To the editor:
In the view of some, the current PCC-Republican dominated Portsmouth Town Council has done a wonderful job and deserves to be re-elected but this view neglects to consider a great many “dubious” achievements of this dithering and scared-to-take action council. For example:
1. This council added to the cost of operating the transfer station by adding, in addition to the guard who checks for stickers, another guard to sit in a folding chair and just watch people throw away their trash.
2. The council’s handling of the “Heidi Drive Matter” (involving “paper roads” and compensation for property taken) has been so badly bungled, that the town is mired yet another lawsuit. The town’s insurer told us that they won’t pay the damages from the abandonment of the road, which the plaintiff estimates is $1.2Million.
3. In another matter leading to another lawsuit against the town, the council sent notices to homeowners telling them they were randomly selected for septic inspections and threatening them with fines. However, it has been revealed that specific homeowners were purposefully and selectively targeted to skew the inspections to deceive both residents and DEM with results that favor their “do nothing” approach.
4. The council was presented with an opportunity to obtain free solar panels for the Fire Department. Unfortunately they just dithered, cancelled a summer meeting for a “break” and ended up missing the application deadline.
5. The Council majority insists that they have done nothing in their entire term of office that has contributed to a reduction in any town service, though cuts to the Town Clerk’s staff have in fact required a reduction of open hours.
6. The PCC-Republican Council Majority repeatedly rebuffed an offer from the Portsmouth Water & Fire District to share the cost of installing the “CodeRed Emergency Notification System” instead telling residents that in an emergency they should watch TV or use twitter. In other words “you’re on your own” (“yoyo”). Taxpayers have instead had to shoulder the entire cost of the system .
7. After Tropical Storm Irene residents dragged storm debris out to the road only to learn days later that the council decided that the town would no longer pick up storm debris as they always have. Instead the council told residents “you’re on your own (yoyo).”
8. For nearly a year, the council could not get around to replacing an animal control officer; I guess that means that if you had a problem with a raccoon or coyote: “yoyo.”
9. The council has fought repeatedly and resolutely to eliminate life guards at Sandy Point Beach. I guess they feel that if you’re drowning, “yoyo.”
Mark J. Katzman