Pembroke Selectman Fred Kline juggles career, kids, home
Juggling career life and home life can be a challenge, but striking the right balance between them both is what Selectman Fred Kline of Pembroke prides himself on. His position as chairman of the Pembroke Board of Selectmen keeps Kline busy with town responsibilities for a three-year term, which runs into 2015.
Kline’s work as a selectman has him currently involved in: Safe Routes to School, Old Home Day, Roads Committee, founder of the Bush Family Fund, board member and coach for Suncook Softball, assists with Suncook Little League, and assists Cub Scout Pack 270.
“I help out on many of these committees from time to time, but I do not sit on all these boards,” said Kline.
Over the last 10 years, Kline was at one time or another involved with the Pembroke Planning Board, CTAP (Community Technical Assistance Program), the Budget Committee and the Pembroke School Board.
His advice for someone looking to pursue local politics?
“Do not go into any office with one particular issue in mind. If it’s never solved you will be frustrated. If it’s solved quickly, you’ll be bored. Rather go into it because of a concern for that big picture overall, and you’ll only be a little frustrated.”
A general mistake that leaders make more frequently than others, Kline said, are when the leaders think that they know better than the people.
“They don’t always know better!” he said.
Despite his community involvement, Kline said his children give him his greatest satisfaction.
“People say that I light up when I talk about my two kids. And sometimes it’s all I talk about! I am happiest when I am with them, they are everything to me,” said Kline.
Kline describes the best time of the day as when his house is full of “kid sounds” from his children – Rachel, 12, and Steven, 11. Kline said that he has great kids.
“Except to each other, they are both kind and considerate,” he said. “They just might be the two nicest people I know. I am honored to be their father.
“My own parents are my role models,” said Kline.”They possess and demonstrate all of the good qualities any human could hope for, but patience is probably at the top.”
Being a father of two preteens has challenges, such as peer pressure and decision making. The two most important core values that Kline tries to instill in his children are to never give up, and always do your best.
Kline said the only thing he will not tolerate from his children are when they give up.
“That’s about the only time I raise my voice,” he said.
Rachel and Steven describe their dad as “awesome and funny.” Steven said he likes it when “Dad starts to sing ‘Home on the Range’ and my friends join in with him. My dad is also good at building things with me, like my winning Pinewood Derby cars.”
Rachel notes that her favorite things to do with her dad are sewing things together and playing softball.
Kline deeply believes in order to personally develop as a father and ensure growth as a leader that he will continue to invest his time in his family and community and learn how and what he can do to improve them.
Simply put, he said, “I listen. We have a lot of great people in Pembroke and they all have taught me something in one way or another, so it’s important to just listen!”