For context, I am a left-leaning independent, former city councilor and two-term Democratic state representative.

I value local nonpartisan municipal elections, void of party politics, where you can get to know the issues and candidates first-hand. I know and respect both Greenwald and Hansel and approve of their service on the council; sometimes agreeing, sometimes not.

So I am dismayed that this election has been cast in party terms by the Greenwald campaign. It has not only been partisan but maligns the opponent; not unlike state and national campaigns. I have to believe that this is not Mitch, but the orchestration of the state party and the out-of-state consultants.

The truth is that the mayor and council are pretty limited in their capacity to accomplish a lot, due in part to the lack of home rule. Hence, many of the platitudes that are issued are not in their purview. The Democratic consultant has come up with some good aspirational slogans like “build bridges and bring families together” and “create good paying jobs.” The mayor does not have these powers.

An “accusation” is that Hansel is ambitious and will pursue higher offices. I am glad that Jay Kahn decided not to finish his council term, to ambitiously run for state Senate, and to become our best senator.

I cannot support the kind of campaign and character attack by Greenwald or any party or candidate. Hansel should be judged by his competency, not his party affiliation.

Given the weak mayor/council government, I believe both could do as good a job as any mayor has done. But with an aging population and increasing taxes, we need to engage new entrepreneurs and a young workforce with a new vision. I think Hansel does that best.

On this basis, I will cast my vote for George Hansel.

LARRY PHILLIPS

171 Roxbury St.

Keene