Profiled: Harriet E. Cady

Harriet E. Cady of New Hampshire Harriet E. Cady, a Vermont girl who made New Hampshire her home 53 years ago she married a Raymond resident after building a home in Raymond she became involved in town committees and state politics. She was an active mother of four, three boys and a girl acting as a den mother scout leadership coucil and 4-H.

With her husband, Chet she ran a Television business in Raymond and entered into Real estate in 1970.

Profiled: Harriet E. Cady

Harriet E. Cady of New HampshireHarriet E. Cady, a Vermont girl who made New Hampshire her home 53 years ago she married a Raymond resident after building a home in Raymond she became involved in town committees and state politics. She was an active mother of four, three boys and a girl acting as a den mother scout leadership coucil and 4-H.

With her husband, Chet she ran a Television business in Raymond and entered into Real estate in 1970.

In serving on many committees and commissions she became educated to the taxpayers money being used in ways that many would never believe. She attended town meetings and worked to learn why certain things were done and why the high costs. From 2002 through 2006 she served in the NH Legislature quitting to become a town administrator. She served five years on the Conservation Commission and nine years on the Southern NH Planning Commission and was appointed to the Health Licensing Agency now known as the Certificate of need by Governor John Sununu and saw many ways in which costs were increased to the taxpayers by those who make the rules and regulations.

Girard at Large Broadcast Archive

Listen to Harriet’s Girard at Large interview from 12-14-2011

Girard at Large Document Archive

###

 

btn-pdf-downloadMaine and Vermont had no wetlands easements bought.  Isn’t it interesting that the USDA has over 12 million dollars left over nationally and congress continues to look for money and waste?

btn-pdf-downloadDownload the list of parcels purchased under our Wetland Reserve Program in New Hampshire

 


Letter to USDA regarding the wetlands payments
AUGUST 10, 2011

Recently under my Freedom of Information Request I received a reply which did not speak to all of my questions per attached letter nor to those raised at the September meeting in 2010 at the USDA office in Durham.

For instance, you stated you bought wetlands to protect the cleanliness of the water, but I note the Cannon and Kubelka wetland easements bought protect a middle portion of Branch Brook which eventually flows down to Candia through the old landfill and on to the Lamprey River, How does that protect cleanliness? Further I asked about persons who work at USDA having the special interest and relationship to one of the sellers, Cannon? Also that Phil Auger, county extension agent, forester, etc. who works for the program and then serves on the land trust boards receiving money, Never answered!

The WRP program authorized under 16 U.S.C. Section 3837, et seq and regulations at 7 CFR Part 1467 appear to allow “insider payoffs.” I give you the fact that Erick Berglund of Deerfield has been a volunteer in the program being paid $399,040.03 for 49 acres in Strafford County and he also being a member of Bear Paw Regional Greenways and the Deerfield Conservation Commission. Then Judith Spang who sold 91.4 wetland acre easements in Merimack for $510,000, etc. Another interesting thing was that the original list of persons who have received payment The many examples which when I came to your office and explained you were paying more than the assessed fee simple value and you told me you were allowed to pay the average for the county yet obviously that is an incorrect statement because Erick Berglund’s is but one example of his being paid nearly $8150 per acres for an easement versus the approx. $4,000 per acre to the Cannon’s on South Road in Deerfeild.

I also note with interest that neither VT. or Maine seem to have received any of the Federal largess but Rockingham, Strafford and a little of Merrimack certainly have.
As a taxpayer I am very curious about how my federal dollars are spent and especially so when there seems to be some individuals that have been extremely involved in save our wetlands being richly rewarded with Taxpayer dollars. Since according to my town assessor the acreage was worth in fee simple just $2000 per acre paying for an easement way over the ownership in complete fee simple while letting the persons still own, farm cut wood, etc. appears to agin take advantage of taxpayers.

Since I have not received satsifactory answers about this program I am asking for a complete investigation into the number of people receiving what I have found to be excessive payments for their wetlands and how buying piecemeal parcels of wetlands will protect water downstream?

I also request under my Freedom of Information request that I receive descriptions of what was bought and listings of all in New Hampshire. The last one you sent was not complete As proven by the two different documents received at different times one by email and this latest by crtifid mail copied to others.

Sincerely,
Harriet E. Cady
P.O. Box 149
Deerfield, NH 03037-0149

 

USDA e-mail response to (Cady letter August 17, 2010)

This e-mail is in response to your request received August 23, 2010, regarding, “Buying of Wetlands Conservation Easement in Deerfield, NH.” (Cady letter August 17, 2010). Thank you for your concern on our Wetland Reserve Program. Per your discussion today with Brian Vigue, our Freedom of Information Act Officer, we are handling this as a series of questions and not as a request under FOIA for specific records.

 

The following are responses to each of your individual questions:

 

1. How many wetlands easements have been bought in the state and how many in Deerfield?

As of 08/20/2010, 22 fiscal year 2009 Wetland Reserve Program (WRP) easements have closed. Three are located in the town of Deerfield.

 

Who did you buy the 22 easements from and where in the state? I note that you also state that there were three bought in fiscal year 2009, who from and where in Deerfield? Then I know from deed recordings that you bought two in Deerfield, Cannon’s in April and Graykins in June 2010 what others were bought in 2010? Please list all properties bought in NH or provide documents since inception of the program/law?

 

2. How was the value set for the acreage easement?

The value was set by the New Hampshire Geographic Area Rate Cap (GARC).

 

Please provide a copy of the GARC and explain what or provide a map of the Geographic area. The next question is specific as to the value set for an acre in “Fee Simple” for Deerfield as $2,100 and yet your agency paid nearly $4100 for an easement which is only one right in a total acre of land so again please explain how an easement value set by an appraiser can be more than the appraised value of an acre?

 

3. The Town of Deerfield has just been revalued and my excess backland acre has a value of $2,100 so how can a wetland easement be nearly two times the value?

We cannot speak to the valuation methods of the Town of Deerfield. WRP easement values are set by the state GARC. Information about the GARC can be found on our website at www.nh.nrcs.usda.gov.

 

The valuation methods for Deerfield or any other town are set by the National Association of Assessing Officials Standards, very comparable to appraisal methods I used when an appraiser for the NH Dept. of Transportation. In fact the NH D.O.T. had checks by the Federal D.O.T. to be sure we did not pay more for a parcel of land to build a highway than the Market Value for the area. What regulations govern the value you pay? Please provide a copy of the regulation of who checks the value and okays the price and parcels bought?

 

4. An easement value should not be above the fee simple ownership value?

That is a correct. Can you explain why your agency paid more than market value as determined by National Association of Assessing Officials Standards?

 

5. Do the persons receiving the payment have to pay Capital Gains?

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is not authorized to provide tax information; however, all payments to program participants are reported to the IRS.

 

I am not asking for tax information on particular participants but rather does the law exempt persons from paying capital gains on money paid by Commodities Credit Corporation to buy the wetlands easements? Please send documentation of what this Commodities Credit Corporation’s incorporation and who is in its Board of Directors?

 

6. Who are the employees for this agency in Durham?

http://www.nh.nrcs.usda.gov/contact/directory/alphabetical.html

 

I note that you have an employee named Maryellen Cannon, is she related to the James and Sally Cannon that you bought the 167.68 acres wetlands from on South Road in Deerfield? Do your employees have to sign a document disclosing their conflict of interests such as I used to have to for the NH Dept. of Transportation? Is Erick Bergland of Deerfield affiliated with your agency in any way?

 

7. In NH where property taxes are set by Market Value Sales in a community will this cause a skewed affect in setting land values for taxation purposes?

NRCS staff has neither the knowledge nor the authority to address how land values are assessed for taxation purposes. The NH Department of Revenue Administration or your Town Assessor may be able to assist you.

 

I well understand how land values are set in NH and how the market affects these values. I was a certified appraiser by the NH Department of Revenue for many years; I just want to know why the Federal Government uses tax payer’s money to pay more than market value and how it is justified. Further that the Federal Government also realize that their payments for land can be used to estimate market value in setting value for tax purposes.

 

8. Who are the employees of the Agency in Durham and in the State of New Hampshire?

http://www.nh.nrcs.usda.gov/contact/directory/alphabetical.html

 

9. How many belong to Conservation Commissions in the Towns where easements are being bought?

NRCS employee participation on a Conservation Commission does not require employer authorization; therefore, the agency has no way of knowing how many employees are members of Conservation Commissions.

 

Are you telling me that employees of the USDA Natural Resources Division do not have to disclose conflicts? If so why not?

 

10. What US Law set this program in place?

Title XII of the Food Security Act of 1985, as amended (16 U.S.C. &3837), for the Wetlands Reserve Program.

 

What year was it amended and please send a copy of the law and amendment?

 

11. I talked to a Sue Hoey of your agency in Durham when I called and she stated I needed to file a Freedom of Information Request for the information, why!

 

As stated above, this request will not be treated as a FOIA request. However, for your information, the FOIA is found in Title 5 of the United States Code, Section 552. FOIA was enacted in 1966 and gives any person the right to request access to almost any federal agency record, except those protected from disclosure by legal exemptions and exclusions (e.g., classified national security, business proprietary, personal privacy, and investigative documents). For additional information, please visit the USDA FOIA website at www.dm.usda.gov/foia.htm

 

I have now asked for Documents which I assume will be handled under the Freedom of Information Act. Should this not be correct please inform me of what other steps I must take.

 

12. How are the local officials and citizens notified of this program within their community?

The public is informed of the availability of NRCS technical assistance and programs through press releases in the local news media, radio announcements, and the national and state-wide web pages.

 

I guess I didn’t make my question clear, I am not asking about the availability of the program but rather about what parcels being bought in our community information and how the community knows about this?

 

If you have further questions, please contact Rick Ellsmore, State Conservationist. Thank you.

 

I have put everything in Green that I am asking and hope this makes it easier for your staff to clarify information to me.

Sincerely,

Harriet E. Cady

P.O. Box 149

Deerfield, NH 03037-0149

Tel 603-463-9727

 

Sincerely,

 

Rick Ellsmore

 

Rick Ellsmore

State Conservationist

USDA – NRCS

2 Madbury Road

Durham, NH 03824

Tel: 603-868-9931, Ext. 105

FAX: 603-868-5301

 

###

 



For more information pleasae call 603-463-9727

Costs come from laws, rules and regulations many of which we could live without but give more authority to those we put into various jobs in the towns and cities, it also helps make them to ask for higher paychecks.

Most recently Harriet has been watching the Conservation Commissions and land trusts which are buying up land easements so development cannot happen. In doing so she found that our federal government poured over $10 million into buying wetland easements of which one million dollars was spent in Deerfield. She started with a Freedom of Information request to the Secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and that brought her to the USDA State office in Durham. Her questions answered by friendly persons led to even more questions and although they are doing the job of distributing over $10 million of taxpayers money what is happening is the cost of this action is one more way in which we are making the cost for house lots more expensive to the children coming out of college and thus they start deciding to leave the state for cheaper living leaving NH without the educated workforce industry will need in the future. This will cause less industry to settle here and make NH less able to pay the costs of government as more and more land becomes untaxable.