Kevin H. Smith (born on (1977-07-28)July 28, 1977) is the town manager of Londonderry NH. He was a New Hampshire state legislator, a government official and was the director of a NH non-profit. He is also the public address announcer for the Londonderry High School football games.
In a 2012 radio interview during the gubernatorial primary, his characterization of his professional experience was, "my background is in marketing and public relations."
After a year-long search, Smith was appointed Town Manager of Londonderry NH in August 2013. The Town Manager position is responsible for the proper administration of all departments of town government, except the Library Division. In this capacity, the Smith is responsible for proposing and executing the town's budget.
Smith has been particularly focused on growing the Londonderry economic base. An expansion of the town's infrastructure for the industrially zoned area has yielded particularly strong results. The Pettengill Road project has been one of Smith's larger and more substantial areas of focus in his first year in the role. Within the industrial area of town, a Pratt & Whitney and UPS funded project is expected to bring over 150 jobs in its first year and could swell to 500 jobs. Separately, FedEx is expanding to add several hundred jobs in a new 300,000 square foot facility in the same area and bring another 500 jobs.
On the residential and retail side of the equation, Smith has been actively focusing on the conversion of Londonderry's Woodmont Orchards into the planned community of Woodmont Commons. This project is anticipated to bring over 1,000 homes, commercial and retail space over the next several years
According to Business NH Magazine, Londonderry is "poised to become an economic powerhouse."
Smith was elected as a state legislator from Londonderry, NH to the New Hampshire House of Representatives from 1996–98, where he served on the Judiciary and Family Law Committee.
In 1997 he spoke for the members of the Committee opposed to SB 34, an act repealing statutes that required prison terms and fines for physicians who performed abortions and repealing a statute that mandated a charge of murder against physicians whose patients died in the course of an abortion procedure. He stated that passage of the bill and consequent repeal of those laws might cause New Hampshire to "become the abortion mecca of the country" and referred to it as an "extreme measure". The bill passed the legislature and was signed into law by then-governor Jeanne Shaheen, decriminalizing those activities for physicians.
In 1997 he authored HB 768, a bill banning partial birth abortion which was defeated in the House. In that year he also voted in favor of Right-to-work legislation. In 1998 he was awarded the Christian Coalition's "Pro-Family" House Member of the Year.
During his time of service in the legislature, Smith was the director of a before and after-school child care program and also worked as an elementary school para-professional, assisting students with special needs.
U.S. Senate and governor's office
He served on the official staffs for both former United States Senator, Bob Smith (no relation) and New Hampshire Governor, Craig Benson. Senator Smith and Governor Benson both lost their bids for re-election prompting him to joke that after Benson's defeat he "started to feel a little bit like the Typhoid Mary of political campaigns." Smith had also served as the New Hampshire campaign field director for Senator Smith's unsuccessful bid for the Republican presidential nomination in 1999.
During his time as a US Senate staffer, Smith was the outreach liaison to New Hampshire's law enforcement and public safety community, as well as a caseworker where he assisted New Hampshire's citizens on a variety of matters such as veteran's affairs, social security, and immigration.
While serving on the Governor's staff, Smith was the Governor's liaison to the Executive Branch Department Heads as well as New Hampshire's Executive Council, where Smith assisted with appointments to Executive Branch Boards, Commissions, and Departments. Smith also served on the Interagency Commission to End Homelessness during his time in the Governor's Office although he has said that he considers it a tragedy when "government steps in the role of charitable organizations, of faith-based organizations, of community organizations that do such a great job of helping out people in the community. They've basically outsourced all of the roles that churches and charities used to do to the government and that's a real shame. We need to get back to looking at our community organizations as a first line of defense and not the government.".
Division for Juvenile Justice Services
In 2005, Smith joined the New Hampshire Division of Juvenile Justice Services where he became Assistant Director of the Department in 2007. During his tenure, Kevin oversaw the Finance and Quality Assurance departments and helped develop the Division's first "report card" which measured the results and efficacy of various programs within the Division. Kevin was also a member of the New Hampshire Chiefs of Police and worked closely with law enforcement and District Court judges on matters such as developing alternatives to juvenile detention and reducing the incidence of disproportionate minority contact in urban areas. Kevin also worked closely with the Commissioner of Health and Human Services to develop the state's first Office of Faith-based and Community Programs as a means to find local, community and private-sector solutions to meet the needs of New Hampshire's most vulnerable citizens when state resources were not available.
In 2009, Smith became Executive Director of Cornerstone Action, a non-partisan, conservative advocacy organization dedicated to the advancement of free-enterprise, limited government, and personal responsibility policies in the state legislature.
During the three years of his executive directorship the organization's membership increased from 2,000 to 8,000. Smith has stated that revenue increased ten-fold to a high of $1.2 million in 2010 during his tenure however the organization's 2010 federal tax filings, not submitted until a month after his resignation in 2011, show gross revenue of only $51,470 for that year of which $40,522 went to his salary. Along with other expenses this represented a yearly loss of $21,505 despite a substantial reduction in his salary from $65,769 in 2009.
For his efforts, Smith has been recognized by national and local media as being one of the most influential conservatives in New Hampshire and in 2011, was named by Business NH Magazine as one of New Hampshire's "10 Most Powerful People."
Smith resigned as an Executive Director of Cornerstone in October 2011 to run as a Republican candidate in the 2012 New Hampshire gubernatorial election. He lost in the primary but did receive 30% of the vote to victor Ovide Lamontagne's 68%.
Born in Winchester, MA to Bruce and Denise Smith, Kevin moved to New Hampshire when his family moved to Londonderry in 1986. A graduate of Londonderry High School and the University of New Hampshire at Manchester, Smith was appointed to the New Hampshire Advisory Committee to the US Commission on Civil Rights in 2009 and continues to serve on the Committee. He is currently the President of Smith Enterprises, a government and public relations consulting group.
Smith currently resides in Litchfield with his wife, Suzy Fawcett Smith, and their three children Colby, Lindsay and Tommy.
In The News
James Pindell, WMUR Political Scoop:
With his ability to build coalitions around an ad hoc tax rally this week, Smith showed Cornerstone is not just about social issues and that he is becoming a real serious player.
He has the chops, the contacts, and perfect pitch messaging (both in and out of state) to move the political pendulum on both issues and candidates. He's shown that he can bring the firepower when needed.
Splaine says that Smith, the new leader of Cornerstone Policy Research, is polite, amiable, respectful, a far cry from the blustering conservatives who thump their chests and claim that gay people have no right to marry.
"He has the ability to disagree on this issue, as we certainly have, without being disagreeable," said Splaine, a Democrat from Portsmouth. "And that is always a commendable attribute for anyone who's a spokesperson for a cause."
"It's this type of integrity and fair-mindedness that make it hard not to like Smith, 31, no matter your political persuasion. He speaks in measured tones. He pulls back when necessary and listens. He's the married father of three little kids, who had a crush on his wife of six years, Suzy, back in high school in Londonderry, and who genuinely wants to hear what you think."
Views on issues
Along with all other major candidates besides Democrat Jacalyn Cilley Smith has made The Pledge to veto state sales or income taxes.
Smith has stated that he believes that the public school system is still based upon a 1950s model and needs to be reformed and that the government should issue educational vouchers that would provide tax revenue to private schools, enabling parents to more affordably send their children to private schools. However he says that speaking as a product of public schools himself and because most children are educated within the public school system, we can't give up on that system. He has also spoken in favor of grade retention, saying "we shouldn't move kids up the chain until they reach their grade level."
In the context of the ongoing school funding issues of New Hampshire, Smith says that he agrees with current Governor John Lynch that there should be a constitutional amendment allowing the state to target aid to the neediest communities but believes that it is a notable failure of leadership that the Governor has not delivered this solution as he promised in his 2004 campaign.
Although not always in favor of it, Smith said that he has "evolved" and is currently endorses the death penalty for some crimes.
Health and Human Services
Smith has said that there is a problem with corruption in the New Hampshire Department of Health & Human Services and when asked how it should be addressed he said, "You need to have competent people to do the job."
Second Amendment issues
New Hampshire law requires a license to carry a loaded firearm in both open or concealed fashion while in a motor vehicle but no license is needed to openly carry a loaded weapon while on foot. Regarding the carrying of firearms in public, Smith said in early 2012 that he is "on the fence, but leaning toward keeping the law the way it is."
Federal Funding for Abortion
In addition to Smith's activity regarding abortion while serving in the legislature, he has said that "People don't want public funding for abortion clinics. It's an issue that cuts across party lines."
Smith has stated that the most important transportation issue currently is the expansion and widening of Interstate 93. Regarding establishment of commuter rail service to connect Southern New Hampshire with the Boston-area rail system he says that studies he has read indicate that expected ridership levels would be insufficient to support profitability and that hence along with the other expenses involved he does not believe that New Hampshire can afford such an endeavor at the present time, however this is not an absolute position and he would be willing to listen to the arguments of rail advocates.