Steven J Connolly

Thursday
Dec122013

A Powerful And Good Day. 

I've just returned from a powerful and good day and wanted to get some ideas down while they're fresh in my mind.

So I woke up this morning, shined my shoes and headed south with my resume and political portfolio to the Grafton County Complex in Haverhill. It was a good day, blue skies and snow capped mountains that would rival Colorado and Utah.

My first stop was to Ray Burton Park which is on the site of the former Grafton County Jail itself; a building that was built near the time of the civil war. The park is a powerful place the view of the Connecticut River Valley is just incredible, especially on the day like this. It's a simple design, a granite plith taken from from the jail with a memorial plate affixed. There is alot of snow there now, so I couldn't walk over to read it but the whole area just looks good. But I'm really glad they didn't put a bust here.

So then I walked to the nearby 1930 building, which is where the Commissioner's Office is located. I looked up at this historic building and couldn't help but to start thinking about history, and what life was like in 1930. The stock market has crashed horribly, dust bowls blanket the heartland; and unemployment, deprivation and hunger are the grim reality of what life in America is about.

The Commissioner's office is up on the second floor, actually their physical office overlooks Ray Burton Park. Well in any case there is a labrynth of offices around this area: human resources, IT, finance, etc. I'm looking for the Executive Director's Office, Julie Clough who is "handling all the applications for the county commissioner vacancy."  So as I'm walking towards the office on the wall is a large photo of the three Commissioners: Martha Richards, Ray Burton and Mike Cryans. It's a very clear picture.

So, I finally made it to the Executive Director's office, she wasn't there. So I looked around the finance office and there was someone there. So I said "Hi." and she responded. "My name is Steve Connolly, I'm from Bethlehem and I'm interested in filing and application for Grafton County Commissioner, District #2." She said she didn't know when Ms. Clough would return but she would make sure my application got to her.

This is good. I'm still leaving a voicemail and e-mail for the Executive Director, this is afterall still politics.

It was a good day. I'm glad to be doing this, and as I'm driving back home up route 302 couldn't help but think about Ray Burton and the first thing he did when he passed out copies of the N.H. Constitution to students in classrooms across his large district. He would have them write two words right on the front cover, above "Compliments of Ray Burton" of course!  

And these words were:

Get Involved.

Tuesday
Dec102013

Pea Soup And Political Strategy. 

Finished my shift in the salt mines tonight and I'm now at home enjoying a nice bowl of hot pea soup. On a cold winters night this tastes good.

I'm driving home thinking about the Executive Council District #1 contest shaping up, and what I think is likely to happen. But in this arena anything can and will happen.

So let's get to it. It looks to me with the Sen. Cataldo endorsement that Sen. Kenney will be actively courting the more conservative elements of the Republican Party, of which statistically there are many. Where the Tea Party fits into this equation remains. But the numbers are there.

So this leaves Boothby and Aldrich trying to divy up the moderate and undecided base and somehow prevail.

We've basically got 45 days before this is decided.

Then I started thinking about geography. Kenney strong in Carroll and western Coos Counties. Boothby dominates in Belknap and parts of southern Grafton County; while Aldrich runs like a wild rabbit the Upper Valley from Hanover north. Lot's of territory but not alot of votes here. I think this fact pulls votes away from Boothby not Kenney.

Time will tell.

I read of the information session of all the candidates in Belkap county. I think Democrat Cryans clearly won this one. For no other reason than he kept his mouth shut. As Ray Burton has said: "in politics it's not about what you say, it's about what you don't say."  

It's going to be an interesting couple of weeks coming up.

Tuesday
Dec102013

Throwing My Hat In. 

I'm going to start this blog off with a big thank you for my readers and friends, you're the reason why I do what I'm doing and these past couple of days has been so positive and good for me that words of appreciation really can't describe it well enough.

So let's move on.

Wednesday is going to be a big thinking day for me, mainly it will be a final decision for an action that I've already decided (with your help) on.

On Thursday morning I'm going down to the Grafton County Complex with a resume in hand to become a candidate for Grafton County Commissioner, District #2.

And yes, I agree the chances of me being appointed by the County Convention to serve out the rest of the term on a scale of 1-10. Is about a -2.

But like I've heard former Congressman Bill Zelliff say "it isn't over until it's over."

And it isn't over not by a longshot. Election season will soon be upon us and I've learned from the master himself, I can pound the bricks and hold a sign. And I'm looking at the towns that comprise the district now. My home turf Bethlehem-Littleton area is at least 45% of the total vote. I go through Lincoln-No. Woodstock daily and know a few people there, if I could prevail in these towns and at least hit the board in Franconia and Sugar Hill.

My source(s) are telling me the candidates that are emerging are from the Haverhill and Bath area. I've even seen a name from Lisbon; a community that is rapidly approaching some bad financial circumstances if not a "train wreck."

It aint over until it's over.

I'm still formulating my ideas as to what I'd do as a County Commissioner if I were to be elected. But some of my initial thoughts:

-  Healthy food production at the county farm. Where is it going? Can food production be increased and distributed to people and families that need it? Perhaps Corn could be grown to produce ethanol and the profits used to reduce and offset property taxes in Grafton County.

- Glenncliff Home for the Elderly Vs. Grafton County Nursing Home- Are two facilities really needed? What are the long term strategic plans for both of these facilities and what it is going to cost.

- I'm of an accounting background. I'm confident that I can review county invoices from everything from applesauce to #2 fuel oil and find at least 7-8% in immediate cost savings. I believe that I could save at least $200,000.00 in the first year alone. This would be in addition to my efforts to locate 5-6 vendors to bid on every county contract that goes out.

But I've been in the public arena for a long-time and there are some huge barriers and minefields out there and I certainly know this.

It's still worth a shot.

Tuesday
Dec102013

Duck Dynasty Christmas Special. 

So I came home from the salt mines and started watching Duck Dynasty. This show is awesome!

I won't give away the whole thing but I saw a scene that really made me think that I'm not alone in my thinking towards New Hampshire and it's politics, even though this show takes place in Louisiana.

So the scene was this they were giving out Christmas gifts in their local church. And my favorite character Si had collected some items from his workplace to give to the little kids in attendance. For example a little girl came up and she ended up getting a tape gun. That's what she got. Then a little boy came up and was asked what he wanted for Christmas he replied, "a robot toy."  The little boy ended up getting a spool of twine and the comment, "be grateful you might end up getting nothing."Later Si would say, "I've just shown these little people everything they need to know about Christmas."

And indeed he has.

Because Christmas is about the sprit of giving, and giving to others and not about what is being given.

So let's go back to that little boy for a minute: It's apparent to me that he has been to New Hampshire and has been taught how to want and what to want from the Gov. Maggie Wood Hassan school of learning: STEM, innovation, robots and I'm confident on the path he is on: anything less than an ivy league college education isn't success.

I've never seen Duck Dynasty before but this really is nothing short of awesome. I think I'm going to ask Santa to give me the box set.

But the twine would be more useful.

Saturday
Dec072013

Predictions For Upcoming. 

With this blog I'm making a strategic prediction for the upcoming legislative session:

That expanded casino gaming legislation fails by a larger margin than it did during the last session.

There are several major reason(s) for this, for starters election season will be upon us again in the fall, and at it's best the very idea of supporting casinos is a hard sell in both the senate and in the house.

Then they'res "highly regulated, higher end" casino salesman herself, Gov. Maggie Wood Hassan. I still can't believe she hasn't faced more political flak and ground fire from her performance on this issue.

But let's move on. Expanded Casino Gaming could be a powerful economic force for New Hampshire. But without the right mix of leadership and direction it's a better idea to just kill the idea.

The expanded casino gaming legislation will fail as it should. I've been to Pennsylvania several times and seen first hand why their proposal worked. It worked because the policymakers took the time to balance what this industry is against what was needed in that state. Whether this was market area (Philadelphia), economic revitalization (Bethlehem Steel Mill), or even saving a dilpidated racetrack(s) (Penn National). (Chester). 

This is all missing in New Hampshire.