Time to Choose

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Time to Choose COVER Brian Chicoine file

Screen Shot 2015 11 013A City that Overcomes 

I love our city. Sure, it has problems such as addiction and homeless issues. And of course, there is the increasing housing costs, which is not just a Manchester thing, as well as issues that people have with the public schools. Should we be doing more to actually fix the issues instead of hearing elected officials or candidates for public office say that they’ll do something? Yes, we need actual solutions, not just empty promises. 

Throughout her history, Manchester has faced – and overcome – many challenges. From major business closures that caused many in our city to become unemployed during a national economic crisis, to major hurricanes and blizzards, our city has faced great adversity only to overcome and become stronger. I have always considered Manchester to be “the city that won’t die.” 

Your vote matters Image Credit FreePikChoosing to Not Vote is Not the Answer 

So why then is it that we still have the problems that we had half a decade ago? I think that the primary reason is because people do not get involved; people do not vote for whatever reason, and just complain about how bad Manchester has become. And if we do not vote, the status quo will remain…nothing will change. Some people, instead of getting involved, call our city names such as “Manchganistan”, (a name that I personally despise). In reality of course, Manchester is nothing like Afghanistan…we in Manchester are free; Manchester is not war-torn; and we uphold human rights and do not have nearly as much poverty as Afghanistan. Still, some people would rather put down the city or anyone who truly wants change it rather than getting involved. That’s okay though; people have the right to not vote, but we all know the saying, ‘if you don’t vote then don’t [complain]’. 

Fact is that if we allow people who do not get things done to retain their elected positions, then we’ll get more of the same. We’ve all heard the saying, ‘Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results’. That’s exactly what happens when we vote for the same people over and over and over again. It may be easier to go with the name that we recognize, but is that person the best choice – one that will help our city recover from the current downward spiral that it’s in. 

Who will we elect to lead Brian Chicoine file photo
Who will we elect to lead? Photo/Brian Chicoine

Decisions Made by Few Effect All

While it’s not all gloom and doom, (there are plenty of great things about Manchester), but these things are often overshadowed by addiction, homelessness, and crime. Now I know that people do not vote for many reasons, from inconvenient poll hours to apathy from years of “the same old thing,” to busyness. But the bottom line is that voting is important; doing research is important. It is these very elected officials who decide things like the tax rate, (which affects rent prices), what streets get fixed, economic development decisions, decisions like the recent one regarding the stoppage of garbage for certain buildings, and school budgets and curriculum. The decisions of these elected officials affect EVERYONE who lives in Manchester. These 29 elected officials make decisions that affect the approximately 115,000 people who live in our great city. Think about it…29 people deciding for 115,000; gives a whole new perspective on research and voting, doesn’t it? 

Every vote counts Photo Credit Carol
Every vote counts – ask Tim Baines, who won his Ward 3 Aldermanic seat in 2017 by 6 votes following a recount. File Photo

All Politics is Local 

In closing, I want to remind everyone that your vote DOES matter. I think that our voices are always heard, but every single vote seems to affect us more and in a quicker fashion the closer to home that we get. Late Speaker of the House Thomas “Tip” O’Neill (D – Massachusetts), often said that all politics is local. (Speaker O’Neill probably did not originate the phrase, but he often used it and it is often attributed to him). Tip understood that – even though he was a U.S. Congressman – that it all comes down to your home district. Here in Manchester, many aldermen and school board candidates win by fewer than 50 votes. Most recently, back in 2017, former Ward 3 Alderman Tim Baines won his seat by six votes. So contrary to the belief of some…every vote counts. 

So get out and vote on the 7th because our city’s future will be determined by those who show up!

As always, email any comments to bchicoinemht@gmail.com.     


About this Author

Brian Chicoine

Brian Chicoine is a New Hampshire native who moved to Manchester from Raymond in 1980. While a student at Notre Dame College here in Manchester, Brian transferred to Rhode Island College in Providence, where he met his now wife, Jackie. Brian and Jackie spent the next 20 years living in Providence and Manchester, returning to Manchester with their two sons, (who are proud Manchester natives), in the fall of 2017. He and his family intend on staying in Manchester and are committed to helping make it an even better place to live, work, and play.