ELECTION DAY IN NASHUA is fast approaching on Nov. 5, and although Mayor Jim Donchess will sail to victory for another four-year term because he’s running unopposed, there are still other local races that affect all of us.
Are you familiar with the positions of the candidates running in the municipal general election?
I admit that I need to catch up.
Take, for example, the Board of Education.
There are nine members on the school board who serve a four-year term. During this election year, there are five open seats and 11 candidates running. This looks to be a spirited contest and an important one.
The Board of Education is a big deal because it oversees the Nashua School District, sets policy, establishes the operating budget, negotiates union contracts, is responsive to the priorities of the community and serves the students in the public school system.
The 11 candidates include Jennifer Bishop, Jessica Brown, Howard Coffman, Sharon Giglio, Doris Hohensee, Burt Janz, Paula Johnson, Renata Olszewski, Jamila Scales, Greg Surbey and Sandra Ziehm.
The Nashua Public Library will hold a Board Of Education Forum on Wednesday, Oct. 30, at 7 p.m. The forum is free and open to the public (Nashua Public Library is located at 2 Court Street).
The forum will be moderated by the League of Women Voters NH — Greater Nashua. By the way, the League of Women Voters’ new website, Vote411.org, is an excellent source for getting up to speed on the candidates running in the municipal general election. There are bios and candidate platforms available to peruse.
Another interesting item on the Nov. 5 ballot could lure more voters to the polls, and that is the idea of sports betting for the Gate City. You, as a voter, will be able to decide whether sports gambling will be legal or not in Nashua. The Board of Aldermen voted unanimously to have the issue placed on the ballot as a referendum.
When you head into the voting booth, the ballot question will appear like this:
“Shall we allow the operation of sportsbook retail locations within the City of Nashua?”
I am curious to see how that one pans out. I will vote Yes in favor and am certain it will pass.
Mayor Donchess said at a recent committee meeting that the citizens here should make the decision, and he suggested that sports betting could also benefit others in need.
“Our two charitable gaming sites in Nashua have expressed their support. They believe that it will help them generate actually more money for our nonprofits.”
There are 76 candidates running for various offices here in the municipal general election. Besides the board of education and mayor, other positions include alderman-at-large, ward alderman, the board of fire commissioners, the board of public works, ward selectman, ward moderator and ward clerk.
It takes commitment, energy and the love of your community to run for office in a municipal election.
I tip my hat to you, and good luck, everyone.