Laconia is a city on the move and our next mayor must be optimistic, proactive and a proven leader. Laconia needs a mayor who is willing to listen and work collaboratively with others. I possess these qualities and a long record of working for the citizens of Laconia.

As mayor, my priorities will be economic development, supporting our schools, public safety and respecting the tax cap through responsible budgeting. Laconia is blessed with great people and potential. Now is our time to capitalize on our strengths and fulfill this potential.

As mayor, I will continue focusing on many of the economic initiatives of Mayor Engler, like working with Belknap Economic Development Council and exploring ways to spur economic development by engaging with entrepreneurs. I’m committed to working with our City Council and City Manager to create an economic environment that supports local businesses and attracts new businesses in all sectors of the city.

In support of a developing economy, I will organize a Laconia Business Development Council, chaired by the mayor, whose mission will be to improve relationships among city departments and local businesses. If we want Laconia to have a thriving economy, city government and the business community must have a relationship based on good communication and an appreciation of each other’s perspective and contributions.

Critical to a robust economy is improved transportation and a common-sense, comprehensive parking plan. It’s been painful and long overdue, but Laconia is upgrading roads, bridges and sidewalks. What’s totally unacceptable is the manner in which the latest road and utility improvements have been carried out. The cost of road and utility work can’t be wrecking local businesses or perpetual traffic jams and detours. As Laconia plans the next phase of road improvements, the city needs to keep the public better-informed, appreciate the impact of business disruption and consider whether business interruption insurance on behalf of affected businesses should be purchased by the city.

As mayor, supporting our teachers, educational assistants, school counselors, nurses and administrators in providing a safe and academically stimulating school environment will be one of my highest priorities. An exemplary school system is Laconia’s greatest asset. It will raise property values and spur development of more middle-class housing. When legislators or the governor, regardless of party, try to short-change our schools, I’ll be there standing up for our students and teachers. As NH Business Magazine wrote recently, “Laconia is a city on the upswing.” Finally, outsiders recognize Laconia’s great potential!

The doom-and-gloom prognosis of my opponent, without offering any solutions, will hold Laconia back from its potential. Sowing the seeds of fear and dividing our community with factually unsupported claims is a dangerous political gimmick we should all be troubled by. For clarity, I do not, nor have I ever supported, Laconia becoming a sanctuary city. If someone says differently, ask them to substantiate their claim.

I’m asking for your vote on Nov. 5 because I know my experience in business, as a community volunteer, nonprofit board member, as a state senator and city councilor, has provided me with the best preparation to lead Laconia as its next mayor. As a community, we will pull together and turn challenges into growth opportunities. Laconia truly is a city on the move and we will do great things together.

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