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  • Robert (Wednesday, September 18 19 11:30 am EDT)

    Just look at one property assessment change and you can see how the property assessments are completely unreliable. The NH Department of Revenue Administration assessed Great River Hydro LLC’s property in Claremont for $11,296. Claremont on the other hand hired a company that was supposed to provide professional utility appraisal services and this consulting company set the property assessment at $2,100,000. Great River Hydro LLC also qualifies for a pilot agreement because the city council opened the door for that when they approved a similar measure for Sugar River Power LLC. It is little wonder that Great River Hydro LLC is taking the City of Claremont to court. I see in today’s Valley News that the residents of Hanover New Hampshire could receive a do over on their property assessments. I believe Claremont taxpayers deserve that same consideration considering the present circumstances with the property assessments.

  • Dennis (Wednesday, September 18 19 07:17 am EDT)

    I am tired of all the giveaways to municipal employees and special interests that Claremont’s councilors are prone to grant with our tax dollars. The pilot agreement approved several years ago by present-day councilors Lovett, Damren, Pope and Koloski a liberal tax-and-spend formidable force for the destruction of our city has placed Claremont in a precarious position with at least one of the other two hydroelectric dam owners. This will cost the taxpayers dearly in legal fees and in what I believe will end up resulting with a very large cash settlement. All of the special downtown housing rule changes and other favors granted to the owners of the Goddard Building, who also owns the property on Main Street that is getting a free fix up from the taxpayers because their common wall is part of the building next door that is being demolished. The taxpayers will be spending over $100,000 for this project (don’t forget the approximately $10,000 that will be paid directly to Kevin LaCasse and his firm, thank you Sullivan Report for publishing the agreement so the public would know the truth about these backroom deals). A nine-year tax break for the Main Street building owned by Mr. Laccase’s firm will soon be granted by councilors too. Bailing out real estate developers in trouble is not the taxpayers responsibility but our city staff and councilors have little problem justifying these large expenditures while the roads continue to deteriorate from lack of proper investment. City staff receives raises and now the highest-paid directors will be receiving raises thanks to a very generous city council. Speaking of generosity, Ed Morris must be delighted to be receiving such a lucrative and generous contract when he has practically no experience or educational background in regards to being the city manager. Then of course, there was the Topstone building scandal and the councilors did nothing. They created a board of assessors to appease an outraged public but then they create such huge hurdles for anyone to be on the board and then limit the candidate pool to make it virtually impossible for the board of assessors to ever be formed. I am so glad that the Sullivan Report outed these political shenanigans by showing the difference between Claremont’s requirements and Lebanon’s, which only requires residency. Then there are the problems with the bid contract awards when relationships with family members and past municipal employees seem to be influencing bid awards and costing the taxpayers a pretty penny in the balance because it seems we are not getting the best bang for our buck as the purchasing policy is being either ignored or manipulated for a predetermined outcome. I could go on but you get the idea that our municipal management needs a complete overhaul if Claremont is ever going to become the community we all know that it can be. The taxpayers should be outraged and show their displeasure at the polls on election day by voting out all of the incumbents.

  • Amy (Wednesday, September 18 19 06:56 am EDT)

    I am pleased that the public will have an opportunity to meet the new city manager. My husband and I intend to take the opportunity to meet this gentleman. I am less pleased with the choice made by this council. Mr. Morris does not have an educational or career resume befitting an established city manager and this is what Claremont truly needs. My husband and I are wary of the motives of this city council. Mr. McNutt complained of interference from the city council and in particular from Charlene Lovett and Allen Damren if memory serves. Mr. Damren headed the search committee. Mr. Damren stated in the press that he was pleased that the candidate chosen was already in our backyard. Proximity does not equal competence, skill level or experience. My husband and I suspect that the city council valued inexperience, which would require the new city manager to heavily relying on the mayor and the assistant mayor and possibly other councilors for guidance rather than hiring a well seasoned city manager. I fear politics and a thirst for power by certain councilors motivated this decision.

  • youknowme (Tuesday, September 17 19 04:13 pm EDT)

    You people on this site really know how to show the hate.We on the council volunteer our time to serve this community.We don't get paid anything to serve.Yes we might have some discussions with the current assessment team,even concerning our own properties.They know if they hammer us on the council they will never be contracted again.Also,so what if we encourage certain companies to perform projects throughout Claremont.Of course we going to favor the companies our family and friends work for,that's the American way.

    Don't like it,run for a seat

  • Steve (Tuesday, September 17 19 03:44 pm EDT)

    I am wondering what the Community Center / Parks and Recreation Gang are up to in regards to Real Estate. Are we buying or selling this time? How badly will the taxpayers get screwed with this deal? When these tax-and-spend liberals meet secretly behind closed doors, I get nervous. All the other taxpayers should get nervous too.

  • Jim Sullivan (Tuesday, September 17 19 02:40 pm EDT)

    Meet and greet to be held for new City Manager. Details on the News Flashes page of this website.

  • Dan (Tuesday, September 17 19 02:22 pm EDT)

    Yeah I am very skeptical about that solar project. I am sure the taxpayers will be screwed on that lease but Lovett and her cronies will tell us it is the best deal that Claremont ever negotiated. I sure do not trust her, Damren, or any of the other administration ass kissing councilors namely Koloski and Pope and Kier.

  • Aaron (Tuesday, September 17 19 01:17 pm EDT)

    With all the property abatement cases coming forward with the NH BTLA and the Superior Court I’m wondering how much money it is going to cost the taxpayers in legal fees to fight these cases that never should have happened in the first place. The city will probably lose most if not all of the cases and then that will end up costing the taxpayers big cash settlements as well. It sure seems like the property assessments are being used as a political and economic development tool instead of simply assessing properties in Claremont fairly. Because our city officials are so unethical, it is costing the taxpayers bundles of money to make up for their proclivities. It is time to get rid of these do-nothing city councilors.

  • Shawn (Tuesday, September 17 19 11:54 am EDT)

    I think Sullivan and Maranville hit the nail right on the head with the Assessing Board. The political rhetoric from the administration and the city councilors is just that. They made the hurdles far too high and the candidate pool far too shallow to ever find enough people to ever get the board off the ground with enough appointees. This whole thing was a sham, a rigged game to appease the people who are outraged with the big tax breaks that Koloski’s landlord’s received in a secret City Hall backroom deal that the Sullivan Report exposed. If city officials had their way, no one would have ever known a darn thing about anything.

  • Charles (Tuesday, September 17 19 11:51 am EDT)

    I see that people are complaining about the new manager's $122k salary.
    You would probably all be surprised at the net yearly pay of cops,firemen,and DPW when overtime is revealed.They just love holidays and Sundays!
    Hell,even teachers are making bank considering that they're off for 25% of the year and I think they only pay 2% of their health insurance premiums.
    Why even bother for the 2%?

    Who serves who?

  • Keith (Tuesday, September 17 19 10:22 am EDT)

    Don’t forget Kevin LaCasse is going to be asking for tax breaks next for that Main Street property. This Council keeps screwing the taxpayers by bending over backwards and catering to the desires of the special interests at the taxpayer's expense. Remember that when you go to the polls in November.

  • Lynn (Tuesday, September 17 19 09:57 am EDT)

    I still don’t like the idea of spending almost $100,000 knocking down the building on Main Street to help the developer that owns the Goddard Building to save their attached building next door to the building the taxpayers are now paying to demolish. It smacks of cronyism.

  • Todd (Tuesday, September 17 19 09:39 am EDT)

    Nice, four of the councilors that approved that pilot agreement are still at work screwing Claremont up. The voters need to work together to oust Lovett, Damren, Pope and Koloski. They should also remove Abigail Kier just for good measure. Then that would also kill any chance of Claremont becoming a sanctuary city because they are the proponents of that idiotic measure.

  • Jim Sullivan (Tuesday, September 17 19 08:39 am EDT)

    Certainly Katherine, this information was easy to find since it is a matter of public record. The approval of the PILOT Agreement for Sugar River Power was a unanimous vote of the Council that took place on December 28, 2016. The Council of 2016 consisted of Mayor Charlene Lovett, Assistant Mayor Victor Bergeron and Councilors Carolyn Towle, Scott Pope, Keith Raymond, Allen Damren, Bruce Temple, Nicholas Koloski & John Simonds.

  • Katherine (Tuesday, September 17 19 08:29 am EDT)

    The city councilors who gave out the hydroelectric dam pilot agreement sure set Claremont up for disaster. Now all the hydroelectric dam owners can get a big tax break. Jim and AJ could you tell us who the city councilors were who approved that pilot agreement and did this dirty deed to the general public taxpayers please.

  • Dick (Tuesday, September 17 19 06:40 am EDT)

    I wonder if Morris will even last as long as McNutt did.

  • William (Tuesday, September 17 19 06:02 am EDT)

    Richard you are absolutely right about the pay for this new wildly inexperienced city manager being disproportionate with his limited background and absence of real credentials. I have no idea what the councilors were thinking choosing the applicant they hired. Another bad decision from a city council prone to making bad decisions.

  • Richard (Monday, September 16 19 03:06 pm EDT)

    Thank you for publishing the contract for the new city manager. Wow that is one amazingly generous contract. The city councilors are sure frivolous with our tax dollars when it comes to paying staff but they won't pave the roads and take care of of the infrastructure problems that Claremont has. The taxpayers have never paid a city manager $122,000 a year before and this guy has virtually no credentials. Guy Santagate was well-qualified but Ryan McNutt had far less qualifications and he washed out and Ed Morris has less credentials then Ryan McNutt. What I mean by credentials is educational background and career experience. A 16 year firefighter doesn't cut it. A three-year managerial stint at Wethersfield Vermont that has a very small populace and a tiny budget compared the Claremont and few municipal departments unlike Claremont also doesn't cut it. I don't know what the heck the city councilors saw in this man that made him stand out from the field of about 50 applicants. The councilors sure weren't chintzy when it came to springing for the benefits. A 13% retirement benefit, life insurance equal to a year's pay, a cell phone and what seems to be an unlimited expense account plus regular perks like health insurance, etc. This Morris guy must be pinching himself because it is beyond belief that he landed this cushy job with his sparse resume. I wonder if the Council hired him because they thought he was the most qualified but I can't see that in a field of nearly 50 candidates or if they hired someone that they figure they can all hold and control under their collective thumb. Something stinks here.

  • Jim Sullivan (Monday, September 16 19 09:35 am EDT)

    Three new items today.
    1) Council elections.
    2) September 11 Council meeting synopsis.
    3) Ed Morris' contract.

    Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.

  • Lemuel Curry (Thursday, September 12 19 05:31 pm EDT)

    Anybody ever wonder about Corbin Park?

    Get the Real Deal about the private, enclosed shooting preserve with a very limited membership.

    https://claremont4real.wordpress.com/2019/09/12/early-memories-corbin-park-the-cold-lab/

  • Beezelbub (Thursday, September 12 19 01:33 pm EDT)

    Martha, are you here for the sanctuary?
    or are you a product of the Claremont educational system?

  • martha212 (Thursday, September 12 19 11:38 am EDT)

    An old parking fine came back to bite me I forgotten, council wouldn't take the debt back so bailiffs sent me a threat of a visit or pay MORE. My sons possessions at mine for safe keeping and his work stuff and tools. I am not into material wealth or money so son didn't have things at home I would let them in..I am stress and up set as loads more things that are testing..
    Reply: I am sorry to hear this. If you have no money to pay them then unless your son can prove the goods are his and with you for safekeeping they are going to be at risk if the bailiffs (or enforcement agents as they should be called now) do get in.

  • John O’Connor (Thursday, September 12 19 11:11 am EDT)

    Jim,
    You must be striking a nerve with some of your recent reports.
    Today, I was approached by a local food truck operator who accused me, in the middle of Market Basket , of posting comments about Nick Koloski and his boyfriend ( his words, not mine) under an alias.
    Those that know me, know I have been a follower of the Sullivan Report since it’s inception. I have frequently commented on this site and those that know me, know I use my God given name.
    There is no shame to my game.
    Jim, I would appreciate if you could do something with your site that could prevent people from using fake names so this mistake does not happen to one of your loyal readers again.
    I will not mention the gentleman’s name, he embarrassed himself enough ranting and raving in the middle of Market Basket , all I would like to say, knowing he is a loyal reader is this;
    You are WRONG and when you find out who actually wrote it, I will not accept your apology.

  • Charles (Wednesday, September 11 19 05:59 pm EDT)

    A more positive way to look at the new manager's lack of experience is to be glad that he isn't some recycled retread.The man hasn't been spoiled by public unions or most favored local family connected businesses.
    I think it's important for local taxpayers let him know how they feel.We don't want sanctuary city bullshit,and we don't want to turn this into some welfare paradise.We don't need anymore goddamn firetrucks and the cops don't need new cars every 2 years.We care about more about fixing the roads than merit based pay raise for department heads.You don't like the pay,move on.Next?

  • Lemuel Curry (Wednesday, September 11 19 02:12 pm EDT)

    Chris,

    I wholeheartedly agree with you.

    You should read this expose' on just how unqualified our new City manager is:

    https://claremont4real.wordpress.com/2019/07/26/a-quick-introduction-to-our-new-city-manager/

  • Chris (Wednesday, September 11 19 09:10 am EDT)

    There's an article in the Union Leader about the new city manager hire. It says that our tax-and-spend city councilors agreed to pay the new guide Morris 12,000 more than the old guy McNutt. Here's the thing, McNutt did not have a lot of experience like Santagate had but he was paid more and eventually fired. This Morris guy has even less experience than McNutt but he gets paid more than either Santagate or McNutt. What the hell are these city councilors thinking? Reading comments on Facebook I see that many locals have had it with the current councilors and say it's time for regime change. I certainly agree and I intend to vote out all the incumbents that I can in November. Hopefully you will all join me and do the same. It is also time for the people who normally choose not to vote to get up off their couches and go to the polls in November because it's time for us to take back our city from these tax and spend morons who have a political agenda that is going to destroy our community by eventually turning it into a sanctuary city. To save Claremont we have to save ourselves by throwing out of office the city councilors that we have today before it's too late.

  • Lemuel Curry (Wednesday, September 11 19 08:58 am EDT)

    "CLAREMONT EXACTLY TEN YEARS AGO TODAY"

    A look at Claremont exactly ten years ago today through the eyes of the Claremont Villager staff.

    This paper had great local flavor along with excellent writing and layout, It's a shame it didn't last.

    It is better than any local news source around today.

    This article uses only graphics and articles from that decade-old edition, yet it is remarkably relevant.

    It talks of taxes and assessments and incompetent City officials - the very topics everyone here loves to debate.

    Enjoy!

    https://claremont4real.wordpress.com/2019/09/11/claremont-exactly-ten-years-ago-today/

  • Lemuel Curry (Tuesday, September 10 19 05:29 pm EDT)

    TOPSTONE BUILDING HAS AN INTERESTING CONNECTION WITH THE PLANNNG BOARD

    PLANNING COMMISSION CHAIRMAN HAS FAMILY TIES TO THE TOPSTONE BLDG

    https://claremont4real.wordpress.com/2019/09/10/topstone-building-has-an-interesting-connection-with-the-plannng-board/

  • Industrial Property Owner (Tuesday, September 10 19 02:31 pm EDT)

    Gentrification is being practiced in Claremont using the property assessments as its primary tool.

  • Brent (Tuesday, September 10 19 01:33 pm EDT)

    Lovett and her cronies want the working class to pay for their political agenda to turn Claremont into a sanctuary city. Lovett and her friends want to pay less in taxes and it looks like that is exactly what happened. That is too much to be a coincidence it certainly looks intentional.

  • Todd (Tuesday, September 10 19 12:29 pm EDT)

    I think it sucks that Scott Pope gets one hell of a deal with a nearly $2000 property tax break while so many others will get screwed with higher property tax bills to pay for his tax break and tax breaks for wealthier Claremont residents who live in high-class Claremont neighborhoods. This whole thing smacks of class warfare and this may be the intentional reason why the city officials wanted the property assessments done earlier than necessary.

  • Your Neighbor (Tuesday, September 10 19 11:51 am EDT)

    1) Yes they did

    2) Where are all the volunteers who constantly post on this site complaining about the assessments. That seems to be your main function - assessments.

    Sooooooo......you all get a chance to have a direct impact by volunteering for the Board of Assessment and you all sit on your collective thumbs

    You are all a bunch of whining losers who will never be satisfied and blame your failings on others.

  • Chad Moore (Tuesday, September 10 19 11:20 am EDT)

    Have you seen this/ Someone needs to look into what is going on over at the Humane Society Shelter on Tremont St. Seems to be a lack of inventory management and personnel skills. Saw a few things on the Facebook about them yesterday and it looks like the place is falling apart.

    https://www.yelp.com/not_recommended_reviews/sullivan-county-humane-society-claremont

  • Jim Sullivan (Tuesday, September 10 19 08:25 am EDT)

    Two new articles today.

    1) Did the Claremont City Council violate the City Charter with their approval of the new City Manager's contract?

    2) Assessing Board at standstill!

    Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.

  • Lemuel Curry (Monday, September 09 19 09:27 pm EDT)

    And God bless all those starving pygmies in New Guinea...

  • Lemuel Curry (Monday, September 09 19 09:22 pm EDT)

    GOD BLESS AMERICA AND THE FIRST AMENDMENT!!!!

  • Ray (Monday, September 09 19 05:30 pm EDT)

    The local press would never touch this story or most any story the Sullivan Report does with a ten foot pole because they are all gutless, scared wimps all posing like journalists when they are nothing more than propaganda messengers for the government officials.

  • Tom (Monday, September 09 19 02:21 pm EDT)

    I think the key is the utilities. I privately contacted Jim this morning and asked him who did the 2018 MS-1 report. He said that MRI prepared the report Joseph Lessard signed it but it was prepared by Scott Marsh who also works for MRI. Someone in the assessing office made big changes to the utility values after this 2018 MS-1 report was sent to the DRA. The fact that five of the eight utilities are no longer listed on the Vision website also looks fishy. This smells of a secret backroom deal similar to the Topstone building, because two utility companies got big tax breaks because their property assessments greatly dropped. New England power $3,230,500 and PSNH $16,579,100. That totals $19,809,600 of property valuation lost and the tax revenues generated from that property valuation will have to be made up by the rest of us. Other utility companies in Claremont may have gotten similar deals that we just don’t know about yet. Jim said we would not know until he is able to get a copy of the MS-1 report for 2019, which could take a few more weeks because the city has until October 1 to submit the report to the DRA. Fortunately, Jim is on top of this and he will get a copy and report what it says to us as soon as possible.

  • Kevin (Monday, September 09 19 10:28 am EDT)

    Today’s Sullivan Report article has me shaking my head. The fools on the city council agreed to spend over $325,000 that the public really does not have to do a property revaluation three years early. They did this to try to squeeze higher property assessments out of the taxpayers to lower the property tax rate to make it look like the fools on the council and on the school board are not really spending as much of the taxpayers money as they really are. Then the property assessments do not go the way they wanted and it looks like it is only going to increase by about $20 million if they are lucky and that will drop the tax rate only about $1.14 maybe. Big whoop de doo! Looks like the taxpayers are screwed again by the people that we elected to look out for us. It is time for the councilors to be stripped of their jobs if any of them are fool enough to run again in November.

  • Jim Sullivan (Monday, September 09 19 08:54 am EDT)

    New article.

    Claremont's 2019 Property Assessments yield unexpected results!

    Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.

  • Ralph (Tuesday, September 03 19 03:16 pm EDT)

    An assessing board was created to give some much-needed public oversight and transparency to property assessments. Yet the councilors have not appointed anyone to this board. I don’t know what’s going on there but there may be some pushback from the administration to quash the creation of this board. I also think they need another board of maybe just citizens on it to look over certain large financial transactions in the city especially when it comes to contract awards and bids to make sure that everything is done properly because it sure doesn’t look like city officials can be trusted with our tax dollars. I’m sure Allen Damren and Charlene Lovett will be adamantly opposed to this as probably Nick Koloski and Scott Pope because they all seem to kiss the administration staff member’s butts on a regular basis. They must all like the smell of ass.

  • Gary (Tuesday, September 03 19 08:57 am EDT)

    It is a smoke screen that the council cannot interfere with day to day operations of the city. Santigate and his cronies put the fear of god into previous councils and it has carried through. A councilor has no right to interfere in day to day operations and we all know that has been happening at a great cost to the tax payer. But the council collectively can and should through council directives continue to guide the manager on a path that is the wish of the council and transparent to the public. The council could vote on and issue directives at every meeting if they so choose. This is a long overdue fix. Unfortunately it will not happen under some of these brainwashed councilors that have to involve a lawyer in every move they make short of a commendation.

  • Jim Sullivan (Tuesday, September 03 19 06:31 am EDT)

    Councilors who are blindly loyal to and protective of Administration Employees as recently shown during their complete overreaction to only a discussion about the possibility of conducting a forensic audit of the City’s financial records, will probably do the same in regards to the issue of how large municipal goods and services contracts are being awarded. That is assuming that the Councilors even address this important issue during one of their meetings. Since we published the Sullivan Report article that exposed this issue, many of our readers have privately contacted us. They stated their concerns that certain Councilors will immediately publicly state that their hands are tied because they are not allowed to get involved in the day-to-day affairs of the municipal government per the City Charter and use that as an excuse to sweep this all under the rug. While it is true that the Council cannot dictate directly to any Municipal Department Director or any other City Employee, there are however other options available to the Councilors. The Council can demand that the Municipal Department Directors involved appear at a future Council meeting. At that time, the Councilors certainly have the right to ask questions of these Directors and have them explain their actions on camera. The Council can and should hold the Interim City Manager responsible for all occurrences during his watch and give the Interim City Manager a directive to immediately put an end to these unprofessional practices that violate the purchasing policy. The Council should also issue another directive requesting that they receive all bid tabulation summary reports on a regular basis going forward to ensure proper oversight and public transparency. This is what the Claremont City Council should do to protect the best interests of their constituents, the taxpayers of Claremont; however, a majority of the membership of the current City Council is comprised of weak-willed blind followers of Municipal Administrators. So the question is will they?

  • Industrial Property Owner (Monday, September 02 19 05:01 pm EDT)

    I just finished reading today’s Sullivan Report article and it is an incredible exposé of poor fiscal management dating back as far as the Ryan McNutt Administration. Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Maranville have done their usual due diligence obtaining hard-hitting unassailable facts that the prior city manager, whom the city council terminated and the current interim city manager, a consultant hired from Municipal Resources Incorporated either cast a blind eye or willfully engaged in poor managerial practices that violated established purchasing policies. The intent of these purchasing policies is to protect the sacrosanct public trust by preventing the very thing that seems to be occurring namely nepotism and favoritism in the conveyance of lucrative municipal contracts for goods and services totaling thousands or hundreds of thousands of precious taxpayer’s dollars. The evidence the Sullivan Report uncovered conveys the incontrovertible impression of a municipal government operating without any checks and balances. The previous and current city managers are not the only two municipal authorities involved. The finance director, the public works director, presumably the assistant public works director, the planning and development director and the parks and recreation director all seem to be involved in allowing public funds to be recklessly wasted by not following the formally established purchasing policies that instituted appropriate safeguards to protect public funds from being squandered. This is devastatingly catastrophic news and as has been stated by prior contributors to this public forum, the current city council has repeatedly represented themselves as weak and ineffective. As we saw with the mere suggestion of a forensic audit to ensure the veracity of the city’s financial accounting records, I suspect that the majority of the councilors who wish to ignore this revelation. I am specifically referring to Mayor Charlene Lovett, Assistant Mayor Allen Damren and City Councilors Scott Pope, Nicholas Koloski, Abigail Kier and Claire Lessard, whom in my opinion will intentionally ignore the truth to protect the administrative staff at all costs, no matter what they have done. Not one of the city councilors are good representatives of the populace whom they were elected to represent. I make this judgment based on their past actions including their voting record, which usually follows the wishes of administrative staff and the desires of certain special interests while many times ignoring what is best for the public at large. I am giving Kristin Kenniston the benefit of the doubt as she is newly appointed and does not have an extensive voting record at this time. I fully expect the aforementioned city councilors to ignore this damning information uncovered by the Sullivan Report. If Councilmen Andrew O’Hearne and Jonathan Stone show the moral fortitude to raise this issue during a council meeting, then I expect a replay of what transpired with the suggestion of the forensic audit and the Topstone tax debt relief and property tax assessment abatement scandal. In short, glowing support from the aforementioned councilors and vague doubletalk from any of the administration officials who should be facing termination if Claremont’s municipal government were managed by ethically honest public administrative and elected officials.

  • Ron (Monday, September 02 19 04:19 pm EDT)

    What I would like to know is why Victor St. Pierre did not file the report with the NH DES like he was legally required to do or why he did not inform the US Army Corps of Engineers either? Sure sounds like he may be hiding more than large contract awards to companies with family ties.

  • Jake (Monday, September 02 19 04:18 pm EDT)

    I have no intentions of taking away from the good work that the SR does but my recollection of watching the council meetings goes like this. Councilor Stone was asking for answers about the Topstone building regularly and how to go about taking it for tax leans. Week after week Councilor Koloski would have a line of to reasons why this would not be a good idea. His story would change meeting to meeting depending on comments made from the public. One time it’s air quality next time it’s not but contamination in the ground. Back and forth depending on public outcry. Councilor Stone kept pressing for answers and getting constant pushback from McNut and Councilor Koloski. Then out of the clear blue and to the credit of the SR the big tax relief story breaks and all hell breaks loose. The public was in an uproar and Koloski tried without success to wash his hands of the subject but the public had already made up their mind. Now the public wanted McNut to answer for this and he continued to give pushback. The council not knowing their authority was being walked all over and were sitting on their hands. Councilor Stone and O’Hearne did try without success to look into this obvious wrongdoing. The SR kept up reporting on this and the public was not letting up. Then Joe Osgood came into the picture and would not let the assault on the taxpayer go until the council finally admitted in a way they dropped the ball. Joe did a great job but I think he should have kept going when he came to the council and the interim manager agreed that McNut did a poor job of handling the tax forgiveness. The council let us down on this one. Big Time.

  • Jennifer (Monday, September 02 19 02:00 pm EDT)

    Today's article strongly indicates that there is nepotism and more going on with the big city projects and large contract awards that are paid for with our tax dollars and the water and sewer rates that those of us are on the system pay to the city. To me this borders on possible corruption and should be looked into by an independent third-party because the city administration and many of the city councilors cannot be trusted.

  • Brad (Monday, September 02 19 01:57 pm EDT)

    Actually Jake it was the Sullivan Report that exposed the Topstone fiasco with the secret property tax debt forgiveness and large property assessment abatement. Councilors Stone and O'Hearne took action afterwards. Besides that you are right about everything.

  • Jake (Monday, September 02 19 01:31 pm EDT)

    Shortly after Ryan McNut arrived in Claremont it was going around that his goal was to increase the population of Claremont drastically. That excited many until it became apparent that his increase would consist manly of low or no income people. This is when New England Family Housing came into the picture. On the surface it looks like right from the start back room dealings were tapping federal, state and city resources. I believe city heads and some on the council are very aware of this. Councilor Koloski,s fiasco of the Topstone building exposed by actions taken by councilors Stone and O’Hearne and explained by the Sullivan Report put an end to McNut but the HEFH scam was in motion. I also believe city personnel began to see this mess and didn’t know how to handle it. That is why some people left. Now an obviously weak council can’t fix it so they are not doing anything about. Just like they did nothing with the Topstone fiasco till they were backed into a corner. Yup we need some new blood on the council.

  • John (Monday, September 02 19 01:23 pm EDT)

    Congratulations, great article.
    Extremely informative and eye opening.
    As our former City Manager use to say, “ this doesn’t pass the smell test”. I’m not sure if this is an area a Forensic Accounting can shed any light on. It seems this is a violation of policy along with a strong case of nepotism.
    Hopefully, this will be discussed in greater detail at the next council meeting.

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