Ken Wells candidate profile for Beacon
As your current Representative in Merrimack county District 1, including the towns of Andover, Danbury and Salisbury, I have worked hard on issues that affect us all.
Principal among these is the unfair and unconstitutional way that New Hampshire relies on property taxes, taxing people in different towns at unequal rates for essentially identical properties. Moreover, the state’s habit of “downshifting” its constitutional obligation “to provide adequate education” not only places extra burden on towns, but has had a growing effect over the years at driving young people and young families away from NH. Today, 62% of NH’s high school students leave the state seeking education and opportunities. Most never return, and other young people are not coming to NH in equal numbers to live and work. This is an ominous trend for NH’s future that policymakers must address.
An issue personally important to me and to most NH people of every political stripe, is protecting the quality of NH’s natural environment. The natural beauty of our forests, mountains, streams and lakes, plus the wildlife all around us is vitally important to our quality of life, whether you are an avid hiker, kayaker, rider, hunter or fisherman, or if you just like to take it easy and enjoy the scenery of a beautiful day. Moreover, our region’s natural beauty and resources are important to so many of our livelihoods, as we rely on tourism and forestry to make our livings.
I’m proud of my votes to help keep our property taxes in check and significantly increase funding through revenue sharing for our towns, our schools and our University system. I’m proud of having voted for Paid Family Leave to help families cope, especially vital during this pandemic. I’m proud that I have been able to use my extensive experience and background while serving on the House Science, Technology and Energy Committee. I have been the author of a bill to give loggers equal protection to landowners under the law, two bills to get the sneaky influence of “dark money” out of NH government, a bill to reduce both pollution and people’s energy bills by pushing for improved technology and efficiency on the electric grid, and a bill to “level the playing field” so that new NH energy enterprises have a chance against subsidized fracked gas from out of state.
I’m happy to have used my influence to do good and to bring people together in spite of their initial positions of conflict. I used that influence to compel internet companies to engage with the Danbury Broadband Committee, ultimately succeeding in an agreement to provide high-speed internet to every household in Danbury. (I’m currently working on the same for unserved parts of Salisbury.) I also have brought together people of both parties, and from industry and education, to begin building an industry-sponsored apprenticeship program, so our young people can continue their education after high school and launch their careers without incurring debt, and even collect a paycheck as they learn on the job.
Please have a look at my website electkenwells.org to read in detail about how I have worked for you the past two years. There’s much that still needs to be done! I respectfully ask for your vote so I can continue to represent your best interests in the House of Representatives in the upcoming session.
Ken Wells represents Andover, Danbury and Salisbury in the New Hampshire House of Representatives.