Working in municipal government isn’t easy, especially in today’s political climate, where nasty personal attacks can come from all angles.
Not only do some local officeholders receive insulting online remarks from their constituents, they can become embroiled in fiery arguments with fellow board members.
That’s nothing new. A provision in the city charter dating to 1913 enabled citizens to recall elected officials via petition. In 1998, the Nashua Civic Forum tried to oust then-Mayor Don Davidson over budget issues involving the city’s spending cap two years after he was elected.
Davidson, never a shrinking violet, could handle the tough times that went with running the Gate City. He also was brilliant at news conferences, scheduling plenty of them to strategically get a point across — as I recall from my radio days covering City Hall.
Davidson was victorious in his recall election in 1999 and completed his term.
He also was in office when Money Magazine’s “Best Places to Live” list re-named Nashua the most livable city in America in 1997. The city previously received the honor in 1987, when Jim Donchess first was elected mayor.
Seasoned politicians like Davidson experience highs and lows in their careers, but they always return to the arena.
Today, Davidson is back in the Nashua political groove as a newly sworn member of the Board of Fire Commissioners.
Named as its chairman, he doesn’t want to waste any time. He recently said, “We have to move forward. The firemen are in negotiations for a contract, and the city wants to resolve it.”
Politics “never leaves your blood,” Davidson said during an interview when he ran a fire commissioner’s seat.
“I’ve been in this city in either appointed or elected positions since 1966 ... In my first job for the city, I was appointed to the airport authority and filled the city seat that my father had held.”
It wouldn’t be out of the question for Davidson, a former airline captain, to make another run at the corner office in a few years.
In 2016, Donchess won the mayoral seat after a 24-year hiatus.