Letter: Concord’s big issues

Tuesday, October 10, 2017
Concord’s big issu

My campaign for mayor is off to a slow start as the city has declined my request to give candidates the same access to financial data that incumbents receive. Instead, requests are treated under the Freedom of Information Act and sometimes handled slowly or vaguely.

For instance, after two weeks the city has not yet determined what it would cost to send out the leaf collection schedule as alerts or e-mails.

I would appoint a Neighborhood Streets Committee to deal with parking and sidewalks in neighborhoods, an area presently ignored with the city’s fixation with downtown. Every street would be studied on a rotating basis.

Concord has only one-third the population of Manchester but has accepted nearly as many refugees while most of the populous and wealthy communities in the state have accepted none. A typical Concord homeowner will pay $400 in property tax toward services and education of refugees, while those in Portsmouth and Bow, for example, will pay nothing. Either the communities that accept refugees should receive full reimbursement for the associated cost or refugees need to be distributed more equitably across the state.

Taxpayers should not be asked to enable or subsidize drug and alcohol abuse. Homeless shelters in Concord should be means-tested like other welfare programs, so guests with income would pay nightly on a sliding scale with the city paying the balance for qualified guests only rather than a block amount. With the growing elderly population in New Hampshire, the “Housing First” placement of younger residents in senior housing should be discouraged – a young resident may displace three older residents who could occupy a unit sequentially.