There is a well-used adage that insanity is repeatedly doing the same thing, while expecting different results. Different outcomes require different strategies. Given Keene’s current council/mayoral candidates, it seems appropriate to revisit this sentiment.
Councilors Greenwald, Filiault and Richards — I appreciate that you have given your time and talents to Keene’s city government for many decades. The number of unopposed or lightly-opposed races you’ve won over those years speaks to the shortage of people willing to serve as you have. Fortunately, this year Keene does not have that problem. This year, candidates Remy, Starkey, Workman, myself and Hansel for mayor (among others) are a group of progressive thinkers and creative problem-solvers ready to tackle Keene’s future challenges. We understand the unique challenges of the 21st century because we’ve spent most of our lives in it.
The biggest challenge to candidates being elected is “experience.” Firstly, city functions and Robert’s Rules just aren’t that complicated, and we have incredibly helpful and knowledgeable city staff to point us to required resources. Plus, all of us have served on committees, boards and commissions. We are running because we have experience, but we are now ready to make that experience work for Keene.
Besides, what has the incumbents’ “experience” gotten the residents of Keene? Neverending property tax increases. (The last one, if you recall, councilor Greenwald said was OK, because our home values decreased as well … which is good for an investment?) We now have petty partisan brinkmanship, out-of-town influences driving city policy and councilors who look to the person next to them to know how to vote. I’d say that’s an “experience” Keene doesn’t need.
If the worry is that elected millennials will try to change Keene, remember we all chose to move here (or back here) because we love this city. Our purpose is not to change Keene — it’s to mediate change through modern, innovative thinking. We cannot control much of what impacts Keene: The Pennsylvania Avenue circus, global climate change, demographic shifts, etc. What we can control is how Keene adapts to these changing realities. We have the tools to lead Keene to a sustainable, prosperous future — even in the face of today’s global geopolitical headwinds.
This group — Hansel, Remy, Starkey, Workman, and I — approach the future with fresh eyes, 21st-century solutions and a commitment not to advancing ourselves, or our businesses, but Keene. And they have my votes.
39 Union St.