Tyler Holt, 5, displays the fish he caught, while his older brother Brandon, 11, kept a watchful eye on his fish that was being measured.
For the 27th straight year, Litchfield’s Conservation Commission held a fishing derby for Litchfield youngsters. The fishing derby is always held at the wide spot in Chase Brook that is formed by the dam. Every year, prior to the event, the Conservation Commission stocks the pond with fish.
Soon before the event began, vehicles were parked along Pond View and Mark Lane. Although it was misty and gray, participants were cheery and smiling. Throughout the morning there was a steady stream of participants running to the measuring station. Each fish was measured and the length recorded. Biggest fish would win a prize — but so would best hat!
Tyler Holt, 5, has been fishing since he was two and a half, said his mother. This year Tyler donated a Dale Earnhardt Jr. fishing rod to be used as one of the prizes.
Marion Godzik said the Conservation Commission was grateful to Inside the Tackle Box in Manchester and to Granite State Rod and Reel for sponsoring this year’s event.
“We never know how many people will come,” said Godzik. “There are so many spring activities, but we always have a good time.”
Spectators set up for the day at the pond
Benson’s Committee member Jerry Desrosiers appeared during the public input session of the Board of Selectmen meeting on May 12, to address concerns stemming from his recent communication with Selectman Shawn Jasper.
Desrosiers, who last month was appointed to the newly formed Benson’s Committee, explained that he had suggested a gathering of the committee at the Benson’s property on Sunday, May 11, in an effort to meet other members before choosing officers on May 14.
Shortly thereafter, Desrosiers was contacted by Jasper, the committee’s selectman liaison, and informed that permission would be necessary to conduct such a gathering. This directive, stated Desrosiers, “made me feel like I did something wrong.”
A series of e-mails, which became somewhat acrimonious, then ensued between Desrosiers and Jasper, with Desrosiers at one point asking the selectmen to do the job themselves if they are unable to leave the committee alone. These e-mail exchanges later led to Desrosiers’ decision to publicly question Jasper.
“As far as I’m concerned, anybody can go in Benson’s. To tell people in town that they can’t go in there without the board’s permission, I think is wrong,” Desrosiers stated in reference to item 10 on page 19 of the Benson’s Quit Claim Deed. He additionally pointed out that these were his opinions only, and not necessarily those of his fellow committee members.
“I don’t know who’s wrong or who’s right, but I’m not going to quit. If the committee is not happy with me, you can fire me, but I’m in there for the long run,” concluded Desrosiers.
Jasper, who had obviously become quite exasperated by this turn of events, explained that the deed language is clearly intended for when the park is actually opened to the public and that the deed is not a law but a condition.
“It is the policy that that property is closed and entry can only be gained by permission of the Board of Selectmen or the Town Administrator. That is a matter of public record and policy,” Jasper began. Jasper then pointed out that the current condition of the land, particularly the buildings within, gives rise to potential safety issues and that this is why “unfettered access” cannot be allowed at this point.
Reading aloud one of his e-mails to Desrosiers, Jasper stated, “I was looking forward to working with the Benson’s Committee. I no longer am. If you [Desrosiers] continue down this path, I will offer the board of selectmen my resignation from the committee. After all of these years, I’ve wanted to get going on this project, now, thanks to you, I just want to run away from it.”
Desrosiers responded that he was not trying to do anything official in planning the gathering and that, again, he only wanted to meet the other members prior to the first official meeting.
Selectman Richard Maddox expressed his appreciation for Desrosiers’ desire to quickly move forward on the project, but nevertheless emphasized that structure is necessary in a democracy, which can often slow processes.
Selectmen Vice Chairman Ken Massey then referred to the state’s Right to Know law, which deems a meeting of any body of government to be illegal if its agenda is not posted beforehand and the meeting then made public. Massey apologized for the board not having reviewed this with the new committee.
To aid the Benson’s Committee in moving forward, a unanimous motion was passed permitting access to the property for committee members only during the weekend of May 16 and 17.
Selectmen Chairman Roger Coutu concluded the discussion by praising Desrosiers’ enthusiasm and years of related expertise. He then offered insight into upcoming plans for the Benson’s property. “It’s time that we work together in unity to provide for the public an opportunity for them to explore that property and for us to bring it to the beauty and the nature that it offers,” he proclaimed.
“I think we’re going to make slow, but steady progress. It [the property] will be accessible, I’m sure, by mid-summer. Some parts of it we will have accessible to the public,” he continued.
“I hope that you and Selectman Jasper can put your differences aside and move forward and get the job done,” Coutu stated to Desrosiers in closing.
While they are our elected leaders, Selectman Coutu prepares to decorate Selectman Nadeau with some chocolate syrup as the ever-serious Selectman Massey keeps scooping ice cream.
For the third year, Hudson selectmen, under the stewardship of Selectman Ken Massey, hosted an ice cream social for those who donate their time and energy to keep Hudson moving forward and also to keep Hudson a great place to live. Held at the Community Center, ice cream was served with many toppings. The evening was a ‘Meet and Greet’ for those from various committees and boards who mostly work within the structure of their group to improve Hudson for all its citizens.
Selectmen Chairman Roger Coutu thanked all in attendance for their service to the town. All had their fill of ice cream, donated by Countrybrook Farms Nursery and Garden Center.
The rumor coming out of this celebration is that longtime Zoning Board of Adjustment Chairman J. Bradford Seabury loves ice cream even more than our own Selectman Nadeau does.
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