I was asked for the following information from Fosters, so I thought I would also post the responses to my blog.
- Age on Election Day: 38
- Number of years living in the district you seek to represent: I have lived in Ward 6 for 6 years.
- Family: I have been married to my wife, Sharon for 12 years and we have 3 kids together (Jackson – 6, Julia – 3, and Jameson – 2 Months)
- Education: I have earned both a Bachelors Degree from Southern NH University and a Masters Degree from Boston University.
- Current occupation/employer: I am currently employeed at both Liberty Mutual, as a Director of Technology and at Southern NH University as an Adjunct Faculty member
- Employment, military and/or volunteer history: I have worked at Liberty Mutual for the past 15 years and at Southern NH University for the past 6 years
- Other prior political and government experience: I have no other experience in politics or government.
- Hobbies/Interests: Spending time with my family is my favorite thing to do, enjoying everything Dover has to offer, from the community trail to the Children’s Museum and the many great parks.
- Campaign contributions on hand and campaign expenditures to date: $302
- Top contributors to your campaign fund: Myself
- What are the three most important issues you would address if elected? How? I can start with one issue for now. I am sure there will be others as I learn more about the city and hear from the public, but at this point I am passionate about the issue of Municipal Transparency and public engagement. I have written about this in two blogs, Here and Here.
- What other issues do you see as important? I see our diversity as important to our growth, both economic and community diversity. It is critical that we are able to offer diverse options to the public to retain both our heritage and vibrancy in the city.
- Do you feel the tax cap is still working for the city and school district, and how would you help manage the tax rate? At this point I don’t see enough data to tell me that the tax cap is holding us back in any way.. Our tax rate in near the median for the state, I wouldn’t want to see us make sharp increases in the tax rate which impacts Dover as being a great place to live. Instead, I need to better understand our other revenue sources and how those may be influenced in parallel to gaining deeper insight into our appropriations.
- What would you do to help the city and school district cope with costs the state is downshifting through the retirement system and other areas? I am only beginning to understand the concept of downshifting and what it means to Dover, so it is difficult to comment on what I would do directly if elected. However, I can say that the Coalition of Legislators Against Downshifting, seems to be the right place for our local state reps to get involved. From a city council perspective, we need to work with the city manager understand our new obligations to our citizens with downshifting to ultimately ensure that our citizens have the resources they need to sustain an excellent quality of life here in Dover. I think this comes down to our revenue streams for the city. Continuing to raise property taxes cannot always be the answer or we will put at risk our status as a great place to live… We need to prioritize either broadening the tax base and/or consider new sources of revenue through federal grants or offering new municipal services.
- Do you support Keno in the city? What kind of impact do you think it will have if approved by voters on Nov. 7? This is a tough question to answer simply…I have written a more verbose blog on my position related to Keno HERE.
- Do you believe the city’s government is open and accessible to the public, and what steps would you take to make it more open and accessible? This is one of my priorities heading into city council, should I be elected. I think we have a great opportunity to better connect the public with city government to increase the value proposition of what residents are getting for their tax dollars. To provide a mechanism where individual voices can be heard and city issues can be crowd sourced. I have written about an idea for Dover 311.
- Why should people vote for you? Like everyone else who has chosen to settle in Dover, I love it here. Everything about Dover has been enjoyable for the past 6 years that we have lived here. I live, work and play right here in Dover so I am in touch with the community and want to broaden that reach to ensure that all of our voices have a platform to be heard directly by our local government officials.
- What personal details would voters be interested in knowing? I have been living by the motto, “be the change you want to see” for the past couple years. This started for me because I was someone who would talk about what I wanted to see happen in my community, in my work, in my life, even in society at large. There are some things that are within your control, but others are much bigger than just me. There is one thing we can all do though, and that is get involved in things that we can influence. Each of us as individuals has the opportunity to make a difference within our communities by getting involved. This can be through local boards or commissions, running for a local seat on city council or the school board. No matter what it is, that is our opportunity to make a difference and while it may not impact society at large, it can absolutely impact our way of life where we live and wake up every single day, here in Dover.