Name: Conan W. Salada
How long have you lived in Keene: 5 years
Family: Proud father
Education: 4 years of college
Occupation: Online Reseller
Organizations to which you belong/have belonged: Keene Liberty Alliance
Public/government service: US Army
Why are you running to be a city councilor?
"I'm running to offer the voters of Keene a much needed alternative to the current tax-and-spend model that is over running our city. Keene has a serious spending problem; not a revenue problem like so many of our city officials would have us believe. Their solution to the increasing tax rate is to expand the tax base through more economic growth. In fact that's all they've talked about this past year. But new rezoning initiatives and crony business incentives will not attract enough growth to keep pace with the city's yearly budget increases. In order to achieve a truly sustainable community, one where future generations are not compromised by way of higher taxes and cost of living, burdensome regulations and city debt, we must begin exploring other options.
Please visit my website: ConanSalada.com where I have listed a number of common sense solutions focused on reducing city spending."
Should the city government take stands on issues that extend far beyond the Elm City, such as climate change, immigration and race relations? Why or why not?
"While many of the recent city resolutions discussed this year were well intended, I believe they were all out of place based of their partisan ulterior motivations. The role of the city council is to represent the people as a whole and not take sides based on political ideology.
Dear Keene city council, please keep your personal political biases on your Facebook page and concentrate more of your time on real city issues like reducing the growing tax rate and filling those potholes."
Where should homeless shelters and drug/alcohol rehabilitation facilities be located in the city? How should the city achieve that?
"Ideally these types of facilities should be located as far away from the city center as possible but not so far that the occupants are unable to take advantage of important city amenities which might help in their rehabilitation. But, that is just my personal opinion which really doesn't matter in this case. This isn't a project for city government to "achieve." This type of project is best left in the hands of private individuals and charities which will do a far better job than the public sector. I applaud the initiative of the new Prospect House owners. I wish them all the best and hope their new endeavor will become a model for future organizations to emulate."
Does the city government's planning/development/zoning oversight need to be changed, and if so, how?
"Yes. Although, the city has spent much of this past year enacting new development initiatives and over overhauling city zoning in an attempt to promote more economic growth, I feel these changes will not be significant enough to encourage the developmental response that is expected. The problem still remains. There is still too much oversight, too many regulations, and far too many city planners bent on restricting any development that doesn't conform with their master plan. The city's mission should be to make this process as easy and streamlined as possible. And until certain committees like the planning and zoning boards (both of which are comprised of non-elected members that have too much sway when it comes to city wide development) are either replaced with less controlling members or their advisory powers are restricted, I feel this is an issue that will continue to hold this community back."