To The Daily Sun,
I am running for re-election to Executive Council District 1 and I ask for your vote on Tuesday, Nov. 8. The New Hampshire Executive Council has gotten more notoriety this time as two of my colleagues are now running for governor representing their perspective parties. The Executive Council is a two-part Executive Branch system in which the council administrates the Executive Branch along with the governor.
The five Executive Councilors are elected every two years, concurrently with the governor. Each councilor represents approximately 265,000 citizens. We oversee state contracts, approve the spending of the major portion of the billions of dollars that is appropriated annually by the Legislature. Additionally, the council also acts on a wide variety of official actions, such as the nomination and confirmation of some 350 commissioners and directors who administer the 65 departments and agencies in state government. The council also votes on the judicial appointments to the bench.
Over the past two years, I have traveled over 120,000 miles to get around the District 1 which consists of 108 towns, four cities and 23 unincorporated territories. I have fielded hundreds upon hundreds of constituent calls, attended dozens and dozens of events and meetings, visited over 70 businesses and produced a newsletter after each council meeting.
It has been my pleasure to help out so many people with their concerns, whatever they maybe. I have stated "if it is a problem for you, then it is a problem for me and let's solve it together." I have approached the job trying to build bridges and relationships with citizens, community leaders and others to make the position of Executive Council more accessible to the people. Too often, citizens do not know how to navigate state government and it has been my pleasure to help them.
My past experience as a local selectman, a Marine veteran and state legislator (eight years in the N.H. House and six years in the state Senate) and now three years on the council have given me even more experience to help people in the district. I have a 100 percent attendance at all Executive Council meetings, Judicial and Health and Education Finance Authority hearings. I have committed myself to the Executive Council full-time and I have enjoyed it greatly.
If re-elected, the issues I want to work on are: constituent service, work with the economic development corporations to create more New Hampshire jobs and to shape the 10-year highway plan to better assist our communities and transportation system in District 1. I want to help fight the drug opioid crisis in New Hampshire (the council has passed over $24 million in contracts to help with prevention, treatment and recovery programs) and work with higher education and the community college system to develop a future work force.
I want to continue to support our travel and tourism and recreation industry and to look out for our social service needs. We need to see if we can limit our sole source contracts in state government, there needs to be more competitive bidding process within our contracting system and we need to keep as many contracts here in New Hampshire, millions and millions of dollars are going out of state.
I hope to continue to educate students on the uniqueness of Governor and Council and its history. As of last year, my office re-instituted the District 1 college internship program and it now has the support from Plymouth State University as an accredited internship program.
Finally, the Council is a great check-and-balance system in state government. The governor knows she has to count to three before anything passes during a council meeting.
On Nov. 8, I ask for your vote and it has been a pleasure serving you.
Joseph D. Kenney
Executive Councilor District 1
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