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Endorsed by Rich Girard
read Rich’s Endorsement

Ward 11 Alderman

The Challenger: Emily Sandblade

Listen to her Girard at Large Appearance from 10-21-2011

Listen to her Girard at Large Appearance from 10-31-2011

Listen to her Girard at Large Appearance from 11-02-2011

Ward 11 Alderman

The Challenger: Emily Sandblade

Listen to her Girard at Large Appearance from 10-21-2011

Listen to her Girard at Large Appearance from 10-31-2011

Listen to her Girard at Large Appearance from 11-02-2011

 

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Endorsed by Rich Girard
read Rich’s Endorsement

Who is Emily Sandblade: a list of frequently asked questions and answers

Q. Why are you running for office?

A. I’m very concerned about what is happening to Manchester. There’s an increasing number of empty storefronts on Elm Street, and that’s just a hint of the huge increase in empty office space around the city. Since the business tax base is weaker, it means that an increasing amount of taxes must be paid for through property tax. This means higher rents and higher costs of home ownership for almost everybody. While there are some people in Manchester who can afford large property tax increases, it’s a burden for most people, especially seniors, the disabled, those on fixed incomes, and families that are already being stressed by increasing energy and food costs. I believe that during a recession, the city government has an obligation to tighten its belt, just as its residents have to control their own spending. Unfortunately, most of the current aldermen seem reluctant to do so. Several of them, including the current Ward 11 alderman, put a measure on the ballot that weakens the spending and tax cap. I oppose this. It’s time to stop the cycle of increasing spending in good times and increasing taxes in bad times.

Q. What makes you think you can break this cycle?

A. I’ve worked with taxpayer associations and on tax-control measures since 1994, when I first realized that taxes per person were going up much faster than the rate of inflation. In most cases, quality of service didn’t increase proportionately, which means that we’re paying more and getting less. This is so very contrary to the trend in the private sector, where the motivation is always to do more with less. The reason that Manchester’s property taxes have increased by 50% over the last 10 years is because it’s much easier just to pass a tax increase than it is to spend the time digging hard for ways to provide services more effectively and efficiently–or even to determine if a particular service really delivers what it’s supposed to. Frankly, it doesn’t appear that some of the people that we’ve elected have the analytical background to do cost/benefit analysis. I’ve built a business up from scratch and ran it for 16 years, so I understand accounting, cost control, and keeping customers happy. Because I’m scientifically trained in mathematics and physics, I also understand statistics, and have the capability to analyze the real data rather than merely accepting numbers that somebody quoted. For people who don’t have an aptitude for math, it’s too easy to be fooled by someone who throws numbers around. The problem is that there’s plenty of that going on in Manchester’s city government. When that happens, it’s harder to see the real effects of legislative decisions until they’re quite dramatic–like the very obvious losses of business and jobs in Manchester, as well as all the vacant homes and apartments.

Q. How long have you lived here?

A. About two years this time. I lived here when I was younger, but moved out-of-state to take care of my aging parents. After they died, I started looking for a more congenial place to live than the very liberal “people’s republic” city that I was then living in. New Hampshire was on my very short list of 2 states. There were several convincing factors: the tremendous involvement by regular citizens in the state and local governments; the general skepticism of big government; and the obvious commitment of so many people to the ideals of this country’s founders. Since I had lived in New Hampshire before and really liked it, I was inclined to move back. When I found out that there were other people moving to New Hampshire who also respected the values that this country was founded on, that really convinced me to move back. I feel very much at home here.

Q. Do you have family here?

A. Most of my family has been dispersed all over the country, mostly due to their careers. My niece is a student at SNHU. I think it’s pretty sad that there aren’t more career opportunities here, and I’d like to see all of New Hampshire–especially the Queen City–become a vibrant place for pursuing a career. If it doesn’t happen soon, I fear my last close relative will find another opportunity out of state. So I have strong personal motivation to make Manchester very job friendly.

Q. What do you do for a living?

A. I’m currently working as a software engineer developing programs to teach math and science to junior high and high school students. I have also worked as a college instructor and in research laboratories, in addition to starting and running a computer software development business.

Q. What do you do in your spare time?

A. I wish I had more of that! I read about 100 to 150 books a year, knit, sew, garden, bicycle, cross-country ski, participate in neighborhood cleanups, find jobs for kids, and give machine knitting lessons to kids. Every year I try to squeeze in some online classes so I can stay competent in my job. If I had more time, I’d like to learn how to do gourmet cooking, and I dream about setting up a kid’s summer computer/math/science camp.