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.
Hot Dog(Tuesday, January 08 19 07:22 pm EST)
BIG DOG half your list put where we are today.
Jerry(Tuesday, January 08 19 01:44 pm EST)
So why on Earth would we sell the JSL Bldg. to the county for $1,while taking a $700,000 bldg. off of the tax rolls?
What is to be gained by Claremont?
We're actually better off leaving it empty.We wouldn't be on the hook to care for ex-convicts that can't earn enough for rent or eat from their part time service job.
That's one losing proposition to me.The other surrounding communities bear no sharing of the burdon.
Move along Sullivan Co.,nothing for you here.
Big Dog(Tuesday, January 08 19 01:29 pm EST)
Now that McNutt is done/gone and out of the Picture, I would like for a local person to step up!
Perhaps there is good woman manager that lives in the Community, or bring back some of our senior staffers who have retired.
Keith Raymond - Vicki Lee - Candace Crawford - Jim Feleen - Rick Bergeron - Alex Scott, Peg LaPoint or Bruce Temple.
All very capable leaders for our small community. Common Sense approach.
Angela(Tuesday, January 08 19 12:38 pm EST)
In regards to Councilman Koloski's rental property if any of his tenants are welfare recipients then should they not be subject to the same rules as everyone else? What I mean is should rental payments be withheld until Councilman Koloski brings his rental property up to code? 40% okay cannot be up to code because it means 60% of the property is a dump perhaps even considered as a slum. If residents are forced to move because of code violations is the landlord responsible for paying for all moving expenses and first month last month rent, etc. that is incurred by the tenant through no fault of their own. Just wondering. Mr. Koloski's Councilor status should not make him above the law.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, January 08 19 10:50 am EST)
New article. JSL Building update. You will not believe what we found! Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Dennis(Monday, January 07 19 03:35 pm EST)
McNutt was a terrible city manager. He accomplished nothing and was paid handsomely to do precisely nothing. The city councilors made a terrible choice but what concerns me is the fact that most of the membership of the city council is the same and that could mean another bad choice for city manager is pending. I also do not like the fact that they are using Municipal Resources exclusively to service all of the city's temporary staffing issues. Allen Damren has past ties with the company and I do not know if that has anything to do why this company is exclusively supplying all of the temporary staffing needs to the city. I think Allen Damren and Charlene Lovett are both on a power trip and I am not convinced that the direction they are taking Claremont in is the right one for Claremont to be taking.
Stephanie(Monday, January 07 19 01:57 pm EST)
I do believe that Jim Sullivan and AJ Maranville played a crucial role in Ryan McNutt's termination as city manager. They routinely pointed out to the city councilors their rights and duties as well as the proper procedures they should follow as city councilors. Mr. McNutt and his pet attorney would have the city councilors believe that they have no authority at all and that is simply not true. Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Maranville also informed the city councilors about critical occurrences related to the municipal government that Mr. McNutt chose to keep the city councilors in the dark about. The Topstone holdings property tax debt wipeout of over $220,000 and the 76% property tax assessment reduction immediately leap to mind. Joe Osgood also played a major role in the whole Topstone drama. John O'Connor and Paul Lacasse also played a supporting role. Then there was the whole convoluted attempt by Mr. McNutt to hire a certain property assessor is another example. First Mr. McNutt tried to increase the job grade classification to increase the pay scale, when that failed he tried to give pay raises ranging from 15% to 30% to select highly paid city administrators that was to include the chief assessor's position. All the while refusing to grant a paltry 2% pay increase to well deserving public works and secretarial employees. Bob Picard played a supporting role by speaking in favor of the city employees. I am also not a fan of Mr. McNutt's social engineering agenda through housing to set the stage for a large influx of welfare and other social services using people to move to Claremont and further increase our property tax burden with higher welfare and police budgets and all sorts of increases for the school budgets. It just did not seem to be any rhyme or reason to all of these grandiose plans or should I say schemes. I am pleased that Mr. McNutt is no longer city manager.
William(Monday, January 07 19 10:55 am EST)
From what I can see the council fired Mr. McNutt for a host of reasons and I would say they are pretty accurate reasons seeing how Mr. McNutt comported himself during city council meetings. It also appears there may have been a tug-of-war between Mr. McNutt and Mayor Charlene Lovett for control over Claremont’s municipal government. I have heard from some of my friends who work for the city that Mrs. Lovett is too involved in the running of the city municipal departments. Of course, that is their opinion and it may not rise to the level of interference that would cause Mrs. Lovett any legal problems.
Jim Sullivan(Monday, January 07 19 06:54 am EST)
Two articles today.
1) Let the finger-pointing begin!
2) Public Forum scheduled.
Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Big Dog(Friday, January 04 19 04:06 pm EST)
McNutt was a misfit for this Council, and the Leadership they are looking for. 7 TO 2 IS PRETTY CONVINCING TO ME!
Ted(Friday, January 04 19 08:45 am EST)
The Council gave McNutt his walking papers. Hallelujah! It is about time the Council started acting like city leaders instead of blind city manager followers.
Shawn(Thursday, January 03 19 04:07 pm EST)
McNutt fired is great news for Claremont. We now need to keep these MA bureaucrats our of Claremont both on the city and the school sides of our local government.
Jim Sullivan(Thursday, January 03 19 09:19 am EST)
Council fires McNutt. Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
John(Wednesday, January 02 19 09:01 pm EST)
Say goodbye to Mr. McNutt... My advice.... Don’t let the door hit ya where the good lord split ya.
Todd(Wednesday, January 02 19 04:21 pm EST)
I predict that McNutt will be terminated quite soon and he will receive a very generous severance package as a going away gift. Then these idiot councilors will hire another unqualified moron to take McNutt’s place. It would not surprise me if Damren took the job since he thinks he is so damn smart. Wouldn’t that be a revolting development?
Jim Sullivan(Wednesday, January 02 19 01:56 pm EST)
New article published today.
Claremont City Officials continue to stonewall regarding our inquiries about Attorney Mark Broth. Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
John(Wednesday, January 02 19 09:51 am EST)
Charlene Lovett and Allen Damren both have past history with Valley Regional Hospital as they previously served in a managerial role for the Hospital. I have little doubt that they will support any location anywhere in Claremont for Valley Regional Hospital’s Mental Health Facility. Who knows it may even be located in the old JSL Building once County Officials get their hands on it for probably a dollar. This is the problem with our current municipal government, many have conflicts of interest and special interests that they cater to and the general public always pays the price. Charlene Lovett and Allen Damren are both social climbing, special-interest pandering frauds as are many of their fellow councilors. New leadership across the board is needed if Claremont is going to survive.
George(Tuesday, January 01 19 02:10 pm EST)
I do not want to seem harsh but I agree with IPO that other communities must take care of their own low-income citizens and stop shipping them to Claremont. It is sickening when our own elected leaders work in collusion to import more low-income people to a community that has far too many within it already. We have far too many liberal dimwits on the city council and in the municipal administration at City Hall. It is time to make a clean sweep of the crappy leadership Claremont has and start over. 2019 is an election year.
Mary(Tuesday, January 01 19 12:32 pm EST)
I noticed transportation was a factor in deciding that Claremont would be the best place for this ex-convict transitional housing complex. Don’t forget that Mayor Lovett was instrumental in getting Claremont taxpayer funding for the bus service and now they are trying to get more funding to expand the bus service all the way to the Upper Valley. Mayor Lovett is one of Claremont’s worst enemies as she is one of the instrumental leaders bringing more and more social services to Claremont that will attract more of that needy population to move here. The Sullivan Report has already shown all of us readers how the welfare budget is increasing and it is about to break the budget. It will increase far more when all of these people start moving to Claremont and then the Claremont taxpayers will really be paying through the nose to financially support all of these people who do not offer any viable benefit to any community.
Patti(Tuesday, January 01 19 11:55 am EST)
City staff is under the impression that Ryan McNutt’s days as city manager are numbered. His arrogance, ignorance and ineffectiveness will be his undoing.
Tom(Tuesday, January 01 19 10:09 am EST)
I would like to know what is going on with all these nonpublic meetings? Why all the damn secrecy? Charlene Lovett promised open and transparent government. So did not Allen Damren and others who ran for the city council. All of them act like Washington politicians, who lied to the public to be elected and then do whatever the hell they want once they are in power. I do not like all of the secrets and all the secret meetings being held behind closed doors. Like Jim and AJ, I thought MRI was hired to teach communication skills to the city manager and the councilors. I do not see why this has to be held in secret session. I believe Jim and AJ are correct that Attorney Broth’s involvement suggests that other political agendas are at work here and the public is intentionally being kept in the dark as their tax dollars are being spent for reasons that we are not made aware of and the city councilors have no intention of telling us what they are doing in our name. I too believe it is time for new leadership all around.
Industrial Property Owner(Tuesday, January 01 19 09:45 am EST)
The Valley News published an article yesterday on the subject of the proposed ex-convict transitional housing facility at the former Junior Sports League building. Their article was brief, vague and extremely limited in scope. The reporter interviewed County Manager Derek Ferland, who was evasive with his answers. The Sullivan Report article was far more informative as they did research and gathered much more information making for a much more interesting article. They also took a wider global view and gave their readers food for thought regarding the direction Claremont is being directed in by City Manager Ryan McNutt, Mayor Charlene Lovett, Assistant Mayor Allen Damren and the other seven City Councilors. Frankly, this is not a direction I wish for the city to go, as I believe it will be calamitous. Intentionally attracting populace that will increase the tax burden when Claremont already has by far the highest property tax rate in the entire state is sheer insanity. I am not a Grinch, I do believe helping out our fellow men and women in need but I also believe that everyone should do their part. Why is it that these facilities are not located in Sunapee, Newport, Cornish, etc.? Why is Claremont the dumping ground first for the areas trash with the now defunct Wheelabrator Incinerator and now those most in need of social services? Why do the Claremont taxpayers have to bear the burden for other communities, that willfully ignore certain segments of their population in the hopes that they will move elsewhere to become someone else’s problem? Why do our city leaders continue to create an oasis destination spot for those most in need of welfare and other social services? Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Maranville are correct in their astute contention that Claremont’s leadership have no plan and thus working two diametrically opposed political agendas simultaneously and sabotaging Claremont’s chances for true growth and prosperity in the process. Claremont’s municipal leadership is abysmal and is in much need of replacement. I am not convinced that any of the City Councilors are worth saving and Ryan McNutt should be terminated posthaste for lack of both experience and job performance.
Gail(Monday, December 31 18 05:39 pm EST)
Mr. McNutt, Mayor Lovett and the rest of the Councilors are out of their minds. They have to be because who in their right mind would ever try to entice ex-convicts, runaway problem teens and low income welfare and other social service using families to move into their community so they can be a burden to an already overburdened and overtaxed populace. Mr. McNutt and the City Councilors must be insane to think that this is a path to prosperity for Claremont. Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Maranville are correct with their conclusion that this will deter middle-class and upper-class families from ever considering to reside here in Claremont. I just cannot believe the stupidity at City Hall.
Jim Sullivan(Monday, December 31 18 02:32 pm EST)
Two new articles today.
1) Will the Claremont JSL Building become transitional housing for ex-convicts?
2) City Officials continue to resist disclosing the truth about Attorney Broth's legal services!
Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Me Myself AndI(Thursday, December 20 18 01:05 pm EST)
It amazes me how many people are starting to see through Nick. If he is doing something it is all about him. He uses others donations splashes his face all over it and takes credit for. Got shut off by a big outfit that figured him out.
Travis(Wednesday, December 19 18 03:16 pm EST)
Politically correct imbeciles who are sniveling cowards also do not make good city councilors. Other pathetic qualities Claremont city councilors have these days.
Dan(Wednesday, December 19 18 11:21 am EST)
Nick Koloski sure is a little weasel. He says he’s going to vote for the pay raises for the merit plan employees and then he waffles and flip-flops when he sees his fellow councilors vote against the measure. What a dishonest wuss.
Gail(Tuesday, December 18 18 02:30 pm EST)
The people of this Councilor do not have the courage to stand up to Ryan McNutt and direct him what to do even though they are his boss. Cowards and imbeciles do not good leaders make. Claremont voters need to elect better candidates.
Todd(Tuesday, December 18 18 01:43 pm EST)
Ryan McNutt is the dumbest city manager I have ever seen. No matter what question you ask him his pat answer is I don’t know. I can’t believe the city councilors are so lily-livered that they cannot bring themselves to stand up to him and fire him for poor job performance.
Mike(Tuesday, December 18 18 12:01 pm EST)
The encroachment problem on the rail trails has been ongoing for many years. Nick Koloski, a longtime member of the conservation commission has promised rail trail users a solution for many years but never accomplished a damn thing. Koloski is fraud, all mouth and no action and it is time for people to wake up and see that.
Ken(Tuesday, December 18 18 09:28 am EST)
I've noticed over the past six months or so that the Claremont City Council procrastinates on decision-making in many ways. They ignore problems staring them right in the face. They also send back resolutions, ordinances and proposals to either municipal committees or the attorneys for legal review. Hardly anything is getting done and what is accomplished takes far too many months to do so. The lawyer fees the taxpayers of Claremont are paying must be horrendous. The Council keeps hiring more and more attorneys, so many is beginning to look like OJ's dream team of attorneys holding the hands of Claremont City Councilors telling them it's all right to make a decision. I'm really disgusted with Mayor Lovett and Allen Damren and the rest of the City Councilors for being so unprofessional and wishy-washy about everything. It is time for new leadership in Claremont not only on the City Council but we need a new City Manager and other key department heads. Parks & Recreation, Planning & Development and Finance for starters.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, December 18 18 07:41 am EST)
New article. December 12 Council meeting synopsis. Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Another Claremont Tax Payer(Saturday, December 15 18 11:57 pm EST)
So, how long before SAU#6 tries to convince the school board that allowing Lempster to join us will save Claremont tax payers money.
Joe(Saturday, December 15 18 02:57 pm EST)
HELLO!! This is a community of 13,000 people and less than half of them have a good income. There are many locals capable of running a community of this size efficiently. A community of this size should not be looking for and paying for individuals capable of running large communities. Because of the size of this community we end up with all the rejects and they come here and convince the big thinking leaders we need things we can’t afford. Sadly because of the debt they have gotten us into we are at least 20 years of sacrifice to fix it. That is if the public finally wakes up to this fact. If not we shall be a ghost town in the end.
Dave(Friday, December 14 18 05:38 pm EST)
A recent Stevens HS Grad would probly have more common sense than the Department Heads we currently have running this city!!
Tony(Friday, December 14 18 04:17 pm EST)
Wow, that's not good news for Claremont's future as department heads leave and positions go unfilled. You will have to hire from the local high school graduates to fill department directors positions.
Jim Sullivan(Thursday, December 13 18 03:04 pm EST)
Last night the Claremont City Council strongly rejected City Manager Ryan McNutt's 15%-29% across-the-board pay raise for Claremont's highest-paid non-union municipal employees (A.K.A. Merit Plan Employees). Councilwoman Claire Lessard was the only Councilor who supported the outrageous pay raises. Mayor Lovett was noticeably absent from the meeting. Voters need to remember how Councilor Lessard voted on this issue if she ever dares to run for reelection!
Titanic Survivor(Thursday, December 13 18 02:52 pm EST)
Bob Jackson (RIP) was the problem. Then Guy Santagate. Now Ryan McNutt.
In my youth while growing up in town, I eventually realized that no community circles the wagons better than Claremont. The only problem? Instead of aiming outside of the circle, everyone fires within.
I'm just thankful that I was airlifted from the Titanic before it hit the iceberg. It is, nevertheless, sad to watch.
Todd(Tuesday, December 11 18 01:22 pm EST)
Mr. McNutt has violated the public’s trust as well as the trust of the Council. That said, there is no other choice but to terminate his position and the sooner the better.
Shawn(Tuesday, December 11 18 09:56 am EST)
Jim Sullivan and AJ Maranville are both former city councilors who knew their stuff when they honorably served. Today they still know more about what’s going on than all the councilors combined. They say that the councilors have the power to give the union workers of the public works department and the clerical employees a fair raise and a new contract. Well okay then boys and girls of the Council get busy and put an end to this embarrassment once and for all.
Abigail(Tuesday, December 11 18 09:44 am EST)
Well that communications training that McNutt just received from MRI really worked out well didn't it? I wonder if the nitwits on the city council will rehire MRI for thousands of more tax dollars to give McNutt even more training. Sensitivity, negotiating, general intelligence, etc.
Laura(Tuesday, December 11 18 08:51 am EST)
Ryan McNutt is out of control as city manager. He is abusing his power and disrespecting city councilors, municipal employees and the taxpaying public at every opportunity. He should be fired.
Kevin(Tuesday, December 11 18 08:04 am EST)
The city manager is crazy to pull a stunt like this. He must think he can do anything because the Council is too lily- livered to a stand up to him and fire his sorry ass. He may be right because I have no faith in this Council of fools.
John(Tuesday, December 11 18 08:02 am EST)
Just a quick question.... where will all this money come from ?
Considering the City is working with a “bare bones “ budget , I wonder if the administration has already “projected “ what the increases will be in the updated property evaluations before these evaluations have even occurred?
Being a City Manager is a difficult position, even on a good day. It seems Mr. McNutt goes out of his way to make his professional life difficult.
If I didn’t know better I’d think someone wants to be fired.
Dave(Tuesday, December 11 18 07:19 am EST)
Because Stephan Hamilton owns his own consulting company, I wonder if Ryan McNutt negotiated a secret deal with him to allow Hamilton to continue working consulting side gigs if he becomes the permanent city assessor?
Donna(Tuesday, December 11 18 06:45 am EST)
I can only imagine how the employees must feel when they hear the truth about how they are not worth 2% raise when their bosses are worth 15-29%. This is going to demoralize the employees. The city council must step up and make this right. I wish Jim Sullivan and AJ Maranville and other old-timers were back on the Council right now because they would make this right because they would never stand for this crap. The councilors we have today are all weak willed idiots who want the job and what little glory comes with it but they all have no idea how to do the job even moderately well.
Ryan(Tuesday, December 11 18 06:40 am EST)
Ryan McNutt’s bungling of the Topstone abatements, the assessor position grade change and this current faux pas with the obscene pay raises for top administration officials while throwing crumbs or nothing at all to the people actually do all the work is the last straw. It’s time for the Council to fire McNutt.
Gail(Tuesday, December 11 18 05:16 am EST)
I find it hard to believe that any of the city councilors will give this outrageous pay raise any serious consideration. The taxpayers will not swallow any more frivolous spending.
Greg(Tuesday, December 11 18 04:51 am EST)
What the hell is McNutt thinking? The nine a measly 2% pay raise for dedicated employees of public works and municipal clerical positions of giving their overpaid bosses a 15% – 29% pay raise instead. If the councilors grant this wacky request then they all have to be voted out of office.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, December 11 18 03:05 am EST)
City Manager Ryan McNutt is proposing a 15% – 29% pay hike for Claremont’s highest-paid employees while refusing to give Public Works & Clerical Workers a 2% pay increase! Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Sarah(Friday, December 07 18 11:42 am EST)
I am not a fan of Bill Chaisson either. I do not like his writing style as he has a propensity to leave out important facts and details that do not support his position or political predisposition. For example, his recent editorial about how in his opinion Claremont needs a high price city assessor, when he failed to come clean and admit his conflict of interest regarding his close connection with one of the owners of Topstone Holdings LLC. Bill Chaisson should have disclosed the fact that the Eagle Times is a tenant of one of those owners. Especially when he takes a very unpopular stance supporting Ryan McNutt and Joseph Lessard and their decision to grant outrageously high property assessment abatements and tax debt forgiveness to the owners of Topstone Holdings LLC. In another editorial he wrote that also was published this week he stated that market rate valued apartments for Downtown Claremont is the answer to local economic growth. Bill Chaisson neglected to state that the Goddard building project does not meet that standard, as most of the apartments will be for low-income Section 8 residents, who will all probably turn to the city’s welfare department to pay their rent and that will increase our property tax burden immensely. I do not trust Bill Chaisson’s editorials as they appear to be slanted to his own thoughts, they lack balance and accuracy and they are far too local government official friendly to the point of being government propaganda, much like the news articles throughout the Eagle Times newspaper.
Jerry(Wednesday, December 05 18 07:31 am EST)
I just finished reading Mr. Bill Chaisson’s editorial in today’s edition of the Eagle Times. He admits to being an apartment dweller living in Unity. Therefore, in my opinion, he should not be trying to use his editorial position with the newspaper to promote his liberal ideas and influence increased taxing and spending increased taxation burden on Claremont property owners and apartment dwelling citizens forced to pay higher rents as a result of increased taxation. Mr. Bill Chaisson has no skin in the game, as he is not a resident.
Chris(Tuesday, December 04 18 03:12 pm EST)
Boy, that Joe Lessard is a terrible property assessor. He undervalued the Farwell property by 47% after devaluing the Topstone property by 76% and given the owners of the Topstone property a property tax bill right off of almost a quarter of one million dollars. Since the Farwell property is owned by the CDA, a government agency of the city of Claremont that somehow pays property taxes on the building, it makes me wonder if it was undervalued on purpose to give the CDA a break like the owners of the Topstone property received. Once again the taxpayers take it on the chin for the special interests.
Richard(Tuesday, December 04 18 11:59 am EST)
An editorial appeared in today’s edition of the Eagle Times, written by editor Bill Chaisson about his cockeyed opinion of how the city councilors of Claremont are basically totally screwing up property assessments in Claremont with their recent decisions. Mr. Chaisson is totally against the idea of forming a Board of Assessors, he also claims that this was some sort of knee-jerk reaction to the Topstone Holdings LLC property abatements controversy, which he seems to fully support the large property abatements and past tax debt forgiveness granted to the owners by Mr. Lessard. Mr. Chaisson never mentioned his conflict of interest, one of the owners of Topstone Holdings LLC owns the building where the Eagle Times offices are located. Apparently, Mr. Chaisson does not want to get on the wrong side of his landlord or the person whom it is my understanding collects the rent and handles any nuisances regarding the property located on Crescent Street. Of course, I am referring to Councilman Nick Koloski. Mr. Chaisson is also hypercritical of the position of city councilors to not increase the salary range for the city assessor because one applicant is demanding more money. I do happen to agree with Mr. Chaisson’s comment that the city assessor must be dispassionate and value properties correctly. However, that as far as our mutual agreement goes. Mr. Chaisson once the city councilors to cave into this unknown applicant’s salary demands, not create an assessing board and stop doing things as he says on the cheap. In other words, spend taxpayer’s money and do not stop. Mr. Chaisson fails to take into consideration the fact that all assessors are state certified so throwing more money at any applicant will not guarantee increased professionalism or competency. The funny thing is Mr. Chaisson resides in Newport, so he pays no taxes in Claremont. He also was not much of an editor. Underneath his photograph under the website version of his editorial the caption reads Beth Chaisson instead of Bill Chaisson, showcasing his abysmal editorial eye to detail professionalism, either that or Mr. Chaisson is revealing something about his personal life that I do not care to know about.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, December 04 18 10:24 am EST)
Two new articles published on the Sullivan Report today. Full details on the News Flashes page.
Andrea(Friday, November 30 18 08:28 am EST)
There has to be a way to get these dim-witted people out off office before it's to late. They are all on the road to bankrupt Claremont. None of them have Claremonts best intrests at heart with all the mismanaging of money, lying, and corruption. We need to get them out NOW.
Tom(Wednesday, November 28 18 12:14 pm EST)
That Nancy Merrill is useless. Every time she goes to the podium to speak, she knows very little about the topic that she is talking about. This is not a volunteer job she is doing this is her paid position and she is paid much more than she is worth. She should have fired her years ago but somehow she has managed to keep her job that she seems to be extremely unqualified for in just about every way possible.
Steve(Wednesday, November 28 18 10:56 am EST)
The councilors are dragging their feet with the Board of Assessors policy work. At the rate, they are moving it may take a year before we ever see one. By then a lot of damage can happen as all the property assessments can be jacked up by then.
Dan(Wednesday, November 28 18 10:00 am EST)
Charlene Lovett, Allen Damren, Ryan McNutt, Nick Koloski, Scott Pope, Claire Lessard, Joseph Lessard. It kind of says it all doesn’t it? You want to know why Claremont’s going down the tubes, the clowns I just mentioned is your answer.
Linda(Wednesday, November 28 18 09:39 am EST)
I remember when we thought that Debbie Cutts was a terrible female Mayor, those were the good old days compared to now.
Gail(Wednesday, November 28 18 08:05 am EST)
Little Miss Lovett sat on her tuffet wondering “my oh my what ever shall I do”?
“I know” she said, “I’ll turn my head and hope all the bad things will go away”.
William(Wednesday, November 28 18 06:57 am EST)
It is not surprising to me to find out that even with the addition of over 24 million dollars to the city’s property assessment valuation due to Municipal Resources Incorporated’s assessing representative Mr. Lessard’s grossly inflated property assessments that the municipal property tax rate is still rising while the school, county and state local property tax rates have all decreased. Our city manager and city council are out of their minds and out of control. The Topstone tax rebate sent a chilling precedent that will have very negative ramifications for Claremont taxpayers. Every property owner who files a property tax abatement can now file for rebate of prior-year taxes that they paid. I have no doubt in my mind that the deep-pocketed utilities and business property owners will now do just that to recoup their losses and then some. Do not forget if we lose any case, we also have to pay their legal fees as well. In the case of the utilities, I think we will lose every single case just looking at the disparity between what Claremont has highly assessed the properties for and what the state says the properties are worth. Taxes are going to go up far more than anyone may think with the all of these abatement cases that will be filed against the city. The welfare budget expansion means more welfare cases are coming in, the $5 million downtown rehabilitation project to benefit the downtown building owners and developers with parking for the welfare residents living there, the growing taxpayer subsidy for the community center and pay raises for the merit plan employees but not for public works and clerical workers. I am sure I have missed several things because this Council cannot stop spending money on things they should not while not spending money on things they should like road pavement repairs and upgrades. We all have the Sullivan Report to thank for educating us about all of the important issues that our city leaders wish to keep hidden from all of us because they do not want us to know the truth. It is a shame that the other members of the local news media only report what they witness at meetings that are usually well controlled to maintain a political spin of city leaders and carefully worded press releases that are handed to reporters from city officials.
John Bennett(Tuesday, November 27 18 05:49 pm EST)
I thank you for noticing the error. I will inform the NHSCon the Arts of the mistake. I will tell them to insert a $.00 in its place. I volunteer. Thanks again for noticing.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, November 27 18 10:48 am EST)
Claremont's 2018 property tax rate set! Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Jim Sullivan(Monday, November 26 18 02:33 pm EST)
The Grantee Information Form for Organizations document that was included in the grant application clearly states that it is asking regarding Claremont Opera House Incorporated for the annual salary of the administrator of the grant. The reply is your name and plus or minus $69,000. Yes, it does state the word retired after your name but the document specifically asked for the annual salary of the administrator of the grant.
Also, we never stated that you ever took a salary from Claremont Opera House Incorporated in the past, as IRS 990 Filings for Claremont Opera House Incorporated clearly state. This grant application cross-referenced with those past IRS 990 Filings implied that the $69,000 administrative salary was something new that would occur during Fiscal Year 2019.
That being stated, we most certainly want to set the record straight if it needs to be. That is simply a matter of accuracy and fairness. We will gladly do so provided you answer just a few clarifying questions.
1) You state that the $69,000 (give or take) represents your annual income. Based on your resume, do you mean your retirement pension from the Claremont School District and possibly Social Security and possibly retirement pension from The College of Lifelong Learning?
2) If so, then why was the $69,000 amount stated in the grant application as administrative salary?
With all due respect, since personal retirement benefits paid by entities other than Claremont Opera House Incorporated is clearly not administrative salary paid by Claremont Opera House Incorporated, the amount stated on the grant application regarding administrative salary should have been zero.
I look forward to your response so we can set the record straight.
Louanne Lewit(Monday, November 26 18 02:00 pm EST)
Dear Mr. Sullivan,
I really wish that you had called like a journalist would asking for clarification instead of hastily putting your comments in your forum. Thanks for your congratulations on the grant. However, Had you called I would have told you that John Bennett has never received a salary from the opera house. He has, in fact, offered his services for FREE many, many times over the years which is one of the reasons he was voted Citizen of the Year. The salary that we probably incorrectly put on the grant was his "personal" retirement income that has absolutely nothing to do with the opera house. Please do not confuse his personal, hard earned retirement income. That is why I had put the word "retired" in front of the income. And, I would also have told you that we are required to have someone from the City Council on our board. I believe that was the case when you were on the council and John Formidoni was on our board....and then Debra Cutts...John Bennett has given much of himself over the years to the opera house and he has been deeply hurt by this. He has loved the opera house and has done whatever he could to keep it viable for the community of Claremont. He was even instrumental in saving the opera house decades ago. Everyone here selflessly gives of themselves and is here because of a love for the opera house and what it brings to the community. I personally work for less than what the executive director earned 20 years ago and I also do the office manager and assistant positions that were once done by others. Please understand how hurtful your comments have been and try to make amends for it. We all make mistakes. I understand... In looking at the grant I can see how you could potentially have misunderstood it but a phone call would have cleared it all up and no harm would have been caused to someone who only ever gave everything he could to help save and keep the opera house running......and to keep history alive. Feel free to call me at the opera house. 603-542-0064.
I'm sure that you didn't intend to hurt anyone. I just ask that you clear up the misunderstanding.
John Bennett(Monday, November 26 18 11:48 am EST)
This is a sad day for me who has VOLUNTEERED 50 year of my time and money to the Claremont Opera House. Mr Sullivan has taken my personal income required with my resume as a qualified person to administer the grant and erroneously connected it to the income of COH,INC.
I have never received any salary from COH,INC.
Jim Sullivan(Monday, November 26 18 09:55 am EST)
New article entitled “Look What Is Hiding Behind The Curtain”. You won’t believe what the Board of Directors of the Claremont Opera House Incorporated non-profit recently did until you read for yourself the irrefutable documented evidence that we uncovered and have now published! We were shocked when we discovered it! Spoiler alert! Mayor Charlene Lovett is a member of this particular Board of Directors. Full details on this website’s News Flashes page.
Dennis(Friday, November 23 18 03:44 pm EST)
I see the Eagle Times finally got around to report about the Nov 13 council meeting a week and a half later. They focused on the assessor position not getting filled right away, the council's blessing to start an assessing board and the mess that Arrowhead is in. I think they got a lot of their information from the Sullivan Report articles.
Todd(Wednesday, November 21 18 10:52 am EST)
If you think things through you will see that Jim and AJ are using the Sullivan Report to paint a very realistic picture of Claremont’s local governments. Frankly, I do not like the way the direction the city government is going. Mr. McNutt and the city council through their actions, indecisiveness or intent to do nothing are taking unfair advantage of senior citizens, veterans (extremely low exemptions and tax credits), clerical and public works municipal employees (no pay raise or signed contract) and commercial, industrial and utility property owners (over-taxation through inflated property assessments to generate tax revenue for the wastrel city government. This is done to directly benefit special interests such as firefighters, police officers, the developer of the Goddard building and the owners of Topstone Holdings LLC (and Councilor Nick Koloski indirectly) to name a few.
Papa Jupiter(Wednesday, November 21 18 09:53 am EST)
How many public works employees are leaving to go work in the private sector?
ans. They are already overpaid and enjoy benefits that are unheard of in the private sector.
Papa Jupiter(Wednesday, November 21 18 09:49 am EST)
If the clerical worker pay is so bad why did the latest hire quit working at a local bank and start working at Claremont City Hall?
ans. The pay and benefits are already higher than the private sector.
Peter(Wednesday, November 21 18 09:06 am EST)
Today’s city councilors are a disgrace. They accomplish nothing of true public benefit. They only seem interested in benefiting friends and colleagues and to hell with everyone else such as the municipal clerical and public works employees, elderly and veteran homeowners and the at large public in general.
Tim(Wednesday, November 21 18 07:08 am EST)
It’s simple; the city councilors of today are sellouts to those with the most political influence. If you do not have any influence then you do not exist in their eyes.
Linda(Tuesday, November 20 18 02:01 pm EST)
I watched a repeat telecast of this last city council meeting because the Sullivan Report article sparked my interest. I cannot believe that Mayor Lovett is so gung ho about investing a lot of money that Claremont taxpayers do not have in Arrowhead. What has me even more stunned is that other councilors are in support of joining her to appropriate our tax dollars on something like this when they tell the city employees from the public works department and all the secretaries that city leaders cannot give them even a modest raise after giving big raises to the firefighters and the police officers. I do not understand the thought process of this latest collection of city councilors. It is time for new leadership.
Richard(Tuesday, November 20 18 12:55 pm EST)
This Council has a pattern of behavior. Put all decisions through countless committees to send back recommendations to spread the blame if anything goes wrong with any decisions they make. They are more interested in political correctness and political cover and catering to the special interests then they are doing what’s right for you, me, and all of the other hard-working citizens of Claremont.
Walter(Tuesday, November 20 18 11:39 am EST)
Don’t forget McNutt was the Council’s second choice. This makes me wonder about the quality of the applicant pool and why they didn’t re-advertise the position instead of hiring an inferior candidate.
Todd(Tuesday, November 20 18 11:32 am EST)
I am getting sick of Mr. McNutt’s 50,000-foot high management too. Is unfair treatment of members of his city staff is unforgivable. The city councilors must be displeased with his work as they are performing quarterly job performance review checks when Mr. Santagate only saw a job performance review once a year.
George(Tuesday, November 20 18 10:17 am EST)
Wow! The welfare budget is really getting out of control. Why are Mayor Lovett and the rest of the city councilors sitting on their hands and doing nothing about this? Don’t they realize this housing scam of Mr. McNutt’s is nothing more than subsidized housing for the poor and working poor? Claremont is already doing more than enough for welfare recipients it is time for other communities to step up and do their part. Mr. Santagate understood that but Mr. McNutt does not. Of course, I don’t think he really cares because I do not think that he will last nowhere near as long as Mr. Santagate did.
Sharon(Tuesday, November 20 18 09:29 am EST)
Most of the city councilors are opportunistic social climbers and for them the wants and desires of special interests always trumps what is best for the general public. The only way you can change that is to change the people who are representing you on the city council.
Tom(Tuesday, November 20 18 08:17 am EST)
I think it is terrible how veterans and seniors are treated by the Claremont city councilors. Other communities with lower property tax burdens treat their veterans and seniors better. Mayor Lovett and the other city councilors are such phonies. They say how much they care for the citizens but they really only care for certain segments of the population. Their primary concern lies with police officers, firefighters, certain developers, certain non-profit agencies and oh yes themselves, Nicholas Koloski and his landlord for example. It is shameful the way our city government is manage these days.
Jennifer(Tuesday, November 20 18 02:41 am EST)
These bonehead councilors want to spend more of the taxpayer's money to benefit top municipal administrators, developers of new welfare housing and non-profits like the Arrowhead crew and the Dental Clinic. At the same time these same bonehead councilors do not want to appropriately spend our tax dollars to treat clerical and public works employees fairly like the police officers and firefighters. They also do not want to treat senior citizens and veterans who own homes in Claremont fairly as other surrounding towns do with their citizens. I do not know where the heck their priorities are but they sure do not reflect my values and I am sure they do not reflect the values of most if not all of my fellow Claremont citizens. That is the reason why these bonehead councilors do not deserve our support and trust anymore. It is time to elect new leadership that represents the way we think and act.
Rebecca(Monday, November 19 18 08:02 pm EST)
I watch all the city council meetings as I like to keep abreast of what my locally elected officials are doing with our tax dollars. What bothers me are the contradictory rationalizations and excuses that city councilors use to either spend or not spend taxpayer’s dollars. The city councilors ordered a study of the grade 11 positions for the non-union merit plan employees to be followed with a study of all the other pay grades for merit plan employees. The city councilors, or at least most of them, appeared to have the intention of pay scales for merit plan employees. City councilors expressed an interest in giving the Arrowhead nonprofit agency several items on their wish list with the use of our tax dollars. City councilors seemed to be on board with spending over $5 million to create a better environment more parking for what will presumably be for welfare recipients who immigrate to the downtown region. City councilors balk at the opportunity to order the city manager to give the public works and clerical employees a modest pay increase and leave their health benefits as they are. They claim there is no money for the pay increases but they had no similar concerns when it came time to give pay increases to firefighters and police officers and they seem to have no concerns about giving pay raises to directors and upper management of the administration. The city councilors are hypocrites.
Industrial Property Owner(Monday, November 19 18 06:22 pm EST)
Another great exposé by the Sullivan Report as Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Maranville once again looks past the obvious on the surface that the inferior local press disburses to their readers and delves deeper with investigative reporting to uncover the truth and report superior, documented news to their readers.
I share the concerns about the growth of the Welfare municipal department expense budget and the conclusions drawn by Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Maranville are quite astute. Mayor Lovett’s efforts with other local officials to expand social services, for example, drug rehab clinics, needle exchange programs, expansion of the dental clinic, facilitation to assist the non-profit agency to purchase the building on Main Street that is becoming a hub of social services, etc. could very well be perpetuating the influx of welfare recipients. The Goddard building construction project will undoubtedly create housing for more low-income residents. If I recall correctly 60% or more of the apartment dwellers must be very low income, with income levels of around 70% of Claremont’s very low median income if memory serves. Zoning changes that would assist other downtown building owners to replicate Mr. Lacasse’s project in their respective buildings and Mr. McNutt’s $5 million downtown renovation plan to create infrastructure for these low-income residents should concern every taxpayer. Only the Sullivan Report has the old-fashioned work ethic to follow journalistic professionalism and ethics hold government officials accountable for their actions. That is the true function of the fourth estate, referring to the watchdog role of the press, which is important to a functioning democracy. Something the reporters and the editorial staff of the E- Ticker News, the Valley News and the Eagle Times all seem to have forgotten.
The inconsistent treatment of union personnel by City Manager Ryan McNutt is also cause for concern. Robert Picard voiced what many people are thinking. Give the clerical and public works personnel a modest raise and retain the same insurance coverage and policies currently given to police and fire personnel. The administration can try to negotiate for something different the next round of employee contract talks. Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Maranville voiced their support and I add mine as well. Many in the community would do the same in the spirit of common courtesy, mutual respect and fairness.
Jim Sullivan(Monday, November 19 18 04:30 pm EST)
Bricker's Restaurant building sold.
November 13 Council meeting synopsis.
Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
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Ron(Friday, November 16 18 10:35 am EST)
I am pleased to hear that the Main Street sidewalks will not always be looking as ghastly as they do now. I too am concerned about the school budget for the next school year. Hundreds of thousands of dollars of expenses do not simply go away. It takes determination and priority shifts and difficult choices to make a level funded budget a reality. Adding $125,000 to the special education budget for a poorly thought out new program that may only service six children is ill advised at any time but especially now given the challenges the school board members will face with the next budget as it is. The special education program plan should either be scrapped or retooled to be either cost neutral or generate savings \ new revenues.
Deborah(Friday, November 16 18 06:38 am EST)
I am very appreciative of the Sullivan Report because it is the only source of local government news that treats their readers like adults. They do so by reporting the truth including the bad news instead of the politically correct news we receive all a time from the mainstream local news media. The Sullivan Report is also the only local new source that publishes documents or portions thereof that backs up what they report. I appreciate the high journalism standard and the humor and satire that is sprinkled throughout some of the longer articles. I just had to say that because I am a first time writer on the Public Forum.
I have many concerns about our municipal and school governments and the way they handle our tax dollars. I have been part of the silent majority for too long and this is my first attempt at speaking out. The concern I want to write about today is the school budget. School Board Chair Frank Sprague’s written comments about pressures that are building regarding next year’s school district budget are disconcerting. Mr. Sprague identified about $300,000 in new spending that does not calculate in its equation the personnel contractual compensation increases previously approved by the voters. That may edge up the property tax rate by as much as one dollar. Will the school board have the political will to make drastic cuts to level fund the budget? I am not convinced and neither should you be.
I am equally concerned about the special education alternative program championed by Assistant Superintendent Cory LeClair. In my opinion, creating a program that would cost taxpayers another $125,000 or more each year to service only six students does not seem to be a good return on investment. I know that may sound harsh but the reality is Claremont’s property tax rate for 2017 is the highest in the entire state of New Hampshire by $3.47 compared to Berlin followed by Keene with the tax rate of $5.44 below that of Claremont’s. Our community cannot sustain its current high property tax rate and Claremont certainly cannot grow as economic development efforts are stifled by the crushing property tax burden in Claremont. It is time to reassess our priorities within the school district and the municipality, separate what is necessary from what is nice to have a focus on scaling back expenditures and return to basics.
I am hopeful that Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Maranville can present to the school board a better plan for special education reform that will retain all of our out of district placement students to reduce our tax burden and create the opportunity for increased revenues with special education tuitions from other school districts. It is out-of-the-box thinking like that which Claremont needs most.
Jim Sullivan(Thursday, November 15 18 02:02 pm EST)
City Manager Ryan McNutt's response to my inquiry regarding the plan for the sidewalks on upper Main Street is published on the News Flashes page of this website.
Jim Sullivan(Thursday, November 15 18 06:47 am EST)
New article regarding present condition of upper Main Street sidewalks. Full details on the news flashes page of this website.
Kevin(Tuesday, November 13 18 03:24 pm EST)
If Frank Sprague is right then we are looking at about a $500,000 budget hike because of extra expenses and lost revenue. I do not have faith in the school board to eliminate that whole $500,000 and now they want to add another $125,000 for a special education program that really does not add too much value to the taxpayers but it sure jacks up the budget. The Sullivan Report article was very enlightening because it shows that the $125,000 deficit is the good news and will probably be a higher deficit than that. That would bring the budget increase to about $725,000 and if I’m not mistaken that is about a dollar on the property tax rate. The taxpayers cannot keep paying more money for schools because the taxpayers about the breaking point now. The city leaders are just as bad with their spending plans that do not add any real value to our way of life either. The tax-and-spend days of local government has to stop while we still have a chance to make things better.
Ed(Tuesday, November 13 18 02:14 pm EST)
Why are we spending so much money on special ed students that will never contribute much of anything?
Wouldn't this money be better spent on the talented children?
I mean c'mon,all these people getting fat paychecks for what?!
Katherine(Tuesday, November 13 18 01:52 pm EST)
Typical Claremont school leaders BS. Create a program to save money and have it end up costing more money than it saves. This time it is a special education plan that will cost the taxpayers $125,000 more each year than what we are paying now to help out six kids while another 30 kids are shut out of the program give either five or six new hires cushy high compensation jobs. Oh yeah let's do that says the school board. With a bunch of dolts.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, November 13 18 11:45 am EST)
New article. School News Briefs. Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Chud(Thursday, November 08 18 02:11 pm EST)
"are their substitutes and agents"
So why are they charging the public for right to know documents if we already pay them?
By way of paychecks and salaries
Jim Sullivan(Wednesday, November 07 18 03:57 pm EST)
2018 CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT QUESTIONS
Constitutional Amendments Proposed by the 2018 General Court
1. "Are you in favor of amending article 8 of the first part of the constitution to read as follows:
[Art.] 8. [Accountability of Magistrates and Officers; Public’s Right to Know.] All power residing originally in, and being derived from, the people, all the magistrates and officers of government are their substitutes and agents, and at all times accountable to them. Government, therefore, should be open, accessible, accountable and responsive. To that end, the public’s right of access to governmental proceedings and records shall not be unreasonably restricted. The public also has a right to an orderly, lawful, and accountable government. Therefore, any individual taxpayer eligible to vote in the State, shall have standing to petition the Superior Court to declare whether the State or political subdivision in which the taxpayer resides has spent, or has approved spending, public funds in violation of a law, ordinance, or constitutional provision. In such a case, the taxpayer shall not have to demonstrate that his or her personal rights were impaired or prejudiced beyond his or her status as a taxpayer. However, this right shall not apply when the challenged governmental action is the subject of a judicial or administrative decision from which there is a right of appeal by statute or otherwise by the parties to that proceeding."
(Passed by the N.H. House 309 Yes 9 No; Passed by State Senate 22 Yes 2 No) CACR 15
2. “Are you in favor of amending the first part of the constitution by inserting after article 2-a a new article to read as follows:
[Art.] 2-b. [Right to Privacy.] An individual's right to live free from governmental intrusion in
private or personal information is natural, essential, and inherent."
(Passed by the N.H. House 235 Yes 96 No; Passed by State Senate 15 Yes 9 No) CACR 16
Chud(Wednesday, November 07 18 01:44 pm EST)
What were questions 1 & 2 on the ballot?
Tom(Wednesday, November 07 18 01:40 pm EST)
Ryan McNutt’s termination is long overdue. Mayor Lovett and her city councilor colleagues are incapable of making difficult decisions on their own. The Claremont voters need to replace all of them at their first opportunity.
Jennifer(Wednesday, November 07 18 11:50 am EST)
Claremont’s city councilors are out of their depth about practically everything. They are not up to the challenge of bringing Claremont to the glory that it could and should be. Mr. McNutt is also not up to the challenge and needs to be fired.
William(Wednesday, November 07 18 10:53 am EST)
A $47 million property assessment increase for industrial and commercial buildings occurring in only one year is hard to swallow. I know that most of the city councilors are incredibly stupid, you only need to look at the faces around the councilor’s table to realize that, but just how gullible are they really to believe the $47 million lie that is coming out of the offices of the city manager and the assessor? Perhaps they are so intimidated by Mr. McNutt and his bulldog of a lawyer that they would rather place their tails between their legs and do nothing rather than risk the ire of and possible public humiliation from Mr. McNutt. In my opinion, the tail is definitely wagging the dog here in Claremont’s municipal government.
Richard(Wednesday, November 07 18 09:29 am EST)
I do not trust any of the property assessments done by Mr. Lessard of MRI. His past record of drive-by property assessments precedes him. His present-day work performance is also not a confidence builder, case in point the Topstone property. I have no idea if Councilman Koloski used his influence to manipulate the wonderful outcome for his landlords to the detriment of all Claremont taxpayers but I do have a difficult time believing that Councilman Koloski was unaware or uninvolved in any way, shape or form. I do not believe that residential property values in Claremont are stagnant and actually declined in the current marketplace. I do not believe that commercial and industrial property values increased by over $47 million in one year. I do believe that property values were manipulated in order for the outcomes Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Maranville found through their examination and investigations of Mr. Lessard’s declared property values and Mr. Lessard’s filing of Claremont’s 2018 MS-1 document to the NH DRA. In my opinion, there is corruption here and the city councilors are culpable even if they are only accessories after the fact because they are doing nothing to protect the Claremont citizenry.
Donna(Wednesday, November 07 18 08:52 am EST)
As I see it Ryan McNutt and MRI are Claremont’s biggest problems right now but I see two other big problems as well that a hiding behind the scenes. Allen Damren our Assistant Mayor with his long historic connections to MRI I cannot believe that Mr. Damren did not exert considerable influence to hire MRI for the city manager search, the interim city manager services, assessing services and communication counseling. Mr. McNutt may feel a debt of gratitude to MRI for landing the Claremont City Manager’s position and this combined with Allen Damren’s close personal ties with MRI it seems MRI will not be leaving Claremont anytime soon. The other big problem I see is Mayor Charlene Lovett who defers to Mr. Damren about all decisions while she creates the illusion of herself being in charge, which is nothing more than a delusional fantasy within her own psychologically troubled mind.
Jim Sullivan(Wednesday, November 07 18 07:03 am EST)
Claremont election results are published on the News Flashes page of this website.
Chud(Tuesday, November 06 18 02:21 pm EST)
you should accidentally send a link for your latest newsflash to the BTLA people that you're appealing the Topstone giveaway to.Industrial man is right,a $47 million increase in a backwater like Claremont CAN NOT BE RIGHT.
Industrial Property Owner(Tuesday, November 06 18 01:54 pm EST)
Adding over $47 million in property value to industrial and commercial buildings around Claremont will be indefensible with either the Board of Tax and Land Appeals of New Hampshire or any Judge within the Superior Court Circuit. That is an insane amount of additional property value for an anemic local real estate market to generate it a period of 12 months. Any property owner will be able to use the data researched by the Sullivan Report to place reasonable doubt on any property assessments set by Joseph Lessard of Municipal Resources Incorporated. The Topstone Holdings LLC abatement fiasco and the large disparity between property assessments conducted by the State of New Hampshire and Municipal Resources Incorporated for the City of Claremont will also make for compelling evidence to discredit any property assessment arrived at by Mr. Lessard. I am quite concerned about any aggrieved property owner going the extra mile and filing for prior-year property tax monies as well as they are already filing for an abatement. Angry property owners facing significant property tax bill increases will be more inclined to do so out of spite and they may very well be able to present a compelling case to receive additional funds in either a settlement or judgment. The Claremont City Councilors need to pull their heads out of their buttocks and terminate Mr. McNutt immediately as his continued employment as city manager is dragging Claremont deeper and deeper into financial crisis.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, November 06 18 10:16 am EST)
New article.MRI property assessment changes target business community! Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
George(Friday, November 02 18 03:30 pm EDT)
This new city council promised they would be different. Boy are they ever! They are the worst bunch of city councilors we have ever had and that is saying something considering the likes that we have had before during the Santagate years. We need intelligent fiscally conservative representatives instead of the ignorant tax and spenders we have today.
Steve(Wednesday, October 31 18 01:16 pm EDT)
I think the whole set up with MRI and Allen Damren and Ryan McNutt is real shady. I do not like the conflicts of interest or the results of MRI's work in Claremont. I also believe that Nick Koloski benefited somehow when his landlords received a quarter of $1 million tax forgiveness from the city and a 74% cut in their property assessment so they will have much lower property tax bills in the future. Claremont's city government is so corrupt these days that the only way to fix it is to start from scratch and vote everybody out of office who is on that no good city council.
Jim Sullivan(Wednesday, October 31 18 12:16 pm EDT)
I just came back from the City's Assessing Office at Claremont City Hall. I spoke with Kim, the Assessing Clerk. I specifically asked her when the data regarding Claremont property assessments for 2018 would be fully updated on the Vision Government Solutions website as the Claremont taxpayers are paying service fees to have the information updated on a monthly basis. Kim was not aware of any delay but when she checked on her computer she saw that the City of Claremontt had not sent updated information for a while now. I asked how long a while was but she did not answer that question. Kim did say that the process was supposed to be automatic but for some reason the information had not been sent. So I asked another question, specifically when will the Vision website have the updated information online? Kim manually sent an electronic data packet with all of Claremont's completed updated property assessment information for Tax Year 2018 to Vision Government Solutions while I was there. She then said the Vision website should be fully updated in about a week and that she would stay on top of this to make sure that it is done. I thanked her for doing so and I left. Coincidence or intentional delay to keep the public (especially the affected property owners) in the dark? You decide!
Chris(Wednesday, October 31 18 11:59 am EDT)
Interesting article today. I really enjoyed the part about Allen Damren’s multiple connections with MRI. One thing you guys should have added the fact that Damren served on the LGC Board of Directors when the state was investigating their practice of overcharging municipalities, schools, and the employees of these government institutions with higher than necessary health insurance rates. The LGC board diverted those extra monies to bolster funding balances in other struggling LGC insurance pools. I recall reading about other questionable expenditures the LGC board authorized with these funds as the revenue source, such as retreats and other events at high-priced venues.
Jim Sullivan(Wednesday, October 31 18 09:59 am EDT)
New article.October 24 Claremont City Council meeting synopsis. Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Tony(Wednesday, October 31 18 09:22 am EDT)
Fortunately this blog is proving to be just as Impotent as usual. No real threat to the actual power base of Claremont. It is a great public service Jim provides for all the conspiracy writing fantasists to have their own safe room to vent. He even allows them to remain unknowable so they don't have to reveal the lunacy of their beliefs. how many of you would speak a word of this if your friends, family, and Churches knew the ideas you support on this site. Many of you would never post again. So thanks Jim for providing the fringe a 'safe room' and incubator for their wildest fantasies.
Andrea(Sunday, October 28 18 09:49 am EDT)
My husband and I agree with all of the comments in this forum, we pay our taxes when due, and like every one else we get nothing in return except a lot of bull from the people that Claremonts elect decides to hire. Stop being lazy, and stop using Municipal Resources Inc. and do the interviewing and hiring yourselves there's no reson for an outside entity to do this, it is a wast of money, you all would proably do just as good or better then MRI. Mr. Mcnutt is just another Mcgoodwin, out of towners know nothing about how to deal with or run Claremont and could care less , just in it to win it, spend, spend, spend all on the tax payers backs. Everyone of the council members ought to be ashamed of the predicament they have put us in once again, gat a back bone and start doing the jobs you were all elicted for. At the rate we are going Claremont is going to turn into a ghost town.
Joe(Wednesday, October 24 18 10:46 pm EDT)
Take note of Section 49-B:2 IV (b) "Governing body" means the board of selectmen, the board of aldermen, or the council in a city or in a town with a town council.
TOWNS, CITIES, VILLAGE DISTRICTS, AND UNINCORPORATED PLACES
HOME RULE-MUNICIPAL CHARTERS
49-B:1 Purpose and Intent. – It is the purpose of this chapter to implement the home rule powers recognized by article 39, part first, of the constitution of the state of New Hampshire. To that end, the general court hereby provides a vehicle whereby a municipality may adopt a form of government that best addresses local needs. At the same time, however, the general court recognizes a need to require uniform procedures and practices when there is a corresponding state interest. Therefore, this chapter is intended only to provide a procedural framework by which a city or town may amend its actual form of government. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to create any power in, or confer any power upon, any city or town beyond that necessary to carry out the amendment of a charter or form of government as set forth in this chapter. The general laws of this state shall remain in full force and effect, and they shall be construed to be consistent with this chapter to the greatest extent possible in the effectuation of this chapter's stated purpose. Accordingly, this chapter shall be strictly interpreted to allow towns and cities to adopt, amend, or revise a municipal charter relative to their form of government so long as the resulting charter is neither in conflict with nor inconsistent with the general laws or the constitution of this state.
Source. 1979, 241:1. 1988, 223:1, eff. June 29, 1988.
49-B:2 Scope of Authorization; Definitions. –
I. Any incorporated town or city, regardless of population, shall be entitled to exercise the home rule powers recognized by article 39, part first, of the New Hampshire constitution, and implemented through this chapter, to create a charter commission and to present to its voters by referendum a municipal charter, in which they may establish either a town or city government.
II. If the proposed charter denominates the municipality as a town, the charter shall be prepared pursuant to RSA 49-D.
III. If the proposed charter denominates the municipality as a city, the charter shall be prepared pursuant to RSA 49-C.
IV. In this chapter:
(a) "Elected body" means the mayor and board of aldermen, mayor and council, and city council in a city adopting a charter under RSA 49-C and a town council or representative town meeting in a town adopting a charter under RSA 49-D.
(b) "Governing body" means the board of selectmen, the board of aldermen, or the council in a city or in a town with a town council.
(c) "Legislative body" means a town meeting, representative town meeting, city or town council, mayor and council, and mayor and board of aldermen.
(d) "Municipality" means a city or a town.
(e) "Municipal officers" means the mayor and board of aldermen, mayor and council, and city council in a city, and board of selectmen and town council in a town.
(f) "Municipal year" means the fiscal year of the municipality.
(g) "Operating budget" means total appropriations, as determined by the department of revenue administration, exclusive of county and school taxes; principal and interest payments on bonds and notes; and amounts in satisfaction of court judgments.
(h) "Revocation" means the repeal of an entire charter such that the resultant form of government is the form in existence immediately prior to the adoption of the charter being repealed.
Source. 1979, 241:1. 1988, 223:2. 1991, 162:1; 304:3, 4. 2003, 289:9, eff. Sept. 1, 2003. 2014, 292:1, eff. Sept. 30, 2014.
Trish(Wednesday, October 24 18 01:33 pm EDT)
I am really worried about what is going on with the property assessments. I do not trust this Joe Lessard character at all. I also think it is time for the city council to fire Mr. McNutt. He hides things from them and he does things that they do not want him to do. Any other employee in any other company doing these things and they would be fired immediately. What makes the city manager so special?
Brian(Wednesday, October 24 18 11:54 am EDT)
What makes me angry is the fact that the assessor and the city manager continue to leave out important information when supposedly explaining things to the public. They let everyone believe that the NH BTLA forced the city to sit down and hammer out an agreement with Topstone Holdings LLC. None of that was true. Mr. McNutt and Mr. Lessard did not come to terms with Topstone Holdings LLC and told the NH BTLA that they wanted to go to a hearing. Something happened after that that made city manager McNutt and assessor Lessard change their minds and practically give Topstone Holdings LLC everything they wanted. Hell I would like a quarter of $1 million refund on my taxes but I would never get it because I will not cozy up to Nick Koloski or any of the other city councilors to do it. There is not enough beer in the world to get me that drunk. I know people are going to say Koloski has nothing to do with this but I am calling BS. Nothing any of you will say will ever make me believe that Koloski is not involved somehow.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, October 23 18 12:48 pm EDT)
Claremont's MS-1 filing: The rest of the story! Wait to you see what we found! Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Industrial Property Owner(Sunday, October 21 18 09:41 am EDT)
The outlook for the City of Claremont’s municipal government is looking increasingly grim with each passing day. The Topstone Holdings LLC abatement catastrophe has created an environment of distrust. The public is distrustful of Ryan McNutt, an untested city manager that was the city council’s second choice and presumably hired out of desperation because they are incapable of sound leadership left to their own devices. The city council, or at least several members of this council appear disenchanted with Mr. McNutt’s lackluster job performance and his propensity to not answer questions as vague responses appears to be his forte. Mr. McNutt seems to prefer to keep the councilors and the public in the dark as much as possible in regards to the financial health of the city and any controversial actions taken by either himself or others working under his questionable supervision. Clues abound as to at least a faction of the council’s displeasure with Mr. McNutt. Quarterly job performance reviews were unheard of before Mr. McNutt’s hiring, annual job performance reviews were always standard operating procedure. Now coaching from the former interim city manager that is a consultant from Municipal Resources Incorporated appears to be the order of the day with a 90-day contract to teach communication skills, rudimentary skills everyone should have. A waste of money for an incompatible and unqualified city manager. This will not solve the larger problems facing the city of Claremont. Despite his austerity measure rhetoric, all Mr. McNutt has done thus far is set the stage for large-scale government spending to promote housing initiatives which appears to be the only skill set and Mr. McNutt’s wheelhouse judging from his resume. Mr. McNutt is sticking with what he knows unfortunately what he knows is not enough to meet the challenges Claremont is facing let alone solve any of them. I am an avid reader of the Sullivan Report and having done my own research, I concur with their conclusions that the Goddard project is not for workforce housing but for low-income Section 8 housing as clearly stipulated in the regulations that Mr. LaCasse must follow to meet the requirements of his government funding for the building renovation project. Most of the apartments will be for very low income residents hardly considered workforce housing. City officials are willfully misleading the public to make this project appeared to be something that it is not. Undoubtedly to rationalize spending over $5 million in bonding to create adequate parking spaces for more low income tenants in other downtown buildings presently unoccupied. This will not stimulate economic development but it will stimulate the property tax rate increasingly higher and the members of the city council unfortunately do not possess the mental acuity to realize the danger of pursuing this path any further. Either that or they simply do not care and wish to have an achievement to claim as their own even if the achievement is not an achievement at all. Similar to the Downtown TIF District, now requiring a taxpayer bailout of over $3 million and let us not forget the Claremont Savings Bank Community Center that is precipitously losing membership with the inverse effect of increasing the annual taxpayer subsidy to maintain the facility. Both projects were sold to the public as tax neutral and economic development generators. Neither of these promises truly occurred with either project. All the taxpayers have to show for these completed projects are higher property tax bills. Hardly the progress anyone would wish on Claremont. MRI’s new property assessments thanks to Joseph Lessard are also of great concern because the business community and the utilities will not accept higher property assessments that are deemed excessive. They will file for abatements and in all likelihood; they will win their individual judgments with the courts or the NH BTLA if necessary. The Sullivan Report raises a very valid point about the setting of a dangerous precedent by Mr. McNutt and Mr. Lessard regards to the Topstone Holdings LLC abatements. By granting forgiveness of almost one-quarter of $1 million, in back taxes, penalties and interest they have opened the door to other similar claims especially from utilities who have nothing to lose and everything to gain. A dangerous precedent that I believe will have negative consequences for Claremont taxpayers in years to come.
Tom(Sunday, October 21 18 06:48 am EDT)
I think Jim Sullivan did an amazing job making the case for appealing the Topstone Holdings LLC abatements that the MRI Assessor Joe Lessard and City Manager Ryan McNutt agreed to give to the people who own the building where Councilor Nick Koloski has his businesses. I do not believe for one second that Nick Koloski’s connection to this meant absolutely nothing. I have never seen such special privileges and favors given to out-of-state property owners. A nearly quarter of million dollar write-off of tax money the property owners owed to the city that really belong to the taxpayers and a 74% reduction in their property assessment that slashed their future tax bills as well. I am also not too happy about the whole Goddard Block deal. I do not want to see an influx of welfare people come to Claremont. We have too many social service programs here now and creating more Section 8 housing to draw more welfare people to Claremont will increase the welfare budget and the police and fire budgets that the taxpayers will have to pay more for school taxes because more kids will be attending. That is not what I would consider progress. Mr. McNutt, Mrs. Lovett and Mr. Damren all seem to think so and I think many of the other city councilors do as well. These liberals are destroying our city and forcing out the middle class and the elderly who are not living in government-subsidized housing. I believe Claremont is going in the wrong direction and I do not see our community turning the corner until a new city manager and new city councilors are in place. This could take a few years and many bad things could happen before then. Like a $5 million bond for parking spaces for these welfare recipients. Oh, I’m sorry I forgot to use the secret buzzword workforce housing residents. Of course, it is a load of crap when the income limit requirements are so low that no one could hold a full time job and actually make that little money and survive. Therefore, you have either welfare or working poor living in these apartments. How does that help Claremont?
Brian(Sunday, October 21 18 06:03 am EDT)
I think it’s great about the $443,000 rebate too. The problem is the city council already spent all of that money by giving away freebies and tax breaks to their cronies. Oh and don’t forget the city manager lessons for Ryan McNutt. Yeah the geniuses on the council want the taxpayers to pay for that too.
Kathy(Sunday, October 21 18 05:40 am EDT)
I think it was good news that the school board decided to give back $443,000 to the taxpayers because they had left over money in last year’s budget. I understand they had to give at least some of the money back but to give back all of it was a smart move on their part. I know they are struggling with the food services billing but I think that is an issue with the company itself and not the school district. I have heard many stories from parents about billing errors charging for food that was not served. Perhaps this accounts for some of these unpaid bills. The school board should take charge and have a representative from the company come to a meeting and hash out these billing problems. Perhaps they need a new billing system to make sure that parents are only billed for what their children buy. School leaders also need to do a better job of signing up families that qualify for free or reduced meals to get rid of that part of the problem. Overall, I think the Claremont school board is doing a swell job but they need to focus their attention on this and fix this problem for good.
Richard(Saturday, October 20 18 05:26 pm EDT)
I am sick of this MRI group running our city. They ran the city into the ground back when Bob Porter was city manager and now Ryan McNutt is opening the door for them to come back. Joe Lessard’s back as the assessor after the crap he pulled in 2000. I was one of the Washington Street property owners that he took advantage of with his unprofessional drive-by method of assessing. Fortunately, the quick property reassessment afterwards fixed the problem so I did not have to go for an abatement. I am a homeowner and I really didn’t know how to go about it and in retrospect I probably should have tried to get my money back for that one-year’s amount of higher taxes I paid. Live and learn. I am worried about my new property assessment, I intend to check it out, and I will look into the property assessments of my two daughters because I just do not trust Joe Lessard after what happened last time. Now another MRI consultant is going to teach the city manager proper manners and act like a marriage counselor between the city manager and the city council. I have a sneaky suspicion that after the 90 days of group counseling is over this consultant is going to suggest a full-time retainer for himself and MRI to keep the avenues of communication open between the city manager and the city council. He will want to be paid a nice fat paycheck to hand hold all of these idiots in Claremont’s city government. I have another sneaky suspicion that the imbeciles on the city council would be receptive to paying that bill because it will help with all their insecurities and after all it is only taxpayer’s money so what the heck. The fact that Allen Damren is an ex-employee of MRI does not sit well with me. I cannot help but wonder if the relationship between Allen Damren and MRI is not in the past as we all think. Maybe I am wrong and this is all completely innocent and above board but the thought did occur to me since Allen is so gung ho about the MRI staff and supporting their behaviors at every turn.
Alicia(Saturday, October 20 18 04:49 pm EDT)
The City Council just loves wasting the taxpayer’s money. Whenever there is a problem just throw money at it and maybe it will go away is their motto. This Council needs to stop listening to that tax-and-spend liberal doofus Allen Damren and start listening to the taxpayers. We need better candidates for the next election because this bunch of dimwits have to go.
Chris(Saturday, October 20 18 03:14 pm EDT)
I think the utility companies will have no problem winning their cases when all they have to do is show the state’s greatly lower property assessment and go with that. Case closed we lose again each and every time. I am so sick of this screw-up for a city manager. I am equally sick of our city councilors. They keep spending more and more of our tax dollars in a wasteful way following this terrible city manager’s lead because they are not able to come up with a better plan on their own. I do not want welfareville in downtown Claremont. I do not want to spend $5 million of our tax money for parking spots for these welfare deadbeats who do not work and are paid to sit on their ass and make more kids to fill our school system and raise our taxes even higher. I have no idea what the hell Charlene Lovett and the other intellectually challenged councilors are thinking but they all need to be voted out of office if they cannot get their act together and just say no to city manager McNutt’s lunacy. I do not want to pay good money for city manager lessons for McNutt. Just cut him loose, pay his severance pay, and let’s move forward shall we.
Steve(Saturday, October 20 18 01:24 pm EDT)
Jim and AJ are on the ball looking out for us. Their new article about the property assessments in Claremont should have everybody spooked. Next year is going to be one hell of a year if the utilities all file for property tax abatements. The ones that were hammered with wicked bigger property assessments and wicked bigger tax bills will most definitely be filing because they have the money and the wherewithal to do it. I think the commercial property owners that were stung will also file. I see bad times ahead when all this money has to be refunded. Maybe Allen Damren will suggest hiring more MRI staff to fix things because that seems to be his answer to everything these days.
Todd(Saturday, October 20 18 12:30 pm EDT)
I cannot believe that our elected band of misfit idiot councilors are willing to spend as much as $6500 to give communication lessons to the ignorant, out of touch boob they hired for city manager. I have never personally met the man and I do not want to. He is as arrogant as they come. He clearly does not know what damn thing and he pales in comparison to Guy Santagate. After the backroom deal with Councilman Koloski’s landlords that wiped away all their tax debt and drop their property value by 74% to give them cheaper property tax bills in the future I say it’s time to show Mr. McNutt the door instead of investing more money into a city manager in name only. Mr. McNutt certainly does not have the wherewithal to be a true city manager. Mayor Lovett and the other city councilors may be in love with him but the taxpayers certainly are not.
Jim Sullivan(Saturday, October 20 18 09:14 am EDT)
New article. Claremont’s annual Citywide property assessment valuation report is in. Wait until you see what we found! Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Joe Osgood(Saturday, October 20 18 03:45 am EDT)
In Claremont the tail is wagging the dog. The manager and his lawyer (paid for with tax money)has wagged the council into believing that the assessors releasing of 222,000+ of liens and lowering the value of a building to ridiculously low numbers when they were not involved in the process is legal. And this BACK ROOM DEAL has not been approved by the Board of Tax and Land Appeals and will not be until the governing body (THE COUNCIL) approves any agreement. I can not believe this council. Sadly some of whom want to do something but when you have to go with a majority and most of them want to sit on their hand and do nothing but spend 💰 to get wagged even more the good ones are made to look bad. Wikipedia CLEARLY identifies the City of Claremont New Hampshire’s Governing Body as the City Council and the BTLA Clearly states that ( to avoid any BACK ROOM DEALS) until the council agrees to any agreement between the assessor and the tax payer it is not a done deal.
Not sure hiring MRI to help communicate is a good idea when when an assessor employed by MRI is what got us into this mess. A manger who was in this BACK ROOM DEAL does not need a communicator. He needs walking papers. More than the assessor and the manager are involved in this DEAL. This is tearing this community apart.
New Hampshire comprises 13 cities and 221 towns, plus 25 unincorporated places. These governments conform to Dillon's Rule; that is, they are creatures of the state whose powers are limited to those expressly granted to them by law (NH RSA Title III). Municipalities also have powers necessarily implied by those express powers, and those essential to the local government's existence, but this authority is narrowly construed, in contrast to the practice in most of New England. For statistics on New Hampshire municipalities and comparisons to municipalities elsewhere in New England, see New England town.
Cities are governed by Boards of Aldermen (in Manchester and Nashua) or City Councils (all other cities)
Only the part of this is prudent in this case but this is the entire council definition from the Claremont City Charter. Take note of “The entire administration of ALL fiscal, prudential and municipal affairs of the City of Claremont shall, except as otherwise provided, be vested in a city council of nine (9) councilors”
16. - The Council.
The entire administration of all fiscal, prudential and municipal affairs of the City of Claremont shall, except as otherwise provided, be vested in a city council of nine (9) councilors, consisting of a mayor, an assistant mayor, and four (4) councilors elected at-large and one (1) councilor elected per ward. Each councilor shall hold office for the term of two (2) years. For the purpose of transition all councilor's terms expiring on even years shall be extended for one (1) year to the next odd year election including the mayor's and assistant mayor's term. All councilor seats elected in November 2005 shall be elected at large with the exception of the Ward 2 seat that would normally have expired on December 31, 2004, but for the one (1) year extension provided for herein.
The office of the councilor shall be deemed vacant if any councilor takes up residence outside the ward from which he/she is elected or, in the case of the at large representative, the at-large councilor moves outside of the City of Claremont. Vacancies in the office of councilor resulting from a failure to elect a candidate thereto, or which occur at any time after the election of a candidate thereto, shall be filled by some qualified person who receives the votes of a majority of the remaining members of the city council. Such appointment shall be made at or before the second regular meeting after which such vacancy occurs and the councilor so appointed shall serve until his/her successor takes office. In the event a vacancy occurs, there shall be an election conducted at the next regular municipal election and the councilor elected to fill the vacancy shall serve for the balance of the unexpired term. The city clerk shall act as clerk to the council.
Jim Sullivan(Friday, October 19 18 07:09 am EDT)
Four new articles today.
For full details go to the News Flashes page of this website.
Jim Sullivan(Thursday, October 18 18 04:37 pm EDT)
Still haven't received a reply from City Manager Ryan McNutt about the current job status of Assistant DPW Director Victor St. Pierre and City Planner Michael McCrory. However the City Planner's position is now being advertised on the Claremont City website. Once again our inside sources, who told us that McCrory was jumping ship are spot on. We know it really irritates the City Councilors that 2 former Councilors always knows more about what's going on in the city government than they do. Especially when they have to learn about it from either us or one of our loyal readers.
Craig(Thursday, October 18 18 04:24 pm EDT)
I think most of the city councilors will be voted out of office anyway. The only two safe city councilors are Jonathan Stone and Andrew O’Hearne if they still want the job by then. Jeremy Zullo also has a chance of reelection but he has to be a little more aggressive with his questions and show more discontent with the city management if he wants to be reelected.
Trish(Wednesday, October 17 18 03:22 pm EDT)
Charlene Lovett is a hypocrite. As Mayor, she keeps telling everyone that she represents a completely open and honest government but then she keeps holding secret meetings behind closed doors so none of us knows what is going on. There have been accusations that some of these closed-door meetings are illegal because the reasons why they are meeting in private do not fit the legal criteria for holding a non-public meeting. The councilors just want to hide stuff from us because they know if we knew the truth we would all be very angry with them and probably vote them all out of public office at the next election.
Kathy(Wednesday, October 17 18 12:32 pm EDT)
Is Mary Walter really sick? I recall she has been “out sick” several times over many years. The way I hear it is whenever the city manager wants the finance director out of the office and unavailable. Much like what just happened with the city assessor, he was unavailable for almost 2 weeks and the assessing office was closed for a number of days right after the Sullivan Report inform the public about the Topstone Holdings LLC abatements. I do not believe any of this is a coincidence I think there is just more going on behind the scenes in secret than the public is being told.
Dan(Wednesday, October 17 18 11:21 am EDT)
I want Mr. McNutt terminated for different reasons. I am a strong proponent of privatization of municipal services as they are generally cheaper than maintaining unionized employees in-house and the quality of service remains unchanged or improves. A win-win for Claremont taxpayers.
Cheryl(Wednesday, October 17 18 09:26 am EDT)
Bob, I disagree with you on one point. I believe Mayor Lovett does want to keep costs down she just has no clue how to do it. I do not believe she is qualified to be Mayor because she seems to be incapable of independent thought and she is not very good at problem solving. Claremont has not had a good mayor for well over a decade. It has been one narcissist numbskull after another seeking the limelight to bask in their imaginary glory while the city continues to flounder and falter. I do believe though if a plan of action were to come about that would reduce taxes and maintain city services that Charlene Lovett might support such a plan. I say might but she may be worthy of staying on the city council unless there is a better candidate running against her.
Bob(Wednesday, October 17 18 08:34 am EDT)
I do not see Mr. McNutt as an agent of change. Nor is our current City Council because there is too much old-time deadwood the past city councilors and others who share the philosophy of all bureaucratic government is good and expanding said government is the goal. I am speaking of Councilors Lovett, Damren, Lessard, Koloski, Kier and Pope. They are all unsalvageable liberal tax-and-spend nincompoops.
ed(Tuesday, October 16 18 04:36 pm EDT)
Personally, I would prefer Mcnutt gone and the DPW privatzed.No better time than now,since the head administrator is already gone.We can have the roads plowed and the grass cut without paying high paychecks,health insurance premiums,and pensions.Let's hire local contractors to handle it all.
Matt(Tuesday, October 16 18 03:57 pm EDT)
I completely agree that Mr. McNutt must be terminated. The union employees have been without a contract for long enough. As long as he’s there he is going to be an obstructionist to any fair negotiations. He is determined to throw up roadblock after roadblock to maintain the pay scales within the expired contracts. The city employees deserve better treatment than Mr. McNutt is capable of giving.
Jennifer(Tuesday, October 16 18 11:37 am EDT)
Is the Council going to give McNutt of vote of no-confidence or are they going to stop messing around and terminate his contract?
Ralph(Tuesday, October 16 18 11:21 am EDT)
Another secret meeting of the city council. Our scatterbrained Mayor Charlene Lovett always talks about openness and transparency as the pillars of Claremont city government when all this apparently corrupt municipal government does is one backroom deal after another with everything secret from the public. If it wasn't for Jim and AJ and this website the public would know nothing about anything as these scoundrels continue to do things behind closed doors that they too embarrassed to tell the public about. Claremont needs leaders that are honest and ethical and right now those qualities seem to be in very short supply on the council.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, October 16 18 10:15 am EDT)
New article. Is something afoot? Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Molly(Tuesday, October 16 18 09:32 am EDT)
Mr. McNutt is an ineffective leader. I believe he is entirely out of his element with absolutely no idea what to do. He is focusing solely on housing because that is where his entire knowledge base lies. The city councilors did a terrible job hiring an untrained and untested city manager. They need to remove him from his position and hire a competent replacement.
Jessica(Tuesday, October 16 18 08:44 am EDT)
I share the growing dissatisfaction with Ryan McNutt the city manager. He is accomplishing nothing except creating spending plans to waste taxpayers money on foolish things. $5 million for a downtown revitalization that will turn the downtown into a welfare haven will add to our tax burden instead of subtract from it. Mr. McNutt is ignoring the community center financial crisis as membership numbers continue to decline and the taxpayers financial support continues to climb. Union employees want a fair shake at the negotiating table and Mr. McNutt won't even sit at the table to negotiate. Yet he has no problem giving out-of-state property owners who made a bad investment attacks forgiveness gift of over $222,000 and a 74% reduction in their property assessment to lower their future tax burden while the rest of us who live in Claremont have to make up the difference with higher taxes. Mr. McNutt doesn't care because he does not own property in Claremont so he pays no taxes. He also does not care to answer difficult questions as he continues to say I don't know or all get back to you and yet he never does. He is rude and disrespectful to the city councilors and the public and Mayor Lovett in the city councilors continue to take it on the chin because they all seem afraid of conflict. Children unable to do an adult job we have representing us on the city council with possibly three exceptions. Mr. O'Hearne and Mr. Stone for sure and possibly Mr. Zullo, I haven't made my mind up on him yet. The rest of either willing to go along with Mr. McNutt or they wallow in self doubt and are ineffective because of it.
Jim Sullivan(Monday, October 15 18 02:12 pm EDT)
We have not yet received a response from City Manager Ryan McNutt regarding our inquiry about the current status of the Assistant Highway Director and City Planner positions. However, on the City website the Assistant Highway Director position is now being advertised while the Highway Director position has been removed. Has Victor St. Pierre been promoted to Highway Director? Who knows? City Officials aren't talking! So much for government transparency!
Jim Sullivan(Monday, October 15 18 02:06 pm EDT)
New article. Growing public dissatisfaction with City Administration. For full details go to the News Flashes page of this website.
Jim Sullivan(Saturday, October 13 18 04:41 pm EDT)
Are top McNutt Administration Officials abandoning ship?
Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Jim, thanks for the shout out for the "Ask Me Anything" event. Should be a good one. As for the comment from "Mike" below, I will be running the feed on WUC in an effort to keep it clean (meaning not profane...you know how people tend to be when they are safely behind a keyboard). That is the extent of my "moderation duties" for that evening. Also, to your comment about "having to be approved" to join the page, that is generally how FB groups work and I specifically have it set up that way to keep it to local people. Someone from Dallas, TX with no ties to this area has no business being on a local community page. Just wanted to make that clear. With almost 11,000 members, I am pretty liberal with who is allowed in. I am hopeful that folks will tune in (on WUC, or CCTV, or even attend at the community center) and participate. Ryan has been insistent that this truly be an "ask me anything" event and he will answer. As for the timing conflicting with the Fireman's Ball? There are always going to be conflicts and you aren't going to make everyone happy. I can ask Ryan if he would allow those attending the ball to submit their questions to me and I could ask them at the event. With it being recorded and also broadcast on WUC it will be readily available to watch afterwards.
Ed(Wednesday, October 10 18 03:16 pm EDT)
inquire to those BTLA people about 1099 earnings issue.I bet they aren't even aware of the funny business.Send the question to the other interested parties as well.I know they'll be poopin' in their pants over it.
Shawn(Wednesday, October 10 18 10:05 am EDT)
I do not like the idea of the Topstone property owners getting a tax break from the federal government on top of everything else because Ryan McNutt and Joseph Lessard are playing fast and loose with the rules and regulations that they are supposed to be upholding. I am greatly dissatisfied with our nine elected officials on the city council. All of them just sat there and said nothing while an attorney hired by City Manager McNutt effectively silenced everyone with his bull in a china shop demeanor. Everyone connected with the city government cowered in fear while a few brave citizens namely Joseph Lessard and Paul LaCasse gave some compelling reasons why the councilors should not listen to the attorney but the councilors were too cowardly to even consider standing up to the attorney. Our city government has all the appearance of being corrupt and incompetent all at the same time. Our elected officials and the administrative staff they wholeheartedly support are the problem and not the solution.
Michelle(Wednesday, October 10 18 09:21 am EDT)
I was on the fence about the city manager for a while now. The whole Topstone affair and the arrogant way he conducted himself at the special meeting about the Topstone property was the deciding factor for me that for the good of the city of Claremont and all of its people Mr. McNutt must be fired. If the city councilors failed to do so than they all should be fired at the polls during the next election.
Walter(Wednesday, October 10 18 08:56 am EDT)
Thought I would do what the Sullivan Report does on a regular basis and do a little investigation about an issue that has been troubling me. The city councilors information packet for tonight’s meeting had a monthly report from the welfare department. It says they are serving 32 families. I looked up the city budget and the welfare department is budgeted a dollar amount of $371,747. That figures out to $11,617.09 annual cost per family. The Sullivan Report exposed the truth about the Goddard building project that 22 of the 36 apartments have to be low income apartments generally known as Section 8 or welfare housing. Once this building is completed if 22 new families move-in and then apply for welfare benefits it will nearly double the city’s welfare budget and that will come all out of us taxpayers. Make no mistake this is not workforce housing as Scott Pope and Mayor Lovett and Assistant Mayor Damren and City Manager Ryan McNutt would have us believe. This is welfare housing pure and simple. The worst thing is these idiots want to spend over $5 million to build more parking and infrastructure improvements to support this while welfare haven and allow other downtown building owners to replicate and create more welfare housing in their buildings. It boggles the mind why they want to do this but they are going ahead with this anyway and it is doubtful anyone will be able to stop them.
Dennis(Wednesday, October 10 18 08:35 am EDT)
Mayor Lovett is too busy trying to make yourself look good in the public eye when she is not admiring herself in the mirror. The rest of the city councilors are too stupid or too spineless to act on anything without guidance from the city manager. It is certainly a sad state of affairs.
Craig(Wednesday, October 10 18 07:36 am EDT)
What the hell is wrong with idiots who are running our city government? A rat infestation at the community center, declining memberships and their solution is to offer short-term memberships when nobody wants to join in the first place because no one has a good reason to go there. It also looks like city leaders are going to play with the property assessments and jam all of them up so we are paying more taxes in our bills but the property tax rate is lowered to make our liberal tax-and-spend city officials look good. It is all smoke and mirrors with these people and no substance.
Erica(Wednesday, October 10 18 07:07 am EDT)
The tennis courts have to stay at Monadnock Park. Mayor Lovett and city councilors find the money and fix them up. There are not enough public tennis courts in Claremont as it is so please do not take away the few that we have.
Adam(Wednesday, October 10 18 06:40 am EDT)
The community center is losing money like crazy and the managers who are running it into the ground have no clue what they are doing and that is from the dopey director all the way up to the moronic city manager and the nine dimwitted city councilors. Childcare services and a juice/snack bar are marvelous ideas that would generate excitement and attract new members. These are the features consumers want when they go to a health club and that is exactly what the community center needs to turn its financial picture around from in the red to in the black. The facility is great but it is the management that truly sucks.
Industrial Property Owner(Wednesday, October 10 18 06:22 am EDT)
I do not support the idea of people paying only what they can afford to be a member of the community center. That is just more taxpayer-funded subsidies for people who use community center. The qualifying criteria will probably be subjective to be quite inclusive and very expensive for the Claremont taxpayers, who are already taxed to the limit of reasonable judgment. Will Claremont taxpayers be secretly subsidizing non-resident members as well? Will these subsidies be accounted for in the city’s financial records or remain hidden as so many things are with this new administration? Since Mr. McNutt has a soft spot for non-residents and a willingness to use Claremont taxpayer’s funds to lighten their financial burden than probably so.
I am concerned about Municipal Resources Incorporated and Assessor Joseph Lessard in particular when considering their past history with the city and their unprofessional assessing methods designed to greatly increase property assessments beyond fair market value to achieve a political goal of an artificially low property tax rate. I remember the drive by looting scandal and how Vision Appraisals corrected the situation about a year or so later. I fear history will have to repeat itself once again but in the meantime it will make for hard choices for many families struggling as it is right now who may see a significant increase in the property tax bill in November. One can do a lot in a month and a half’s time. Anyone who is not concerned about this time extension does not have a full grasp of the situation.
Rats at the community center? Really? Just when you thought you have heard everything this comes up and no solutions are discussed or stated in the meeting minutes I am assuming or the Sullivan Report would have stated the outcome. Of course, the Parks & Recreation Committee is advisory only and what I can see completely incompetent. Director Mark Brislin is certainly no prize either as he routinely is unprepared to answer simple basic questions posed by city councilors about his own departments. Poor management equals substandard results and that seems to be the biggest problem with Claremont’s municipal government. Several of the directors and the city manager should all be terminated and new hires should be scrutinized and vetted thoroughly to bring fresh ideas and verve to their managerial positions to spot new life and vitality into Claremont’s municipal government.
The negotiations regarding the Great Lakes parcel is also concerning because of Mr. McNutt’s predilection for secrecy. It is painfully obvious that the public was not aware of these ongoing negotiations until the Sullivan Report exposed them through their routine investigative journalism. I would be interested to find out if the city councilors were aware negotiations and if so why did they decide to keep this information from their constituents.
These scattered municipal issues all have one common thread that binds them together. Claremont’s municipal government is broken presumably beyond repair with the current leadership that caused the break in the first place. New leadership, new ideas and a new drive to make things better is what is needed. I am not convinced that any of the present-day leadership intelligence or the political will to make the hard choices necessary to make the necessary improvements.
Richard(Wednesday, October 10 18 05:45 am EDT)
I am a little concerned about the negotiations going on with Daniels Construction. Ryan McNutt is not a good negotiator as he gives away everything with the taxpayers getting nothing in return. I cannot help but wonder if Daniels Construction is going to walk away with one hell of a payday at taxpayers’ expense for giving us practically nothing in return. The Topstone Holdings LLC abatements, the Edward MacGlaflin land swap and the recent ratified union contracts are all examples of Mr. McNutt’s figmental powers of negotiation. The man could not run a lemonade stand without screwing it up. I also believe that Mr. McNutt intended to keep this negotiation a secret from the public and probably from the city councilors as well. That seems to be his modus operandi as he rewards special interests to the detriment of the Claremont taxpayers.
Tom(Tuesday, October 09 18 09:33 pm EDT)
Mark Brislin is a big doofus. He walks around with a stupid look at his face all the time and with all the problems of the community center with the declining memberships you would think they would come up with something better than redesigning the fee schedule. That is like moving the deck chairs around on the sinking Titanic. It is not going to do a fat lot of good. AJ and Jim had a good idea a while ago about putting in a juice/snack bar and offering childcare services to draw in more mothers with children to increase membership and make this community center more of a social gathering place with the juice/snack bar. That is sound thinking but city officials are too stupid to realize how great an idea that is and put it into practice.
Lisa(Tuesday, October 09 18 05:38 pm EDT)
I noticed that the rat problem at the community center was never mentioned that any of the city council meetings. It also never made the local press. My two boys go there quite often and now I am quite concerned about their health and safety because vermin can carry and spread disease. City officials need to get on the ball and start fixing these problems. Our taxes are high enough that we should be getting better services for our money.
Terry(Tuesday, October 09 18 03:39 pm EDT)
There is a nonpublic meeting with the council for personnel issues Wednesday night. It is an add-on because it was not part of the original meeting agenda. Maybe you will get your wish Brian. Maybe we will all get our wish for a new city manager because the one they have right now really sucks.
welcometothejungle(Tuesday, October 09 18 03:35 pm EDT)
Whistleblowers to the IRS are receiving finders fees for under reported income and unreported income.The City of Claremont would be equally on the hook as the Topstone Building owners.Conspiracy to defraud carried the same penalties as the fraud itself.The actions of Claremont may actually go beyond civil and quite possibly be crossing the line into criminal infractions.Complacency or ignorance,it makes no difference,Claremont better lawyer up.I fully intend on reporting the $222,000 disparity between the owners filed returns and the income boost reality.McNutt can call this phantom money all he like.It doesn't mean he's right,because I know he's WRONG.I also believe the new superintendent of schools,as well as county officials may have a dog in this fight too.McNutt may have the power to gift away Claremont taxpayer monies,but he most certainly cannot give away school and/or Sullivan Co. money
George(Tuesday, October 09 18 02:40 pm EDT)
McNutt and Lessard are now giving the owners of Topstone Holdings LLC an income tax break of almost one quarter of $1 million by not filing the proper paperwork with the IRS. How many gifts are these two imbeciles going to give these out-of-state owners. Is Koloski that important to McNutt's political schemes?
Brian(Tuesday, October 09 18 02:33 pm EDT)
It’s really cute that Ryan McNutt doesn’t think the quarter of $1 million tax bill that the Topstone Holdings LLC folks owed wasn’t real money or a real bill. He must think we are really stupid or gullible or naive or whatever to believe his BS. I hope the City Council fires his ass and soon.,
Rick(Tuesday, October 09 18 01:32 pm EDT)
I’m worried about the property assessments. I do not trust Joseph Lessard to do the property assessments after what he did to Washington Street properties the last time he and MRI staff ran the assessing office. I fear property assessments are going to skyrocket so Mayor Lovett and the other tax and spenders on the council can go hog wild more spending like the $5 million downtown makeover for welfare housing that they are calling workforce housing when it really isn’t that at all.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, October 09 18 12:02 pm EDT)
New article just published.
Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Ed(Tuesday, October 09 18 10:15 am EDT)
If they must continue feeding the children,despite parents not paying,pay for it using the football team and sports games money.
I know we couldn't possibly ask teachers to pay more than 2% of their health insurance premiums.
Jim Sullivan(Monday, October 08 18 06:53 pm EDT)
The newspaper article stated that by law school officials must continue to feed the kids.
Ed(Monday, October 08 18 05:31 pm EDT)
Why are the school cafeterias continuing to serve children so deeply indebted?
I'm sure the parents find money for cigarettes and beer.
Chris(Monday, October 08 18 12:09 pm EDT)
Scott Pope, a timid weasel who stands for nothing. I read today’s article in the Eagle Times about the naming dedication of the bridge to nowhere held in Guy Santagate’s honor. Scott Pope naturally praised Santagate in his comments to the press. The same Scott Pope, who was barred from returning to the Council by Santagate when he abruptly stated his resignation and walked out of a meeting but had not submitted it in writing to make the resignation official. The same Scott Pope, who saw his wife Tracy terminated by Santagate. Scott Pope, praising the man who did these things to himself and his wife. Is this the type of spineless coward we want representing us?
Todd(Monday, October 08 18 08:45 am EDT)
Union Leader has an article about the school lunch program that is over $32,000 in the hole because parents are not paying their lunch fee bills for their kid’s meals at school. The school board is considering hiring a collection agency to recoup the money that is owed to the school district and ultimately the taxpayers. City Councilor Nick Koloski somehow wormed his way into the article that was written by EX-Eagle Times reporter Damien Fisher. Koloski says it is a terrible idea that he does not support. Figures, Nick has been a deadbeat for many years with all the liens slapped on his business that are still listed as open and presumably unpaid on the Sullivan County Registry of Deeds website. Nick’s landlord is the biggest tax delinquent in Claremont until recently when behind closed doors the acting city assessor under the direction of the city manager wiped out all but $8000 of the tax debt forgiving about $223,000. If that wasn’t generous enough the acting city assessor dropped the property’s assessment by 74% so Nick’s landlord can pay even less taxes going forward. Nick Koloski, self-proclaimed champion of the people who work the system and screw the Claremont taxpayers in the process.
Mike(Saturday, October 06 18 03:23 pm EDT)
The entire ask me anything publicity stunt is nothing more than a gimmick if you ask me. Kipp Ryan maintains very strong control of his Facebook page What’s up Claremont. First, you need to become a member and get past gatekeeper Kipp Ryan and other like-minded page monitors. Then you have to behave like good little boys and girls by not posting any comments that would irritate their thin skin or upset their delicate sensibilities in regards to their lovefest for city and school government officials. Any questions coming from Mr. Ryan to Mr. McNutt will be well scrutinized and noncontroversial. As far as the live audience at the Claremont Savings Bank Community Center, I am sure measures will be taken to prevent any unpleasant surprises for Mr. McNutt. Perhaps the city’s attorney from the special meeting will be present choosing which questions can be answered and which are to be ignored. Alternatively, city manager McNutt may talk around and avoid answering certain questions or the questions will be given to another biased moderator, who will choose which questions are asked. The fact that the event is on a Friday night and held at the same time as the firefighter’s ball is undoubtedly no accident. The timing is well planned to limit public participation while creating the optics of openness and transparency. These events are a sham as is everything else connected with Mr. McNutt and his administration.
Linda(Saturday, October 06 18 02:17 pm EDT)
Mayor Charlene Lovett is obsessed with optics, how things appear to the public. I’m sure she will attend the firefighter’s ball and work the entire room to make sure everyone knows that she is in attendance. Perhaps she will bring a large cardboard cutout photograph of the city manager holding a martini glass and move it around the room to try to give the false impression that the city manager cares about the firefighters or anyone else in Claremont for that matter.
Irate Claremont Firefighter(Saturday, October 06 18 12:20 pm EDT)
Ryan McNutt, the city manager has scheduled his ask me anything television program at the same time as the Professional Firefighters of Claremont Local 1571 Annual Firemen Ball held at the Common Man Inn. Mr. McNutt should be front and center at the ball in full support of Claremont’s first responders instead of doing damage control for his many past mistakes. Mr. McNutt’s timing of this event is another mistake that will cost him dearly as first responders will not take too kindly to his snubbing of our annual event. This is a slap in the face to all first responders who put their lives on the line every day for the citizens that they serve.
Jim Sullivan(Saturday, October 06 18 10:37 am EDT)
Two new articles published today.
1) Community outreach or act of desperation? This article can be found on the News Flashes page of this website.
2) Newly acquired Topstone Holdings LLC abatement documents bring new facts to light! This article can be found on the Topstone Property Tax Abatement Page 2 webpage of this website.
Ed(Wednesday, October 03 18 03:20 pm EDT)
set up a GO Fund Me link on your website for the $200 for the right to know materials you requested.I will pledge $20 myself.I'm sure you could easily get the money.I think it's a good idea not just for this,but other right to know info as well.
City Hall Insider(Wednesday, October 03 18 01:05 pm EDT)
The city manager and the finance director are in a tizzy about where they can find the money for legal expenses and consultant fees to fight the BTLA appeal that Jim Sullivan and Joe Osgood started. Early estimates placed the cost between $100,000 and $200,000. Legal fee expenses are part of the general services budget and the only budget line item right for picking is the overlay account that is cash reserve for property assessment abatements paid to property owners who are successful with their abatement claims. Because a citywide revaluation is planned the money was set aside for the inevitable claims that would be submitted. The notoriety of the Topstone Holdings LLC abatements have generated a lot of interest and ire with the public. This may encourage more property owners to file for property assessment abatements requiring more funds to be raised to meet the cash settlement payouts. It is still unclear whether the city will get the money to spend on attorneys and consultants regarding BTLA appeal of the Topstone Holdings LLC abatements. The city manager and his finance director may have to go before the city councilors and asked for money to be diverted from either another municipal department or the fund balance cash reserve account. The parks & recreation budgets are being heavily scrutinized as being a prime target for a sizable cash withdrawal and transfer.
Travis(Wednesday, October 03 18 09:59 am EDT)
Ryan McNutt is a terrible city manager. He has not accomplished anything of value citizens of Claremont. He is a former housing director and that is all he seems to know. He is obsessed with changing the housing in Claremont. Section 8 low income housing for Claremont's downtown at the cost the taxpayers of over $5 million. That will do nothing to enhance our economy but it will raise up local school property taxes to pay for all the kids in the school system. Will need more classrooms which will mean bigger schools and more teachers, supplies etc. Probably more buses and who knows what else for what benefit. Mayor Lovett and the other councilors all have their heads secured firmly in Mr. McNutt's buttocks and they cannot see all the damage that he is doing to Claremont with his tax giveaways to special interests and his inability to lower the cost of the city budget. Claremont's leadership is a big disappointment and it is time for the taxpayers to change the leadership starting with the city councilors.
David(Wednesday, October 03 18 08:00 am EDT)
What is up with this McNutt guy? I see in the Eagle Times today that he oversees the housing group for the Marian Phillips Apartments and the managers are running it like Nazi Germany. Anyone who voices a contrary opinion is evicted. Boy, McNutt sure loves evicting people doesn't he? All the folks in the Goddard building so a developer could swoop in by the building for a discount price so that McNutt could get him all kinds of government money to create a palace for welfare recipients right in the heart of downtown. On top of that screwy McNutt and his imbecile followers on the city council want to spend over $5 million for parking and other downtown fix ups to make way for more welfare palaces in the other buildings. Of course they are using the code word workforce housing but Sullivan Report proved that there are income levels that tenants have to meet and may have to be dirt poor in order to get in. Some economic development project. Then McNutt and the councilors are taking properties right and left to that tax deeding thing they can do what they give a free pass to the biggest tax debtor in Claremont. Oh yeah, they happen to be Councilman Nick Koloski's landlords. What a coinkydink. Koloski's landlords receive some wonderful gifts from the city for not paying their taxes leaving a hazardous toxic site uncleaned, almost a quarter of $1 million in tax forgiveness and a 74% property assessment reduction to boot. Of course this has nothing to do with Nick Koloski being the main tenant in the building. Of course not, perish the thought. So what do our elected officials do after the Sullivan Report revealed the city official's dirty little secret and the public is up in arms? Not a damn thing! A lawyer the city manager hired with our tax dollars basically told all the councilors to sit down and shut up and do what he tells them to do. And you know what? The councilors did just that because they are a bunch of cowards who will never stand up for the citizens of Claremont ever. They just proved that. I would like to say thank you to Joe Osgood and James Sullivan for stepping up and trying to protect the best interests of everyone in Claremont because our city councilors refuse to do so. Everyone in Claremont owns both of you a debt of gratitude.
Richard(Tuesday, October 02 18 06:03 pm EDT)
People of Claremont now is the time to call your city councilors and demand that they call a special non-public meeting under personnel and hold a no-confidence vote for city manager Ryan McNutt. Impress upon your city councilors that anyone who fails to do this will be voted out of office in the next election.
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Robert(Tuesday, October 02 18 03:26 pm EDT)
What Claremont’s municipal government needs is accountability. That only happens when you have strong city councilors willing to put the citizens of Claremont first before the councilors own selfish needs or their political agenda. Unfortunately, we do not seem to have one councilor that fits the description of a good representative of the people.
Matt(Tuesday, October 02 18 02:37 pm EDT)
I think it is awful that Mr. McNutt feel no remorse for his actions. Charging hundreds of dollars of information that should cost little or nothing to prevent the information from being put in the hands of a civic minded citizen, who will share this information with everyone community is an abuse of the city manager’s position. Naturally I do not expect any member of the city council to cry fowl because all of them have proven their cowardice at the special meeting when they allowed the attorney to stifle free speech and trample on everyone’s constitutional rights without so much as a whimper. I am most disappointed with Councilors O’Hearne, Stone and Zullo because when running for office they said they would be different and they would fight for the people of Claremont. They lied to everyone and they are not worthy of our support going forward and neither the other six city councilors. Claremont needs nine new city councilors to be elected at the next election followed by determination of the city manager in several municipal department directors, who are ineffective and has been gainfully employed by the city of Claremont for far too long.
Todd(Tuesday, October 02 18 01:56 pm EDT)
Thank you to the folks at the Sullivan Report for publishing the Wheelabrator article. This does not fit the good news only policy of the Eagle Times, the Valley News and the E- Ticker News. I would also like to thank Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Osgood for their efforts to involve the NH BTLA. This state agency will not be bullied by Mr. McNutt, Mr. Lessard and whatever team of lawyers Mr. McNutt hires to cover his ass by spending large sums of our tax dollars.
George(Tuesday, October 02 18 01:27 pm EDT)
Today’s latest about the Topstone Holdings LLC abatements scandal indicates the lengths Ryan McNutt, Claremont’s despicable city manager, will go to contain information about these incredible abatements. Kudos to Jim Sullivan and Joe Osgood for looking out for the taxpayers. Mayor Lovett and the city councilors all look like incompetent, ineffectual elected officials afraid of their own employee the manager and the attorney he hired to terminate public discussion or public dissemination of information regarding this sinister deed. A quarter of $1 million tax write off and a 74% property assessment reduction all going to one group of out-of-state investors is unheard of in Claremont. All of it going to Councilmen Nicholas Koloski’s landlords has all the signs of major corruption. This is politics at its worst and our city councilors are up to their eyeballs in this as they sit there and allow the city manager to dictate what is said and what is not said and what is asked and what is not asked. Claremont needs leaders who will lead and unafraid to fire an insubordinate employee namely the city manager. Not one member of the city council has the courage to truly represent the citizens of Claremont by standing up to the city manager. They all need to be replaced at the next election.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, October 02 18 10:29 am EDT)
Two new articles today!
1) City Administrators continue their tactics to keep public uninformed about Topstone Holdings Inc. abatements! Full details can be found on the Topstone Property Tax Abatement Page 2 webpage of this website.
2)Wheelabrator's Claremont facility slapped with big civil penalty! Full details can be found on the News Flashes page of this website.
Brian(Monday, October 01 18 05:44 pm EDT)
While at Hannaford's doing my grocery shopping I heard about the latest Sullivan Report article. It was the talk at the cash register lines about the BTLA appeal. Everyone was pleased with Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Osgood for representing the Claremont taxpayers while our elected officials on the Claremont City Council all put their tails between their legs and did absolutely nothing to help us.