Klee is right for job

As Election Day approaches, voters have an opportunity to improve the prospects for Nashua regaining the “Best Place to Live” crown. This will require that all Alderman recognize that thoughtful and effective governance requires more than just a narrow “Johnny One-Note” focus on this year’s tax rate – an approach seemingly favored by some incumbents.

Patricia Klee has a broad understanding of these imperatives and is well qualified to help the Board of Aldermen work through these issues – in part as a result of her experience as Ward 3 representative in Concord.

Instead of just endless wrangling about the current tax rate, the city needs to take the actions that are needed to attract more business and residents and thereby increase the tax base such that future tax rates can allow Nashua to compete more successfully for future growth.

Nashua is at a disadvantage – our per-capita tax base is only 80 percent of the state average. This means Nashua has to work extra hard to provide those features that will attract the needed business and population growth. These include many of the proposals that Mayor Jim Donchess has recently proposed; improved infrastructure, affordable housing, street paving and streamlined traffic flow; improved public schools, and recreational amenities, particularly outdoors.

The city is best positioned to lead such improvements. Yes, the needed improvements will cost some local money. But many can entail minimal local expense by obtaining grants. Other projects can be bonded at minimal local tax expense due to the City’s excellent credit rating. The needed improvements will preclude significant reductions in the near-term tax rate until the tax base has been grown to a more competitive per-capita level.

As noted above, some incumbents seem very narrowly focused on the near-term tax rate as an alleged impediment to business growth. Surveys have repeated debunked the idea that Nashua’s tax rates discourage new businesses. Instead they say they need a better qualified work force and better infrastructure. Furthermore, Massachusetts and Vermont each have higher per-capita economic growth rates than New Hampshire despite their higher per-capita tax burdens.

Patricia Klee understands that Nashua’s efforts to attract new businesses need to be financially responsible. In the state Legislature she took sensible positions on a broad range of issues. She strongly supported Nashua’s financial needs by opposing plans to add to Nashua’s expenses by reducing the state’s income. She also has demonstrated a breadth of responsible leadership including opposing further loosening of sensible provisions for registering concealed weapons, and she supported the rights of workers to collectively bargain with their employers.

On the basis of the foregoing, as well as her demonstrated willingness to listen to her constituents, I urge the voters of Ward Three to elect Patricia Klee as their Alderman next month.