To The Daily Sun,
While we are in an election mode and concentrating on who we want to represent us, I don't want to forget the end of May Seymour's two terms as mayor of Laconia.
Mayor Seymour inserted himself into the city's business long before he was elected as he wanted to come into the job, if he won, with knowledge of what the city was doing and what problems they were facing and generally how it operated from within.
He has truly been a hands on mayor and has made it a point to get out into the community and learn firsthand what the problems were and how he could possibly help to find solutions, and he did.
I recently asked him how many hours and events he had to cover each week to accomplish this aside from doing his own job. I was astounded to learn that he put in approximately 20 hours a week as mayor and that his duties were many more than I thought.
1. Conduct City Council meetings twice a month and as many budget meetings as necessary.
2. Bi-weekly meeting with the City Manager.
3. Mayor serves as Laconia Airport Authority chairman.
4. Serves as chair of Lakes Business Park Commission.
5. Serves on Laconia Human Relations Committee.
6. Attends various city commissions and board meetings.
7. Attends public functions like Annual Belknap EDC, LRGHealthcare, United Way, Lakes Region Planning, BIBA, Main Street Initiative, Ribbon cuttings.
8. School functions as necessary, i.e. graduations, etc.
9. Participates in local efforts to improve Laconia i.e. Salvation Army Turkey Plunge, Got Lunch, Multicultural day, etc.
10. Various Parades: Memorial Day, July 4th, Veteran's Day, Christmas
11. Receives many invites to several events to say a few words. Is typically out of the house at least three nights per week for city-related functions.
I had no idea nor do many others. It is something to think about. First, to give Mayor Seymour a huge vote of thanks for his service these past four years and his always pleasant and affable way of handling all matters. His input to matters before the council has been valuable and has made an impact. Second, we must be sure to have a new mayor who can devote this time and has the ability to make contributions to the matters that the come before the council. He must have the ability to represent the city as its best ambassador.
Mayor Michael Seymour will truly be missed, but he has left a model for those who come after him to follow.
There is one candidate running for mayor who has a leg up on what is required. Ed Engler covered City Council meetings for his paper for many years, knows all the players and the structure of the council and how it works. He serves on many of the city's boards. For instance, the Belknap Economic Development Council and the Rotary Club. He is deeply involved in the restoration of downtown Laconia and attends many of the Downtown Association meetings in an effort to help find the solutions to bringing new businesses downtown and kickstarting its economy which is essential to the whole city.
Experience and knowledge of the city and its challenges is uppermost.
Councilor Brenda Baer
Ward 4 - Laconia