Lynch names gambling commission members

Gov. John Lynch has filled almost all of the membership of his Gambling Study Commission, which was established in July to undertake a comprehensive study of the ramifications of expanding gambling in New Hampshire.

In announcing the commission in July, the governor named Andrew Lietz, managing director of private equity investment firm Rye Capital Management LLC, as chairman.

The commission must come up with a schedule of work by Oct. 1 and a draft report by Dec. 1.

Joining Lietz on the commission thus far are:

• N.H. Sen. Bob Odell, R-Lempster
• N.H. Rep. Jim Craig, D-Manchester
• Mayor Tom Ferrini, D-Portsmouth
• Former Democratic state Rep. Ned Densmore of Franconia
• Former Democratic state Sen. Joseph Foster of Nashua
• Former Republican state Rep. David Babson of Ossipee
• Police Chief David Bailey of Bedford
• Mark MacKenzie of Manchester, president of the New Hampshire AFL-CIO
• Bonnie Newman of Portsmouth, former interim president of the University of New Hampshire and executive dean of the Kennedy School of Government
• Michelline Dufort of Concord, vice president of the Office of Advancement for New England College and former executive director of the New Hampshire Lodging and Restaurant Association
• Maggie Pritchard of Laconia, executive director of Genesis Behavioral Health in Laconia
• Mary Heath of Manchester, dean of the School of Education at Southern New Hampshire University and former state deputy commissioner of Education.
• Karen Pollard, Rochester economic development director

The panel now has 14 members – appointment of a 15th and final member is pending, the governor’s office said.

The governor said the people he appointed are “dedicated to New Hampshire and its quality of life” and that “they have agreed to do the hard work necessary to gather reliable data and facts and perform unbiased and detailed analysis about gaming proposals and how they may impact New Hampshire in order to contribute to a more informed public debate on this issue.”

The commission’s first meeting will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 1 at the New Hampshire Higher Education Assistance Foundation in Concord. – JEFF FEINGOLD/NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESS REVIEW