Many in Strafford Delegation not happy with proposed rest home numbers

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To the editor:
I've noticed that few articles talking about the Strafford County Commissioner elections make mention of the fact that Stafford County is the only county that does not elect by districts.
Republican representation has been absent for as long as I can remember. I believe one year a Republican was elected but I never had much concern as a former state legislator, because I had felt the county was run well with the Democrats who were always in charge.
When I was elected as a Rochester city councilor in 1991 I became close friends with then Mayor Roland Roberge. Roland was also a county commissioner at the time, and he took me down to Riverside Rest Home and proudly showed me what the county was doing taking care of the elderly. The first person he introduced me to was George Maglaras, a very likable guy.
When I became a member of the Strafford County Delegation in 2000, when I was elected to the General Court of NH, I once again got to see the county, this time as a state representative. When the budgets were presented to the delegation I rarely voted against the budget, because I felt the county was being run very well by the commissioners and County Administrator Ray Bower.
After the last National Election it was pointed out to me that Stafford County has between 3,000-4,000 more Democrats registered to vote than Republicans. I think this was one of the motivations for trying to align Stafford County with the other nine counties in the state.
When the new nursing home proposal was presented to the Strafford Delegation, I believe in December of 2022, the eyewatering sum of 170 million dollars was proposed for the new nursing home. That sum did not get the required votes to pass, The main reason was that it required a two-thirds vote. The commissioners did not have the votes to pass their nursing home. I think what has happened is that some members of the delegation have gotten deeper into the issue and have not been satisfied with the answers they have been receiving from Ray Bower and the commissioners, namely George Maglaras.
- Jim Twombly,
Rochester City Councilor 1991-1999
State Legislator 2000-2006, 2008-2010
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