When I heard that my mentor, Ray Burton, had passed, I felt an acute loss and deep sadness. Anyone who lives in Executive Council District 1 probably saw Ray at some parade, ribbon cutting, or selectman meeting. This was Ray's charm. He knew just being there was important; but more important was listening to concerns, discussing the events in Concord, and following up with letters or phone calls. As an intern for him in the 1980s, he stressed the essential value of being a resource to people.
Nobody can replicate Ray, but the next Executive Councilor must continue to meet the high standard he has set for serving the needs of District 1 residents. My run for the Executive Council will focus on continuing Ray's legacy, while meeting the new challenges that face the district's 130 cities, towns, and unincorporated areas.
What does this mean? It means looking at state government with a critical eye toward efficiency, and giving district residents top value for each dollar they pay in state taxes.
Executive Councilors "ensure the executive branch of state government is fiscally conservative and above reproach." These are not my words, these are from the Executive Council website (www.nh.gov/council/overview.html).
Executive Councilors have a duty to enforce fiscal restraint. I do not support an income, sales, or any broad-based tax. I do support mechanisms to reduce regulation and assure executive departments use resources in the most efficient means possible.
To show why this is important, let's use a banker as an example. If you speak to your local banker, that person will tell you how much time (and money) is spent with regulatory requirements. While regulation is necessary, excessive regulation hinders economic growth. In state government, when we remove, modify, and simplify regulations — then enforce existing regulations with similar efficiency — we provide state employees a better way to do their jobs, and we make life easier for all of us.
Support local economic development
As Executive Councilor, I will work to increase collaboration between the state and local groups such as the Belknap Economic Development Council, Claremont Industrial Development Authority, and the Mount Washington Valley Economic Council. Throughout District 1, organizations like these promote our area, provide resources to emerging businesses, and work with both government and residents to develop an entrepreneurial future for our district.
As we create our economic future, we must safeguard what makes New Hampshire beautiful and unique. For this reason, I oppose Northern Pass. Rather than compromise our natural resources, we must respect and protect them, knowing that they are an integral part of our economic success.
An advocate for District 1
I will fight for the residents of District 1. This means that District 1 will be properly represented on state boards and commissions It means government officials will come to our towns, speak to our residents, and follow-up with promised answers. I will attend government meetings and local events, and provide multiple means of contacting me. Most importantly, it means you will receive a timely answer when you contact me, regardless of your issue. This is the essence of government service; and an area in which I will emulate my mentor, Ray Burton.
The primary election is on Tuesday, January 21. I look forward to you contacting me with your questions and concerns at www.christopherboothby.com, or at (603) 455-8002.
(Republican Christopher Boothby of Meredith is the co-owner of Boothby Therapy Services in Laconia and a candidate for the District 1 Executive Council seat. He is a former member of the Belknap County Board of Commissioners.)