Pelham - Windham News August 5, 2011 - 11
Pelham Old Home Day Committee Selects Parade Marshal
submitted by Pete Bennett The Pelham Old Home Day Committee is pleased to announce that Ron Hannon, director of the Pelham Environmental Recycling Complex, better known as PERC, has been chosen as Marshal for Pelham’s 105th Old Home Day Parade scheduled for Saturday September 17. The honor of Parade Marshal is
bestowed annually upon a resident, group or organization that works
selflessly for the betterment of the community and its fellow citizens. Certainly Ron Hannon is well qualified for this honor. Pelham is fortunate to have Ron Hannon. It is a rare individual that comes out of retirement to be of service to his town when his resume includes patents, business development, market development, environmental consulting, and a lifetime in the environmental industry which reads
more like a who’s who that would be of great demand in the corporate world.
Ron is super qualified and it shows.
Just a brief conversation with him and you can detect his passion for what he does - recycling. He has a vision for Pelham consisting of one, three and five year plans with “aggressive out of the box thinking.” Changes were made in 2010 at the town recycling complex which increased recycling 125 percent while going to single stream recycling,
cutting costs and adding new services. “The turnaround is attributed to the residents’ willingness to accept these changes,” states Ron. A main objective has been to make the Pelham Recycling Complex more user friendly through new technology while at the same time reducing cost and increasing town revenues. Through Ron’s hard work Pelham has
been awarded the EPA Environmental Merit Award as well as being chosen a Green City of the Year finalist.
February Words Bring July Lawsuit
by Lynne Ober Last February Governor John Lynch presented his budget and made a detailed budget address. Now weeks later after the legislature has adopted much of his proposals, lawsuits have been filed and words are flying. In his budget address, Lynch explained why he was cutting $250 million in uncompensated care to hospitals. In fact a recent editorial in the Union Leader said that Lynch “gave a long explanation of why it was a great idea to reduce the operating budgets of New Hampshire’s hospitals,” and indeed a review of his speech shows that this is true. Much of the uncompensated care money that is no longer going to urban hospitals after the Lynch proposal has instead gone to offset a significant drop in enhanced federal Medicaid funds that stopped with the end of the stimulus. Without a doubt one issue with programs such as the Obama Stimulus Funds is that they are a one-time payment, but needs often continue. With the loss of those dollars, Lynch looked for other revenue to continue to help New Hampshire’s neediest residents.
Vandalism- continued from front page
A parking lot located at a Raymond Park soccer field has a top ridge with an extraordinarily deep incline. That incline directly faces the soccer field. Officials feared that a parking mishap would send a car careening through the chain link fence, directly onto the soccer field with possible tragic consequences. A solution was to install a fence along the top parking lot area. In addition, a walking trail would be cleared and widened to accommodate parking in the upper lot, allowing safe access to the lower field for games. The fence - the same fence that was recently vandalized - was Tom Lynch’s Eagle Project. For an Eagle Scout candidate, the process of
achieving the award is a culmination of years in the scouting program. An Eagle candidate doesn’t
reach the highest honor bestowed in scouting alone. He arrives there with the support and guidance of Scoutmasters, Troop Leaders, parents, family, friends, and community partners. Every Eagle candidate must demonstrate proficiency in strategic planning, successful execution, and demonstrative leadership abilities in the scope of a service project. During the candidate’s evaluation, he must utilize his entire scout training in this practicum. This past December, Thomas Lynch became part of the elite Eagle Scout family. Tom’s planning time, meeting with town folks and troop leaders, fundraising and execution of the project came in at 379 man-hours or 47 eight-hour working days. His use of recycled material for the path and the $643 of donations garnered from East Coast Lumber and Pelham Building Supply in building material cost Pelham Tax Payers nothing. With the beautiful cedar fence complete, Tom Lynch was one of the last Scouts in December 2010, Scouting’s centennial year, to earn the prestigious rank of Eagle Scout. Tom was told of the vandalism on Monday, July
Vandal’s Calling Card
25. He has since learned that two ATVs were spotted driving down Mammoth Road the evening the park was vandalized. “Someone must know something!” he said. His poised, calm, and quiet
Pelham Recycling- continued from front page
increasingly debilitating speed bump to the already slow moving wheels of the political process, in general. Physically, the transfer station was morphed into a Recycling Complex. Along with changing the traffic flow of cars and actually decreasing the number of dumpsters and compactors, Hannon first deemed image to be of utmost importance. His initial act of business was a name change. In an attempt to convey to workers at the facility, as well as the townspeople, of the transition about to rapidly unfold in front of their cars, the transfer station became known as PERC (Pelham Environmental Recycling Complex). With the new moniker, came a uniform change for the staff. Again with image in mind, the new unis would help promote an environmental versus waste industry mind set. After the image aspect of the change was initiated, Hannon’s first phase included the review of all of the stone-aged contracts the town had with outside vendors. With a great amount of emphasis placed on a good rapport with all of the facility’s vendors, the new director used that philosophy to convert the site to a single stream recycling system. Simplifying the process for the users, in Hannon’s experience would unquestionably increase recycling. Resultant from this was an ultimate lowering of disposal costs for the complex. As Hannon has learned; “to get people to recycle, you have to make it easy for people.” In short, the new head of operations quickly became worth his weight in ‘recyclable gold’ by making his project, a “user friendly recycling facility” which eliminated the need for residents to separate or sort recyclables. As alluded to earlier, the dumpsters and compactors were not
only dwindled down to two from 12, but by increasing the size and repositioning them, an easier approach was established for residents. Additionally, the process eliminated costs associated with rentals, fuel and labor to name a few - thereby lowering operation costs. On the income side of the ledger, Hannon’s improved contractual status with previous vendors as well as establishing contracts with new vendors has generated additional revenue streams for the complex. The Recycling facility now accepts a multitude of new items including tires, electronics, textiles, cell phones and oil filters. This along with the accepting of construction and demolition waste has enhanced Hannon’s efforts of making PERC efficient and profitable for years to come. As a 20 year resident of Pelham, Hannon and his wife Karen
MacKay, who serves on the town’s Conservation Committee, are very philanthropic towards many causes, organizations and entities in town, among them the seniors, firefighters, education and the Parks & Rec. The head of PERC has an inherent ability to ‘trouble shoot’ various business maladies. He also has an insatiable desire to share his knowledge and expertise of the industry, to the betterment of the town’s residents. As all successful business leaders do, they surround themselves with a quality support staff. With Larry as the complex foreman, along full- timers Steve and Bob and the rest of the staff, the facility director notes, “I have good people down there, I have real good guys.” Hannon’s
concepts in addition to his accomplishments in such a short period of time, are not only impressive, they are environmentally beneficial to the residents of Pelham, and to us all.
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demeanor does not disguise the deep hurt seen in his eyes. “I know that I’m going to find those responsible, and when I do, I’m going to make them re-build that fence right along with me.” When asked if he knew then what he knows now, would he do the project, he replied with no hesitation, “Yes!”
What is the cost of the vandalism to the Pelham
taxpayers? Once an Eagle Scout project is done, it becomes town property. Eagle projects aren’t huge money projects, but as any family running on a tight budget will readily offer up, it’s not the big things - it’s the few dollars here and a few dollars there that can run your budget amok! Anyone that has any information regarding the recent vandalism at Raymond Park is urged to contact the Pelham Police at 635-2411. Pelham Eagle Projects - Current Eagle Projects:
• Library/Creating: Reading area to right of town library out of paving stone.
• The repairing of the Cross Country track behind Pelham High School and Pelham Elementary School and repairing the snack shack behind PHS. Very partial list of past Eagle Projects:
• Fire sign at town center in front of Fire Station (Smokey the Bear)
• Signs at Veterans Memorial and Muldoon Parks
• The Pavilion at Golden Brook Park (transfer station) for shelter during rain, rebuilt storage rooms at St. Patrick’s Clubhouse
• Built the retaining wall at Town Beach; widened the access to the beach at Veterans Memorial Park and installed two picnic tables. (Since the project completion, those tables have been found more than one time floating in the pond.) The town purchased two new tables and bolted them to the ground; again they were found floating in the pond. The tables were recently replaced by Cub Scout Pack 610.
• The Memorial to Police Officer Dennis Lyons behind the Police Station.
• The trail kiosk at Raymond Park, and trail markers, cleared one-mile access trail from pipeline to Baldwin Hill Road at Raymond/ Lynch Park.
• The viewing platform and bridge repair at Muldoon, etc. With the largest elementary school in the State of New Hampshire, Pelham has only two Cub Scout packs and two Boy Scout troops, on the small size compared other communities with less enrolled in their schools. To learn more about Scouting, visit Scouting.org
During his February 15 address, Lynch talked at length about the need to cut a lot of money from the Health and Human Services budget, but explained that he been unable to find cuts that would not hurt the neediest New Hampshire residents until he latched onto the idea of cutting uncompensated care. “So we chose a third option. We are redirecting $20 million in uncompensated care payments the state now makes to hospitals to help maintain Medicaid optional services,” said Governor Lynch. At the time those in his party applauded while others waited for the next sentence. In Lynch’s opinion hospitals provide essential medical care, “but from a financial perspective, the hospitals can afford this change.” Now that the budget has been passed, it is clear that Lynch did not have the backing of the hospitals for this nor are they willing to lose their revenue without a fight and so the lawsuit has been filed. “Hospitals get millions of dollars in tax breaks for being nonprofits. But according to their latest public filings, the top 200 executives of our 24 nonprofit hospitals made a collective $60 million,” said Lynch. Published facts will show that this is
true. Lynch then went on to state, “Collectively, New Hampshire’s nonprofit hospitals generated cash over their expenses of more than $200 million.”
Although hospitals run open public restaurants as well as offering medical care, they are also exempt from the Rooms and Meals tax paid by any other eatery. Lynch felt that hospitals could participate with revenue sharing. He contended, “Instead of using that excess cash to reduce health care costs, hospitals spend it on advertising, trying to attract market share from each other; on buying physician and laboratory practices across the state, and then increasing overhead charges to patients.” At the time Lynch made it clear that he felt hospitals had $200 million in excess revenues they didn’t need, and were spending another $500 million on unjustified new construction because he also proposed a moratorium on additional hospital construction. When Lynch’s budget went to the legislature, they agreed with much of the Lynch proposal on uncompensated care, but did not reduce $51 million in uncompensated care payments to rural critical care hospitals where there is little competition of medical care.
Ron will be riding as Parade Marshal and true to his flare for marketing I am sure that he will remind us of PERC during the parade as well as throughout the day. The theme for the Pelham Old Home Day this year is: “It’s Easy Being Green” and with that thought - and in the spirit of Old Home Day, it is our privilege to honor Ron Hannon as our Parade Marshal at our 105th Celebration.
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