To The Daily Sun,
After serious consideration, I have decided to run for City Council representing Ward 4.
I have had the privilege of being your elected moderator since 2008, having filled the office my mother held for 55 years. During this time, I have had the opportunity to meet many of you and discussed the issues the city will confront in the future. I have lived in Laconia all my life, in the same house on Durkee Street in Ward 4.
Both of my parents, George and Alice, devoted their lives to our family as well as to community and their church. I have, in respects, followed in their footsteps. After graduating from St. John's (now Holy Trinity), I attended and graduated from Laconia High. I went on to graduate from Plymouth State College, now Plymouth State University, cum laude, with a bachelor of arts degree. I have held management positions in both the public and private sector. I am approaching 25 years of service as the facilities manager of the Laconia Clinic.
I am known to many for the years of dedicated service to the Laconia Lakers Youth Hockey Association as a player, coach, official, board member and chairman of the organization before retiring. I had the opportunity to coach a state championship team. I was also involved for many years with the then-Granite State Hockey Association. I had the privilege of serving for 12 years with the Lakes Region United Way, as well as the opportunity to serve as a campaign chairman.
Having served in both the public and private sectors for the past 40 years, I feel I have a unique understanding of how each impacts the other. Each must work as a participating partner with the other. Neither survives without the other. A councilor is the people's voice, and a person who represents every aspect of services provided by the community to their ward. The councilor represents the people within the boundaries of the ward, as well as the city as a whole. Representation is not limited to a single issue, single idea or single constituency. Most importantly, the councilor needs to be accessible and listen to their constituents' concerns and ideas.
I have been a lifelong resident of Ward 4. This unique understanding of the city of Laconia, combined with years of professional dedication in both the public and private sectors, as well as working with people from all walks of life and professions that will best suit me to serve on the incoming council in January 2018.
I was one of the original signers in favor of the tax cap. I believe then and now it is a necessary budgeting tool. I appreciate the work of past councils in building and remodeling the city's schools as well as construction of new police and fire department buildings, all within the constraints of the cap. I support the present services the city offers, but understand fully that in these changing times we must be creative and stay on the cutting edge of technology to be competitive.
I would like to see an enhancement of our school systems. A school system that will partner with post-secondary institutions that will provide relevant technical skills that will be attractive to major employers in Laconia and the Lakes Region.
I believe the city has to be its own promoter in selling the city as a great place to live and work, to attract new families to the area, and retain students after graduation.
The city must be an active and participating partner in the development of the former State School property. We must strive to broaden the tax base, both commercial and residential, while maintaining the natural beauty of the area and preserving the remaining open spaces for recreation.
Economic development of the downtown will require innovating ideas and collaboration between the public and private sector to develop and sustain long-term growth.
I would support the toughening of city ordinances and the adoption of a full-time code enforcement officer to clean up abandoned buildings and properties.
Finally, I wholeheartedly support the work of the Heritage Commission in its mission to preserve historic buildings, to include the present Saint Joseph's Church.
I see this community, the City of Laconia, at the crossroads. We, the citizens of Laconia, need a vision, not division. We need ideas and opinions from everyone, young and old, to formulate this vision and move forward. A vision that is innovative and inclusive, that will positively impact everyone.
I would ask my constituents in Ward 4 to give me the opportunity to put my knowledge of the history of the city, and our ward, as well as many years of dedicated service in both the public and private sectors, to represent you as the Ward 4 councilor in 2018.