I have become increasingly concerned about the negative impact of partisan politics on our local government. While this city is chartered as a non-partisan city, public discussion and communication with some in City Hall has become all too partisan.
Sixty-five percent (65%) of Nashua voters are affiliated as undeclared and Republican. Thirty-five percent (35%) of Nashua registered voters are Democrats. This data is based on the November 2020 election.
Our current Board of Alderman and School board, which consists of 24 elected positions, is composed of 22 Democrats and 2 Republicans. There is no party diversity in our elected representatives and these boards have lost their ability to hear the voices of those that represent the diversity of this city.
Our current public comments sessions are handled atrociously by all boards. It appears, if you are not aligned with the elected group, you’re interrupted, shut down, and generally not heard. These boards are missing opportunities to create a better Nashua and they are not serving their constituents.
Forty-Three percent (43%) of the registered voters are undeclared. It appears that the majority of voters are somewhat disenfranchised and sick of the party system. It would appear that this group wants a non-partisan government. I am with that group.
Partisan politics starts in the Mayor’s office. He demands fierce loyalty from his elected Democrats. This has negatively impacted the management of our City and has stifled citizen participation.
Last weekend, I was out door-knocking for my campaign. I came across a yard with 6 or 8 Democratic candidate signs. There was no sign indicating the position of this voter on the Police Commission Charter Change. I knocked on the door to see if I could discuss this ballot question with the homeowner.
I did not know who’s house I was at but in a brief discussion, the gentlemen informed me that “tomorrow” he would be going out canvassing with the Mayor.
Turns out, I was at Neil Claffey’s home and the Mayor was campaigning with Neil for his election. Mr. Claffey is a former Nashua Teacher and Union Leader and obviously, the Mayor would like to see him elected to the School Board.
This is partisan politics at its worst. Is this Mayor really non-partisan? We have some terrific Independent and Republican candidates running for office this year. Their party affiliation is not significant; their qualifications are and some have terrific resumes and the time to serve.
I wonder if Mayor Donchess is out there canvassing and showcasing these candidates as well or is he only representing Democrats. One thing is certain; he hasn’t called me for any door knocking.
On November 2nd, let’s vote for change. Let’s elect people into office that represent the makeup of our City. Let’s create diversity, so that our public comment, our views, and our thoughts are welcomed by our elected officials. Change on November 2nd will let the light shine in.