PORTSMOUTH – The Association of Portsmouth Taxpayers (APT) has endorsed Jack Thorsen, Esther Kennedy, Anthony CovielloEric Spear for City Council and Mary Olea  for School Board in the upcoming election. Not only is APT encouraging Portsmouth residents to support these candidates: it is urging voters to “bullet-vote” for these four candidates exclusively, despite the option of voting for at least five more in a contest of 10 candidates vying for nine seats. Send council a message – reverse unsustainable budgets and lower our taxes. APT President Mark Brighton stated:

“We are encouraging Portsmouth residents to vote for Jack Thorsen, the only candidate that had the courage to sign our Tax Pledge, and three others based on their voting record. Given our city’s unsustainable budget, we are urging everyone to send a clear message to City Hall that we can only afford to support those willing to provide urgently needed tax relief, transparency, and accountability to our citizens.”

Brighton urges Portsmouth residents to consider the escalating cost of living in the City and how difficult it has become for average-income families to live here:

“In the last 15 years the councilor controlled budget has increased at more than double the rate of local inflation since 1995 – dramatically increasing property taxes despite a decline in Portsmouth’s population. This is hurting families who struggle to pay bills in an economy where so many struggle to find work.

Meanwhile, Portsmouth is becoming too cost-prohibitive, even for those who are working hard to sustain their families. Finally, the combined water and sewer rate has doubled in the last four years adding crushing expenses for families.”

The APT has kept painstaking track of key tax spending councilor votes and posted councilors’ records online at PortsmouthTaxpayers.com.

The Association’s endorsements are based on what the organization has identified as its key priorities. In addition to transparency and affordability for its residents, the organization is concerned with Portsmouth’s ability to provide better and more efficient education, services and safety, fairly paid city employees, schools that meet and exceed state standards, and a school system that allows us to keep the best teachers.

The Association of Portsmouth Taxpayers is a nonpartisan organization dedicated to advocating for Portsmouth, New Hampshire’s community: its taxpayers and all residents. APT believes that tightly controlled spending is necessary – regardless of current economic conditions – to keep Portsmouth affordable, reduce waste, and deliver better value to its taxpayers.

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