Portsmouth’s municipal election is Tuesday, Nov. 2. Below, City Council candidate Vincent Lombardi responds to PortsmouthNH.com’s candidate questionnaire.
Occupation: Retired Portsmouth based Business Owner
Civic experience: Veteran US Air Force; National Park Service, Ranger; Prescott Park Arts Festival, Member & Chair Board of Directors; Portsmouth Rotary Club, Member; Cross Roads House, Board of Directors; Lovering Health Center, Member & Chair Board of Directors; Portsmouth Historic District Commission, Member and Chair
Years living in Portsmouth: 35
1) Do you think the city should impose any new measures or mandates related to the COVID-19 pandemic at this time?
We need to monitor and follow the advice of the health and medical community.
2) Do you think the Prescott Park Master Plan should be updated in any way? Specifically, do you think the stage should be temporary or permanent? Covered or uncovered?
The Prescott Park Master Plan was created with significant community input. A “revisit” may make it end up like the McIntire where nothing happens.
In my opinion the stage proposal created by Tracy Kozak was outstanding.
3) How do you feel about the current pace of development in Portsmouth?
The pace of development is controlled by market forces and the owners of properties. The function and quality of development can be shaped by zoning.
4) What, if anything, do you think should be done to increase access to affordable housing?
Affordable housing is a broad term encompassing many levels of affordability. The PHA has an outstanding record of supporting low-income and assisted housing. Workforce and first-home buyer housing options should become part of Portsmouth’s incentives to attract and retain a diverse population.
5) What changes, if any, should be made to the city’s bike lanes?
I think the bike lanes on Middle St. are less safe now and cars are driving faster. The curves of the street and the speed of the traffic make entering from a cross street or driveway difficult. We have to continue to explore how to provide for all means of transportation within Portsmouth. We need to accommodate our kids getting to school and our workers getting to work. An appropriate public transportation plan should be created to address these issues.
6) Regarding the McIntyre building, what do you feel is the best path forward to avoid litigation and get the project done?
Respectful, civil, competent and open negotiations with all stakeholders at the table.
7) What additional measures do you think the city should take to slow climate change and prepare for its impacts?
We need to create a vision and action plan to address both the causes and the potential outcomes of climate change in our community and the region.
8) Do you support the idea of seasonal road closures and/or barriers to accommodate outdoor dining at restaurants — even after the pandemic has (hopefully) subsided?
I think this has demonstrated how Portsmouth can successfully function for both cars and restaurants. It has given our streets new vitality. I support plans to make this concept permanent.
9) What do you think the council can do to cultivate an environment of respect and collaboration and minimize hostility in local government?
Elect council members who have strong personal ethics, treat others with respect and civility, and have the competence to lead by example. I think it is critical that the council and the City Manager and her staff maintain a respectful and collaborative working relationship.
10) Aside from the issues already raised in this questionnaire, please outline ONE other priority you would address as a city councilor over the next two years.
I think a new or reconfigured police station needs to be completed in the most cost effective way to provide for the continued outstanding service to Portsmouth.
BONUS: What are you going to be for Halloween?
To see other candidates’ responses, click here.