I am running for Keene city council at-large and had the opportunity to fill out the questionnaire from the Keene Sentinel. Here are my responses for this year, 2015:
Name: Ian Freeman
Address: 73 Leverett St. (Ward 4)
Education: AA in Radio/TV Broadcasting
Occupation: Radio Minister
Organizations: Cheshire TV Board of Directors, NHJury.com Board of Directors,
Previous Elected Office: None
Lived in Keene: 9 Years
1. Why are you running for city council?
I am running for council to advance the idea that you should be free to live your life however you want, so long as you don’t use aggressive force or fraud against others. That’s the basic premise of voluntarism – the idea that all human interactions should be consensual. My candidacy is a platform for spreading that idea. It’s time government started acting like the rest of us and honoring our neighbors’ choices and rights, rather than crushing freedom and productivity. I’d also like Keene voters who care about liberty to know about the Keene Liberty Alliance, a nonpartisan group formed to advance the ideas of freedom politically in the Elm City. We have a facebook group and email announcement list you can join. Please visit Keene.NHLiberty.info online to learn more.
2. What role do Keene City Councilors have in addressing the heroin/opioid crisis gripping our community? Please be specific.
Drug abuse is a terrible personal tragedy. The drug war only makes the problem worse. Drug addicts are frequently afraid to get help for fear of being turned into the police and possibly losing their job and home as a result of criminal charges. Compassion should be the basis for helping these addicts and government is terrible about being compassionate. The city council should instruct the police chief to stop arresting drug users immediately. Further, they should send a resolution to Concord asking to repeal prohibition entirely. Without fear of arrest, addicts are more likely to get help, as Portugal’s decade-plus experiment with decriminalization has proved. Google “Portugal decriminalization” to learn more.
2(there were two #2s on my sheet). Are Keene’s taxes too high? Where should spending be cut? Where is the city not spending enough?
Keene’s insane tax rate (one of the highest in NH) has been driving working families out of the city and continues to do so. The best way to determine what needs cutting is to allow the community to decide from the ground up rather than top-down from the council. This can be done by making taxes completely voluntary, meaning no one gets their house stolen from them if they don’t pay. Then, suggested tax bills can be sent that actually break out how much each department is requesting. Let each taxpayer allocate the amount they feel each department is worth receiving. Once the government knows they aren’t guaranteed larger budgets each year, they’ll have to become more efficient and focused on customer service – two things that are not generally present under the coercive system we have today.
3. What is a key challenge affecting the people of Keene and what would you do about it?
A key challenge facing the people of Keene is the freedom-loving people need to get organized to oppose the constant increases in the size of government here. That’s why I helped found the Keene Liberty Alliance, a nonpartisan group that helps liberty-oriented people in Keene connect and get active. You can learn more at http://keene.nhliberty.info
4. What is an issue in this city people aren’t talking about enough?
An issue in this city that people aren’t talking about enough in government is ending the parking department. The people of Keene talk about it plenty and hundreds have even signed petitions against increasing parking rates and fines. Many business owners downtown know the parking meters hurt their businesses. However, when Darryl W Perry recently proposed to the council they end the parking department, the city council didn’t even hear the matter – they blew it off as “informational”. Why not have a hearing on the matter?
5. What are the most important qualifications that should be considered in the search for a new city manager? Please be specific.
Rather than increasing the amount paid to the new city manager, it should be decreased. I’ve heard John MacLean was pulling in $130,000 per year PLUS the sweet government benefits package. How about cutting that back to $47,000 per year, which is the median income for people in Keene? Why should government workers make so much more than the rest of the people? They claim they are public servants, but they don’t get paid servants’ wages, and they act like our masters.