To The Daily Sun,
I first met Norman Silber in February, at a gathering at his home to watch the first Republican presidential debate. We discovered in conversation that we had graduated from the same law school, although we were there at different times, as he is younger than I am (but not by much).
My next contact with Norm came in the midst of my rather heated primary election contest for county commissioner. In late August, Norm, who had joined with my opponent in a campaign ad, told me that he had been misled by my opponent and that he intended to make a public statement to that effect. He did so in a published letter retracting his support for my opponent and giving my campaign his personal endorsement, one I was proud to receive.
Given his action on my behalf, Norm is in my mind a "stand-up" guy, who is willing to correct the record when he believes he has been mistaken. For that, I am personally thankful. My endorsement of him, however, is based on much more.
Norm has had a highly successful legal career, as reflected in his peer review in the Martindale Hubbell law directory, where his ratings are the highest attainable. Norm has been a permanent resident of Gilford since becoming semi-retired from his law practice in 2012. Much of the energy that was previously expended in his law practice has been channeled into public service. He has been a member of the Gilford Planning Board since 2014. He was appointed to fill a vacancy on the Gilford Budget Committee in 2014, and in 2015, he was elected to a three-year term on the Budget Committee, which he currently chairs.
From my conversations with Norm and some of his writing, I know him to be very knowledgeable regarding regarding our Constitution and to be a fiscal conservative, who favors keeping government at all levels as small as it can be kept, while still fulfilling traditional governmental responsibilities. The fulfillment of these responsibilities should be done as efficiently and economically as possible; what is best done locally should, therefore, be kept local.
With that in mind, we in Belknap County know that we are faced with a drug crisis which must be addressed. I am confident that as a representative in Concord, Norm will support carefully planned programs to address addiction and drug abuse through prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and law enforcement. In the long term, these efforts will achieve both social good and save money.
At home, the representatives have the final word on our county budget. Norm has the budgetary and finance experience to be very helpful in that role. I am also confident that Norm understands the importance of county governmental partnering with private non-profits to most economically and efficiently deliver certain essential services to the community. For example, services for our seniors, such as meals on wheels and senior transportation, are important in allowing seniors to remain in their homes longer, avoiding or at least delaying the need for significantly more expensive nursing home care.
Since the taxpayers of our county pay the non-federal 50 percent of Medicaid for elder care — both in-home and nursing home — of our needy residents (approximately $6 million projected for this year), it makes sense for our county to work with a non-profit in an effort to promote the significantly less expensive in-home care. It is what the seniors prefer and it costs the taxpayers less.
In short, Norm Silber is a man of principle with the values, experience and judgment that I believe are important to our community. He will look at issues from a long term perspective and do what he thinks is right for the common good. If I were a resident of his district, Norman Silber is one candidate who could count on my vote.
Belknap County Commissioner