Letters to the Editor

Martin: Meet me in the middle, in the ‘purple’

To the Editor:

"We’re all different shades of purple!" two Milford High School students exclaimed to me on Primary Day.

I smiled, and nodded in agreement, and we continued our conversation about how the majority of voters are somewhere in the middle in terms of their political beliefs – not just Re­publican "red" or Democratic "blue." The discussions I had with our MHS students about our political systems were the highlight of my day.

"How do you make an impact in a polarized red and blue political world?" they asked me.

"We meet in the middle, in the ‘pur­ple,’ " I explained. "And we listen. We focus on our constituents and their needs and make policy decisions that support them. It’s more important as a voter to know how your Representa­tives have voted than to know which party they are affiliated with."

"That is why I decided to run for state representative for Milford," I shared. "So many key bills this past session, even bipartisan-negotiated ones, that were beneficial to our com­munity were not supported by our current Milford state reps (www.gen court.state.nh.us). I tried as a constitu­ent to discuss several key issues with them but nearly all of my emails and calls were ignored."

"When it comes to making state policy decisions that impact our community, we need to put political ideology aside, listen to our Milford neighbors’ needs and struggles, and then collaborate to make the right decisions to support them," I added.

I expressed the importance of ne­gotiation and collaboration skills for policy makers. During my years as a business executive, I was responsible for a multi-million-dollar publishing division. Some of my key responsi­bilities included group leadership, strategic planning, mergers and acquisitions, and financial manage­ment. These experiences in the board room and the business world helped me to develop my diplomacy and leadership skills. I shared with the MHS students that I also have served as a preschool teacher and commu­nity volunteer.

"I’ve had the chance to hear from so many Milford residents about their current challenges," I said. "And I’m listening." I then pointed to my motto printed on my sign, A Voice for You, A Vote for Milford.

I am committed to applying my advocacy and leadership skills to secure a better future for our com­munity. I will use my collaborative approach as state representative for Milford to develop creative solutions and support smart policies that have Milford residents’ best interests at heart.

I will be A Voice for You, A Vote for Milford and I’m willing to "meet in the middle" to achieve that.

Joelle Martin

Candidate for State Representative, Milford

Milford Pumpkin Festival a real community event

To the Editor:

As we close in on the Milford Pumpkin Festival, I would really like to hone in on all the positive aspects that the MPF does for our community.

It’s in its 27th year – MIT has coor­dinated the event for the town and its residents since 2000. Tradition­ally held over Columbus Day week­end, the Milford Pumpkin Festival has become one of the most highly anticipated fall festivals each year in New England. Since 1990, the Milford Pumpkin Festival has provided a free family-oriented community event, offering a wide range of fun activi­ties and music for all ages. There is live entertainment on two stages all weekend, a spectacular fireworks dis­play, a haunted trail, a giant pumpkin contest, plenty of food, arts and crafts, a haunted trail, a talent show, pump­kin painting, face painting, scarecrow building, our historic downtown area with its great shops and eateries, and much more.

The Milford Pumpkin Festival is the single greatest mar­keting tool that the town of Milford has in promot­ing its cultural, historic, natural and economic resources. The festival creates free media expo­sure for Milford on state and regional levels, as publicity about the event appears in newspapers, magazines, radio, televi­sion, travel and to-do websites, social posts and more. This earned media adds up to well over $100,000 in advertising value to our town.

In 2015, the Milford Pumpkin Festival brought 35,000-plus visitors to Mil­ford over the three-day weekend. According to New Hampshire’s Travel and Tourism Department, each visit is worth an average of $102 per per­son per day, with festival attendees shopping in our stores, dining in our restaurants, gassing up their cars and more. The economic impact of the festival adds up to well over a million dollars into the local economy.

In addition to all the fun festival activities enjoyed by visitors, the Pumpkin Festival pro­vides the opportunity for 40-plus Milford area non­profits, school clubs and teams, church groups, Scout troops, community service organizations and others to participate and raise funds and aware­ness for their causes. The funds raised are rein­vested directly back into Milford community in the form of team and band uniforms, scholarships, service trips, educational programs, community programs and much more.

In researching all the other New Hampshire festivals, Milford is the ONLY town that puts so much emphasis on the im­portance of these groups! I am very proud of the fact that one-third-plus of our vendors are com­posed of these groups!

Volunteers are what make the Milford Pump­kin Festival so spectacu­lar. Volunteers have an enormous impact on the health and well-being of communities. We are so fortunate in Milford to have so many volunteers! In 2015, volunteer hours in putting on the Milford Pumpkin Festival totaled over 1,500.

Wendy Hunt

Executive director

Milford Improvement Team

Milford Pumpkin Festival

Gerzon touts record of bipartisanship

To the Editor:

I am announcing my candidacy for state rep­resentative from Amherst and I ask for your vote on Nov. 8.

As a small business owner who works in the field of taxation, I have been appointed to and served on nu­merous state and local boards and organiza­tions. I currently serve as the Chairman of the New Hampshire Assess­ment Standards Board, which oversees the New Hampshire property tax system. I also serve on the New Hampshire At­torney Discipline team, where I support the New Hampshire Supreme Court to hear cases involving discipline for lawyers who have vio­lated professional ethics.

Throughout my career I have served on and led numerous state boards, business development organizations and town committees, supporting diverse initiatives such as land conservation, fair taxation, business development and family mediation.

My approach in each of these roles has been to resolve issues by work­ing from the center. I have been appointed to state government roles by both Democratic and Republican governors, and one reason that I have served under both parties is that I have a history of ensuring that all voices are at the table as key decisions are made. If elected, my primary focus will be to bring these skills to state government in order to help repair our hyper-partisan political land­scape.

As I have done in other settings I will take a step back from partisan issues, listen to those who have an interest in the outcome of key issues, and work to find compromise so that the needs and perspectives of Amherst voters are addressed.

I believe that for gov­ernment to work well we must work to restore the center to find common ground solutions. My mis­sion will be to bring peo­ple together in order to create more thoughtful, reasoned policy that sup­ports our shared vision of the future of our state. If you wish to learn more about my background and policies, please visit my website, www.lengerzon fornh.com.

With your vote we can work towards restoring civility, common sense and growth-oriented policy to the New Hamp­shire House of Repre­sentatives. It is in this spirit that I ask for your support.

Len Gerzon

Candidate for Hillsborough, District 22, Amherst