MY EXPERIENCES WITH LARRY DINGEE
March, 2010 - Larry Dingee just won, by a margin of only 14 votes, an election for Cornish Selectman (like a 3-person city council, for those not familiar with NH politics). In his usual underhanded, sneaky, cheating way, he waited until a few days before the election, then ran a media blitz for his election. He also viciously attacked his opponent, who's done a fine job for the last 6 years. Few people knew he was even running until his blitz came out, and then there was no time to mount much opposition.
That is SO typical of how Larry Dingee conducts himself. He's a cheat in his personal life. He's a cheat in his business life. He's a cheat in his political life.
While there are additional stories around town about his cheating ways, this page will describe only my own personal, first-hand experiences with Larry and his dishonesty and lack of integrity.
LARRY THE BUSINESS CHEAT: I went to Larry's business, Dingee Machine, aka Dingee Fire Apparatus, to buy some sheet metal for a metal toolbox I was adding to the side of my crawler. I asked him what it would cost for him to make a box out of aluminum diamond plate and to TIG weld it together for me, and he gave me a price. When I subsequently told him to go ahead with the order, I explained that I'd changed my mind about using aluminum; that I would do it in steel, and I'd weld it up myself, so all I needed was 2 pieces of steel sheet metal, one with 2 bends in it. When I went to pick up the 2 pieces of sheet metal, Larry kept insisting on charging me the original price he'd quoted for aluminum diamond plate and a significant amount of TIG welding. He kept claiming "that's what I quoted you", ignoring the fact that, when I placed the order, I had changed it from much-more-expensive aluminum to steel, and there would be no expensive TIG welding labor involved. Throughout trying to reason with him about it, he was quite rude and had a "take it or leave it" arrogant attitude. I've certainly never done business with this crook ever again.
LARRY THE POLITICAL CHEAT: Larry was a Selectman several years ago. I remember my great relief when he was no longer a Selectman.. Aside from the dirty, sneaky way he handled his 2010 election campaign, as described above, his previous reign was filled with his dishonesty and arrogance. As a Selectman, Larry was at the forefront of efforts to dismantle the town's "mud season" ordinance that protects town unmaintained (Class VI) roads from people who want to get out on them in mud season with their trucks and ATVs and wreak as much havoc as possible. After he became a Selectman, Larry applied his own peculiar take on the ordinance; focusing on exploiting, expanding, and publicizing a loophole to allow anyone who got permission from the Road Agent (who generally don't give a damn about Class VI roads and often have their own ATVs) to rip up the roads any time they please. Larry also interjected his own warped interpretation of the ordinance, and decreed that anyone who owned land near a Class VI road could take their trucks onto the closed roads anytime they pleased. Larry's personal agenda on the "mud season" ordinance even prompted one person, who's been obsessed with driving trucks on closed roads anytime he pleases, to purchase land off a Class VI road, just so he could then ignore the ordinance and drive his trucks on those closed roads whenever he felt like it. Throughout his reign, Larry was the personification of dishonesty, favoritism, and arrogance in his role as Selectman. Now he's back as Selectman again - what a tragedy.
LARRY THE PERSONAL CHEAT: Larry's dishonesty next showed itself regarding hangar rentals at Claremont, NH Municipal Airport. While the whole story is found in great detail on my hangar page, that information was written over a period of a couple years, so it's a lot of detail to wade through. Here is the overall synopsis, focusing only on Larry's dishonest role in it:
I'm a pilot. Larry's a pilot. I had been on the waiting list for a city rental hangar at Claremont Municipal Airport for about 5 years. Eventually, I came to the top of the list, and was just waiting for the next opening. Claremont then built 6 new hangars, so I should have been #1 in line for one of those 6 hangars. But Larry was not on the waiting list, so he conspired with Peter Chase, Claremont's Airport Manager and Fire Chief, to get around that. Larry makes and services Peter's fire trucks, so the connection is obvious. Peter side-stepped the issue for as long as he could, avoiding telling the truth about how he and Larry planned to get around the waiting list problem. After the hangars were built and ready to rent, Peter could no longer delay exposing how he and Larry planned to get Larry into a hangar before people on the waiting list. So one day Peter announced that, instead of using the existing hangar waiting list that had been in effect for many years, the 6 new hangars would be leased to whoever could get a signed lease to him the fastest, starting "right now". Peter notified me one day after he notified others, and I'm sure Peter made sure Larry was the first to be notified (and was undoubtedly in on the whole scheme from the beginning). Guess who was first in line to rent a hangar, and got hangar #1. Yep, good ole crooked Larry Dingee.
SEPT 2012 UPDATE: Larry has been busy consolidating his power. He's gotten his wife installed as head of the cemetery and grounds department. We had a good, independent Road Agent (head of highway department) who was not a part of any insider "good old boy" network, as had been the problem in past years. Larry led the campaign to get that Road Agent replaced by one who would do Larry's bidding. Larry frequently takes unilateral Select Board actions, apparently overlooking the fact that he is not Cornish King, but only one vote of three. There's also been a controversy in town this year because Larry persuaded the town to buy one of his fire trucks, but he failed to deliver the truck in the timeframe specified in the contract. Last I heard, in typical Larry Dingee arrogance, "he'll get to it when he can", so no one knows if it's going to get delivered, or when. The list of people in Cornish with a low opinion of Larry Dingee is growing.
MARCH 2013 UPDATE: King Larry's reign has been called on account of his game. You can't fool a majority of the people indefinitely. He got voted out of office by a substantial margin. As most people around town would say, "Good Riddance, Larry!"
last updated March 18, 2013
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