Meeting 05 April 2018
Recorder: Bill Secord

There’s one thing that’s as sure as death and taxes: nothing goes according to plan at a Rotary club meeting. We showed up at the Dwinell room at 11:30 to discover that the Harvest Hill kitchen had expected us for breakfast that morning—not for lunch. The pesky fifth Thursday again. We can blame a politician for our crazy calendar—Julius Caesar.

John in the kitchen outdid himself. With almost no notice he produced a very tasty lunch with zesty bean soup and several choices of grilled meat and a casserole. We owe him.

  • Vice President Marion Steiner rang the meeting to order at 12:15. Ernst Oidtmann led us in “R-O-T-A-R-Y” and “America the Beautiful,” and Paul Boucher spoke the invocation. Garlan Hoskin failed to pull the Queen of Hearts, and Phil Rentz won the car wash.

  • Dean Cashman bragged about his new employment at Mascoma Bank (nee Mascoma Savings Bank), and John Yacavone announced his eighty-first birthday, in honor of which he presented the Rotary Foundation with a check for $81.00. Bill Secord is worried about having to gain weight for the regional weightlifting tournament on Saturday. Bruce Bergeron looks forward to the opening of the racing season and to competing at Watkins Glen.

  • JoAnn Lemieux introduced guest Ed Friedman, who is the new Project Manager for CAD Design at Trumbull-Nelson. Ed expressed strong interest in becoming a member of the new combined Lebanon clubs. John Yacavone announced his poker club’s search for substitute gamblers—and later retracted his invitation when he realized that our guest speaker was the new city manager and former Allenstown police chief Shaun Mulholland.

  • Bruce Bergeron reminded people that our club is booked to serve a Listen Community Dinner on Tuesday, April 10. Bruce also gave a brief update on the planning for the Rotary golf tournament fundraiser scheduled for May 24. The Pie Fest committee is asking each club member to bake three pies again this year and to sell or purchase five pie tickets.

Next meeting: April 12, 2018, at 7:00
Our proposed opioid grant review

Speaker: Cheri Bryer, Recovery Coach Trainer at DHMC

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Shaun Mulholland, Lebanon City Manager

Chamber President Rob Taylor introduced the City of Lebanon’s new city manager, Shaun Mulholland. Rob noted that Shaun came to Lebanon after serving as city manager and police chief at Allenstown, New Hampshire. Shaun is presently a board member and the treasurer of the New Hampshire Municipal Association.

Manager Mulholland spoke about how his experiences at Allenstown have prepared him for the manager’s position in the City of Lebanon, especially the need for efficiencies in government while at the same time increasing the quality of service. Because of the limited grand list at Allenstown, he was forced to make cuts in the budget, so he found efficiencies that allowed him to do so without impacting governmental effectiveness. He plans to use the same approaches for Lebanon, using a team environment to build a budget that works for the citizens. As an example of ways to increase efficiency, Shaun pointed to his goal of making government operations 95% paperless in a move to digital processing in such simple ways as the use of electronic signatures. He also plans to streamline permitting and other processes by structuring joint departmental efforts in addressing housing, transportation, and sewer/water separation.

Shaun called for coordinated out reach to businesses, pointing out that we must be ready for changes that will inevitably come in state and local economies. He sees a future in public/private partnerships. He also sees the opportunity to build upon the high-tech industry in Lebanon by developing a coordinated master plan to support that type of business. He pointed out that Greater Lebanon has more high-tech industry than the Portsmouth area of the state. An important element of all these efforts—he plans no rapid turnover in the city manager’s position!

By using Lean practices of management common in the business sector, Shaun sees no need to lay off city employees as he consolidates programs while implementing technology. In response to a question from Steve Christy concerning the support Shaun might expect from the city councilors regarding commercial development, Shaun stated that on his third day on the job he proposed the creation of an economic vitality commission to the Council. He pointed out to the Council that we must initiate such efforts if we want to compete with other municipalities in the state. He sees hope for success in these endeavors with support from people such as the newly elected councilor, Rotarian Karen Zook.

Susan Donnelly questioned Shaun about how he plans to address the cost of housing in the Upper Valley. He pointed out that government can be more effective in supporting low-income housing than in facilitating mid-level housing. For that reason he is in conversation with DHMC on how to create more mid-level housing that will allow younger workers to relocate more easily to the Upper Valley. Shaun will also be giving a presentation to the planning board on the housing crisis. He also would like to add alternates to the planning board that he would nominate for City Council approval.

Shaun pointed out that larger organization tend to lack teamwork, and he is going to address that issue. He plans to consolidate the use of the GIS systems and to make the application process more streamlined and user friendly. His experience in all aspects of town government in Allenstown will help him with the restructuring he will be doing in Lebanon for cost savings and efficacy. After all, as manager in the smaller community of Allenstown, he sometimes even drove a snow plow!


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