Final opinions offered on Nov. 7 elections: Letters

Martha Fuller Clark endorses Deaglan McEachern for Portsmouth City Council

Oct. 31 − To the Editor:

I am writing to express my enthusiastic support for Deaglan McEachern's candidacy for Portsmouth City Council. Having had the privilege of knowing Deaglan personally and witnessing his dedication to our community, I wholeheartedly believe that he is the ideal candidate to represent the best interests of our beloved city.

One of Deaglan's standout strengths is his exceptional communication skills. He possesses a rare ability to connect with people from all walks of life, making them feel heard and valued. Whether it's presiding over public comment or collaborating with fellow council members, Deaglan's ability to listen and articulate his thoughts clearly is a true asset. In a time when effective communication is vital in local governance, Deaglan's skill in this area is invaluable.

Moreover, Deaglan is a positive leader who inspires those around him. He is known for his unwavering commitment to fostering unity within our community. Deaglan's leadership style encourages inclusivity, diversity, and collaboration, which are essential qualities in a City Council member. His positivity is contagious, and it is evident that he genuinely cares about the well-being and prosperity of Portsmouth and its residents.

Above all, Deaglan consistently prioritizes the best interests of Portsmouth. His dedication to our community is unwavering, and his decisions are guided by a deep understanding of our city's unique challenges and opportunities.  Deaglan’s commitment to responsible governance and thoughtful decision-making will undoubtedly benefit our city for years to come.

I urge you to join me in supporting Deaglan McEachern in the municipal elections on November 7th. His exceptional communication skills, positive leadership, and unwavering dedication to Portsmouth make him the ideal candidate to continue to represent our city's best interests.

The Honorable Martha Fuller Clark


Municipal elections are Nov. 7, 2023.
Municipal elections are Nov. 7, 2023.

Vote Kate Cook for sensible leadership and accountable government

Nov. 1 − To the Editor:

I'm writing today in support of the re-election of Portsmouth City Councilor, Kate Cook. As she herself says, Kate stands for "sensible leadership and accountable government." She understands that Portsmouth's arts and culture organizations not only add to the city's quality of life but contribute millions of dollars in economic impact. In Portsmouth, arts mean business and Kate has championed a new Cultural Plan as well as spearheading the new Arts and Culture Commission.  She has also worked to secure funding for a Climate Action Plan and will promote implementation of critical climate change mitigation and sea level-rise adaptation measures. She believes in taking a "housing first" approach to address affordability and will advocate for expanded childcare options. Kate Cook is leader who takes action.  If re-elected, she will continue to serve all of Portsmouth's citizen. I urge you to cast your vote for Kate Cook.

Robin Albert  Lehman


Chuck Denault makes bad choices again and again

Nov. 1 − To the Editor:

In response to a recent letter in which a handful of Kittery town employees defend the actions of candidate Chuck Denault, actions that led to his resignation from the Town Council in 2021: sorry, no. You don’t get to decide that Chuck did nothing wrong when he secretly surveilled town employees, including following and photographing women on their lunch breaks. If you think he followed protocol, you are misled. You may have felt there were issues in your workplace that were not being addressed, though to be clear an independent investigator determined that was not the case. Human Resource rules require strict privacy, so perhaps actions were being taken without you knowing. Because that’s the law!

In any event, there are proper ways to address concerns. You could have approached the Town Manager for a redress of grievances. You could have written a letter to the entire Town Council, who supervise the Town Manager. What you decided to do was complain to Chuck who doesn’t have the judgment necessary to do things the correct way. He violated the Town Charter and traumatized a bunch of employees. He sullied Ken Lemont’s reputation in the process when Ken decided to tag along on this ridiculous mission. His actions are indefensible and could have cost our town a lot of money in lawsuits. Money needed elsewhere. So he’s not a super hero for the disaffected, he’s just a guy who makes very bad choices. Again, and again.

For those of you just coming up to speed, this is not the first time Chuck has crossed the line. He fancies himself a super sleuth, and people all over Kittery have stories to share. In addition, the US District Court of Maine in US v. Pearl determined Chuck, then a police officer in Kittery, violated the Constitutional rights of two people he unlawfully detained, searched, and arrested. Illegally obtained evidence that was later thrown out because he did not follow the rules. See the pattern?

Chuck Denalut’s judgement has never risen to the standard required to sit on the Town Council. That anyone can support his candidacy, even out of misplaced loyalty, shows just how lost some folks are about what is right and what is wrong.

Keep Kittery moving in a positive, transparent, and professional direction! Vote for Cameron Hamm and H. Scott Mason on November 7th.

Celina Adams

Kittery, Maine

We have known Chuck Denault for 45 years; he's honest and trustworthy

Nov. 3 − To the Editor:

In response to Mr. Thomson’s letter about Kittery candidates not showing good judgement, we have known Chuck Denault for over 45 years, and always found him to be very honest and trustworthy. He is a Traip graduate who went on to serve the town as a police officer for many years and was promoted to Sergeant. Chuck also served for many years on the town council and was elected to Vice Chair.

We have often watched the town council meetings and Chuck always seemed to be the voice of reason. Chuck is concerned with maintaining Kittery’s small town charm, assisting long term residents to stay in their homes and not be forced out by the seeming never-ending sprawl.

In closing, we have known Chuck for many years, he is a hard working, good local guy with a proven track record of being honest, fair, and trustworthy. Chuck Denault and Ken Lemont did an excellent job while serving on the Kittery town council in the past and they both deserve to be re-elected.

Maurice (Bud) Patch, Larry B. Estes, Linda K. Patch, Jacquelyn M. Emery

Kittery and Kittery Point, Maine

Kittery Town Councilors are prohibited from interfering with town manager's supervision of staff

Nov. 2 − To the Editor:

I have been a Kittery Town Councilor since 2005 with a one-year break. Each new term, I have sworn to uphold the Town Charter: a document written and voted on by Kittery residents. That charter (Section 2.11(3)) clearly states that councilors are prohibited (the Charter’s word) from interfering with the Town manager’s administration of staff. Violating a sworn oath of office raises significant moral and ethical issues. Following and photographing female staff clearly violates that sworn oath.

Judy Spiller

Kittery Point, Maine

Keno: A force for good in Portsmouth

Nov. 2 − To the Editor:

On Tuesday, November 7, we have the chance to bring KENO 603, and the tremendous value it provides, to Portsmouth by voting YES on Question 1.

KENO provides tremendous benefits to communities, especially when you consider that 91% of the revenue generated by KENO supports the New Hampshire Lottery’s ever growing, $2.4 billion contribution to the state’s Education Trust Fund.

Since its arrival in the Granite State, KENO 603 has generated over $40 million for public education, averaging nearly $10 million dollars each year. This is money that goes toward paying our teachers, investing in school resources and ensuring New Hampshire’s students are as well prepared as they can be.

Just this past fiscal year, Portsmouth schools received nearly $900,000 in Lottery revenue, a number which could go up if Question 1 passes. When Keno wins, so do our students.

The bucks don’t stop there – literally.

Without a doubt, Keno will be an economic victory for our growing restaurant and bar scene, offering local establishments the opportunity to host Keno and collect an 8% sales commission on games played, which is the highest in the country. Not to mention, the Keno machines are of no cost to retailers, eliminating a barrier to entry for businesses new and old.

In the cities and towns already offering Keno, the game has proven to be an effective way to retain existing customers, while attracting new ones. As a result, bars and restaurants have reported a 15-20% increase in their food and beverage sales, leading to more jobs, good wages and a thriving community.

It is worth noting that certain nonprofits can become a Keno retailer, receiving the 8% sales commission, which becomes a built-in funding mechanism supporting the many worthy programs offered by these organizations.

In a time when traditional fundraising methods are less effective, and the many worthy nonprofits across the city find themselves fighting for the same dollar, surely this will make a meaningful difference.

Portsmouth is home to people who look out for their neighbors, checking-in after a Nor’easter or ensuring no one has an empty plate during the holidays. I am proud of this, and the work that groups do to support the city we call home.

Last year, the Elks, of which I am a member, provided 304 welcome kits to veterans granted housing, 305 gift cards to people in elderly housing and 47 Christmas food baskets to local families in need. Imagine what we could do with this untapped funding.

During a recent City Council meeting, Frank Desper, Portsmouth’s American Legion Commander, spoke in support of Keno, noting the Legion raises money to support youth sports teams in the community and to provide scholarships to local students.

Len McAuliffe


Portsmouth, vote yes on Question 1 in favor of Keno

Nov. 3 − To the Editor:

As we cast our ballot on Tuesday, November 7, Portsmouth voters have the opportunity to vote YES on Question 1, allowing Keno. If approved, Keno will have a significant and lasting impact on the city we are proud to call home.

Managed by the NH Lottery Commission, KENO 603 is a bingo-like game which uses a random number generator to select 20 winning numbers. While Keno may offer payouts up to $1,000,000, it is the payout to our community that is changing lives.

Keno offers nonprofits the opportunities to become licensed retailers, giving them an 8% sales commission – the highest in the country – which is used to support the organizations’ efforts and good work in the community.

For more than 135 years, the Portsmouth Lodge of Elks, a nonprofit volunteer organization with more than 1,800 members, has been an active community partner in service to our city. Like many Elks lodges across the Granite State, we see this as a tremendous opportunity to increase the good we can do.

In recent years, our Lodge has contributed more than $100,000 to numerous charities, and while I won’t list them all, I feel it is important to highlight some of the organizations and efforts we support, including, holiday gift baskets to local seniors, college scholarships (including vocational schools), local sports teams, Seacoast Community School, the Chase Home, Haven, Seacoast Family Promise, Gather, the Salvation Army, Operation Blessing’s Teen Summer Program and many, many more.

This past year, our Lodge, with support for local businesses, kicked off the LINK (Liberty Investments Nurture Kinships) program. Through this program, our Lodge has partnered with Portsmouth Naval Shipyard base-enlisted service members for monthly pet therapy visits, concert trips, local comedy and music performances and for a lobster bake for at the Lodge.

Of all the efforts we support, there is one near and dear to all Elks, the Welcome Home Kits offered to deserving veterans transitioning from homelessness to permanent housing. To date, we have provided more than 300 baskets, worth more than $60,000.

I urge you to vote YES on question one, allowing Keno and expanding the impact of the good work done by nonprofits across the city.

Michael Griffin

Portsmouth Resident, member of the Elks

Electing Mike Johnson House Speaker is latest disturbing GOP move

Nov. 2 − To the Editor:

Has the Republican Party been replaced by the Trump Party?  Prerequisites to becoming Speaker of the House were election denial and loyalty to Donald Trump.  Mike Johnson of Louisiana filled the bill.

Who is Mike Johnson? Johnson, in a blatant attempt to undermine our democracy, had a leading role in efforts to overturn the 2020 election, and voted against certifying Biden’s win even after the Jan 6 insurrection.

Mr. Johnson wants to criminalize abortion and gay sex. He  questions climate science and opposes clean energy. Contributions from oil and gas companies support his campaign. He believes gun violence is an unchangeable, immutable fact of the human condition and the price you pay for being human.

He also believes God ordained his becoming Speaker. He does not believe in the separation of church and state outlined in the First Amendment.

Every Republican in the House, apparently comfortable with these views and bowing to Trump, voted for Johnson as Speaker. Johnson in that important leadership role, and being second in the line of succession to the presidency is a chilling thought - almost as frightening as Trump being president again.

What has happened to the Grand Old Party?

Cynthia Muse


This article originally appeared on Portsmouth Herald: Final opinions offered on Nov. 7 elections: Letters