Kyle Clayton Wants You To Write Him in for Hillsborough County Commissioner-District 1 (Democrat) on Tuesday, September 13
HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, NH — Queen City radio personality Kyle Clayton has launched a write-in campaign for the Democratic Party nomination for Hillsborough County Commissioner in District 1, which consists of Bedford, Manchester and New Boston.
On the Democratic ticket, a candidate for Hillsborough County Commissioner District 1 has long been a “sacrificial lamb” offered up to be defeated by the “unbeatable” Toni Pappas, a Republican. No Democrat signed up for the office in 2022, a repeat of 2018, when Pappas ran unopposed.
It was the failure of anyone to sign up to run in the Democratic Primary for Hillsborough County Commissioner, District 1 that keyed Kyle Clayton’s decision to solicit write-in votes for the position.
“We’re taught in school we live in a democracy and of the value of the two-party system,” Clayton said. “How can American democracy work when there is only one candidate?”
A voters guide questionnaire for candidates asked what is the difference between state, municipal and county government.
“My first thought was, county government is invisible in the Manchester area. No one — and that includes myself just a short time ago — seems to know what county government does, if they even know it exists. That’s a strange situation and doesn’t really jibe with what I was taught about democracy.”
Kyle believes that county government is important.
“People ask, Why are you running? and I answer Why not?
“I could answer, Since ‘County Commissioner Kyle Clayton’ is alliterative and pleasing to the ear, taxpayers are likely to remember there is such a thing as a County Commission, or I could say, More people know who Kyle Clayton is than who know who or what a County Commissioner is or does.
Seriously, Kyle thought about a situation in which Hillsborough County, New Hampshire taxpayers were pouring tens of millions of dollars into an entity they know nothing about.
“In September 2021, the Hillsborough County Commission put $56 million into its treasury from property taxes. Manchester property taxpayers paid over $12.5 million dollars to the County Commission, while the taxpayers of Bedford paid in over $4.4 million and those in New Boston nearly $800,00.
“And that’s just one source of its money. The total budget is $190 million for FY 2023 and finances the County Attorney’s Office, the County Sheriff’s Department, the Valley Street Jail, and — last but not least — healthcare services such as the senior citizens home in Goffstown.”
As Kyle learns more about county government, he discovered that its “invisibility” leads to misconceptions.
“When people unfairly criticize Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig for the release of people arrested for violent crimes who go on to commit another crime, they don’t know she’s not the one who’s responsible. That’s the County Attorney’s job and the County Attorney falls under the County Commission.
“Everybody should know what the County Commission is and does. It should not be invisible. And that’s why I’m running for office.”
Kyle plans on sharing his experiences on running for office with his audience, so they can learn together.
“I’m not claiming that I’m more qualified than the incumbent. What I know is that in our American democracy, no candidate should be allowed to run unopposed. By my being in the race, it actually benefits my opponent as well as the public, because attention will be focused on issues that otherwise might be ignored or forgotten.
“And that is what electoral democracy is about, ” he said, “enabling people’s voices to be heard.”
ISSUES AND ANSWERS
If elected County Commissioner, Kyle Clayton will push for:
a.) “Good government” policies at the county level, based on greater transparency, a strong ethics policy that addresses conflicts of interest, and implementing a countywide whistleblower program;
b.) An audit of all extant County contracts and operations, to identify waste and reduce redundancies;
c.) A more active role for the County Commission in the regulation of substance abuse facilities to ensure that public monies are not misspent, and that standards of care are implemented and maintained; and
d.) Working with other County Commissioners in the State of New Hampshire and the Governor to reduce the pressure on Manchester and northern Hillsborough County when it comes to the treatment of substance abusers, to ensure that the burdens are shared more equitably.