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Why would anyone call an elected official a 'bad' person

  • Published in Letters

To The Daily Sun,

As a lifelong Republican, I am personally offended by the headline in today's Laconia Daily Sun. I think most readers would agree with me that there are few "bad people" in this world. Terrorists are bad people; no one in either our Republican delegation or Democrat delegation is a "bad person". Nor are any of our commissioners "bad people". I cannot imagine why anyone could be so unprofessional as to call any elected official a "bad person". Even if the quote is printed in an article, I cannot imagine putting it as a headline in a paper. The issue of the jail is a local issue; it's not about national politics.

During my professional career and family life, I have faced discrimination numerous times. In none of those cases, have I ever been called a "bad person"; nor have I ever even thought of calling those who were discriminating against me "bad people". It would be unprofessional, polarizing, and eliminate any possibility of joint problem solving.

Professionally, I was a systems designer and project manager in information technology working in major insurance corporations starting in the early '70s. When I married, my parking space was eliminated along with my health insurance because "my husband had them". I was given a lower raise because "it was not right that I made more than my husband". I was fired due to "illness of pregnancy". In all cases, I was discriminated against merely because I was a woman.

I lived with discrimination against our daughter due to her physical disability. She was not allowed to participate in public school activities because of her seizures caused by a vaccine when she was 11. We were openly told that she was not welcome in friends' homes because their parents were afraid "she was contagious". Her math teacher told her in front of the class that "her brain was not properly developed". Our daughter attended a private high school so that she could participate in all school activities. By understanding her disability, her classmates worked with her as a team to anticipate and solve issues before they arose. They developed solutions together so that she became captain of her swim team and traveled to Hawaii on a school trip. Likewise, in college, her professors and friends worked with her to solve problems for transportation to internships and study abroad.

In all the situations where I experienced discrimination, I analyzed the situation as I would any problem as an analyst and project manager. In my career, I worked within the system to make changes by prototyping and implementing remote work and flexible work weeks so that I could balance my daughter's needs with my job requirements. As a mother, I worked with my daughter to be open about her disability and to work for solutions to lead a normal life. In every case, above all, I demonstrated professionalism by example.

I have been an active Republican for 45 years volunteering in several states over that time. In all those years, I have never seen the personal nature of attacks that I have seen recently, especially here in New Hampshire. This is the first time that I truly feel that I, along with all Republicans, am being discriminated against because I am a Republican.
Fifty years ago, I worked with my dad to build our house in Barnstead. From the time I dug the first hole and mixed cement for support; my heart was in New Hampshire and always will be. Politically, I have defended the 1st in the nation primary and touted the New Hampshire model in many other states explaining the active participation in primaries and the volunteer legislature. If we read the media carefully, their intent is a one party system. I doubt anyone in New Hampshire desires us to lose not only the checks and balances of two parties, but the creativity of different perspectives.

I believe in our elective process. In primaries, I actively support candidates who align most closely with my stance on issues. However, even if "my" candidates do not prevail in the primary, in the general election, I actively support those Republican candidates who do prevail in the primary. While I may not have supported some members of the Republican Belknap delegation during the primary, I did support all of them during the general election. To call any of them a "bad person" is to call everyone who supported them a "bad person". Right now, they are attempting to do their job representing the citizens of Belknap County. In business, my project team may have had differences of opinion, but we discussed them and worked to a common solution which we then presented to our customers. I believe in the 80/20 rule; it is idealistic to believe that we will agree 100 percnet with anyone on all issues. Above all, I strongly believe in being fiscally conservative.

The current issue of the jail has to do with the ability to live within our means as every family in Belknap County must do. It is an insult to the taxpayers of Belknap County to divert attention from the real problem of the jail to a political play in the media for the next election cycle. When I worked with customers on systems solutions, my team's first step was to understand what they already had and then work with them to define the requirements for what they needed. Working with the customer, we then ranked those requirements into needs vs. nice-to-haves. In developing solutions for those requirements, we presented well-defined options along with a well-defined cost-benefit analysis and pros and cons for each option. We then worked with the customers to understand each option and to select the one that most closely fit their needs and their pocketbook. During implementation, we tracked closely to the budget defined from the cost-benefit analysis. This is common problem solving methodology. As a taxpayer, I would like to see all options for the jail with thoroughly defined cost/benefit and pros/cons for each. I believe that there was a range in cost initially presented of about $23 million. Rather than unprofessional name-calling, it's time for the commissioners to go back and present a professional set of options to the taxpayers of Belknap County, who are the customers.

Jan Face Glassman
Center Barnstead