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  • Slugs (Sunday, October 25 20 10:31 pm EDT)

    Way too many slugs it all comes from democrats get your hands out of the pockets of government little Nicky and now little Jeffrey need help running there business both free buildings in one way or another what happened to get the hell to work and pay your bills if you own a business not do it on the back of local government. Just amazing I bet there mommies are proud of the business men they are

  • tom (Sunday, October 25 20 06:26 pm EDT)

    For the record here's the max allowable commercial for the CR-2 zoning the JSL sits in "Sec. 22-387.12. - Neighborhood commercial.
    Neighborhood commercial uses shall contain no more than one thousand five hundred (1,500) gross square feet per store. Notwithstanding the requirements of division 2 of article 5 of this chapter, off-street parking is not required.

    (Ord. No. 531, § 1, 4-10-2013)"

  • Tom (Sunday, October 25 20 06:16 pm EDT)

    Looks like maybe jeff is a bit triggered by Mr. Sullivan.....Just wait for the zoning board meeting...should be a hoot.....NOT EVEN BY SPECIAL EXCEPTION IS THE PROPOSED USE ALLOWED.....Interesting times

  • Donk (Sunday, October 25 20 05:06 pm EDT)

    Let's see if ole' Jeff is as free with his own money for remodeling as he is with ours.
    New roof going on the sober living farce.Tons of remodeling work going on at the community dental clinic that charges Park Avenue dental prices if you have a bank account and aren't on welfare.Root canals on baby teeth? Why Not? other people's money.I would have preferred just giving each of the so-called reformed druggies a bag of Heroin the size of their fists.The non-relevant losers would disappear quick fast.Perhaps we could get a group rate for cremation, Biomass fuel?

  • John J O’Connor (Sunday, October 25 20 04:46 pm EDT)

    Wow, Jim Sullivan, you were just schooled by Jeff Barrette.
    Don’t hate the player, hate the game.

  • Looser all the way (Sunday, October 25 20 08:44 am EDT)

    I agree with that Jeff the thought of tax revenue compared to cost to upkeep. We have such stupid people as managers and councilors I guess just give it away and why not to you the guy who loses buildings runs the ones you do have into the ground and gets govt subsidies to get a building to run his tshirt business BIDEN 2020 I guess for the likes of loosers like you I do agree the ignorant people who have run our city who make decisions are a absolute joke on every level but I guess that's not your fault you just did that to our county govt another beauracrat liberal.sorry you feel the backlash from all the decisions of you and your looser friends in our local govt obviously making you feel the need to respond go make some t-shirts

  • Jeff barrette (Saturday, October 24 20 07:09 pm EDT)

    Hi Jim,
    If your research is so good why can,t you spell my name. Barrette.
    If you would like to option the jsl building from me please give me a call. I don't really think you want to take on a $12,700 tax bill, but I bet with a bit of lobbying we could get it up 18k for. The facts are that this building has been offered twice before and no one wanted it. The facts are that Claremont is going to see tax revenue instead of maintenance costs

  • Linda Eckert (Thursday, October 22 20 04:57 pm EDT)

    I want to hear more

  • Chris (Thursday, October 22 20 02:31 pm EDT)

    When I read Karen’s remarks, I just wanted to vomit. The part about Councilman Koloski being a local saint and a male version of Mother Teresa especially gave me the urge to wretch. Nicholas Koloski is no saint by any possible definition. He collects donations from other people and then grabs as much news media publicity as he can by taking credit for those donations as he distributes them to the needy. Even Ebenezer Scrooge or the Grinch would never sink so low. Sainthood? Hardly! As for prosperity, I recall that Nicholas Koloski has many numerous liens filed against his businesses from individuals and several government agencies including the IRS. I recall earlier Sullivan Report articles stating that they were available for public viewing on the website of the Sullivan County Registry of Deeds. I just looked and they are still there with no listings of any change of status in regards to any restitution of any of these debts. Therefore, it seems that all of these liens remain unpaid all of these years later. Karen is this your definition of business prosperity? Karen, to suggest that city managers and municipal assessors routinely change property assessments in secret by 76% with a bonus of delinquent property tax forgiveness of $222,725 for the landlord of a sitting city councilor that routinely endorses with his city councilor vote everything desired by the city administration is ludicrous. The same is true for the current situation of a 59% property assessment reduction for a property owned by the city or should I say the people of Claremont that is soon after handed over to a sitting county commissioner after requesting to purchase the property and then submitting the sole bid for only a paltry five thousand dollars. Karen everything in Claremont is most certainly not fine. We have the highest property tax rate in the entire state, one of the lowest per capita incomes for the population and three local governments all with a spending problem. In addition, to wish two people dead that you happen to disagree with is beyond the pale of human decency. I also do not believe for a second that your real name is Karen. I could be wrong but I believe your real name perfectly rhymes with Nicholas Koloski.

  • Karen (Thursday, October 22 20 10:47 am EDT)

    That Francis Gauthier guy should just learn to shut the hell up. He spews the hatred of all that is Claremont from this travesty of a website all over local pages of Facebook so more people can see the lies spread by the likes of Sullivan and Maranville. Too disgusting old men who should just hurry up and die already so the rest of us in Claremont who want positive growth can continue on unimpeded. There is absolutely nothing to see with the Topstone building or the JSL building property assessment changes. These things happen all the time all over the country. So what? There is no story here. The property owners of both buildings are doing wonderful things for Claremont. Councilman Koloski is a local saint. A male version of Mother Teresa herself. He is a volunteer fireman for two companies one Claremont and one in Wethersfield VT, and he donates toys to needy children at Christmas and he donates tents and necessary living supplies to the local homeless. He is a great man and a fine leader for Claremont. His businesses bring jobs and prosperity the Claremont and the owners of the building have helped Nick realizes his dreams of business prosperity. They should be commended not vilified. The same with Mr. Barrett, who has dedicated his life to public service and is entitled to accolades for his investment in Claremont. So what did he paid $5000 for the building. So what that the property assessment was changed. These things happen all the time. All of you need to grow up and start looking at the good in Claremont and forget about the bad because there isn’t any. Everything is wonderful here why don’t you see that?

  • Henry (Thursday, October 22 20 09:15 am EDT)

    The article I read in the newspaper said that a zoning board exception change would be needed for the JSL building to allow for light manufacturing. If you look who’s on the zoning board Mike Hurd, school board member James Petrin, ex-mayor and ex-city councilor Scott Pope’s wife Tracy and ex-city employee from the planning department, Councilor Abigail Kier and school board member and ex-city councilor Carolyn Towle you would know that the fix is already in. This exception change is already on the zoning board’s November 2 meeting agenda. We all know it’s going to be a quick rubberstamp vote of yes because the Barretts are in the local government clique and all of these local government officials all look out for each other’s best interests and don’t give a fig about the public’s best interests. They never have and they never will. I have lived in Claremont a good many years as I am a born and bred native and I have seen a few things. One thing I have noticed is that government corruption and special favors for those within the ole boy network is at an all-time high at least in my lifetime of 72 years. I am sad to say that this place is becoming just as corrupt as Tammany Hall and there does not seem to be any honest elected leaders for the school, the county or the city that is willing to stand up and do what is right.

  • tom (Thursday, October 22 20 08:42 am EDT)

    According to the zoning code it appears that the use they propose for the JSL is not allowed for a residential neighborhood ? But hey even if its not allowed i am sure they will allow it neighboring property owners be dammed.

  • Roger (Wednesday, October 21 20 11:19 am EDT)

    I personally have no problem with the $5000 bid price from the Barrett’s for the JSL. What I take issue with is the 59% reduction in property assessment that lowers their tax bill by 59%. A secret gift for a county official who is buying the building and taking it off the city’s hands.

  • Brad (Wednesday, October 21 20 09:55 am EDT)

    Tina might be old slick Nick the city councilor. It sure sounds like him. Whoever it is sounds like they're feeling the pressure from public exposure because of your article. Keep up the good work guys. The taxpayers need to know what these scum buckets are doing with our money.

  • Jim Sullivan (Wednesday, October 21 20 09:10 am EDT)

    “Tina” whomever you are, I can state with 100% certainty that you are pulling poo out of your bum and hoping some of it sticks to the wall. First of all, AJ does not post anything to the Internet whatsoever. Whenever I post something to the Internet I use my real name, I do not post anything anonymously. Your assertion that the Topstone incident, which consisted of a secret $222,725 property tax debt waiver combined with a 76% property assessment reduction and the JSL Building’s secret 59% property tax assessment and property tax burden reduction soon before the property transferred ownership is simply business as usual is quite frankly astounding and disturbing. It puts into question your honesty, integrity and ethics. Your posting does make one thing obviously clear, our reporting is clearly getting to someone or several someone’s in local government.

  • Tina (Wednesday, October 21 20 08:44 am EDT)

    That is so odd. A proper assessment on a property before it sells. Tell me more. Almost sounds like a real estate transaction. So shocking. Almost as shocking as the owners of Topstone exercising their rights to fair taxation which any person can do. Almost as shocking as a "news flash" being posted followed by pats on the back by the same people, Jim and AJ. By the Industrial Property Owner is AJ Maranville.

  • William (Wednesday, October 21 20 07:23 am EDT)

    Not one of the city councilors is worth anything. I thought Stone and O’Hearne were at least going to put up more of a fight but they are just laying back and taking it for the most part so we have no one on the council truly representing the taxpaying public.

  • Joel (Wednesday, October 21 20 06:57 am EDT)

    Just watch the city employees are going to get another big pay raise once this study is finished and on top of that the taxpayers will be paying more retirement benefits for the same employees. Special friends keep getting huge benefits at the expense of the taxpayers and the nine knuckleheads on the council let it all happen, all of them acting like facilitators or fixers for the mob.

  • John J. O’Connor (Tuesday, October 20 20 07:37 pm EDT)

    Fred, thank you for the correction.

  • Fred (Tuesday, October 20 20 06:08 pm EDT)

    John O’Connor your comment is incorrect. The GCC building sold for $60,000 to the current owner at auction. I was there. Look it up. I have no issue with the JSL price, however I am a stickler for details and the information you provided as a comparison is incorrect.

  • Jeanette (Tuesday, October 20 20 01:29 pm EDT)

    The ole boy network is alive and well in Claremont. It was always lurking somewhere hidden in the background but boy in 2020 it is loud and proud. Special interests are just as obnoxious as Councilors Kier and Contois and Koloski.

  • Lisa (Tuesday, October 20 20 11:04 am EDT)

    It's true that Jeff Barrett is not running again County Commissioner. Nonetheless he was and still is a County Commissioner during the entire bid process that ended with his obtaining ownership of the JSL building and during that process the assessing Department reduced the tax burden by 59%. I also believe that Mr. Barrett's term ends in January. I find it very disturbing when government officials work amongst themselves secretly and one government official benefits greatly. Whether or not Mr. Barrett had a direct hand in this outcome is really irrelevant because the outcome is the same and the appearances absolutely awful. I say that because no government official admitted to the 59% property assessment reduction. Once again the Sullivan Report, operated by two former city councilors broke the story after government officials and the local press buried it as they do so many things they try to hide.

  • Duh (Tuesday, October 20 20 10:51 am EDT)

    Barrette is not running again. He won't be a county employee after November.

  • Industrial Property Owner (Tuesday, October 20 20 10:21 am EDT)

    Another fantastic Sullivan Report exposé. Mr. Morris has no excuse for the sudden fifty-nne percent reductrion of property assessed value of the Junior Sports League buildng. The timing is just too suspicious to not believe that it was an intentional act. The only excuse that Mr. Morris possibly has is that upon review of the building in anticipaton of the advertisement of bids the assesor found an assessing error and corrected it. However, that excuse does not hold water because the property has undergone several bid processes before and the property assessment never changed for any of those previous bid solicitations. The only difference this time is that by Nancy Merrill’s own public admission there was a potential buyer for the property that was presumably Sullivan County Commissioner Jeff Barrett and that put into motion another bid solicitation that only yielded one measly $5,000 bid. Claremont’s good ole boy network still exists and unfortunately it has never been as strong and active as it is now for the benefit of elected officials and their special interests. The recurring victims are the taxpayers and unfortunately they have no recourse because those elected to protect their interests are the very ones who are taking advantage of them via abuses of elected office or the casting of two blind eyes because friends or close associates are the beneficiaries and these ethically challenged public officials have no intention of rocking the boat so the speak. Going back to Mr. Morris’s possible excuse of a property assessment error of fifty-nne percent, it would be a public admission that property assessments are overstated and in need of another corrective adjustment. Presumably overstated to artificially deflate Claremont’s high property tax rate that is already the highest throughout the entire state of New Hampshire. Overstating property assessments is a hidden property tax as it overcharges residents on the entire range of property tax rates. I’m referring to municipal, school, county and state education. Inflating property assessments overstates Claremont’s county apportionment rate so Claremont taxpayers subsidize county costa for other communities within Sullivan County. It is a very insidious game that is being played, a nefarious game that has been played for many years and Mr. Morris seems to be continuing to play this game at the cruel expense of the taxpayers. It seems through their actions that no one currently in local political power cares about the working-class taxpayer.

  • Tom (Tuesday, October 20 20 08:51 am EDT)

    John I always enjoy reading your comments but with all due respect I believe you are missing the point this time. Is it a good thing that the building will be pressed back into service so a local business can expand and hire new employees? Absolutely, positively yes! What isn't alright is the secret shenanigans that were played once again with property assessments by a city manager and a city assessor to ultimately benefit someone at the taxpayer's expense. There are striking similarities between the JSL and Topstone incidents. The primary beneficiary of the Topstone incident was the property owner of the building where Councilman Nick Koloski has all of his businesses located, making Koloski an indirect beneficiary of that secret backroom deal. The JSL incident is similar because this time a County Official is the direct beneficiary of questionable assessing practices by a different city manager and a different city assessor at a very suspicious time just before the transfer of ownership of the property. This resulted with a 59% decrease in property valuation and property taxation. John how can you honestly say that passes the smell test?

  • John J. O’Connor (Tuesday, October 20 20 07:23 am EDT)

    Calm down!!! What did you expect the city to do with the JSL building?
    When there were rumors that the Sullivan County sober house was going to go there, people started losing their minds, complaining about how dangerous it would have been having that in a residential neighborhood.
    Now, a local business wants to move there, rehab a building that has literally been abandoned and you are upset because the price was 5k?
    That’s $4,999.00 more then the city got for the old community center.
    Speaking of the old community center, it has become such an eyesore. The dilapidated condition of the building and lack of ground maintenance is embarrassing for the city and something should be done about it.
    Be happy someone with pride in the community bought the JSL and not the same person that owns the old community center.

  • Laura (Monday, October 19 20 06:20 pm EDT)

    I think the take away from the JSL article is that corruption seems to be the business model at City Hall no matter who is in charge as city manager. City Hall is just rotten to the core and the city councilors are nothing more than enablers to this corruption.

  • Todd (Monday, October 19 20 04:04 pm EDT)

    This is what you get when you elect citizens willing to screw the taxpayers to push forward personal political agendas and help political leaders get what they want on a personal level.

  • Diane (Monday, October 19 20 02:49 pm EDT)

    This quid pro quo bullshit has got to stop. The only way to do that is to throw out of office all the corrupt politicians that we already have in office. Right now it seems to be pretty much all of them. State representatives and county, city & school officials too. All of it rife with corruption.

  • Jim Sullivan (Monday, October 19 20 02:31 pm EDT)

    As of now the Barretts will pay full taxes on the now greatly reduced property assessment of $311,100. Whether or not they will apply for 79-E property tax relief to freeze the building's property assessment for however many years they can qualify for is yet to be determined.

  • Donk (Monday, October 19 20 02:05 pm EDT)

    Is the property tax on the JBL Bldg. deferred until the structure is officially occupied?

  • Rick (Monday, October 19 20 01:38 pm EDT)

    Commissioner Barrett certainly got a sweet deal for himself didn’t he?

  • Chris (Monday, October 19 20 01:09 pm EDT)

    It’s amazing how local government leaders and the local reporters seem to collude to keep the taxpaying public in the dark as to how local government officials are taking advantage of the taxpayers time and time again. The widespread corruption in Claremont is sickening.

  • Tony (Monday, October 19 20 11:32 am EDT)

    Public Officials sure get all the breaks don't they?

  • Jim Sullivan (Monday, October 19 20 10:21 am EDT)

    Two new articles published today.

    1) What City Officials and the local press did not tell you about the sale of the JSL Building!

    2) October 14, 2020 Claremont City Council meeting synopsis.

    Both articles are published on the News Flashes page of this website.

  • Donk (Saturday, October 17 20 01:54 pm EDT)

    Did you guys see Mark Walters new 2021 Ford Bronco? My friend just go finished working on the 3000 sf addition on her house.Spare no expense,wher'd the money come from?

  • It’s Time (Saturday, October 17 20 08:22 am EDT)

    Message to the city council.
    Time for a forensic audit of the entire TIF accounting for the last ten years!
    Any council member voting against this is in the kettle.
    Now! Who has the integrity to make the motion?

  • Keith (Wednesday, October 14 20 09:59 am EDT)

    I don’t know about the rest of you but I want all of that $2 million of extra school funds to go back to the taxpayers. I think the school board is getting greedy and grabbing money illegally. And I agree with the previous writer that Patrick Adrian covers up more than he reports. Lazy and cowardly press have been one of the best tools in the shall we say ethically challenged government official’s toolbox because it allows them to get away with a whole lot of sneaky stuff. The Sullivan Report is the only source of local news that is performing the function of true journalism for Claremont political news.

  • Tom (Wednesday, October 14 20 09:12 am EDT)

    It sure is beginning to look like City Hall is infested with crooks and several of them may be on the Council because they are all surely looking the other way really really hard. Isn’t the purpose of having elected officials to have honest citizens looking out for the taxpayer’s best interests? Why is it that not one of the nine are doing it? I know that Councilor Stone and Councilor O’Hearne wanted a forensic audit but they were trying to cast too far a net and it would have cost the taxpayers far too much money. Former Councilors Sullivan and Maranville have shown them a better way. Target only the Downtown TIF District and start with that. It looks like millions of dollars may be missing or stolen or both. If nothing is amiss then why is Mr. Sullivan having such a heckuva time getting the financial information that he is requesting? These are rational requests and both he and Mr. Maranville have raised some serious questions that need to be answered. If there is nothing there then that’s fine but I do understand what they are trying to say and that is there is a lot of money sitting there or at least it should be and that money could be used right now to fix our roads. I do not understand why the Council is ignoring this and not taking action to transfer that money into the general fund budget and order some road engineering plans be drawn up so more road work can be done next year. This isn’t rocket science so why are the councilors and the administrators making it look like it is? If I had to take a guess then I would say that the money is missing and that implies theft. Maybe we’ll find out eventually since we are the taxpayers after all and we deserve to know the truth. If we do find out the truth it will not be thanks to our elected officials or those who worik at City Hall.

  • Mike (Wednesday, October 14 20 07:08 am EDT)

    Jim and AJ have got me and many of my family and friends curious as to what became of all this money and I hope they can finally get at the truth. We all seem to think that Mr. Morris is covering up for certain city employees to try to avoid a scandal during his administration. What Mr. Morris needs to understand is that all of these things occurred before his administration began and the last thing he needs is to be involved in a cover-up and have his reputation tarnished with any city employees who may be guilty of financial misappropriation or embezzlement, which seems to be a growing possibility. We all seem to think Mr. Morris has already started covering things up by dragging out Jim’s requests for information and using the auditing firm to help him slow down Jim’s and AJ’s investigation to a slow crawl and now Mr. Morris seems to be trying to stop the investigation entirely by not answering any questions or providing financial numbers but not the ones that Jim is requesting. If Mr. Morris wants to save his career he needs to knock it off with the stall tactics and other games and begin cooperating. Many of us are watching.

  • Jean (Tuesday, October 13 20 05:38 pm EDT)

    I first read about the increase to the school contingency fund in the Eagle Times in an article written by Patrick Adrian, who at one time served on the Claremont school board. Patrick should have caught that himself and did not. So why not?

  • Joyce (Tuesday, October 13 20 01:40 pm EDT)

    I think the reason why Mr. Morris is being so obtuse is not because he is stupid or inexperienced but because he only knows the answer and he is trying to avoid a scandal within his administration. I would hope he would realize that he is not the blame for any of this as it all happened before he was hired to the post of city manager. He would only be to blame if he tried to destroy evidence or cover-up any theft or other wrongdoing.

  • Jerry (Tuesday, October 13 20 11:36 am EDT)

    The way they keep stalling and delaying at City Hall I think they realize that Sullivan and Maranville are onto something bigger than the Topstone building scandal and the roof is about to fall in on one or more longtime city staffers.

  • Sara (Tuesday, October 13 20 09:27 am EDT)

    Ed Morris better be careful because if he does try to cover up millions of dollars of missing public funds that could end his career as city manager not only in Claremont but anywhere else for that matter.

  • Todd (Tuesday, October 13 20 08:45 am EDT)

    It sure looks like a cover up to me with the TIF district. It would not surprise me to soon read on the Sullivan Report that Morris is drawing a line in the sand and refusing to answer any of Sullivan’s questions about the potentially missing $3 million of bond money or provide the revenue and expense numbers for 2007 – 2014 because it might implicate city staff even if it means breaking the right to know law to do it. Even though Morris had nothing to do with this it would not surprise me if he tried to cover it all up just like Nixon tried with Watergate and failed big time. Claremont is very corrupt.

  • Jason (Tuesday, October 13 20 07:26 am EDT)

    I believe Jim and AJ are right about the school board vote about the contingency fund. I don’t think the school board had the authority either but they did it anyway. Maybe Jim hasn’t received an answer yet because they do not have anything in writing that would prove that what they did was legal. I guess we’ll all find out soon enough.

  • Jim Sullivan (Tuesday, October 13 20 05:44 am EDT)

    Two new articles published today.

    1) The Claremont School Board unanimously doubles the maximum size of the Claremont School District's contingency fund – Is it legal?

    2) Downtown TIF District – miscommunication or stall tactics?

    Both articles are published on the News Flashes page of this website.

  • An idiot who knows nothing (Friday, October 09 20 01:51 pm EDT)

    I don't think OP meant it like that but I see where he is coming from. Maybe companies should explore training opportunities to educate their employees how they want them to operate. Happy Friday!

  • Duh (Thursday, October 08 20 01:21 pm EDT)

    Wait.. You think the city should pay for job training at private companies? That's up to companies, not the tax payers!

  • Christian (Thursday, October 08 20 11:40 am EDT)

    Why are we pouring money into low-income housing instead of workshops or perhaps have jobs that actually TRAIN on the job. All these kush micro politicians in this city are trash. Corrupt to the core. I bet there are some good hearted and want to help, but there are so many signs of cover up with local government. City Council should be changed to City Country Club.

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