Newport – Sullivan County High Sheriff John Simonds was deeply touched when he heard that he had been picked to receive the second annual “No Issue Too Hot to Handle” award from the Raymond S. Burton Legacy Fund during its “Annual” picnic on July 16, 2016. The award, given in memory of the well-respected Executive Councilor and County Commissioner, honors a public servant in District One who exemplifies Burton’s commitment to public service.
“In May, I was notified that I was being nominated for the award from a long-time friend and supporter of Councilor Burton. I knew Ray Burton for almost 20 years and I always had the utmost respect for him,” said John Simonds. “Whenever I had a question about anything in State or Local Government, Ray was always there to assist. He carried index cards in his shirt pocket and would write down the names of people who asked for his help. He told me that it was important to always follow up with people when they ask for help, and he always kept that information close at hand. He was the greatest example of what public service was all about.”
In his letter to Sheriff Simonds, Legacy Fund Chairman Duane Baxter wrote: “Your many years of service to the citizens of New Hampshire, especially to District One, has been outstanding in every measurable way. You have never shied away from challenges no matter how large or small.”
Simonds has been in law enforcement for over 26 years, having served as a police officer in the towns of Sutton, Newbury, and Newport, as well as in the City of Claremont, where he is now in his second term as a City Councilor. He was the Chief Deputy Sheriff of Sullivan County from 2012 until his election as sheriff in November 2014. In 2015, Simonds was chosen as one of 28 Sheriffs in the country to attend the National Sheriff’s Institute in Colorado. He is a member of the Executive Board of the Attorney General’s Drug Task Force and Chair of the Sullivan County Chiefs of Police Organization.
“It was such an honor to receive this award, especially in Ray Burton’s name. Over the years, I was so blessed to call Ray a friend and mentor. In 2014 when I ran for Sheriff, I used a quote Ray had told me when describing how he did his job: “it’s all about public service.” That phrase struck home to me. This quote is on all of my campaign signs and I never take credit for it. I always tell people that I learned how to be a public servant from Ray Burton.