How long have you lived in Keene: Born and raised in Westmoreland, lived in Keene for 5 years
Family: Did not answer.
Bachelor of Science in Entrepreneurship and Strategic Management, Babson College
Keene High School ‘07
Director, Operations Finance Analysis, C&S Wholesale Grocers
Organizations to which you belong/have belonged:
Chair of Impact and Evaluation, Monadnock United Way Board of Directors
Core member of Promote the Region Task Force
Membership Chair, Keene Young Professionals Board of Directors
Keene Zoning Board (Alternate)
1. Why are you running for an at-large seat on the City Council?
I’ve always been financially-minded in both my personal life and professional life, and I enjoy finding ways to apply that skillset to positively impact the community. My role at C&S is centered on finding the most efficient way to accomplish a goal and getting the most out of unconventional revenue streams. That unique approach to problem solving is one that I believe would be a tremendous asset to the Keene City Council — particularly the budget process.
Taxes are a major concern in this community. I’ve talked to a lot of people with a lot of ideas on how to save money—which is a good goal. However, there hasn’t been enough focus on the revenue side of the equation. The city government shouldn’t — and probably can’t — compete with private industry, but we need to inventory the services that the city is capable of providing today that can generate new revenue.
This city gave me a wonderful upbringing, a great education, and a beautiful home. By serving as City Councilor, I hope to give back to the community and ensure that future generations enjoy those same opportunities.
2. What should the council’s role be in trying to make the city more attractive for business?
It is critical that the City Council work to create both short-and long-term incentives for businesses to be located in Keene. Short term financial incentives are simple — they can be offered to new and relocating businesses in order to encourage them to choose Keene. These can be useful, but they are rarely a recipe for sustainable growth.
The best way to become more attractive to businesses is to become more attractive for workers. It’s true that people have often moved to where the best jobs are, so it’s understandable that many politicians focus on attracting big-name companies and assuming that people will follow. That method works, but only to an extent. With unemployment at historic lows, today’s businesses are increasingly moving to where the people are. Keene has felt the impact of this firsthand as major employers that used to call Keene home have moved on.
Fortunately, that trend has abated, and the past several years have brought some positive growth. My goal is to ensure that this growth continues by helping to maintain infrastructure and remove unnecessary roadblocks to make life easier for entrepreneurs seeking to bring new ideas and new jobs to our community.
3. What issue doesn’t get enough attention by city leaders?
Many people have heard of “Gross Domestic Products” (GDP), which helps measure the strength of a country’s economy. But for some reason, we rarely think about the local or regional economies in the same way and I believe we need to change that. Our community is home to businesses in a wide range of industries, and all of them are important to maintaining a diversified economy. But not all businesses or industries have an equal impact on the local economy. For example, a locally owned restaurant and a national chain restaurant may provide similar wages and job opportunities, but one will cycle money back into the community while the other will funnel profits out of the area. Other businesses, such as manufacturers or tourist-friendly businesses, can even help channel new outside resources into the community. Incentives designed to attract business should be appropriately structured to target companies that will add value to the city — both financially and culturally. After all, Keene is a community, and my goal as City Councilor will be to make it the most vibrant, prosperous community it can be.