that he sees fit. The price of the paper is going up on April Fools' Day. There is no more Monday newspaper only online. National columnists and the Associated Press no longer grace the pages of the Eagle Times because the newspaper can no longer afford the subscription. The Argus Champion and the Valley Marketplace are no longer separate publications but are now features in the Eagle Times. Chaisson has run this grand old lady of a newspaper right into the ground with his liberal views and his vile dripping hatred of the locals who are taxed to the limit in regards to their properties. Add in that his ties to the Topstone building as one of the owners of that property the owner of the building that the Eagle Times headquarters resides in. Nick Koloski is a key holder for the property and it is my understanding that he holds a lot of sway over the flavor of the new stories especially ones about him. The Eagle Times, once a proud newspaper has fallen upon hard times and near death thanks to Bill Chaisson and the other imbeciles managing the Eagle Times. It is really a shame because Claremont needs a local newspaper.
Stewart(Wednesday, March 27 19 02:08 pm EDT)
Nicky Times will be slow this week. The so called brains are out of town. He might be briefed and will send a demand for publication in from Vegas. It will be hard to quote himself because he is not at the meetings. And that is a good thing!
Bill(Wednesday, March 27 19 12:46 pm EDT)
Why is there no coverage in the Eagle Times about last night city council meeting on the manager search?
Jill(Wednesday, March 27 19 11:49 am EDT)
In the last few meetings I have seen Councilor Kier make some real disturbing statements. She supports a "Welcoming Policy" also known as a Sanctuary City that protects illegal immigrants and ties the hands of the local police. During her discussion of Censuring Councilor Stone she was not at the meeting, yet calls in to participate. During that meeting she doesn't care if the motion it's legal or not, is she taking ethics lessons from Assistant Mayor Damren? Now last night she stated she is in favor of a professional search firm, because she wants someone to hold her hand? Councilor Kier seems very eager to spend money on frivolous adventures that have no positive outcomes on the city or it's tax paying residents. I voted for her last election and won't be making the same mistake twice!
Jake(Wednesday, March 27 19 11:37 am EDT)
Last nights meeting was the best meeting in a long time. More looking out for the tax payer than usual. Hoping the same for tonight. Should be with Nick out spending our hard earned money. Keir acting childish was the only downfall last night. I think she could she was not going to move the rest so she blew up. The problem councilors showed last night by not showing up. Looking forward to tonight. I will be tuned in and have my popcorn.
Ted(Wednesday, March 27 19 11:27 am EDT)
I watched last night's meeting and one thing Councilor Stone said caught my ear. MRI had done a Wolfeboro NH city manager search and their select board fired their manager in March. Stone said Wolfeboro is going it alone and not using MRI this time. Look at what MRI did with the assessing Department and the Topstone / Councilor Koloski scandal. The assessor was an MRI employees don't forget. That company is bad news and because Lovett and Damren and Pope and Koloski all want MRI (Heck Koloski especially because of the sweet deal his landlord got with the MRI assessor) I believe those four councilors are bad news too. I wonder if they're being incentivized to vote the way that they are doing. Wink wink nod nod. November election day can't get here soon enough.
Steve(Wednesday, March 27 19 10:22 am EDT)
I'm happy to hear about the new direction for the city manager search. It sounds like it's going to be more taxpayer friendly. I never realized what a disruptive force Damren, Koloski and Pope made on the Council along with their cohort Lovett. Maybe this will get the voters attention and they will vote all of them out of office in November. Perhaps the tide has turned. I believe the Sullivan Report had something to do it because the people that I talk to all read it and that is one heck of a lot of people. The Sullivan Report is turning hearts and minds slowly but surely.
Jim Sullivan(Wednesday, March 27 19 09:47 am EDT)
City Manager search takes interesting twist!
Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Gary(Tuesday, March 26 19 04:42 pm EDT)
Don’t forget about Pope and Koloski. I always thought both of them were really shady but now with this MRI thing it kind of removed all doubt for me. I will never vote for either ever again.
Jessica(Tuesday, March 26 19 04:14 pm EDT)
Why would a city councilor make up a cock and bull story about a phony committee to manipulate the process to bring in a company that did not submit a proposal and then do a sales pitch for that company at a council meeting? Damren certainly has close ties to MRI since he used to work for them. Something is drastically wrong here and the Mayor is involved too.
Mike(Tuesday, March 26 19 03:55 pm EDT)
I would suggest not considering the two firms from Illinois.It is a failed high tax state with taxpayers leaving in droves seeing the pension crisis writing on the wall and welfare immigrants are moving in for welfare benefits and sanctuary from the law.I would avoid any search firm from Massachusetts as well.We can't afford these big spenders with grandiose pie in the sky ideas.
I would love to hire Paul Lacosse for the job if he would want it.He knows Claremont.My first choice would be Jim Sullivan.Unfortunatly the council would insist on a degreed candidate,despite the perfect fit Jim would be.
Rick(Tuesday, March 26 19 03:26 pm EDT)
This whole mess shows that we have dishonest city councilors and it is time for the voters to clean house.
Barbara(Tuesday, March 26 19 02:01 pm EDT)
I’m wondering if Allen Damren and Charlene Lovett are being incentivized in some way if you know what I mean to be pushing so forcibly for MRI to be awarded the consulting contract.
Tom(Tuesday, March 26 19 01:47 pm EDT)
Corruption is rife at City Hall and both the Mayor and Assistant Mayor are in it up to their eyeballs.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, March 26 19 01:35 pm EDT)
The Claremont City Council will be meeting tonight in the Council Chambers at City Hall at 6:30 PM to continue their discussion about the City Manager search process. The meeting is scheduled to be aired live on CCTV Channel 10.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, March 26 19 10:13 am EDT)
The vacillating, rule breaking majority of the Claremont City Council continues to delay the City Manager search process!
Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Barry(Monday, March 25 19 01:25 pm EDT)
The opinion section in The Nicky Times should be renamed the comic section. I laughter harder reading them than I have ever done reading the comics. If they don’t get an intelligent manager soon they are done.
After watching the council training on cctv I would hope the mayor and assistant mayor will clean up their dominant attitude. And the rest should keep calling them out on it. Now that they know they are the powerful leaders they have been told they are over and over its time to step up to the plate and lead.
Rich(Sunday, March 24 19 02:43 pm EDT)
To start with I will be canceling my Eagle Times (Nicky Times) Subscription. The City Council must be out of their minds, Assistant Mayor Damren is so deep in MRI it is not even funny. How the hell can MRI even be an option after the McNutt Mess ?
Bill(Sunday, March 24 19 02:16 pm EDT)
Chief Scott ran the police department in to the ground, and to this day it has never recovered. Just take a look at the increase crime in Claremont, is this what progress looks like?
Steve(Sunday, March 24 19 12:30 pm EDT)
So Mr Scott was trained by Guy an out of stater that put Claremont in dept to cater to the elite and built them their own gathering center. That make no sense.
John(Sunday, March 24 19 07:27 am EDT)
If the city wanted to hire a City Manager locally, all the need to do is contact former Police Chief Alex Scott.
Mr. Scott is more than qualified. During his time as Police Chief he studied under the master, Guy Santagate.
If you look at the history of City Managers, you will see a large majority have been hired from another state. It’s time to hire locally.
Make Alex Scott Claremont’s next City Manager, like they should have done that last time, for if they did, we wouldn’t be in the trouble we currently are in .
Sarah(Thursday, March 21 19 10:23 pm EDT)
What about Ray Gagnon maybe?
SchoolBob(Thursday, March 21 19 08:33 pm EDT)
Either Jim Neilsen or Deb Cutts?
Patricia(Thursday, March 21 19 03:49 pm EDT)
I wonder whom the former mayor is vying for the job of city manager? I cannot think of one former mayor who would be qualified for the job. I know some people want to see a local person get the job but in my book Claremont has so many financial problems right now that we really need someone who has great experience that can right the ship so to speak and plug all the holes and bail out the ship so we stop sinking. I would rather that they hire a highly qualified John Doe from anywhere that is a pro than a ruck that is a schmuck. You may have to look up ruck and possibly schmuck on the Internet, sorry, about that they were the only words that I could come up with that fit and rhymed.
Linda(Thursday, March 21 19 01:39 pm EDT)
I don’t like the idea of Charlene Lovett and Allen Damren calling all the shots on the council without council approval. I also don’t like the idea of the other councilors complaining about it a little bit but not standing up to both of them and tell them to stop doing it through a motion. The councilors of today are ignorant cowards who are only interested in perpetuating their own political agendas and they don’t give a damn about the general populace whom they were elected to represent. I agree that in November we need turnover the council with all new members.
William(Thursday, March 21 19 09:39 am EDT)
The Eagle Times is really going down the toilet. No Monday newspaper as it’s only online now and the Argus Champion and the Marketplace have both folded up and been folded into the Eagle Times. Two sinking ships jumping aboard another ship that is taking on water and sinking fast. Of course the editor’s editorials are not helping matters with comments like the paper will only cover the local news that they want to cover and forget the rest and everyone should pay more taxes because you’re not paying enough now and if you don’t like it tough, move. The editor lives in an apartment in Unity and pays no taxes at all. Easy for him to say when he’s got no skin in the game in any community. Of course he’ll probably be moving away pretty soon because the Eagle Times is on borrowed time because if you look at the advertisements that are the lifeblood of a newspaper most of them are from the Eagle Times themselves, not a good sign. They are also raising prices on April Fools’ Day, which is ironic and appropriate given the circumstances. Many people stopped buying the paper because of the garbage that is being printed on the pages most of it not looking like news at all at least not the real news. Anyone wanting political news that’s true comes to the Sullivan Report for free because you will only see the truth printed here. Everyone else is printing politically correct news that will not offend anyone and that is not real news that is public relations puff pieces written by people who are deceptively calling themselves journalists. Standards are really low in Claremont and ethics and professionalism are virtually nonexistent.
Tom(Thursday, March 21 19 08:54 am EDT)
It would not surprise me if Nick Koloski gets a sweet deal on a food vendor spot for downtown. I don’t know why but everyone seems to bend over backwards at City Hall for Nick Koloski. I don’t see him as having much power as a city councilor but he seems to have it and based on all the favors he’s received over the years in my opinion he is abusing his elected office for his own benefit. I hope the people wake up in November and vote him out of office
Jim Sullivan(Thursday, March 21 19 07:02 am EDT)
I just published a correction to the March 13 Council meeting synopsis article on the News Flashes page of this website.
Steve(Wednesday, March 20 19 04:57 pm EDT)
I’m really concerned about next year’s city budget because it looks like the city’s pretty broke and there are things that need to be done like fixing the roads. I do not see the city council agreeing to any budget cuts or layoffs so the only thing left will be to raise the taxes up as high as they can to pay off all the new bills they create with their spending that they cannot rein in because they do not want to do it. November elections need to result with all of them being kicked to the curb.
Jerry(Wednesday, March 20 19 04:19 pm EDT)
With $1.8 million in unpaid taxes it illustrates that the tax rate can go no further.People are starting to walk away from their Claremont properties.
If the rate should go higher the city will empty quick fast.Landlords can no longer raise rents for higher property taxes.Wages in Claremont DO NOT AND CANNOT SUPPORT FULL SERVICE GOVERNMENT.
Start cutting or start packing
Sarah(Wednesday, March 20 19 01:02 pm EDT)
Either the councilors are burying their heads in the sand, or they don’t read the information packets they receive or they are so stupid they can’t figure out what they’re reading or they are intentionally trying to hide all of the bad news from the public so as to not foil their reelection chances. Either way all of these councilors are not worthy of being reelected by the voters.
Jennifer(Wednesday, March 20 19 10:47 am EDT)
I can’t believe that the city hasn’t collected over $1.8 million in property taxes for this year. It goes to show that the property taxes are getting so expensive that not everyone can afford to pay them anymore. This could be one heck of a mess later this year with a big budget deficit that the taxpayers will have to make up for the cash shortfall.
Don(Wednesday, March 20 19 10:14 am EDT)
Councilor Slick Nick needs that food truck business so he can decline to pay the taxes on that business so that he can use that money to pay the taxes that he owes on the other business before the government shuts him down because he doesn’t pay his taxes.
Eric(Wednesday, March 20 19 07:34 am EDT)
Michael, my grandson works for the city too and he told me pretty much the same thing only that the candidate is a former Mayor, but nobody seems to know which former Mayor it is.
Michael(Wednesday, March 20 19 06:29 am EDT)
My son works for the city he told me that the word going around is Mayor Lovett and Assistant Mayor Damren already have a local candidate in mind for city manager and they are trying to manipulate the outcome so this person gets the job.
Peter(Tuesday, March 19 19 05:08 pm EDT)
I see the teen transitional housing project is moving forward. I suspect the county hasn’t given up on their planned for convicted felons with substance abuse issues transitional housing project at the JSL building. Let’s face it Claremont is a dumping ground for the unwanted because our city officials lie back and take it because they will not fight for us because they are fighting for their own political agenda that has nothing do with us. There are too many sellouts on the city council. Lessard, Damren, Lovett, Kier, Koloski & Pope are the sellouts on my list and I will never vote for any one of them ever again.
Kevin(Tuesday, March 19 19 03:35 pm EDT)
I am quite pleased that after several months and many false starts the council finally authorized the creation of the board of assessors. No more back room deals giving property owners sweetheart deals at taxpayer’s expense. Never again will we see a deal like the Topstone building where the owners received a $220,000 plus property tax bill waiver and a 76% property assessment reduction as an added bonus in a secret backroom deal with the city manager and the municipal assessor. In my humble opinion that deal never would have happened if Councilor Nick Koloski was not the primary tenant in the Topstone building. I do not believe a word coming out of Nick Koloski’s mouth as he is always conniving to help himself by using his position on the Council. Keno was the latest favor and now he wants special privilege to have a weenie wagon business in a prime city-owned spot for probably a heavily discounted lease price. They are talking about sports gambling at the Statehouse and Nick has been interviewed for several articles about the topic. I’m sure he will be asking for special privileges when that comes around too. Nick Koloski should be voted out of office to a November because he is there representing us this that is for darn sure.
Katherine(Tuesday, March 19 19 12:17 pm EDT)
Their actions prove that Lovett and Damren are exceeding their authority to control the council and the city for their own purposes. Damren is manipulating the city manager search, making up phony committees and disbanding them after he gets what he wants to control the entire process. Lovett received a survey from the auditing firm to get counselors input about concerns and to find out if there are areas of the budget that deserve a closer look. Lovett sabotaged that whole process by only doing the survey herself and hiding the survey from everyone else. Damren may have known because Lovett and he seemed to be working together to control the city. In November both of them need to be voted out of office.
Louis Cypher(Tuesday, March 19 19 09:20 am EDT)
I'm laughing out loud at this. Your writing makes my day sometimes.
Especially when it's negative towards Slick Nick.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, March 19 19 07:29 am EDT)
Two new articles today.
1) Synopsis of March 13 Council meeting.
2) The drop of the other shoe.
Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
John(Saturday, March 16 19 05:59 pm EDT)
St. Nick is covered in Teflon. The public has bought into his “philanthropy “ and he can do no wrong in their eyes.
Can’t wait till they name something after him.
Stewart(Friday, March 15 19 01:47 pm EDT)
Let’s get real here! Bill Chaisson is the editor of the Eagle Times and has been making an a$$ out of himself and the Eagle Times since his arrival. The public is aware of a million dollar sweat deal that Guy got them and more are becoming aware that the owners of Topstone Holdings LLC own the building ET is operating out of. Add that to the growing number of people realizing Councilor Koloski is eyeball deep in the reporting coming out of the paper. This combination has turned ET into a one side coverup ,the truth, less than news worthy publication. It’s only a matter of time before it is gone. Not sure anything could turn it around.
Todd(Wednesday, March 13 19 02:13 pm EDT)
Koloski has the people of Claremont bamboozled into thinking that he is this great humanitarian. He is a conniving opportunist because he is using other people’s money and other people’s donations and gathering them up and then taking the credit for the donations for himself. That’s not a humanitarian that’s a narcissist with no moral compass. He is not a good representative for the citizens of Claremont.
Steve(Wednesday, March 13 19 01:42 pm EDT)
Poor Nick does not have anymore special friends now McNutt is gone........
Don(Wednesday, March 13 19 01:23 pm EDT)
The city’s broke, Koloski’s broke. Coincidence?
Rob(Wednesday, March 13 19 01:22 pm EDT)
I have been following the city council and have to say I am thankful to have Councilor Zullo, Stone, and O'hearne on it. I could not even begin to think of what would be going on if they had not been elected. Councilor Koloski, Councilor Kier, Assistant Mayor Damren and Mayor Lovett would be running out of control even more. If the Mayor is so concerned about making Claremont a "Welcoming City" maybe she should work towards reducing taxes!
Craig(Wednesday, March 13 19 12:25 pm EDT)
Claremont sure has a collection of losers on the city council this time don’t you think? Some are dumb, some are ethically challenged and most don’t give a crap about Claremont they are there for their own benefit. There are a couple who are okay O’Hearne, Zullo and Stone because the three of them really care about the people of Claremont, although I wish Stone would stay the hell off a Facebook, he is getting to be like him Trump on Twitter. I just want to yell at Stone, back away from the electronic device.
Richard(Wednesday, March 13 19 11:34 am EDT)
That is of course if they don’t pull the same crap they pulled this year and insert a phony number for a cash withdrawal from an account that has no money and then push off the problem to the end of the fiscal year which will be next year at this time. Karen, you are assuming ethics for a group of councilors who have repeatedly shown that they have none whatsoever. Look at what Allen Damren said at the last meeting when Andy O’Hearne pointed out that they were violating the Council rules and Damren replied it’s because we can. That’s Damren, arrogance with an absence of ethics all rolled into one bad example of Claremont’s citizenry.
Karen(Wednesday, March 13 19 10:17 am EDT)
I dread to see what the property tax rate impact will be for the next city budget.
Jake(Wednesday, March 13 19 08:43 am EDT)
I wish I had seen this yesterday! Looks like more than the building is caving in at Topstone Holdings LLC. BLOCK OFF MULBERRY STREET so they City can bail them out. AGAIN!
Rick(Wednesday, March 13 19 07:34 am EDT)
Nick Koloski can’t even handle his own finances but he has no problem fiddling around with the city’s finances too can look all screwed up they are with no money left in the cash reserves when their is supposed to be 1.7 million there all the time. Koloski’s been on the Council for many years and he has played a big role in the downfall of Claremont’s financial situation. It is time for him and his cronies on the Council to be kicked to the curb.
Jim Sullivan(Wednesday, March 13 19 06:46 am EDT)
Three new articles published today.
1) Councilor Nick Koloski slapped with another lien.
2) School Vote results.
3) North Country Smokehouse product recall.
Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Jake(Tuesday, March 12 19 05:24 pm EDT)
Gary, Have you been drinking the Kool-Aid that the city puts out? 143 to 147 Main St. is included in this problem at 139 Main Street. The property owners should be taking care of this property not the city. Interestingly 169 main street seems to have the same problem. If you need work on your building and you want the city to pay for it all you have to do is rope off the sidewalk and part of the street and apparently that now becomes the cities problem. That would not be the case if I had my say about it. Topstone holdings LLC will probably be next. Going to be a far stretch to rope off the street there but with Nick involved about anything could happen. That roof is in worse shape than 169 Main St.
Gary(Tuesday, March 12 19 04:24 pm EDT)
I would like to know when 139 Main St. will be razed. It is supposed to be a danger to the public and it is still erect. I think Jim and AJ hit it right on the nose when they broke that it is probably because the city administrators know that the city is broke and they do not want to publicly admit what they have done to anyone. Namely spend the city into bankruptcy, at least nearly because they will simply raise property taxes to refill the coffers.
Sarah(Tuesday, March 12 19 01:57 pm EDT)
Don’t forget the rest of the councilors who have been there for several years. Nick Koloski, Scott Pope and Abigail Kier. They deserve some of the blame as well.
Laura(Tuesday, March 12 19 12:02 pm EDT)
If the city’s flat broke how are we going to afford to pave the roads and hire more cops to protect us because the crime rate is going up? Mayor Lovett certainly isn’t doing her job and neither is Allen Damren. The public put their faith in both of them and they let us down.
Jean(Tuesday, March 12 19 10:19 am EDT)
According to the Sullivan Report article, the city should have over $1.7 million in its cash reserve account all the time for emergencies. The city councilors squandered all that money leaving us with $326,075 as of last June. Then they pass a budget that will take over $1.5 million from the cash reserves but they don’t have that kind of money in the cash reserves as they spent it all. It’s like check kiting only with a budget. So much for ethics in Claremont’s city government.
Tim(Tuesday, March 12 19 09:05 am EDT)
The city is flat broke because of Charlene Lovett and her mob of tax and spenders on the Council. I am glad all nine of them are up for reelection because most of them have to go for the betterment of Claremont.
Greg(Tuesday, March 12 19 08:47 am EDT)
The city’s cash reserves sure took a hit the last few years. Down 1.7 million using the true accurate method to figure out what the number is and down $1.9 million using New Hampshire’s phony method and that $1.9 million took a huge hit because of the Topstone tax forgiveness deal that Ryan McNutt and temporary assessor Joe Lessard cooked up behind closed doors at City Hall. Ryan McNutt deserved to be fired for that. Mayor Charlene Lovett and Allen Damren our Assistant Mayor are the architects to this disaster because they have led the council down the garden path with all sorts of spending in Claremont has nothing to show for it except an empty cash reserve account. Property taxes will be on the rise mark my words.
Alice(Tuesday, March 12 19 06:41 am EDT)
Clean audit my Aunt Fanny. The city employees keep pulling a fast one on the taxpaying public with their shifty jibber jabber. Mayor Lovett and the city councilors are no help either as they are either too stupid to figure out what’s going on or do they know what’s going on and they are colluding with the city employees to hide the truth about their spending practices and how they are hurting Claremont and the taxpayers with their addiction to spending. It’s time for new leaders at City Hall and on the city council.
Susan(Tuesday, March 12 19 05:48 am EDT)
I am very disappointed with the school board. Cory was a great candidate and they hire another flatlander to screw things up here. How many times does this have to happen before the idiots in Claremont learn? Didn’t they pay attention during the Middleton, Santagate, and McNutt years?
Jim Sullivan(Monday, March 11 19 06:48 pm EDT)
Excellent question Jake. The Topstone Holdings tax waiver will not affect the Unassigned Fund Balance figure of $326,075 calculated using the
Generally Accepted Accounting Principle method because that is based on what the City actually had on hand as of June 30, 2018. This is why we use that number because it is based on reality. The Topstone Holdings tax waiver will affect the $2,650,423 figure that the City uses based on the NH Tax Rate Setting method, which to me is a BS number because it inflates the true number by adding in money that is owed them may never be collected. The Topstone Holdings tax money that was owed before Ryan McNutt and Joe Lessard secretly waived that tax debt would have been included in that $2,650,423 amount.
Bill(Monday, March 11 19 06:47 pm EDT)
Now Jake, we all know Nick had nothing to do with the Topstone Back Taxes being erased. Just ask Nick, he will tell you he recused himself from all the council discussions.
Jake(Monday, March 11 19 05:54 pm EDT)
Hay Jimmy, did that quarter million forgiveness to Top Stone LLC so Nick could stay in business affect these numbers you are reporting? Won’t see that in the Nickel Times.
Dave(Monday, March 11 19 04:23 pm EDT)
Here we go again, another person from Mass running the schools! Some people never learn
Jeff(Monday, March 11 19 02:50 pm EDT)
The auditors missed a $2,723,368 error in the city’s auditing report. Boy these people sure are sharp auditors aren’t they? I wonder what else they missed?
Steve(Monday, March 11 19 11:47 am EDT)
Allot of people are commenting on Facebook that they really miss the outdoor pool that was condemned so they could build a country cub for the elite and leave the lower income without. Let’s all the left over money and build them a big water park so they have something to do too. Oh wait we don’t have any money left. Sorry little guy.
Ken(Monday, March 11 19 11:46 am EDT)
The boobs are the voters who elected these tax-and-spend imbeciles.
Todd(Monday, March 11 19 11:19 am EDT)
What a bunch of boobs. This present-day city council is destroying Claremont.
Brian(Monday, March 11 19 08:53 am EDT)
Spend and spend and then spend some more until you wipe up all of the city’s savings. Instead of $1.7 million the city has practically zero dollars in savings thanks to the likes of Charlene Lovett and Allen Damren and Scott Pope and Nick Koloski and Abigail Kier and the other councilors who believe that spending money is the only thing that they were elected to do when they are really supposed to be acting responsibly with the taxpayers money. Way to go Council! Woo Hoo!
Barry(Monday, March 11 19 08:15 am EDT)
Industrial Property Owner You make good points. Including connecting this to the last two managers. THEY HAVE HELP FROM BEHIND THE SCENES. In city hall and out side of city hall. Just think what a a welcome city (sanctuary) city is going to do to the equation. Hope the next manager has broad shoulders because this mess will be blamed on him. MARK THAT DOWN.
Industrial Property Owner(Monday, March 11 19 08:01 am EDT)
The latest Sullivan Report exposé pertaining to the city’s depleted cash reserves is chilling. Claremont’s municipal government business model of intentionally maintaining a structural budget deficit that utilizes cash reserves for day-to-day operational expenses is an unsustainable and irresponsible management practice. Yet the Santagate Administration and the short-lived McNutt Administration and the city councilors who did their bidding all cavalierly utilized that unprofessional practice to maintain negligent spending practices while artificially suppressing the property tax rate by draining cash reserves year after year. Now it is time to pay the piper as these reckless management practices have run its course by raiding all of the city’s cash reserves leaving nothing in its wake. The Sullivan Report exposé points out the professional business practice of keeping 10% of the municipal budget in a cash reserve account for unexpected emergencies and presently that would require a balance of $1,725,979. Moody’s recently increased the city’s bond rating based on a financial picture that included sufficient municipal government cash reserves that the present-day city council has very efficiently wiped out with unrestrained spending that has jeopardized Claremont’s solvency leaving only one option of increased taxation to remedy the situation. This revelation should crystallize in everyone’s minds the necessity of electing new city councilors, who will be frugal with the public’s money and begin the process of fixing the damage that our current leadership have caused.
Rick(Monday, March 11 19 02:18 am EDT)
The SAU Board really does not like Cori LeClair. She is a very competent local girl and they cast her aside for another Massachusetts bureaucrat that will want to spend Claremont taxpayers into poverty and not improve the crappy schools we have here in Claremont.
Tom(Monday, March 11 19 12:45 am EDT)
If Allen Damren is so damn smart and how did he miss the bamboozle that the finance director and the ex-city manager pulled on the council last year? Having only $326,075 in savings left and budgeting to withdraw $1,564,590 at some point in the near future is crazy. It is probably illegal and yet Damren and all the other tax and spend morons on the council went along with it no problem at all. Either Allen is a lot dumber than people think or he knew about it and said nothing because it kept the spending alive for one more year. Typical liberal thinking.
Jim Sullivan(Sunday, March 10 19 03:05 pm EDT)
Three articles published today.
1) SAU #6 School Board appoints new Superintendent!
2) Claremont School Budget Vote on Tuesday!
3) The bombshell article we promised.
Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
John(Friday, March 08 19 06:13 am EST)
Claremont is consistently at the top end of spending and at the bottom of the State in educational results.
It’s not just one or two years, it’s every year.
If you had a business, where you invested and continued to invest each year in your product (students) and each year your production failed to meet expectations, you would have to consider closing that business but with the Claremont school system, they continue throwing good money after bad.
The solution ?
Better accountability. Make everyone involved accountable for the results, teachers, students and more importantly Parents.
Parents must know that if their child does not preform up to the standards set forth by the state, they will not graduate or move on to the next grade.
The school system has to stop promoting students who do not meet those standards set forth by the state and do what they were hired to do and that is educate.
Jerry(Thursday, March 07 19 06:05 pm EST)
Frank, I can totally admit I was wrong in my assumption.It doesn't matter.Hell,I would bet the Obama girls get $50k per year spent on 'em.But we ain't Obamas,and this aint't Washington,or Ezeter or Portsmouth.Look around Frank,we're poor.It may not be $19k but it's about all we got!
Frank(Thursday, March 07 19 03:11 pm EST)
Jerry said we payed 19k per student. We don't. Jerry said it's among the highest in the country. It isn't. There was nothing in my comment that could be construed as liking the numbers. Just giving correct info. Y'all need to chill.
Jerry(Thursday, March 07 19 02:11 pm EST)
I took a look at the website Frank posted and if you scroll way down you can find the education tax rates for all of the communities of New Hampshire.
What Frank failed to tell you with his cherry picking of data is that out of ALL OF NEW HAMPSHIRE WE ARE #1 OUT OF EVERY OTHER COMMUNITY.We pay $42 per thousand.Most communities pay in the $25 per thousand range.
We pay more of our own wealth to city and education funding than any other community in New Hampshire.
Our problem lies in the expense side of the equation.We are already giving more revenue than anybody else!
Jerry(Thursday, March 07 19 01:38 pm EST)
The takeaway from Frank's homework is we spend more than the average community in New Hampshire,despite having the lowest incomes in the state.Frank won't post per capita incomes though.He don't care if you can't afford his and/or his wife's bigger paychecks and retirement.
Just shut up and pay!
Jerry(Thursday, March 07 19 01:33 pm EST)
Frank, I would bet those communities spending $21k per student have at twice the per capita income of Claremont.
Ferrari has a dealer in Portsmouth too,why none in Claremont?
Frank(Thursday, March 07 19 01:00 pm EST)
Jerry, try to look things up before shooting off. 15,800 is the State average. Claremont spends 16,400.
There are plenty of districts spending 21k + for education. Not just smaller schools too.
Steven(Wednesday, March 06 19 03:50 pm EST)
I am hearing Koloski should be censured for doxing and foul language as well. I seem to remember him posting documents on Face Book of business deals of members of the community with sensitive information. Seems he told a State Rep to go F—- himself in public.
James(Wednesday, March 06 19 02:23 pm EST)
Will the Council be censuring Assistant Mayor Damren and Mayor Lovett for blatantly violating the Council Rules since it was done during a meeting?
Jerry(Wednesday, March 06 19 12:18 pm EST)
I believe we spend over $19,000 per student.This is probably among the highest educational spending anywhere in the country.
Does the school board just want my house?I don't have any more money to give them,and I don't even have kids.
Barry(Wednesday, March 06 19 10:11 am EST)
William More and more info about Koloski keeps coming out. I ran to an insider at Eagle Slimes the other day. They are getting sick of Nick bringing prepared statements to publish in the paper and demanding them to do it. Chaisson and Nick are tight too. Nick has more people thinking he is Saint Nick by his orchestrated BS and when the truth comes out and it will they will all go down with him. Chaisson hasn’t had an opinion that makes sense since his arrival. I sure hope the big news coming from Jim and AJ exposes the corruption in city hall. Not any time to soon. Let’s get a local manager with honesty and integrity if there any left.
William(Wednesday, March 06 19 05:15 am EST)
I just finished reading today's Eagle Times and boy that editor Bill Chaisson is a real A-hole. His editorial today is about Newport but I believe there is a Claremont connection. It is about the school budget and how some residents want to lower the tax impact of that budget. In my opinion there's nothing wrong with that but Bill Chaisson wrote in his editorial that if the taxes go up tough and he blames the public and the school board for not raising taxes sooner and he chastises them for underfunding schools for years. Bill Chaisson does not live in Newport nor does he live in Claremont. He rents an apartment in Unity as he stated that in one of his earlier editorials. So the tax rate does not affect him in either Newport and Claremont but he is always advocating for higher and higher spending which does not affect him at all. I have never met Bill Chaisson but he seems like an arrogant, smug SOB that most people would dislike if they met him. The Eagle Times has really gone downhill under his so-called leadership. They do not really report the news anymore, just stay politically correct version of design to put the most positive face possible on everything unless they have an ax to grind against someone in many times I think it may be personal. Perhaps not for the newspaper itself but for someone affiliated with it at least somewhat. I'm referring to Councilman Nick Koloski who is the key holder to the building where the Eagle Times is located. The owner of the building is one of the owners of the Topstone building and during that entire time very little was printed about it in the Eagle Times. Nick Koloski is always getting a lot of puff pieces in the Eagle Times even though most of the so-called donations were from other people and Nick Koloski simply collected them and took credit for himself. I have no faith in the so-called reporting of the Eagle Times or in Bill Chaisson's opinions. I intend to cancel my subscription.
Bob(Tuesday, March 05 19 05:50 pm EST)
So how much did this Facebook Fishing Trip cost the tax payers in legal fees?
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, March 05 19 05:43 pm EST)
Was just reminded by a reader that at the beginning of the Feb 27 Council meeting when Mayor Lovett read her prepared statement regarding her alleged interference, Councilor Andrew O’Hearne asked why she was talking about an agenda item during Mayor’s Notes, a violation of Council rules. Assistant Mayor Damren arrogantly replied “because we can”.
Sarah(Tuesday, March 05 19 04:00 pm EST)
I don’t think the councilors really want to give any big increases to anyone. Lovett and Koloski seem more focused on giving the veterans an increase up to $500 like the other towns are because that is an embarrassment to the community but I don’t believe they want to do anything with the seniors except maybe a small token gesture before the election to try to win themselves some votes in the ballot box.
John(Tuesday, March 05 19 01:39 pm EST)
Why is anyone surprised by the outcome , of course there was a deal.
All sides in this issue were wrong, Councilor Stone, Sam the Satan worshiper, Mayor Lovett.
I am sure this issue will start all over again next Christmas season, hopefully a new Council will handle it differently.
Brad(Tuesday, March 05 19 01:05 pm EST)
I agree with Jim and AJ that Mr. Hamilton and members of the administration are keeping the imbeciles on the council in the dark about tax exemptions for the elderly and tax credits for our brave veterans. I believe they are trying to minimize any changes that councilors may make by manipulating the data. Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Maranville are two very intelligent gentleman and they understand how statistics and other information can be played around with two make things say pretty much anything and unscrupulous person may want them to say. Jim and AJ are also aware that the current nine city councilors are a bunch of morons strut around like they’re all really important because of their overinflated egos but they are not accomplishing a damn thing except bring in the tax rate up with crazy spending.
Jennifer(Tuesday, March 05 19 12:43 pm EST)
It certainly does look like there was an agreement among the councilors to drop both the censure and the investigation. In my opinion, Charlene Lovett and Allen Damren never would have dropped the censure unless there was something to their interfering with city business and a good chance of both of them losing their seats plus the public embarrassment, etc. that would come with such a scandal. I am beginning to think that no one on this council has any ethics.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, March 05 19 11:22 am EST)
February 27 Council meeting synopsis.
Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Barry(Friday, March 01 19 07:30 pm EST)
HYPOCRITES at their best. I sure hope Jim and AJ do what they do best and investigate the Killays and their Hypocrite friends posting all over Face Book. I have as of late seen some of their doxxing and far less than appropriate postings targeting certain classes of people. The only difference is that the never ending running of their mouth is taking over the FB pages. As I was sitting in front of my TV I almost spit out my coffee when Trish Lynn? Killay? says on TV she took posts out of context to doxx and slam Joe Osgood. If she is taking one thing out of context to defame someone what else is she doing BEHIND the scenes. The stuff on her and others pages and posts are as bad if not more hateful than what Councilor Stone did. These whiners will not give up until they have destroyed the city. That is their goal. Jim and AJ do what you do best and dig into their posts and Expose them for the scum they are.
James Carter(Wednesday, February 27 19 03:04 pm EST)
No question Nick has been treated with favoritism. That’s putting it mildly. My thinking is he is in this up to his eyeballs. I hope people see this in November.
Steve(Wednesday, February 27 19 10:07 am EST)
I am tired of Nick Koloski’s smugness as he continues to get away with more and more crap. I want him off the Council too.
Ted(Wednesday, February 27 19 09:28 am EST)
I believe Nick Koloski is way more involved in the Topstone building and all the special treatment he and the owners received from city officials including the quarter of $1 million property tax bill waiver and the 76% property assessment abatement. I am tired of the corruption and I am not alone in that regard.
Keith(Wednesday, February 27 19 08:07 am EST)
Mr. McNutt was all fired up about fixing all the dilapidated buildings in Claremont when all he and his people were looking the other way with the Topstone building. The hypocrisy never ends in Claremont.
Kevin(Tuesday, February 26 19 01:55 pm EST)
It’s interesting that Pfeifer hired a top gun attorney to represent him. Andru Volinsky’s services do not come cheap and he was a representative for Claremont in the old lawsuit. There is talk about another lawsuit coming that Claremont could be involved with and I am curious if Volinsky will represent Claremont in that case. I also wonder if Volinsky’s status as a member of the Gov.’s Council could in any way be considered a conflict of interest. On the other hand, is it like in Claremont on the City Council, where members of the Gov.’s Council do not pay attention to rules, regulations, etc. and arrogantly feel that none of those things applies to them?
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, February 26 19 10:24 am EST)
It is highly unlikely that the Search Committee will provide any additional information than they already have, as they will presumably classify any other information that they gathered as personnel and not subject to right to know requests.
Of course, there are other ways to obtain information on the Internet.
In regards to Cory LeClair, according to her LinkedIn Biography, Cory was an elementary school teacher for the Attica NY School District between August 2004 and June 2009 (a total of 4 years 11 months).
In regards to Michael Tempesta, his LinkedIn biography has far less information stated. It only lists his tenure as the Superintendent of Saugus Massachusetts Public Schools July 2013-October 2015 (a total of 3 years 4 months) and Executive Director of the Central Massachusetts Special Education Collaborative October 2015-Present (a total of 3 years 5 months). The information provided by the search committee does state that Mr. Tempesta was a high school English teacher at Ashland MA High School, but it does not state the years he was there in that position.
The upcoming meet and greet would be an excellent opportunity for someone to ask Mr. Tempesta that question.
Steve R.(Tuesday, February 26 19 07:24 am EST)
Who cares if she wasn't a teacher? She's a Claremont resident with kids in our schools. Quit your whining and give her the job!
AnotherWhiteWash@sau6.org(Monday, February 25 19 05:23 pm EST)
Please...for the sake of the staff...ask "exactly" how long each finalist had their own classroom. You'll need to be specific. The union hadn't been able to get a straight answer. Insider says the choice has already been made.
Stacked(Monday, February 25 19 05:19 pm EST)
Wth. Does Unity pay 3/7 of the school budget? Then why do they have 3/7 of the search committee?
Jeff(Monday, February 25 19 05:05 pm EST)
Wow! We have building inspectors that do not inspect buildings unless the building owner puts in for a building permit to actually fix up the property. Fire inspectors who are so lackadaisical they let code infractions go unaddressed for years and there was never any fines levied because no deadlines are set and that is a very clever workaround to the entire code enforcement system. What I am wondering is if hush-hush cash inducements played a role in this kind of behavior from our enforcement people? I know what would be impossible to prove but it sure would explain a lot.
Tom(Monday, February 25 19 03:20 pm EST)
Here we go again now we have three top paid employees either terminated or suspended with pay that we the taxpayers are paying for and we get no work or any benefit out of any of them. We are not talking chump change here this is serious dollars being spent for nothing. Claremont is turning into a hellhole because our city leaders and school leaders do not know what the hell they are doing and it is costing taxpayers a pretty penny for their ignorance and stupidity. The voters need to start picking better leaders and demanding results.
Joanne(Monday, February 25 19 01:43 pm EST)
Boy Police Chief Chase sure loves his secrets doesn’t he? Crime is going up in Claremont so to hide it Police Chief Chase stops including the crime statistics in his monthly police report to the city councilors. Then of course either the councilors didn’t notice or they realize that crime is increasing and they do not want the public to know about it because it ruins the illusion they are trying to create that everything is wonderful in Claremont. When the interim superintendent is suspended Police Chief Chase goes to work with his redaction marker and hides virtually all the information in the police reports to hide the truth from the press and the public. Kudos to the Union Leader and the Valley News for pushing back because Police Chief Chase could not legally justify all the redactions so he was forced to release another less redacted version so the Union Leader and the Valley News could report the truth to their readers. I just don’t trust Police Chief Chase anymore.
Greg(Monday, February 25 19 11:55 am EST)
The Sullivan Report expose about the Topstone building show the depths of corruption within Claremont’s municipal government deeding back as far as the year 2012. I have no doubt it goes back further than that. Nick Koloski is bad news and the voters of Claremont have got to vote him out of office in November. I do not believe for one second that he is there for the greater good. I believe he is there for what is good for Nick Koloski and nothing else.
Jim Sullivan(Monday, February 25 19 11:48 am EST)
SAU #6 Superintendent Search Finalists announced!
Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Mike(Monday, February 25 19 09:58 am EST)
Nick Koloski continues to get special privileges because of his status as a city councilor and possibly as a call firefighter when it comes to fire safety code enforcement for his businesses and for the Topstone building, where his businesses are located. I am very disappointed in the fire chief and the deputy chief for putting people at risk to give special treatment to someone. Where the heck are their priorities? It is obvious neither one of them care about public safety I guess it is all about the paycheck for both of them.
David(Monday, February 25 19 09:22 am EST)
I see Mayor Lovett did an about-face and put Councilor Stone’s motion for an independent third-party investigation into her and possibly other city councilors on the February 27 agenda. It also looks like the February 27 meeting will include Councilor O’Hearne’s agenda item to create a policy so councilors can get items put on the agenda without the Mayor ignoring their request. It looks like pressure was applied somewhere behind the scenes after the Sullivan Report exposed the fact that Mayor Lovett had originally kept both of those items off of the February 27 agenda. This is why Councilor O’Hearne’s policy recommendation is so important because Mayor Lovett is only a ceremonial leader so she should not have more influence over what is heard at the meeting than any other councilor.
Ron(Monday, February 25 19 07:40 am EST)
Claremont resident Steven Charles is spearheading a call to action for citizens to come to the February 27 City Council meeting in a show of strong support against Claremont becoming a welcoming community or a sanctuary city or whatever else these politicians want to call it. Claremont does not need a huge influx of illegal aliens into our community. Other communities throughout the country have created all kind of problems by welcoming this population into the community and granting them a safe haven for their illegal alien status. Stop the madness by telling our counsel and no uncertain terms that we do not want Claremont to go down this road of insanity. You don’t have to speak all you need to do is be there to show your support and show the Council that we do not want to become a welcoming community or a sanctuary city. Come not only for yourself the spouses, your kids, other family members and your friends and neighbors.
Steve(Sunday, February 24 19 06:41 pm EST)
Anyone in their right mind can see the favoritism that exists for Koloski. Many around town are saying that he runs the show at Topstone and Eagle Times. This is a direct conflict and he should resign now. That letter to the state as an individual councilor is illegal. Using his position to get favoritism.
Jim Sullivan(Sunday, February 24 19 02:56 pm EST)
Three articles published today.
1) SAU #6 INCIDENT UPDATE #3!
2) FEBRUARY 27 COUNCIL MEETING AGENDA CHANGES AGAIN!
3) THE TRUE CONDITION OF THE TOPSTONE BUILDING: A CONTRADICTORY TALE!
Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Joe(Saturday, February 23 19 05:58 pm EST)
A welcoming policy should be easy and unwritten. If you want to come here and help pull the wagon and not ride in the wagon, live by the laws and rules of the city, state and government, and don’t push your agenda on the rest of population your welcome. If you try to go against this expect push back.
Teacher Bob(Saturday, February 23 19 02:04 am EST)
Read the Union Leader article on SAU6 today. We are going to end up being led by Ms LeClair (never had her own classroom for more than a few weeks) and Lavanway who was a computer installer.
Amy(Friday, February 22 19 09:20 am EST)
There is just so much going on I just do not know how anyone can keep up with it all. They goodness Jim and AJ can do that and keep the rest of us informed about what we need to know because the local press is not doing it. Now the Eagle is going to lower their standards even further so that the not even going to cover news items anymore that they cannot seem to handle. They should just close up and go away because I do not believe they are going to keep their subscribers once they start this madness. Speaking of madness what do the rest of you think of Claremont becoming a “welcoming community”? Jim and AJ did a real public service by publishing the full resolution from Portsmouth instead of the abbreviated version that Mayor Lovett showed the public and the councilors who were not secretly aware. I follow the news, I know what a sanctuary city is, and that resolution for a “welcoming community” is precisely what a sanctuary city is so these public officials are practicing semantics because the phrase sanctuary city has negative connotations. They are using word games, deceit and trickery to forward a political agenda that most people would not approve of if they knew the truth. It seems like there was collusion on the city council between Mayor Lovett, Assistant Mayor Damren and Councilors Kier, Koloski and Pope to push this sanctuary city agenda forward. I agree that they have already started with the downtown revitalization that is increasing low income Section 8 housing for the downtown region in preparation of welcoming illegal aliens and their families to Claremont. Why these councilors would want to do this to our community is beyond me. The voters have to wake up and vote out all five of these councilors in November and just hope that they cannot do too much damage before January when the new councilors are sworn in to replace them.
Teacher Bob(Friday, February 22 19 05:37 am EST)
And tell me again how the assistant superintendent is qualified? Word at the schools is their is a lack of confidence. Ask her for specifics: Has she ever had her own classroom and for exactly how long? I think you'll find she has almost NO experience as a classroom teacher; similar to Elaine Arbour,,,she is angling for the head job.
Gary(Wednesday, February 20 19 09:28 pm EST)
Abby, did you think that the Mayor and Assistant Mayor doesn't want a qualified and unbiased third-party investigator for fear that they could not control him or her and they may find evidence that one or both of them violated the city charter in regards to interference with the ex-city manager? Perhaps this is why they want a pawn they can control conducting a sham investigation.
Abby(Wednesday, February 20 19 07:20 pm EST)
A third party independent investigator would not have any connection or ties to the city council to ensure personal bias is avoided. It would also be a legal firm or representative, not a private citizen. None of the people you listed would be qualified to conduct the investigation because of their past council interactions.
Peter(Wednesday, February 20 19 11:44 am EST)
You forgot to add Bethany Yurek and Dave Putnam on your list.
Waldo(Wednesday, February 20 19 09:46 am EST)
Regarding the post below about the Eagle Times, "Circling The Drain"
You mean "The Nick Koloski Times?"
The Eagle has been circling the drain ever since they moved off River Road. Can't wait until they are out of business. One of the most one-sided liberal rags out there. I wouldn't clean up my cat's vomit with it.
But what would Nicky-boy do then? Being a keyholder for their building, I'm sure it'll damage his fragile ego when he can't send a press release to them everyday touting his philanthropy!
Oh wait, the E-ticker still loves him. Maybe they should just change their name to the E-Nicker.
Richard(Wednesday, February 20 19 09:36 am EST)
Rumor has it this is the short list of candidates for the third party independent investigator into alleged improprieties of Claremont city councilors.
Of course if the Council wants real investigators who would actually get to the truth how about the guys at the Sullivan Report?
Jim Sullivan(Wednesday, February 20 19 06:12 am EST)
Two new articles published today.
1) SAU #6 Incident Update #2.
2) Interesting changes made to the February 27 Council meeting agenda.
Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Paul(Tuesday, February 19 19 08:10 pm EST)
I was having a conversation with a friend who lives in Lewiston Maine and once a Professor at the University of Maine at Farmington, I told him of the situation that's unfolding right now in Claremont. I mentioned they want to make it a welcoming city. " Who is they" ? I told him the mayor & assistant mayor and half of the council and a company called Municipal Resources Inc. He responded, " ARE YOU KIDDING ME! MRI!!! They're one of the companies that are
helping plan the flood of migrants into Maine. I ask how was Lewiston Maine? He responded " DO YOURSELF A FAVOR AND TYPE IN LEWISTON MAINE KENNEDY PARK VIDEO IN ANY SEARCH ENGINE "Later on I did and I was horrified by what I saw, and if this is what Claremont is going to turn into, well folks the future looks grim. My friend also warned me about the leaderships wording . words like welcoming city, diversity, inclusiveness, workforce housing, those are code words to usher in socialism, he went on , “Welcoming Cities” scheme starts with the horribly offensive false premise that many among us are unwelcoming. The motives and goals of the Welcoming Cities proponents are to slander anybody who opposes there agenda “Welcoming Cities” has been compared to the sanctuary cities movement, but really, it is far worse. Sanctuary cities feature an act of law, a formal policy whereby police are refrained from enforcing immigration laws by cooperating with federal officials. Welcoming Cities is a scheme to flood communities in the United States with as many immigrants as possible, legal and illegal, without regard to resist public safety and public health". I then explained that I recently read a article that Vermont officials
confirmed one third of the migrants in Vermont have tuberculosis and welcome cities in general have the highest reported case's of measles, polo, tuberculosis, typhus outbreaks in the country.
The very fact that Claremont's leadership is willing to throw it's citizens under a bus in the name of virtue signaling or a political agenda is very troubling for Claremont.
later that night while investigating I came across The official Maine website, and it in fact list Municipal Resources, Inc. as a Planning Consultant.
CITIZENS OF CLAREMONT DON'T FORGET THAT THE FIRST WELCOMING CITY IN AMERICA WAS CHICAGO , ALSO THE DEADLIEST CITY IN AMERICA!!! If the mayor has her way Broad Street Park will
be turn into Kennedy Park!!!
Richard(Tuesday, February 19 19 01:19 pm EST)
Congratulations to Mayor Charlene Lovett, Assistant Mayor Allen Damren and City Councilors Scott Pope, Nicholas Koloski and Abigail Kier for paving the way to bring Sanctuary City status to Claremont. Your hard work and effort will not go unnoticed with the homeowners of Claremont. Many of my neighbors and my family all intend to sell our homes, pack up and move far away while you and your liberal friends transform Claremont into a community that looks like it belongs in a Third World Country. Enjoy the higher taxes and the rising crime that your harebrained scheme will create for Claremont, a once great community forever ruined by you and your colleagues. I hope you are all proud of your achievement.
Steve(Tuesday, February 19 19 11:46 am EST)
I do not like the idea of the Council not beginning the process to seek citizen applications for the city manager search committee. I did not like the comments made by Mayor Lovett and Assistant Mayor Damren about the possibility of not having a citizen appointed committee. I have this strange feeling that they want a backroom deal to hire the next city manager. Who knows maybe they already have a candidate picked out and this is why they pushed Ryan McNutt out the door to put this person in his place. I do not trust either of those two and I think they are working their own political agenda and using everyone including the administration employees in the other city councilors to forward their goals.
Laura(Tuesday, February 19 19 10:07 am EST)
I wonder whom the Council will hire to act as an independent third party to investigate the Councilors? I wonder if the person will really be very independent or if they will be instructed to clear the councilors no matter what the evidence says?
Tom(Tuesday, February 19 19 08:08 am EST)
The Eagle Times is circling the drain. Today’s editorial talks about big changes in the Eagle Times with a bigger paper. Perhaps, but what’s inside it will be nothing to write home about. They are shutting down the Argus Champion and the Valley Marketplace and incorporating them inside the Eagle Times on certain days. They are also canceling their subscriptions to the Associated Press and to Universal Syndicate so there will be no more national news or syndicated columnists in the newspaper beginning in March. Their marketing plan is to cut costs and turn the Eagle Times into a hyperlocal newspaper, whatever the hell that is. This plan is so badly formulated that Editor Bill Chaisson admits to his readers that he only has two reporters and himself in the newsroom to cover 35 communities. Then he arrogantly states the Eagle Times will not likely be breaking any new stories or probably writing articles covered elsewhere and they will only cover the news they can get to and that’s it. Talk about lowering expectations. This new version of the Eagle Times sounds dreadful and speaking as one subscriber, I suspect that I shall opt not to renew my subscription when it runs out. If they cannot be bothered to report the news then why would I want to spend my hard-earned money on their substandard newspaper?
Jim Sullivan(Monday, February 18 19 08:59 pm EST)
SAU #6 incident update on the News Flashes page of this website.
Linda(Monday, February 18 19 04:37 pm EST)
Big news day for the Sullivan Report. I am absolutely against turning Claremont into a sanctuary city or what ever city officials are trying to call it to deceive the citizens who are their constituents. I also wonder what happened with the temporary superintendent. What the heck could he have done? School officials should not be silent about this or we will begin to distrust them like we do most of the city councilors. I hope they do have an investigation on all the councilors to see what all of them did or didn't do so this could be put to bed before the elections. I am also very displeased about the Police Department. I am upset that the police chief is hiding the bad crime statistics and that he did not fight for his budget. We need cops and we are three down from normal staffing levels and it does not seem to be a priority for anyone to hire the cops. Claremont has the worst leadership we have ever had it is time to clean house and get rid of everyone at the top in the administration and start over and except for a few councilors the same clean sweep is needed there too.
Caitlin(Monday, February 18 19 02:31 pm EST)
The Council's plan to turn Claremont into a welcoming community, which is nothing more than government speak for a sanctuary city is total insanity. These liberal wing nuts are going to totally destroy the city. Who am I talking about? Lovett, Damren, Koloski, Pope and Kier, lunatics all. Koloski wants to hurry up and get this done while they still have the votes on the Council before the next election. Defunding the Police Department with crime growing and we are three cops down from normal staffing levels and wanting to entice illegal aliens to move to Claremont to increase our population is a recipe for disaster. For some reason these moron city councilors cannot see that and somehow although I cannot imagine how these imbeciles on the city council think all of this is a swell idea. It just makes me want to scream. In November we just cannot elect any of those five councilors back into public office. Claremont will never survive if we do.
Barry(Monday, February 18 19 12:01 pm EST)
Claremont is in big trouble. The stuff being exposed is telling. The behind the scenes group are definitely turning up the heat. This ridiculous social agenda they are pushing is going to further bankrupt the city. This is not Lebanon with a big business and work force base. At least three, maybe four councilors can see the problem of ramping up handouts. It is confusing to me that the tax and freebie group think the council are in control when it is in their favor like a sanctuary city but if their agenda is coming through the manager they should be kept in the dark. Can’t have it both ways. That is if you haven’t built a group behind the scenes that can get through to the manager. It helps to have that group a large percent of a hiring committee. This lynching of Councilor Stone is a smoke screen to oust him and get him out of their way. I hope some good people step up to the plate in November.
Jim Sullivan(Monday, February 18 19 10:04 am EST)
Three new articles today.
1) Was SAU #6 Interim Superintendent Keith Pfeifer terminated? Or is he about to be?
2) February 13 Claremont City Council meeting synopsis.
3) Claremont’s Flip-Flop Councilors!
Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Brian(Sunday, February 17 19 08:13 am EST)
Don? You mention letters. What letters? If they are not public they don’t exist. Stirring the pot are we.
Don(Saturday, February 16 19 08:32 pm EST)
I do not understand why the city is keeping the letters written by Mr. Sweet and Mr. McCrory under wraps. If they implicate the Mayor regarding the violation of the city charter with interference then the public should know about this and she should be investigated and punished if found guilty. Both men are no longer employed with the city so it should not matter about keeping the letters a secret. It sounds like a big cover up to me.
George(Saturday, February 16 19 12:41 am EST)
Tom, what do you expect with so many liberal tax and spenders on the city council. Kier, Koloski, Pope, Damren and Lovett all seem to be in tune to make this happen before the next election. God help us.
Tom(Friday, February 15 19 10:27 pm EST)
I just read on facebook that the councilors are considering turning Claremont into a sanctuary city. They are going to discuss it at their next meeting. Are they out of their minds?
Brian(Friday, February 15 19 03:40 pm EST)
Tricky Nicky has been very quiet on Facebook. Could he be clearing up his off color posts so he can for against Stone. John O’Connor should go to the council and expose Nick foul statements. I guess Nick needs to go. Then maybe the favoritism can stop.
Rachel(Wednesday, February 13 19 11:09 am EST)
Tonight we'll see if the councilors all fall into line like a bunch of brain-dead lemmings and vote in the positive to transfer the money from the police department to pay the attorney and consultant fees for the councilors. I'm sure they'll try to say oh no it's not really the police officer money where touching but something else from the police department to try to gain some political cover for what they're really doing. I for one will not buy any excuse to come up with and I hope none of you do as well. These councilors will say or do anything to cover their own asses. This is why we need new leaders.
Jerry(Wednesday, February 13 19 10:33 am EST)
We can spend $90,000 ea. for 3 special needs students that will never work,but we can't pay $83,000 for a needed police officer.
Here's an idea- Let those 3 special needs students stay home,we hire a cop,and put $180,000 in the bank.
Ken(Wednesday, February 13 19 09:42 am EST)
This Council has a spending problem. The Claremont voters need to kick Claire Lessard, Allen Damren, Charlene Lovett, Abigail Kier, Nick Koloski & Scott Pope off the Council in November. The taxpayers can no longer afford their liberal tax-and-spend way of thinking.
Diane(Wednesday, February 13 19 07:55 am EST)
Claremont has a lot of raw potential that will never be realized with the terrible leaders we have today because they repeatedly place their own selfish interests before the greater good.
Karen(Tuesday, February 12 19 02:07 pm EST)
The Council spending one heck of a lot of money firing and replacing Ryan McNutt. It seems to my husband and me that to these councilors money is no object. They figure they can keep spending lots of dough because they can always tax the public more money. The voters need to elect new people to the Council that will be more frugal with our money.
Erik(Tuesday, February 12 19 01:19 pm EST)
I agree, Mark Chase does not seem to be well-suited to management of the police department. Crime is on the rise and he sits and twiddles his thumbs. It seems the police chief is also going to roll over and let the Council take the money he set aside for hiring a new police officer. If he doesn’t fight to keep this money then he needs to go. If he won’t fight for his officer’s safety and the safety of the public then Claremont would be well rid of him.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, February 12 19 11:25 am EST)
Laura, earlier this morning I submitted a Right to Know Request for the Claremont crime statistic report comparing November 2018 with November 2017. I expect to have the documents within a week or so, then we will review the information and report our findings in an article.
Laura(Tuesday, February 12 19 11:05 am EST)
I would like to know what kinds of crimes are going up and just how bad things are. Perhaps it is time for a new police chief too.
Don(Tuesday, February 12 19 09:24 am EST)
Doesn’t anyone on the city council have any intelligence at all? Taking money away from the police department for any reason to pay lawyers and consultants for indecisive city councilors to feel better about the decisions they make is just plain stupid. Stealing the funding to hire a new police officer when Claremont is undergoing a crime spree is a whole other level of stupid. The voters have to replace these clods in November.
Rick(Tuesday, February 12 19 07:17 am EST)
The Police Chief pulls the local crime statistics from his monthly report to the Council that people can read on the city website to hide from everyone the rising crime rate in several categories presumably to try to save his job. The Council can't stop spending oodles of money on consultants and attorneys because they need to be mollycoddled to counter their indecisiveness. The bills are piling up and the Council spent money they didn't have so their solution is to stop the police chief from hiring another police officer by taking that money to pay for their expensive safety net of handlers. Gotta love Claremont and the stupid public officials it produces.
Jerry(Tuesday, February 12 19 07:05 am EST)
Mary Walters is a big part of the problem!!!!!
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, February 12 19 03:15 am EST)
Two articles published today!
1) McNutt’s termination proving to be costly to the taxpayers!
2) Council to raid Police budget to pay for Lawyers and Consultants!
Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Thomas(Monday, February 11 19 02:10 pm EST)
I think the councilors are nuts to make applicants for city manager submit to a psychological exam. I doubt many will go for that and we may end up with another unqualified city manager. Boy oh boy the city council has got to go.
Jerry(Monday, February 11 19 01:04 pm EST)
The student population is going down dramatically,why isn't the school spending going down?
Jerry(Monday, February 11 19 01:02 pm EST)
$90,000 per student annually!
This is for people that will never have to work.Are we nuts or what? That's a lot of loot for re re school.
Soak the parents,not me for Christ's sake!
Industrial Property Owner(Monday, February 11 19 10:22 am EST)
I haven't participated in a while but I just had to comment about the extreme shortsightedness and foolishness of our city council. Procrastination is never a good management tactic. Psychological assessments of applicants is a touchy subject and it could very well cause well-qualified applicants to withdraw themselves from consideration. It is a frightening thought that there is the very real possibility of the 2019 city council being in total control of the municipal government in July in the event that a city manager is not hired by then. I'm sure that clause within the city charter was placed there to prevent the presence of a long-term interim city manager. I'm also sure that the authors of that clause did not consider the possibility of the voters electing a large group of incompetent nincompoops all at one time placing them in charge of the city government. The only thing we can do is hope and pray that this process does not encounter any glitches and that a competent professional city manager can be found and hired before July 1.
Jim Sullivan(Monday, February 11 19 08:00 am EST)
Two articles published today.
1) School Deliberative Session for Fiscal Year 2019-2020!
2) The City Council begins to search for the next City Manager!
Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Andrea(Friday, February 08 19 04:58 pm EST)
Maybe it's time for all of us to chip in and hire a lawyer and hit these jerks where it hurts, they all need to be prosecuted.
Sarah(Friday, February 08 19 03:17 pm EST)
We know we have bad city leaders when they are not even smart enough to properly fund the paving line in the budget. Nevertheless, they have no problem spending lots of money on lawyers, consultants and big multimillion-dollar projects that will do nothing for the true betterment of Claremont. These bad city leaders are Claremont’s worst enemy because they are stopping our community’s progress.
Gary(Friday, February 08 19 01:48 pm EST)
I am still upset about all the special treatment that the owners of the Topstone building are receiving. A lot of public funds and grant money paid with public funds are being used to examine and come up with a plan to clean up the toxic site that still has not been evacuated yet for public safety reasons. It seems to me that Nick Koloski’s city councilor status has a very long reach within City Hall. A write off of about $225,000 in back property taxes that the taxpayers will never see because of this secret sweetheart deal. A 76% property assessment reduction to sweeten that deal even more. So far Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Maranville cannot seem to find any building code infractions when the ex-city manager and the ex-city solicitor swore there was a very long list to talk the city councilors out of taking possession of the building for back property taxes that were never paid. While the former city manager and the former city assessor from MRI secretly negotiated the tax write off and property assessment reduction deal with the owners of the Topstone property. This whole thing has been a scandal right from the beginning and few city councilors are taking these revelations seriously. Naturally, Nick Koloski is not because he has a conflict of interest but what is Scott Pope’s interest in all this? He has fought every opportunity to gain taxpayer relief and justice for this issue. He has taken sides with Nick Koloski, which in my opinion is the same side as the owners of the Topstone building. Why Scott Pope is betraying the trust of taxpayers for this issue is very puzzling to me. I doubt he will ever state the real reason why he is doing this but it does not matter. Scott Pope has shown his true loyalties and they do not lie with you, me or any other average citizen in Claremont. Scott Pope does not deserve to be a city councilor or serve on any board or committee in relation to the city, county or schools. Scott Pope is bad news and it is time for him to be permanently retired from public office courtesy of the voters of Claremont. Let us hope that 2020 will usher in a new era of true representative government with elected officials that are honest and transparent with the citizens they serve. To do that we need new leaders because our present-day leaders have failed us repeatedly.
Gail(Friday, February 08 19 12:49 pm EST)
I saw a copy of the agenda for the next Council meeting in the newspaper. Mayor Lovett is going to sing the praises of Peter Wright at the next meeting. After reading how large financial losses for the hospital occurred under his watch leaving the hospital in precarious financial jeopardy with Mayor Lovett’s help no less as she was a member of the Board of Directors for Valley Regional Hospital during those years, I do not know how Mayor Lovett can honestly bestow any honor whatsoever on Peter Wright. It makes a mockery of other worthy citizens deserving of such notoriety. This just proves to me that Mayor Lovett’s words and actions cannot be trusted under any circumstances and it is time for the voters of Claremont to repudiate her for the type of person that she is and cast her off the Council in November.
Travis(Friday, February 08 19 11:20 am EST)
We certainly do the new leadership. Clods like Scott Pope and Nick Koloski have been on the Council for far too long. Neither of them are intelligent nor representing the average taxpayer. Charlene Lovett and Allen Damren I representing the so-called upper crust of Claremont, the special interests who believe themselves to be the behind the scenes movers and shakers of our community. Claire Lessard is well intentioned but incredibly dimwitted with nothing really to offer. She wanted to keep Ryan McNutt for heaven sakes, and we now all know how bad his record was in Lancaster Massachusetts and that he did not learn from the mistakes that he made there. I believe Jonathan Stone also needs replacing because of the viewpoints he made on Facebook are not in tune with the average Claremont citizen and that makes him a poor representative of the people. Abigail Kier is just too much of a tax and spender for my taste, which only leaves Councilors O’Hearne & Zullo as members worthy of reelection.
Michael(Friday, February 08 19 07:10 am EST)
I blame Mayor Charlene Lovett and Assistant Mayor Allen Damren for not looking out for the taxpaying public’s best interests. These two definitely have control issues. They both want to be in power but they do not seem to know what to do with the power once they have it. They badly handled the Topstone scandal and Mr. McNutt’s sneaky attempt to give 15% to 30% raises to the top paid municipal employees just to give the city assessor’s position a salary boost so he could hire the one person that he wanted who demanded higher compensation. The community center continues to lose money and public works and secretarial employees within the municipal government still have no contract and cannot even eke out a 2% pay raise in contract negotiations. As leaders go Lovett and Damren are remarkably incompetent and the other members of the council are not exactly brilliant leaders either. Some I believe are there for their own self-aggrandizement or for personal financial reasons. I am hopeful with so much local unrest that this election year will bring out new candidates to replace city councilors that most definitely need to go. In my humble opinion, the only city councilors worth salvaging are Andrew O’Hearne, Jonathan Stone and Jeremy Zullo. The others either have been there for too long, accomplishing nothing or have conflicts of interest or a propensity to represent special interests to the detriment of the constituents they were elected to represent. It is time for a change and the only way to make that happen is to elect honest citizens who will have only one goal in mind and that is to represent the best interests of the citizens of Claremont.
Katherine(Thursday, February 07 19 03:47 pm EST)
Mayor Lovett and the rest of the city councilors need to stop with the wasteful spending and focus on the true needs of the community. Claremont's roadways must be paved and maintained. That takes money that our city councilors are simply not allocating to the proper budget. Their management skills are abysmal between their constant need to spend money foolishly to justify their existence and their predilection to avoid making difficult decisions by tabling issues or sending them to committee upon committee for review. Forget the Pleasant Street revitalization and start reenergizing the community with functional roadways that are not an embarrassment to the taxpaying public.
Dan(Thursday, February 07 19 01:55 pm EST)
I hope the city councilors do not go forward with a $5.5 million downtown plan. That money would be better spent on fixing up the city roads that we all use every day. Cars are being beaten to shit because of all the bumps and potholes and those are the main thoroughfares. Don’t get me started about the back roads they are even worse. No funding for three years and then less than $250,000 for this year. What the hell are these councilors thinking? The roads will not fix themselves and what little money they are putting in the budget won’t even fund a modest Band-Aid approach. Come this November my family and I will not vote for any incumbent. None of them have proven worthy of our vote.
Joel(Thursday, February 07 19 12:54 pm EST)
I appreciate Jim and AJ showing everyone the important excerpts from the old traffic report so we know the upside and downside of each alternative. I also appreciate their checking with the NH DOT to confirm that the city council isn’t as omnipotent as they think they are in that they do not have the authority to either shut down or make a change to one-way traffic on Pleasant Street. I really believe that all but three of the city councilors (Zullo, O’Hearne & Stone) are either complete imbeciles (Lessard, Koloski & Pope) or higher functioning idiots with a love for expanding government bureaucracy and spending through increased taxation of the citizenry (Lovett, Damren & Kier). Claremont needs to elect new city councilors in November.
Lisa(Thursday, February 07 19 11:47 am EST)
I think it’s a pipe dream to believe that Pleasant Street will ever come back to what it used to be. Years ago, you needed old-fashioned stores because you didn’t have the Internet where you could buy stuff online and have it shipped directly to your home easy peasy lemon squeezy. Times have changed and our elected officials have to join the rest of us in this century and change their thinking. If they can’t that it’s time for us to elect new leadership this November.
Mike(Thursday, February 07 19 11:17 am EST)
I agree with Tom. Level the Topstone building and to hell Nick Koloski.
Tom(Thursday, February 07 19 11:10 am EST)
I do happen to support Nancy Merrill’s solution because she is dealing with building owners that are thumbing their noses at the system and getting away with it. Probably because they have a city councilor in their pocket so to speak as their primary tenant. If they can find the source of the contaminants then they may be able to take that property owner to court and have them clean up their property, the Topstone property and everything else in the middle. I’m guessing that’s the plan. As far as the Topstone property is concerned, I think the city should condemn it, evict all the tenants and then call in the wrecking ball and demolish the entire place as a matter of public safety and health.
Todd(Thursday, February 07 19 09:51 am EST)
Nick sure is a little weasel. I get a bang out of how many gullible people there are in Claremont. Nick does all these donation collections using his business as a drop-off point for other people to make donations supporting different causes. Toys for kids. Clothing, backpacks, tents, etc. for the homeless. Cash for the student lunches. Every time he grabs the media headlines for distributing other people’s donations when he put either little or no money into the kitty himself. Then the dopes in Claremont and the stupid news media all gush and say what a wonderful humanitarian Nick is when he really is an opportunistic narcissist with a devious mind. PT Barnum would have been proud of this one because Nick is living proof that there is a sucker born every minute for he is playing almost everyone in Claremont for a sucker. People need to wake up and see Nick for what he really is.
Renee(Thursday, February 07 19 08:04 am EST)
I am so sick and tired of all the special treatment that Councilman Nick Koloski receives from city bureaucrats and elected representatives. He continues to protest that he has absolutely nothing to do with the Topstone property but I certainly don’t believe that and neither do anyone else that I’ve talked to about this. Nick acts like an entitled little spoiled brat whose position on the Council has gone to his swelled head. I remember when he put his restaurant in in the city planning office and planning board gave his special treatment by not making him do an expensive change of you study that every other business owner faced with a similar situation in Claremont has had to do in both the past and afterward. Lebanon just decided once again not to move forward with Keno gambling in their community but the good old Claremont Council rammed it right through so Councilor Nick could have gambling in his bar. The owners of the Topstone building aren’t paying their taxes and it’s time to take the building and sell it to recoup that money. Oh No! Can’t do that the building’s toxic and it has lots of code violations but it’s not so bad that Councilor Nick can still run his assorted businesses in the building. Huh? When new Councilors came aboard and it looked like the tide was turning in the Topstone building might become city property now ex-city manager and the MRI hired assessor work behind closed doors secretly to wipe the slate clean on nearly one quarter of $1 million worth of back property taxes and dropped the property assessment by 76%. All the while Nancy Merrill in the planning office sweet-talked the Upper Valley Lake Sunapee Regional Planning Commission to get grant funding to pay for a study of the environmental brownfield hazard site at 101 Mulberry St. known as the Topstone property. She did this because the owners of the Topstone property wrote a letter to the NH DES telling them they have no money to take care of the hazardous materials on their property. They have wells on their property but they stopped monitoring them and sending in the test results. After that study was finished Nancy Merrill sweet-talked the NH DES to pay for five monitoring wells, testing and other investigatory services costing about $45,000 and putting those wells in the city’s right-of-way next to the Topstone property. Once again, the owners get out of paying to monitor the environmental hazardous problem that is there. If anyone doesn’t believe that all of the special treatment is because Councilor Nick is the largest tenant in the building then I would love to speak with you and offer you a very sweet deal for your chance to buy the Puksta Bridge for very reasonable price. You could set up a tollbooth and make a killing.
Jim Sullivan(Wednesday, February 06 19 03:34 pm EST)
Harry, one of the owners of Topstone Holdings LLC stated in a letter addressed to the NH DES, which we have published more than once, stating that the property is not generating enough revenue for the owners to pay for anything regarding the environmental issues of the property. Claremont Planning & Development Director Nancy Merrill convinced the NH DES to place five monitoring wells on the City's right-of-way abutting the Topstone property and conduct an environmental study. NH DES will pay for this work. It is City Official's hope that this study will determine the source of the contamination. Time will tell. Topstone Holdings LLC is paying nothing for the services that are occurring on the City's right-of-way. I hope this clarifies the situation for you.
Harry(Wednesday, February 06 19 01:34 pm EST)
So??? Does that mean Topstone is getting a free ride as well??
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, February 05 19 09:29 pm EST)
Harry, while researching that article I contacted the NH DES and found out that they are paying for this project out of their Brownfield Project Funds.
Harry(Tuesday, February 05 19 08:25 pm EST)
Who the heck is paying for these brown field wells???????
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, February 05 19 02:02 pm EST)
Two new articles today.
1) Topstone Brownfields Hazardous Environmental Site Update!
2) City holds public forums to begin discussion how to revitalize Pleasant Street in Downtown Claremont!
Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Susan(Saturday, February 02 19 01:17 pm EST)
Neither the Eagle Times nor the Valley News reported the names of the Claremont school board candidates. Their reporting is getting so bad that they are not even reporting non-controversial news in a timely manner. Thank you Sullivan Report for keeping your readers well informed.
Jerry(Saturday, February 02 19 10:08 am EST)
I agree with Todd,Brian Rapp is bad news for taxpayers.
I wish we could buy him out of our town.
Todd(Saturday, February 02 19 12:46 am EST)
Brian Rapp is bad news, the school board stripped him of the school board chairmanship and then the voters wisely kicked him out of office. A vote for him is a vote for a step backwards.
Ashley(Friday, February 01 19 09:00 pm EST)
Thanks Jim for putting up the list of school board candidates. We appreciate all that you do.
Jim Sullivan(Friday, February 01 19 05:18 pm EST)
List of Claremont School Board Candidates just published.
Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Larry(Friday, February 01 19 08:42 am EST)
John Big acknowledgment at the last council meeting. Just saying. And were they advised about it?
John(Thursday, January 31 19 10:38 pm EST)
Bill Barrette retires after 14 years from the DPW and not one single city councilor or city administrator bothers to show up for the retirement party. What the heck is up with that?
Jeff(Wednesday, January 30 19 08:30 pm EST)
And when they clear the council what next? The FBI? Are you sure this isn’t Nick? He is the one that always brings up the AG.
Dave(Wednesday, January 30 19 06:50 pm EST)
Can we send in the NH AG to investigate all of these allegations. Thats the only way your going to know what happened behind all those closed door meetings
Ryan(Wednesday, January 30 19 02:07 pm EST)
The public needs to demand an internal City Council investigation in regards to abuse of powers.
If David Putum is telling the truth, we have a problem.
Who investigates those that need to be investigated?
A motion should be made during the next meeting, by the public, during Citizens forum, to have an independent citizen committee investigate these serious abuse of powers allegations.
Donna(Wednesday, January 30 19 12:18 pm EST)
Corruption takes many forms. I do not believe for a second that Claremont’s municipal government is corruption free.
With everything, that we see on the Sullivan Report with documented proof on everything how can any rational person not think that corruption is rampant at City Hall.
Ken(Wednesday, January 30 19 11:53 am EST)
It sure looks like Mayor Lovett has things to hide and perhaps other councilors do as well. I suspect it has something to do with the comments that Dave Putnam made at the last city council meeting about Mayor Charlene Lovett allegedly interfering with city department officials and that led to the resignations of the public works director and the city planner. If Mr. Putnam’s allegations are correct that Mayor Lovett violated the city charter and those are grounds for her removal from public office. That certainly, sounds like motive to suppress Mr. McQueen’s report by declaring it a personnel document and confidential so it is not subject to one of Mr. Sullivan’s right to know request and having the damaging excerpts of that report published on the Sullivan Report for everyone to read free of charge.
Gary(Wednesday, January 30 19 09:25 am EST)
I was very happy when Councilman Zullo requested a written report from MRI about the communication consultation that was done by Mr. McQueen. I think releasing that report to the public would provide the public with more insight as to why Mr. McNutt was fired. I do not understand why Mayor Lovett is so adamant about this written report remaining confidential if all it will include is recommendations on how to communicate better. Something else is definitely going on here because none of this looks Kosher.
Ron(Wednesday, January 30 19 09:06 am EST)
Claremont never disappoints when it comes to political intrigue. Thank goodness, we have the Sullivan Report to dig it out because if it were up to the regular press none of these things would ever be brought to light. The E- Ticker News, Valley News and the Eagle Times are all about suppressing any negative news about any local government entities or local officials instead of reporting it as legitimate, professional journalists are supposed to do. The Sullivan Report does a great job with all of their research and who can argue about any of it when the documents are published right alongside the article.
Matt(Wednesday, January 30 19 07:35 am EST)
I knew that Mr. McNutt had to go once the Sullivan Report broke the story about the Topstone property and the quarter of a million-ish dollars property tax debt gift and the 76% property assessment reduction that our now ex-city manager secretly negotiated to give the owners of the Topstone property and then not tell anyone that he did it including the city council. The benefiting property owners just so happen to be Councilor Nick Koloski’s landlords. That whole deal stunk to high heaven and that is more than enough reason to fire the man. I also can understand why Nick Koloski voted to keep Mr. McNutt on and the voters need to deal with Mr. Koloski at the next election if he even bothers to run for reelection. Personally, I think he and Claire Lessard do not have a chance in hell in winning reelection because of their terrible voting record because they both continue to vote against the public good.
Jessica(Wednesday, January 30 19 07:23 am EST)
The meeting minutes from Lancaster really changed my mind about Mr. McNutt. I was sort of on the fence if he should stay or go. I now see that the City Council made the right decision to terminate his future employment with Claremont. I too believe that MRI should not be considered to be involved in any part of the process to hire the next city manager. I would also suggest that any of the members of the last selection committee not apply this time around, as their ability to properly investigate the background of finalists has already been proven to be incredibly lacking. The City Council must get it right this time and in order to do that only citizens willing to do a good job and do all the hard work necessary to make good choices instead of just phoning it in so to speak need apply.
Mark(Wednesday, January 30 19 05:34 am EST)
I agree. I think MRI is bad news and all the MRI employees working for the city today should go away and the Claremont city government should never hire the company ever again for anything.
Tom(Wednesday, January 30 19 05:00 am EST)
I see there is no coverage in the Eagle Times and in the Valley News about the dissatisfaction Lancaster Massachusetts Selectman had with Ryan McNutt as their town administrator. You would think the fact that the complaints were eerily similar to the reasons why the Claremont City Council terminated Mr. McNutt qualifies as news. I'm not surprised as both newspapers and the E- Ticker News appeared to be more interested in controlling the news their readers see the city of just reporting what happens or what happened and letting their readers draw their own conclusions. Kudos to the Sullivan Report for being better local journalists than the rest.
Gail(Tuesday, January 29 19 09:41 pm EST)
Job are you saying that David Putnam was lying when he said that he spoke with both Scott Sweet and Mike McCrory who both told him that Mayor Lovett's constant interference was the cause for their departure? David is a very trustworthy person and he has donated many hours to the community through the school and city. I believe him and for him to say those things in a very public setting on live television for heaven's sake then it just has to be true. I know a lawyer will call it hearsay but while that may be it dosen't make it any less true. I also have friends in city government and they say that Mr. Damren is also overstepping his bounds as well. I wish there was a way to look into this in a public setting and find out the truth once and for all and if councilors did violate the city charter then they pay the price for their actions. If not then they are vindicated and then these nagging questions can be put behind us and then all of us can as you say let it go.
Job(Tuesday, January 29 19 08:59 pm EST)
Leave it to Gail to find a way to spin something to make the Mayor and city council be painted in a negative light. Since you seems todo this all the time, I have to ask what axe do you have to grind against these people? Jim has proven that Ryan was the wrong choice for Coty Manager, the council did the right thing in firing him, and that there is NO proof where the council ever overstepped their boundaries or micromanaged the City staff so why are you still trying to convince people that they did? Why don’t you do what they say in the movie Frozen and “Let it go”.
Gail(Tuesday, January 29 19 07:44 pm EST)
I believe McNutt was a bad city manager but I also believe that Mayor Lovett and other members of the city council are overstepping their authority and micromanaging the city manager and city department directors. Claremont has a broken city government and I do not know how we fix it until the November election when we have the opportunity to vote out all nine of our elected representatives.
Madeleine(Tuesday, January 29 19 05:25 pm EST)
John, you are correct, Mr. McNutt was the Council’s second choice. Laura, yes Mr. McNutt is not a nice man. Just look at the way he treated the municipal employees who work for the public works department and the secretarial municipal employees. He would not give them any raise at all but he wanted to give as much as a 30% raise to all the department directors, just so he could hire a city assessor for the exorbitant price that candidate wanted to be paid. Claremont deserves a better city manager than him. I hope the City Council reflects on this new information that the Sullivan Report brought to light, chooses a different search company than MRI and under no circumstances appoints any member from the previous Citizen search committee to the new one. If these are the only people that apply than the Council should forgo having a search committee and do the search internally with a subcommittee of Councilors.
John(Tuesday, January 29 19 05:11 pm EST)
How on God’s green earth was this information overlooked by the previous search committee?
If I remember correctly, Mr.McNutt was the second choice and was only offered the position when the first person declined.
Laura(Tuesday, January 29 19 04:40 pm EST)
Thank you Sullivan Report for publishing these meeting minutes from Lancaster Massachusetts. It certainly adds clarity to the McNutt situation. I was especially taken aback from the comments attributed to Mr. McNutt on page 2 of the July 5, 2016 meeting minutes from Lancaster. Particularly the part where Mr. McNutt supposedly stated I am the boss, don’t have to be liked. Wow, the arrogance emanating from this man is almost palatable.
Jerry(Tuesday, January 29 19 01:42 pm EST)
Who is MRI's competitor?
Shall we shop around?
Posting something on Monster might bring some talent,preferably not from Massachusetts.
Todd(Tuesday, January 29 19 01:12 pm EST)
These meeting minutes from Lancaster tell a very interesting story. McNutt is doing a terrible job yet he arrogantly asks for an extension to his contract, more vacation days and a salary bump. In response, the select board canceled his contract early and bought out the remaining time just to get rid of him. It seems practically everyone from staff to committee members to members of the select board in Lancaster were all displeased with him and McNutt replies he has no idea what anyone is talking about. I’m glad he’s gone but I have no confidence that this Council can pick a better replacement, especially with MRI helping out again after the terrible job they did last time. I’m sure MRI’s services don’t come cheap and Claremont taxpayers are not getting their money’s worth from this company.
Richard(Tuesday, January 29 19 11:42 am EST)
Allen Damren used to work for MRI. I remember reading it on the Sullivan Report, something about a Municipal Academy of some sort that MRI was running with NH Municipal Association.
Jerry(Tuesday, January 29 19 11:37 am EST)
If these people didn't do due diligence in the hiring of Mr. McNutt why aren't we clawing back that finders fee? It seems you could throw a dart at a dartboard for equal results.God knows we have enough lawyers on the payroll.Let's get the money back that should never have been paid.Pope's in cahoots with this bunch,isn't he?
Dennis(Tuesday, January 29 19 11:10 am EST)
Amy, the city manager search committee that resulted with the hiring of Ryan McNutt comprised of Jeremy Biggs, Donald Clarke, Martin Davis, Margaret Hurley, Lawrence Johnson, Cheryl Jones, Donald Limoges, Deborah Matteau, Kyle Messier, Robert Porter, Brian Rapp, Melissa Richmond and Bethany Yurek. The city hired Municipal Resources Incorporated to perform the search duties and work in concert with the search committee. I think we can all agree they all did a terrible job and I sincerely hope that none of the citizens try to involve themselves with the next city manager search. I also believe that MRI should be taken out of consideration for this next job search to replace Mr. McNutt. I am becoming very troubled as they becoming more and more intertwined with Claremont city government. This company never seems to produce quality product. Case in point MRI Assessor Joseph Lessard and the Topstone property scandal.
Tom(Tuesday, January 29 19 11:07 am EST)
Amy, MRI was hired by the city to perform the job search so their representatives should have thoroughly vetted Mr. McNutt. They clearly did a terrible job. So why is Mayor Lovett and the City Council using MRI again for the job search for the next city manager? It seems kind of dumb if you ask me.
Amy(Tuesday, January 29 19 10:54 am EST)
Why didn’t the search committee do a better job vetting Mr. McNutt’s background?
Jerry(Tuesday, January 29 19 10:06 am EST)
Whomever is in charge of code violation should be brought before the council for questioning.Should a piece of this roof fall off and kill someone,or an interior floor collapse due to the roof leaking for how many years the LLC that is Topstone would have limited liability.The Claremont taxpayers on the other hand,would be completely on the hook to make damaged parties whole.A suit like that could cost millions! To me,as a Claremont citizen I am absolutely shocked at the blatant negligence of our inspectors.Why do we continue paying the paychecks of people that don't do their job?
Jerry(Tuesday, January 29 19 09:55 am EST)
I can't help but wonder if McNutt was deceptive in his application for the city manager position.It seems he was very concerned that the Lancaster press be kept in the dark over his employment situation.
If deception was made,through omission or otherwise severance pay should be forfeited.
Should he decide to file a termination suit against Claremont,this Lancaster packet should be included in the discovery.I would file a counter suit to recoup this temporary manager salary on the grounds of his deception upon original employment.
Robert(Tuesday, January 29 19 09:36 am EST)
I’m wondering something totally different. I’m wondering if one or more of the city councilors found the Lancaster meeting minutes before the councilors deliberated Ryan McNutt’s employment fate and used the same reasons as the Lancaster officials to terminate Mr. McNutt to give themselves political and legal cover. That way if there was any backlash or pushback these councilors could simply produce the Lancaster meeting minutes as proof that McNutt had done the same thing before in another community.
Rick(Tuesday, January 29 19 09:29 am EST)
I wonder whose idea it was for the Council to hire a communications expert to try to teach Ryan McNutt how to communicate better. Since we now know that Mr. McNutt had the same problem in Lancaster MA, is it possible that Mr. McNutt somehow made a subtle suggestion to a dissatisfied Claremont City Council that communication is the problem? Perhaps he arrogantly thought that since he went through the same thing in Lancaster before that he could manipulate the Claremont City Council into keeping him by satisfying them with this training. Mr. McNutt is a very intelligent man and the Claremont city councilors are quite severely intellectually challenged.
Linda(Tuesday, January 29 19 07:08 am EST)
Eagle Times Editor Bill Chaisson really has egg on his face today. In today’s edition, he chastises the City Council for terminating Ryan McNutt and he endorses the rehiring of Mr. McNutt. Mr. Chaisson is also of the belief that the entire City Council is acting out of bounds in relation to the city charter. In my opinion, Mr. Chaisson has a warped, misguided view of the city charter. City councilors do have authority, they have the ability to set policy and give direct orders to the city manager as a City Council, but not individually. The city charter has appropriate checks and balances if the city councilors and the city manager all do their part the right way. In my opinion, the city councilors did the right thing by firing Mr. McNutt. I believe that even more strongly now that I have read the meeting minutes from Lancaster on the Sullivan Report.
Jennifer(Tuesday, January 29 19 06:29 am EST)
These eye-opening meeting minutes prove that Ryan McNutt is a creature of habit. He keeps doing the same thing over and over again without learning from his mistakes. I believe the city councilors did the right thing by firing him. That is of course except for councilors Nick Koloski and Claire Lessard, who always put the best interests of the city administration before those of their constituents and as such both deserve to be removed from office at the next election. Thank you Sullivan Report journalists Jim and AJ for showing us this information. Once again you ever done a great public service.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, January 29 19 03:51 am EST)
Two new items today.
1) School Board notice.
2) Something everyone should know.
Full details on the News Flashes page on this website.
Andrea(Monday, January 28 19 03:52 pm EST)
Hi all, I felt the need to write this and let everybody beware to read their bills and not just pay them. My husban just got a bill from the city of Claremont for two hundreded five dollers and twenty cents for his vehicle registration and the thing is, he is a bonafide one hundred percent total and permenant sevice conected disabiled veteran and has never ever payed this amount. I guess Claremont is so hard up for money that they are going after our most vulnerable tax paying citizens to recoup some of the money that they have so generously wasted for frivolous things.
Sarah(Monday, January 28 19 02:31 pm EST)
I am glad that you are looking into the Topstone properties code violations. It will be interesting to see if they are real or another work of fiction by city administrators who are pursuing a political agenda and are not bothered by ethics or integrity.
Jason(Monday, January 28 19 12:36 pm EST)
So Nick using his position as Councilor tryied to and accomplished testimony at the state. Should a councilor notify the council if they use their position for personal gain. Not really sure but appears sly.
Jim Sullivan(Monday, January 28 19 08:59 am EST)
The Topstone Property: Where are all the code infractions?
For full details go to the News Flashes page of this website.
Larry(Friday, January 25 19 04:22 pm EST)
Speaking of council meetings. Under managers report “nothing to report. Ask a question and I will answer it” councilor asks a question. “ah I don’t know that right now. I will get you an answer” proof the manager is keeping the council in the dark. Could be the Mayor and assistant are trying to inform themselves as to the workings of the city. Makes sense. That is within the scope of their position. Maybe the manager should have done his responsibly and kept the council informed.
Gordon(Friday, January 25 19 04:10 pm EST)
Dave, lots of trashy accusations about mayor and council interference on trash talk WUC. Big fat 0 of proof. Watching last 3 months of council meetings before the manager is fired offers lots of proof of arrogance and lack of informing the council of important dealings within the city from the manager. Think suit is the other way.
Jerry(Friday, January 25 19 10:09 am EST)
I would love to see Joe Osgood or even Jim Sullivan as city manager.
WHO KNOWS THE CITY BETTER?
Jim Sullivan(Thursday, January 24 19 02:10 pm EST)
Synopsis of last night's Council meeting. Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Jim Sullivan(Thursday, January 24 19 02:09 pm EST)
Dave, that would be a question for an attorney.
Dave(Wednesday, January 23 19 05:59 pm EST)
Question..could the taxpayers of Claremont bring forth some type of civil suit against the city of Claremont namely the city council and make them prove to us that there is or is not wrong doing on the part of the council??
Dennis(Wednesday, January 23 19 02:55 pm EST)
I don’t know why we are spending so much money on this two day a week part-time city manager when Mary Walter is perfectly capable of running things until a new city manager is hired. Look at all the money the taxpayers would be saving. The city councilors we elected unfortunately all have a spending problem and the taxpayers are the unfortunate ones have to keep paying. It is time we stop reelecting people like Scott Pope and Nick Koloski and Charlene Lovett and Allen Damren etc. and start electing new people who will really look out for us instead of local VIPs with their own personal agendas.
Gordon(Wednesday, January 23 19 12:40 pm EST)
Rick you make a good point about the only good three but they are new and need guidance as to their authority. It is far more than they know. Trouble is the established bureaucrats have kept the last six councils in the dark as to their powers. It is being discussed about outside training and that needs to happen sooner than later. Before the hiring of a new manager. The next manager needs to know that keeping the council informed is of utmost importance. If the Mayor and Assistant Mayor need to be reigned in so be it. Get them the guidance they need as well. Some other councilors could come around if the know what they can and cannot do. Nick is one of the bureaucrats so he is a loss cause.
Rick(Wednesday, January 23 19 10:40 am EST)
Many people are talking about what’s going on in Claremont and most of the things that are being talked about that is not sports related comes directly from the Sullivan Report’s investigative reporting. Overall people are not happy with our current city council. I too am displeased with most of the councilors but I do like O’Hearne, Stone and Zullo but I do not think they have much of a chance of winning reelection if they continue to remain silent because their silence makes people believe that they are going along with the unseemly shenanigans of the other councilors. The three gentlemen may make up a minority but they still have a voice and they need to start using it during televised meetings to publicly state what they are unhappy about. There must be a way to do that without breaking any confidentiality rules if they can just speak in general terms without revealing anything that is supposed to remain secret. For example, they should say during a public meeting that they want Mr. McQueen’s written report to be released to the public without anything being redacted from the report. Even if the other councilors disagree at least they will have made the public realize that they are not like the other city councilors, who are abusing their authority to push forward their political agenda. I think in January 2020 we will have a totally different city council because the voting public is fed up with all this nonsense.
Robert(Wednesday, January 23 19 09:34 am EST)
The City Council is spending a lot of money on special requests made to Attorney Broth. These councilors sure have no problem spending the taxpayer’s money on frivolous things because they are incapable of making decisions themselves without all kind of moral and legal support. They are all terrible administrators and leaders. I believe they are covering up what they are secretly doing behind closed doors by rejecting all those legal bills because they probably give clues to what the City Council is secretly up to and it may not be anything that we as a community would support. If the City Councilors do not trust the public to know the truth then why would any of us continue to trust them? I say vote them all out of office in November.
William(Wednesday, January 23 19 09:20 am EST)
Meeting 11 times behind closed doors in the course of one year is in my opinion highly suspicious. Our elected officials holding secret conversations behind the privacy of closed doors on nearly a monthly basis smacks of collusion and underhanded activity. The city council should not be routinely operating in secret. I am also very displeased with Mayor Lovett, for calling so many of these backroom meetings and I am disappointed with Assistant Mayor Allen Damren for going along with Lovett’s hide everything from the public mayoral leadership style. Add in the Topstone scandal that was exposed by the Sullivan Report, the secret large pay increase for all of the department directors that almost was snuck through but failed thanks to the Sullivan Report revealing the truth to the public and the dirty politics tactics by city officials to stop Mr. Sullivan from obtaining documents that could implicate one or more city councilors as having violated the city charter’s noninterference rule. With all the events of the past few months one thing is unmistakable, Claremont’s municipal government is corrupted with officials who are instituting and proceeding forward with their own personal political agenda that is not in the average citizen’s best interests. In November, it is time to take out the trash and terminate most of the city council. In my humble opinion, the only three city councilors worth keeping our Jeremy Zullo, Andrew O’Hearne and Jonathan Stone, as they are the only three who are not sold out the citizens of Claremont to the municipal administration and the special interest groups that run them and several members of the city council.
Todd(Tuesday, January 22 19 06:00 pm EST)
Gordon, I agree with most of what you stated. I do not agree with your statement that Lovett is the only councilor who is micromanaging. I understand from friends who work for the city that Damren is equally responsible for the micromanaging. Then there is the political favors for Nick Koloski. A long list dating back to when Guy was city manager. Most of them relate to the Topstone property where I understand Nick pays little to nothing to rent all the space for his businesses. If the Topstone was condemned then Nick would be out of business because he could never afford to pay market rate for the space his businesses needs to operate. With all the tax liens still on the books with the Registry of Deeds his credit score must be nearly as low as the building good rating for the Topstone property. That's no joke.
Gordon(Tuesday, January 22 19 04:41 pm EST)
Claremont needs a face lift starting at city hall. The council needs to get their heads out of their butts and start directing the city in a manner that will not drain the bank. Other than the Mayor the notion that some are micromanaging is BS. Those that have realized that the management is leaving them out of the loop and are asking good questions and are protecting the tax payer. Topstone is a good example. Councilors Stone and O’Herne were trying to get answers and rather than getting them the manager gave the debt away behind the councils back. They are trying to do their job and are being pushed back by a management team that is trying to think big in a little city. The next manager should be from Claremont. These outsiders are killing us. Joe Osgood as a citizen is smarter than most on the council and is doing a great job exposing the shortfalls of management and council. He should be a councilor if not the manager. I enjoy his input at council meetings. The Sullivan Report is good for exposing mismanagement using documents when the management can’t find ways to hold back. More people need to start getting involved before these spenders run us into the ground from as the manager says 55 thousand feet.
Brad(Tuesday, January 22 19 01:55 pm EST)
I believe there is a power struggle within our city government. Certain councilor’s thirst for power cost Ryan McNutt his job and these power-hungry councilors are looking for a mindless puppet to replace him. I also believe this conspiracy goes far deeper than that. The local press is not doing their job as watchdogs for the public. They write positive politically correct puff pieces to create a fairytale that everything is all right and that our leaders are wonderful job when nothing could be further from the truth. The e- ticker news is the worst of the worst as their saccharine filled stories read more like fairytales than nonfiction. The news editor of the Eagle Times is simply oblivious as to what is really going on here in Claremont. Judging from his editorials, he lives in his own little world that is far removed from Claremont. It shows in the lackluster effort given to the writing of their new stories and I called them stories because we do not really represent Claremont’s true reality. Political correctness and political spin designed not to offend any local politician or local government bureaucrat appears to be standard operating procedure at the Eagle Times. What both they and the e- ticker news are doing to their readers by transforming news into propaganda and positive public relations for government officials and marketing it as legitimate news is inexcusable behavior that can never be forgiven. The Valley News is not much better as the coverage in Claremont is spotty and while a little more hard-hitting it is still not the level of journalistic excellence that one should expect from their newspaper. The only wildcard is the Sullivan Report. They at least try to be the watchdog for the citizens of Claremont. Neither Mr. Sullivan nor Mr. Maranville are what anyone would call politically correct, however they both have a great love and affection for this community. Anyone who doubts that does not know them as I do. I have lived in Claremont my entire life of 42 years and I well remember their time on the city council. Both of them usually caused a ruckus but they were doing the right thing having to deal with self-centered, narcissistic, opportunists who were pushing forward their own political agenda and they did not care what their political agenda did to the citizens of Claremont. Does any of this sound familiar? Remember the saying, the more things change the more things stay the same. That is certainly true in Claremont especially when members of the city council who have their own agendas such as Scott Pope, Nicholas Koloski, Allen Damren and let’s not forget our less than glorious Mayor Charlene Lovett. I believe they are the cancer that is destroying our fair city and the citizens of Claremont need to make every effort to remove all four of them from public office now and forever more.
Jerry(Tuesday, January 22 19 01:15 pm EST)
McNutt giving hundreds of thousands of delinquent dollars to out of state landlord/land speculators without communicating anything to the council is worse than anything I've heard of the councilors doing.
Now lets see who has the sack to shutter the falling down Tombstone Bldg. for code violations.We have inspectors that are supposed to work independent of politics.They are just too frightened of losing their jobs,so they do nothing.The alternative to working for the city is just unpalatable.Any other employment in the area is a fraction of what the city pays and a big nothing as far as benefits.This is why McNutts was trying to grow the city by expanding the welfare population.Anybody that doesn't work for the city,the state,or medical facility has no reason to come or even be here.The jobs in the Claremont area are crap,and they will always be crap here.Property taxes will run out the few remaining people that had a few bucks.Let's be honest,who the hell wants to be shoveling snow in sub-zero weather in their old age?
Answer : no one
Tom(Tuesday, January 22 19 09:37 am EST)
I think Ryan McNutt hit the nail on the head when he said that micromanaging of city councilors was ruining our city government. I do believe that Mayor Lovett and other city councilors really did violate the city charter and the noninterference rule. I also believe that they are covering it up to try to prevent their ouster from elected office because they are driven by their lust for power and they will not give it up for anything. I also believe that city officials working in City Hall are also conspiring with these city charter-violating councilors to keep them on the city council whatever the cost.
Sarah(Tuesday, January 22 19 07:48 am EST)
I like to browse through the city council packet before watching the meeting live on CCTV. This particular city council packet is extremely light on information. In point of fact, the only information besides the agenda for the meeting is Ordinance 564 that is about renewable energy. The city manager’s report with an update of 139 Main St. and the termination of the lease agreement at map 117 lot 16-003 is not included and neither is there any information about Ordinance 565, which is about the establishment of a board of assessors. Is a dearth of information about everything the future of Claremont’s city government now that Mayor Charlene Lovett appears to have taken over? Is this more of her open and transparent government?
Stephanie(Monday, January 21 19 09:21 pm EST)
As bad as what Councilor Stone did I think the micromanaging by other city councilors is worse than those councilors should be removed from office.
Linda(Monday, January 21 19 07:44 pm EST)
The city administration when McNutt was in charge refused to answer any questions about the big tax giveaway and huge property assessment reduction for the Topstone property. MRI was involved in that with their property assessor. Now the arrogance and cover-up mode continues with the interim city manager from MRI, refusing to answer questions and redacting nearly whole documents that in my opinion should not be redacted at all. Government should be open and transparent not in Watergate style cover-up mode. I too believe that Mayor Lovett and other city councilors broke the city charter rules and they should be removed from office. The city leaders and administrators who are covering up for their actions should be voted out of office or fired from their jobs. We need honest people leading our city.
Katherine(Monday, January 21 19 04:04 pm EST)
Refusing to answer questions, redacting documents with zeal, classifying public documents as personnel records to prevent public inspection and spending large sums of taxpayer's dollars to maintain this cover-up and protect city councilors who in all likelihood broke rules and the city charter that should cost them their seats on the city council has all the earmarks of a city government rife with corrupt government officials. The voters of Claremont need to wake up and clean house in November by voting out all of the incumbents on the city council.
George(Monday, January 21 19 02:03 pm EST)
Claremont’s city government is getting more corrupt with each passing day. I believe Mr. McNutt when he told the newspaper’s that the city councilors were overstepping their authority and breaking the rules in the city charter as they micromanage the city government. I think several of the city councilors broke that noninterference rule and they are all subject to dismissal. I think they are all covering up and doing their damnedest to stop Mr. Sullivan from finding out the truth and publishing the proof on his website. It’s pretty sad when the corrupt officials are the ones in charge and pulling the strings to cover-up their misdeeds.
Sally(Monday, January 21 19 01:02 pm EST)
With Mary Walters as acting city manager why do we need the one from MRI seems like a total waste of money to me. As the council only has 180 day to fine his replacement the money would be better spent looking for a new manager.
Jim Sullivan(Monday, January 21 19 11:23 am EST)
Two new articles today.
1) CCTV Announcement.
2) The cover-up continues!
Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Jerry(Saturday, January 19 19 10:43 am EST)
For those that have realized it there is a group of people within the city running the city from behind the scenes. They have convinced the council that they have no power and need not be informed of what is going on. This is not the case. If the council continues to sit on their hands this city is doomed to continue to be driven by unelected bureaucrats. The council is part of a check and balance government and it is clear we are not under that now.
Jim Sullivan(Friday, January 18 19 05:21 pm EST)
Section 31 of the Claremont City Charter (published below) grants the City Manager the authority to appoint administrative officials. There is a clause within Section 31 Re: Council notification. However the wording is a little vague regarding whether that applies to temporary appointments. One would think the Interim City Manager would inform the Council of his appointing an Acting City Manager just as an act of common courtesy and respect. He may or may not have done so.
31. - Power to Appoint and Remove.
The manager shall have the power to appoint and remove, subject to the provisions of this charter, all officers and employees in the administrative service of the city; but the manager may authorize the head of a department or office responsible to him/her to appoint and remove subordinates in such department or office. It shall be the duty of the manager to furnish the council in writing with the identity of any person whom he/she proposes to appoint as the head of any department or office at least ten days prior to the date on which the appointment is to be made. If the council has any objections to the person proposed by the manager for appointment, it shall certify its objections to the manager in writing within said ten-day period. All appointments shall be without definite term, unless for provisional, temporary or emergency service not to exceed the maximum periods which may be prescribed by the rules and regulations of the merit plan.
Rick(Friday, January 18 19 04:15 pm EST)
I cannot believe how long it is taking councilors to draft an ordinance to create a board of assessors. How hard can it be? The voters sure elected imbeciles this time around, hopefully at the next election they will be smarter in November and elect new people with at least half a brain and no personal agendas like Nick Koloski with the Topstone building.
Jason(Friday, January 18 19 07:36 am EST)
Jimmy Does the interim manager have the power to appoint his acting without notifying the council giving them a chance to give input and suggestions. Thinking recently it was stated that the charter states the manager can appoint but needs to notify the council. More reason to educate the council.
Jim Sullivan(Thursday, January 17 19 04:12 pm EST)
While at City Hall today I spoke with Finance Director Mary Walter, who informed me that Interim City Manager John MacLean had appointed her to be Acting City Manager on the days that he is not present at City Hall. McLean is presently contracted to work only two days per week.
Janice(Thursday, January 17 19 02:34 pm EST)
I understand Mayor Lovett and Assistant Mayor Damren are always at City Hall. Way too much for councilor business. I think their egos are overpowering their common sense.
Richard(Thursday, January 17 19 08:10 am EST)
There is an interesting article in the latest edition of the NH Business Review about a legislative bill to bring sports betting to willing municipalities. The setup is practically the same as it was for Keno wagering. I will bet you Councilor Nick Koloski’s palms are sweating at the very thought of having sports betting in his sports bar. He is probably already working the councilors as he did for the Keno vote so he can open a sports betting establishment inside the dilapidated Topstone building. If this measure passes the state legislature, I have no doubt that Mayor Lovett and her cronies on the city council will gladly accommodate Councilor Koloski’s greedy desires and pass a local measure for him.
Brad(Wednesday, January 16 19 03:39 pm EST)
Who the heck made Mary Walter the acting city manager? I watch the council meetings and no one ever said a damn thing about that. I read today’s article and I am of the opinion that a cover-up is in full swing at City Hall. My son works for the city and he has told me that the three buttinskies from the city council are Miss high and mighty Mayor Charlene Lovett, her political crony Assistant Mayor Allen Damren and still wet behind the ears Councilman Nick Koloski. If proof could be found that all three are guilty of interfering then all three of them could be thrown off the city council and then you might have group of leaders that might actually be able to get something done. At least the staff members would stop being harassed and bothered by these three power-hungry city leaders.
Steve(Wednesday, January 16 19 03:30 pm EST)
I am very pleased that Joe Osgood is continuing the fight to rescind the Topstone property settlement agreement. The Sullivan Report did an excellent job explaining very simply that the settlement agreement is illegal because the legislative body, which for Claremont is the City Council, did not approve the settlement agreement. In fact, all of the Councilors swore to the public that they knew absolutely nothing about this incredibly generous settlement agreement until the Sullivan Report broke the story to the public. Mayor Lovett and the remaining eight city councilors are all incredibly ignorant when it comes to their duties and responsibilities and the authority that they have. Once they are informed of those duties they cower at the thought of having to make a decision and actually take swift and strong action without using the city administration as a safety net. Unfortunately, the last two city administrations have not worked in the best interest of the public in regards to the Topstone property. I also believe that Councilman Koloski’s presence on the City Council is the reason why all of these incredible coincidences have occurred, as his businesses are all located within the Topstone property. Such as the unwillingness of the city administration to recommend seizing the property for failure to pay taxes while taking other properties across the city without any qualms about it. Then there was the quarter of $1 million property tax waiver, the 76% property assessment reduction, the hands-off approach of building and fire safety inspectors with the building that has pieces of its roof falling off, environmental safety hazards on the property and a building good assessment rating of only 2%. The property is clearly a danger to the community and yet they city administration allows Councilman Koloski continue to operate a restaurant, a bar and other businesses geared to attract young children into a decrepit building that is clearly a public safety hazard to anyone with eyes. How many things have to happen before people begin to realize that something here is just not right?
Jim Sullivan(Wednesday, January 16 19 12:53 pm EST)
Two new articles today.
CITY GOVERNMENT COVER-UP?
WHAT THE INTERIM CITY MANAGER’S CONTRACT MEANS TO THE CLAREMONT TAXPAYERS!
Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Diane(Tuesday, January 15 19 03:55 pm EST)
Your article about Valley Regional Hospital was quite shocking. The financial documents you show to your readers are undeniably factual. I am so infuriated with the E- Ticker News and the Eagle Times for their fictionalized versions of the hospital’s financial stability and Mr. Wright’s managerial accomplishments. I am also displeased with the Valley News but the reporter did mention in her article the financial losses of the hospital but she spun them into a positive suggesting that Mr. Wright was reducing those financial losses. According to the financials Mr. Wright created the losses his first year in charge at the hospital and the hospital has been drowning in red ink ever since. This in my humble opinion does not constitute success in any way, shape or form. However, this fictionalized version of events disseminated to the press and ultimately to an unsuspecting public is nothing less than I would expect from the cast of characters on the hospital board, which includes the likes of Mayor Charlene Lovett, City Treasurer Lisa Richmond and for a brief time Assistant Mayor Allen Damren. They may all believe that they are pillars of the community but in my humble opinion, their honesty and ethics leave much to be desired.
Terry(Tuesday, January 15 19 01:42 pm EST)
Mr. Sullivan, I loved your post today. You concisely stated the scandal ridden Topstone property saga and highlighted the obvious collusion and corruption that must have taken place under the two prior municipal administrations. Councilman Nick Koloski is a far greater threat to Claremont’s public image then Councilor Jon Stone. I agree that Councilman Stone’s comments on Facebook are quite unfortunate but they do not rank close with Councilman Koloski’s behavior as he keeps swearing that he has nothing to do with the Topstone property but he is constantly trying to stop the Council from taking any effective action. I do not know why Councilman Scott Pope is in Councilman Koloski’s pocket but I have lost all faith and respect for Councilman Pope because of his unforgivable behavior trying to keep an obvious public safety hazard open to the public putting lives in jeopardy. The only sensible course of action is to condemn the Topstone building and evict all of its inhabitants. Why the Council is not taking swift action by ordering the now interim city manager to condemn the Topstone building in the name of public safety is beyond comprehension and strongly suggests that political motivations are at work.
Lisa(Tuesday, January 15 19 11:08 am EST)
Today the Union Leader published an editorial entitled A code for Claremont? Read the First Amendment, please. Boiled down it says Mayor Charlene Lovett and other councilors are overreaching to think they can legally create a code of conduct to add guidelines for councilors using social media because it would be a violation of First Amendment rights. The editorial staff’s advice is for the Council to either censure Councilor Stone or move for his removal or appeal to the voters not to reelect him. Councilor Stone cannot be removed from office per the Claremont city charter so that option is out but the others are viable. Mayor Lovett loves her political correctness and she does everything she can to try to control every aspect of every meeting. So does her cohort Assistant Mayor Allen Damren, who tries to work in the shadows and let Lovett bask in the limelight because of her over inflated ego and subject herself to political heat while he stays nice and safe behind the scenes playing the puppet-master with Lovett, as is unwitting puppet.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, January 15 19 07:25 am EST)
I posted the following on Facebook so I thought I would share it here as well.
The owners of the Topstone Building (Topstone Holdings LLC) receive from the City Administration a $222,725 property tax waiver combined with a 76% property assessment reduction. The City’s Assessing Department gave the Goddard Building a Building Percent Good Rating of 14% when Former City Manager Ryan McNutt condemned the building and evicted all of the tenants of that building. The building at 139 Main St., which Former City Manager Ryan McNutt claimed is about to collapse and fall into the street so the City must pay to have the building demolished for public safety reasons has a Building Percent Good Rating of 15%. The City’s Assessing Department presently gives the Topstone Building a Building Percent Good Rating of only 2% meaning that 98% of the building is substandard and there are environmentally hazardous materials on the property yet City Officials cast a blind eye and allow the building to remain operational and allow the public access to the building. Could the reason why all of these fantastically incredible things have occurred be that the main tenant of the building are the businesses of a sitting City Councilor by the name of Nick Koloski? Or are all of these things monumental coincidences?
Jim Sullivan(Monday, January 14 19 01:55 pm EST)
Three articles today.
WHAT THE PRESS FAILED TO COVER REGARDING PETER WRIGHT’S RESIGNATION FROM VALLEY REGIONAL HOSPITAL!
CLAREMONT’S UNSPENT SPECIAL EDUCATION ALLOCATION: THE TRUE STORY!
JANUARY 9 COUNCIL MEETING SYNOPSIS!
Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Harry(Thursday, January 10 19 09:12 am EST)
Councilman Nick Koloski is nothing but a good magician. He tries to divert your attention with the magic wand in one hand, (his big heart) while hiding the rabbits in his hat (his all-around shadiness).
This sociopath needs to once and for all be voted off the council.
Tom(Wednesday, January 09 19 01:57 pm EST)
Nick Koloski voted against McNutt’s termination. Did he really think that McNutt’s job performance was improving or was he trying to protect himself and the owners of the Topstone property from fair treatment by the fire and building code inspectors that other Claremont property owners experience because it could mean either costly repairs or closure of one or both buildings?
Jennifer(Wednesday, January 09 19 12:42 pm EST)
With Mr. McNutt gone Councilman Koloski’s insider protection at City Hall may have left as well. Perhaps the building inspector and the fire code inspector will now go and check out his rental property and the Topstone property and do the right thing for public safety reasons. I believe the Topstone property should be closed right away and all the businesses inside evacuated permanently. I do not know the condition of Councilman Koloski’s rental property it might be all right or it may be a slum but I do think that city officials need to look into that to make sure that the citizens living in that building are not putting their lives in danger by renting from Councilman Koloski.
Gary(Wednesday, January 09 19 10:37 am EST)
I have always thought that Councilor Koloski is shady. He collects donations for various causes like toys for kids and clothing and whatnot for the homeless and then he bundles it all up and makes a big splash in the newspapers that he is donating all these items when he is just delivering other people’s donations. I know he supposedly gives some of his own money towards these causes but he is hogging the limelight by taking credit for other people’s donations as well to make himself look like a superstar. That tells me he has psychological issues and I do want someone like that on the city council making decisions that directly affect my family and me.
Katherine(Wednesday, January 09 19 08:37 am EST)
They say a picture is worth 1000 words. When I saw the photo of the Topstone Building with a piece of the roof dangling on the side ready to fall off the only word I could think of is WOW! The building percent good rating is something I never heard of before but it is a very good and easy piece of information to understand about how well put together a building is in regards to public safety. The Topstone Building has a building percent good rating of only 2 so 98% of the building is less than good. Pieces of the roof are falling down and the building owners receive nearly a quarter of $1 million in property tax debt relief plus a 76% property assessment reduction they that out of spending any money to clean up the hazardous material on their property and they can continue to do business as usual. How is that even possible? Councilman Nick Koloski operates his business out of this building. To say this has nothing to do with the treatment the owners are receiving is naïve, the Councilman is obviously receiving favoritism of some sort to allow the doors of his businesses to remain open at their current location. The building on Main Street that Mr. McNutt was pushing to have demolished that shares a common wall with a property owned by the same developer of the Goddard Building in downtown Claremont has a building good rating of 15 and allegedly needs to come down immediately. However, the Topstone Building with a rating in only single digits and very close to being in negative numbers is no threat to the public whatsoever. I am also curious about Councilman Koloski’s rental property with a building percent good rating of only 40 that is a lesser number than the one for the Junior Sports League Building that the city condemned with Councilman Koloski’s assistance because that building was allegedly a public safety hazard. It seems to me that Councilman Koloski is consistently receiving preferential treatment and no one does anything for nothing so it makes me wonder what Councilman Koloski is giving in return for this preferential treatment. Since this is an election year I hope the citizens of Claremont wake up and permanently retire Councilman Koloski from the City Council. Claremont deserves leaders who are representing them and not their own best interests.
Jerry(Tuesday, January 08 19 07:37 pm EST)
Topstone needs to get an engineers opinion as to how safe the roof is. McNut dropped the ball on that one. Corruption in City Hall. Councilor gets preferential treatment.