For Ward 6, Seat A: Human
Occupation: (not provided)
Prior public service: I have been a devout government watchdog for the past seven years, and have extensive experience with litigating to protect people’s civil rights from transgression by government officials. I am dedicated to standing up and being a voice for ordinary citizens like you and me. That’s the meaning behind my campaign slogan: A Vote For HUMAN Is a Vote For PEOPLE.
If elected, what would be your top priority for the city?
My top priority as a city councilor would be to ensure that city government operates in compliance with law, including bringing our city back into compliance with the many laws that it is currently violating. I plan to hold our new mayor, city council, and ALL city employees fully accountable to the rule of law, because conducting city business in accordance with law is really the essence of being a public official.
What can be done to promote more economic development in Rochester?
The city of Rochester, first and foremost, must stop its current practice of “taking from the poor and giving to the rich.” Using taxpayer money to subsidize wealthy business owners is not an effective way to revitalize Rochester’s economy, because there is no way to know if the proceeds will ever “trickle down” to ordinary citizens. “He who cuts the pie generally gets the biggest slice.” When business interests take such big slices out of the city’s “money pie,” the citizens of Rochester aren’t left with enough disposable income for our economy to really prosper. This trend must be stopped.
Has the tax cap been beneficial to Rochester, or has it inhibited the city’s abilities to get things done?
Yes, both. The tax cap has indeed inhibited the city; that is its intent. The tax cap is important because it imposes upon city officials a fiscal discipline which they might not otherwise have. The current tax cap is, however, defective, because it does not account for the fact that the consumer price index (CPI) can decrease. Thus, the current cap can still fail to protect the taxpayers of Rochester during periods of recession, when having a tax cap matters most.
Do you think the city should set aside a capital reserve fund to repair/expand its school buildings?
N.H. state education adequacy aid to our city is almost certain to receive drastic cuts in coming years, and school building aid has all but dried up. Having a capital reserve fund would definitely help to mitigate the financial impact of these looming cuts in adequacy aid.
What can be done to revitalize the downtown and promote a more vibrant arts scene?
Currently, “for rent” signs and homeless and unemployed persons serve as prominent “decorations” of the downtown area. In order to have a thriving downtown or arts scene in Rochester, we need to address the underlying economic problems: poverty, unemployment, and homelessness. In general, downtown business sales figures, and the vitality of the arts, are direct functions of people’s disposable income. That’s true in Rochester, as well. Put simply, the downtown culture of Rochester will thrive when the PEOPLE of Rochester thrive.
What is the most important issue facing Rochester that city officials are not yet talking about?
What the most important issue is depends on what shoes you wear. If you’re one of the many homeless in Rochester, homelessness is probably the most important issue to you. If you’re a parent, it might be the school budget or the property tax rate. It might be heroin addiction, if that’s something that hits home for you. Generalizing over the entire population of the city, the most important issue is probably that the city council is out of touch with the public and doesn’t concern itself with the needs of everyday citizens. That’s why, if I’m elected, my website (fixnh.org) will feature a forum on which the citizens of Rochester will be able to express their views on the issues that matter TO THEM.