I am writing to the members of the Belknap County Delegation and sending a copy of this letter to The Laconia Daily Sun in response to the request for local input to help you consider who to choose as the new member of the Gunstock Commission. I was at the meeting and heard the interviews. My interest is as a resident of Belknap County.
One of the most important considerations for the position of commissioner is that they are non-political. Gunstock is an important Lakes Region and Belknap County asset and should not become embroiled in partisan political wrangling. One of the significant factors in Gunstock’s success is the relationships and partnerships throughout the region and state, built and strengthened over many years. Doug Lambert and Dr. David Strang are well-known vocal advocates for their political perspectives. Dr. Strang holds a leadership position on a Belknap County political committee. This activism should be considered a liability, particularly during a divisive time. We are a small state, and while affiliation with a political party is not necessarily a problem, political activism in another arena could jeopardize essential relationships. The third candidate, Heidi Preuss, started her interview by explaining that she had no local political connections.
While all the candidates did an admirable job explaining their qualifications, Heidi Preuss's qualifications set her well above the other two candidates. She is a superior candidate and would bring valuable expertise to Gunstock. The candidates can be summarized as follows: Doug Lambert moved here from Rhode Island, runs a very successful business and skis Gunstock with children and grandchildren, doesn’t like secrets. Dr. David Strang went to Dartmouth for medical school, is a physician who manages a successful group practice and referees ski races, doesn’t see his political activism as a conflict. Heidi Preuss was raised in Laconia, skied in the 1980 Olympics, returned to the Lakes Region with extensive international level experience in negotiation, database management, financial analysis, and purchasing, and is not connected to any political activism.
I believe that Belknap County in general and Gunstock, in particular, will benefit the most with Heidi Preuss as a commissioner. Why would we not want not to utilize the talents she is offering us?
Thank you for taking the time to read my letter. Also, thank you for the time you spend serving Belknap County. I’m sure it’s often a thankless task, and when you step on a hornet’s nest like this, it becomes incredibly discouraging. The good news is that the unprecedented local support for Gunstock indicates citizen involvement, and that can only be a good thing.
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