New Sheriff In Town

…well, mayor.
Mayor Grenier made good on his promise to create closer ties with Laidlaw—a number of representatives from the company were at the meeting tonight, as Mayor Grenier, Councilor Robert Danderson and Councilor Michael Rozak were sworn in. It will be an interesting new chapter in the book of Berlin.
I’m interested to see how the new council interacts. The staunch Laidlaw opponents ranks are pretty close to the staunch Laidlaw supporters, and it could result in some tough battles if the council does not resolve to put those differences aside.
Mayor Grenier did call for support of both the Laidlaw and the CPD project, and I noticed Robert Danderson’s name on one of the petitions requesting CPD be subject to SEC review. It will be interesting to see if these two recent allies butt heads on this issue and if Mayor Grenier is going to go to bat for CPD with the same vigor he has gone to bat for Laidlaw.

On Wednesday WREN comes to a BIDPA meeting, which should offer another conversation worth following. WREN could bring a creative spirit to Berlin many people say was extinguished by years of mill life, but it will require the city taking a chance on them, a chance they can barely afford. If they are able to foster a partnership, however, it could be a rich partnership for both parties.

I’m getting back into the swing of Berlin, and I’m realizing how much I missed it. Work is always nice to get away from for a while, but when work is in Berlin it’s even nice to get back to. I took a ride with the police chief and Commissioner Steve Griffin today, along with a reporter from the daily. Chief Morency and Commissioner Griffin were presenting a Berlin woman with a plaque commemorating her 38 years of service as a crossing guard. We arrived, and she, her daughter, and a close friends plied us with cupcakes, coffee, soda, crackers, cheese, mini-cupcakes, donuts and juice. I don’t even drink coffee but I took a cup just to make these wonderful women happy. I also grabbed some grapes at the insistence of my hostesses. I’m not part of the French culture that dominates Berlin, but when we left Chief Morency and Commissioner Griffin reminisced how the was exactly like every visit to their grandmothers’ house as a child. I couldn’t help but smile. I’ve been allowed into a community that has more heart than most people would know how to cope with. After a few weeks away, it is certainly nice to be back.

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19 thoughts on “New Sheriff In Town

  1. It is alarming to note that in Grenier's first few seconds as Berlin's new Hitler, he managed to throw Berlin under the bus by stating that all naysayers of Laidlaw had better have God save them. Quite the message to be sent by a city to the likes of the Sierra Club, at least half the city council, other concerned citizens, organizations and businesses fighting to protect jobs and quality of life. Jon Edwards

  2. Jon –Hitler killed 6 million people, his only justification being that they were Jewish. Between homosexuals, Soviets, Poles and other ethic minorities, there were between 11 million and 17 million victims of his regime. Support for Laidlaw is not even on the same planet as ethnic cleansing; such a comparison is repugnant. In the future, unless you're talking about Chairman Mao, Stalin, Pol Pot, or some other despot who has killed in excess of 1 million people, don't compare anyone to Hitler on LPJ again.Thank you.Erik

  3. Merely pointing to the man in comparison to his style as "Dictator", however Erik you bring up a good point relative to deaths. I'd guess that the Burgess mill site has been responsible for more deaths in Berlin NH due that mill than any other factor in the north country. You should do some digging on stats relative to health related aspects and death tolls within the city. The good ol days Grenier is trying to return to with industry in the city's center was a sacrifice all lived with in the past because of the production of 1500 jobs. Grenier's dictatorial religious response that God better help all who try to stop Laidlaw fits within the definition of this dictator. If the glove fits… Jon Edwards

  4. Why don't you elaborate on my loss of perspective, Erik. You obviously take forever changing the life style of NH for granted and don't consider the issues that people raise as to quality of life as a big deal? I'd be interested in knowing just how petty you think our thoughts are. Thanks. Jon

  5. A mayor in support of a biomass plant on the former mill site (zoned industrial, mind you) in Berlin, NH CANNOT be compared to the evil that was Hitler and his "vision".Have you lost your mind? Seriously.

  6. Erik has obviously taken a liking to the new Mayor. Don't criticize Paul or Eric will delete your post. Now we have God, the Mayor and Eric working against our quality of life here in Berlin. We're definitely screwed. On a good note, Berlin will once again be ruled by an industrial master from out of town. Life will be back to normal once again and everyone will live happily ever after.

  7. Actually, you may notice I haven't deleted any posts, despite feeling they may be disgraceful. I have never deleted any posts, including those criticizing me. I have exhibited exactly zero censorship on LPJ.LPJ is meant to be a forum for reasoned discourse, however, and I'd like to keep it that way. A quick Google search for "Hitler" would give a baseline for what that reference implies. It is hyperbolic garbage to compare any elected official in Berlin to Hitler, regardless of your political leanings. It does nothing to further discourse about the political or economic situation in Berlin, so I'd rather people who wish to do create their own blog. Feel free to agree or disagree with any politician on here, or point out hypocrisy or lies, but don't throw around Hitler's name lightly. It only shows historical ignorance.

  8. I've already covered that Mathew, and yes this mayor can be compared, at least in his own mind, to the dictatorial style of Hitler in his pompous statements that even go so far as suggest damnation to those concerned for quality of life. Biomass on the Burgess mill site goes way beyond just impacting Berlin negatively; it negatively impacts the entire state by risking forest sustainability, running existing business out of business, creating support for monopolies and on and on. Laidlaw is horrific for Berlin, Coos County and NH. Jon Edwards

  9. Eric,I appreciate and understand your response. I sincerely hope that your obvious admiration of Mr. Grenier does not cloud your journalist responsibilities to be unbiased in your coverage of local politics. Mr. Grenier has a reputation of being quite closed minded and at times repugnantly boisterous. Please understand that there are many people in Berlin (yes, albeit a minority) who don't believe biomass in the downtown area is appropriate or that it will result in a general overall improvement for the City. We are now in the minority but people like Grenier will not bully us into oblivion. We have a right to express our concerns because we (unlike you) will have to live with this industrial monster next to our homes, businesses and parks. You may like Paul and think industry in downtown is a great idea, but many people don’t agree with you and think you are sadly mistaken.

  10. Erik never once voiced his opinion on the new mayor. He is just telling you how ignorant and repulsive it is to compare Berlin's new mayor to Adolf Hitler and you knuckleheads continue to spam your hatred all over the internet.Get a clue. This type of garbage doesn't belong here nor anywhere for that matter.

  11. Wow… I would have to say Pro laidlaw must be winning this fight by how pathetic Jon's comments are beginning sound. And to think he is the voice of the Grenier and Laidlaw opposition. His ignorant and disrespectful comments only weaken the oppositions case. Hitler? Really? You didn't think even for a minute that comparing Paul to one of the most notorious mass murderer the world has ever known would makes you look like you have nothing valid left to say? Well it does. Its says at least to me that you have nothing persuasive left to say and all there is to be done is making ludicrous comments as the ship goes down. Pretty sad.Erik thanks for putting up with this. I really don't know how you do it… but I guess it is par for the course as far as being a reporter.In my opinion you have always stayed neutral on all topics and simply put the information out there as you experienced it. Really, what else can you do? There will always be those opposed to whatever is said no matter what it is…

  12. I have not said biomass in the downtown is a good idea, I just said I am not convinced it is a bad idea. I am open to discussion with anyone, without preconceived notions—exactly where a reporter should be. I see the upsides and downsides of either side, and neither argument is conclusive in my eyes. Feel free to disagree. I have always encouraged people to voice their opinions here.I understand many people who post on LPJ dislike Laidlaw and Mayor Grenier. Feel free to express that, but please do it with some level of respect, if not for them then for your fellow citizens. Hateful rhetoric makes fosters poor discussions. This is a place to disagree with the policies and the stances, not to tear anyone down.I do like Paul Grenier. Like every other Berliner I've met, he has been kind and forthcoming. That's part of the reason I enjoy working there—people treat each other with respect. He isn't alone in that regard—almost every resident is happy to talk to me and help me do my job. That doesn't cloud my ability to report stances on issues. I like a number of people who are against the Laidlaw proposal as well. When I said something readers deemed hostile to Laidlaw I received a bunch of criticism that said I was anti-Laidlaw.As long as the tide of anger directed at me swings back and forth, I figure I'm doing fine.I do appreciate feedback, and I'm not trying to convince anyone to stop posting. Just maintain the level of decency you'd expect from your neighbors and we'll be fine.Thanks.

  13. My comments are sincere, not pathetic, very honest, and very much to the point that Grenier is acting as though he is a dictator under the guise that he wants to form a team. He is defining dictatorship by the statement "God help them if they try to fight against my stand". Grenier is Hitler in every sense of the word "Dictator" under the guise that he wants to help Clean Power as well as Laidlaw, when in fact he has refused to meet with Clean Power in the past. He is shoveling shit so deep that continues to cover his boots and needs to change his attitude immediately or he is a sitting duck for more of the same your hearing right now. Respectfully, Jon Edwards

  14. There is nothing respectful about you Jon. Your comments are a testament to who you are… pathetic, weak, and propaganda ridden. The fact that you keep bringing up Hitler as an historical reference as to what is going on in Berlin New Hampshire's 2009 MAYORAL election is frankly insane and completely disrespectful. You just don't get it.. and at this point you have proved that you never will.If clean power and Laidlaw opponents were smart they would cut all ties with you in order to save some face. You have lost all credibility when it comes to this fight. That is why you have to post on other peoples blogs, because your own blog is full of stupid questions with even stupider responses (both Q&A's coming from you).Please keep posting more idiotic statements to continue to help prove this point and further destroy any credibility that you have left… if any.

  15. Matt,Hate is a very strong word and I don't really hate anybody. I have severe distaste for some people but hate, no. I agree that comparing Grenier to Hitler is not really appropriate. I'm sure Grenier feels that his support of Laidlaw is in the best interest of Berlin. I just happen to disagree with him. I'll personally try to tone it down but I do have some very real concerns about the proposed plant that I sincerely hope the State will address during the EFSEC process. Since you don't live next to the plant it is probably hard for you to appreciate the very real concerns of those of us who do.

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