To The Daily Sun,
Our forefathers gave us a representative democracy, whereby elected officials serve the well-being of all citizens. This wonderful gift, abused by many, results in inefficient government. Alternatively, we need wise people capable of setting aside their own biases, and political views from outside our communities, who can look for solutions with an open mind.
For example, a popular political slogan, "Our state does not have a revenue problem but does have a spending problem" is simply not true; yet it is an operating unproven political philosophy that can never properly run the state of New Hampshire. Our state problem is a structural deficit of income and efficiency adequate to provide for the basic needs of our citizens.
Modern society needs a safe statewide transportation system, yet we have unsafe bridges and roads and virtually no money for unnumbered state roads. Our state Constitution holds the state responsible for financing public education. Yet legislators cut public education, causing increases to local real estate taxes. Our forefathers, in their wisdom, created public education to produce trained employees for our businesses. Unsatisfied with six years of public education, they pushed it to nine, then to 12. It is time for us to require at least 14 years including advanced vocational training affordable to all families. We lose good jobs ($65,000 and more) in the Lakes Region because of failure to provide for an educated workforce.
Our state mental health provisions are another horror story of underfunding. New Hampshire set up 10 regional mental health not-for-profits, including Genesis Behavioral Health centered in Laconia, to enable former residents of the State Hospital and the State School to be on their own in the community, pledging to cover the cost of treatment. Then the state began to squeeze the behavioral health agencies failing to adequately cover people with mental health problems. Now those problems are in jails. Currently, to its credit, Belknap County is building a correction learning center to identify and treat this segment of our population.
Yes, the Legislature can constrain the budget by tax cuts and shifting dedicated funds, but can never properly run the state in this manner. Failure to adequately fund transportation infrastructure, public and higher education and the care of our mentally ill threatens the community investment needed to create more and better-paying jobs. The political philosophy that widely dominates our New Hampshire government is self-defeating.
Change will not happen overnight. Over time, however, we can see the state budget transformed so that every dollar is an investment in people who produce economic, health, and personal benefits advances; this is the rational route to job growth. It is a win-win situation.
How, then, do we achieve this cultural change? The answer: By electing officials who grasp what our forefathers intended when they created our representative democracy: Elect wise women and men who can set aside their own biases and political views dictated by organizations outside our communities and who can look for solutions with an open mind that are supported by our citizens. This requires the ability to think critically, and have integrity and wisdom backed up by political will to make New Hampshire great in this century.
Here is my list of candidates who think critically. I offer my observations as a devoted Independent, a former Republican.
State Senate: Charlie Chandler and Andrew Hosmer.
State House: David Huot, Liz Merry, Lisa DiMartino, Dorothy Piquado, Johan Andersen, Tom Dawson, and sometimes Don Flanders. There may be others I have been unable to favorably evaluate.
Executive Councilor: Mike Cryans.
Governor: Colin Van Ostern.
U.S. Senate: Maggie Hassan.
U.S. House: Carol Shea-Porter.
United States President: Hillary Clinton.
How our state and country succeeds is clearly in the hands of whom we elect. This is a critical election and great opportunity for our nation to stand tall.
Miller C. Lovett