State Rep. Neal Kurk of Weare is not running for reelection this year. That is very much a loss not only for his constituents but for all New Hampshire.
Kurk has been a valuable resource for those seeking to understand and rein in state finances. And his willingness to take sometimes unpopular positions in holding the fiscal line has meant a New Hampshire with balanced but not bloated budgets.
Kurk has served 32 years in Concord. It has not been the huge salary ($200 per biennium and gas mileage) that has kept him there. It has been his understanding that level-headed, conservative men and women must make personal sacrifices and answer the call to service if we are to maintain the New Hampshire we have.
We have had our differences with Kurk. His concern over personal privacy is admirable but has occasionally led to bad results. One was his move that prevents citizens from identifying motor vehicle license plate owners.
Driving on public roads is a privilege granted to those who pass a test and register their vehicles. Thanks to Kurk, we are not allowed to know which driver clipped a mailbox, or sideswiped another car, or received preferential treatment when the police arrived.
This session, Kurk stopped the education grant program that would have allowed parents the opportunity to move their children to a different and perhaps better school. It would have had a positive effect on all schools by making them compete for students.
We would have liked to hear more from him on that subject, and we hope, after taking two years off, that Neal Kurk will come back to Concord to explain and to again bring his experience and fiscal wisdom to bear.