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Concord Elections: Mayor


Saturday, October 21, 2017

Editor’s note: Candidates were asked to fill out a questionnaire for inclusion in the Oct. 22 Sunday Monitor. Candidates were asked to answer questions 1-3 with short remarks no longer than a sentence in length. They were asked to keep answers to questions 4 and 5 to fewer than 100 words each. Submissions were edited for print publication, but are published in full at concordmonitor.com.  Their answers are below.

Jim Bouley


Address: 71 Warren Street

Age: 51

Occupation: Governmental consultant

Family: Married, 3 children

Public office held: Concord mayor, 10 years; Ward 10 city councilor, 10 years

Are you happy with the city’s return on investment for the amount it taxes residents?

Considering the municipal share of your tax bill is 35 percent or less, given the capital investments made and the quality of services delivered, it is an emphatic yes.

Should Concord give the public information or hold a public hearing before approving labor contracts?

Yes. Public employee expense is the largest part of our budget and the more transparency there is, the better it is for both our citizens and our employees to help dispel myths and concerns.

Given Concord is the only municipality in New Hampshire with an autonomous school board, do you think the city council or mayor should have veto power over school district spending?

No, our system works well but it’s important we work with both school districts and we keep in mind the community as a whole when making decisions.

What’s the biggest issue facing the city?

Growing a quality tax base in order to keep the tax burden on citizens as low as possible. We are in a competition with other communities around the state to attract employers with good paying jobs. The city council has made a major commitment to that effort and it will take quite a few years of persistent effort but in the end it will pay dividends.

Why should voters choose you on election day?

Proven results for Concord: Multi-award winning Main Street Complete Street Project; Sewalls Falls Bridge reconstruction; city-wide multi-generational Community Center on The Heights; Penacook Village investment; Loudon Road rehabilitation; Enhanced Neighborhood Street Paving Program; 6,787 acres of protected open space and 81 miles of trails; New economic development director; Program Oriented Policing Unit; collaboration with Concord Hospital and Riverbend Community Mental Health providing mobile crisis services; streamlined community events programming; neighborhood swimming pool replacement program; cemetery preservation program; Exit 16 roundabout; Class A public water supply; nine years in a row of balanced budgets; AA+ Standard and Poor’s Bond Rating; Government Finance Officers Association Distinguished Budget Presentation Award.

Roy Schweiker

Are you happy with the city’s return on investment for the amount it taxes residents?

Not at all. Too much tax money goes to the less than 3 percent of valuation that is Main Street and the rest of the city has to subsidize it.

Should Concord give the public information or hold a public hearing before approving labor contracts?

Yes, this is common practice in nearly every community in the state and the votes are usually taken by secret ballot.

Given Concord is the only municipality in New Hampshire with an autonomous school board, do you think the city council or mayor should have veto power over school district spending?

My father once suggested that the city council and school board should have final approval of each other’s budgets! I would prefer some sort of tax cap with public referendum required to override.

What’s the biggest issue facing the city?

There are several potential looming multi-million expenses that the city can do little about, state contribution to retiree health care and fossil fuel costs for example. There are also unfunded mandates such as the dumping of drug addicts, mentally ill, and refugee groups into the city, with city taxpayers paying to support them while those in wealthy communities pay little or nothing. The city needs to be more assertive in receiving compensation from state and federal governments. And the city needs to stop approving downtown development that actually raises taxes because the revenues go into special funds while the costs must be paid by other taxpayers.

Why should voters choose you on election day?

Because I care about all neighborhoods of the city and not just Main Street. I believe the city should try to help all residents, not just wealthy developers. I will give residents a greater voice in city decisions to avoid the impression that everything is a done deal.