Kevin J. Cavanaugh (incumbent), is a state senator and works for Manchester, IBEW Local 2320.
Jeff Nyhan, age 39, is a real estate agent.
What qualifies you to hold this office?
I am qualified to hold this position because of my desire to work with the residents of the city to provide access to city hall and give a voice to the residents of Ward 1. I have been involved with the city for many years through different boards and commissions I have been a part of and I am hoping to take the next step and serve the residents as their alderman. I was born and raised in Manchester. My wife and I chose Manchester to raise our family, we believe in the good that the city has to offer.
List specific ways you will engage with your ward constituents, including one initiative to improve the quality of life for residents of your ward.
Engagement is key in local politics. Coffee with the Alderman once a month, neighborhood meetings quarterly, and an open line of communication for any issues my constituents may have. Neighborhood meetups are something that I would focus on in my ward. We need to be open and forthcoming about what is happening in our neighborhood and on our streets. Periodic neighborhood meetups would allow folks to meet their neighbors and discuss issues they may have directly with me.
Identify the biggest economic opportunities/challenges for the city and provide at least one initiative you would propose to improve economic development.
Some of our biggest opportunities are attracting business and industry to our city to set up operations. Manchester is a city that allows access from other parts of the state/ country, why wouldn’t businesses want to come here? We have a major airport in our backyard, we are close to some of the best workforce talent in the country, we have some of the best medical in the state right here in the middle of the city. The challenge we have is how do we present a “total package” to businesses and their employees that may move here. We need to market Manchester as a place everyone wants to live, work and spend their disposable income dollars. I will never talk ill of the city but we have our challenges and we need to correct these challenges to be able to show people that Manchester is a place that they want to raise their families and grow their businesses.
A large company is planning to move to Manchester, what would be your top three selling points?
Manchester has several great items to offer a company coming into the city, my top three would be 1. Multiple housing opportunities and business facilities throughout the city, 2. A major airport in our city, 3. A decent school system that with some improvement could rival the best school systems in the state.
What is the single-most important step we as a city can take to move the needle on homelessness?
Homelessness in the city will not be solved by one action. It will take more than our city can handle to deal with this problem, we need to accept help from the state and federal agencies to even put a dent in it. What I do know is that when we decide on action items, we need to follow through on those items. We have come up with several plans over the last few years and nothing has been done with them. Without implementation, nothing will be accomplished.
Concord NH this year established an Energy and Environment Committee which has drafted a strategic plan to have Concord get all of its energy from renewable sources by 2050. Is this something you feel Manchester should consider? Why or why not?
The idea of this concept is wonderful, but at what cost to the taxpayer? We know that anything we can do to use renewable resources is better in the long run. However, the price tag that comes along with this has to be affordable to the residents of the city. I would not support something that would be outrageous for the taxpayers to financially support.
Board of School Committee
Amber Jodoin did not respond to the candidate questionnaire.
James Porter, 45, earned a BS in Political Science Education at University of Delaware. He is track/xc coach and personal trainer. Before starting a family he owned a restaurant and was the food service director of a large retirement community in Laconia.
I have also spent a lot of time inside our schools in recent years. I have been on the PTO at Smyth Road for three years and coached track and cross country in the city for the last eight years. Being inside these schools has given me a first-hand look at how great our schools are, and how we can improve them.
What will you do to get an agreement on a teachers’ contract?
- The booming downtown. When I moved here 14 years ago the mills were half empty and restaurant options were limited. Now, downtown is awesome. Colleges and tech companies have moved in. Hotels and theaters are being built, restaurants and other cool hangouts are everywhere.
- The proximity to so much outdoor fun. The city has awesome parks all over the city. Unlimited trail networks are available within a 10-minute drive to Lake Massabesic or Bear Brook State Park. Plus we are centrally located in NH so you are 45-60 minute drive away from the ocean, the lakes region, Boston or skiing/hiking in the white mountains.
- Your kids can get a great education in this district and have experience with a diverse student body that represents many different cultures. There are so many success stories from our schools. We do not hear about them enough.