To The Daily Sun,
This letter is written to support the candidacy of Dr. Thomas Dawson in his bid to represent the citizens of Laconia in the New Hampshire House of Representatives from District 3, and to tell you what I know of the man.
Straight out, I am no longer a Laconia citizen, and in fact have not resided there for the past 24 years. So you may ask, "What does this guy know about Laconia, the state of New Hampshire and its needs?" That is a good question.
First, I was born and raised in Laconia. My roots are there, and I am still and always will be an Academy Street denizen at heart. Second, and more importantly, I know Tom Dawson, who he is, and what he stands for.
In my opening paragraph I referred to him as Dr. Thomas. Yes, he is the most educated man I know having received his doctorate focusing on public sector management, and occupational education. Yet, he is down to earth, fits well in his suspenders, and has an understanding of the needs of your citizens that is routed in fairness and common sense.
In college, Tom also placed an emphasis on education. In fact I first met him in 1972 before he became Dr. Dawson. Tom was then hired as a professor to set up and teach the fire protection program for the New Hampshire Vocational/Technical College in Laconia. I was a firefighter with the Laconia Fire Department trying to get an associate's degree in fire protection at that time. Tom was my instructor for four years until I graduate from the evening program in 1976.
I lost track of Tom after I graduated as he returned to college in Oklahoma himself. My next involvement with him was in 1984 when he and his wife Cathy, son Ben and daughter Caroline (or "chicken lips" as I came to call her) returned to New Hampshire. He returned to become our state fire marshal.
When Tom became fire marshal for the state, I was the fire marshal for the City of Concord. I also served as the chairman of the New Hampshire Fire Law Study Committee a progressive and forward-thinking committee set up by Tom to assess the state of the New Hampshire fire safety statutes in affect at that time. The committee, Tom and I worked very closely together in providing for the fire safety of our citizens. The result of this work helped with the implementation of the first New Hampshire State Fire Code developed under Tom's Leadership. This association continued until Tom's departure from the position in 1986.
As state fire marshal, Tom put the safety of the citizens of New Hampshire above the pressures of those who would subvert the benefit of a fair and firm application of the fire safety statutes for political or economic gain. Sadly, in my opinion this stance cost him his job in the long run. Tom was and continues not to be a person willing to compromise on public safety and seeing the bent of those with political sway over his position when he was fire marshal found it more rewarding to further the cause of public protection as a private fire safety consultant; a full-time business that he was involved with successfully for over six years. During this time, our friendship and my understanding of the man grew.
It was also in the mid 1980s that Tom ran for and was elected to the Laconia School Board in a city-wide election for three consecutive terms serving from 1985 until 1994. As a member of the board, Tom was successful in guiding the direction of the Laconia School District to serve the needs of our children including my sons John, Jay and Jeff.
Knowing Tom as a man of demonstrated successful service in both the public and private sectors, a man of integrity and honor and one with much common sense; I wholeheartedly support him in his desire to serve the needs of Laconia and its citizens in the New Hampshire House. Therefore, this letter is written in support of his candidacy and to urge you too to support his candidacy by voting for him in your Nov. 4 election.
John "Jack" Davis