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Letter: Reject Sunapee lease amendments


Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Unacceptable Mount Sunapee lease agreement amendments are on the Executive Council agenda for Dec. 19.

One amendment allows Vail Resorts to sublease up to 50 percent of its lease holdings to other entities without thorough state review, and approval, thus further undercutting state authority and accountability over its own resources.

A second amendment re-introduces west bowl expansion. Original approval (2016) was based on flawed information that downplayed Mount Sunapee’s unique environment and ancient forests. Neither environmental impact studies nor federal LWCF regulations were then, or are now, considered. Any west bowl development would siphon off state revenues into private hands on private lands.

A third amendment would create an “advisory” commission rather than the administrative one with power to regulate our park’s affairs (called for in lease-enabling legislation, but not enacted). Twenty years of state oversight failures require a new commission with authority to directly administer state park affairs.

New Hampshire’s constitution, Article 8, states that state representatives derive their power from the people as the people’s “substitutes and agents.”

“Government . . . should be open, accessible, accountable and responsive . . . the public’s right of access to governmental proceedings and records shall not be unreasonably restricted.”

Our government officials swear to uphold this constitution, yet their amendment proceedings so far constitute “unreasonable restrictions.” Amendments are extensive documents requiring public hearings, scrutiny and input. No such hearings are scheduled; that short-circuits the public’s right of constitutionally guaranteed access and raises serious legal issues.

Urge your executive councilor to reject these amendments on Dec. 19.

ALAN SHULMAN

New London