Jim O’Mara for State Rep
To the Editor:
As many of you are aware, I am a candidate for State Representative for District 34 (Amherst). I have decided to run for this office because I believe that Amherst is not currently adequately represented in Concord. My focus on this office is going to be about communication and having conversations. There are three primary areas in particular that I believe are deserving of a higher level of discussion.
First is an in-depth examination of the state budget. Those who know me know that I am a fiscal conservative. In the seven years that I served as your town administrator, I presented budgets to the Board of Selectmen that were responsible and based on the needs outlined in our town departments’ strategic plans. I was able to find the balance of maintaining the quality of life our citizens have come to expect, while being ever mindful of the taxpayers ability to pay.
Even years ago as a private citizen, I noticed that year after year, the School Board would request supplemental appropriation to cover the debts from the previous year. When I asked about this and I did not like the answer, I ran for school board and won. I worked with the board to evaluate spending and fiscal policy so that, by the second year of my first term, we were able to return $300,000 to the taxpayers. All this to say, if you are willing to put in the work, you can achieve positive results.
The second is our environmental policies. I care deeply about this town and it is concerning to me that Amherst is now experiencing our second identified exposure to PFOAs in our water supply. During the first incident of contamination, it concerned private wells and the contaminator, and as town administrator, I facilitated discussions between residents, state agencies, and Pennichuck to allocate resources available from the state to ensure clean water. We were able to accomplish this resolution swiftly and with little hardship on any party.
I take great pride in the environment New Hampshire affords us. From land management to clean water, we have become accustomed to our healthy environment. I will always support legislation which deals with the preservation of our resources in this state.
The third is education funding. I believe it is high time to reexamine how public education is funded in New Hampshire. As an example, the New Hampshire State Lottery allocates a portion of revenue to education funding. We have seen state lottery revenue increase dramatically over the last few years - shouldn’t the financial support of public education grow with the NH State Lottery revenue thus reducing the burden on local taxpayers?
I am happy to begin these conversations with you before I take them to Concord. Please do not hesitate to stop and say hello if you see me around town, interact with my Facebook page, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I would appreciate your consideration for a vote on September 13th!
James “Jim” O’Mara,