Hudson - Litchfield News January 7, 2011 - 3
The Word Around Town... Letters to our Editor
Eagle Project Thank-You Many of you may remember my letters about
my pasta dinner, or those of you who frequent Benson Park may have seen my completed Eagle Project&#x2014;the ticket booth &#x201C;mini-museum.&#x201D; But on December 22, I was approved by the Eagle Board and I am now officially an Eagle Scout. This has been a huge accomplishment for me, and I have learned a lot over the last year planning and executing my project. I&#x2019;d also like to point out that this wouldn&#x2019;t have been possible without the love and support from the following: My parents, the Scouts and families of Troop 20, grandparents Michael and Natalie Undercofler, my uncle Steve, Jerry and Ann Desrosiers, Tim Baney and Dan at Hudson Quarry, Mike Molkentine at Hometown Laundry, Bryan Robillard at Heritage Wholesalers, Scott Mitchell, Matt Haefner and Jon Smith of Troop 21, my advisors Steve Quinn and Paul Hamilton, Dick Empey, Mark Fecteau, Esther McGraw, Neil Vivier, Matthew Phipps at T-Bones, Gate City Fence, Brox materials, Nashua Wallpaper, Glenn Brown, Chris Boudreau, Dan D&#x2019;Anjou, Laura DeAngelis, Melina LaBonte, Liz Shelley, Krys Houde, Steve Lamm, Chris Brown, and all of the Benson community. You have all helped me to make a seemingly impossible project a reality, and I appreciate it more than I can express in a letter like this. To those of you who haven&#x2019;t seen the ticket booth, be sure to stop by Benson Park and check it out.
Mike Undercofler, Troop 20 Eagle Scout - Hudson
Found &#x2013; Two Pink Bunny Slippers
On Chagnon Lane, close to the intersection with Heritage Circle, two adorable pink bunny slippers were lying in the road. One is a girl&#x2019;s small and one is a girl&#x2019;s larger size, so there are probably two unhappy girls who would like to have their bunny slippers back.
After walking by these slippers for several days, I brought them home today. If your daughters or relatives are missing bunny slippers, please call me at 883-9654.
Lynne Ober - Hudson Thanks to Litchfield Residents
It was a wonderful opportunity to help so many residents this year.
On December 5, we had a group of about 45
townspeople show up and take part in a Pearl Harbor Day program, ending with refreshments. A collection box was in the lobby by our beautifully decorated Christmas tree as a collection box for our service people. On the 8th, 18 boxes were filled with donated gifts from the townspeople and letters written by Mrs. Parent&#x2019;s fourth-grade students and decorations. Jack Algeo graciously mailed the eight packages
overseas and in our country. The others were delivered to the service people&#x2019;s homes since they would be home for the holidays. It was a great surprise to see the variety and amount of gifts for our service people. The next weekend on Saturday and Sunday,
the Town Hall lobby was opened for residents to come and take any of the clothes and toys that were donated for those that needed them. The goods that are left will be donated to the Big Brother-Big Sister Foundation, which will distribute them to those needing them. I couldn&#x2019;t have done these four projects without the help of these six volunteers assisting me: Elizabeth Robinson, Laura Gandia, Pat Byron, Cindy Foss, Jack Algeo, and Michelle Ninteau. These helped me to have a nicer holiday season and I&#x2019;m sure these helped many others, too. Thanks for all the donations and the assistance in work. Have a Happy and Healthy 2011.
Pat Jewett - Litchfield
How to Cut $100K from the Budget
Here&#x2019;s where the Hudson Police Department should cut $100,000. Stop enforcing drug laws, including alcohol laws. It&#x2019;s not as if there was any question whether the government had a right to impose these restrictions. Liberty is a right, which no government can justly infringe, and the only legitimate function of a government is to secure people&#x2019;s rights. Drug laws do not secure
anybody&#x2019;s rights since drug abuse does not violate anybody&#x2019;s rights. Nobody really thinks the government has any right to impose drug control laws. Some people pretend to think it because they&#x2019;re afraid of being marginalized if they don&#x2019;t, and other people enjoy imposing these blatantly unjust laws because it makes them feel superior, so they impose them and offer flawed lines of reasoning, ignoring the obvious flaws.
Tom Alciere - Hudson
GENERATORS INSTALLED Editorial
During the November Budget Wrap-Up with the Board of Selectmen (BOS), Selectman Roger Coutu asked of Fire Chief Murray if he could reduce his budget by $100,000. The Fire Chief stated, &#x201C;If asked, yes.&#x201D;
At the Budget Meeting Review of the Hudson Fire Department
(HFD)&#x2019;s Budget several weeks later, the Chief publicly undermined the BOS by stating that the Town of Hudson would be placed at risk, should he cut his budget by $100,000. At first, the instruction from the selectmen was to reduce his administration line, and then the selectmen changed to ask of the Chief to find the $100,000 savings within his department from all budget lines.
During the December 14 BOS meeting, the Fire Chief, and
what appears to be his Assistant Fire Chief, Selectman Shawn Jasper (truly only his Selectmen Liaison), proposed to the BOS four separate plans to reduce $100,000 from his budget. While Plan A has to do with eliminating defibrillators from the budget, Chief Murray must been sleeping at the wheel of Truck 34 for this one. The $88,000 had already been taken out of his budget and placed on a warrant. As for Plan B, Chief Murray suggested to reduce the contributions to Capital Reserve Accounts. Once again, the Chief seems to be asleep at the wheel. Does he not know that these payments &#x201C;have to be paid back,&#x201D; even according to Selectman Jasper?
As for Plan D, he proposes a plan to reduce to reduce his
operating expenses by $100,000 by cutting training, emergency management, reduction of personnel at Robinson Road, and reducing expenses by replacing experienced firefighters with less experienced firefighters. Obviously, this was another ploy by Chief Murray to challenge the BOS as he played his &#x201C;safety&#x201D; key. Plan C was, by consensus vote, approved by the BOS. Plan C calls for the elimination of the EMS Coordinator, or more specifically, Mickey Rudolf, a long-time call firefighter of the HFD. According to testimony given by Murray, Rudolf had been planning to retire before the HFD budget was even created. He testified that he would not fill the position and reassign the duties she had been performing.
In addition, Plan C also called for $18,600 of Paramedic School
Overtime to be eliminated. He stated that these dollars were used to fill the vacancies from those firefighters who continued on with their contractual obligation for paramedic education. Chief Murray also surrendered his request for a Thermal Imager
Camera, Training Prop, Outside Instructor, and Carpet and AC changes.
He listed a savings of $2,250 for Secretary Overtime; however, this line item had already been axed by the Budget Committee. As stated by Chief Murray, &#x201C;This plan will alter the current level of services through a reduction in operation lines and part-time positions. The BOS should make an example of Chief Murray. He has produced four plans to reduce his budget. Or has he? He undermined the BOS with his actions at the Budget Committee and he presents four plans for the reduction of his budget, yet still stated, &#x201C;This plan will alter the current level of services.&#x201D; It is more than obvious that Chief Murray does not have the interests
of Hudson residents as a priority. It&#x2019;s time for the residents to step
up and demand of the Town Fathers to make a change in the Fire Department. It&#x2019;s time to support the Department rank and file, and it&#x2019;s time to tell Chief Murray, &#x201C;wake up and smell the coffee.&#x201D; It&#x2019;s time for the BOS to say, &#x201C;OK, thank you for your four plans.
Thank you for putting the Hudson residents first. We will adopt all four plans as recommended by you and reduce your overall budget by $400,000, which would be an eight-percent reduction from the Chief&#x2019;s budget request of $4,939,989.&#x201D; As we go to print, the Fire Department budget after all the meetings is at $4,833,129&#x2014;only a two-percent reduction from the Chief&#x2019;s original plan.
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