I am running for re-election

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My name is Terry Clark and I am running for re-election as county commissioner representing Keene, Marlborough and Roxbury.

Two years ago, I promised to work on regionalization of county/town concerns because I believe we can most efficiently address regional issues as a team. Since then, we have faced the ambulance crisis and formed the Cheshire Emergency Medical Services Department that will launch in mid-November.

Also, the County has long been a proponent of energy efficiency – completing upgrade projects that have already saved 500kw of energy per year. In addition to that, I am a director of The Community Power Coalition of NH that will bring lower-than-utility cost energy into the county with a Community Power Program that will allow towns and their residents to share in those savings.

I hope to continue expanding regional cooperation between county towns to bridge the silos that duplicate efforts and tax dollars, better utilized by sharing information and resources. The County has the statutory authority to act as an arbiter between towns and regional interests and should be utilized wherever possible to achieve common regional goals at lower costs than can be realized by individual towns.

The short answer is that we will work to provide a superior service to taxpayers at a lower price.

My top priorities for the next term are to:

Maintain a professional working atmosphere at County facilities that will help employees succeed at their jobs, and attract future employees to maintain nursing, correctional and other staff levels in this very competitive market;

Utilize our Grants Department to find alternative funding for projects, and use managerial strategies that will keep a high level of services to the taxpayer at the lowest possible cost. Just one example is our recent effort to fund the sheriff’s $2.9 million communications equipment upgrade almost entirely without taxpayer funds;

Successfully role out the Cheshire Community Power Plan, saving money on electricity for County facilities, County towns and their residents. This plan is being integrated with our ongoing energy conservation and modernization projects.

I would appreciate your vote for another term as your county commissioner on November 8th.

Simple Tweak In The Law Will Increase Energy Diversity

As you may know, for the past five years I have been an intervenor before the NH Public Utilities Commission in it’s deliberations concerning the expansion of natural gas as an energy source in New Hampshire.

energy diversification

One important fact that has come out of these deliberations is that New Hampshire law precludes natural gas companies from expanding into other energy sources, such as wind, solar or hydro. This fact makes it impossible for gas companies to consider transitioning off fossil fuels to renewable fuels that are less harmful to our environment, because it would mean putting themselves out of business.

Many people agree with me that diversifying our energy sources makes us less vulnerable to price spikes and shortages caused by global events beyond our control.

Obviously the issue is much more complicated than that, but I am suggesting a change in current legislation that could help. Simply put, an amendment to RSA 378:37 would allow energy companies who deal strictly in fossil fuels to produce electricity – and make a profit – using renewable sources.

The suggested text is highlighted in bold:

378:37 New Hampshire Energy Policy. – The general court declares that it shall be the energy policy of this state to meet the energy needs of the citizens and businesses of the state at the lowest reasonable cost while providing for the reliability and diversity of energy sources; to maximize the use of cost effective energy efficiency and other demand side resources; and to protect the safety and health of the citizens, the physical environment of the state, and the future supplies of resources, with consideration of the financial stability of the state’s utilities.  To meet this policy, the commission may permit, approve and otherwise authorize utility investment in, use and deployment of such energy sources as the commission deems consistent with the policy and the utility’s resource management capabilities on such terms and conditions as the Commission deems just and reasonable, without requiring the utility to obtain such authority as may be required under Chapter 374 or otherwise; in the event of conflict with any other commission regulations, under the general regulations of Chapter 374 or otherwise, this provision of this statute shall control.

I ask that our county legislators consider introducing this amendment for consideration during the upcoming legislative session.

With regards,

Terry M. Clark

County Commissioner

14 Barrett Ave.

Keene, NH 03431

603-661-8347

I’ve filed for re-election for County Commissioner representing Keene, Roxbury and Marlborough.

It’s been an exciting time being Cheshire County Commissioner these past two years, and as County Treasurer the previous two. Through this experience, I’ve seen the extent in which counties in New Hampshire effect the everyday lives of people living here. I’ve come to realize the dedication of administrators, departmental heads and their staff, the state representatives who serve as our county delegation, and the board of commissioners.

The single-most thing that’s become apparent to me from watching this team is that department heads need commissioner support to be innovative and to run smoothly and efficiently. And taxpayers need a commission that will be both mindful of community needs, and the ability to finance those needs.

Luckily, that combination has been the order of the day and I promise to continue and add to the progress in areas such as nursing and critical care, energy efficiency and resourcefulness, and meaningful, alternative programs to the traditional criminal justice system for individuals with a substance use disorder and/or mental illness.

Immediately at my election as commissioner in 2019 we were dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and tasked with dispersing $14,778,619 in American Recovery Program assistance. A million dollars of this money went to the City of Keene and the other towns in the county to use as they pleased; $1.8 million went to non-profits; nearly $2 million went to local businesses that were impacted by the pandemic; and $4.5 million allowed us to design and create a regional emergency medical services agency that will operate without county tax dollars.

Other recipients included county hall renovations and county facility HVAC upgrades; community arts; economic development agencies in Keene and Winchester; two area chambers of commerce; and even $20,000 to fund lifeguard training in area towns.

The regional ambulance service allowed me to fulfill a campaign promise to work towards regional solutions in a meaningful way.

But, I am also working on another area: community power aggregation. Besides being able to join with regional hydro-electric producers to supply a big chunk of the electricity that powers county facilities, our new community power aggregation program will allow us to purchase all of our facility’s power needs, while allowing individual towns to join our consortium and take advantage of lower electric rates for both the towns’ and resident’s needs through our combined buying power.

Throughout the next few months, I’ll try to highlight other important roles a county commissioner plays in the lives of the citizens of Cheshire County. I hope I’ll be able to win your confidence.

NH needs to get off fossil fuels fast



Recent news that major electricity suppliers like Eversource may soon begin selective blackouts to account for their short-sighted dependence on natural gas is startling and could have been, and still could be, avoided.

This news comes on the heels of the Gov. Sununu-appointed Public Utilities Commission’s decimation of the state’s N.H Saves program. This action was so ill-advised that the Legislature just passed a bill by an unheard of bipartisan, unanimous vote to negate the damage.

Ratepayers should come together and insist that the Legislature also repudiate the governor’s foolish and greedy agenda of stonewalling the advancement of renewable energy technology by lifting the cap on net metering and removing the unnecessary hurdles local community power aggregation groups are facing.

It’s no secret that New Hampshire needs to get off fossil fuels, and fast. The climate crisis is here, and transitioning to clean energy must happen as soon as possible. We can use energy efficiency, solar, wind and more to help us get there to avoid freezing our families as well as the worst climate cataclysm in recorded history.

It’s time for ratepayers to face the fact that the other key benefit of getting off of fossil fuels is building a clean-energy economy, powered by local jobs right here at home.

Because eliminating fossil fuels doesn’t only make environmental sense — it makes economic sense.

Repudiate Anti-Renewable Energy Policies

Recent news that major electricity suppliers like Eversource may soon begin selective blackouts to account for their short – sighted dependence on natural gas is startling and could have been, and still could be avoided. 

This news comes on the heels of the Governor Sununu-appointed Public Utilities Commission’s decimation of the State’s NHSaves program. This action was so ill advised that the legislature just passed a bill by an unheard of bi-partisan, unanimous vote to negate the damage.

Ratepayers should come together and insist that the legislature also repudiate the governor’s foolish and greedy agenda of stone walling the advancement of renewable energy technology by lifting the cap on net metering and removing the unnecessary hurdles local community power aggregation groups are facing.

It’s no secret that New Hampshire needs to get off fossil fuels, and fast. The climate crisis is here, and transitioning to clean energy must happen as soon as possible. We can use energy efficiency, solar, wind, and more to help us get there to avoid freezing our families as well as the worst climate cataclysm in recorded history. 

It’s time for ratepayers to face the fact that the other key benefit of getting off of fossil fuels is building a clean energy economy, powered by local jobs right here at home.

Eliminating fossil fuels doesn’t only make environmental sense – it makes economic sense.

Transparency Isn’t An Inconvenience

The City of Keene’s apparent surprise that the number of Right To Know requests in Keene are higher than anywhere in the state shouldn’t come as a surprise. (“Keene has averaged about 100 RTK requests annually since 2017” By Mia Summerson Sentinel Staff  Aug 10, 2021)

Consider that rather than complying with simple requests for information, the city routinely requires people, and even city councilors, to file Right To Know requests to get information that should be readily accessible.

What is a surprise is that the city continues this practice. 

In 2019 the NH Supreme Court ruled against the city in Salchetti v. The City of Keene, where the Court said that the city didn’t take right to know very seriously, and found that the city’s practice of not storing data in a form that is readily available to the public is unconstitutional.

The real question should be why the city feels that it is such an inconvenience to be transparent.

Here’s A Tip

A disappointing new reality. The restaurant where me and a friend have been having breakfast once a week has closed on that day because of a labor shortage. This is happening more and more as low-wage workers are beginning to realize that they are getting it in the neck, and are choosing to do other things.

The United States is one of only a few countires I’ve been in that still forces waitstaff to live on tips. I say get rid of the tip system – as most of the world has – and pay people a living wage with benefits. This country has been subsidizing goods and services with sub-standard labor costs for way too long. If capitalism really works, make business prove it.

No New Hampshire Advantage

Education, labor, freedom and taxes

In our history “the people” have only gained partial control of the government during a few short periods of time before the status quo just took it back.

I think that may be the nature of things that we can’t change. But, public consciousness needs to change to a point where regular folks don’t become complacent – ever. Special interests never become complacent. They are always trying to gain an advantage, and they succeed when folks stop paying attention or get distracted.

That’s why education is so very important. We need to educate every single generation to think critically and resist every effort to diminish education. Have you ever wondered why New Hampshire state government’s contribution to higher education has dwindled to the point where it is a farce to even call the Univerisity System of New Hampshire a state university system?

Today’s distractions pit regular folks against each other by creating imaginary enemies like immigrants, non-Christians, gender differences, etc. These things that suddenly consume the lives of people in fact have no bearing on people’s everyday lives. What does the crossing of a border in Arizona really have to do with the life of someone living in New Hampshire? Nothing.

But it does distract them from thinking about why they pay a disproportionate amount of taxes in New Hampshire than a richer man does. It distracts them from wondering why this state has no minimum wage. It distracts them from questioning why there is so little freedom and no local control in a state who’s motto is “Live Free or Die”.

Water Rate Hike Needs Thinking Over

The City of Keene’s proposal to increase water rates for customers who use too much water seems logical on the face of it, but there are two glaring problems with the current proposal.First, Keene already gives a discount rate to bulk commercial and industrial users for doing exactly what the proposal is trying to stem – using more water. You would think the City might consider raising those rates before tapping the residential homeowner.Second, multi-family buildings by and large have only one meter for up to four families. These families are renters – which make up more than a half of Keene’s population – and are ill prepared to pay even more for what are among the state’s highest rents.This should be sent back to the finance committee and amended to address two glaring inequities among classes of citizens in Keene.

Gandhi, Seabrook and the Capitol March

Let me share my perspective on the January 6th march on the Capitol. I come into this with an understanding of the value of our right to protest when we disagree with our government. But, there was something different about the protest rally held in Washington, DC on January 6th. I contrast it to a protest I was involved in at the Seabrook nuclear power plant on New Hampshire’s marshy coast in May 1977.

I was part of a movement to stop the building of a twin nuclear power facility; the protestors in DC on the 6th were part of a movement to stop the counting of presidential electors by congress. Both were planned and organized ahead of time. The difference was that the Seabrook protestors had to attend non-violent, civil disobedience tactics classes given by the organizers, the Clamshell Alliance – named for the clams in the marshy bogs surrounding the town of Seabrook, NH. 

The DC protestors were provoked to storm the capitol without being trained in non-violent tactics. Revisionists are already floating the idea that most people attended the DC protest merely to support the president, but conveniently omit the advertising and organizational leaflets blatantly telling them to be strong and forcefully stop the counting of elector ballots – “Stop the Steal.” In the end, no injuries or property damage was incurred at Seabrook, but five deaths and utter mayhem was reported from the capitol. 

Keene Sentinel reporter Ernest Hebert quoted me saying afterwards that, “A few police got irritable for a while there, but it didn’t last long: and, on the whole, they treated us well.” You see, at Seabrook, protestors sat in groups singing, passively going limp when the police dragged them away. Contrast that with the march on the Capitol, where protestors were the aggressors, killing five, breaking windows and furniture, and defecating in the halls where portraits of Americana is hung.

Gandhi and John Lennon were right about passive resistance: the authorities don’t know what to do with you. The protest at Seabrook was marginally successful in that only one of the twin towers were built. In DC, the counting resumed and a new president was affirmed – nothing changed. 

My penalty was a $100 fine and a misdemenor record I have to explain every five years when I reapply for my justice of the peace certification. But, that’s okay. Capitol protestors will be charged with a felony and, ironically, be forever barred from owning a firearm. But, the worst of the capitol march is the damage done to the American psyche and our sense of right and wrong.