Puzzle #11: T.C. Wentworth’s Problem

By Muriel Bristol (Transcriber) | March 9, 2019

T.C. Wentworth’s problem – how to construct a square containing 20 square inches: draw a base line 2 inches long. Draw perpendicular 4 inches long at one end of the baseline. Now draw hypotenuse from the above lines. This hypotenuse will be one side of a square containing exactly 20 square inches. The square of the base plus the square of the perpendicular equals the square of the hypotenuse. – Milton Mills, N.H. (Boston Globe, March 13, 1902).


[Answer to Puzzle #11 to follow in the next Puzzle]


Solution to Puzzle #10: J.O. Porter’s Cork Problem

Followers of the Boston Globe’s Puzzle Problem column of long ago answered:

G.W. Monegan, North Chelmsford, says the cork costs 5 cents; so say Frank E. Witherell, Walter L. Colburn, E.G. Hayden, L.N. Lewis, S.O. Keep, Rowley; D.T. Jardine, Cambridge; James A., Newton (Boston Globe, December 25, 1901).

For those that do not want to simply take their word: $1.10 = $1.00 + 2X; $0.10 = 2X; $0.05 = X.

If the cork is worth 5¢, and the bottle is worth that plus a dollar, then the bottle is worth $1.05. Taken altogether, the total is $1.10.

Not Yours to Give

By S.D. Plissken | March 8, 2019

The Properties

According to the Town’s Avitar listings, the Plummer’s Ridge Schoolhouse No. 1 property at 1116 White Mountain Highway is valued at $89,600. That includes $29,800 for 0.18 acres of land, $59,000 for the Schoolhouse itself, and $800 for its 10’x15′ wooden shed.

The “Blue House” property across the street at 1121 White Mountain Highway is valued at $168,300. That includes $40,400 for 2.64 acres of land, $124,200 for the house itself, and $3,700 for its “features” ($749 for its 18’x20′ wooden shed and $3,000 for its Fireplace 1-Stand). (I know the features do not add up).

Now, we all know that Town valuations are questionable at best. Few will ever realize the inflated bubble prices that the Town asserts for tax purposes. But, for the sake of argument, let us suppose their valuations are accurate.

The Proposal

Board of Selectmen (BOS) Chairman Thibeault proposed “selling” both properties – valued together at $257,900 – to the Milton Historical Society (MHS), on whose board he sits, for $2. The whole BOS was on the verge of rubber-stamping this proposal as a Warrant Article on this year’s ballot.

It so happens that BOS Chairman Thibeault and the MHS’s own Vice-Chairman Thibeault are the very same person; just as BOS Vice-Chairwoman Hutchings is a member of that same society. Outgoing Selectman Lucier has never announced his affiliation, if any there be, with the MHS.

A Question

An audience member asked if the BOS were not concerned with the apparent conflict of interest: BOS members arranging to virtually “give” away “Town-Owned” property to a private society in which they have an interest.

Mr. Larry Brown, helpful as always, pointed out that it was for the board alone to decide if they had a conflict of interest. According to Mr. Brown, it would not be a conflict of interest if they received no money and did not hold paid positions with the society.

The audience member pointed out that money need not be the only consideration. Which is why legal boilerplate is often included in real estate deeds that mentions also “other valuable considerations.” Thank you, Mr. Brown. (You have an opportunity of thanking him yourself, if you wish: he is a currently a candidate for a seat on that same Board of Selectmen).

That proposed Warrant Article did not go forward. Vice-Chairwoman Hutchings and Selectman Lucier apparently saw the problem and voted “nay” in a rare 2-1 split. (Chairman Thibeault dug in his heels).

Nobody with a lick of sense supposes that the Town will ever realize anything like its fantasy valuation of $257,900 for the two properties at an auction. The “Blue House” was seriously overvalued. (Its original Corcoran valuation of $208,600 dropped by 19.3% to $168,300). It has developed serious problems since. But those are the absurd values that the Town claimed as being valid when it was busy over-assessing, overtaxing, charging penalties and interest (I have heard 18%, like some kind of insane credit card), and finally seizing the property.

Even so, the Town will likely realize much more than the $2 that Chairman Thibeault was proposing – the difference being at least some tens of thousands of dollars. And that difference – four orders of magnitude – belongs to the taxpayers.

So, “No” Means “Yes” Now?

At this most recent BOS meeting, that of March 4, 2019, the BOS, Town Administrator, and Town Assessor went around in circles again on “Town-Owned” properties. (They seem to enjoy covering always the same ground).

There are three-year properties, for which the dispossessed owner will get nothing at all; less than three-year properties, for which the dispossessed owner might get some residue; as well as phantom properties, slivers, old fire stations, gifts versus seizures, etc., etc.

Chairman Thibeault: I think the ones that we’ve had for three years were all set to go for auction. The only one that I would not support selling was the 1121 White Mountain Highway … until there’s further discussion with the Historical Society and what that could potentially become … but other than that, all the three-year ones?

Well, we knew the Chairman never “supported” selling that one – at a market price – because he wanted to give it away to his other board. He lost that vote. Even the other selectmen could see that it was a “questionable” proposition, but the erstwhile Chairman just can not give it up.

Not Yours to Give

Thanks to these same selectmen, there are fewer saved dollars – less actual capital – going spare in Milton these days.

Whether fairly or foully obtained – these “Town-owned” properties belong now to the taxpayers. The BOS has no right to give away taxpayer properties – valued together at over a quarter-million dollars ($257,900) – to Chairman Thibeault’s buddies at the Milton Historical Society for a measly $2. For philanthropically-minded selectmen: these properties are just not yours to give.

If the Milton Historical Society wants to pony up the $257,900 right now, or even bid some much smaller amount at a “tax-title” auction, they can make it happen. The BOS can set the auction date and the society can start its fundraiser.

Or the Chairman, who feels that the taxpayers just cannot give enough, can prove the strength of his own “support.” He can take out another mortgage on his own home, buy the properties in question, and donate them to the Historical Society himself.


References:

Lilley, Floy. (2012). Not Yours to Give | Davy Crockett. Retrieved from www.youtube.com/watch?v=daay8yvgsGM

Town of Milton. (2019, March 4). BOS Meeting, March 4, 2019. Retrieved from youtu.be/-io2f380xjE?t=3478

 

Milton in the News – 1879

By Muriel Bristol (Transcriber) | March 7, 2019

In this year, we encounter a fatal equine accident, some thievery, another mill fire, the passing of an elderly veteran, more stocking by the fish commissioner, and some minister shopping.


The Rev. Willis A. Hadley came to the Union Congregational Church in Milton Mills from Rye, NH, where he had offered a strong sermon.

New England Items. The Rev. Willis S. Hadley, late of Rye, N.H., has received a unanimous call from the Congregational Church at Milton Mills to become its pastor (Boston Globe, January 21, 1879).


Poor Mr. Charles Chase had a fatal encounter with a horse.

EASTERN NEW HAMPSHIRE. Charles Chase, of Milton Mills, was fatally injured, Tuesday, 7th. He was kicked by a horse in the throat, and died in a few minutes (Vermont Journal (Windsor, VT), January 25, 1879).


Two burglars from Great Falls [Somersworth, NH] broke into a storehouse at Milton Three Ponds in late January.

NEW ENGLAND NEWS. NEW HAMPSHIRE. In default of $2000 bail, George Whitehouse and Richard Pine of Great Falls were committed to jail Wednesday to await trial for stealing a sleigh, harness and robes from George H. Jones, and a quantity of flour and grain from Daniel Corkery at Milton, Sunday night (Boston Post, January 30, 1879).

Summary of News. George Whitehouse and Richard Pike, of Great Falls, N.H., were last week arrested for breaking and entering a storehouse at Milton Three Ponds, and stealing therefrom several barrels of flour, the property of Daniel Corkery. They also stole a horse and pung to carry away their plunder, but the heavy load broke down the pung, and hence their arrest (Argus and Patriot (Montpelier, VT), February 5, 1879).

The burglars probably came by train. The stolen getaway “pung” may be defined as a low boxlike one-horse sleigh. (This was winter in Milton).

The same George Whitehouse, with the aid of two other ne’er-do-wells, had robbed a pedler in the ironically-named Fair Play saloon in Great Falls in the prior year (Boston Globe, April 22, 1878).

The owner of the flour barrels managed Milton’s relatively-new railroad depot. Daniel Corkery, depot master, aged thirty-nine years (b. New Brunswick), headed a Milton household at the time of the Tenth (1880) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Lizzie A. Corkery, keeping house, aged thirty-two years (b. NH), and his daughters, Annie J. Corkery, aged fourteen years (b. NH), and Daisy A. Corkery, aged four months (b. NH, in January).

George H. Jones, a farmer, aged fifty-four years (b. NH), headed also a Milton household at the time of the Tenth (1880) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Lucy J. [(Varney)] Jones, keeping house, aged fifty-three years (b. NH), and his sons, Charles H. Jones, aged twenty-seven years (b. NH), and Ira W. Jones, sets water wheels, aged twenty-five years (b. NH).


Milton resident Luther Hayes lost his Portsmouth, NH, saw mill.

New England Items. The saw mill belonging to Luther Hayes at Portsmouth, N.H., was burned yesterday afternoon. Loss, $2000; no insurance (Boston Globe, February 11, 1879).

Luther Hayes of South Milton had appeared as a justice of the peace, and as proprietor of a grist, lumber, saw, and shingle mill, in the Milton business directory of 1877.

We encounter him again in his role of NH Fish Commissioner in October of this year (see below).


Joseph Page was born in neighboring Wakefield, NH, August 7, 1795, son of Josiah Page.

OBITUARY. Joseph Page, an old and respected citizen of Milton Mills, N.H., died at that place September 20, aged 84 years. He was a veteran of the war of 1812, in which he served faithfully (Boston Post, September 29, 1879).

Joseph Page enlisted in Captain James Hardy’s militia company (August 11, 1814): Nathaniel Abbott, Frederic Ballard, James L. Gowdy, Stephen Grant, Daniel Page, Joseph Page, Hiram Pierce, Obadiah Witham, all of Wakefield; and James Drew, Joseph Pitman, George Stevens, and Stephen Young, all of Brookfield. (Their experience would have been similar to that of Milton’s militia company in the War of 1812).

He married October 7, 1816, Lydia Staples Remick. Their children were born in Wakefield between then and the mid-1830s. They moved from Wakefield to Milton Mills prior to 1850.

Joseph Page, a farmer, aged seventy-four years (b. NH), headed a Milton household at the time of the Ninth (1870) Federal Census. His household included Lydia S. Page, keeping house, aged seventy-five years (b. NH), Josiah Page, a farm laborer, aged thirty-six years (b. NH), Hannah E. Page, a housekeeper, aged twenty-nine years (b. NH), Amanda M. Page, at school, aged seven years (b. NH), Clara M. Page, aged two months (b. NH), and Haven Jewett, a farm laborer, aged thirteen years (b. NH).

Lydia S. (Remick) Page died in Milton, March 6, 1871.


NEW HAMPSHIRE. The Fish Commissioner, Luther Hayes, has been engaged the past week in stocking Langley and Pea Porridge ponds in Nottingham with black bass (Boston Post, October 9, 1879).

NH Fish Commissioner Hayes, of West Milton, stocked also ponds in Milton, in 1878, and Peterborough, NH, in 1880.


Next we have several ministerial candidates auditioning, as it were, to “supply” pulpits.

Sutton. The Rev. B.A. Sherwood of Milton Mills, N.H., occupied the desk Sunday forenoon as a candidate for the pastorate of the church. We learn the committee intend to secure his services as soon as possible if the people will sign liberally and raise his salary. The church has been without a pastor and regular preaching since Mr. Atwood closed his labors last March (St. Johnsbury Caledonian, October 24, 1879).

Rev. Charles E. Stowe married in Cambridge, MA, May 26, 1879, Susan M. Monroe. Despite what it said in the following article, he became minister in Saco, ME. He wrote his mother from Saco in December 1879 and entertained her there in the summer of 1880 (Butte Miner, June 30, 1880).

PERSONAL AND POLITICAL. MRS. HARRIOT BEECHER STOWE’s son Charles has engaged to supply the Congregational pulpit at Milton, N.H. for a year (Pittsburgh Daily Post, October 31, 1879).

Stowe’s mother, Harriet Beecher Stowe, was a well-known abolitionist, as well as having been the author of the novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

Although he did not “settle” in Milton, he likely gave at least one audition sermon there and perhaps visited from Saco.


Previous in sequence: Milton in the News – 1878; next in sequence: Milton in the News – 1880


References:

Find a Grave. (2010, March 8). Luther Hayes. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/49429209/luther-hayes

Find a Grave. (2015, August 5). Rev. Willis Augustus Hadley. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/150217793

Wikipedia. (2018). Harriet Beecher Stowe. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harriet_Beecher_Stowe

 

Wintry Mix – Fire Chief

By S.D. Plissken | March 5, 2019

The Milton Meet the Candidates night went forward as planned. The winter storm had largely dissipated by late afternoon. High winds followed.

As for the presentations, they were … interesting.

Continued from Wintry Mix – Budget Committee

For Fire Chief – One Three-Year Term

Incumbent Fire Chief Nicholas Marique provided handouts. One was his resume and the other a description of the interim pumper truck. The challenger is Mr. Stephen Duchesneau, a former Milton firefighter, who has run several times before.

The Point

Lest we forget: the point of this exercise is to determine which candidate can perform this task adequately at the lowest cost to the taxpayer.

Marique - 2Much concern arises from the vast sums of money that have been spent already, such as the exceedingly expensive Fire palazzo, for which Chief Marique claimed the credit and responsibility. I have heard many, including some highly-placed officials, question the basic wisdom of this purchase. Whether it was money well spent is perhaps no longer an issue, but the scale of it hardly whets the appetite for still more. Many are feeling fairly “stuffed” right now, thank you. And engendering that overfed feeling was a part of the station’s cost too.

Chief Marique claimed that, in terms of such grand and ever increasing expenditures, we are very nearly there. If we will just stay the course – the one he has set – we will very soon reach an equilibrium point where the CIP plan can maintain us.

Of course, that plan is itself very much in question. It fuels constant spending at a level that one might well dispute. CIP oversight seems quite weak, both as regards the additions to the plan, the size of the expenditures, and the pace at which those acquisitions are scheduled.

The EMT Department

The moderator, Mr. Jacobs, helpfully pointed out that it might be possible to just eliminate the fire department altogether. It also emerged in discussion that the fire department spends 70% of its time on EMT ambulance service. Perhaps even calling it a fire department is then a bit of misnomer: it would seem to be principally an ambulance service that spends some of its time fighting fires.

DuchesneauMr. Duchesneau, put forward an overall claim that he could run the EMT Department at a lower cost than the incumbent, Chief Marique.

In broad strokes, Mr. Duchesneau’s plan seems to be that he would “Stop the Spending.” He spoke to increasing the proportion of resident firefighters relative to the number of out-of-town firefighters. The need to pay out-of-towners for sleeping-over would be reduced thereby, if not eliminated. Other cost-saving measures were on the table also.

He seems to assume, at least for daylight hours, that the resident firefighters would be drawn from the extremely small segment of Milton’s population that actually work in town. Otherwise, they would also be coming from afar.

That Pumper Truck

A brand-new $550,000 pumper truck was rejected on last year’s ballot and many were surprised and displeased to see it appear again this year. Because “‘no,’ should mean ‘no’.” Chief Marique heard them (somewhat belatedly) and substituted in a used pumper, at a very good price, but as a stop-gap. The planned $550,000 expenditure did not go away. It is still lurking around as a part of the CIP plan.

Chief Marique explained at one point that a thousand-gallon pumper truck will dispense water for about four minutes only. Two will do so for eight minutes, and so on. Not mentioned was how much time was required to put out the average house fire.

It might be argued that Milton should never buy a brand-new pumper truck. I have known people who have never had a new car in their entire lives. For them, that is basic frugality. Milton’s small (and stagnant) population size might require us to restrict ourselves always to the used market.

Uneven Coverage

It also emerged that the average response, given the distances involved and the need for firefighters to assemble, is about fifteen minutes. The response times should be shorter for those closest to the Fire palazzo, or, to some extent, for those near the Milton Mills substation.

The longest response times would be experienced by homeowners in South Milton, West Milton, outlying stretches between the two stations, and out on NH Route 153.

The time differential of a response to fires close to the Fire palazzo and those occurring on the outskirts is far greater than the additional four minutes that another pumper truck provides.

You have parts of town that are basically in the “Fire District” and those that are not. Not unlike the Water District. Perhaps that basic fact of uneven coverage should be reflected in the assessments and the bottom line of the taxes paid by those with the lesser coverage.

That Truck Fire

Mr. Duchesneau cited a truck fire that occurred near the fire station as an example of the current situation not working. The details remain hazy. It seems that there were two staff firefighters (rather than the volunteers) who were both out of town when the truck fire took place. They were picking up a vehicle that had undergone some maintenance. It seems that both staffers had been required for this vehicle pick-up because that is the minimum required to “man” this sort of vehicle.

I am not persuaded that this was in fact necessary. Has no one ever seen a taxi or bus with an “out of service” sign? This vehicle was out of service while being serviced and could no doubt continue to be out of service while some single firefighter or even some non-firefighter returned it from out-of-town. Where it could then be put back “in service.” Meanwhile, there would have been coverage.

But neither am I persuaded that this single fumble tells the tale all by itself. The point remains: who can maintain a fire department that we can actually afford?

Mr. Duchesneau’s points spoke largely to improved coverage, rather than reduced costs, except to the extent that it might reduce or eliminate the need for paid sleepovers. A smaller – but closer – staff might reduce costs (including breathing and other per-person equipment outlays).

Per-Person Expenses

A $70,000 expense for replacement breathing devices has been much mentioned lately. Each firefighter, or perhaps each seat of the fire vehicles (?), needs one of these. The Chief has said that they have a life-span of fifteen years and that ours are at the ten to twelve year mark.

Some have questioned why this expense comes all at once and not in some “rolling” sequence of, say, three or four a year. The Chief says that the equipment changes over time – their features, capabilities, and the placement of their dials and settings – and differences in equipment would emerge with phased purchases. That would be confusing at critical moments.

No one doubts the necessity for such equipment. But, if this is a per-firefighter expense, the size of Chief Marique’s roster has been questioned. A smaller personnel roster would require fewer personal devices.

Veering Off the Point

Unfortunately, both the challenger, the incumbent, and the audience seemed to veer off the point: coverage at the lowest possible cost.

There seemed to be a strong animosity between the two camps, whose origin remains unclear. Mr. Duchesneau said that neither he nor the Milton-resident firefighters that he would engage will work (or work again) for the current Chief. The reason – assuming they all have the same reason – was not explained.

Many of the questions seemed designed to highlight a perceived difference in qualifications between the two candidates. The difference seemed rather slight – one having, I believe, thirteen years experience versus the other’s twenty years. The Chief has been chief for over nine years.

Were Mr. Duchesneau’s firefighter’s certifications current? No, you need to be an active firefighter for that, which he would be if he won the election. Was his EMT license current? Yes, he has a national one. And so on.

This line of attack – it was quite heated, and repetitive – seemed weak to me. Ad hominem arguments – arguments against the man, rather than against his premise  –  are by definition fallacies.

First of all, licensing is when your right to do something is taken away and then sold back to you.

Secondly, all of the licensing demanded by the inquisitors – both the firefighter and the EMT certifications – were of the sort that only current employees may hold. There is no way that an ex-employee – even one with thirteen years experience – may secure the licensing in advance. This is the case in many fields. Mr. Duchesneau claimed to have the necessary classes and experience and, if he won the election, licensing would drop into place.

Mr. Duchesneau may have given the impression that he had more certifications than he presently does. He should clarify that in some way.

But this absolute faith in certifications and licensures is puzzling and somewhat misplaced. The College of Cardinals is not required to pick a cardinal, or even a Catholic, to be the Pope. Theoretically, anyone  in Christendom might be selected as Pope. Likewise, there is no requirement that a Supreme Court Justice be selected from among judges of lower Federal courts, or State Courts, or even country lawyers. Anyone at all can occupy that seat.

Likewise, another firefighter/EMT with similar experience, though with a slightly briefer tenure, could be Fire Chief. It might even be that someone with no experience or licensing at all could occupy that position, albeit in a administrative or managerial capacity only.

We will likely never know the cause of all the animus on display. But, that does not mean we do not note that it was present.

One might wish the inquisitors had stuck to the relevant issue: which candidate will run this department with the lowest possible tax expenditure?


See also Wintry Mix – School Board Candidates, Wintry Mix – Budget Committee, and Wintry Mix – Selectmen.


References:

Town of Milton. (2019, February 24). Meet the Candidates Night (Fire Chief). Retrieved from youtu.be/nOmRUcqTf08?t=9986

Wikipedia. (2019, January 31). Ad Hominem. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem

 

Milton in the News – 1878

By Muriel Bristol (Transcriber) | March 3, 2019

In this year, we encounter a Milton factory slowdown, J.O. Porter on his home ground, another centenarian, and the activities of a NH fish commissioner. (Milton’s use of White’s Arithmetic textbooks was advertised in this year: Milton’s Arithmetic Textbooks of 1878).


John Townsend’s son, Henry H. Townsend, took over the former Milton Mills Manufacturing Company. It appeared under his name in the Milton business directories of 1873 and 1874. He then took on Sullivan H. Atkins, as a partner.  The partnership appeared as Townsend & Company in Milton business directories of 1876, 1877, and 1880.

Townsend & Company’s woolen felt factory suspended production for a time in early 1878.

TELEGRAPHIC NOTES. Townsend & Co., at Milton Mills, N.H., have suspended, throwing 30 hands out of employment (St. Albans Daily Messenger,  January 3, 1878).

Henry H. Townsend, a woolen manufacturer (felt), aged thirty-seven years (born MA), headed a Milton (Milton Mills P.O.) household at the time of the Tenth (1880) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Agnes J. [(Brierley)] Townsend, keeping house, aged thirty-five years (born MA), his children, John E. Townsend, at school, aged eight years (born NH), and Grace M. Townsend, at home, aged six years (born NH), and his uncle, Thomas Townsend, a carder in felt mill, aged seventy-two years (born England).

Sullivan H. Atkins, a felt manufacturer, aged forty-three years, headed a Milton (Milton Mills P.O.) household at the time of the Tenth (1880) Federal Census. His household included his [third] wife, Sarah A. [(Ricker)] Atkins, keeping house, aged thirty-five years, his children, Winnifred Atkins, at house, aged sixteen years, Mary E. Atkins, at house, aged six years, and George A. Atkins, at house, aged four years, and his sister, Emma J. Atkins, at house, aged twenty-eight years.

Henry H. Townsend bought out Sullivan H. Atkins’ share in Townsend & Company in 1880. (The partnership name continued to appear in Milton business directories for several years).


John O. Porter, who would be later one of Milton’s ice magnates, appeared in his original capacity, proprietor of a Marblehead, MA, livery stable.

Miscellany. The horse and buggy stolen from John O. Porter of Marblehead on Sunday were found yesterday hitched in Abbott’s stable. Mr. Porter received a note from young Barron, who hired the vehicle, where to find his property. Mr. Barron appears to have peculiar ideas in regard to the rights of livery stable keepers. He is a sharp young man, but those eye-teeth of his may prove a trifle too keen ere long. He coolly informed Mr. Porter in the note that he hired his team to go to Salem and that he would find it in Salem. Mr. Porter desires to warn hotel keepers of this precious individual. Hereafter it will be necessary to stipulate with such sharp characters the necessity of bringing the team back. There is a trifling board-bill which Barron forgot to mention in his billet doux. Hotel keepers are warned.

The festive dandelion has appeared, and “bacon and greens” are now in order (Boston Globe, April 3, 1878).

John O. Porter, a harness maker, aged thirty years, headed a Marblehead household at the time of the Tenth (1880) Federal Census. His household included his children, John O. Porter, Jr., at school, aged seven years, Alice Porter, aged four years, Mary Porter, aged one year, his housekeeper, Hannah Glass, a housekeeper, aged sixty-five years, and a boarder, Martin Flynn, a harness shop worker, aged thirty-two years.

Porter and his Marblehead Ice Company appeared in the Milton business directories of 1892, 1901, and 1904.


As mentioned before, those that attained advanced age were always of great interest. David Hanson Evans had been born in Madbury, NH, May 24, 1778, son of Solomon and Catherine (Hanson) Evans.

New Hampshire. David Evans of Branch Hill Farm, near Milton Mills, celebrated his 100th birthday Wednesday, and thinks he is good for some years yet (Boston Post, May 24, 1878).

Albert L. Evans, a farmer, aged thirty-six years. headed a Tuftonborough household at the time of the Tenth (1880) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Harriet M. Evans, keeping house, aged twenty-nine years, his daughter, Abbie J. Evans, at school, aged eight years, his father, Joseph G. Evans, suffering from paralysis, aged seventy-five years, and his grandfather, David Evans, aged one hundred two years.

David H. Evans was indeed “good for some years yet.” He outlived his son, Joseph G. Evans, who died July 26, 1881, aged seventy-six years. David H. Evans died in Wakefield, NH, September 29, 1882, aged one hundred four years, four months, and five days.


NH Fish Commissioner Luther Hayes, of West Milton, acquired white perch with which to stock Milton ponds.

LYNN. The News in Brief. Luther Hayes, one of the Fish Commissioners of Milton, N.H., was in town yesterday, and took fifty white perch from Flax Pond home with him to stock a pond at Milton. The fish were caught by John Marior during the past three days (Boston Globe, August 24, 1878).

Luther Hayes of South Milton appeared as a justice of the peace, and as proprietor of a grist, lumber, saw, and shingle mill, in the Milton business directory of 1877.

Luther Hayes, a farmer, aged sixty years, headed a Milton household at the time of the Tenth (1880) Federal Census. His household included his [third] wife, Nellie R. [(Morrill)] Hayes, keeping house, aged thirty-nine years, his children, Lyman S. Hayes, at home, aged seventeen years, Fannie L. Hayes, at home, aged fourteen years, Hattie E. Hayes, at home, aged twelve years, Luther C. Hayes, at home, aged ten years, Clarence M. Hayes, at home, aged two years, and his mother-in-law, Rachel M. Morrill, at home, aged seventy-four years.


Previous in sequence: Milton in the News – 1877; next in sequence: Milton in the News – 1879


References:

Find a Grave. (2015, October 25). David Hanson Evans. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/154231987

Find a Grave. (2013 August 12). Henry H. Townsend. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/115352239

Find a Grave. (2013, January 28). John O. Porter. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/104301616/john-o_-porter

Find a Grave. (2010, March 8). Luther Hayes. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/49429209/luther-hayes

BOS Session Scheduled (March 4, 2019)

By Muriel Bristol | March 3, 2019

The Milton Board of Selectmen (BOS) have posted their agenda for a BOS meeting to be held Monday, March 4, 2019.


This meeting is scheduled to begin with a Public session beginning at 6:00 PM. The agenda has New Business, Old Business, and some housekeeping items.


Under New Business are scheduled six agenda items: 1) Ira Miller’s General Store Sell of Alcohol Request (Amy Darling), 2) Request Motion to Reimburse Due to Fund for Police Radio/Computer CRF (Richard Krauss), 3) Discussion on Purchase Process of Replacement Police Vehicle within CIP (Richard Krauss), 4) Discussion on Letter from DES Re.; Lockhart Field (Dave Owen), 5) Discussion on Donation of Parcel of Land to the Town Map 49 Lot 52 (Dave Owen), and 6) Request for DPW to Host Earth Day Clean-Up & Accept Donations (Pat Smith).

Ira Miller’s General Store Sell of Alcohol Request (Amy Darling). The first official act of the original Milton selectmen was the granting of a liquor license. Franklin D. Roosevelt announced the repeal of Prohibition on Tuesday, December 5, 1933. It marked the “End of an Error.” This should not take long.

Request Motion to Reimburse Due to Fund for Police Radio/Computer CRF (Richard Krauss), 3) Discussion on Purchase Process of Replacement Police Vehicle within CIP (Richard Krauss). How old is your car?

Discussion on Letter from DES Re.; Lockhart Field. A letter from the NH Department of Environmental Services.

Discussion on Donation of Parcel of Land to the Town Map 49 Lot 52. One of the phantom properties. Not buildable, only good for taxation. Would you like one, or would you like to get rid of one?

Request for DPW to Host Earth Day Clean-Up & Accept Donations. Lots of “nips,” beer cans, and other trash out on Milton roads. I’ve actually pulled televisions, broken lawn chairs, old tires, and other rubbish out of its waterways. Here is your Earth Day lesson in “unintended consequences”: if you charge for disposal of such items at the transfer station, do you think it will become more likely or less likely that such trash will be dumped in woods and rivers?


Under Old Business are scheduled three items: 7) Follow-up on Approval and Signing of Avitar Assessment Contract, 8) Follow-up on Strafford Regional Planning TAC Appointment Process, 9) Follow-up on Old Fire Station Status, and 10) Follow-up Discussion of Town Owned Properties Available for Disposition.

Approval and Signing of Avitar Assessment Contract.  We paid twice for the 2017-18 assessment: once for Corcoran to “assess” everything (said to have cost $80,000), and again for Avitar to “fix” what Corcoran had done (then predicted to cost $100,000 or more).

In the interests of “transparency” and “accountability,” no explanation has ever been given for the 2017-18 valuation problem. The overages extracted were spent in covering increased spending, rather than being returned. For accountability’s sake: then selectmen Thibault and Rawson gave Corcoran their go-ahead. (Then selectman Beaulieu’s role remains unclear). An agenda inquiry that suggested reclaiming Corcoran’s fee was disregarded.

Beaulieu and Rawson will appear on next week’s ballot as candidates to be selectmen again.

Strafford Regional Planning TAC Appointment Process. In hopes that a squeaky wheel will get some bridge grease. Note the fact that this seems to be necessary.

Old Fire Station Status. The great white elephant again. When last discussed, it had been discovered that only a warrant article or special town meeting could clear its path. This was said to be the case because it was originally a gift. (Note the donation in New Business).

Town-owned Properties Available for Disposition. All of them.


The Town Deposit Location Policy was to be sorted out by department heads before the end of January. One of the proposed solutions had the Town Clerk, an elected official in her own right, being forced to break her own campaign promises regarding office hours.

The Town government has opted instead to post an extra position. This solution is good for the department heads, who last summer off-loaded their accounting tasks and hours to the Town Clerk. (There was briefly some danger of them having to take them back). This solution is good for the Town Clerk, who was swamped, having picked up the extra hours from the departments without having been given any extra staff.

It is yet another dead loss for taxpayers, who have now an additional permanent expense incurred with no net increase in “services.” Thanks, department heads, and thanks, Selectmen. And a special thanks for the new Town Treasurer, who arranged it all.


Finally, there will be the approval of prior minutes (from the BOS meeting of February 20), the expenditure report, Public Comments “Pertaining to Topics Discussed,” Town Administrator comments (on the Town Election), and BOS comments.


Ms. McDougall has called an eighth meeting of her Milton Advocates group. It will take place again in the Nute Library’s Community Room, on a date and time not yet determined. All town residents are invited. Bring your best manners. (Not her words).


Mr. S.D. Plissken contributed to this article.


References:

State of New Hampshire. (2016, June 21). RSA Chapter 91-A. Access to Governmental Records and Meetings. Retrieved from www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/VI/91-A/91-A-3.htm

Town of Milton. (2018, March 1). BOS Meeting Agenda, March 4, 2019. Retrieved from www.miltonnh-us.com/sites/miltonnh/files/agendas/3.4.19_bos_agenda.pdf

Wikipedia. (2018, December 22). Repeal of Prohibition in the United States. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Repeal_of_Prohibition_in_the_United_States

Wintry Mix – Budget Committee

By S.D. Plissken | March 2, 2019

The Milton Meet the Candidates night went forward as planned. The winter storm had largely dissipated by late afternoon. High winds followed.

As for the presentations, they were … interesting.

Continued from Wintry Mix – School Board Candidates

For the Budget Committee – Two Three-Year Slots

Mr. Thomas McDougall and Mr. Humphrey Williams both made statements (see also Meet Mr. Williams). Both spoke to the need for beginning the budget process much earlier in the year and for setting definite goals. No more November surprises.

Both spoke also to the need for the Board of Selectmen (BOS) to manage actively the sizes of departmental budgets. (The BOS has had in spades the same diminishing marginal returns problem that puzzled so many School Board candidates).

The “new dog,” Mr. Williams, cited his experience of creating large budgets in his career at the shipyard, and seemed to be appalled at the incomprehensibility and duplication in Milton Town budgets and budget processes.

Mr. Williams claimed that it should be possible, for a time, to have every year a lower budget. Well, of course. He cited an example of having implemented a 10% annual reduction, which was carried forward over a number of years, until the budget was halved. Over the same period twice as much was being accomplished, i.e., production increases. In this case, the product is termed “services.”

These two candidates are running for two seats. They will both be “elected.”

Mr. McDougall is running for re-election. He thought the budgets are more complicated than they need to be. He has not proposed cuts in the past, as he felt it might impact services. He thought the budget process has a lot of repetition.

Mr. McDougall twice expressed his disappointment at not having any competition for his seat. And, with that kind of thinking, he would have had a good chance even in a contested race.

For the Budget Committee – One One-Year Slot

Two other candidates have thrown their hats into the ring as write-in candidates for the third empty seat. That would be the empty one-year Budget Committee spot on the ballot, and the candidates would be Mr. John Gagner and Mr. Dennis Woods.

Mr. Gagner posted a statement on February 2:

I believe that I have the technical fortitude and never-back-down attitude that our town desperately needs. It would be my honor to better my home. Please feel free to ask me about any of my ideas.

Mr. Woods has had a vacation home here for many years and is now retired here. You may find his posting of February 25 at the Milton NH Community News Facebook site. The portion that states his intentions regarding the budget process is excerpted here:

Like most Milton residents, I’m concerned about the increased spending that leads to higher taxes, and would like to apply my experience in Corporate management and finance, to see if we can make some changes that will provide relief without sacrifice.

Neither of these postings really commit their candidates to reducing Milton’s taxes. Mr. Gagner claims to have the technical “chops” and never-back-down attitude required. Unfortunately, he does not say whether he would be applying that attitude towards increasing or decreasing taxes. Mr. Woods is “concerned” about increased spending, but commits only to “relief without sacrifice.”

Muh Services

The departments will present ever larger budgets, as they have for many years. If they encounter any “never-back-down attitude,” they put on a pantomime regarding cuts to “muh services.” The last full-on Washington Monument show presented by the Town featured the claim that a 10% cut would require 20% staff reductions, i.e., an apparently disproprotionate “sacrifice.”

There used to be an old but effective shell game played on clueless managers or, in this case, budget committeemen. They would be presented with three choices: something catastrophic, something requiring “sacrifice”, and finally the thing that they are intended to choose. Not infallible, but very reliable.

Turkey VultureA “concerned” tax cutter is going to need intestinal fortitude as well as technical fortitude in order to choose lower taxes. The usually-proffered third choice also entails a less obvious “sacrifice”: sacrificing the interests of struggling taxpayers and, ultimately, sacrificing those taxpayers entirely.

Never forget Selectman Lucier gloating over the tax seizure of a home: “We’ll own that property soon, right?” It needed to be done … in the interests of the “community” … to preserve “muh services.”

Without a firm commitment to tax reduction, it is difficult to see why fence-sitters’ names should be even remembered, let alone “written in.” Perhaps they might wish to “amend” their statements?

SB2 Town Discussion

The panel’s discussion ended with a interesting description of the SB2 Town format and what would be needed to revert to the former Town Meeting format, which would permit also department-level budget votes, rather than the current whole-Town Budget up or down votes.


See also: Wintry Mix – School Committee, Wintry Mix- Fire Chief, Wintry Mix – Selectmen, and Meet Mr. Williams


References:

Town of Milton. (2019, February 24). Meet the Candidates Night (Budget Committee). Retrieved from youtu.be/nOmRUcqTf08?t=8564

Wikipedia. (2019, January 27). Marginal Utility. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marginal_utility

Wikipedia. (2018, June 22). Washington Monument Syndrome. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington_Monument_Syndrome