In predictable fashion, the editor of our local paper took up his pen to discredit letters that criticize local pols. In this case, I sent in a short form of my criticism of Selectman Bowers on local taxation and the general state of things. I don’t know how the editor can imply that I am taking things out of context when I encourage the reader to watch the actual video that is available on the town website.
For the record, Mr. Bowers does indeed say quite unequivocally that he feels we are getting a “free ride” with low taxes. He also grossly misstates that the school portion of the tax rate represents the “overwhelming majority” of our tax bill, when in fact it is less than the town portion. This goes along with the theme of cluelessness that is implied by his not having any command at all of the actual current tax rate.
Only a politician would compare Wolfeboro to Claremont (highest tax rate in the state) rather than offer some insight into the our situation vs. some of our immediate neighbors with similar demographics who enjoy significantly lower tax rates like Tuftonboro (29% less) and Moultonborough (32% less).
But enough about Mr. Bowers, he’s a politician with an agenda and it’s his as much his right to say and act as he does as it is my right to criticize him. Let’s talk about the newspaper.
Is it really the place of the editor to contradict and marginalize citizens who express their opinion in the letters section? To brand them as “conspiracy theorists”, or as was the case last week, to marginalize another BMH critic by declaring him the “sole advocate for bulldozing”. The Tocag Survey alone produced 48 other bulldozers.
Mr. Beeler takes Mr. Onichuk to task about his opinion offering only his own opinion to refute it. The editor seems to believe that the dormer problem is not critical, citing as evidence that if it were, it would have been repaired by now. It seems to me that nobody really knows what is going on with that dormer except that it has separated from the roof. I can recall the Town Manager saying that the extent of the repairs neccessary would not be known until the job was undertaken. As evidenced by the water stains in the hall below, there has clearly been substantial leaking in that area of the roof for many years. It wouldn’t be hard, possibly prudent, to consider that there may be a lot of rot and that the structural integrity might be seriously undermined. Given that the thing is right over the front door, “death trap” might not be all that far off.
But the power of the press is solidly behind Brewster Hall, and our editor is on the job, offering his opinions as fact and heading off the critics and abusing the Editorial column to keep the naysayers in line.