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.
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)
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?
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
Todd(Monday, September 02 19 01:02 pm EDT)
Without a formal bid process there is no guarantee that the taxpayers are getting the best bang for their buck. The taxpayers are being ripped off by that decisions made by directors and city managers who do not live or pay taxes in Claremont. All the while the city councilors sit on their f***ing asses and do nothing to protect us from being raped by the city administrators. The same city councilors will then run for reelection because in their miniscule pea-brains these entitled false actually believe that they are doing a spectacular job. It is time to do in the insanity by ending the careers of these moronic, snowflake city councilors.
Shawn(Monday, September 02 19 12:34 pm EDT)
The Claremont School District and SAU 6 was a disaster area, the Superintendent was fired, and the other incompetent boobs that were running the show either left on their own or were probably fired too. The new Superintendent is coming on board and he will hopefully rebuild the team with competent people that will actually pay attention to the business at hand and stop the embarrassing foolishness. It seems to me that we the taxpayers now have the same problem with the Claremont municipal government and it might actually be worse there because they are just not only incompetent they may be acting in a shady manner. I think it’s time we clean house on the city side as the City Manager was already fired and a new City Manager is coming on board. In my humble opinion the DPW Director, the Assistant DPW Director, the Finance Director and the Director of Planning and Development have all got to go. The same goes for many elected officials beginning with the Mayor, the Assistant Mayor and City Councilors Kier, Pope and that numbskull Koloski. The taxpayers of Claremont are paying too high a price for their gross incompetence and it is time to put an end to this foolishness once and for all.
Brent(Monday, September 02 19 12:18 pm EDT)
What about the Assistant DPW Director Jeremy Clay? How could he not know what’s going on? Does anyone honestly think that he is uninvolved in all this?
Builder Bob(Monday, September 02 19 11:40 am EDT)
The irony is that Daniels is far superior company to St.Pierre.
David(Monday, September 02 19 10:46 am EDT)
There were no bids received for the 139 Main St.’s demolition contract so will that constitute another cock up reason to throw out the purchasing policy and award a high price contract to a company that has family ties to the city? That seems to be what is going on these days with the DPW contracts, the past city manager, the current interim city manager, and the finance director all seem to not give a damn that this is going on. I am extremely irritated at the city councilors who sit up on the councilor’s stage all striking their pose to look oh so important for the cameras yet they do nothing to protect the citizens and taxpayers from these unprofessional practices that are ending up costing the taxpayers more money than necessary. Look at the rail trail project that Michal Lemieux should have received. Look at all the rules and regulations that they ignored and out and out broke to give that contract to Daniels Construction. Where was the professionalism there? How would the best interests of the public served with this project that cost the taxpayers $32,900 more than necessary? That $32,900 would have been better spent elsewhere for the good of our community instead of improving Daniels Construction’s annual profits. I do not think it was a coincidence that the ex-DPW director is a vice president of the company.
Craig(Monday, September 02 19 09:34 am EDT)
That’s right; Jim Sullivan and AJ Maranville are showing Councilman Stone and Councilman O’Hearne the right places to perform a forensic audit and possibly uncover municipal corruption at the same time.
Donna(Monday, September 02 19 09:10 am EDT)
DPW contract awards is where you can specifically target a forensic audit Councilor Stone.
Barbara(Monday, September 02 19 08:24 am EDT)
Something certainly smells doesn’t it.
Mike(Monday, September 02 19 07:34 am EDT)
No bid contracts from the DPW for companies that are owned either by relatives of the DPW Director or the employer of a relative of the DPW Director sure looks bad no matter how you look at it. There is no positive political spin for that. I do not know how Ryan McNutt, John MacLean, Mary Walter and Nancy Merrill could even begin to justify any of this. Of course, the councilors such as Charlene Lovett, Allen Damren, Abigail Kier, Claire Lessard, Nick Koloski and Scott Pope will all say that the councilors cannot get involved in the day-to-day affairs of the city and say they put their full faith and trust in the city staffers. Of course, it is a lot of bureaucratic political BS because they all have no scruples like apparently the city administration leaders do not. This is why the next election will be so important in November. The voters have to get out and throw out these morally and ethically challenged city councilors who do not represent the morality and the values of the voters who elected them.
Dennis(Monday, September 02 19 07:23 am EDT)
I don’t understand why the purchasing policy has to be waived so many times. It looks intentional.
Tom(Monday, September 02 19 06:18 am EDT)
It seems like there is a real cozy relationship between our DPW Director Victor St. Pierre and several local companies that he seems to favor for the awarding of lucrative city service contracts. It looks like these companies are awarded the contracts because city administration officials do not follow the rules of the purchasing policy. Where is the city council oversight? Why do two former city councilors have to do the council’s job for them?
Jim Sullivan(Monday, September 02 19 05:16 am EDT)
Claremont’s purchasing policy not being used to the public’s benefit!
Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Charles(Sunday, September 01 19 10:42 am EDT)
Any bets on the 9 apartments going at "Market Rate" go un-rented?
When I was a child of 7 my parents moved into a brand new building in Stamford Connecticut that was structured for income levels like the Goddard apts. It was called Saint John's Towers,there were 3 buildings.These were originally supposed to be primarily for middle class working families with a small number slated to be low income.
My family moved out 1 year later.The crime and drinking and drugs in the building made it a dangerous place to live.As it turned out,many more apartments became low income section 8 because minorities were screaming for more housing.The buildings are now all low income and in complete decay.The roaches and rats are throughout.The drug dealers are all through the halls and stairways.The police are being called there every night now.The buildings were a new design in 1971,they were round in shape.As I got older and went to high school in Stamford the buildings were known as "The N***er Barrels" because they were predominantly black by demographic.The place now is a dangerous hub from which crime throughout the area emminates from.
It appears that Claremont is creating this very same scenario.I can't warn you enough about the things to come.There will be rape and there will be violence and drugs that Claremont has never seen.
Rae(Sunday, September 01 19 07:36 am EDT)
This was written by Mayor Lovett herself...not sure how her husband can not know? But here is that proof you asked for Mr. Lovett "While the quality of the apartments will not differ from one unit to another, the number of apartments available to renters of varying income levels will. Nine of the 36 apartments will be rented at market rates, while the majority will be rented according to a percentage of the area median income (AMI) as defined by Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for Sullivan County.Nineteen of the apartments will be reserved for renters who earn 60% of the AMI. For one person this equates to $34,320 and increases by approximately $4,000 for each additional person. Another four apartments will be available to renters who earn 50% of the AMI. For one person, this is $28,600 and also increases about $4,000 for each additional person. The remaining four apartments will be set aside for individuals with disabilities. " https://www.eagletimes.com/news/community/goddard-block-project-on-schedule-for-december-completion/article_6e5be556-2152-5061-bb5f-b2d1cae0d28d.html
Rae(Sunday, September 01 19 07:33 am EDT)
"The Goddard Block Apartments, when finished (the estimated completion date is February 2020), will have 36 studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments for low to moderate income families. Nine of the apartments will be market-rate and the other 27 will be “affordable.” The ground floor of the building will continue to be commercial space. " https://www.eagletimes.com/news/breaking-ground-at-goddard-block/article_7296d098-1ba0-11e9-b578-bb0bf9177250.html
Rae(Sunday, September 01 19 07:30 am EDT)
"Next spring, the Goddard Building in Claremont will open its doors as a completely renovated structure containing commercial space and 36 apartments (9 market rate, 27 affordable units).
Since the winter, the site has been the scene of intense activity overseen by the general contractor, Trumbull-Nelson Construction of Hanover, NH, and carried out by numerous sub- as well as sub-sub-contractors."
David(Saturday, August 31 19 11:58 am EDT)
@Robert Lovett : Go to News Archives 1 of this page and there you will see documented proof that 61% of the apartments for the Goddard block will be for low to moderate income families (Section 8) 22 of the 36 apartments. A far cry more than 8. If this has changed please provide proof.
John J. O’Connor(Saturday, August 31 19 07:42 am EDT)
Great points. Next summer will determine who is right.
Why the name change from Low income housing to Workforce housing , can anyone explain the difference?
As far as Claremont being a Sanctuary city, isn’t it already ?
The City has become extremely diversified in the last decade. The Social service rolls have continued to expand and crime has consistently risen in this time.
So what would be so different?
Next summer, between “Workforce housing” and the “Halfway House”, Pleasant St. will be a hotbed of police activity.
Only time will tell.
Ps. This is my real name. No shame to my game.
Joe Mcgee from Kankakee(Saturday, August 31 19 07:33 am EDT)
"the going wage rate for Claremont"
So,it's the sky is the limits for teachers,cops,and fire,with wage raises every year.But everybody else is supposed to work for Chinese cooley wages and we'll give you some cheap housing,supported by people that worked and saved to buy their own homes.That's right,have all kinds of kids,free lunch,free school,free housing,don't worry the taxpayers will pay.More kids means more teachers! That's great for the union.Whata ya hate unions?! It's for the kids damn it!
Robert Lovett(Friday, August 30 19 09:52 pm EDT)
Steve....if that is even your real name...where is the facts hat support your claim that incited councilors are advocating for Claremont to become a sanctuary city? I have seen nothing to support this accusation and every councilor has denied they support doing so, so where do you draw this conclusion from? Likewise why do you believe my wife, Allen, Abby, Scott, Nick, and Claire are obstacles to Claremont’s economic growth? It seems you missed naming John and Andy in your scathing comments....why so? Please inform us why they are the only two who are economically moving Claremont forward? BTW there are only 8 of the apartments designated as Section 8 so where is the “greatly increased figure” your citing coming from? Also why are you so negative about blue collar workers seeking affordable housing? work force housing does not equate to low income housing...it equates to affordable housing for real people working long hours and are paid the going wage rate for Claremont. Please provide facts instead of vague Innuendos professing “the sky is falling “ when in fact it is not.
Alice(Friday, August 30 19 11:47 am EDT)
While it is good news about the IRS forgiving the penalties and fines for the unfiled paperwork for 2016 it still should have never happened. That is the fault of McGoodwin, LeClair and O'Neil for not doing their jobs and the fault of the members of the Claremont and Unity School Boards for not doing their due diligence to take swift action once this problem and the problem with the lunch program was revealed. Bad management all around. I hope the new superintendent can turn things around with better management.
Steve(Friday, August 30 19 08:49 am EDT)
For the benefit of those who do not read the Argus Champion an interesting article appeared this week. Kevin Lacasse appeared before the Newport Selectman because he and his company are stepping in as a new developer for the Newport Mills project in our sister community of Newport. Lacasse is seeking a CDBG grant for the project through Sullivan County. As he did with the Claremont project with the Goddard building, he is changing the scope of the project so instead of 47 market-rate apartments it will now be 68 workforce-housing units instead. In other words mostly low-income housing. The difference is the Newport Selectman are far smarter and very protective of their constituents unlike their Claremont counterparts. Newport Selectman Todd Fratzel is quoted in the paper as saying “I don’t see any benefit to this community”, he says it will put more stress on the schools and that the Newport Selectman needed to do what was good for the community. Four of the Newport Selectman are hesitant about the project unlike Claremont City Councilors who accepted the project with open arms and city officials even went so far as to downgrade zoning regulations to cheapen the project for Mr. Lacasse and his company. Of course, these are the same folks on the City Council who want to change Claremont into a Sanctuary City. Charlene Lovett, Allen Damren, Scott Pope, Abigail Kier, Nick Koloski and Claire Lessard are Claremont’s biggest obstacle to economic development and growth that goes in the right direction. Enabling more social programs and nonprofit entities to buy property and greatly increasing the number of low income/section 8 housing is not the answer because it will only increase the property tax burden because the individuals that are served with these programs do not create property tax revenue for the community they just drain our community’s limited resources. Newport Selectman seem to understand that whereas Claremont City Councilors either do not understand that or they do not care because they have a political agenda that does not represent the best interests of their constituents. This is why November’s election is crucial because we need to oust the six Councilors I named earlier.
Jim Sullivan(Friday, August 30 19 04:35 am EDT)
IRS waives school fines.
Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Felix(Thursday, August 29 19 05:01 pm EDT)
If these reductions are the norm for the city, it means the tax rate will go up.
The City of Claremont will never do with less. If -7% is going to be city wide, the overall tax rate will have to increase or the budget will have to decrease by 7%, just for the tax rate to remain as it is.
Fat chance of that happening.
Sarah(Thursday, August 29 19 01:07 pm EDT)
Tony, if Claremont is in such a shambles and the top value properties are reducing in property valuation then should not all the properties in Claremont see a reduction in their property valuation? It's not fair for top value properties to come down in value and other lesser valued properties go up in value. That's the very definition of unfair taxation.
Tony(Thursday, August 29 19 12:37 pm EDT)
Well the property values on Nelmar had to come down. the poor condition of the schools, roads and properties in the city will also reduce the values at the top. Being a high price property in a failed city is not a great place to be. If the rest of you would get off the dole and deliver then the values would go back up.
Barbara(Thursday, August 29 19 11:52 am EDT)
Charles, thank you for explaining. Your comments were very educational.
Jim Sullivan(Thursday, August 29 19 10:04 am EDT)
Nel Mar Heights Neighborhood’s overall property assessments drop by 7.54%! Several properties see property assessment reduction of approximately 20%!
Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Charles(Thursday, August 29 19 07:21 am EDT)
Municipal and state governments have been underfunding civil servant pension contributions for many years now.As with your 401k you need to put money in to earn interest and stock earnings.When you don't contribute as local governments have done,you will drain pension funds completely,leaving nothing for current employees to retire on.Some pensions are only 20% funded,and will probably dry up within 3 years.This leaves pension checks and health insurance bills in the laps of property taxpayers.Harvey,IL. didn't pay their city hall phone bill this last month because most all of the property taxes collected went to paychecks,pension checks,and health insurance premiums for local cops,fire,and DPW.City services there have all but ended.This is just the first to break down,many more will follow.I'm not sure where Claremont is on their pension funding.You should be very freightened about school pension funding,considering the lack of good stewardship school leaders have shown as of late.
Bottom line is that a lot of these union civil servants think they're going to ride off into the sunset with big monthly pension checks.The truth is many of those checks may be cut in half when all is said and done.
Barbara(Wednesday, August 28 19 06:41 pm EDT)
What pension Tsunami are you talking about Charles?
Charles(Wednesday, August 28 19 05:50 pm EDT)
@ John ok,so why are the souses of Teachers,fire,cops,and misc. gov. service permitted to hold seats? If they're married it's thge same thing.
I just can't wait to see the great coming pension Tsunami that public employees from sea to shining sea are just about to experience.
John(Wednesday, August 28 19 04:39 pm EDT)
Charles: Every one on a board, council, committee are volunteers no one gets paid. Only the city manager and city staff are paid, and I do believe city employees are not allowed to run for city council. American recycling will be back when they have all thier ducks in a row.
Joanne(Tuesday, August 27 19 02:31 pm EDT)
I'm certainly happy about American Recycling's decision to not pursue a transfer station in Claremont that specializes in construction and demolition materials. This would not have been a good fit for Claremont.
Charles(Tuesday, August 27 19 12:56 pm EDT)
When the people running the council and the boards get their paychecks and pension checks from the local taxpayers,it's only a matter of time before it's a ghost town.
Ron(Tuesday, August 27 19 10:58 am EDT)
I think it stinks that so many city officials are getting property tax breaks while the rest of us are all being screwed with higher property taxes and those of us on water and sewer will soon be getting higher rates there as well. I have a few friends who work at the DPW and say that higher rates are a sure thing because they are going to be passed by our current batch of councilors before the next election.
Katherine(Tuesday, August 27 19 09:41 am EDT)
I was shocked to read about Claremont’s changing demographics. I attend many of the same functions as our Mayor Charlene Lovett, she always puts Claremont’s best face forward so to speak, and that is to be expected. Now that I am aware of these terrible demographics in the continued direction that they are going, I look at her actions quite differently. Charlene is not just acting as Claremont’s cheerleader but as Claremont’s Queen of Propaganda. Claremont’s declining population is nothing new but the shrinking labor force and growing population of high-cost residents requiring an abnormally high amount of local government and social services is quite disturbing. Particularly as this change in demographic is being perpetuated by Charlene and several of her colleagues on the city council. If these councilors succeed in their quest for transforming Claremont into a welcoming community, a.k.a. sanctuary, the city of Claremont is doomed to forever be a community that will never reach its fullest potential. November elections will be critical to oust Charlene and her like-minded colleagues from public office.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, August 27 19 04:05 am EDT)
American Recycling withdraws application!
Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
William(Monday, August 26 19 03:37 pm EDT)
Because of the high statistical improbability that almost all of the city councilors would get tax assessment cuts when so many other residential property owners are seeing significantly increased property assessments, it certainly looks like deliberate manipulation of the property assessments. Thank you Sullivan Report for revealing these facts to us.
Dennis(Monday, August 26 19 01:17 pm EDT)
Look at what happened with the Topstone property and Nick Koloski’s involvement even though he says he’s not involved. Nobody with half a brain believed it and now all the councilors are getting either property tax cuts or small tax increases when everyone else will be paying a whole lot more. I don’t think it’s a coincidence.
Jim Sullivan(Monday, August 26 19 12:55 pm EDT)
Gary, I loved your throwing darts analogy, it was right on point! Presently no one has been appointed to the Board of Assessors, the City is still advertising for the three open vacant seats and for the one alternate seat. You gave me an idea to send a right to know inquiry to see if anyone has applied for any of the three open seats. It will be interesting to know if anyone has applied or if City Officials are intentionally sitting on the applications so that no one will be appointed to prevent the Board of Assessors from ever being formed to provide oversight.
Gary(Monday, August 26 19 12:35 pm EDT)
I was thinking how could a new evaluation done by an outside company be that far off. So I took one neighborhood in question and looked at all the evaluations in that one alone. Now I am thinking. Is there a map of Claremont in the assessors office and a bunch of darts. There in no other way to calculate these increases and decreases. Comparable houses side by side one goes way up the other goes way down. Claremont is in trouble. Is the assessor board up and running yet? They are going to be busy.
Tom(Monday, August 26 19 11:42 am EDT)
I think it sucks that almost every city councilor got a property tax break or only a small increase when the rest of us are getting kicked in the rear with big property assessment increases and in all likelihood higher property tax bills. Of course, the councilors will say they had nothing to do with their property assessments but it still has the looks and feel of corruption.
Lisa(Monday, August 26 19 10:37 am EDT)
Sullivan and Maranville are plenty sly. The Citizens Bank property sale was a sneaky way to show yet another erroneous property assessment. It seems that VIP’s of Claremont are all getting property tax breaks, as they are not paying their fair share while the rest of us pay our share and theirs too. These property assessments are not set fairly at all.
Brian(Monday, August 26 19 09:29 am EDT)
I think I am right and Claremont 4 Real is running out of content. Their latest is a first of a multiple part article about the website owner’s excursion with friends in the search of a marijuana dispensary in Massachusetts. It reads like the new adventures of Cheech and Chong. What the heck does that have to do with Claremont? The Sullivan Report seems to have no problem at all finding new content that is least is relevant to Claremont. So why can’t the person or folks behind Claremont 4 Real do the same thing? Or is it that they do not want to because they do not want to expose or embarrass there close friends and allies in the county, city and school governments? Whom we all think is behind that website is already part of the system that is wrecking the city’s economy and infrastructure and quality of life.
Mike(Monday, August 26 19 08:25 am EDT)
My retired parent’s home received a property assessment increase of $26,800 and my sister’s home received a property assessment increase of $19,200. My house was hit for a $32,600 increase and I have done no improvements on the property except for routine maintenance for several years. My neighbor who did some renovation work a little over a year ago had his property assessment drop by $9,100. Another neighbor saw no change at all and another neighbor only saw a $300 increase. To top it all off the city councilors, the police chief in some city board members all get property tax breaks. These property assessments just do not make sense. By the way, my parents are now considering putting their house up for sale because they are not sure they can afford the property taxes on their fixed income. So much for the Claremont dream.
Brad(Monday, August 26 19 07:46 am EDT)
Unbelievable! I get a property assessment increase in the neighborhood of $34,000 and that SOB Scott Pope, who has his summers off and gets one hell of a health insurance and pension plan gets a $41,300 abatement on his property assessment. It looks like all the property assessments are all over the place so the overall citywide property assessment and the city’s property tax rate may not change all that much with some property owners paying more while others paying less. If the $42.08 property tax rate were to stay the same, I will be paying over $1,500 more a year in property taxes while Councilman Scott Pope will end up with $1,738 more in his pocket at the end of the year. He and his buddies on the city council spend lots of money, raise our property tax burden while most of theirs goes down. Is this why they spent money to do a new property reevaluation before they had to so they could get this tax break for themselves? How the hell is that fair?
Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Brian(Sunday, August 25 19 01:12 am EDT)
Claremont 4 Real must be running out of content ideas. Their last article was about microplastics of all things. Who gives a damn about that? I thought that was supposed to be a website about Claremont news. Next they will be writing articles about why the sky is blue or grass is green. Riveting stuff.
Jake(Saturday, August 24 19 08:26 am EDT)
Rae you make my case! Thanks. Would be nice to see how much we are pumping out of the city weekly because of mismanagement and favoritism in city hall with a council that can’t see it.
Rae(Saturday, August 24 19 05:15 am EDT)
Jake, city employees can live wherever they want. It would be smart of them to live outside Claremont, lower property taxes.
Jake(Friday, August 23 19 04:03 pm EDT)
Just curious how many city employs that make better than 12,000.00 per year part and full time live outside of Claremont and how much taxpayer money that adds up to.
John(Thursday, August 22 19 12:02 pm EDT)
John Stone and Andy O’Hearn are the only Councilor’s on the Council that are doing their job.
Whether you agree with them or not, they are doing their homework and making the City Manager accountable.
A part of that accountability is to determine if there have been any improprieties with the City finances.
I am a bit concerned with reaction by city staff. Councilor Stone never accused any person or department of any wrong doing so why the highly dramatic response?
I hope these fine gentleman decide to run for City Council in the fall, with a new City Manager the city needs experienced Councilor’s. Councilors willing to ask the tough questions and vote with the best interests of the citizens in mind and not Councilors only out for themselves.
Archie(Wednesday, August 21 19 01:50 pm EDT)
Hey Luke. Jon Stone has been doing that for two years. I guess he needs help. Hope he gets it.
Luke(Wednesday, August 21 19 01:45 pm EDT)
It is time to start calling out capable people with knowledge enough and guts enough to call out the administration on issues that are raising the tax rate above what the lower income and elderly can afford to run for the council. If you can find any residence like that anymore in Claremont. A good start would be to adjust user fees at the Claremont Savings Bank Community Center to put it in the black. The place is already showing heavy wear and tear.
Travis(Wednesday, August 21 19 01:25 pm EDT)
It seems the councilors are still in negotiations with this Morris character. Maybe he is holding out for more money because he smells the desperation of this council. They are offering him the job and top pay when he is a rank amateur with little experience.
Mary(Wednesday, August 21 19 12:14 pm EDT)
Is Ed Morris taking the manager’s job or not?
Matt(Wednesday, August 21 19 11:01 am EDT)
Well said Jennifer. You make perfect sense about a smaller audit with a specific target in mind. I do not know what that target should be but there must be certain aspects of the city’s books that could show if any shenanigans or errors exist within the books. I do not trust our government officials because their actions do not warrant it. They routinely lie to the public and hide things from the public, which is why the Sullivan Report is so hated by local government officials. It is because they do not have Jim and AJ under their control as they do with what accounts for the local press. Jim and AJ routinely data mine government documents and publish the interesting ones that prove the topic of their expose articles. They are like the 60 Minutes of Claremont and that must worry local government officials who are not walking the straight and narrow.
Jennifer(Wednesday, August 21 19 10:11 am EDT)
I think we should do at least a targeted audit: a forensic audit or call it whatever you want to make sure that the books are in order. I do not usually watch council meetings but I did see the portion of the meeting about the audit report on the CCTV website. I agree with everyone else that the city leaders sure acted like they had something to hide and Councilors Lovett, Damren, Koloski and Pope all worked together to put the brakes on not doing a forensic audit not only now but never while they are on the city council. Further evidence that these four councilors are not working in our best interests. If they, Lessard and Kier are stupid enough to run for reelection then it is time for the voters to send a message that we have had enough of their political agenda and it is time for Claremont to go in a new and better direction.
Shawn(Wednesday, August 21 19 08:40 am EDT)
Ole Nicky boy is also there to feed his insatiable narcissistic need to be the center of attention. In all his years on the Council, he has not accomplished anything of value for the people of Claremont. Unless you count increased taxation on a relatively poor community an accomplishment.
Amy(Wednesday, August 21 19 08:27 am EDT)
Nick Koloski is obviously there for his own profit.
Henry(Wednesday, August 21 19 07:09 am EDT)
Failure is the sum total of the Claremont municipal government for the past 19 years. The remnants of that failure are still within the city administration and sitting on the city council.
Don(Wednesday, August 21 19 06:56 am EDT)
The Jewel Transport closing is another failure for the River Road TIF District.
Gail(Wednesday, August 21 19 06:28 am EDT)
It’s true these councilors are not representing the people they are there to represent the administration directors and any special interest people or groups that are pulling the strings. Some of them are there to represent their own best interests as well.
You sure wonder a lot. Perhaps you should do some studying and then you can be sure. Love the fake Marlboro Man name - Brock....I bet you smell like Old Spice or more likely like Wheelabrator exhaust.
You folks just wreak with hatred for this Koloski dude. It amazing that the stinky smell of jealousy drips from your lips, evidently the results of a life misled.
And what's a little asbestos when one has spent a few years in the Tanx building - friable asbestos everywhere - perhaps you should look up the word "friable" and note that building inspectors concentrate on asbestos in that state. Do you have factual documentation of the friable asbestos contamination levels?
You think it is more dangerous than the sand the City uses to coat the roads during snow events with the sodium Chloride or mica chips or whatever those small shiny objects that float on the breeze and onto your shoes and into your house - have you noticed those tiny, shiny specs?
Well that means there are even more of those specks that you can't see and you are breathing them into your lungs where they lodge, damage tissue and don't break down.
Blame that on Koloski too if it makes you feel better.
So in closing, you are not fit to judge who should be called a moron or a rube.
Jeremy(Tuesday, August 20 19 03:59 pm EDT)
It is a shame that Jewel Transport is having difficulties. This was one of the few legitimate accomplishments of the Santagate Administration.
Richard(Tuesday, August 20 19 03:46 pm EDT)
The annual audits are worthless if the auditors are only looking at 40 transactions out of thousands of transactions conducted each year. To say the books are fine with a half-ass audit that cost the taxpayers about 40 grand is ludicrous. But then that’s to be expected from the likes of Allen Damren and his cohorts on the Council Lovett, Pope and Koloski who all usually vote the same way all the time exactly how the administration leaders want them to vote, or act, etc.
Brock Lanahan(Tuesday, August 20 19 03:17 pm EDT)
If you would eat Haddock from Koloski's asbestos and heavy metal contaminated property,you should hardly be calling Sullivan a moron.
Wonder if the cooks FICA was paid for the quarter?
Tom(Tuesday, August 20 19 02:04 pm EDT)
With councilors like Nick Koloski, Scott Pope, Allen Damren and Charlene Lovett all desirous of covering up anything that does not look good so they can hide it from the people who are paying the bills how did you expect them to act about this possibility of a forensic audit? There was no doubt they would do whatever it takes no matter how unethical to squash this thing just so nothing would be unearthed.
Hello Sullivan Report. I recently got wind of your missive, or shall I say "screed" that you aimed at Claremont4Real. Well, I guess you were pretty pissed because you were backed into a corner by the behavior of your regular customers.
From reading your archives, I can see you work hard, but that is all for naught if you credibility is destroyed because you become a "one-trick-pony" site. Your choice.
Oh, by the way, check out my response to your post at :
Stephanie(Tuesday, August 20 19 07:35 am EDT)
I still think Nick Koloski is involved somehow with the Claremont 4 Real site. He might be the city official that is in constant contact with the websites webmaster. On the other hand, they may be one in the same. AJ and Jim made a great point, look at whom the website is targeting and they are all nemeses of Nick Koloski. Coincidence? I do not think so.
Archie - you are a fool. I suspect you get DNA all over lotsa' things around you like kleenex and napkins and socks etc. The only thing John Stone has brought to light are stoopid rubes like you.
You along with ole' shucks, homespun Tim just watched Stone be forced to backtrack because he is as stoopid as y'all be because he doesn't (or at least didn't) actually know what a "forensic audit" is. Pretty irresponsible calling for the start of a criminal investigation when no crime was asserted.
And seriously inept of him to not know that a "forensic audit" would cost at least $100,000 and could go as high as $200,000.
And Archie on here calling for even more "forensic audits"...are you all spawn of the same foamy batch of eggs?
Tell me again how fiscally responsible Stone is - I'll crank up my hearing aid so as not to miss a word.
Bob(Monday, August 19 19 09:58 pm EDT)
Why would any City Councilor (Koloski) be opposed to allowing the citizens they represent the ability to vote for themselves in an election for sport gambling ?
Tim(Monday, August 19 19 06:01 pm EDT)
I have watched the part of the meeting when the councilors talk about a forensic audit. It was one heck of an overreaction for what should have been a simple, calm, and uneventful conversation. Having the auditing firm owner come give a PowerPoint presentation and use scare tactics to talk the councilors out of having even a specific forensic audit sure made it look like city officials had something to hide. Most people are not going to think that saying the words forensic audit means criminal wrongdoing. If anybody on the council or on the administration thought that, then why didn’t they say something when Councilor Stone suggested having the conversation at what I presume was the previous meeting? It just doesn’t make sense. I think what is more plausible is that worried city officials decided to use this melodramatic response of wounded pride and alleged damage reputation to shift the conversation away from performing a narrowly focused forensic audit and towards apologizing to Mary Walter and not even entertaining the possibility of authorizing any type of forensic audit either now or in at least the near future. This was nothing more than a ruse to prevent a forensic audit from transpiring. It certainly sounds like the actions of government officials with something or maybe several somethings to hide.
Archie(Monday, August 19 19 05:05 pm EDT)
Marcus Wilson and Lemuel Curry have Nick Koloski’s DNA all over them. The lies in their posts fit right in. An audit of all Topstone transactions is in order. Others that should be looked at are Pleasant and Main Street projects getting the city’s favor. Jon Stone has brought many things to light and management don’t like it. O’Hearne is a help too. He should calm down with policy criticism. Most of our problems are from a week council.
Pam(Monday, August 19 19 03:33 pm EDT)
Councilwoman Kristin Kenniston’s husband is a member of the Fire Department and Nick Koloski is a call firefighter. It would not be much of a stretch to think that Nick reached out to have Kenniston make the ask for sports betting on the ballot instead doing it himself as he did for the Keno. Nick keeps saying he’s not running for reelection but I don’t believe that either and if he is running for reelection he’s going to have a heckuva time because of the Topstone building scandal as practically nobody believes that Nick was not involved in that property tax debt write-off and huge property assessment decrease secret deal at City Hall.
Todd(Monday, August 19 19 01:32 pm EDT)
I don't believe for a second that Koloski is not in favor of sports betting because I am sure he wants it for his Timeout bar establishment. He already has the Keno in his bar so sports betting would tie right in. Maybe Nick is using reverse psychology to get the council to do his dirty work and get in on the ballot.
Erik(Monday, August 19 19 01:14 pm EDT)
I watched that Council meeting and I agree with Jim and AJ that the city's response was overkill and I do not trust Mary Walter as far as I can throw her. It sure looked like the city had something to hide when all Councilor stone wanted to do was have a discussion about maybe doing a forensic audit and the city leaders go postal and do a full-court press to quash the idea before it even has a chance to be given a fair public airing. I remember when Jim and AJ went to a Council meeting and disclosed that community center books were a mess and that Mary Walter was putting out three different sets of financial numbers. She called it a computer glitch in the dumb dumbs on the Council all believed it saying there was nothing wrong and they spent all kind of money on new software to supposedly fix the problem. The current dumb dumbs on the Council are not much better I mean just look at them Pope is a dope. Koloski doesn't dare go against the administration because they may take him off the gravy train of public favors that he seems to keep receiving presumably in exchange for his consistent administration recommended rubberstamp votes. Claire Lessard is a moron. Damren & Lovett our administration flunkies and Kier is not much better. Kenniston may be a bit of a wildcard but because her husband is a lieutenant with the fire department I don't think she will stray too far from the city administration fold because of her husband's position with the city. The citizens of Claremont do not have many true and legitimate Council representatives at present. I sincerely hope that changes in November.
Jim Sullivan(Monday, August 19 19 11:31 am EDT)
Three articles published today.
1) Public Statement.
2) Claremont Savings Bank forecloses on Jewel Transport Inc. property.
3) August 14 Council meeting synopsis.
Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
State law requires that your property be assessed at market value.
One definition of market value is, "the estimated amount for which a property should exchange on the date of valuation between a willing buyer and a willing seller in an arm’s-length transaction after proper marketing wherein the parties had each acted knowledgeably, prudently, and without compulsion."
This generally means the amount a typical, well-informed purchaser would be willing to pay for a property.
For a sale to be an indication of market value, the seller and buyer must be unrelated and willing parties (not under
pressure) to sell or buy; the property must be on the market for a reasonable length of time; the payment must be made in cash or its equivalent; and the financing must be typical for that type of property.
RSA 75:1 further defines market value as: “…the property’s full and true value as the same would be appraised in payment of a just debt due from a solvent debtor.”
Except for properties assessed under special conditions, RSA 79-A through H, 75:1-a, 75:11, 72-B, 72:8-c, and 72:74 properties are assessed on the basis of their highest and best use.
Soooooo.......does a police stand-off with hundreds of rounds fired on your street (Burns), or a drug lab discovered two streets over (Yaqoob and Santaw) or dozens of used needles found almost daily at the closest public park (pick one), or another OD in a nearby parking lot (which occurs nightly in town) lower one's market value sufficiently to create enough loss to encourage economic behaviors to counter these forces and their underlying causes?
In other words, are you all willing to pony-up the amounts needed NOW and direct them to the proper locations (programs, facilities, lighting, cameras, more cops etc. - whatever the City decides), to maintain realistic property values into the future?
And lastly, anyone closely examining the GIS site can easily find dozens and dozens of sales histories with values listed that seem "unrealistic" at best. Cases where Deutsche Bank buys a property for $100k and sells it to someone in the City whose name you likely recognize for half that price just a few months later.
Are we all to pay for the money laundering activities of others?
Are they true reflections of market value or do we need to identify these properties using data mining and force a realistic market value based on a full inspection?
John(Sunday, August 18 19 10:04 am EDT)
Hahaha, that was an extremely important piece of legislation.
I have never and will never use an alias.
The voters have spoken and the made an excellent choice, my replacement is doing a fantastic job representing the citizens of Claremont.
Keep up the good work.
And Marcus... keep posting, it livens up the place.
Kipp just outed John or did John just out himself? John and "Kip' both favor the word "I" in the same frequency and they both used variations on "I appreciate" (unusual for such a small word sample).Lastly, the both with one-line missives in the same tone. Forensically they match on a number of key points.
And John, you're not to swift, so I believe Kipp has you nailed because he IS kinda' swift.
Here is an example of what John did when we sent him to represent us at the State House:
relative to use of amber lights on vehicles.
Introduced Nov 06 2017
Heavy stuff dude! Thanks for all the great legislative work...
John(Sunday, August 18 19 09:50 am EDT)
Just to give my 2 cents on this issue because that’s all it’s worth, censorship is wrong in any form or fashion.
What they do in the WUC site is wrong because they delete opinions they don’t agree with. If you threaten , use profanity or vulgar language, then by all means delete the post, not just because you don’t agree.
I had read the comments about Nick, I just assumed it was common knowledge and not a newsflash.
In today’s society does it really matter ?
Hello all. I am staying out of this fray but just wanted to let Marcus know that while I appreciate that he wants to "advertise" my blog with his login name, he keeps getting the URL wrong. I see that he has used the ACLU website in the past, he should stick with that. Sorry to take up everyone's time with this trite BS but I am in the middle of a battle with Facebook and not my normal charming self today;)
Mr. Sullivan is protecting his franchise from being sued out of existence, as he should.
Perhaps you should wander over to 8chan or StormFront websites if you want to spew hate unchallenged.
I have an idea - start your own website or Facebook group - or are you deficient in skills or just a coward?
The Stone's and their like in our government will be weeded out and the bigoted windbags like the ones who posted here and who's posts were rightly removed and who think it's funny will face the awesome power of the court system, mumbling "I never knew the hate crime laws covered this"...
And to the real Kipp, keep up the good work over at What's Up Claremont.
And to Mr. Sullivan - you did the right thing and you have the support of all thinking people.
John(Saturday, August 17 19 07:05 pm EDT)
Kip, I think you know me well enough to know I use my own name because there is no shame to my game, plus I don’t get involved in such juvenile nonsense.
I appreciate you thinking of me but again, you’re wrong.
Better luck next time.
Kipp Ryan(Saturday, August 17 19 05:13 pm EDT)
If you are going to pretend to be me, at least claim WUC as “mine” not “theirs”...and spell my name right, you idiot O’Connor.
Kip(Saturday, August 17 19 02:31 pm EDT)
Thank you Mr. Sullivan for deleting all the homophobic comments that have been made about Councilor Koloski.
In the past people have told that you never cave in to peer pressure but by you deleting those comments you have proven that you are afraid of the public.
I always appreciated that anyone could post on here and there comments would not be deleted or censored, it’s nice to see you are now like that site, What’s up Claremont. They delete comments all the time, just like your beginning to do.
I am happy you are finally censoring comments, pay no mind to those that think by doing this your a coward.
I am sure people will never think any less of you then they already do.
Keep up the censoring.
I just wanted to pop in and provide a small public service.
Keep an extra sharp eye on your mail.
There have been multiple reports this week of mail thefts along Twistback Rd and the area behind the Claremont Motor Lodge.
Also, mail-boxes are being destroyed along Bible Hill Rd.
Many chores are calling me this weekend - so I wish you all a wonderful day. C'ya
Jake(Friday, August 16 19 07:52 am EDT)
Just read the account of the last council meeting and took extra interest in the request for a forensic audit. Most concerning is the fact that the ones with most to loose spent so much energy trying to avoid one. Including councilor Koloski. There is no better time for a deep look at the city books. No one can argue that public outlook of the city is low and the last two managers contribute heavily to that. Nothing would be better than to open the books to a complete third party analogy of the operations of transactions. It would be a good start for the new manager who is in for an education about insider trading. Jon Stone was spot on with his request. More leaders like him are needed on the council. Hope the next election does this.
I see that John and crew deleted all the gay bashing posts since I notified him and the crew here with a post (now gone also) that y'all were setting yourselves up for litigation under the new hate crime statutes.....seems like Mr Sullivan wants to keep his site out of the courts.
Good job stiffing the bigots John!
Marcus Wilson(Thursday, August 15 19 09:01 am EDT)
Nuck Kolloski Twin(Wednesday, August 14 19 06:53 pm EDT)
Lil Nicky...I’m sure some of his meathead DJ friends have helped him put together his feeble attempt at rhyming. Wonder when he’s due to collect some more toys from other people and then donate them in his name?
Btw: CHAD didn’t exist when he was a kid. Lol
Flaming Hetero(Wednesday, August 14 19 05:44 pm EDT)
Hey Nick,are you paying your employees FICA yet?
Rooms and meals tax?
Can't believe the reassessment of that giant building is only $200k
I would pay extra tax to see it condemned and demolished.
Unlike Topstone, I pay taxes(Wednesday, August 14 19 02:26 pm EDT)
Lmao...the writing posted by Marcus and friends sounds eerily similar to Nick. If you’ve ever listened to him pontificate you will see and “hear” the resemblance.
Mary(Wednesday, August 14 19 12:21 pm EDT)
Liz that would mean that our city leaders would need to be honest, ethical and forthright and I doubt that is ever going to happen with the people we keep electing and the types of people they keep hiring and the incompetent people that they keep on the city’s payroll year after year after year in top key positions.
Steve(Wednesday, August 14 19 11:24 am EDT)
It looks like KFC got it stuffed to them too by the city assessor and for them it wasn’t finger licking good.
Robert(Wednesday, August 14 19 10:27 am EDT)
So some are attacking Councilor Stone for what exactly? Is it his voting on issues ? Holding Councilor Koloski’s boyfriend Ryan McNutt accountable for his backdoor dealings that raped the tax payers? I personally think we would be in a lot worse state of affairs if it was not for Councilor Stone and Councilor O’Hearn sitting on this council. Councilor Zullo was doing a great job and I was very saddened by his unexpected departure from the council. As for his replacement I have heard complaints her husband is on the fire department and she is a clerk who works for Lebanon. Guess time will tell if she is a good choice for the council or not. I wish more councilors were angry over the continued rubber stamping and out of control spending by the rest of this council. I know I sure am!
Liz(Wednesday, August 14 19 09:59 am EDT)
I thought it was interesting that Steel Mill Solar Company, all of a sudden needs money to do their project. They never said anything about that when they gave their presentation. It’s just like the county leaders with their bait and switch methods regarding the County Home renovation and the sober house project. The city leaders pulled the same thing with the community center and the downtown TIF district and so many other things. Can’t anyone ever be honest when they give a presentation to the Council and to the taxpayers?
Marcus Wilson(Wednesday, August 14 19 09:30 am EDT)
Little Tommy is a Stone sucker like most here and now y'all look foolish with your conspiracy theories.
I've watched and posted and watched and noted most of y'all are just Trumpian bootlickers.
Y'all have it out for this Nick fellow. Blinded by the light of your rage for him and missing the real villains - jealous?
What I did notice is that you didn't bother to refute one single thing at Nick's or Lemuel's or whoever runs the Claremont4Real website...
You know why?
You can't (for many, many reasons).
But heck, YOU are anonymous and I bet YOU have never even attempted a blog or even successfully put together ANY argument that consisted of multiple paragraphs that contained any facts.
I have never even been in the same room with Koloski. but I have met Stone and he is a pompous jerk.
Face it pal, you look foolish - which undoubtedly, you are.
TRY and think about it.
Tom(Wednesday, August 14 19 08:59 am EDT)
Lemuel Curry sure does sound like Councilman Nick Koloski. I have checked out his Claremont 4 Real website and the article topics read like a series of personal attacks against individuals that Councilman Koloski has a personal or political grudge against. The journalism quality of the articles is iffy and I do not believe that they are sourced very well in many instances unlike the Sullivan Report that consistently provides their readers with the highest quality of sourcing information and providing either full documents or excerpts from documents that prove what they are saying is absolutely the truth. This new poetry statement placing Nick Koloski as the hero of the piece and Councilman Jonathan Stone as the villain just seems to be the sort of thing that Nick Koloski would do. Imagine how long it took to write that poem to try to make Councilman Koloski look like the hero. Who else but Councilman Koloski would do such a thing? Think about it.
That's because Nick and his cohorts on the city council cannot control the content of this website like they do with the Eagle Times and the Valley News and the E- Ticker News. Mayor Lovett with her weekly column filled with politically spun drivel that always places the municipal government and our community in the most wonderful light that has little to do with reality. Nick has his finger wrapped around the local press as he continually feeds his narcissistic ego with manufactured puff pieces about his alleged philanthropic endeavor, which is nothing more than his taking credit for others' contributions that he merely distributes. Jim and AJ see Nick, Charlene and the rest of their gang on the council as they truly are and report their true activities instead of the balderdash they try to deceive the public with.
Not Nick(Tuesday, August 13 19 07:00 pm EDT)
Nick spends more time on this site than Jim and AJ.
Phil(Tuesday, August 13 19 06:00 pm EDT)
Does anyone else think Marcus, Lemuel Curry and Nick Koloski are one in the same ?
Chris(Tuesday, August 13 19 03:41 pm EDT)
These idiots want to turn Claremont into a sanctuary city for the illegal aliens, unwed mothers and ex-convicts with a drug problem. The citizens of Claremont better wake up and start fighting back before it’s too late.
Charles(Tuesday, August 13 19 02:04 pm EDT)
Hey,those decisions pay the bills.
Rick(Tuesday, August 13 19 01:22 pm EDT)
I agree, it’s time for the likes of Pope and Koloski and Lovett and Damren, etc. to be kicked off the City Council because they are destroying our community with one bad decision at a time.
Marcus(Tuesday, August 13 19 12:39 pm EDT)
You forgot to mention Stone - that embarrassing excuse for a representative with his first inclination towards being a nasty, bloviating pickle-head.
His temperament is better suited back in the business world - oh, wait - he owns a gun shop...maybe the ATF and FBI should inquire as to Mr. Stone's temper and threatening nature and re-examine his suitability to be involved with Black Op Arms....yet alone serve on the council.
I think we are all in agreement that the city needs new blood on the council. In my opinion, Lessard, Kier, Koloski and Pope must go, they have done nothing or created issues that have cost the City money.
I’d like to hear of anyone interested in being a City Councilor or someone you think would make a good city councilor.
I’d like to suggest Ray Gagnon.
I’m sure Ray has absolutely no interest but the city needs him. So if you see Ray out and about, kindly suggest to him he should run.
I’d also hope Frank Guathier decides to run again. He is a strong public advocate who would work tirelessly for the citizens of Claremont.
I’d love to hear some other suggestions....
Dave(Tuesday, August 13 19 10:44 am EDT)
All the councilors are interested in is putting more money into the pockets of the city employees and into the coffers of nonprofits run by friends of theirs. Right now, we have a rigged system because we have dishonest people running the city.
Kevin(Tuesday, August 13 19 09:32 am EDT)
I am so sick and tired of our city leaders wasting our tax dollars when they will not even spend the money to pave the asphalt roads before they turn to dust. To heck with raises for the high pay department heads or artwork for the community center or money for the solar farm company or whatever other cockamamie scheme they are working on these days just pave the darn roads.
I expect each and every one of you to attend the appropriate board meetings and the City Council session, use all the minutes allotted and then get up again and speak when everyone is done to firmly express your concerns.
Bring specific examples.
Also, even if you do not have a spread sheet and an accountant, challenge your assessment on principal.
Call and make that appointment and make THEM ( Vision Government Solutions, Inc explain. You have until Friday to call.
Remember, these are the same folks who screw up administering the current GIS website, so don't expect much.
A Tax Revolt is in order - this "leadership" team is out of control.
There needs top be an independent State-run investigation of the relation ship between GIS and certain City employees and elected/appointed officials.
I don’t know about the rest of you but I don’t want my tax dollars going to buy sculptures or some other kind of foo foo art. Especially when the community center is losing money hand over fist and costing the taxpayers more money to support because the city leaders don’t know how to run a community center or local government for that matter. Hell I doubt they could even run a lemonade stand without screwing it up.
Dennis(Tuesday, August 13 19 05:18 am EDT)
I have a sneaky suspicion that the so-called retreat will be at the Common Man Restaurant with the most expensive things on the menu served up for the councilors and city staff workers to nosh on at the taxpayer’s expense. When are the voters ever going to learn that these councilors are bad news and they are not there to represent what’s best for the general public. I hope some better honest citizens run for the Council seats this year.
Tom(Tuesday, August 13 19 05:03 am EDT)
What amazes me is how the Topstone building can be so decrepit with only a rating of two for how good the property is plus environmental issues up the wahzoo and the building is still open for business. Of course, it is likely because Little Nicky the City Councilor runs his businesses out of the Topstone building so it is hands-off because Little Nicky votes however, the administration workers want him to vote. The you scratch my back and I scratch yours game is in full swing at City Hall and Little Nicky plays to win because he only cares about himself.
Gary(Monday, August 12 19 11:07 pm EDT)
I think there are going to be a lot of property abatements come in at the city’s assessing office. The old Wheelabrator plant is empty and they jammed up that property assessment and John Illick is certainly going to fight his assessment and I do not blame him for doing so. This community has always been run by managers who treat Claremont like their own little fiefdom, friends are rewarded, and enemies are punished. It seems nothing has changed.
Matthew(Monday, August 12 19 08:52 pm EDT)
It looks like some favoritism is being played with the property assessments. Butcher Block and Canam get some pretty damn big property assessment reductions and places like National Field Representatives do all right from themselves as well while Crown Point Cabinetry will have to sell some more cabinets to make up this loss and John Illick gets it up the rear end for not finishing his development. The property assessments seem to be more politically motivated than based on what the true market value says the properties are worth.
Rae(Monday, August 12 19 08:40 pm EDT)
Marcus, the two people in question have children together. They are not father and daughter. I have said absolutely nothing about my opinion of anything. I have merely stated an inaccurate piece of an article. I have not ranted, in fact I think I wrote 3 or 4 sentences. Have a good night.
Le Man U El Currie(Monday, August 12 19 07:37 pm EDT)
Lmao. Funny stuff, Nick.
Charles Wenzel(Monday, August 12 19 06:58 pm EDT)
I have been told by staff at the Zoning and Planning office that the videos on CCTV are just a courtesy and not an official record, nor something that we should expect.
I sent them a letter because I am disable and have trouble getting to the various offices and the rec center where the meeting are held - so the videos are crucial to me to participate in the democratic process - especially the current American Recycling project.
Part of the letter I wrote to them was: I was hoping it would be broadcast live, but that didn't happen. Then, I saw on the CCTV website that Channel 10 had it scheduled for re-broadcast the next night (7/23/19) at 7 pm. I tuned in and there was nothing but a blank screen for two hours. I left the TV like that and turned on NPR.
On Wednesday (7/24/19), I again visited the CCTV website to find some alternate contact method because my e-mails and phone calls to them had gone unanswered. During that visit I discovered that there was now video of the meeting available in the archives.
I was determined to make this work so I adjusted the screen resolution and made the video small. The video only froze twice and I was able to hear (and somewhat see) the entire hearing. I guess the CCTV team is busy and they are doing the best they can with the resources provided.
So I guess the ADA doesn't apply in Claremont.
THE RESPONSE WAS:
The videos are a courtesy only – they are not considered the official record of the meeting.
A COURTESY? Isn't that a kick in the pants. That couple hundred I send them every month is extremely courteous in comparison.
Claremont needs to have Comcast kick in some money for a reliable transmission, recording and archive system or offer the franchise (monopoly) to someone else....
Where's that Lemuel Curry guy when you need him?
HEY YOU - use your skills to shame Claremont into negotiating a better High Speed Internet and cable Contract with that website of yours, you muckraker !!!! :)
Gail(Monday, August 12 19 06:18 pm EDT)
I'm really worried about CCTV. Jim and AJ reported today that the FCC gave the cable companies just what they wanted so Comcast can deduct a bunch of expenses from the franchise fee that they pay Claremont so Claremont may end up with no money at all. All of CCTV's funding comes from this franchise fee. Is CCTV goes belly up and then unless the taxpayers foot the bill there will be no more televised meetings or local sporting events or things like graduation and the parades and other wonderful things that CCTV televises.
Marcus Wilson(Monday, August 12 19 05:35 pm EDT)
I don't know what you keep ranting about. That article is accurate and you are being delusional.
I suggest you get your facts correct.
Here is the link to the article that makes you look foolish and naive...
AGAIN - you seem to like the idea that synthetic drugs are such a scourge here now and is being facilitated by families who don't deserve the time it took for the various people who prepared for Yaqoob's hearing before the planning commission only to have him delay AGAIN.
I don't know about you, but I don't have a box with cash in the cellar to cover the steadily rising taxes. Going up because applicants for permission to appear before various boards in order to start a business appear with no preparation or drawings and specious excuses for delaying until resistance lessens are wasting time and money.
They are trying the same thing with the American Recycling proposed construction and demolition plant at Claremont Jct.
So, if you wish to prioritize your life in such a way that you continue to repeat an easily defeated charge without offering one constructive bit of information - enjoy yourself - but duck when you hear the inevitable gunshots that follow this kind of activity...
Rae(Monday, August 12 19 02:51 pm EDT)
Marcus, I am not a family member of anyone involved. I simply like facts and the facts are that he is her ex husband, not her father. When one piece of information is inaccurate it casts doubt on all of the information. So if the author wants people to take his/her articles seriously do the homework first.
Jim Sullivan(Monday, August 12 19 01:01 pm EDT)
Two new articles published today.
1)Claremont's 2019 Property Assessments Part #2 – Commercial/Industrial Property!
2) John MacLean's premature farewell letter offers interesting insights and revelations regarding Claremont's Municipal Government!
Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Stewart(Monday, August 12 19 11:32 am EDT)
Bruce!!! Nick is not rent free to his whatever type of friends he has. It is on the tax payers back!
And Lemuel Curry is either CNN witch is highly unlikely or it is Nick and company. But for sure it is fake news. Nick as Mayor? I highly doubt it. After the Top Stone expose not sure he will be a councilor when all the reminders come out. And they will.
Marcus(Monday, August 12 19 11:07 am EDT)
I just read the article that you are calling crap. A member of the family, are you?
I guess you are not concerned with the outbreak of synthetic drug labs and the resulting product infesting Claremont.
Pull your shades and watch your 'reality show" and remain one of the low info "citizens"....
You seem to be wrong as far as I can see the article says ex-wife? And what's the diff? That's not the point.
I, myself, have heard some sketchy things about this Yaqoob character and his relationship with the owner of the last day care on Royce, Ruben Ramirez.
And what's with Yaqoob saying he wants things "expedited" because he has issues that he will not explain tot he public of the Planning Board?
I bet the author of the blog that you attack because apparently, that is all you've got to offer.
You should be concerned with the children
Bruce(Sunday, August 11 19 08:37 am EDT)
Stop all hate.
Councilor Koloski is loud and proud to be gay. You won’t be able to shame him back into the closet.
Can you really blame him for conducting his multiple business’s rent free? I am sure there are a lot of people that would do it but because Nick is a proud gay business man, he is bashed and ridiculed.
Councilor Koloski is gay and here to stay so get use to him, he will be our next Mayor.
Our first Gay Mayor.
Rae(Sunday, August 11 19 08:36 am EDT)
Whomever is writing this Claremont4real crap needs to do their homework. The guy running the daycare is not the father of the drug dealer. He is her ex husband.
Superfund(Sunday, August 11 19 07:13 am EDT)
Boy, those are some nice groundwater monitors that they recently installed around the perimeter of the Topstone building. Wondering what they are monitoring? Perhaps the contamination that Slick Nick insists is only in the back corner of the property, and nowhere near his crap establishment? Then why are they on the Mulberry St. side? Coming soon, new escape room--Escape from the fumes before the cancer kills you.
Donald Trump & Jeffery Epstein Partners In Sex Crime
Donald Trump and Jeffery Epstein have a history, a long one, a sorted one.
Less than 2 1/2 years ago Donald Trump was summoned to appear in New York Southern District Court along with Jeffery Epstein to answer to charges that they facilitated and participated in the rape of a 13 year-old girl...here's the proof:
With only 10 locations to be awarded in the state if Nick gets a sports bar sports betting bar he defiantly has his nose where it don’t belong.
Charles(Friday, August 09 19 02:35 pm EDT)
@ Bill The short answer is NO
There's a Gay waiver,plus he's democrat,so selective prosecution in this state
Bill(Friday, August 09 19 11:53 am EDT)
Will Councilor Koloski have to pay off his 8k tax lien from the State before being able to be approved for sports betting?
Todd(Friday, August 09 19 11:48 am EDT)
Well Gov. Sununu just made it legal for sports betting in NH. Now businesses can apply to the state to become a gambling establishment. So you know what this means! Coming soon to Claremont – DUN-DUN-DUUUUN!!! – Nick Koloski's gambling den at the Topstone building, where when you set foot there you gamble that the property's environmental hazards are not deadly or hazardous to your health. Stop and have a burger and a brew while you are there. What could possibly go wrong? LOL!
Bruce(Friday, August 09 19 07:32 am EDT)
Lynn... Councilor Koloski has services this community for years and now, after he comes out, people are criticizing his charitable endeavors.
I will agree, Nick does have the local paper on speed dial. He does take advantage of other people’s ideas and takes credit for the hard work of others but he has been doing this for years but no one was criticizing him until he has male strippers at his establishment and announced to the world he is a female trapped in a feminine mans body.
Give Councilor Koloski the credit he deserves and stop all the hate.
Lynn(Thursday, August 08 19 08:09 pm EDT)
Bruce. Serious question. How is telling the truth about a person's actions regarding his business and his city council activities make a person homophobic? Shouldn't a public official be judged on his or her actions and not their sexual orientation?
Bruce(Thursday, August 08 19 06:59 pm EDT)
Jake... after making such homophonic comments, how can you sleep at night ?
Rae, Nicks partner Lee would seriously disagree with you.
Jake(Thursday, August 08 19 04:41 pm EDT)
Bruce The gay community makes up 4.2% of the population. If Nick is happy catering to those numbers that’s fine. I prefer to see business cater to the total population myself. It is nice to see Nick is thriving in his business. Maybe he can now starting paying enough in rent so his landlord can pay up his taxes. I make good money at my job and I pay my bills. No special tax brakes for me. Not to happy my taxes have to support a building Nick runs multiple businesses out of. All those business are enjoying corporate welfare as well on the tax payers. More people are coming to see through Nick. He does use the free to him free give aways to make friends. I prefer more common ways to build my friendship base. To each his own.
Rae(Thursday, August 08 19 04:40 pm EDT)
Nick is not gay lol
Bruce(Thursday, August 08 19 03:46 pm EDT)
Jake, it is obvious you are a homophobe. It is also obvious that you are jealous of Councilor Koloski’s success.
Ever since Councilor Koloski came out, his business has thrived and been a beacon of hope for the gay community.
Stop your homophobic hating as Charles said , it doesn’t matter where he puts his “dink”.
Jake(Thursday, August 08 19 01:43 pm EDT)
Bruce! Giving back to the community should not include abusing tax dollars with the business that you run. Taking goods from another organization and giving them to the public is a good thing. Not declaring where those goods came from when posting on social media is a bad thing. Taking credit for somebody else’s good measures is a bad thing. Mr. Koloski started many businesses and sold them. None exist today and none existed very long after being sold. If it weren’t for shenanigans and tax dollars paying for Mr. Koloski‘s benefit today the business he is now in most likely would have failed.
Charles(Thursday, August 08 19 01:08 pm EDT)
@Bruce I think Koloski is what you call a scoff law.Whether it's fire supression apparatus,asbestos problems,or a $750,000 building paying little to no taxes.Nobody gives 2 shits where he puts his dink!
Bruce(Thursday, August 08 19 09:32 am EDT)
Where are all these Koloski haters coming from ?
Councilor Koloski is a strong, proud gay man who consistently gives back to his community.
Councilor Koloski is consistently using his establishment as a drop off point for local charity endeavors. You can’t blame him for contacting the local newspapers so he can receive free publicity and taking credit for these charitable contributions.
Councilor Koloski has been a leader by example for the gay community of Claremont and he should be praised, not ridiculed.
I am not sure but it is quite a coincidence that the soup kitchen is giving away vegetables in large quantities. Is Nick Koloski getting free vegetables giving them away and taking credit for it. The least he could do is give credit where credit is due.
Todd(Wednesday, August 07 19 10:06 pm EDT)
Don't you mean Nick "I help myself" Koloski?
Business Neighbor(Wednesday, August 07 19 05:36 pm EDT)
Lemuel Curry...Aka Nick “I help everyone” Koloski. Lol
Farahan Yaqoob has made repeated appearances before various City agencies in order to establish a day care center and pre-school here in Claremont. Quite unusual appearances, fraught with “secrets” and rife with a lack of information on the basics, while glaringly short on documentation and clear answers.
The city councilors spend all kind of money on a bunch of foolish things but they can’t even fix the roads. This just goes to show how terrible the leadership is here in Claremont right now.
Charles(Tuesday, August 06 19 02:10 pm EDT)
Stay away from the county nursing home,unless you're dirt poor and own nothing.I had my dad in there for 3 weeks and it cost the insurance $18,000.This is for walking him up and down the hall twice a day and feeding him hot dogs and mac and cheese.They hounded us night and day for an additional $200 that wasn't covered.I about shit that a department head had so much time to chase $200!
If I had ever done an $18,000 job for anyone I would say piss on $200!
Not these people,stay away!
Ray(Tuesday, August 06 19 01:29 pm EDT)
I am so sick of this bait and switch BS. The County leaders are acting like a bunch of con artists pitching one scam after another. First it was the jail they made bigger with their build it and they will come attitude. So they built it and no prisoners came to fill it up so their running at very low capacity and all the promise savings never materialized. Now we have the sober House on Sullivan Street in Claremont and the original price for the project has now doubled. Now we find out today that the same thing has happened with the County Home reconstruction project. How can we believe our County leaders when they continue to lie to us? We need new leaders that can tell the truth.
Craig(Tuesday, August 06 19 01:17 pm EDT)
The Valley News reported that a court ruling may now offer a partial document released regarding the 2017 near hanging of that young boy in Claremont. The article also says that one of the boys involved was charged with delinquency.
William(Tuesday, August 06 19 01:09 pm EDT)
Does anyone know how that solar panel farm project out near the River Road is going? As per usual there was a lot of hoopla about it and how it was going to mean great things for the city and now several months of gone by and the only thing were hearing is the sound of silence. Typical Claremont city government raise a lot of hopes up and then accomplish nothing.
Steve(Tuesday, August 06 19 12:58 pm EDT)
Does anyone think that Ed Morris is going to suddenly change Claremont into the community that it could be. Claremont has a lot of unused and wasted potential. Primarily because of leaders who lack vision and who are in bed with the greedy municipal unionized employees who want high wages and way too generous benefits in exchange for mediocre work. The same leaders are also in bed with nonprofit organizations and companies with their handout for all the free public dollars they can get in the taxpayers continue to give and give without getting anything of real value in return. Then you that the councilors like Nick Koloski, who constantly manipulate the system for their benefit and they continue to get away with it year after year.
Rebecca(Tuesday, August 06 19 12:51 pm EDT)
Charlene Lovett is one of the worst mayors that Claremont has ever had. All she does is mug for the cameras and creates photo ops for herself to feed her narcissism. As far as leadership goes she doesn’t have any because her answer to everything is to form a committee and talk something to death and then wait for a recommendation from the administration before rubberstamping that recommendation. How the heck is that leadership?
Well if anyone thinks the new city manager they just hired this Ed Morris character is going to get Claremont out of the muck then they are in for a big disappointment. This character does not have the education or the work history experience to do the job yet these idiot city councilors of ours are all wetting themselves in anticipation of his arrival. Claremont has a history of hiring people whose job title exceeds their abilities. The directors of finance, parks & recreation, fire and planning and development are just a few examples. Look at the projects manager that gave Daniels that bid when he didn’t have the authority to do it. His credentials are a little shaky too for the job that he’s doing. Hiring one unqualified person after another makes for a lackluster crew of key employees for any organization and it can lead to very bad consequences. Claremont, highest property tax rate in the entire state of New Hampshire. Claremont, one of the lowest median income levels in the state. Claremont, home to just about every social agency in the County with more to come and moronic city leaders wanting to bring in even more of this type of population into Claremont including illegal aliens and turn Claremont into a sanctuary city. Claremont is in dire shape and our city leaders are making it worse with every dumb decision they make.
Bill(Tuesday, August 06 19 10:11 am EDT)
Tom you inspired me to do a little digging on my own. I don’t know if you know this but you can look up the current tax debt of any property owner in Claremont on the city’s website if you know where to look. The owners of the Topstone building are once again not paying their property taxes. They haven’t for the past two years and presently owe the city $11,812.22. Surprise, surprise.
Joel(Tuesday, August 06 19 08:45 am EDT)
Boy that whole bid process for the rail trail and E St. project sure seems shady to me. Nobody at City Hall seems to know what the hell they are doing and they do not seem to care about the rules that were put in place to protect the taxpayers money from being misspent. This one shady deal cost the taxpayers over $32,000. What will the city council do about it? Not a damn thing. This is why we need a new batch of city councilors. People who are honest citizens without a political agenda.
Tom(Tuesday, August 06 19 08:35 am EDT)
I looked up the new property assessment for the Topstone building and I see that it increased by $35,600. Is Councilor Koloski losing his grip on the control of our city government?
Jeremy(Tuesday, August 06 19 08:25 am EDT)
The city council is responsible for making sure that the property assessments are done correctly. Of course, most of them are complete morons that the voters stupidly elected and they are probably unaware of this responsibility. Then there are those that may know it and simply will not care because they are inherently lazy and have no desire to actually represent the entire citizenry of Claremont in any capacity that represents sound leadership. Make no mistake many of these councilors are there to represent a small constituency of unionized local government employees and/or favorite nonprofit entities seeking vast sums of public funds. The rest of us simply don’t matter to them.
Keith(Tuesday, August 06 19 08:21 am EDT)
Yesterday I read Mr. Sullivan’s article in regards to the property assessments and I needed some time to have those disturbing revelations take root in my mind. Claremont property owners have to look no further than 139 Main St. to realize that the new 2019 property assessments are bogus, absolutely not to be trusted and if necessary fought through the property assessment abatement process. How any assessor could add 44% to the property assessment of the condemned and slated for demolition 139 Main St. structure and increase the building’s structural quality rating by 80% is mind-boggling. This one property assessment alone compromises the entire body of work (i.e. the citywide revaluation property assessments). Apparently there are no checks and balances being performed by high-priced consultant Stephan Hamilton, who was hired by city manager Ryan McNutt, who himself was fired by the city council. George made an excellent point in his comments. I will sum them up as follows, incompetence breeds incompetence and these property assessments are just one of the many examples of the very real results of Claremont’s municipal government’s gross incompetence.
Councilor Stone should be the subject of any audit or investigation conducted.
His strong-arming of the previous owner of Looker's Realty (which was in the same building of his gun emporium) and his "methodology" of greasing the proper palms so he could bypass the rules for re-configuring his building across from McDonald's, moving load-bearing walls without proper testing.
He is also operating illegally because his NAICS category on state paperwork lists Black Op Arms as a seller of firearms, NOT a manufacturer.
Yet, there Stone's business sits on Washington St manufacturing and modifying firearms.
So Todd, perhaps you should add Stone to the "naughty list" and deny him your vote.
His motivation is not what you are being made to think. Check out his partners in crime - Belisle and Limoges...dirty as they come and worthy of a set of prying eyes.
Who thought Limoges was the type of person Claremont should pick to chose our City Manager?
Guess who dominated the City Manager selection meetings?
SEE WHAT HAPPENED?
George(Tuesday, August 06 19 06:17 am EDT)
The scandalous mess of the East Street/Rail Trail contract award shows the gross incompetence of Claremont’s city government. It is endemic throughout Claremont’s municipal organization. It starts with out of touch, inexperienced or hopelessly overwhelmed city managers and continues down with municipal department directors ill equipped to be in a managerial role. Mary Walter, Nancy Merrill, Bryan Burr and Mark Brislin are all prime examples of the bad leadership that is consistently plaguing our community. Until they are excised from the city’s government, nothing will change. I am also unconvinced that Ed Morris was the best choice for city manager as his background does not seem conducive with the management of a municipal government with the size, complexities and challenges of Claremont. That decision to hire Mr. Morris however stemmed from a grossly incompetent city council that needs to be turned out of office in November.
Gail(Tuesday, August 06 19 05:41 am EDT)
Sullivan County officials do it again. They start a project, get at least some public buy-in and then they pull their classic bait and switch tactic of announcing that the price of the project will be double what they originally said. Not too long ago they did the same thing with the sober house transitional housing for drug addicted ex-convicts that will be on Sullivan St., right in Downtown Claremont. I cannot imagine a more worse place to put it but the nitwits managing the County's affairs and the nitwits on the City Council and whom work at City Hall all think the location is a marvelous idea. I agree the leadership in Claremont leaves much to be desired and must be replaced both with the city and school governments but the County government needs a makeover as well because these officials are out of control when it comes to spending our tax dollars.
Don(Monday, August 05 19 07:12 pm EDT)
I believe there will be more property abatement filings than ever before. The Sullivan Report is doing an excellent job educating the public and showing the city officials and the city councilors for the scumbags that they really are. Trust no one at City Hall. Trust yourself and fight for your family by not allowing the scumbags to take a single penny of your money that they do not deserve. It’s your hard-earned money, keep it for yourself and invest in yourself and the care and the futures of your children and grandchildren.
Gloria(Monday, August 05 19 06:02 pm EDT)
Look at what the assessors did for the Main Street property. They raised the condition rating and they raised the property assessment of a condemned building that is falling down all by itself according to city leaders. Jim and AJ raise a very good point about the building miraculously repairing itself and improving its condition if whomever assessed the building is to be believed. The moral to this story is do not believe your new property assessments. Use the Vision website to check out your neighbor’s property assessments and see if you have a case for an abatement. If you do then you are foolish if you do not take advantage of the process.
Charles(Monday, August 05 19 04:42 pm EDT)
I can't wait to see Topstone Bldg.get crucified when their little agreement runs out,although it'll be from out of state.
Perhaps Nick can run his weenie wagon for income.
Kenneth(Monday, August 05 19 04:13 pm EDT)
I think the reasonable conclusions reached by Jim and AJ are right on the money. Mr. Illick will sue the city again for sure and my take is that the city will have no supporting arguments and eventually settle the case as they always do. It will cost us a ton of money and lawyer’s fees and interest and probably lawyer’s fees for the aggrieved property owner. I also believe that Mr. Illick will not be the only property owner that the city will have to go through this process with because others will fight their property assessments too. Where they have us is with the homeowners because most homeowners will simply take it in the backside and do nothing. These shameless city officials know that and take advantage of the homeowners all the time. They do not care about us and neither do our elected city officials who are clueless and have a terminal case of cowardice. Scott Pope and Nicholas Koloski are prime examples of that. Unfortunately, they are not the only councilors afflicted with this condition. It is time to vote in all new councilors.
Alan Shaw(Monday, August 05 19 03:21 pm EDT)
The property assessments look like they are a hot mess and that there is some collusion going on to manipulate the property assessments to come out at a predetermined point. It seems less based on true market value and more about creating more revenue for the city to artificially lower Claremont’s exorbitantly high property tax rate. You know the old saying, figures lie and liars figure. It seems to be the case at City Hall. Inexplicable property value changes at 139 Main St. of increased property value and improved property condition when the building is due for demolition and the 227% property value increase of 29 Water St. because of a termination of a settlement agreement shows the greed, absence of wisdom and decision-making based solely on political expediency practiced by incompetent city administration officials. There also appears to be no oversight by the city council and the impaneling of a viable and legitimate assessing board seems to be stuck in limbo, presumably at the will of the city administrators who continue to use property assessments as a property tax generation tool to contain an enormously high property tax rate created by many years of unrestrained spending and poor financial management.
Todd(Monday, August 05 19 01:35 pm EDT)
Councilor Jon Stone's request for a forensic audit of the city's financial records is scheduled for discussion during the Council's meeting of August 14. I am skeptical of the Council's honesty and integrity. I doubt that a majority of this Council would ever allow a forensic audit because of the many cans of worms it could open. Does anyone honestly see Mayor Lovett, Councilors Pope, Koloski, Kier, Lessard or Assistant Mayor Allen Damren ever allowing such a thing to happen. Don't make up excuses about the cost or say that there is no need for the forensic audit when there really is a very much-needed necessity. Today's Sullivan Report article about how purchasing rules are ignored and large scale bid awards are awarded in violation of the purchasing rules is proof of the need of a forensic audit. If nothing is wrong then the administration staff should not be worried and should welcome the forensic audit to prove that everything is fine. I do not believe everything is fine and I really believe that the city councilors will do anything to protect the administrative staff members even if it is to the detriment of the taxpaying public. This is why in November all of the city councilors that I named except for Councilor stone must be thrown out of office.
Janice(Monday, August 05 19 11:50 am EDT)
It seems like city officials at City Hall broke all the rules to give Daniels that $400,000 plus contract. It stinks to high heaven.
Ryan! So what your saying is it won’t be long before Claremont will be a rat infested dump?
Ryan(Sunday, August 04 19 03:44 pm EDT)
Councilwoman Kristin Kenniston's husband is a Lieut. on the Fire Department. Councilman Nick Koloski is a call fireman. Councilman Andrew O'Hearne and Jonathan Stone are both ex Claremont police officers. Scott Pope is a schoolteacher, who supports any raises or increased benefits for unionized employees everywhere. Plus you have liberal leaning tax-and-spend councilors Claire Lessard, Abigail Kier, Allen Damren and Charlene Lovett. The entire City Council is compromised with union supporting elected leaders who put their needs before those of the taxpayers.
Charles(Sunday, August 04 19 02:03 pm EDT)
@Ryan no firemen or spouses of current or pension receiving persons or spouse on either the council or the school board.
Remember,the school budget is the one that's really been moving over the years,despite a shrinking student population.
Ryan(Sunday, August 04 19 04:24 am EDT)
We need to elect councilors who are not connected to the unionized municipal employees. That would be a good start.
Steve(Saturday, August 03 19 04:48 pm EDT)
Nick Koloski should recused from a vote to hire the new manager. He has recused himself for less reasons. He is setting the guy up for failure. He is mad that Ed went against the fire department to save money in Wethersfield.
John(Saturday, August 03 19 07:32 am EDT)
If the citizens want this City Manager to be successful, a few City Councilor’s must not be re-elected come this November.
Councilor’s Keir, her Council husband Nick Koloski and Scott Pope must go.
These Councilors have proven time and time again that they are a part of the problem, not the solution.
These Councilors have a proven track record of approving tax increases and caving in to the public.
It is time for them to go.
Kathy(Friday, August 02 19 05:03 pm EDT)
Charles, I agree with everything you stated. For me the take away in regards to the Wethersfield accounting irregularities is that Mr. Morris did not do the right thing of his own volition once he was made aware of the situation from the auditing firm. You are right, it was not until public scrutiny and public pressure was put to bear that Mr. Morris chose to take the appropriate actions. In my opinion his behavior and his absence of qualifications does not make him worthy to be the Claremont city manager. I believe our city council has placed our city into jeopardy once again.
Charles(Friday, August 02 19 04:10 pm EDT)
@Kathy The takeaway from the Weathersfield articles is that the newspaper published articles about mistaken or inappropriate accounting methods taking place in Weathersfield.Upon pressure from the public,from the public being well informed,due to the local newspaper Morris and company correcting the accounting techniques.
I wish Claremont had a newspaper that published articles that were more pertinent to informing the public of misdeeds,ineptness,and pure laziness of public officials.I can't believe that the guy fired from Claremont schools for losing $500k while holding 2 full time jobs at the same time wasn't front page news.If I had anything to say,I would have sent a cruiser and had him charged with fraud and recoup as much money back for Claremont through restitution.Selective prosecution,Deception,and omission,not to mention the "Socialization"of Claremont have got my family and me packing our bags for greener and more truthful pastures.I just can't take crooked Claremont that's raping working class taxpayers anymore.Board seats,commissions,councils,all musical chairs passed among the same recycled lot,that derive their income as parasites on working people that work real jobs.Laughing all the way to the bank.It makes my blood boil and I 've had enough.
Kathy(Friday, August 02 19 03:16 pm EDT)
I tend to agree. I do not see Mr. Morris as impressive at all. I did a Google search of Wethersfield and I only saw a few articles. The tension between the volunteer firefighters of which Councilman Koloski numbers among them and other citizens wishing to have a full-time fire department seem to dominate the very limited news emanating from Wethersfield. The second top news story was about serious issues about the town’s financial records and a new auditing firm slapping the town with several deficiencies about how the town staff under Mr. Morris’s leadership is the books. The only thing in Mr. Morris’s favor is that no accusations of any missing money or embezzle money has occurred. It seems it was simply that the proper procedures were not being followed and initially there was some pushback from Mr. Morris and town staff about doing it properly. It seems a little bit of public scrutiny that came out of a few newspaper articles brought Mr. Morris and the town staff around to agree to do it properly under the guidance of the auditing company. Besides that, there is nothing about Wethersfield that has made the press take notice. What is missing is anything worthy of note that Mr. Morris has accomplished. Claremont does not need a caregiver type of city manager who will simply sit on his behind and collect a fat paycheck making sure the day-to-day activities of running the city are accomplished. Claremont needs a doer can turn this mess around. Mr. Morris’s lack of experience and absence of accomplishment does not speak well of his chances to be a doer.
Tom(Friday, August 02 19 01:12 pm EDT)
Eagle Times reported today that Allen Damren would handle contract negotiations with the council’s pick for city manager Ed Morris. The councilors advertised a $135,000 salary but it was supposed to be based on experience. I think Allen Damren is the worst person to be sent out to negotiate anything because he is a tax-and-spend liberal. I have little doubt that the Morris will receive the top end of the scale even though he has practically zero experience as a city manager. His education background as far as municipal management is concerned is practically zero. He was an intern out West for about 10 months and then he spent about three years as the city administrator for teeny tiny Wethersfield Vermont for about three years or so. Big whoop-de-doo! I have no idea what they see in this young man because he seems to have practically no city manager experience at all.
Richard(Thursday, August 01 19 04:03 pm EDT)
Crime seems to be on the rise in Claremont. So how is importing ex-convicts for a halfway house in Downtown Claremont and an influx of several apartments that qualify for Section 8 benefits that will blowup the city's welfare budget and a needle exchange program that enables drug users to continue their habit beneficial to our community? Right now we have a bunch of brain-dead liberal elected officials and hired officials in administrative capacities working within the county, city and school governments and working at cross purposes to what is best for Claremont. It's time the voters make a clean sweep of our elected officials to try to bring back some common sense to our local governments.
I remember Mayor Lovett saying more than once that she expects the property assessments to jump dramatically with this new city revaluation of all the properties. She attributes it to the local real estate economy that she citizens booming. I don’t really see it but she claims it is. Not that I trust Mayor Lovett but I do believe that city leaders will want higher property assessments to lower the property tax rate so they can keep spending without any real political consequences because the property tax rate would be lower. When it comes the Claremont city government and the school government for that matter it’s all snake oil, political correctness and tons and tons of BS shoveled as quickly as they can shovel it. I am a little afraid to see my new property valuation because I fear it will mean a much higher annual tax bill because the property valuation will be higher in the property tax rate may not go down enough to compensate so I will have to shell out more money to keep a roof over my families heads. I have no idea will the extra money will come from because unlike the city officials I can’t just pull money out of some cash reserve account or raise taxes on the public.
David(Wednesday, July 31 19 11:09 am EDT)
While those property assessments were way off for the two properties on Main Street. It makes me think that these property reassessments are going to be miles off the true amount. I haven’t got mine in the mail yet but I am going to look at it really close when I do.
Katherine(Wednesday, July 31 19 09:30 am EDT)
I watched Koloski go after the policy committee members from the City Council and Councilors Kenniston and O’Hearne and I thought that Koloski was grasping at straws just trying to make them look bad. I never thought about the food truck ordinance that the policy committee recommended and the councilors pass that did not follow Koloski’s recommendations to loosen the regulations to make it Koloski’s weenie wagon friendly. Nikki did not want to spend any money on fire suppression equipment or do background checks on his employees. He probably wanted to hire the recovering drug addicts that are going to live at the old Eagle office to work his weenie wagon.
Karen(Tuesday, July 30 19 05:06 pm EDT)
Boy the temporary city manager sure gave a sweet deal to Kevin Lacasse and New England Family Housing. He gets $36,000 in tax breaks for nine years and another $6,000 in their pocket and they probably will get the demolition job and make the profits on that deal too. Only in Claremont do you make a ton of money letting your commercial property go to rot. First the folks at the Topstone building now New England Family Housing. Who’s next in line?
Marie(Tuesday, July 30 19 11:13 am EDT)
In regards to Twin State Holdings...my understanding was that the only way the city can get its money back for the cost of demolition was to put a lien on the other Twin State properties. That is different than an IRS lien. That is why the council didn't tax deed the properties. I looked up the law (took me forever) but I think I found it. 155-B:9-a Municipal Lien on Owner's Interest in Property Insurance Proceeds. The City can't put a lien on Twin State if the City owns the property. Looks like it can be spread out across all of their properties.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, July 30 19 10:13 am EDT)
July 24 Council meeting synopsis.
Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Tony(Tuesday, July 30 19 09:39 am EDT)
Wow Fran, I didn't realize state schools were Christian Universities. So would this be a Trumpian Woman Grabbing kind of christian? The corruption which has been alleged on this wedsite has had no actual findings in at least 15 years. Most likely due to much of it being the creation of Jim and AJ to explain how they lost an election years ago. Notice that no one bothers to reply to Jim's allegations. They don't want to legitimizes him by responding. As long as it remains on this blog, it is not danger to the real world. You get to safely vent with the lunatic fringe and not harm the rest of us.
It's going to be really great having a Christian conservative in the city manager's position instead of another Marxist/Socialist like Ryan McNutt. I hope all the Marxist/Socialists in Claremont lose their minds over this! To me, the hiring of a Christian city manager along with the forensic audit requested by Jon Stone means the corruption in city hall is about to come to an end. I believe that some people at city hall are going to be shown the door.
MOG(Friday, July 26 19 05:55 pm EDT)
Lemuel Curry thanks for the heads up! Looks like we have a good pick for a manager. Most if not all of the Christian College grads I know are men of high integrity. I look forward to a breath of fresh air in City Hall.
Council hires new City Manager. Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Fran(Friday, July 26 19 10:28 am EDT)
7-26-19 Update on the 139 Main Street Debacle Scandal
In Patrick Adrian’s article in the Eagle about the Claremont City Council’s decision at the July 24 meeting concerning 139 Main Street, Mr. Adrian failed to mention a number of things that would cost the taxpayers more money.
1. In the future, the way Mr. Adrian wrote, it’s a sure thing that the owner of New England Family Housing would get a NH RSA 79-E tax break for 147 Main Street (the same as they received for the Goddard Building). The tax break for 147 Main Street has been prenegotiated to last for 9 years at $4,000 per year for a total cost of $36,000 to the forgotten taxpayers of Claremont. The way Interim City Manager John MacLean put it, the decision regarding the RSA 79-E tax break will be coming back to the City Council for a decision and that New England Family Housing has not even filed yet for the tax break. That part is a bright spot for the forgotten taxpayers of Claremont.
2. The demolition is going to go out for bid, according to Attorney Matthew Decker. What was dropped from the story is the comment from Interim City Manager John MacLean that now there is a new wrinkle: New England Family Housing may be going to put in a bid for the demolition and that may be the city’s favored path in the running. Huh? It’s looking suspicious. Maybe there is something to the fact that New England Family Housing has put up 13 of its Claremont properties to be sold in one block only for $5.5 million, as a negotiating tactic. Perhaps New England Family Housing did win something more from the City after all. The Watchdog will be keeping an eye on that.
If New England Family Housing wins the bid and is formally considered the favored path, then it would have to go to the City Council for final approval. I have an issue with the owner of New England Family Housing being paid by the city to tear down a building that is causing a structural problem and a hazard to his building. When he purchased the property at 147 Main Street, he should have known that the property next door was built with soft brick and had been abandoned for many years, maybe even decades. And now he wants the taxpayers to bail him out of his bad decisions. When he bought 147 Main Street, I would even go as far as to say he bought it at a very low cost, just like any other apartment building in the city of Claremont. The thing of it is, it was this past January that the building had to be vacated. To my knowledge and understanding, he collects about $10,000 per month out of that property. New England Family Housing would have been financially better off if they had gotten on the stick and taken care of that problem way back when, instead of trying to outflank and play negotiating tactics with the forgotten taxpayers of Claremont to get them to pay the cost of having the building removed.
Fran(Thursday, July 25 19 11:21 am EDT)
Councilor Nick Koloski has lately expressed great concern over whether the Policy Committee has overstepped its bounds. And now, because two city councilors happened to sit in the audience at the July 18, 2019, Policy Committee meeting and two other councilors plus the mayor were members of the Committee, they are alleged to have formed a quorum of the council and thus held an unposted and unlawful council meeting in violation of RSA 91-A:2. That is ludicrous!
At last night's Claremont City Council meeting, Councilor Koloski said he was very concerned that these councilors might have weighed in on an item before the Committee. He got no support from anyone on the council. Not even from Councilor Kier, who stated that no consensus was reached, that mostly it was just a matter of clarifying questions. In fact, the other councilors vehemently disagreed with the allegations.
An attorney, who sat on the council to provide legal counsel on this issue at the taxpayers' expense, said that city councilors have every right to attend a public meeting as private citizens. It was determined that it was just by chance that a majority of the council happened to be at a public meeting; no actions were taken by the council, so therefore, there was no violation of RSA 91-A:2. It was only an issue of perception.
It seems to me, and to other conservatives I've spoken with, that for some reason Councilor Koloski is intent on dissuading city councilors from attending, as private citizens, the public meetings of Claremont committees, boards and commissions. Councilor Koloski was visibly unhappy with the determination. All he managed to do was to publicly disgrace himself.
More posts and YouTube clips of the July 24, 2019, City Council meeting will follow in the coming days. Stay tuned!
Tom(Wednesday, July 24 19 01:54 pm EDT)
I am pretty steamed about the shenanigans with the bidding for the public works department. $32,970 is one heck of a lot of money and to give a bid contract to someone who bids $32,970 more than the low better for no apparent reason seems pretty shady to me. Add in the fact that the company is from Vermont when the low bidder is a Claremont native really burns me up. I also don't like the fact that the Vermont company just hired the former public works director who used to be the boss of the current public works director that more than likely made the decision to give the bed to the Vermont company for $32,970 more than what the Claremont company bid. Mike Lemieux has done lots of work for Claremont's city government for many years and has always done top shelf work. So there is no good reason why the bid went to the higher better. I am so sick of this back room you scratch my back I scratch yours BS that goes on all too much with our tax dollars. I hope the new city manager can clean up the bad employees that we have in charge and make some positive changes to turn things around. I hope we just did not inherit another bad city manager after we got rid of the last one. I do not trust the City Council to make good choices.
Amy(Wednesday, July 24 19 12:33 pm EDT)
Most of the city councilors don't care about the taxpayers. They prove it every time they vote against our best interests. Giving money to special interest groups or investing money like the big downtown rehabbed that talking about to help one developer have the proper infrastructure for his tenants most of whom will be welfare/section 8 residents is the sort of thing they are known for. If you are nonprofit without any money and want to do a big project just come to the city councilors and they will fork over as much money as you need because the taxpayers are the city councilors own private ATM machine. It is really disgusting and I hope all of them get voted out of office the next election.
Chris(Wednesday, July 24 19 11:05 am EDT)
I guess we'll see tonight just how generous the city councilors are with our tax dollars. A fat cat real estate property holding/developing company is looking for another government handout and the same developer is trying to cash out most of their properties and move their investments to another community. We never would've known this is a was not the Sullivan Report. The pathetic excuses that we have for local reporters would be hard-pressed to find their own rear end with a map and a guide dog. Mayor Charlene Lovett, Assistant Mayor Allen Damren, Councilor Claire Lessard, Councilor Abigail Kier, Councilor Nick Koloski & Councilor Scott Pope will all be just waiting to drop their rubberstamps to approve whatever amount of money the MRI temporary City Manager tells them to give these fat cat developers before he beats feet out of Claremont at the end of the week counting all of his pricey consulting fees. We can all thank Allen Damren and his connections with MRI for this temporary City Manager coming here. The Claremont taxpayers continue to get fleeced by the people that they entrusted with public office. In November the voters need to get far more choosy with their candidates.
Lisa(Wednesday, July 24 19 09:55 am EDT)
Jim and AJ do a terrific job keeping us informed of what is important. With so much fake news being circulated by what used to be reputable newspaper companies we are very fortunate to have the Sullivan Report doing a wonderful job that they do.
Brent(Wednesday, July 24 19 09:32 am EDT)
The schools are not much better. Look at all of the exposes the Sullivan Report did regarding the truth about the school lunch program lost revenue and the secret settlement agreements that nobody knew about because the local press suppress more news than they print. The Sullivan Report also uncovered the fact that the big IRS fine was for only the year 2016 and the Claremont taxpayers may be on the hook for the years 2017-2019. A fact that the newspapers all either failed to notice or they covered up.
Katherine(Wednesday, July 24 19 08:39 am EDT)
City officials sure have egg on their face this week and most weeks because they all suck at their jobs. Most of them are lying to the public on a regular basis as to how terrific it is here in Claremont when the truth is they are managing the city and all the taxpayers right into bankruptcy.
Michael(Wednesday, July 24 19 07:47 am EDT)
Just read the Eagle Times this morning and I see that two of our illustrious city councilors have both developed a severe case of cowardice. Allen Damren and Nick Koloski have both recused themselves from performing their duties on the Claremont Planning Board. It seems neither of these chickens want to vote on the controversial American Recycling application to place a transfer station down in the Junction in Claremont. Lots of Claremont residents are up in arms about this proposal and whimpering invertebrates Damren and Koloski want no part of that vote. Damren says he prejudged and Koloski cooked up a very lame conflict of interest excuse saying that years ago when he was doing location site finding for a movie that was shot locally that he had business relations if you can believe that with the train company. What a load of horse poop. These two yellow bellies should not be on the City Council.
Gloria(Wednesday, July 24 19 07:40 am EDT)
The City Council is looking like a bunch of idiots. The Sullivan Report keeps churning out article after article, week after week about the ineptitude and sheer stupidity of the city administration and many of the city councilors. The part that I like the best is they have all the proof they need and they show it to all of us readers so that there is no inkling of doubt whatsoever that what the Sullivan Report is reporting is accurate because they show us the proof in black and white.
Keith(Tuesday, July 23 19 06:20 pm EDT)
Michal Lemieux should be livid about losing a bid when he put in the lowest bid by so much money. Mike is a great guy and he has done a lot for the city, he does not deserve this kind of treatment.
Richard(Tuesday, July 23 19 05:19 pm EDT)
Spending $32,970 more to do the same thing makes no sense at all. I am also beginning to think that Scott Sweet being a new VP for the Daniel’s company might have had something to do with the bad decision for the taxpayers that the DPW Director and maybe that the temporary City Manager made. I cannot wait to see what kind of cockamamie excuse Mr. MacLean or one of his cronies at Public Works has to say about this bid choice. Although since Jim Sullivan says that Mr. McLean is all done at the end of the week he may never answer the question and just leave Claremont and leave DPW Director Vic St. Pierre holding the bag on this one.
Tony(Tuesday, July 23 19 03:51 pm EDT)
If the owners of all these rental buildings are cashing out and moving their investments out of Claremont then why do we taxpayers care about helping them profit on the Main Street building. It is time for the City Council to wake the hell up and remember who they really work for and stop trying to enrich private developers with our tax dollars.
Ed(Tuesday, July 23 19 02:57 pm EDT)
Although I do not think this interim city manager is all that great I am more concerned about the new city manager that will be hired. Look who is doing the hiring.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, July 23 19 12:44 pm EDT)
I cannot answer that question because it was a non-public meeting and presumably the meeting minutes were sealed.
However, this is what I can tell you.
I received today an email from Interim City Manager John MacLean stating that this is his final week working in Claremont.
Also, according to the second revision of the July 24, 2019 Claremont City Council meeting agenda, the Council will hold a non-meeting with the Council's legal representation before the start of tomorrow night's meeting and then the Council is scheduled to meet in non--public session under the reason of hiring after the end of the public session of their meeting.
One can infer from that that the Council has perhaps chosen a new City Manager and will presumably formalize this person's hiring on Wednesday evening.
It also means that there will not be any transition period with the new Manager and the current Interim Manager, which is not a good thing. Generally speaking a transition period lasts anywhere from a few days to two weeks. This prevents the new City Manager from being thrown directly into the piranha pool so to speak without any temporary guidance or support. Not exactly a good business practice to not plan for any smooth transition of any kind! But then this is the Claremont City Council of 2019 that we are talking about! Their pathetic job performance record speaks for itself!
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, July 23 19 11:43 am EDT)
County Officials reveal sobering details regarding Sober House Project!
Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
John Smerty(Tuesday, July 23 19 09:25 am EDT)
Did the City Council meeting to interview City Manager candidates happen on Saturday?
There has been no press coverage.
Gail(Monday, July 22 19 06:20 pm EDT)
I know the city is looking to spend about 5 ½ million dollars at least on the downtown Claremont renovation project which was supposed to benefit the Goddard building project. I need the city should hold back on that now and put the money elsewhere.
Linda(Monday, July 22 19 05:25 pm EDT)
I do not think the Council should give any tax breaks to the owners of that Main Street building. The property owners should be responsible for fixing up their own building instead of leaving it up to the taxpayers to fix up a privately owned building. The owners of this company got enough tax breaks and government money for the Goddard project so enough is enough.
Dan(Monday, July 22 19 04:18 pm EDT)
If this is how the CDA is renovating the Farwell building, I can only imagine how the old Pleasant Restaurant will turn out. From what the Sullivan Report’s real news of the situation is showing us is that the CDA and the non-profit Music Center has even less money to spend on that renovation and the building is in worse shape.
Rick(Monday, July 22 19 03:17 pm EDT)
Wow. The CDA is doing a terrible job managing city buildings and now they own another one. Cheap rent for everyone in the Farwell building and they are running a project to renovate the place and they do not have enough money to do it so they cheapen the project by not reinforcing the floor that will have a bunch of very heavy dental equipment on it when the tenant moves in. Structural reinforcement of the attic area I guess isn't a necessary either anymore even though the engineer originally thought it was and who needs to finish the inside of the building. It is not as if anyone would notice right? Nancy Merrill, the CDA, the city administrators, and the city councilors are all like snake oil salespersons. They sell you a pack of lies and then they change everything around in secret so that the sweet deal that you were sold is not anywhere near the deal that you end up with. It is called bait and switch and it is supposedly illegal but I guess when you are city officials it does not matter how many rules or laws that you break.
Kevin(Monday, July 22 19 10:08 am EDT)
I am sick of these no-bid contract awards. The roof guy may not be giving us such a great deal after all how would we know because no bids were taken. I am also not sure about the electricity contract if the bid was taken or just given out to a special friend of the city. Today we find out that the East Street and rail trail project bid was awarded to the Neil Daniels Company for $32,970 more than Mike Lemieux bid to do the same work. It is beginning to look like games are secretly being played with the awarding of these high-priced contracts. I had no opinion of this interim city manager before but I am really beginning not to like him now. The City Council should be doing their due diligence and oversee these bid awards but they are either too lazy or too stupid to do it. Thank goodness, Former Councilors Jim Sullivan and AJ Maranville are not either lazy or stupid and are willing to continue performing public service long after their elected terms ended. We all owe both of them a debt of gratitude for delving into these matters and for running a free access website to educate the populace about the rotten things that our city officials are doing with the public’s money.
Jim Sullivan(Monday, July 22 19 06:57 am EDT)
Four new articles today.
1) Selling out?
2) Claremont's yellow brick road?
3) CDA cutting corners on Farwell Renovation Project.
4) What lies underneath matters.
Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
John(Saturday, July 20 19 05:38 pm EDT)
Nick doesn’t care about sports betting, he is more interested in changing the law that would allow him to turn his place into a Strip club.
Todd(Saturday, July 20 19 05:38 am EDT)
Has Nick Koloski started the ball rolling for an ordinance to allow sports betting in Claremont for his establishment? I'll bet he has behind the scenes. Now that he got the food truck ordinance passed for his benefit this will be his next project. It's all about him.
Ben(Friday, July 19 19 05:27 am EDT)
Things won't change until we kick Lovett and her tax and spend cronies on the council out of public office. New councilors with sound financial judgement to change priorities and cut the size of the city budget and tell the local municipal unions that they will not take advantage of the taxpayers anymore is the only way for Claremont to move ahead in a positive direction.
David(Wednesday, July 17 19 10:30 pm EDT)
I think the directors get paid enough and no raises are necessary. If they want to leave let them. The city and the school budgets need to be put on a big diet. Cut the budgets of the fat and give the taxpayers a break.
Rick(Wednesday, July 17 19 03:38 pm EDT)
I see that Mr. McLean is trying to give a big pay raise to all the directors before he departs. Gee, that is very nice of him since he does not pay taxes here. Naturally, Damren, Pope, and Lovett are right on top of this because they constantly pandered to the employees anyway. Koloski and Kier will have their rubberstamps ready at the proper time too. Look at all the mayor declarations Lovett is giving out like candy. I wonder if she prints them in the basement of City Hall because they are as meaningless as counterfeit money. She is just pandering to as many different constituencies as she can to get her and her cronies on the council votes in the ballot box in November. It is obvious and pathetic all at the same time.
Chris(Wednesday, July 17 19 02:03 pm EDT)
The pleasant restaurant property renovation project has me concerned. The Sullivan Report did an excellent job intertwining the Farwell project and the brown block project into the article to give a little bit of history and some excellent advice. This pleasant restaurant project is haphazard as it has no real plan and no real funding but let us move ahead anyway. No one does that in the real world only when there are public funds at hand and tax-and-spend imbeciles in charge does this sort of thing happen because they know there is an inexhaustible supply of taxpayer money to bail them out if needed. The taxpayers should be outraged about this but they will stay at home, do nothing, and complain when the much higher tax bill comes due. In a way, the apathetic citizens of Claremont deserve the abuse that they are receiving.
Jessica(Wednesday, July 17 19 12:36 pm EDT)
I agree with Abby. Anyone who has no respect for rules and regulations has no respect for their elected position or the constituents who put their faith and trust in them. It is time to oust all the incumbents in November.
Abby(Wednesday, July 17 19 10:41 am EDT)
I do not like the councilors who keep breaking the rules to suit their purposes. Lovett, Damren, Kier, Koloski, Pope & Lessard all have no problem breaking rules and ignoring regulations whenever they feel like it. I believe the job has gone to their head and they think they are the rulers of Claremont. It’ time to dissuade themselves of that opinion in November.
Jim Sullivan(Wednesday, July 17 19 10:05 am EDT)
George, we were wondering if the City Administration had followed the purchasing rules to seek bids regarding this contract award as well. This is why I have requested a copy of the bid tabulation form that will list all of the vendors who submitted a bid and the price that they quoted. I should have it in about a week or so and then I will report the findings.
George(Wednesday, July 17 19 09:25 am EDT)
I’m wondering if the city really did get a good deal on electricity. We only have the word of an interim city manager to go by and he made a deal with a CDA member. Perhaps everything is on the up and up but I’m suspicious. It seems just a little too cozy a deal to me.
Sarah(Wednesday, July 17 19 07:52 am EDT)
I’ve never really trusted Charlene Lovett anyway so it really does not surprise me that she would write misleading statements in her articles. She strikes me as the type who will say or do anything to achieve her goals whatever they may be. She wants the city of Claremont to look like this shining example of success because it reflects directly back on her tenure as Mayor. The reality is the city is a failure trying to turn direction but is unable to because the leadership that created the failure is still in power. The voters can correct that in November and I hope they will.
Simone(Tuesday, July 16 19 03:03 pm EDT)
The Mayor is going to propose changing how we elect out elected officials.
Currently, all 9 are up for re-election every 2 years. The new proposal will be to stagger the elections.
Elect 5 one year, the other 4 the next and continue so you will always have experience members on the council at all times.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, July 16 19 02:26 pm EDT)
American Recycling Transfer Station Proposal Update. Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, July 16 19 12:42 pm EDT)
Bob, yes I did see Francis Gauthier’s request for information. In regards to the secret Charter change, I am the one who brought it to the public’s attention by publishing an announcement on this website after I saw it on the first version of the July 24 Council meeting agenda. I have absolutely no idea what it is about and no one is talking at least at the present time. The Council information packet will be published on either Monday or Tuesday of next week on the City of Claremont website, although there is no guarantee that any information regarding this Charter change will be included within it because Administration Officials sometimes “forget” to include documentation about certain agenda items, especially if they are controversial. I do not know if Francis Gauthier had better luck in finding out what this is about than we did, you would have to ask them directly. There is no need to panic because there are proper safeguards in place in regards to making any changes to the City Charter. For an amendment to the City Charter, the Council would have to hold a properly noticed public hearing and then vote to place any proposed amendment changes on the ballot. It would then be up to the voters of Claremont to decide whether or not they want to support this proposed change or not. Despite with the Council may think and no matter how many rules and regulations they want to suspend or outright break they do not have the power to change the City Charter by themselves. No amount of political manipulation by Mayor Lovett or anyone else can change that. You are right that Claremont needs new leadership and hopefully the voters will come out for this next election and make that change a reality.
Barry, currently the Mayor is the one who sets the agenda. The City Manager & the other Councilors all have the right to recommend agenda items but it is the Mayor’s final call as to what is placed on the agenda for any given meeting. This current City Council very stupidly gave Mayor Lovett that extra authority. When I served on the Council, the City Manager & the Mayor had equal authority to place items on the agenda. It always worked well but for some reason Lovett wanted complete control of the agenda and now she has it because we presently have an incredibly weak Council. November’s elections can fix that but only if good people run and the voters then elect them and vote out of office the incumbents who have done a terrible job overseeing city affairs, most of them for many years. In my opinion too many of these Councilors have grown arrogant thinking that they are a power not to be trifled with, which is why the rules are either suspended or broken altogether time and time again. Look how many times that issue came up just this one meeting, Mayor Lovett and company are using the suspend the rules law far too often to push forward their political agenda. It needs to stop and only the November elections and smart choices by the Claremont voters will do that.
Barry(Tuesday, July 16 19 11:11 am EDT)
Jim, does the mayor have the authority to slam non important items on the agenda without bringing it up under future agenda items at a previous meeting? Word around town this was done without the other councilors knowledge at all. Didn’t we just go through this same issue a few months ago? This is not good for Claremont’s image. Looks like the very ones wanting to improve the image are hurting it. Need some new blood with ba**s.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, July 16 19 10:57 am EDT)
Three new articles.
1) American Recycling Transfer Station Public Hearing rescheduled.
2) July 10 Council meeting synopsis.
3) The local housing market is not as rosy as the Mayor would have us believe.
Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Bob Gravel(Tuesday, July 16 19 08:37 am EDT)
Mr. Sullivan, have you seen the latest RSA 91-A request on the New Hampshire Gov.Watchdog page that was directed toward Mayor Lovett? What's up with the secret charter change? The impression I get after reading the request is that Mayor Lovett is again pandering to Sam Killay and his little band of radicals. Only this time she seems to be ashamed of it so she's doing it in secret. The way I understand it, after talking with some people around town, the city councilors haven't been given any information about the charter change so they're also in the dark about this. I also hear that Mayor Lovett has placed this item at the very end of the agenda on July 24, after most of the public have left. That way it could be rammed through without much public oversight. And the city wonders why the citizens don't trust Claremont government! The city doesn't make any effort to develop better relations with the public because they know they already have the union votes and that there will be a very low voter turnout in November. Then there are all the proclamations the Mayor has given out to stroke their egos and assure their votes. But this can be fixed. This can all be turned around if conservative Claremont voters will turn out en masse in November.
Bob Gravel(Tuesday, July 16 19 07:35 am EDT)
Tab, are you out trolling?
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, July 16 19 06:08 am EDT)
Tab, I am not the person who snapped the picture that Nick posed for and then posted on the Internet. Perhaps I'm just not as "sensitive" as you because I am not homophobic but I never saw that photograph as being as you put it "gay". I still don't. However, you are certainly entitled to your opinion and we will simply have to agree to disagree.
Tab(Monday, July 15 19 11:40 pm EDT)
How dare you sit there and tell these people you never thought Nick was gay.
The picture you post of Nick is as gay as it gets.
Shame on you Jim.
Jim Sullivan(Sunday, July 14 19 05:59 pm EDT)
Tab, I am not sure if your comments are directed at either Todd or me but I wish to answer for myself in case any readers believe that these baseless accusations are directed to myself.
First of all this is the first time that I ever heard anyone even hint at the fact that Nick Koloski might possibly be gay. Quite frankly, I could care less if he is or he is not because it does not influence in any way his job performance or actions as a City Councilor or as a local businessperson. A person's sexual orientation is irrelevant just so long as no laws are broken. Speaking only for myself, my opinion of Koloski is based solely on his past actions. In regards to Koloski's weenie wagon, Nick publicly stated that he owned one during a Council meeting regarding the food truck ordinance, when this discussion first began many months ago. So if you want to criticize the source, properly point your ire at Nick Koloski.
Tab(Sunday, July 14 19 05:39 pm EDT)
Your criticism of Nick just shows how homophobic you are.
Nick is a gay business man in a straight world and has had to overcome this kind of bias his whole life.
You would think, after the city embraces “ Pride” month, that Nicks lifestyle would no longer be food for fonder.
As far as food trucks are concerned, I am not aware he has one. I am aware his life partner is in that business, but I haven’t seen that truck set up in town.
So I’d like to know how Nick is benefitting from this new ordinance?
Todd(Friday, July 12 19 10:26 pm EDT)
Now that Gov. Sununu made sports betting legal watch how fast Councilor Koloski gets enabling local legislation passed in Claremont for his sports bar just like he did with the Keno and the food trucks. It's all about Nick.
Jim Sullivan(Friday, July 12 19 03:44 pm EDT)
The City Administration published the agenda for the City Council's July 24 meeting and the agenda states that the Council is going to have a discussion about an amendment change to the City Charter. I wonder what they are up to this time?
Rae(Thursday, July 11 19 09:19 pm EDT)
Deb was a "shoe in" to fill the city council seat. There are rules about how many city councilors can be on the city manager search committee. If she had won city council she would have been sworn in last night and taken her seat at the next meeting. Did the meeting on Saturday get canceled after she didn't win?
Scott(Thursday, July 11 19 08:31 pm EDT)
Did the council secretly pick their city manager candidate already? Is this another rigged application process?
Jim Sullivan(Thursday, July 11 19 12:49 pm EDT)
Council hiring session for the next City Manager abruptly canceled. Details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Jack(Thursday, July 11 19 06:20 am EDT)
Sure sounds to me as though sumpin" was left out of the charter.Council seats and school board seats were never meant for self-enrichment.Seat members,spouses,or immediate members of family should hold no office if under the employ of the city,directly or indirectly.
You all should check out Maryland.The property taxes are 1/3-1/2 that of Claremont.The electricity rates are 33% cheaper than those of us(suckers)in New Hampshire.When the carbon cops tell everyone that they can no longer burn oil,pellets,or wood for heat,due to carbon output,places like Claremont may revert back to nature,because they've been abandoned.
Kevin(Thursday, July 11 19 05:02 am EDT)
Kenniston is a better choice but her connection to the Fire Department through marriage is troubling. Contracts with the Fire, Police, DPW and the Clerical Unions will all be under negotiation real soon and I doubt that she will be unbiased towards raises or support municipal employees paying a greater share of their insurance premiums. I remember her on the school board and she was a big spender so I see no difference here and that is probably why she was chosen because she will be another administration tax and spend rubber stamp. I hope I am wrong but I do not believe that I am.
Jim Sullivan(Thursday, July 11 19 12:58 am EDT)
According to the Eagle Times, Kristen Kenniston was chosen to fill the empty Council seat vacated by Jeremy Zullo. Also, the Council voted to transfer ownership of the Former Pleasant Restaurant Building to the Claremont Development Authority. More details will be in our article the beginning of next week.
Todd(Thursday, July 11 19 12:24 am EDT)
I see the Sullivan Report beat everyone to the punch again. The Editor of the Eagle Times is leaving. He has another rambling, boring, worthless editorial in today's paper but at the bottom it says that he has been the Editor for 14 months and this is his last editorial. No other statement of his leaving or why. Gutless to the end.
Rae(Wednesday, July 10 19 08:57 pm EDT)
Jack the pregnancy center in the Moody Building is actually the opposite of an abortion clinic. It is Christian based but open to all, it offers some prenatal services, but also parenting classes. Abortion is actually not anywhere in it's mission.
Ken(Wednesday, July 10 19 12:19 pm EDT)
Perhaps they changed the venue because they are expecting a very large crowd of citizens. There are a lot of folks against the location of this transfer station.
Molly(Wednesday, July 10 19 12:04 pm EDT)
The Eagle Times has a scoop right under their nose when the advertisement was placed about the public hearing relocation and they don’t even print story about it. Typical.
Jim Sullivan(Wednesday, July 10 19 11:56 am EDT)
Special Report! City Council to hold hiring session. Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Randyy(Wednesday, July 10 19 11:38 am EDT)
It is really becoming obvious that Claremont has bad management in all three of the local governments. City, School and County are all loaded with terrible administrators and elected officials who think the only way to solve a problem is to spend more money without any real plan how to put that money to good use. The only shining hope is Mr. Tempesta at the school because he’s new and we have to give him a chance. I agree with a previous poster, I have little hope for the next city manager because of who is doing the choosing. I also think Deb Matteau will be widely chosen as the next City Councilor tonight because all of the Councilors have prejudged this vote even though it is a violation of their rules. Unfortunately, integrity is not a prerequisite for a City Councilor because if you look around the table during the Council meeting you will not see much integrity or any other impressive qualities among any of them.
Sam(Wednesday, July 10 19 10:21 am EDT)
Claremont has been on the decline for decades. I believe it finally has reached the point of no return at this point we need to make a hard choices one of the would be to take a look how Berlin closing its school system is working as that is a major expense for Claremont maybe we need to downside it or just close the system down. The Fire Department May give a cost saving by making it a volunteer department.
On closing Claremont is a Democratic run city and it shows.
Dave(Wednesday, July 10 19 09:26 am EDT)
Claremont is becoming a dumping ground for all the unwanted businesses and social services and section 8/welfare population. This is Charlene Lovett’s and the rest of the city council’s welcoming community political agenda at work. Section 8 housing, ex-convict housing, teen pregnancy housing, expanded dental clinic, nonprofit music center, needle exchange program and I hear that city officials are pushing for a marijuana storefronts too. That’s when they’re not give them away incredibly large tax breaks to out-of-town property owners. All at taxpayer’s expense.
Jack(Wednesday, July 10 19 07:54 am EDT)
So,I guess construction waste and non-profit social services are the only business that Claremont can drum up.
I drove down Pleasant St. yesterday,all the way to the square.I purposely paid close attention to what the storefronts actually were.I cannot even describe how grim the feeling was.This is no longer Claremont.Half of the stores are empty.Legal aid and some pregnancy place (abortion clinic?)dominate the square.The huge construction of low income housing where Nana's was was really disturbing!
I have been in Claremont for 20 years.I made it my home.It's shockingly obvious that I will be needing to find a new home.
Jim Sullivan(Wednesday, July 10 19 07:27 am EDT)
American Recycling Planning Board Hearing location changed. Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Brad(Tuesday, July 09 19 03:23 pm EDT)
The seven elected officials on the Claremont School Board are no prize either. Hundreds of thousands of dollars lost to the taxpayers in missed school aid opportunities and all of the IRS penalties just for 2016 with more penalties for several other years possible. None of them was watching out for the taxpayers. I do not know what they were doing but they certainly were not performing their due diligence. Presumably, all of the bad staff members are now gone within the SAU office and Mr. Tempesta can begin the work of rebuilding a competent staff. It is up to the voters to rebuild the Claremont School Board with competent leadership. None of the present-day members qualifies in that regard.
Jennifer(Tuesday, July 09 19 12:49 pm EDT)
I am less hopeful about the next city manager considering who is doing the picking. The councilors and local kingmakers who all had a hand in creating the problems we are facing today will be making the decision and in all likelihood will choose a like-minded city manager, who will wish to continue the tax-and-spend policies of the past while ignoring the consequences those policies create. Following the quality journalism of the Sullivan Report, with their in-depth exposes it seems to me that Claremont’s municipal government is running out of time before it all hits the proverbial fan. Presumably, this is the reason why several present-day city councilors will not be seeking reelection in November because they know that their decisions have created an untenable situation that they are incapable of fixing without making some incredibly hard choices, which could include layoffs and large property tax and water, & sewer rate increases. All unpopular choices.
Abigail(Tuesday, July 09 19 11:40 am EDT)
I am hopeful that the new superintendent of schools will be able to hire new staff that will actually do the job they are hired for without costing the Claremont taxpayers hundreds of thousand dollars in lost federal and state aid and IRS penalties. I still cannot believe how poorly managed the school district and the SAU were managed by the administrators and the school boards.
Industrial Property Owner(Tuesday, July 09 19 11:17 am EDT)
While I thoroughly enjoy reading the Sullivan Report’s exposés, I must say I do not enjoy what they generally mean for the much-abused Claremont taxpayer. The exposé about the Claremont Development Authority and the Board’s unprofessional manner of conducting their business is quite disturbing. The CDA Board’s predisposition towards operating in secret and preventing government transparency whenever possible even when certain details could be revealed is troubling when their actions could have some very real serious negative consequences for the Claremont taxpayers. I sincerely applaud Mr. Sullivan’s efforts to have a similar property tax stipulation placed on the Former Pleasant Restaurant Building similar to the deed restriction placed on the Farwell Building. However, I have serious reservations that this present day Council will listen, as they seem to have a propensity to grant favors and lavish public funds on public employees and special interest organizations and individuals with close political ties to members of this Council. I predict that no such covenant will be placed on the Former Pleasant Restaurant Building and an opportunity to generate additional revenue for the Downtown TIF District will be squandered. Just as the Former Eagle Times Building will leave the tax rolls once the property is turned over to Sullivan County for its ex-inmate transitional housing program that will greatly stifle Downtown Claremont’s economic vibrancy, which is presently struggling. Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Maranville raised a valid point regarding the stingy 6% contingency fund for this project when the normal industry-standard is 10%-15%. An example of making the project fit the budget, which is sometimes a recipe for disaster. Another area of concern is the CDA’s operational management of the Farwell Building in regards to rental rates. Even in 2008, $.36 per square foot was unheard of especially for the largest tenant of a building and then cementing those rates for 20 years. It is bad business and it would never be done in the public sector. Of course in the private sector the taxpayers can always be allowed bad investments especially if those investments turn bad because of incredibly bad management. If I recall a member of the City Council at that time was the project manager for the Dental Clinic, and she later became a hygienist with the Clinic after their grand opening. I also recall that another member of the City Council voted approval of this sweetheart deal with the other members of the CDA Board and although no longer a member of the City Council, he remains a member of the CDA Board. Cronyism was running rampant at that time but I do not think it is gone away entirely given the actions of this present day Council in regards to the Topstone Building, the Goddard Building Project and 147 Main St. owned by the same owners of the Goddard Building to cite a few examples. I predict that the Dental Clinic will get another 20-year lease with an incredibly low cost per square foot rental agreement for the upper floor and West Claremont Center for Music & the Arts will receive similar sweetheart deal for their occupancy of the Old Pleasant Restaurant Building. If any operational losses occur with either building, the taxpayers will in some way make up the difference. These abuses of public office will continue so long as those responsible for these terrible decisions remain in power.
Laura(Tuesday, July 09 19 08:38 am EDT)
I hope the new publisher will hire a better editor this time around. My husband and I canceled our subscription after reading Mr. Chaisson’s editorials declaring that the taxpayers need to shut up and pay more money when he himself does not live in Claremont or pay any taxes. I also do not like the political slant of the reporters as they continually side with the local politicians and either sugarcoat or ignore any problems that could potentially embarrass any of these local municipal or school or county government officials. The Eagle Times is supposed to be a hard-hitting newspaper that provides solid journalism to their readers and yes sometimes that will include critical news articles and editorials when necessary. The publication has failed in that regard for several years so perhaps this personnel turnover may turn out to be a blessing in disguise and bring back something that Claremont needs, a legitimate newspaper. The Sullivan Report does an excellent job reporting the political beat but there are other new stories that also need attention and that is where the Eagle Times could do a wonderful public service if management chose to roll up their sleeves and do so.
Rachel(Tuesday, July 09 19 06:31 am EDT)
Did the hiring of a new publisher have anything to do with editor Bill Chaisson's departure?
Jim Sullivan(Monday, July 08 19 01:56 pm EDT)
Two new articles.
1) Major personnel shakeup of the Eagle Times.
2) CDA moves ahead with renovation projects.
Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Jim Sullivan(Saturday, July 06 19 07:37 pm EDT)
I was saying that several Councilors may have prejudged this vote regarding the Councilor appointment and that is a violation of the City Councilor rules if they cast a vote anyway. Of course following the rules requires honesty and ethics. I agree with you Lee the fix does seem to be in and we are not the only two people who see it.
Lee(Saturday, July 06 19 07:43 am EDT)
Jim... are you saying a candidate or candidates have this issue ?
You have been around long enough to know when the fix is in.
Deb Matteau did not gather enough votes the first time to be legitimately placed on the City Manager search committee, so what did they do?
They changed the rules .
I feel sorry for the other candidate’s, they are just wasting their time.
Jim Sullivan(Friday, July 05 19 08:01 pm EDT)
Food for thought regarding Councilor prejudgement. Clause Number 50 of the Council's Rules and Regulations states as follows.
"50. - Conflict of Interest.
Conflict of Interest—If a potential for Conflict of Interest is identified, it should be brought to the attention of the entire Council at the time of discovery. Any member of the Council who might be shown to have clearly prejudged an issue or have a conflict of interest on an issue before the Council, places that issue in doubt and the City at great legal risk, therefore he or she should not take part in discussion or voting on the issue. He or she may, however, participate in the public hearing as a private citizen.
If anyone, on or off the Council, raises the question of prejudgment or conflict of interest on the part of any member and that member is unwilling to voluntarily step down, the remaining members of the Council shall hear any evidence the challenger and the challenged may have; subsequently, the Council, by two-thirds vote, shall decide whether the challenged member may sit. If there is substantial evidence of prejudgment or direct financial interest, the vote should be to require the challenged member to step down. Any two (2) members of the Council may request that the chair or the city manager secure a written opinion as to the potential conflict of interest of any Council member.
Do you think that there will be Councilors who will willingly violate this Council Rule when they select their Councilor appointee?
Steve(Friday, July 05 19 05:07 pm EDT)
If the council is stupid enough to appoint Deb Matteau as councilor than we are completely lost until November. I hear many of the rubber stamping good old boys (Koloski, Pope and their new friend Kier) won’t be running. If so they can do a lot of damage before their term is up. Very unprofessional of a city councilor’s wife to advocate for Matteau before it was even public knowledge. Seems like the Santagate Regime is still in power behind the scenes.
Rae(Friday, July 05 19 03:21 pm EDT)
Now that the applicants for city council have been released does that mean that the wife of a city councilor knew about who the applicants were before it was even released? In order to write a recommendation in the newspaper before hand? Is that really proper?
Jim Sullivan(Friday, July 05 19 01:07 pm EDT)
New article. Names of City Council applicants revealed. Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Ashley(Thursday, July 04 19 08:31 pm EDT)
The councilors Koloski, Pope, Kier, Damren and Lovett will never appoint a councilor who isn't in lockstep with their liberal tax and spend way of thinking. It seems to me that Matteau is a shoe in. The whole system is rigged.
John(Thursday, July 04 19 07:27 am EDT)
We all know Debra Matteau will be appointed.
I am sure the committee will give it final recommendation just in time for her to take her seat on the Council.
If Mrs. Scott Pope has given her approval , it’s a done deal.
I would love to know who the other candidates are, why is this list so secretive?
Seems only the council and their spouses know .
Rae(Wednesday, July 03 19 06:18 pm EDT)
So if Deb gets on the council does she have to relinquish her seat on the manager search committee because there are only supposed to be so many councilors? Or will that rule just get changed too?
Keith(Wednesday, July 03 19 01:09 pm EDT)
I'm so disappointed in our city council. They are destroying everything good about Claremont for some cockamamie political agenda that has a goal of turning Claremont into a sanctuary city. We already have far too many social service agencies that own properties in Claremont and routinely pay hardly no property taxes or no property taxes at all so they contribute nothing to support the cost of necessary government services. We also have far too many low income apartments under the section 8 program but Mayor Lovett and the like-minded councilors, Abigail Kier, Nick Koloski, Scott Pope, Allen Damren and Claire Lessard all want to create more and use our tax dollars to build up the infrastructure of the downtown costing millions of dollars to make this happen. The same liberal minded councilors also support the sober housing for the ex-convicts on Sullivan Street in downtown Claremont. They also supported the needle exchange program and the transitional housing for unwed teenage mothers that will eventually be located down on Main Street. The councilors did nothing when they could have stopped the tax giveaway for the Topstone building and they are going to knock down a building on Main Street and help out the developer of the Goddard building, who owns the attached building next door to this building on Main Street by giving him big tax breaks that will more than pay for whatever cost it will be the fix up his own building which he should have to pay for himself. I also understand reading the Sullivan Report that Nancy Merrill is looking for all kind of government money to pay for the cleanup of hazardous material at the Topstone building, which is privately owned property so why are our tax dollars being spent to clean it up? Don't forget grant money is government money that was collected with tax dollars and don't let these tax-and-spend liberal local politicians and bureaucrats tell you any different. Now they are going to rehab the pleasant restaurant building and have a music nonprofit group takeover the building and probably pay no taxes on that building either after all kind of public funds is used to rehab the building. All Charlene Lovett and the present day city council is doing is pandering to one special interest group after another and that includes the city employees with their raises and their choice of health insurance when they pay hardly none of it and it doesn't matter if another vendor is cheaper just so long as the employees have what they want the sky's the limit on price because the councilors doesn't care about the taxpayers. The city councilors are not representing us and I don't think they ever were.
Bob(Wednesday, July 03 19 10:12 am EDT)
This interim city manager and the councilors have zero backbone. They caved into the union demands and they are keeping HealthTrust, which I do not believe is a cheaper health insurance plan. Everyone on this Council kisses the buttocks of the union employees and they do not care what it cost the taxpayers to appease the union employees. This is one of the reasons why all of these councilors have to go. I also do not think that the top paid city employees deserve a raise just for showing up for work every day and not really accomplishing anything of great importance. I do not know about you but companies own the real world it giving big raises mostly cost-of-living raises if you lucky to get that. We certainly do not get the Cadillac health insurance plans that the public sector employees get. I think it is time they feel a little of the pain we feel and stop picking our pockets to give themselves a better life in our expense. I remember when Jim and AJ suggested looking to outsource as many of the city departments as possible to save money and that there were communities out across this great country of ours that actually save their taxpayers money by doing this. Of course, the city councilors we have today would never go along with that because they represent the unions and not the public. The same with the school board they also kiss the butts of the union members for the schools. New leadership is in order to make this happen.
Lisa(Wednesday, July 03 19 09:19 am EDT)
Tracy Pope's endorsement of Debbie Matteau for appointment to the city council in my opinion suggests that there is a very good chance that the fix might already be in and the interview process might just be a matter of going through the motions to create the appearance of fairness when the decision has already been made behind closed doors. If Tracy Pope wants Debbie Matteau you better believe Scott will vote for Debbie Matteau and I believe Allen Damren and Charlene Lovett and Nick Koloski and Claire Lessard will all vote for Debbie Matteau, game over. This is how things are done in Claremont politics and why nothing ever changes. We will soon know if I'm right.
Steve(Wednesday, July 03 19 09:18 am EDT)
Deb Mattheau is Claremont’s version of a “Kingmaker”.
She has been on the last 3 City Manager search committees, even when she does not receive enough votes, the rules get changed, she gets appointed and now she wants to be on the City Council.
Deb Matthau has had extreme influence hiring the last 3 city managers, she is not apart of the solution, she is part of the problem.
She is extremely close minded and the only opinion that matters is her own.
Anyone But Deb.
Adam(Wednesday, July 03 19 09:05 am EDT)
Claremont is suffering from a plague of dimwits that are all in public office. Administrators and elected officials alike are all destroying the city. Look at the last city manager and superintendent we had along with the SAU #6 crew of the phones running the office that is going to cost the taxpayers millions of dollars in lost financial help and IRS penalties. I just watched Forrest Gump the other day with the wife and I remember the line “stupid is as stupid does” and boy do we have stupid in Claremont at City Hall, at the County offices in Newport and at the SAU #6 office as well as all the elected officials for all three government groups. Stupid leadership is the reason why Claremont is in the terrible fix that it is in today and the only way to remedy this is to throw all the doofus is out of office and out of their administrative jobs and replaced them with intelligent people who will put the public first and told the unions and the special interests to take a hike.
Jim Sullivan(Wednesday, July 03 19 06:50 am EDT)
Councilor Scott Pope's wife Tracy has a Letter to the Editor in today's edition of the Eagle Times endorsing Debbie Matteau for the open City Council seat. In regards to Brian Rapp, the Claremont City Charter explicitly states that no sitting City Councilor may be employed by the City of Claremont while serving on the Council. Rae, you also raise an excellent point as to why nothing ever changes for the better. The same group of people fill those elected seats to represent certain special-interest groups, local government employee unions, certain nonprofits, etc. That is where much of your tax dollars go towards. Coincidence?
Rae(Wednesday, July 03 19 06:07 am EDT)
Are we that hard up for councilors and school board members that we just recycle the same people over and over?
Insider in Claremont(Tuesday, July 02 19 08:26 pm EDT)
Brian Rapp, Jim Feleen are two candidates. Chris Irish and his wife were asked and declined.
Ken(Tuesday, July 02 19 03:59 pm EDT)
What I found frightening about the county article that the Sullivan Report did is the PowerPoint chart that showed the undesignated fund balance or put another way the city’s cash savings account. In 2014 there was almost $6.9 million in that account and now five years later there is only 3.7 million in that account. These county leaders spend over $3.2 million of the cash savings and only five years and now we are very close to the $3 million target number that is supposed to be kept in there at all times. Then there is a $1.5 million budget deficit and $1.3 million is floating around that budget in extra money which is extra taxation on all of us. What the hell? The problem is we’ve kept imbeciles like John Cloutier in power for far too long and all of them right across the board are spending county money like drunken sailors for things like upgrades to a prison where there are hardly no prisoners and $1 million sober house to dump ex-convicts in downtown Claremont. Then because Claremont officials are so F’ing stupid they see that as a positive thing for Claremont and welcome it with open arms as they are pushing to spend millions of dollars downtown to create infrastructure for more welfare families for the new section 8 apartment that will soon be built. It makes no sense but the people of Claremont are allowing it to happen by staying silent so they get what they deserve what higher taxes, more crime and soon to be crowded classrooms.
George(Tuesday, July 02 19 02:15 pm EDT)
I am utterly opposed to the ex-convict sober housing project that the county will site on Sullivan Street in the old Eagle Times building. How anyone can possibly think placing up to 45 ex-convicts in a residential setting right in the middle of Downtown Claremont is a positive move forward for our community must be insane. Case in point Mayor Lovett and all the other bleeding hearts on the city council and the county delegation and all the administrators that work for them who are all on board with this disastrous project. The fact that it’s going to cost over $1 million in public funds should be a red flag right there. I don’t care if the money comes from the federal government, the state, the county or the local taxpayers or if it comes from surplus funds or new funds raised by taxes it is all public money that was paid for by our tax dollars. So any justification is just a bunch of bureaucratic BS. The day care center wisely moved to Charlestown Road. I am sure other business owners looking for a place to locate their business or real estate developers looking for an investment will now look elsewhere too. They would not be wise investors if once they find out that Downtown Claremont will soon be the home to a bunch of ex-convicts and section 8 voucher apartment dwellers in the Goddard building and possibly soon to be other buildings as well they chose to invest anyway and throw their money down a rat hole. I wonder how the restaurants will fare once these new downtown residents begin to strut around their new neighborhood at night mingling their fine upstanding customers when they come and go. I suspect the Common Man and other quality eateries outside of Claremont will see an uptick in business as the downtown becomes a no go area. Nancy Merrill and the other geniuses running the city’s economic development office are a bunch of dunces in my opinion. The interim city manager is just collecting a paycheck until he moves on in a few months so he certainly doesn’t care because like most of the city staff he doesn’t live here so he doesn’t have a vested interest in the community. Mayor Lovett is just flittering around looking for her next photo op and even though she says she’s a Republican she really is a Rino because she is as liberal as they come as are most of the city councilors and they are destroying the city one bad decision at a time. They are just sitting back and allowing the county leaders accelerate the process of turning Claremont into a welcoming community a.k.a. sanctuary city. Give it time it’s happening slowly but surely right under everyone’s very noses except for a few smart people who see it coming but the general populace won’t do a damn thing until it’s too late to do anything about it.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, July 02 19 10:29 am EDT)
John, no one seems to know. City Officials are remaining tightlipped in regards to the identities of the six applicants. It appears we will have to wait and see who they are until the next Council meeting.
John(Tuesday, July 02 19 08:47 am EDT)
Who are the six, that are seeking the open council seat ?
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, July 02 19 06:18 am EDT)
1) Sullivan County budget approved.
2) Synopsis of June 26 Council meeting.
3)Controversial Planning Board meeting to be held on July 22.
Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Gail(Monday, July 01 19 10:21 am EDT)
Our school board and city council elected representation leaves much to be desired. New spending initiatives, giving and maintaining compensation raises, Cadillac health insurance plans and top-quality benefits to municipal and school employees and granting favors and public funds to politically connected special interests seems to be the only thing that school and city officials want to do and none of them seem to care about what it is costing the taxpayers. The voters have elected bad leadership and are now paying the price for their bad choices and that prices incredibly steep. Look at all the problems with the city and all the money lost at the school district and SAU. So much potential and dollars lost because of the voters bad choices. We need to be far choosier about our candidates if we ever want Claremont to return to what it should be.
Beezelbub(Sunday, June 30 19 03:23 pm EDT)
What,so you'll all just re-elect Brian Rapp and make things just the same.All these retreads with their union cards or spouse's union cards don't give a shit if you lose your house over exorbitant taxes.They're just concerned with planning a cushy retirement or where their next vacation is.What sort of deluxe pick-up truck shall I get this year?
Clarewmont is just f***in' pathetic,no way around it but get out.
Ted(Sunday, June 30 19 02:46 pm EDT)
Sitting up there at the school board table and rubberstamping a bunch of motions from the administration is not leadership. We have the same problem on the city council. Our elected leaders do not know how to lead, they simply know how to follow the lead of the administrators. They seem to be there to provide the best of everything to the union employees that work for the city and the school and they do not care what it costs the taxpayers to give the employees the best of everything. Our roads and infrastructure are a mess and the quality of education in the school district is abhorrent and subpar to the point of below average. The taxpayers need to rise up and demand better for themselves, their families and their children or the unionized employees will continue to take and take and give nothing back in return.
Richard(Sunday, June 30 19 01:30 pm EDT)
The amount of money these terrible administrators have cost us is enormous. Adding up everything IPO listed comes to $871,571 so far. If the Claremont school district were hit with three more years’ worth of IRS penalties at $318,500 a pop it would bring the extra costs up to $1,827,071. Heads should have rolled because of this but instead they all got to leave with their reputations mostly intact some of them landing cushy jobs so they can impose their incompetence on other school districts. It’s too bad the Claremont school district cannot sue them for incompetence to try to recoup some of the money that the taxpayers will have to fork out because they were all such bad employees and because our elected officials on the school board was not looking out for us like they were supposed to be doing.
Matt(Sunday, June 30 19 11:26 am EDT)
IPO makes a lot of sense. All of the Claremont school board members have failed us and none of them are deserving of reelection or our support going forward.
Industrial Property Owner(Sunday, June 30 19 10:06 am EDT)
The facts speak for themselves; the administration of SAU #6 has been a complete disaster for several years and the SAU #6 school board bears responsibility for not paying attention and taking swifter action. Their first clue should have been the absence of annual audits report since 2011. It is the school board’s responsibility to review the audit reports and consider them when constructing the SAU budget as well as their individual school district budgets. The fact that the absence of these audit reports did not raise a red flag indicates ignorance and laziness on the parts of these elected school board members and I do mean all of them who served since 2011, no exceptions. I would have listed all the names of these school board members but unfortunately the SAU #6 website only has meeting minutes for the past year there is no archives of meeting minutes whatsoever, an additional lack of transparency from the SAU #6 administration and school board members. The June 2014 retirement of Ann Dieter as the SAU #6 Accounts & Benefits Supervisor was another critical juncture. Primarily the fact that her position was terminated upon her retirement when the SAU employees many people within the SAU & Claremont & Unity school districts this is clearly a necessary full-time human resource position. Terminating this position and thrusting those duties and responsibilities onto another employee, who presumably already has a full plate of duties and responsibilities of their own has proven to be a very costly blunder for the taxpayers, especially those residing or owning property in Claremont. The next indication that something was wrong was Cory LeClair’s $15,000 corrective contribution settlement agreement that the public was not privy to as was the case with the missing audit reports. The fact that paperwork was not filed should have been a clear red flag that proper policies were not being followed for the policies needed to be changed to ensure that all human resource paperwork was filed appropriately and on time. It should have caused the SAU #6 school board in the administration to rethink the prior decision to eliminate the Accounts & Benefits Supervisor Position but apparently that never happened. Moving forward to this year there was the revelation that Claremont lost significant special education funds, although originally overstated by the Union Leader and the Associated Press. Fortunately, the Sullivan Report determined the correct total of the loss calculated at $88,648, but that still shows gross incompetence by the SAU #6 administration for failing to file paperwork and stay on top of these important matters. Shortly afterwards was the revelation that Claremont lost $437,662 of federal lunch reimbursement funds over a two-year period for failure to file paperwork on time. Followed by the chilling announcement that the IRS is charging the Claremont school district with a $318,500 penalty. The Sullivan Report once again did what other local news media refuses to do because of laziness and absence of work ethic, which is to perform some investigative reporting and they discovered that the penalties totaling $318,500 worth for calendar year 2016 leaving three more years unaccounted for as presumably the paperwork for those years were not filed either since the IRS is already seeking paperwork for calendar year 2017. It was also astounded to read in the Sullivan Report article that SAU #6 administrators intentionally ignored IRS notices requesting this information for calendar years 2016 and 2017 and because these notices were ignored the $318,500 penalty was levied. Then there was Keith Pfeifer’s abrupt ouster and from local media reports and the police report information that was released to the public through the media it appears that SAU #6 administration personnel pushed Mr. Pfeiffer out the proverbial door at a cost to the taxpayers of $11,761.35 in yet another secret settlement agreement. Both settlement agreements were discovered and released to the public by the Sullivan Report. Now the latest revelation that Mike O’Neill the ex-business & finance director for SAU #6, who abruptly left his position prior to his current contract’s termination date was working two similar jobs at the same time. One here for SAU #6, the other at SAU #89 Mason NH. How SAU #6 personnel for over five years did not notice that Mr. O’Neill was working two jobs simultaneously is simply mind-boggling. This administration personnel for SAU #6 was clearly grossly incompetent the entire lot of them. The fact that the SAU #6 school board never took action against any of these personnel by demanding accountability through the superintendent speaks to their gross incompetence as well. The new superintendent is coming into a broken bureaucratic system that will need a complete overhaul. Fortunately, many of the responsible parties are no longer working with the SAU and that will give Mr. Tempesta the opportunity to hire his own staff to bring professionalism and stability back to the SAU #6 administrative office. As far as all of the school members are concerned that will be up to the voters to cast them out whenever they are up for reelection over the next few years and yes, their gross incompetence is partially responsible for all of these problems that will prove incredibly costly to the taxpayers over the next few years. If they had any decency they would resign immediately but I am not holding my breath that they will do the right thing as they have not done so during their tenure as school board members.
Laura(Saturday, June 29 19 10:01 am EDT)
I hope that the new superintendent will be able to hire new people that are actually competent or at least moderately so and can turn this sinking ship around so these financial tragedies and scandals can be put to a stop. Our tax dollars should be going towards quality education not penalties or secret settlement agreements for former school officials. They do not need a golden parachute and the taxpayers deserve a hell of a lot more than what we are getting.
Beezelbub(Saturday, June 29 19 08:18 am EDT)
Do we have a lawyer to go on the offensive? How about suing O'Neil for his fraud?
Carolyn(Saturday, June 29 19 06:40 am EDT)
I don’t know how Mike O’Neill was able to pull off his moonlighting for five years or more without anyone noticing. This tells me that the school officials are only there for the paycheck and they are putting in the minimum effort possible to collect it. The school officials on the school boards are so laid-back and ineffective that they just don’t pay attention and they just don’t care about the taxpayers who are paying for an inferior education for all the children in the SAU #6 district.
Jim Sullivan(Friday, June 28 19 08:45 am EDT)
Rae you ask some very good questions and fortunately, I have some answers for you. In regards to Mike O’Neill, he first came to SAU #6 as a MRI consultant to temporarily replace Tim Ball as Business & Finance Director when Ball abruptly resigned. If memory serves, O’Neil only worked two days per week as he was working at other school districts at that time performing similar tasks. I remember it being stated by School Officials that MRI only had a few employees with the necessary skill set for the Business & Finance Director’s position and SAU #6 was lucky to get Mike for two days per week. At that time, it was perfectly fine that Mike was working other places but time dragged on and from what School Officials publicly stated no viable candidates came forward when SAU #6 advertised the open position. Mike O’Neill was then hired full-time and School Officials stated that he had resigned from MRI. That is true because I checked it out at the time and Mike was removed from the MRI website no longer listed as one of their employees. The assumption was that when Mike resigned from MRI he no longer served the other school districts as an MRI Consultant. Clearly, that was not the case as Mike continued to simultaneously provide services to Mason NH at SAU #89 and collect two paychecks instead of one. As his contract with SAU #6 clearly stipulates Mike could only work for anyone else if SAU #6 gave its blessing. I’m not an attorney but having done the Sullivan Report for a number of years I’ve begun to think like one in regards to the precise wording of clauses in contracts. Vagueness breeds creative interpretation and lawyers are well paid to impose the creative interpretation of whomever is paying their legal fees. Mike’s contract states permission requires the written approval of the SAU. So who was that? The Superintendent (which would have been Middleton McGoodwin) or the SAU School Board? Unfortunately, it is subject to interpretation. McGoodwin is gone and it is unlikely that any School Board Member would ever admit to have given permission, especially when any written approval if it exists would be classified a personnel document and not subject to the Right to Know Law. Cory LeClair has given her standard I knew nothing response to Mike’s moonlighting stating she did not know about it until this spring. In the past Cory has also said that she knew nothing about the $88,000 loss special education funds, the $437,662 loss regarding federal lunch reimbursement funds, the failure to file mandatory IRS paperwork that is now going to cost taxpayers $318,500 worth of IRS penalties and those fines could reach $1,274,000 or more before that issue is settled. Cory also pled ignorance to the fact that SAU #6 and the Claremont School District and the Unity School District failed to hire an auditing firm to audit the books for all three government entities for Fiscal Years 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018. Audits for each of those years and now being conducted one by one. That’s a hell of a lot to be unaware of when you are the Assistant Superintendent of Schools. Is any of this the reason why the SAU #6 School Board declined to hire her as the next Superintendent?
In regards to Cory’s $15,000 settlement. I believe she is the only settlement agreement that will be pending regarding the reasons why she received a settlement. Cory’s transfer from the Claremont School District to the SAU #6 Administration caused the problem with her lack of access to retirement benefits that all other school employees receive. It’s unlikely any other employees (or at least many) made the same transfer and there are supposedly new policies now in place to prevent this from ever happening again. I also officially inquired if there are any settlement agreements that have been reached over the past several years and I received copies of all the settlement agreements. The way the Right to Know Law works Government Officials are not required to announce when a settlement agreement has been reached even though taxpayer’s dollars were used to pay off the settlement agreement. Therefore, the settlement agreements remain buried unless any citizen submits an official inquiry asking if any settlement agreements exist and if so demands a copy of the settlement agreement. Then the person gets the settlement agreement they have every right to make that settlement agreement public. If we had not been making those inquiries no one would ever have known about them. I asked the other day if there are any new settlement agreements that have been reached in the answer was no. That does not mean that there are not any that are currently being negotiated. We will continue to ask that question to make sure that no settlement agreements fall through the cracks.
Rae(Thursday, June 27 19 11:12 pm EDT)
Also we are only seeing the fines for the SAU not complying with the laws. If Cory got a settlement due to them not following the law and giving her benefits will there be other employee settlements as well? You can't tell me they only ripped off the assistant super and no one else.
Rae(Thursday, June 27 19 11:02 pm EDT)
https://www.education.nh.gov/data/documents/salaries18-19.pdf https://www.education.nh.gov/data/documents/salaries17-18.pdf https://www.education.nh.gov/data/documents/salaries16-17.pdf https://www.education.nh.gov/data/documents/salaries15-16.pdf https://www.education.nh.gov/data/documents/salaries14-15.pdf https://www.education.nh.gov/data/documents/salaries12-13.pdf https://www.education.nh.gov/data/documents/salaries13-14.pdf https://www.education.nh.gov/data/documents/salaries11-12.pdf How did Sau 6 not know he was employed at another district? It is readily available on the DOE website. And before Claremont he worked in Franklin and Mason at the same time. Didn't that show up in his resume?
John(Thursday, June 27 19 06:57 pm EDT)
Good job Frank.
Gary(Thursday, June 27 19 04:08 pm EDT)
The taxpayers have already been billed for $12,106 in legal fees because of the $318,500 IRS penalties the Claremont school district is about to be penalized for because of incompetent management in the SAU office. Now thanks to Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Maranville and their investigative reporting we learn that the school officials had several opportunities to make this right without the taxpayers pay and any penalties and they ignored every one of those chances. On top of that, the $318,500 is only for calendar year 2016 and there may be penalties coming down the road for the three of the calendar years since bringing me penalty total to almost $1.3 million or higher. Naturally, Cory LeClair and the school board members hushed this all up to try to give this major disaster a much lower profile as the press had a field day with it. That being said none of the big-name news media outfits like WMUR or WCAX or WNNE or the Union Leader or the local papers bothered to do any digging to get at the truth, which left it wide open for the Sullivan Report to scoop them all. Kudos to Francis Gauthier for getting the ball rolling. I agree with Randy that it is time for all new school board members because the ones we have now all let us down big time.
Randy(Thursday, June 27 19 02:58 pm EDT)
Jim and AJ sure outdid themselves this time, hell of an article. How the hell can Cory LeClair and all the rest of the SAU #6 administrators like Middleton McGoodwin and the SAU board members from the Unity and Claremont school districts not know that Mike O’Neill was doing two jobs at the same time. He must’ve been absent many days in Claremont so he could be in Mason New Hampshire doing his other job. Didn’t these morons have a clue? Or did they know and they just didn’t care? Maybe school board members heads need to roll too and we get all new fresh management. These imbeciles certainly are not looking out for the public.
Jim Sullivan(Thursday, June 27 19 12:32 pm EDT)
More astounding revelations about SAU #6 Administration!
For full details go to the News Flashes page of this website.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, June 25 19 11:58 am EDT)
Two new articles.
1) Council approves budgets!
2)Sullivan County Sober Housing Project already sabotaging downtown Claremont economic development efforts!
Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
misfortune teller(Saturday, June 22 19 12:11 pm EDT)
Bob, what you don't understand is that these are jobs programs.These are well paying for nursing,doctors,and all sorts of administrative staffing.
Real estate in Cornish,Goshen,and Plainfield will be booming.These are the places that our newly minted employees will lay their heads.
It's just too bad that Hew Hampshire has the monopoly on liquor stores.Liquor stores do great business where programs like these exist.
Koloski might be able to change the laws to allow at least 1(for himself) strip joints to open here in Claremont.This wiuld be a great source of un-taxable income for the single mothers to stay in their subsidized housing.
I believe those afflicted with drug addiction are being guided by administrative staff at the prisons to navigate the application process to receive monthly disability checks,to give them some walkin' around money.
David C Belisle(Saturday, June 22 19 11:49 am EDT)
The parks department wants to improve the rail trail by exchanging land on Washington Street with land by the river. Hopefully someone will realize the that right of way was purchased with money from rails to trails Federal progam and It will have to be paid back with interest.
Bob Gravel(Saturday, June 22 19 08:48 am EDT)
Suboxone is one of the most heavily smuggled drugs into prison today.
I am doing some forward thinking here. I read an article in the Union Leader this morning about a pilot program of giving out Suboxone in state prison. It sounds like this pilot program for 26 prisoners is going to cost the State of New Hampshire about $535,000 – for both bureaucratic spending and the drugs themselves. With that being said, we all know how when certain programs get started, they only get bigger and proliferate. Also, the fact is that drug addiction is now a legally recognized disease. Over time I can see it becoming a mandate from the State Legislature that our county jails and Sober Housing/Transitional Housing must give Suboxone to their residents. The big worry for me here in Claremont is that if residents are short on money to buy their prescriptions for Suboxone, City Welfare may be required by law to pay for their Suboxone. Two big examples of the cost of Sanctuary City/Welcoming Community importation of drug addicts are the new Sober Housing being planned for Sullivan Street and all the Section 8 Housing being built on Pleasant Street. Our city leaders want a lot more of that in the future. All to be subsidized, of course, by the forgotten taxpayers of Claremont!
John(Friday, June 21 19 11:07 am EDT)
Jim.... a number of years ago, you published a series of articles in regards to virtual classrooms.
Due to the recent turnover at the SAU, it might be extremely informative to read those articles again.
If the Claremont SAU can not start doing things in a more professional manner it might be time to seriously look at virtual classrooms or privatization.
Bob Gravel(Thursday, June 20 19 03:11 pm EDT)
After viewing some of the 6-12-19 Claremont City Council meeting, one thing really stood out in my mind. Lately the mayor has been giving out all sorts of proclamations to almost everyone in city government! My feeling is this is because the November election is coming. The heavy thing on my heart is that probably there will be a very low voter turnout, and the ones who do show up to vote, for the most part, will be city and school employees, union members, and committed friends of the Claremont Socialist party. My belief is that most of the conservative voters will stay home. If only we had a big turnout of conservative candidates and voters, we could have a very different city council! If we had a conservative city council, we could get the property taxes under control and have better city management. We could also have real government transparency.
Tom(Wednesday, June 19 19 02:09 pm EDT)
I am so sick of our city councilors because they are all out to lunch. Families are struggling to pay the high property taxes or the high rents just to live here and the city councilors do everything in their power to spend money foolishly to raise property taxes and squander our community's future. Today's article had several examples such as doing a study with a consultant, more wasted money, to justify giving pay increases to the highest-paid municipal employees a.k.a. the directors who find ways to spend more of the taxpayers money in their budgets. Most of the directors do not live in Claremont so they do not pay taxes here so they don't care. We know that the city employees don't care because they demanded to keep HealthTrust insurance for their health coverage when it couldn't save the taxpayers over $200,000 a year to go with another vendor. The city employees don't care they pay a small token amount while the taxpayers pay the rest for their Cadillac insurance plan.The water rate payers are now getting screwed by the MRI temporary city manager because the fire department will no longer be paying their fair share of hydrant usage so the water rates will end up going up again so the manager can move the money around like the deck chairs on the Titanic to try to keep the city afloat for another year until he is long gone and it will be someone else's problem. The city used to import sludge and process it making about 33 grand a year profit and now they're making next to nothing because of changes in management from bad to worse. Now we'll probably end up costing us money or a Canadian company will come in and do the work themselves and make all the prophets Claremont will probably get screwed in the end like they always do. Just like the solar deal out on River Road will end up I suspect. And our esteemed mayor and a few of her cronies are pushing for higher electric rates for everybody as they support huge subsidies for biomass and solar electric generators so they can reap millions of dollars from inflated electric rates that all of us have to pay. Let's face it the Claremont voters really screwed up when they elected this god-awful bunch of imbeciles to be on the city council. They all have their own agendas and most of these agendas suit their best interests and those of the special interests they represent but they certainly do not represent our best interests. It is time for all new leaders in November.
Jim Sullivan(Wednesday, June 19 19 07:21 am EDT)
1) June 12 Council meeting synopsis.
2) Claremont municipal employee health insurance debate update.
Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, June 18 19 07:39 am EDT)
The two articles that are scheduled to be published this week will be posted tomorrow, Wednesday morning due to a few delays in the preparation process.
Jill(Monday, June 17 19 06:49 pm EDT)
I am very sad to hear of Councilor Zullo's resignation from the city council. I think he was doing a very good job for the tax payers of this city.
Jim Sullivan(Thursday, June 13 19 02:41 pm EDT)
Update regarding HealthTrust municipal employee health insurance issue. Go to News Flashes page of this website for full details.
Beezelbub(Thursday, June 13 19 10:15 am EDT)
Here's an idea,let's privatize the schools and save millions!
Rae(Wednesday, June 12 19 04:24 pm EDT)
Wonder if Cori getting that settlement interfered with the decision of whether she would get the superintendent position?
Jim Sullivan(Wednesday, June 12 19 03:54 pm EDT)
New article. IRS fines Claremont School District $320,000! Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
George(Wednesday, June 12 19 12:07 pm EDT)
It is wonderful to see that Charlene Lovett is looking out for all of us. NOT!!! That woman panders to everyone whether it be developers bringing in more welfare housing to increase our tax burden to supporting sober housing and teenage runaway transitional housing or turning Claremont into a sanctuary city for illegal aliens. Now she is pushing for higher electric rates for all of us so solar producers can pocket more profits. I wonder how this fits in with the Steel Mill Solar project developer’s plans to build a 10 MW solar farm in Claremont. I wonder if Jim and AJ are right and they are going to bust the project into two separate 5 MW solar farms so they can scoop up all the extra net metering revenue so they can line their pockets even more at Claremont ratepayer’s expense. Hell am I talking about New Hampshire ratepayer’s expense. Charlene Lovett definitely does not represent our best interests but I see where am only picking on her and I really should be addressing this to her cohorts on the council as well, Scott Pope, Nick Koloski, Allen Damren and Abigail Kier, which unfortunately makes a majority of the present-day city council. The only bright spot is that the November elections are coming and the voters have the chance to undo their big mistake and throw all the bums I just mentioned out of office for good.
Dennis(Wednesday, June 12 19 09:36 am EDT)
The Sullivan Report is the only safeguard we citizens have to know the truth. I am very unhappy about the city employees screwing us all over after we supported them to get a contract. I had no idea about the HealthTrust insurance backroom deal that was done without anyone’s knowledge. Most of us that work to get some form of health insurance for full-time but we pay for most of it ourselves. These municipal employees pay very little so you would think they would feel some compassion towards the taxpayers who are paying the bill for them and try to help us out by giving us the best deal we can get cost wise while giving them the health insurance coverage they deserve. I also think they should be paying more for their coverage. But nope they do not want that and they want us to pay the highest price possible and to hell with all of us. Will I say to hell with all of them and maybe it’s time we look at contracting out their jobs to private companies if we can save the money and lower our taxes while still getting the good services we deserve.
Steve(Wednesday, June 12 19 07:13 am EDT)
It’s nice to see the administrators of SAU 6 being shoved out the door making room for hopefully better people but it sure is costing the Claremont taxpayers one hell of a lot of money to do it. I also don’t like all the secret backroom deals that we never would have found out about if it wasn’t for Jim and AJ paying close attention and demanding the public documents to prove to everyone what happened in secret.
Matt(Tuesday, June 11 19 02:02 pm EDT)
Man the schools are a mess. McGoodwin, Pfeifer and LeClair all receive secret pricey settlement agreements as the administrator employee turn over at SAU #6 continues. The business manager takes a quick powder after the Sullivan Report uncovers the truth about the big losses with the lunch program and special education program. Over a quarter million dollars gone and the beat goes on no real repercussions for practically anyone. The test scores of the schools are still in the toilet and the budget keeps going higher and higher while the student population keeps going lower and lower. The Claremont taxpayers continue to get screwed by school officials and nothing is ever done. Now we see the same thing going on with the city and the County as Claremont becomes the dumping ground for not only the undesirables on welfare and soon to be come a sanctuary city if bleeding heart liberal Charlene Lovett and her cronies on the Council has anything to say about it. Claremont will also soon be a dumping ground for everyone's trash at the new transfer station down at the junction. Then there is the solar power company that wants to come in that Lovett is pandering to along with the Sullivan County delegation to screw us over big-time with our electric rates because of that net metering scam. Don't forget the sober house coming in with all the soon-to-be released inmates coming to Claremont to live right in downtown Claremont thanks to your Sullivan County representatives and one of them's on the City Council Andrew O'Hearne. Claremont is a joke and the citizens of Claremont who live here are paying the price for the bad decisions consistently made by those who they elect who have an agenda that does not represent what is best for the citizens of Claremont. Until the whining, lazy, imbeciles of Claremont who never vote get up off their lazy asses and vote in good representatives then nothing will ever change. Claremont will continue to wallow in its own filth and its residents will not do anything about it except complain.
Katherine(Tuesday, June 11 19 12:56 pm EDT)
Claremont as always had spotty leadership some good some bad but the leadership we have right now in all three of our local governments, County, City & Schools has sunk to a new low. Secret settlement agreements, secret hidden clauses in contract agreements and now they're not satisfied with raising tax burden and water and sewer rates they are now mucking around with the electric rates to raise them too to line the pockets of their special interest friends at our expense. The voters need to pay attention and begin replacing these dismal failures for representation with other more worthy citizens.
Richard(Tuesday, June 11 19 11:04 am EDT)
All I can say is the local press really sucks in Claremont. Today the Sullivan Report scoops everyone three times over. The city employees, the city administrators and the city councilors secretly screw the taxpayers by caving into city employees demands for a Cadillac priced health insurance plan through HealthTrust. I know Jim and AJ are trying to track down the cost price difference and I will bet it is a lot. Our elected officials don’t give a crap how much more we the taxpayers pay for the same coverage is just so long as the city employees are happy and the councilors good friend Brian Rapp can keep his precious directorship position with HealthTrust because he is a complete zero in local government anymore. Then we find out the County delegation screwed the public by supporting net metering, thank you Andy O’Hearne and the rest of the Sullivan County delegation for stabbing all the electric ratepayers in the back and that goes for Mayor Lovett too. This whole net metering thing is a swindle to make politically connected solar energy produces richer at the electric ratepayer’s expense and so that municipalities and businesses that want to generate electricity can fill their greedy pockets with extra loot too. Then the Claremont school board gave out another secret settlement agreement cash payout giving Cory LeClair $15,000 and not telling the taxpayers about it just as they did not tell the taxpayers about the secret cash payout settlement agreement they made with ex-interim superintendent Phifer. Something the Sullivan Report also exposed. Today the Sullivan Report showed us that we cannot trust any of our local officials at the city, school and county levels. If it was left up to the rest of the crappy local press we would all still be in the dark about everything.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, June 11 19 09:50 am EDT)
Three new articles today.
1) Claremont Municipal Employees secretly force Claremont taxpayers to pay more for their Cadillac health insurance plan!
2) Net Metering: Good deal or scam for the average Electric Ratepayer?
3) Cory LeClair received $15,000 settlement agreement from SAU #6 on January 2, 2018!
Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
mike(Monday, June 10 19 10:10 am EDT)
Hate to base things from rumors but this past weekend heard from a school district employee that Cory LeClair file a discrimination lawsuit against the district and that the insurance company paid her claim to avoid public exposure. I'm sure that Jim and AJ will look into this.
William(Wednesday, June 05 19 08:41 am EDT)
All three local governments are in turmoil. The Claremont school district saw its superintendent fired and the interim superintendent pushed out in what amounted to a palace coup although he received a nice chunk of change for leaving in a secret settlement that the Sullivan Report uncovered. The assistant superintendent and the business administrator, who were in charge when the school district lost a significant amount of money in special education and lunch program reimbursements, are now out of the picture. The assistant superintendent found another job before she was probably terminated and it is possible that the business administrator was not as lucky as he has already left before the end of the school year. Test scores are still dismal and there is no accountability amongst the teachers and administrators for that. The Sullivan Report just revealed how much of a mess the county finances are in. The budget is padded by $1.3 million and there is still a $1.5 million deficit on top of that. The County Home is being refurbished in a multimillion-dollar project that has not yet secured funding. Presumably, the taxpayers will be paying it in the bond and there is no plan as of yet as to how it is going to be paid although probably with a taxpayer hike of $1.2 million per year for the next 25 years. The same scenario was playing out on a smaller scale with the $1 million sober housing project that is placed right in the middle of Downtown Claremont, worse place ever. Half of the money $500,000 is coming from the budget with surplus money and the rest is may be coming from the grant that may or may not be received. If not it will come out of the taxpayers somehow because they are moving forward with this project is likely out with the County Home refurbished project. The $6.9 million jailhouse project is another disaster because we have many empty jail cells in no prisoners to fill them to pay for the project financing costs and now they want to spend $300,000 to upgrade a virtually empty facility. I have always known the John Cloutier was a tax-and-spend fool but I wrongly thought he was the last one left in Sullivan County government. What a mess. Then we have the City of Claremont under the moronic leadership of Charlene Lovett and Allen Damren who have usurped their authority repeatedly and taken charge of the administration by default. This interim person from MRI will not put up a fuss because he is only here the click the paycheck. Ryan McNutt that the bum’s rush out because presumably he would play ball with the tyrannical Lovett and Damren and I feel real sorry for whoever becomes the next city manager because they may be the next to go if they don’t kowtow to the self-proclaimed Lord and Lady of the realm Lovett and Damren. The city’s finances are a mess and taxes will have to go up eventually because so many things are being ignored and problems are exacerbating to the point of crisis. The roads are not the only issue; there is the community center, unfunded employee retirement costs and the City Hall roof just for starters. To sum it all up Claremont voters need to wake up and stopped electing the same fools to public office because they are destroying our community and they are dipping their hands far too deeply into our wallets causing us and our families to sacrifice greatly because they cannot control their urges to spend tax dollars foolishly.
Industrial Property Owner(Tuesday, June 04 19 02:39 pm EDT)
Wow! One heck of an exposé today by the Sullivan Report. The local press has done a poor job indeed regarding Sullivan County’s financial situation. I have very low expectations apropos of the journalistic aptitude of the E- Ticker News, the Eagle Times and the Valley News to adequately report news germane to Claremont. Investigative reporting is the forte of the Sullivan Report, which makes them stand out as the leading local new source in regards to the actions of our local government leaders. Today’s exposé shows that our County Commissioners and Sullivan County Delegation have irrefutably monumentally failed the citizenry of Sullivan County. I remember quite a few years ago when the Sullivan County government was a financial disaster that was turned around with determined leadership and fiscal responsibility. I and I am sure many other citizens of Sullivan County were under the erroneous impression that those days of continued fiscal responsibility and a financially healthy County government were still here. A $1.3 million positive variance deliberately built into the budget to essentially overtax the populace to maintain a hidden slush fund and yet despite that sleazy trickery County Official’s undisciplined spending proclivities still cause a $1.5 million structural deficit atop that. Then there is the Sullivan County Home renovation project that is moving forward despite a viable funding plan. Apparently, a $1,232,000 cash shortage for 25 years is not an impediment to Sullivan County Officials from moving forward. Presumably raising the property tax rate is not a deal breaker for our elected officials. Then there is the County Jail that cost taxpayers $6.9 million to renovate to house 168 inmates that the taxpayers were told was necessary to prevent prison overcrowding. Apparently, that was a complete fabrication because the prison population is remaining at about 35% of capacity leaving 109 prison cells routinely vacant. If this were a hotel startup, they would have been forced into bankruptcy due to spectacularly incompetent management. However, in Sullivan County there are no consequences because the Sullivan County taxpayer will continue to pay for the grandiose mistakes of their elected officials. Moreover, those mistakes continue as another addition to the jailhouse services has already cost the taxpayers $30,000 for designs and will cost another $300,000 in fiscal year 2020 for a new medical observation unit that was never needed before. Then there is the $1 million sober housing project that will be located right in the heart of Downtown Claremont that will houses many as 45 ex-felons all recovering addicts. This will not enhance economic development efforts for either the Downtown or the City of Claremont its totality. As with the Sullivan County Home renovation project, County Officials are moving forward with the sober housing project without first appropriating the funding. An initial $500,000 will be taken from surplus cash resources from the intentionally padded fiscal year 2019 budget that initially came from the taxpayers. Although some can argue that, the taxpayers are from the State and not the County these are still tax dollars being utilized. Another $500,000 will be needed to complete the project, assuming no cost overruns, and County Officials are intending to submit a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant as that funding source. However, there are no guarantees that Sullivan County will be awarded the entire $500,000 or any portion thereof. That may cause County Officials to raise property taxes to finalize the sober housing project. Today’s Sullivan Report exposé should be a wake-up call to all Sullivan County residents that a shakeup of elected officials is needed and perhaps County Administrative Officials as well to bring fiscal responsibility back to Sullivan County governance.
George(Tuesday, June 04 19 09:29 am EDT)
Sullivan County leaders has spent the government right to the poor house and now the taxpayers are going to have to bailout their spending with higher taxes. This is why tax-and-spend liberals should not be in political office.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, June 04 19 07:07 am EDT)
New article. Sullivan County budget woes may mean higher property taxes. Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Fred(Monday, June 03 19 06:24 pm EDT)
Going over some of the budget. WHAT THE HELL ARE WE TRADING TWO FIRE TRUCKS FOR ONE AND A CHIEFS CAR FOR! This is not something to do while you don’t even have a permanent city manager. Another case of the council laying down on the job. All these pieces of equipment are being driven and have no issues to speak of. You have to give them away for dirt. Let’s at least get as much life as we can out of them before we give them away. And as someone stated earlier WE DON’T NEED TOP OF THE LINE TRUCKS. How about giving us tax payers some breathing room.
Bob(Friday, May 31 19 07:44 pm EDT)
When will the people of Claremont wake up! Very few councilors stand up for the tax payers of Claremont. Councilor Kier is completely out of control with wanting to raise taxes, embracing Mayor Lovett’s “Welcoming Policy”, you may know it as “Sanctuary City”. They are so out of touch with reality. We want our roads fixed, reasonable taxes and water rates, businesses will not want to come with Needle Exchanges, Halfway Houses, or the high crime rate here. Maybe the next council can find time to work on real issues!
Carolyn(Friday, May 31 19 03:32 am EDT)
Nothing in the Eagle Times today about the settlement agreement with Keith Pfeifer. Instead they are still writing reports about a council meeting from last week. Today's topic the council's abrupt about face on the social media policy, Mayor Lovett's obsession with it and her last gasp attempt to write a policy within the city's code of conduct. Something the Sullivan Report already reported about on the 28th. The Eagle Times should just throw in the towel and close their doors.
Bill(Thursday, May 30 19 08:44 am EDT)
Carolyn, what did you expect from the Eagle Times? They will hopefully be out of business soon. Claremont can do without a liberal bias paper who is the last to report on anything of any value.
Carolyn(Thursday, May 30 19 08:34 am EDT)
I see the Valley News picked up the Sullivan Report's breaking news story about Keith Pfeifer's secret settlement agreement with SAU #6. The Eagle Times and The E- Ticker News may eventually get around to reporting the story or not as both publications like politically correct feel good news and seem to have little desire to act like real journalists and report real news.
Rae(Thursday, May 30 19 06:41 am EDT)
Mayor Lovett was in the parade. She was wearing fatigues, right ahead of Bernie.
Jill(Wednesday, May 29 19 10:19 pm EDT)
I think that Lovett has checked out and will probably not run for re-election. If she does I believe she will get trounced unless she runs unopposed.
Michael(Wednesday, May 29 19 03:22 pm EDT)
The taxpayers paid for the military service and now the military retirement of Mayor Lovett and her husband yet Mayor Lovett did not show her face for Memorial Day. I have heard that she has also been absent for many other local events when she is supposed to be the city's representative. The fact that Bernie Sanders could bother to show up when Claremont's own mayor did not is a slap in the face to all Claremont citizens as well as to all the veterans who proudly served and those who died so that we can enjoy the freedoms that we do today.
Jim Sullivan(Wednesday, May 29 19 12:21 pm EDT)
New article. SAU #6 settlement agreement with Ex-Interim Superintendent Keith Pfeifer. Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
George(Wednesday, May 29 19 08:35 am EDT)
Once the Goddard building and the sober housing place are fully occupied crime will go rampant downtown. This is the beginning of the sanctuary city agenda of Charlene Lovett and her snowflake liberal followers on the city council. Allen Damren, Nick Koloski, Abigale Kier and Scott Pope if you are wondering who I was alluding to.
Steve(Wednesday, May 29 19 07:17 am EDT)
Claremont is a dumping ground for all the undesirables in Sullivan County and beyond. Our county and local officials are colluding together to make that a reality. I don’t know what’s in it for them but what they are doing is abusing their elected authority to the detriment of all Claremont residents.
William(Wednesday, May 29 19 05:27 am EDT)
Claremont officials are all acting as if they suffer from Dissociative Identity Disorder or in layman’s terms split personality like the main character in a movie Split. The city hires consulting firm McFarland Johnson to head up the Rethink Pleasant Street campaign that is gathering suggestions such as redesigning the traffic patterns and parking areas as well is trying to develop a marketing plan to bring in specialty shops and unique eateries to turn Claremont into a destination spot to draw in out-of-town clientele. While on the other hand the same city administration and planning officials are moving full speed ahead helping with funding in any other facilitation they can for increased welfare housing and transitional housing for teenage runaways and now criminals released from prison. Both trajectories for the downtown are at odds with each other and the imbeciles on the city council and the morons within the city administration all seem incapable of recognizing this obvious reality. Taxpayer dollars are being wasted to try to achieve competing goals that are diametrically opposed to each other. How is transplanting felons and welfare recipients into the downtown area conducive to economic development to transform Claremont’s downtown into a vibrant destination spot? Answer, it isn’t! SAU #6 is in the process of cleaning out their deadwood within the administration with the intent of replacing them with qualified professionals. At City Hall, the last city manager was fired but there remains a lot of deadwood untouched. City officials need to follow the lead of school officials for the betterment of all the Claremont.
John(Tuesday, May 28 19 06:25 pm EDT)
If you think Pleasant st. And downtown are bad now, just wait till the Goddard building is occupied.
The people downtown now are among the poorest in Claremont and only destined to be poorer once that building has 60% of its occupants being low income.
Now, with a half way house proposed for that area, it will bring further problems to an already problematic area.
Just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse.....it does.
Laura(Tuesday, May 28 19 06:10 pm EDT)
Charlene Lovett, Allen Damren, Abigail Kier, Scott Pope and man-child Nick Koloski are all in favor of turning Claremont into a Sanctuary City by calling it a Welcoming Community to try to trick us into turning Claremont into a bigger cesspool that it already has. These idiots are destroying the community and we have to vote them all out of office in November to try to take our city back.
Sarah(Tuesday, May 28 19 03:00 pm EDT)
Claremont is a dumping ground for all the undesirables in Sullivan County and beyond. Our county and local officials are colluding together to make that a reality. I don’t know what’s in it for them but what they are doing is abusing their elected authority to the detriment of all Claremont residents.
Megan(Tuesday, May 28 19 02:45 pm EDT)
There is also the community center where we subsidize memberships for the wealthier residents who can afford the membership fees so they can have some place to go and socialize on our money.
Mike(Tuesday, May 28 19 01:51 pm EDT)
A lot of these so-called sober livers will not be able to hold a job.Many of them take these taxi services up to Lebanon to receive their daily dose of methadone.They need to do this each and every day.
Jean(Tuesday, May 28 19 01:20 pm EDT)
Do not forget the bus service that we are supporting and they want an expanded to the Upper Valley and charge Claremont taxpayers more money so that will be coming soon.
Linda(Tuesday, May 28 19 11:35 am EDT)
They chose the Sullivan Street location so the ex-convicts can score their drugs easier without having to walk far. Claremont already has the distinction of being a welfare town and all these liberal minded city leaders keep supporting new social services. Like Kyle Messier’s dental clinic and Jim Neilsen son’s Remix rehab counseling center and the welfare housing coming soon to the Goddard building, the transitional housing for runaway teenagers on Main Street and now the sober housing for ex-convicts on Sullivan Street. When you keep electing bad leaders who keep ramping up spending for social services and let the infrastructure like the roads go then it should come as no surprise when the city goes to hell in a handbasket.
Nancy(Tuesday, May 28 19 11:18 am EDT)
I think Sullivan Street is a terrible place for that sober house. That is the downtown shopping district and now we’re going to have ex-convicts and welfare recipients all over the place. Not good.
Ken(Tuesday, May 28 19 10:32 am EDT)
This is what happens when you will elect bleeding heart liberals, who do not know the meaning of the word fiscal restraint. This sober house project is going to cost the taxpayers at least $1 million to start up plus ongoing operational costs every year. Half of $1 million is going in the new budget and we are all going to pay taxes on it so how the heck can county officials tell the WCAX-reporter that it’s going to cost the taxpayers nothing? Then they tell the city councilors and the public that there will only be 30 ex-convicts in the building when it’s really going to be 45. Surge my ass, Barrett and Berry both said that there is a big need for sober housing so I suspect that if the Sullivan Street facility is a go there will be 45 routinely filled beds damn quick. Our county and local officials are just not honest.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, May 28 19 08:10 am EDT)
New article. What Sullivan County Officials didn't tell you about their proposed Sober Housing Project and May 22 Council meeting synopsis.
Beezelbub(Friday, May 24 19 09:31 am EDT)
I notice that Berlin (Claremont North) is cutting educational funding by $400k and laying off staff in all departments,including firemen.It seems that they have reached the Rubicon.Nobody has any more money for property taxes.People are literally walking away from their houses.I believe Claremont has also reached the cap for taxation.The party is over for the civil servants.
James(Thursday, May 23 19 04:42 pm EDT)
I am so thankful to live in a community with high taxes, shitty roads, and corrupt government. Love seeing the Mayor pandering to special interests groups that bring no revenue in for the city. Let’s all just feel good.
William(Thursday, May 23 19 03:40 pm EDT)
Have people lost their minds? The city is looking at spending over 5 million on Pleasant Street and now the county wants to put in a halfway house in the same area. What world are these people living in?
Tom(Thursday, May 23 19 01:13 pm EDT)
Tony's harsh comments meant to be hurtful show how many enemies that Jim and AJ have made within the government establishment and their mentally addled supporters. Because of these local leaders who repeatedly betray the general public Claremont has the highest property tax rate in the entire state of NH and nothing to show for it. The roadways suck, the city hall roof is leaking, the community center continues to lose money costing taxpayers more in subsidies to support the elite who use the place, crime is on the rise and the police are ineffective, welfare spending is on th upswing, retirement benefits continue to not be funded to the tune of over $2 million and that is just a few of the things the Sullivan Report informed their readers about. Notice nobody in the conventional press have dared to touch the abrupt leaving of the SAU 6 finance manager? Why is that? Sure sounds like he was fired to me because of the losses in special education and lunch program funding caused by school officials. The Sullivan Report is serving a valuable service and it is getting play on local social media because of it. Tony and his cronies are just sore about it. Poor Tony and company.
Jill(Thursday, May 23 19 12:27 pm EDT)
The county is looking at the former Eagle Publications building on Sullivan St. as a transitional housing facility for former inmates. The idea, in its early stages, was presented to the City Council last evening. The county has been looking for another location after residents spoke against using the JSL Building for such a facility.
Just What We Need!
Tony(Thursday, May 23 19 09:24 am EDT)
Wow, much less traffic on this page. It's good to see your followers are dispersing. Maybe all these years of ineffectiveness have finally sorted you down to just the basest of the fringes. Great work keeping them happy venting here so no real harm is done in the actual political arena.
Kathy(Wednesday, May 22 19 08:44 am EDT)
We need to find a way to get rid of MRI and all these other consultants including all the damn lawyers because that is costing the taxpayers beaucoup dollars.
Beezelbub(Tuesday, May 21 19 05:34 pm EDT)
Thanks for the clarification Jim
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, May 21 19 05:00 pm EDT)
The hydrant flushing is performed by the Department of Public Works billed out of the Water Department Enterprise Fund that is solely funded by municipal water service users, who are called Water Rate Payers. No property tax dollars are involved as they only fund municipal services through the General Fund Budget. Two separate things.
Beezelbub(Tuesday, May 21 19 04:24 pm EDT)
Thanks for the update Jim.
I was thinking about the hydrant leasing situation.While the city will no longer be paying for hydrant use,I was wondering about city vehicle use? I saw them flushing the hydrants and noticed that they are driving City of Claremont trucks.I have also noticed city equipment as well as regularly use city trucks at the pumping stations.
It begs the question,Is the water company paying the city for the use of all these trucks,manpower,and heavy equipment?
My house has a well that I had drilled and maintain.I would hate to think that my property tax dollars are paying for water services that I do not benefit from.I'm already irked at the community center subsidy that would fail if a constitutional challenge were to be brought to court.I'm subsidizing something that I cannot use because I do not pay for membership.
I think it's important to pick pertinent battles.If the battle over some stupid nativity set in the park is more important than the running of a community center that all citizens of Claremont cannot use is beyond me.
Tom(Tuesday, May 21 19 03:01 pm EDT)
I am no longer impressed with the temporary city manager. He is just trying to get along without making any waves and collect his fat paycheck. He is not addressing any of the serious problems in Claremont by pretty much maintaining the status quo and using a few accounting tricks to slide money around the budget to put temporary Band-Aid solutions on bigger problems that will only get worse after he leaves. The Sullivan Report does a good job keeping us informed about things that we really should know about that the local press would rather keep deeply buried so that they can perpetuate the fictionalized utopia version of Claremont that the city and school leaders try to cram down our throats and make us believe. The local press is no more than government propaganda that we pay for. Sad when you really think about it.
Richard(Tuesday, May 21 19 01:19 pm EDT)
I don’t know if union workers on the enemy but they are very expensive and they will not give an inch and negotiations because they want top pay and Cadillac style health and other benefits and it is simply becoming too expensive for the taxpayers to bear. I think Sullivan and Maranville came up with the best idea and that was to outsource at least some if not all of the municipal services to eliminate the union workers, cut costs and transfer those savings to lower taxes for all of us. If the school district would do the same thing, Claremont would be thriving. It is time for new leadership that is not in bed with the unions. That means the likes of Scott Pope, Nick Koloski, Allen Damren et al. need to be permanently removed from office.
Brent(Tuesday, May 21 19 12:15 pm EDT)
Thank you Victor St. Pierre for telling us how much we really need to be investing in our roads and pointing out the fact that our city leaders are choosing funding levels that are woefully inadequate to the task. Same with the leasing program for the vehicles so now about half the fleet needs to be replaced all at once. City councilors continue to sit on their hands and do nothing except when they whip out their rubberstamps to maintain the status quo that has gotten us to this terrible point of near bankruptcy. Of course, property taxes can always be raised to higher record heights because they will not address the issue of union workers and how Claremont can no longer afford them. The school district officials are equally guilty of being in bed with the enemy so to speak.
Dennis(Tuesday, May 21 19 09:48 am EDT)
So another administrator at SAU #6 bites the dust. It makes sense with all the obvious gross incompetence from administrators in regards to the lost special education money and food services money adding up to hundreds of thousands of dollars of lost revenue to the taxpayers that we have to make up for with higher taxes or lost tax reduction opportunities. I believe Keith Pfeifer found out about these things and he was pushed out before he could publicly expose the incompetence and name names as to who was responsible. I am of the opinion that Cory LeClair was intentionally passed over because these incidents of incompetence occurred on her watch as assistant superintendent. I believe she escaped termination by seeking work elsewhere and accepting the superintendent’s job for Cornish and Plainfield. I am also of the opinion that Mike O’Neill the finance director for SAU #6 was not as lucky as Mrs. LeClair was and he was terminated by the SAU #6 board. Of course, we will never know because the minutes of the meeting will probably be permanently sealed but the new superintendent Mr. Tempesta may have demanded a clean house before his official arrival. The Sullivan Report has once again shown how they are keeping an eye out for the public good whereas the local press is nowhere to be found.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, May 21 19 08:28 am EDT)
Update regarding Mike O'Neill's job status with SAU #6 on the News Flashes page of this website.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, May 21 19 06:41 am EDT)
Three new articles today.
1) May 8 Council meeting synopsis.
2) New Superintendent contract details.
3) SAU #6 advertising for new Business Administrator.
Full details on News Flashes page of this website.
jeff(Monday, May 20 19 08:35 pm EDT)
Rachel(Wednesday, May 15 19 07:59 am EDT)
I'm upset about the community center. City leaders cannot turn around the large subsidies that the taxpayers continue to pay year after year so the yuppies of Claremont have a place to go and socialize while exercising. I am not a member but I am paying to subsidize the health club fees of other members with my tax dollars. How is that fair? Of course the councilors do not care because it's my understanding that most of them are being subsidized by us as well since they are members of the community center. Self-interest trumps public good every time in this city.
Mike(Tuesday, May 14 19 01:55 pm EDT)
I was taken aback in regards to the 70% increase in legal fees. Mayor Lovett, Assistant Mayor Damren an ex-manager McNutt are all out of their mind and incapable of making a decision without asking for a legal opinion. I am extremely disappointed with the interim manager for mollycoddling the councilors with handholding at such an expensive amount of money with the grand total of $162,500. That money could be put to so much better use elsewhere. I have no faith in the other city councilors to put a stop to this because they are all tax-and-spend fruit loop snowflakes in my opinion.
Keith(Tuesday, May 14 19 08:38 am EDT)
The Claremont public is in my opinion being taken advantage of by the administrators of Sullivan County. The prosecutor is costing Claremont $128,984 a very high price and I have the distinct impression that this prosecutor is also doing work for Sullivan County probably on Claremont’s taxpayer money. I just think we are all getting taken to the cleaners by this and I am glad that Jim and AJ going to look into this. I do not trust Chief Chase, who hid the rising crime rate from everyone, nor do I trust Mary Walter, the finance director who was not a Claremont resident nor do I trust MRI flunky John MacLean the latest city manager fill in.
Todd(Monday, May 13 19 02:55 pm EDT)
We do need new leadership in Claremont. One Councilor that needs to go the most is Nick Koloski, who was only there for his own enrichment. Topstone tax breaks and tax forgiveness of almost a quarter of $1 million for his landlord, passage of a Keno ordinance for his business. Nick is now rewriting the food truck ordinance to cut costs including insurance coverage, background checks and handling safety requirements to benefit himself for his weenie wagon business. Anyone who thinks that Nick Koloski is altruistic is kidding themselves. Nick Koloski is a fraud and not a worthy public representative.
Trish(Monday, May 13 19 12:59 pm EDT)
My husband tried to speak with Allen Damren the other day about the city budget and Mr. Damren gave him the brushoff. Mr. Damren has a very arrogant tone about him and he seems to have his nose stuck up when it comes to dealing with us commoners. Mr. Damren’s elitist mannerisms are a real put off.
Katherine(Monday, May 13 19 10:30 am EDT)
The community center was going downhill as it is usually very dirty and unkept. Mr. Breslin is an incredibly lazy facility manager and when you speak with him he has this dismissive tone and you can tell nearly right away when speaking with him that he is not very intelligent. Mr. Santagate hired many terrible municipal directors and we are still paying the price for it. Mary Walter’s response to Jim Sullivan about it being all right to use misleading or erroneous numbers in budgets was an aha moment for me. If our city councilors are all right with this then it’s time to replace all of our city councilors.
Linda(Monday, May 13 19 10:11 am EDT)
I cannot believe they are still not funding road repairs properly. They seem to have a Band-Aid approach to everything when they are not ignoring problems altogether. I’m referring to the city administrators and the city councilors both. The Sullivan Report does an excellent job showing our city and school leaders for what they truly are and that is bad managers and bad stewards of the public’s tax dollars.
Industrial Property Owner(Monday, May 13 19 08:24 am EDT)
Another amazing exposé from the Sullivan Report. There was a lot of information in this article it actually took me 2 cups of coffee to go through it all but it was well worth the investment of time. I feel I know more about Mr. McQueen’s budget proposal than perhaps any of the city councilors as most are not known for performing their due diligence. I am quite displeased about the change in hydrant fee rental that will cost Claremont water rate payers more money as they provide benefits to citizens and property owners who are not on the municipal water system. I also believe this budget has inadequate fund allocation for street pavement and road infrastructure capital projects, OPEB liability, Overlay (for property abatement cases) and the necessary City Hall roof repair. There was an article in the Eagle Times recently showing all the buckets the upper floors of City Hall to contain water leaks. That water leakage is causing substantial damage to the building that will create costly repairs such as mold cleanup and replacement of the building’s structure replacement well beyond the roofs replacement. The city administration’s continued use of limited surplus funds to maintain day-to-day operations is a monumentally terrible business practice. The fact that there is question whether there is adequate funds to cover the budget withdrawals allocation is troubling. I also wonder if Sullivan County is taking advantage of Claremont in regards to the prosecutor’s position. Claremont officials have a history of entering into terrible deals for the taxpayer in order to make their work lives easier. I could be wrong but I believe this is one of those times, and I am terribly disappointed with Mark Chase’s performance as police chief. Although I would point out that I am also equally disappointed with the work performance of several other department heads as well including Bryan Burr, Nancy Merrill, Mary Walter and Mark Brislin. They are not exactly a stellar group of overachievers. The community center continues to underperform comparison to the original business model with no plan to turn this around. Legal fees are out of control and that speaks to the poor quality of present-day municipal management. I also found Mary Walter’s wrongheaded, cavalier approach to budget reporting to be quite shocking and I was quite distraught to learn that our interim city manager seems to be support or at least condone Mrs. Walter’s warped and highly unprofessional philosophy. The Sullivan Report has once again performed a great public service by educating the populace of what is truly in the budget instead of lazily reporting the tax impact and a few blurbs stated by city officials as the Sullivan Report’s journalist colleagues choose to do.
Jim Sullivan(Sunday, May 12 19 12:48 pm EDT)
New article. Analysis of proposed 2020 Claremont municipal budget. Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Darrel(Thursday, May 09 19 10:41 am EDT)
Claremont should buy a bus to ship all the welfare free loaders he moved here down there. That’s his idea of increasing the population. Sanctuary City come next.
Jerry(Thursday, May 09 19 10:34 am EDT)
FREE TAX BREAKS FOR TOWN COUNCIL IN PALMER MASS!!
John(Thursday, May 09 19 10:19 am EDT)
Don’t let the door hit you where the good Lord split ya..
Best of luck.
The over/under on the new job is 18 months.
Place your bets.
Jim Sullivan(Thursday, May 09 19 08:55 am EDT)
Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, May 07 19 05:32 am EDT)
1) SAU #6 Board announces Superintendent Contract signed.
2) McNutt named finalist.
Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Steve(Saturday, May 04 19 08:16 am EDT)
Richard, the group of people you mention that are in the stand pipe district also are the ones that if their house is on fire get to utilize the hydrant system. They also get reduced insurance rates for being within a proximity of a hydrant. I am one of those myself. Those out side should the hydrant loop should not pay for my luxury. Same goes for the sewer system.
Richard(Saturday, May 04 19 12:25 am EDT)
Steve, I wholeheartedly agree with you on everything you said except for one point regarding the fire hydrants. Jim and AJ explained that the water department is an enterprise fund and it is funded by the ratepayers who are on the water system and not the taxpayers, who are a much bigger group of property owners, many of whom are not on the municipal water system. It is not fair for the smaller group of ratepayers to subsidize the larger group of taxpayers, now isn't it?
Steve(Friday, May 03 19 08:08 am EDT)
I would like to know why a city department feels they need to charge the fire department for stand pipes “fire hydrants” in the first place. These stand pipes are for the convenience of maintaining the infer structure of their system and are occasionally used by the fire department. Next if we did not supply a vehicle to an out of town fire chief to pound over multiple other towns back roads daily to get back and forth to work it might last longer. And why when we in such a depressed community buying high end fire apparatus from the highest price manufacturers in the country and are we in need of them now?
Kevin(Friday, May 03 19 12:35 am EDT)
I just checked today's editions of the Valley News and the Eagle Times online and nothing in either edition about the interim city manager's budget proposal. Yet, a local blog the Sullivan Report published an introductory article yesterday. That is the difference between the investigative journalism of the Sullivan Report and the fake/propaganda government friendly spun news that appears in the Valley News and the Eagle Times and the E-Ticker News. These three sad pathetic publications have no drive, edge, professionalism, or journalism spirit. It's a shame because the people who live in this local area deserve better journalism than the crap that appears in these three rags.
Joel(Thursday, May 02 19 09:28 pm EDT)
Looks like a lot of finagling on the city budget by the temp city manager and Miss Mary to bring it in at the same property tax rate. I'm glad the temp. manager added dough to the paving line in the budget for the streets but he is ignoring the city hall roof and other issues put on his unfunded list for the councilors to let them do the dirty work he did not want to do. A true political bureaucrat.
Jim Sullivan(Thursday, May 02 19 05:24 pm EDT)
New article. The Proposed Fiscal Year 2020 Municipal Budgets at first blush! Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Jim Sullivan(Wednesday, May 01 19 01:29 pm EDT)
Special Report! Cory LeClair leaving SAU #6! Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Henry(Wednesday, May 01 19 11:11 am EDT)
I cannot believe that the city councilors are so brazen as to allow Nicholas Koloski to pretty much write the entire food truck ordinance himself when he will be subject to that ordinance when he reestablishes his weenie wagon business. Koloski is going to want the very best city-owned spot and will probably receive it with a rigged bid or lottery or however they choose to do it behind closed doors I am sure. Koloski is working to eliminate fire suppression regulations when he is a call firefighter for Claremont. Koloski is also trying to greatly lower insurance standards and eliminate criminal background checks. I am sure there are other things he is trying to eliminate as well to lower the costs of doing business for himself. I have little doubt that the policy committee will capitulate, as Koloski seems to always get what he wants no matter what. Koloski is bad news and the people of Claremont need to wake up and realize that Koloski is only on the Council for himself and for friends and special interests and has no interest in representing the general public. If Koloski runs for reelection then he needs to lose his bid to keep his seat in November’s election. An empty seat would be better than him.
Tom(Wednesday, May 01 19 09:49 am EDT)
Allen Damren believes he is a master manipulator of political intrigue. His elected position has gone to his head and he is not representing the best interests of Claremont citizens. It is clear he is trying to represent corporate interests such as MRI and is supporting tax forgiveness for Topstone Holdings, zoning changes in tax breaks for the Goddard building developers, who are about to get another tax break for building the own on Main Street at taxpayers’ expense. Making up fictitious committees, doing infomercials for a company that didn’t even bid so MRI, his former employer can get this contract and misreporting a vote count to place his candidate on the committee are not the actions of an honest man. Claremont voters should demand elected representatives who have integrity and a strong moral compass. In my opinion, Allen Damren is not such a man neither is Nicholas Koloski nor Charlene Lovett nor Scott Pope. All four of them must be thrown out of office in November.
Steve(Wednesday, May 01 19 08:55 am EDT)
The Sullivan Report scoops everyone on school budget ratification. I do not know why the local press feels the need to cover for the constant screw-ups of city and school officials. Their job is to report the news not manipulate and sanitize the news they print and bury the rest to protect and fictitiously enhance the reputations of elected officials and government administrators because what they are really reporting is fake news.
Jim Sullivan(Wednesday, May 01 19 05:26 am EDT)
New article. Claremont School Board to hold emergency session with public hearing to ratify 2019/2020 School Budget. Full details on News Flashes page of this website.
Tom(Tuesday, April 30 19 12:33 pm EDT)
I am sick and tired of having my tax dollars going to wealthy developers and special friends of the city councilors. The company that owns the Goddard building and all the other buildings around town and the one on Main Street should not be getting more tax breaks and more of our tax dollars. McNutt just gave him break after break and the city gave the developer all kinds of zoning changes and now we're giving him another tax break. Come on people it's time to wake up. We need all new city leaders come November.
Todd(Tuesday, April 30 19 10:18 am EDT)
The little weasel on the Council, Ole Slick Nick was in full greedy opportunist mode with the food truck ordinance. He wants to rewrite the whole policy so that it costs food vendors next to nothing with no protections for the city or the public. When are people going to wake up and see Nick Koloski for who he really is?
Industrial Property Owner(Tuesday, April 30 19 09:29 am EDT)
Another excellent in-depth article. I wholeheartedly agree that Kevin LaCasse and the development firm that he manages/co-owns I believe, should pay to repair that common wall with their own money without any taxpayer subsidy. This City Council is so out of tune with the local populace it is maddening. Taking money from the pockets of hard-working citizens to higher and higher taxation and placing those dollars into the pockets of seemingly wealthy or at least well to do out of town property developers seems to be the modus operandi of the city council and administration, remembering that Mr. McLean is only a temporary MRI consultant and the staff of the administration has not changed in two administrations. This occurring right on the heels of the Topstone Holdings LLC controversy is a clear sign that our elected leaders do not care about the opinions of the populace may have their own political agenda inevitable forward with it no matter what. The revisiting of the mind-numbing 92% water rate increase was very timely as it reminded all of us of the tax-and-spend philosophy of Mayor Charlene Lovett and Assistant Mayor Allen Damren. Councilman Nick Koloski showed his cavalier attitude regarding maintaining the integrity of his council seat as he blatantly tried to manipulate and wordsmith the food truck ordinance to greatly lessen the requirements placed upon food vendors. Koloski himself as a food vendor with his weenie wagon and there is little doubt that he wishes to set up shop this ordinance was passed and given his financial difficulties with all the liens placed against his business he may not have the funds to pay for background checks and sufficient insurance coverage. This is a clear abuse of public office and the other councilors are allowing him to get away with it. Assistant Mayor Allen Damren showed his untrustworthiness once again in regards to the city manager search committee. Damren certainly has been a busy boy. He started with creating a phony committee to justify certain decisions he made unilaterally. Damren followed that Stupid Councilor Trick with an MRI infomercial he presented during a televised council meeting to place MRI under consideration for a city manager search contract, when the company did not submit a proposal. Damren is a former employee of MRI. Damren with the help of Mayor Lovett and MRI employee interim city manager John MacLean set up a secret meeting with MRI’s CEO to apparently tried to broker a deal that has yet to be finalized. During Wednesday’s meeting, Damren attempted to place Debora Matteau on the search committee by essentially rigging the vote count by not accurately reporting the results. Marlene Boisclair also received two votes, as did Mrs. Matteau. Damren tried to use deception to place his choice on the committee. Although caught in the act it did not matter because Mrs. Matteau had the votes on this council although she has stated strong opinions against this process on social media and she was a member of the previous citizens committee that culminated with the hiring of Ryan McNutt. She would definitely not be my first choice for applicant but the councilors have a different political agenda. The ole boys and girls club catering to themselves and to special interests has never been stronger in Claremont than it is today. The voters need to break up this gang of collaborators on Election Day.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, April 30 19 07:05 am EDT)
New article. Synopsis of April 24 Council meeting.
Jill(Friday, April 26 19 08:50 pm EDT)
Deb Matthau’s appointment to the city manager search committee is completely ridiculous. Guess some members of the council want to continue with fostering low income housing on the backs of city tax payers through trying to influence the hiring of a city manager. I believe she was a very big supporter of Ryan McNutt and was very vocal about his termination. I was very disappointed in Councilor Zullo for voting for her. I was in full support of additional women being added to the search committee. I can’t wait to see how this plays out.
Buddy(Friday, April 26 19 05:22 pm EDT)
Deb Matthau personally and professionally benefited from the hiring of the last City Manager.
Shame on the City Council for putting her in a position to benefit again.
She play a very important role in the hiring of the last City Manager, how well did that workout for the citizens of Claremont?
How much tax money has been already spent because of what she did on the last hiring committee she was on ?
Claremont can not afford to have Deb Matthau on this hiring committee but I’m sure she sees a personal profit for herself or her business.
It’s ironic that Deb and her buddy Nick are able to play the system and everyone loves them.
The council made a huge mistake choosing Deborah Matteau, she will most definitely be bias in the decision making process considering she's friends with councilor Koloski . Saying she's slightly unhinged is a understatement. I have serious concerns over her radical views, don't believe me check out her facebook page.
She's a proud socialist, who believes in the delusions of socialism, and her mantra is "TAX THE RICH". Just look at some of her post in the past couple of months, April 13th "I'll vote democrat no matter the candidate" talk about open minded, and this woman is picking a manager? Then you have March 17th post " the biggest threat to the world is not illegal immigration
it's white supremacy, resist! " Well if she doesn't find illegal immigration to be a threat, then she would have no problem opening her home up to help migrants who are ms-13 members, let's see how that works out for her. Then on March 20TH she is pictured
with Beto O'Rourke the same guy calling for open borders and is funded by globalist George Soros, just let that sink in citizens of Claremont. When you publicly show distain for people who are successful and are American citizens through out your post it only proves you are not capable of making rational decisions regardless what sex or race you happen to be. She should have no part in choosing a city manager in Claremont, or for that matter any community in the United States.
Steve(Friday, April 26 19 02:30 pm EDT)
To John. Well said.
John(Friday, April 26 19 12:00 pm EDT)
I was approached by a black person, a Hispanic person, an Asian person and a Transgender person and they all told me they were extremely upset that “their” people were not represented on the search committee. So now will the committee be expanded to include everyone ?
After meeting after meetings, hours of discussion and citizens comments, the make up of the City Manger search committee was discussed, I never heard anyone say that 25% of this committee was to be females.
Council Keir brought up the subject at a meeting. She informed the council that she felt it was extremely important that there be a female Council member on the committee and the informed the council she was too busy to be on it herself and nominated Councilor Lessard . The problem was, the members of the city council were already chosen their council representatives . Councilor O’Hearn graciously stepped down so there could be a female Councilor on the Committee.
Now, Assistant Mayor Dameran’s wife, who did not appear at any of the meetings in regards to this issue, complains to her husband that she feels the feminine race is not properly represented on this committee and now there are 2 additional members who are on this committee.
These “token” females should feel embarrassed, the only reason why they are on this committee is because of their gender, not their experience, not their accomplishments.
Imagine if this committee was comprised of women, do you think men would have been added ?
If you think they would have, I got a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you .
A sad day when discrimination is so easily accepted.
Steve(Friday, April 26 19 09:47 am EDT)
Since when does being a woman prequalify you to be selected for a very important task. Several qualified people came forward to hire a city manager. Some had better qualifications that others. That’s life. So in this particular case it is obvious the men came out on top. If other more qualified women had applied they should have been in the pick. That’s life. This council is what needs a Make over. Changing midstream is BS. Weak.
Bill(Thursday, April 25 19 12:21 pm EDT)
This is a quote from the WUC Page dated 04/24/2019 from a Kipp Ryan Post
Debbie Matteau- "In the end, we missed the mark by deciding to take a "do it yourself" approach to one of the most important decisions we have in front of us. A professional headhunter was/is needed. A (good) city manager is a high level executive and attracting one here is a tall order, and I don't believe for one second anyone on the council is equipped to undertake that task. You don't ask your PCP to perform heart surgery to save money, do you? I'm all for saving money, but this was an ill-conceived process."
Seems like Ms. Matteau has a bias, I also heard she was on Ryan McNutt's Hiring committee. But now she has been appointed to the very committee she does not believe is the right choice?
GO TEAM NICK!
Luke(Thursday, April 25 19 09:52 am EDT)
Escalating Crime Starts in City Hall. This search committee has been highjacked by Koloski and rentlord Debra Matteo. Slum city on the way.
Barbara(Wednesday, April 24 19 06:35 am EDT)
I am a mom of three young children and I am very worried about these disturbing crime statistics that were kept hidden from all of the citizens of Claremont. Keeping the bad news a secret while doing nothing to correct the situation is not helping anyone. The Police Department was put in place to protect everyone. If they do not have the resources that they need then everyone suffers. It is time for the city councilors to wake up and begin leaving our city the right way. They can start with devoting more resources to the Police Department to get those crime numbers more under control.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, April 23 19 07:52 pm EDT)
Council appoints City Manager Search Committee! Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Robert(Tuesday, April 23 19 05:24 pm EDT)
Don’t forget about the sanctuary city/welcoming community bullshit proposal that the flaming idiot liberals on the council namely Charlene Lovett, Abigail Kier, Allen Damren, Nick Koloski and Scott Pope all wanted to bring to Claremont. Imagine truckloads of illegal immigrants and their families all landing in Claremont like an enemy invasion and imagine what that would have done to our already astronomically high property tax rate. You think that crimes bad now wait until they eventually swoop in. Don’t think for a second that these councilors haven’t forgotten that crappy idea because they want to do this they are probably just biding their time waiting to do it in another sneaky way. Let’s all just hope Jim and AJ catch it with their eagle eyes before anything worse happens. We have got the vote those people out in November. We just have to.
Tom(Tuesday, April 23 19 04:03 pm EDT)
You want to know why crime is getting out of control? Is because of all the social services that the liberal city councilors want to bring to Claremont. The County just wanted to put in transitional housing for ex-convicts. Another transitional housing facility is probably going to go in on Main Street for unwed mothers. We have drug rehab facilities here and the County is working on transitional housing for psychologically unstable individuals as well and they want to place that a Claremont too. Claremont is becoming a dumping ground for all the undesirables. The councilors helped the developer on Pleasant Street with government funding to put in what they were saying was workforce housing but the Sullivan Report found government documents that says it’s really Section 8/Welfare housing. The councilors want to spend over $5 million to create parking and other amenities for these new residents, whose only purpose is to leach off our society. This isn’t progress. Claremont needs new leaders who realize that Claremont is being led in the wrong direction.
Sarah(Tuesday, April 23 19 02:09 pm EDT)
If crime is on the rise then the police chief bears the responsibility. It is his job to protect the citizens and keep the crime rate under control. If crime is out of control maybe he needs more officers. I know Jim and AJ showed that Claremont has more officers on the books than other communities have based on population. They also said that Chase couldn’t keep officers on the payroll. The pay scale may need to be fixed but maybe Claremont needs more police officers too because crime is getting out of control.
Ted(Tuesday, April 23 19 01:17 pm EDT)
Alex Scott was a good police chief. I am not convinced that Mark Chase is a worthy successor.
Mike(Tuesday, April 23 19 12:43 pm EDT)
Amy is hiding the truth from the public the right thing? I wonder what the city councilors think about having the truth hidden from them? I’m beginning to doubt Chief Chase’s capabilities.
Amy(Tuesday, April 23 19 12:01 pm EDT)
I like Chief Chase and he brings a lot of experience to the table. I think we need to give a chance to do the right thing here.
Gail(Tuesday, April 23 19 10:24 am EDT)
Wow! Crime is running rampant and we have an overwhelmed police chief who it seems has no idea what to do. Hiding the truth from the public was not the answer. It seems this cover up was done for his own selfish interests to try to save his job. Perhaps it is time for new police chief.
Industrial Property Owner(Tuesday, April 23 19 10:07 am EDT)
Chilling exposé. An excellent example of true journalism. A wave of crime is engulfing the city in relation to assaults, fraud and trespassing and our new Police Chief’s answer to the problem is to cover it up and hide it from the elected city councilors and the people they represent the citizens of Claremont. The city councilors should have noticed and remarked upon the absence of crime statistics and Police Commission meeting minutes instead of going bananas for vibrant looking meaningless information. I have looked over that information before and Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Maranville are correct in their assessment that it is practically useless information because it truly specifies nothing except statewide or countywide percentages that have no real meaning. Style with no substance was an apt description. It is true that our city councilors are not overly intelligent and naïve in many ways making it very easy for them to be controlled and manipulated. It is also true that present-day city councilors are obsessed with how Claremont appears to the outside world and they are desperate to maintain a fictitious façade of everything is perfect when in reality we all know that is not the truth. Perhaps in their simple minds it is easier to maintain the façade than it is to solve difficult problems requiring difficult decisions that go beyond their limited political will. I agree with Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Maranville that the police officer pay scale has been the bane of Claremont for many years in regards to attracting and retaining well-qualified police officers. Now that the public is aware that they are no longer safe in their neighborhoods and in their community, it is time for our public leaders to gather, suck it up so to speak, address the pay scale posthaste, and incorporated into the Fiscal Year 2020 budget that will be approved by the city councilors next month. Once again, the Sullivan Report’s timing is impeccable.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, April 23 19 08:06 am EDT)
Crime escalating in Claremont!
Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
William(Thursday, April 18 19 12:33 am EDT)
Just read the Eagle Times on line and read an article about Newport's school board suspending all public comment indefinitely until they come up with new policies. Apparently two citizens are critical of them and the administrators and they want to put a stop to it. Apparently these members of the school board have never read the Constitution, specifically the parts about freedom of speech and representative government that works for the constituents and not the other way around. How long do you think it will take before the Claremont school board and the city council follow the Newport school board's lead and suspends all public participation and public speech during meetings permanently? Followed by a vote to suspend televising of meetings to completely put and end to local government transparency. Considering all the problems both the city and school has had lately that was mostly exposed by the Sullivan Report both government boards may jump at the chance now that the Newport school board has set a legal precedent that they can use through abuse of their elected power.
Jane(Wednesday, April 17 19 01:35 pm EDT)
The school board bears lots of the blame because they are our elected officials and they are just sitting there listening to the administrator’s excuses without speaking up and demanding answers. They are all complicit in my point of view because they refuse to represent their constituents as they are willing to forgive and forget when hundreds of thousands of dollars has been lost with the bill sent to the Claremont taxpayers.
Jennifer(Tuesday, April 16 19 04:32 pm EDT)
It's unlikely that heads will roll when the people responsible are in charge. The school board only has say over the superintendent and while they could fire Cory I doubt that they have the courage to do so on the heels of McGoodwin's termination and Pfeifer being pretty much tarred, feathered and run out on a rail by the SAU staff administrators who in all likelihood caused all of these problems in the first place. I think Jim and AJ hit the nail on the head when they speculated that Pfeifer was the victim of his own competence. Pfeifer probably found out about all of these problems with the ignored audits, food service debt, lost reimbursements, etc. in the staff colluded to remove him before he went public with his findings. Now there will probably be a big lawsuit settlement that will cost the taxpayers even more money because of these bad administrators that are still working in the SAU office. The new superintendent must clean house or the taxpayers of Unity and Claremont will continue to suffer the consequences of these inapt employees.
Mike(Tuesday, April 16 19 02:21 pm EDT)
One $500k boo boo by the most recent city manager in wiping away back taxes on the Topstone got him the boot.
The $500k boo boo by the schools requires the shit canning of responsible individuals.We should also ask for Pfeifer to become our full time Super with a raise.We so desperately as taxpayers need someone in our corner and I now believe he's the man.The status quo,working at the schools wants things to stay just the way they are.
I just cannot believe that a part time employee has the responsibility of managing such a large sum of money when we have high paid administrators that SHOULD HAVE already been managing it.
I WANT HEADS ROLLING
Megan(Tuesday, April 16 19 11:28 am EDT)
I was happy to hear that the food services program for the schools is generating a profit of about $40,000 a year. We never would have known that if Jim Sullivan had not sent an inquiry to the acting superintendent Cory LeClair. You would think that the administrators would want to know something like that especially if it was going the other way and the program was running a deficit. I do not know what Cory LeClair does all day or what any of the other administrators do all day but it certainly isn't keeping track of the school's finances or sending in reimbursement claims on time like they should be doing. I think once the new superintendent is in it is time to clean house and replace them with all new administrators who will hopefully have a better work ethic than the ones presently employed by the taxpayers.
Richard(Tuesday, April 16 19 11:10 am EDT)
Allen Damren is doing everything in his power to control the outcome of the city manager search. The word on the street is that the mayor and assistant mayor have a local candidate preselected and they are working diligently behind the scenes to give this person the job. I don’t like this Tammany Hall style politics that both of them are bringing to Claremont. It’s time to elect honest leaders in November.
Industrial Property Owner(Tuesday, April 16 19 08:46 am EDT)
After reading today’s articles, I have some concerns. I am of the opinion that Cory LeClair is overwhelmed in her position of Assistant Superintendent and now as Acting Superintendent. Some individuals are promoted past their level of competency and I am afraid that may be the case for Mrs. LeClair. Look at the recent revelations all of which occurred during her watch as Assistant Superintendent. Food service program reimbursement losses totaling $464,960.95 over the past two years because employees tasked with submitting these reimbursement claims did not know how to properly fill out the reimbursement forms and SAU administrators ill timed a change in food service vendor for the Unity School District, which penalized Claremont by a total of $191,213.93. The continuing rising food services that because of the lack of a proper policy disallowing the charging of food. Annual audit reports not conducted since fiscal year 2011, that is seven years with no audit reports filed. The position of SAU Board Treasurer remains vacant for a presumably long undisclosed amount of time that jeopardizes the checks and balances and potential accuracy of the financial records of the SAU. The absence of any policies for the SAU. The unbelievable admission of school administrators that they are unable to comprehend the English language contained within The Abbey Group’s food services contract, which was signed and presumably filed and forgotten. Managing on nothing but prayer and hope is inexcusable and the Claremont taxpayers are suffering the expensive repercussions of this extremely poor management. I can certainly understand why the SAU #6 Board wishes to have an efficiency study/forensic audit conducted given all of the disturbing issues that all point to incompetent management. However, $5,000 is a very small sum of money to invest for this type of in-depth study and it is unlikely to go far to determine the level of gross incompetence see that clearly exists within the SAU office and possibly the managerial offices of all of Claremont’s schools. So is this a feel-good gesture to create a public appearance of accountability or are SAU #6 board members that incredibly ignorant and naïve about the true cost of things? I am also of the opinion that we do not know the full story regarding the bum’s rush that Interim Superintendent Pfeifer experienced. His resume is quite impressive and it is highly unlikely that he would not have noticed some if not all of the troubling issues I just listed. Perhaps he was making recommendations of people to terminate because terminations are clearly in order. I believe a palace coup as the Valley News put it is precisely what happened, the incompetent employees are still running the show so to speak, and they will continue to perform their jobs at subpar level until they are terminated. I agree with Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Maranville that placing the entire burden upon one part-time employee to whip the food service program into shape and maintain proper record-keeping and timely submissions of reimbursement claims is an extremely unrealistic expectation. I have no faith in the current school administrative staff and I am beginning to lose faith in our elected representatives on the school boards to rectify the situation as they seem unwilling to stand up to the administrators and call them out in regards to their gross incompetence.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, April 16 19 06:38 am EDT)
Three articles published today.
1) SAU #6 Food Services Program Update.
2) New good news revelation regarding SAU #6 Food Services Program.
3) April 10 Claremont City Council Meeting Synopsis.
Barry(Monday, April 15 19 08:37 am EDT)
Koloski is not a team player. The Council voted 7/2 to terminate the manager. Who by the way was Santa to Nick. Koloski was devastated by this very reasonable move. Now he is not working with the collective majority vote of the council. His childish spoiled actions shows his immaturity as a board member. Absent the board he can enjoy his opinion but grandstanding his opinion and lost vote should be called out. He is not the only one showing this lack of leadership. It’s no wonder the council is so stuck in the mud.
Mike(Saturday, April 13 19 09:26 am EDT)
I've been thinking a lot on the state of Claremont's education situation.I am very upset that the interim superintendent was forcibly removed by the police.Now I come to find out he was removed because he was going to make the public aware of the $500,000 negligent failure to file proper paperwork for school lunches paid by the federal government.
Am I wrong in assuming that the super is the boss?Are there going to be people fired for their negligent behavior while under our employ?Now the interim super is filing a wrongful termination suit against us.Who has the power to fire the super? II WANT THEM GONE!
Bill(Friday, April 12 19 12:40 pm EDT)
Nice to see Councilor Koloski is back from his vacation. Sounds like he is trying to sabotage the city manager search with his good friend Councilor Pope.
Jim Sullivan(Thursday, April 11 19 10:03 am EDT)
School Officials grossly understate school lunch reimbursement losses! Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.
Industrial Property Owner(Tuesday, April 09 19 02:51 pm EDT)
Jim and AJ are being sensible about the solar project. Taking a wait-and-see approach until we find out the annual lease price per acre that Steel Mill Solar LLC will offer is a prudent course of action. Then we can all make an informed rational decision as to whether we support this project proposal or not.
Jim Sullivan(Tuesday, April 09 19 12:21 pm EDT)
Clarification regarding solar project on the News Flashes page of this website.
Kathy(Tuesday, April 09 19 10:30 am EDT)
Why should we tie up acres and acres of prime industrial land so a bunch of out-of-town investors can generate solar energy so they can send it to Connecticut and line their pockets? What’s in it for Claremont? Is it jobs? No! Is it property tax base? No! There may be no property taxes at all except for the amount paid on the CDA land. Who knows how much the city assessor will set that property assessment at? If it’s handled anything like the Topstone building, it will be next to nothing so no real value or tax revenue there. Therefore, it is all up to the lease payment, which could be very little because I doubt the folks at Steel Mill Solar LLC gives a damn about Claremont and does not intend to pay a high or even fair lease payment. I also do not trust our city officials because many of them in my opinion seem the type willing to accept a bribe if one was secretly offered. Cash is hard to trace after all.
Carolyn(Tuesday, April 09 19 08:50 am EDT)
I do not support this solar project at all. If the electricity was used to lower Claremont’s electric rates that would be a big draw for manufacturers to move their facilities and with it jobs to Claremont. Nevertheless, that is not what is happening here, as all of the electricity will go down to Connecticut to help contain their energy costs and make them more attractive to businesses. Once again, Claremont is being taken advantage of just as they were with Wheelabrator and so many other out-of-town investors and developers. When are our city leaders going to learn from the hard costly lessons of the past and begin working for us instead of the out-of-town fat cats?
Dave(Monday, April 08 19 04:46 pm EDT)
I agree with Tom. The taxpayers paid millions of dollars to obtain this industrial land and now city officials want to give it away for peanuts in a lease deal to make out-of-state investors rich at our expense. Didn’t city officials just do this with the Topstone property by forgiving about a quarter of one million dollars in overdue property taxes? What the hell is the matter with these people?
Tom(Monday, April 08 19 03:46 pm EDT)
While I like the concept of solar farming I do not like the location because Claremont needs industrial land dedicated to bringing in good paying manufacturing jobs. Put the solar farm somewhere else in Claremont that’s fine but keep it off the municipal land.
City Hall Insider(Monday, April 08 19 01:10 pm EDT)
Members of the CDA board had no idea about the requirement in their bylaws that does not allow the CDA to play games with the lease deal. The CDA will have to get a fair price based on a fair property appraisal and pay full property taxes on the land that they lease to Steel Mill Solar LLC. The CDA board intended to use that lease money to cash infuse the Farwell building reconstruction project that is underway and already many dollars short. Now the CDA board is at a loss about how to proceed with the Farwell project. Representatives have asked the Mayor and the Assistant Mayor for the Council to quietly change the CDA bylaws to remove that restriction in a nonpublic session and then permanently seal the minutes to keep this action from the public.
George(Monday, April 08 19 11:45 am EDT)
This is another reneging of promises made to the taxpayers. Claremont’s city officials just can’t be trusted.
Dan(Monday, April 08 19 09:34 am EDT)
This might already be a done deal especially if bribery money was thrown around. I swear a lot of the so-called pillars of the community would sell Claremont out for a nickel.
Beezelbub(Monday, April 08 19 09:32 am EDT)
Hey Regina, Vermont awaits you.
Commuting creates greenhouse gasses.You can ride your bike for your commute.
Steve(Monday, April 08 19 09:00 am EDT)
OMG! Lady I don’t know what rock you crawled out from under but you do not have a clue about what’s going on in Claremont. We need an expanded tax base to lower the tax rate and the tax burden here in Claremont. Our children and grandchildren need jobs that pay more than just barely enough to put food on the table. They need to make a decent living wage to provide for their families. The properties in the old River Road TIF District where this solar farm may be located was supposed to provide those opportunities for good paying jobs. A slew of solar panels to make a bunch of out of town investors rich just won’t cut it.
Regina(Monday, April 08 19 08:01 am EDT)
I am absolutely on board with this solar project as it is a wonderful use for the property and good for Mother Earth. The last thing Claremont needs is another factory polluting the air we breathe and possibly the water as well. People commute to their jobs all the time and we do not need more jobs in Claremont.
Industrial Property Owner(Monday, April 08 19 06:51 am EDT)
Another magnificent exposé by the Sullivan Report. A very thorough, well-written example of investigative journalism that thoroughly puts the Eagle Times, the Valley News and the E- Ticker News to shame. While I understand the wisdom of Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Maranville to reserve judgment until the publicly televised April 24 project presentation I happen to share their concerns in regards to removing such a large number of Claremont’s finite industrial acreage from our municipal holdings. I was very impressed that Jim and AJ were able to find approximate project installation costs and estimated annual profits for a 10 Megawatt solar farm facility. This certainly gives us a rule of thumb to work with when ascertaining if the proposed annual lease payments are either fair or intentionally lowballed for the benefit of the presumably out-of-state owners of Steel Mill Solar LLC, its many subsidiaries and parent company. As we are well aware, Claremont municipal officials have a predisposition to poorly negotiate and agree to terms that heavily favor the other party to the detriment of the Claremont taxpayers. I do not trust the CDA Board of Directors at all and while I have not personally met John MacLean, I am quite familiar with the firm he works for Municipal Resources Incorporated and remain unimpressed and distrustful. I also have little faith in the City Council of 2019. I have known several of the members for years and most of them in my opinion are not qualified to be making monumental decisions for our community that will affect Claremont for many years to come. I believe Jim and AJ have the right outlook on this proposal when they stated in their article “the proposed annual lease payments will tell the tale”. It most certainly will.
Jim Sullivan(Monday, April 08 19 06:08 am EDT)
New article regarding proposed 10 MW solar project off of River Road. Full details on the News Flashes page of this website.