To The Daily Sun,
The outcome of the county commissioner election for the district representing Laconia, Sanbornton and New Hampton will set the political climate in Belknap County for the next half decade.
One candidate, David DeVoy, is a self-proclaimed Libertarian running as a Republican, and the other, David Pollak, is a centrist Democrat. In another District, Richard Burchell, a Tea Party supporter running as a Republican, has no opposition and is assured of election.
In the Third District, Steve Nedeau, a long-time mainstream Republican, is continuing the term to which he was previously elected. Thus, the Pollak/DeVoy election will decide the pivot vote between a Tea Party Republican and a mainstream Republican.
The most basic character qualities I look for in candidates for public office are honesty, integrity, and the ability to treat all people with respect and dignity, including those with whom they have differences of opinion. From my observation, both Dave Pollak and Dave DeVoy have honesty and integrity. They are both honorable men. However, I also look for evidence of critical thinking in candidates: that is, skill in listening thoughtfully to all ideas concerning a problem, do independent research, arrive at an unbiased tentative solution, and to then engage in good-will dialogue with fellow elected representatives to arrive at the solution.
It appears that Dave DeVoy has a thinking process that frames county problems within the context of a rigid and inflexible unproven political bias that fails to accommodate the reality of the situation. The glaring, but not only, example is his public positions on the transformation of the county criminal justice system. He started with a proposal to convert the offices of the county commissioners, including the conference room, into a women's prison for $1 million. Apparently finding that idea impossible even to himself, he arrived at his "Smart Jail Plan" which he priced at $2 million. Apparently, that plan is also inadequate since his most recent idea is to instruct the architect to design a $7 million jail. All the DeVoy plans lack critical thinking and even omit dialogue with his fellow libertarian Representatives. Critical thinking must consider the reality of the situation.
Dave Pollak, however, has done extensive research on our county criminal justice situation, and affirms the need to go back to the beginning and open mindedly solve the problem. He thinks it can protect Laconia's tax cap, but knows it will require good-will dialogue between the county delegation and the county commissioners. He will start with carefully listening to both of the other commissioners and helping to enable a climate within the Board of Commissioners favorable to negotiating with the county delegation.
Only the voters in Laconia, Sanbornton and New Hampton will vote on this position, but all Belknap County citizens have a major stake in the matter. The election of Dave Pollak is decisive in solving the county political war. I hope David Pollak prevails.
Miller C. Lovett