For Mayor: David Walker
Occupation: Repair engineer with Pratt & Whitney Aircraft
Prior public service: Former mayor of Rochester and 14 years as a city councilor
If elected, what would be your top priority for the city?
Make Rochester a more-business friendly place.
What can be done to promote more economic development in Rochester?
I fully support economic development efforts currently underway. In the past several years, the council has created TIF districts at Granite Ridge and the Granite State Business Park that has enabled development to accelerate. We are starting to see the fruits of that labor today.
Has the tax cap been beneficial to Rochester, or has it inhibited the city’s ability to get things done?
The tax cap has been beneficial for managing city budgets to keep Rochester a more affordable place to live and work.
Do you think the city should set aside a capital reserve fund to repair/expand its school buildings?
The city has supported the school department budget in regards to repairing/expanding its school buildings. I do not support a capital reserve fund as proposed. We are currently gathering more information on this matter so the council can make an informed decision.
What can be done to revitalize the downtown and promote a more vibrant arts scene?
There are two main areas to focus on: traffic and pedestrians. Redesigning the corridor between Strafford Square and the Union Street intersection to coincide with the “round-about” will enhance traffic flow and reduce congestion. Making the downtown more pedestrian-friendly by working with all stakeholders, including the police department, business community, and residents will be a priority. Promoting more pedestrian events downtown will help the situation.
What is the most important issue facing Rochester that city officials are not yet talking about?
The city has excellent school programs such as Dare and summer programming for children at the recreation center, but we should provide more programs for teens to keep them out of mischief. We need to explore what services can we provide collaboratively with Dover and Somersworth to be more cost effective. I look forward to working with the Tri City Coalition to explore any opportunities.