To The Daily Sun,
A recent headline to a letter said that voters should support a candidate for county commissioner because his opponent, incumbent Commissioner Hunter Taylor, wasn't receiving letters (in support) from the current county delegation. This has prompted me to respond. Normally I don't publicly take sides during a primary even though I usually have a preference. This is because I want to strongly support the primary winner in November. In my conversations with several of the current delegation they expressed similar positions.
Since Mr. Smolin encouraged the delegation to comment, I will say that I very strongly support Hunter Taylor.
Prior to his appointment as commissioner, by a 15-0 vote of the delegation, Hunter had followed county actions very closely, attended meetings, spoke at the meetings, wrote detailed letters, and thoroughly familiarized himself with the details of county operations. He researched other correction facilities built around the country and was the individual who first identified the Sullivan County facility and programs as great models for Belknap County to follow. That was at a time when many knew that the $42 million correction facility proposal of the then serving commissioners was not the solution, but the details of a better and far less costly solution had not yet been identified.
Because of this preparation, Hunter stepped into the middle of a hectic budget season joining the two other commissioners in assisting the delegation in the trimming of the bloated budget proposed by their predecessors. He took charge of negotiating collective bargaining agreements with the four county unions, all of whom had been without agreements for four years. Three of them have been successfully negotiated with significant savings to the county and near or full unanimous votes of approval of the unions. He is still negotiating the fourth (most recent meeting on Sept. 7) and I'm sure he'll complete it. Hunter is dedicated, experienced, and knowledgeable with a common-sense approach. Having dealt with many commissioners over the past 12 years, there have been few more capable than Hunter in this office.
In endorsing Hunter, I felt compelled to look at the background of his opponent. Not relying on just the newspaper stories, I looked at the numerous court findings involving him over the past 10 years. The newspaper articles are accurate. I encourage anyone considering voting for Mr. Smolin to first look for him or herself at the court findings.
State Rep., District 3
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