News from County Commissioner Bronwyn Asplund-Walsh

County Administrator Bateson retires

By Bronwyn Asplund-Walsh, County Commissioner

Much has happened during these last few months. You will be very pleased to know that Merrimack County has recently received the highest rating possible for our Tax Anticipation Notes – an SP1+. Our long term rating has been upgraded to AA by Standard and Poor.

Due to internal reviews by our insurance company, we have received $9,527 back on our property and liability program, $34,926 on our worker’s compensation program, and $17,170 on our unemployment compensation program. This is all because of very careful management by your county and your county administrator, Kathy Bateson.

Kathy Bateson is retiring at the end of October after years of working for Merrimack County. The Commissioners have just finished a diligent search, reviewing dozens of applications for Kathy’s position – some from as far away as Alaska. We have hired Stephen Marro, who has been County Administrator for Pike County, Georgia, and acting Town Manager for Gorham, New Hampshire. Stephen started on October 31.

Our Nursing Home Administrator, Lori Shibonette, recently was awarded an Outstanding Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties.

I was recently elected as President of the New Hampshire Association of Counties. As President, I am a voting member of the National Association of Counties. This gives Merrimack County a tremendous advantage when it comes to county issues.

Issues of importance to Merrimack County at this time include the managed care rates for the nursing home; the renovation of our old correctional facility (Edna McKenna) which we hope to use to help our increasing population of inmates with drug and mental health issues; and the recent push by the Superior Court justices to have all felony cases brought to Superior Court rather than to District Court.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me at 796-6840, or write to the County of Merrimack, 333 Daniel Webster Highway, Suite 2, Boscawen 03303-2415.