Portsmouth City Council Candldates Glance 6

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<ul><li><p>7/27/2019 Portsmouth City Council Candldates Glance 6</p><p> 1/1</p><p>PORTSMOUTH HERALD WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2013 A5WWW.SEACOASTONLINE.COM</p><p>P O R T S M O U T H C I T Y C O U N C I L R A C E</p><p>Jim SplaineAddress: 201 Oriental GardensAge: 66</p><p>Steve TaylorAddress: 69 Richards Ave.Age: 57</p><p>Jack ThorsenAddress: 120 Richards Ave.Age: 57</p><p>What is your solution to thecurrent parking shortage indowntown?</p><p>Do you support the conceptsof form-based zoning as a</p><p>way to encourage respon-sible development?</p><p>Do you feel the cityhas enough publictransportation?</p><p>Give us your philosophyon the budget and what yourpriorities are when it comesto funding education andpublic safety.</p><p>Do you support extend-ing last call for bars inPortsmouth until 2 a.m.?</p><p>Where do you think the city</p><p>should build a senior centerand why?</p><p>What is your overall positionon overtime wages?</p><p>With many union contractsexpected to expire in 2014,what do you hope the cityachieves through the collec-tive bargaining process?</p><p>In what ways can the citybolster public participationand input?</p><p>Identify an issue notmentioned above thatyou feel should bea priority in the comingyears.</p><p>Candidates ata glance</p><p>The 23 residents running for thePortsmouth City Council answereda series of questions provided bythe Portsmouth Herald for profilestories. As an additional help toreaders, their answers (somereduced to fit this space) will bedetailed in this format this week.</p><p>For their complete answers, visitwww.seacoastonline.com.</p><p>Our downtown businesses and residents needa supply of reliable spaces near their o ces,stores and homes. A shortage of spaces isonly one factor, however. Location is criti-cal, as is the citys parking fee strategy andtransportation policy. A consideration of allof the above is needed. The location of a newparking garage, if needed, must be c onsideredwithin the context of good municipal design a balance of property use and tra c flow. Agarage on Court Street, or the Market Streetapproach to the city is good design. A garageon the Worth lot is not.</p><p>I support form-based zoning. Form-basedzoning protects our downtowns vibrant andhistorical value, while allowing property own-</p><p>ers flexibility on how their property is used.The goal is better quality of life for residentsand visitors, and an increase in property val-ues for property owners.</p><p>Bus services are underutilized. So, there isample opportunity to transform drivers intoriders and walkers. As satellite parking opensup, there will be a need for more shuttles orexpanded bus routing. Taxi permits should beincreased.</p><p>There are two philosophies for financial plan-ning: fat budgets and lean budgets. I preferthe latter as it favors residents savings overcity department coers, forcing spending</p><p>scrutiny. Education and safety funding, likeall services, need to do a better job findingways to make city services better, yet morecost-eective.</p><p>Though today my answer is no, I must talkmore with owners, with our police and firedepartment chiefs, and with residents in thearea before forming a solid opinion. We mustevaluate the extra cost of providing safetyservices. If the room and meals tax flowed intothe city instead of to the state, one could arguethat the cost might be covered. This is not thecase, however. Public safety, and the potentialfor increased violence must be addressed.</p><p>The Paul A. Doble Army Reserve Center.Though not downtown, as many seniors would</p><p>prefer, it is a well-designed facility for thepurpose, has plenty of parking and outdoorareas, is not too far from downtown, and hasaccess to bus service. The building is singlestory, has a big kitchen, several individualclassrooms, and a large auditorium. Only asmall amount of renovation would be neededto fit up the facility to code standards, savingthe cost of building a new structure.</p><p>Overtime should always be kept to a minimum,without hindering the ability of a departme ntto react to situations where life or safetyare at stake. There is an optimal point whereovertime balances out the cost of hiring anadditional person. I find rates between 5 per-cent and 15 percent to be acceptable. Somedepartments, however, have a history of rack-ing up huge overtime as high as 60 percentor more for some employees. This practice iswasteful and should stop.</p><p>The biggest opportunity is to look at healthinsurance. Contracts should not call out spe-cific carriers, but instead outline the coverage.That way, the department can shop aroundfor the best value. There are several odditiesin contracts that should be addressed. Forexample, the contract for police patrolmencalls for equal coverage of specific geographicareas. Areas with low crime have the samecoverage as areas with higher crime rates.This is not e cient use of police resources.</p><p>Residents are already highly engaged. Wehave charettes, Portsmouth Listens sessions,public comment at City Council meetings, butdo we fail to have eective dialogue? Many inour community feel that what they say or askfalls on deaf ears. Mechanisms for continuousdialogue are needed, perhaps an online public</p><p>chat while in session?</p><p>We must preserve Port smouths historicvalue. Once lost, it is gone forever. We lost theNorth End, and came close to losing the SouthEnd as well, if not for the hard work of a fewwho managed to put a stop to that disastrousurban renewal of a few decades ago. Lastly,Portsmouth can work with our state delega-tion to transfer the management of the airportand surrounding property from the PeaseDevelopment Authority back to the city, whereit belongs.</p><p>I would listen to any solutions that makesense; however, paralysis by analysis is nota solution. Something needs to be done andsoon. I would support a garage at the Worthlot. Controlled development an architectcould integrate a design into that space thatwould look very nice. From what I have heardfrom businesses and residents, their concernsare the longevity of the construction andpossible loss of business and inconvenience.I deal with contractors every d ay and knowa project of this nature would take a minimalamount of time to complete.</p><p>Yes, I do. As I understand it, it is the best wayto maintain a consistent look for future devel-opment and keep the unique features of vary-</p><p>ing areas and neighborhoods throughout thecity while still providing land-use restrictions.</p><p>Right now, it appears the city has adequatepublic transportation. COAST implemented asubstantial expansion of commuter-orientedservices last year and it apparently paid o,as it recorded more than 95,000 riders in Julyand August alone with more commuters takingadvantage of the bus. I would also supportmore taxi medallions.</p><p>I run a business, so a good mix of opinionsand viewpoints of how we spend our moneyis necessary. This is where I bring significantexperience. My two top priorities are educa-</p><p>tion and public safety. Portsmouth schools areabove average, placing 25th out of 84 last yearin the state in the NECAP rankings for math andreading. Public safety is always a challenge asthe demographic of the city expands. Givingsupport here is in everyones best interest.</p><p>No. On a public safety level, I do not see anygood coming from keeping bars open until 2a.m. Even now, with the bars closing at 1 a.m.,there are people in my neighborhood noisilygoing home until 2 or 3 a.m. consistently onFriday and Saturday nights. Spending our taxdollars for the inevitable increase in policecoverage for this action is not acceptable.</p><p>The building on Cottage Street seems to be agood location. It appears to be located as an</p><p>outreach to seniors covering varying geogra-phy of our city. However, Im not sure wherethey want to go or what other choices we orthey may have. I am meeting with one of theirrepresentatives this week to learn more.</p><p>You have to weigh what is in the best interestof the city, which in this case, is the employer.What makes the best economic sense. Wemay have alleged hefty overtime paidannually, but bringing on additional full-timeemployees to do that work may be much morecostly with insurance and benefits. Each situ-ation and department needs to be evaluatedon that basis and worked through to achievebalance.</p><p>I deal with negotiations daily and its a pro-cess that evolves and needs to constantly betweaked. It is a delicate balance to make allparties happy with the primary focus to keepour city services and budgets balanced. Iwelcome the opportunity to review and fine-tune these contracts in the best interest o fboth parties.</p><p>I think the city does a good job with publicparticipation. It appears each city meetingoers a portion of the meeting devoted to apublic forum and gives anyone an opportunityto speak their opinions and concerns on theparticular subject. More people need to stepup and take advantage of these opportunities</p><p>to oer their concerns and opinions.</p><p>I think work-force housing and lower-incomehousing needs to be tackled. While businessesprosper here, their employees meet chal-lenges to live locally due to aordable housingconstraints. We are a community of givingback and we are missing the mark with ourwork-force needs and our residents who needadditional housing options. I am conferencecalling with people from Concord to learnmore about the states recommendations.</p><p>We need to bring all interests to the discus-sion of parking and area-wide transportationoptions as a major and immediate priority forthe new council. We should look at possibili-ties of a garage in the Market Street Extensionand Deer Street areas, or a rebuild for moree cient use of the High-Hanover garage.Getting the McIntyre building is part of a solu-tion, as is satellite parking, expanding shuttleand trolley service, and working with ourneighbors for 22nd-century solutions in con-sidering how to better connect the 250,000people who live within 15 miles of Portsmouth.</p><p>Form-based zoning is part of the answeraddressing size and scale, or as Ive called it,the fullness of downtown development. We</p><p>also have to create a greater sense o f smartgrowth and consider design, use, maintainingour historic fabric and flavor, and requiringon-site parking for development in all parts ofour community. Its counterproductive to allowcorporate box buildings that could be built inAnywhere U.S.A. to be our skyline.</p><p>Our services are decent, though underutilized.We need emphasis on promotion, and incentivesto use it, making it more convenient in hours ofoperation as well as frequency and location ofpickup and drop-o. Lets explore 22nd-centurytransportation visions, and decide what wecan do now, inventing ways for residents of ourentire area to get around easier.</p><p>I consider budgetary planning to be invest-ment for our future, and in ourselves. Twenty-five years ago, I wrote a 30-page documenttitled The Year-Round Budgeting Plan, pro-</p><p>posing using the concepts of best practices,continuous improvement and open communi-cation to enhance the budgeting process, andexploring ways to share common expenseswith our neighboring communities to improvewhat we, and they, do.</p><p>Having carefully followed the discussion in theN.H. Legislature earlier this year on this issue,my initial response is that I would not expandthe hours. We have many residents who livedowntown, and by extending to 2 a.m., thenoise and tra c would be extended even lateras people then go to o ther establishments, orhit the roads to go home. There would alsolikely be an increase in police costs.</p><p>Its too bad that we did not keep the ConnieBean Community Center. Having a senior cen-</p><p>ter is a priority for the new council, and thereare several possible locations certainly theformer Doble Army Reserve Center on CottageStreet is on the list, depending on views ofneighbors and tra c flow in the area.</p><p>Having qualified people fill functions in timesof emergency, or to get work done to meetdeadlines or other requirements, is in thelong-range a good investment. If our e mployeelevels are properly set, competent personnelmanagement can keep overtime to an as-needed basis. Government is dierent thanbusiness in that special needs of public safetyhave to be met, but a sharp eye on overtime,with fiscal responsibility, is required by thecouncil.</p><p>Instead of confronting unions or dealing withthem as competitors, it is wise to view themas partners in our community. In any collectivebargaining process, if we take that mindset,we can pay our employees fairly, keeping inmind the budget limitations of the taxpayingresidents of our community.</p><p>In 1990, I suggested the then-innovativecouncil rule, still used, for a 3-minute publiccomment session. Thousands of residentshave used it to speak at council meetings.Since then, I have proposed sessions beforecouncil meetings such as the PortsmouthListens approach, and allowing for in-calls</p><p>and online blogging to involve more residentsto share ideas.</p><p>Creating a riverwalk on public land, andnegotiating access with private propertyowners where possible to make it happen. Iveproposed considering putting the Old StateHouse, partly existing in storage waiting for ahome, onto a corner of the McIntyre buildinglot; considering expanded use for our work-ing port so that we maximize its value in busi-ness potential and employment.</p><p>C O U N C I L Q U E S T I O N SEditors note: This is the</p><p>third edition of Council Ques-tions, a feature in our coverageof the 2013 Portsmouth munici-</p><p>pal election. We send timelynews questions to all 23 candi-dates and give them 48 hours torespond before publishing theiranswers in a single story onSeacoastonline.com.</p><p>Question 3: Are you in favorof increasing the number of taxi</p><p>medallions by three or elimi-nating the limit on medallionsaltogether? Please explain.</p><p>P O R T S M O U T H</p><p>2013 ELEC TIONS</p><p>MEET THECANDIDATESAT FORUMSChamber events</p><p>to be held at</p><p>Herald o ces</p><p>PORTSMOUTH TheGreater Portsmouth Chamberof Commerce is holding a seriesof candidate forums the rest ofthe week designed to give vot-ers a chance to get up close andpersonal with residents runningfor City Council.</p><p>The Bank of America Break-fast Forums are from 7:30 to 9a.m. today through Friday, Oct.16-18. The events, produced bythe chambers Government Af-fairs Committee, will take placeat Seacoast Media Group head-</p><p>quarters at 111 New HampshireAve., where the PortsmouthHerald is published.</p><p>The format calls for eachcandidate to be seated at a tablewith up to 11 chamber membersand guests for 10-12 minutes toanswer questions. At the end ofthe time period, candidates willmove to the next table. Mem-bers and guests will meet everycandidate.</p><p>Candidates are scheduled toparticipate on specific days.</p><p>Today, Oct. 16: Ken Smith,Brad Lown, Gibson MikeKennedy, Steven Taylor, JoshDenton, Tristan Law and JoeCaldarola.</p><p>Thursday, Oct. 17: JackThorsen, Eric Spear, WilliamF. Rick Becksted, ShelleySaunders, Devin Murphy, MarkBrighton and Zelita Morgan.</p><p>Friday, Oct. 18: M. ChristineDwyer, Bob Lister, Esther Ken-nedy, Arthur Clough, RobertShouse, Jim Splaine and StefanyShaheen.</p><p>The forum is open to chambermembers and the public andincludes a continental break-fast. Space...</p></li></ul>


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