APT Endorsements 2005

Contributed by APT Editors
Wednesday, 05 October 2005
The APT endorses the following City Council Candidates:

The Association of Portsmouth Taxpayers held a special meeting of its members on October 5th to discuss candidates for council and vote on the slate of candidates to endorse. At this meeting the members voted to endorse the above six council candidates for the November 8th election.

Criteria: The top criteria for endorsement was a strong orientation toward fiscal responsibility. Candidates who were endorsed favored controlling costs and prioritizing spending to balance the need for services with keeping taxes at a level that will not overwhelm financially stretched middle class Portsmouth residents. Further, the APT considered only candidates whom we felt would conduct an ongoing dialog about fiscal issues, and who displayed a good understanding of budgets, economics, and the basics of how the city works.

Process: The APT selected a three person endorsement committee to conduct interviews with all new candidates for council. This committee shared this information and made recommendations to the membership at the October 5th special meeting. New candidates were rated on how their interviews lined up with the above criteria. Incumbents were rated based on their record as Councilors, with a heavy weighting toward votes and performance during the budget process. Incumbents St. Laurent and Whitehouse qualified for endorsement based on their overall records and as the only two Councilors who supported limiting budget increases to 4% for all departments in the final straw vote. Councilor Marchand ultimately supported limiting only the police department to 4%, but was invited for an interview and endorsed based upon his leadership and initiative during the budget process. The APT believes Marchand’s initial 4% proposal helped to rein in the final budget and appreciates his efforts to open up dialog on the police budget. The article “Taxpayer Friends and Foes” at www.portsmouthtaxpayers.org contains a detailed explanation of the incumbent Councilors’ performance during the budget process.

The Association of Portsmouth Taxpayers was encouraged that it was able to endorse six candidates whom we believe will stand for fiscal responsibility. In order to hold down spending, at least five of the nine Councilors elected must be on the side of fiscal restraint. We encourage voters who want to keep Portsmouth affordable for the middle class to keep these criteria in mind when they cast their votes.

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