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Letter: Executive Council’s Immense Power

To the Editor:

All of us must think very carefully about who we want to replace Ray Burton in the election to be held soon for New Hampshire’s Executive Council. We must be informed and then we must vote. From the material once provided by Mr. Burton, I learned of the immense power the Executive Council has. It is shocking ­— and it is unique to New Hampshire. I moved here 22 years ago from Pennsylvania, and the Council was unknown to me until several years ago. I find it astonishing.

The five Council members are elected every two years. Their duties are explained: “All state departments and agencies must seek approval of receipts and expenditures of state and federal funds, budgetary transfers within the departments and all contracts with a value of $10,000. The Executive Council approves the spending of a major portion of the billions of dollars appropriated annually by the legislature. They must approve the appointment of judges, notaries public, justices of the peace as well as requests for pardons.”

And there’s more: “The Executive Council of the state of New Hampshire has the authority and responsibility, together with the Governor, over the affairs of the State as defined in the New Hampshire Constitution, the New Hampshire statutes, the advisory opinions of the New Hampshire Supreme Court and the Attorney General.”

The Republicans keep saying that they are seeking a man just like Ray Burton. Someone who goes to every single event in his or her area? Is this really what is needed? If our state insists on having this Council, what should be emphasized, in my opinion, is the need to have a person of honest and just temperament, with understanding of the needs and concerns of our citizens, the ability to reason with intelligence and a progressive point of view. Let’s check out Peter Glenshaw. He looks worthy to me.

Rose Law Miller

Hanover