EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

March 10, 2013

Your view: Letters to the editor

The Eagle-Tribune

---- — Quit worrying and get happy

To the editor:

Has anyone noticed that no matter how bad things get economically in America as long as the stock market is up, we are supposed to forget our troubles and get happy?

It wouldn’t matter if the price of gas went up say, 30, 40 or 50 cents in a matter of two months, hurting the poor and middle class the most. It doesn’t matter that we are $16 trillion in debt and we can’t pay it back. Don’t worry that there are 47 million on food assistance. If you are one of those 100 million Americans of working age who are not working, don’t sweat it, Wall Street has got your back. Please don’t be apprehensive that more people went on the disability rolls than jobs were created during much of this wonderful recovery.

Pay no attention to stories that a new car is out of reach for most Americans. Please don’t stay up at night worrying about the threats that if we cut a tiny bit of spending, the world will end. Ignore the people you see in greater numbers who carry their belongings in shopping carts, gym bags, and backpacks in places like Haverhill and the longer lines at the food pantry. These are just people who haven’t heard the good news from our corporate media, government and economic experts.

We are all familiar with the economic experts. They told us there wasn’t an Internet bubble, there wasn’t a housing bubble, subprime lending was contained, missed the 2008 crisis, then told us there would not be a recession because of the collapse and so much more great stuff. The stock market hit a new high yesterday, so put on your black hat, tuxedo jacket, sing “hallelujah” and get happy!

Jay McClenaghan


Elderly Affairs will continue to help seniors

To the editor:

I am writing to offer some clarity and to clear up various misconceptions regarding the Atkinson Elderly Affairs Program.

The current program will continue to operate as it has done so in the past. Atkinson Town Administrator Bill Innes has been appointed to take over the department on an interim basis. Bill has been a resident of the town for many years and is, in fact, a senior himself. Bill is available at Town Hall Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. to answer any questions and concerns you have regarding the program.

If you use our program, please continue to schedule your request for services as you have done in the past. If you are new to our program, please contact Bill Innes and he will help you through the process. We look forward to continuing to provide the best in elderly affairs services to our residents who use our program and enthusiastically welcome all new residents who wish to use our program.

In regard to the funding of the program, I want to be clear that the EA program in funded with appropriated tax dollars as is has been for many years. This year’s budget is $44,488. This budget covers the cost of the program and is based on previous appropriated budgets and budget request by the department head. No additional funds are required to operate the program.

There have been various inquiries into the existence, use and ownership of the private donations that have been deposited into the account of the Atkinson Police Charitable Fund. This fund was created in 2008 as a 501(c) nonprofit charitable trust. This entity is not a part of the Town of Atkinson. The town does not rely on any part of this fund to subsidize the Elderly Affairs Program. The town does not have control of this entity or any of the funds that have been deposited into it or to where any of the funds are applied. This organization does not report to the Town of Atkinson and the town does not have the ability to audit its accounts. All of these items are regulated by the New Hampshire Department of Justice Charitable Trust Division. The town has no plans to regulate or take over this fund.

Moving forward, the town will re-establish a donation account within the control of the Trustees of the Trust Funds for any and all donations made on behalf of the Elderly Affairs Program. This account will be similar to the account that was used for the same purposes for many years until its closure in 2008 when its funds were depleted and it ceased to receive any new donations. This new account will be fully transparent and audited on an annual basis as with all town accounts.

If you have any questions in regard to the Elderly Affairs Program or any other program or issue in town, please feel free to contact any of the members of the Board of Selectmen at 603-362-5266.

On behalf of the Atkinson Board of Selectmen,

Fred Childs