June 6, 2018 Meeting


The Sergeant-at-arms showed up outside the Dwinell room at 11:35 only to discover the door was locked. A trip through the kitchen allowed Tim Guaraldi to open up in time to greet Ernst Oidtmann as Ernst arrived with a formidable pickaxe (which Ernst claimed was actually a mattock) over his shoulder and Ernst's usual smile (in this case, reminiscent of Anthony Hopkins). In the time before President-elect Steve Christy rang the meeting bell, club members enjoyed tasty cold borscht—which seemed, however, to be missing the sour cream. Some of the conversation centered around a car auction that had taken place the previous Saturday at the W. A. Smith Auction Gallery in Plainfield. It seems as though the auction frenzy had induced someone to buy a 1996 Mercedes 230Sl for $19,000. Garlan Hoskin claimed that such a figure was way overpriced, and he should know since he recently sold his wife's VW Superbug on Craig's List. Garlan wouldn't reveal the price.


  • Suzanne Prentiss, Mayor of the City of Lebanon, and guest speaker.


  • Jean Wulpern announced that it's only four weeks to The Wedding.
  • Will Koppenheffer reported on his experience helping to deliver our first-grade readers to students at the Hanover Street School. Wil stated that the event was the most fun and rewarding service project he has participated in as a Rotarian.
  • Joann Lemieux fined herself for her new commission with Edward Jones Investment. Her territory ranges from Keene to as far north in New Hampshire she wishes to travel! JoAnn also paid three dollars for missing meetings last month, but she also reported that she did several makeups, including two in Brattleboro.
  • Ernst Oidtmann explained the presence of his deadly mattock. Saturday, June 9, is cleanup day for the Packard Hill Bridge Park established by the Lebanon Rotary Club.


  • Jean Wulpern picked the Two of Diamonds.
  • Rich Wallace won the car wash.
Russell Hampton
National Awards Services Inc.

Meeting Schedule

June 14 — 7:00 a.m. at Dwinell
Program: Patricia William plays and teaches the harp. She will bring her harp and tell us of its affect upon those suffering from Alzheimer's. She will play and answer questions.  Patricia has played at Drug Court graduations and works at Kendall.
June 28 — Keep this date open as our possible Changeover Meeting date.
Plans are being finalized with caterers.


  • The trees are in! Evan Leary needs our help in getting them into the ground as soon as possible. Contact him at 603.812.4192.
  • Bill Secord called Jim Damren up to the podium to receive his latest Paul Harris pin. Jim's pin now has four sapphires encircling the Paul Harris profile—signifying a total of $5,000 having been donated by Jim to the Rotary Foundation. Jim noted that this amount hadn't been given all at one time. Foundation donation deadline coming up at the end of June. Contribute:
  • Fourth of July 2018—Great American Pie Buffet at the Lebanon Senior Center.
    The sign-up sheet for what type of pies you will be donated was circulated. The sheet will be circulated again next week.
Member information: 
  • All members to supply two sweet and one savory pie. Or a member can give the club a check for $45.00, and the pie committee will have the pies made or purchased;
  • Each member is to sell or buy five tickets ($8 for adults and $5 for children under 10 years old);
  • We will publicize and sell tickets at the Farmers' Market at Colburn Park from 4 to 7 p.m. on June 14, 21, and 28 (all Thursdays). We need volunteers to cover the booth. This venue gives everyone an opportunity to sell his/her tickets and to participate if he/she can't be at the event on July Fourth.
  • Steve Christy represented the Lebanon Rotary clubs at Mascoma High School's awards ceremony last Sunday. Bill Secord represented the Lebanon Rotary clubs at the Lebanon High School awards ceremony last Monday. In total our clubs handed out $6,000 worth of scholarship money.
  • The ClubRunner webpages for our two clubs will be consolidated on June 30: we will have one presence on the Web! Our member list for the 2018-19 Rotary year needs to be finalized by that date for RI.
Ron Michaud introduced Suzanne Prentiss, the Mayor of the City of Lebanon.
Sue began by noting that she had originally been scheduled to speak at Rotary last October about the search for a new city manager but that her traveling schedule had caused her to have to cancel. She apologized for missing that original meeting, but now she could report on the activities of the new city manager himself! Shaun Mulholland started his job as city manager on January 22. The search for a new manager took a year, but it was done in a much more deliberate fashion than in the past. The Council received more citizen input, even using a Web portal and public forums. The Council consulted with the City unions and other employees, and a search firm was used—Municipal Resources, Inc.
Sue's background is in emergency medical services. She remembers first becoming interested in the field from watching the TV program Emergency in her youth. She has served as chief regulator of ambulance services for New Hampshire. Sue has lived in Lebanon since 2004, and her husband has served as a fire fighter in Lebanon for 29 years. Now in her second year as mayor, Sue was first elected to the City Council from Ward One in 2009.
In Lebanon's city manager form of government, the City Council sets policy and the city manager acts as the CEO, implementing the Council's policy. Sue noted that one of our own Rotary Club members is also a member of the Council, but that Councilor Karen Zook had excused herself from today's meeting because at this very moment she is covered in paint in the midst of moving her business, Scratch!
Sue explained that the primary policy tool for the City Council is the budget. Budget-making is a year-long process. By April in the fiscal year the Council draws a line for the amount the budget cannot exceed, and the City personnel comes in with a proposed budget figure in July. This year a 2-percent level increase has been set as the top allowable. All of the increase in last year's budget was for infrastructure spending, primarily for the Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) project ordered by the EPA in a consent decree that requires the project be finished by 2022—for a total of 69 million dollars. As part of the project the City has made every effort to carry out all related infrastructure work such as street pavement at the same time.
The major action items being addressed by the Council at this time are:
  1. the tunnel under the parking area at the west end of the pedestrian mall;
  2. the CSO project;
  3. tax rate stabilization;
  4. the Westboro Railroad Yard; and
  5. energy efficiency.
The tunnel presents a safety issue. Options include completely rebuilding it, partially filling it in (still at a cost of $1-to-2 million), or eliminating it entirely (at a cost of $5 million).
The CSO project is connected with a waste-water capacity issue. A sector of the City's sewer system is now at 80% capacity. In a need to take action, the Council has issued a temporary order to limit capacity growth while options are evaluated.
The Westboro Yard is a particularly tough issue because the land is owned by the State of New Hampshire and is still partially utilized (so the Federal government is involved). Furthermore, the ground is seriously contaminated. The first steps are to have the buildings knocked down and the propane safety issue resolved. Making this area into a park is not precluded buy these actions, and a meeting has been scheduled for our legislative delegation to meet with the governor's office to discuss options.
The creation of the new position of Energy and Facilities Coordinator for the City is part of an effort to promote "Sustainable Lebanon." City Manager Mulholland is in the process of building the City into a lean organization, including direct energy-saving steps and partnerships with local organizations.
Two other projects of the Council include the creation of a cemetery task force and an arts and culture task force. Assistant Mayor Tim McNamara will head up a cemetery board of trustees that will govern the management of the City's cemeteries. The arts and culture task force is tasked as a six-month initiative with nine members. Part of the impetus to explore this aspect of City life is the fact that in 2015 the City of Portsmouth generated $38 million related to its cultural economy. 
A question from Wil Koppenheffer about the accuracy of the figure often banded about that the City's population grows to 23, 32, or even 43,000 during the day as the outside workforce and shoppers enter the City. The figure, he noted, is sometimes used for budget calculations. Mayor Suzanne indicated that the Council is attempting to get an accurate figure around this issue, but she noted that budget calculations, such as police department or fire department staffing, is based on the call volume of those departments, not the City's population.    
Ron Michaud asked Mayor Sue about the perception of some people that "Lebanon is not business friendly." Sue pointed out that the city manager and the City Council are working to develop partnerships with local businesses and that the Council has established an economic vitality committee. Sue thinks that part of the perception is more from past experiences with home developers rather than businesses. Another example of efforts being made to contravene a perception of unfriendliness is the data collection being done by the arts and culture task force.
President-elect Steve Christy at this point in the mayor's talk had to bring questions from the highly engaged members to a close as time brought the meeting to its conclusion.
They Profit Most Who Serve the Best