Councilor Evans Backs David Bertrand For Mayor

Councilor Mark Evans, the fiscal conservative from ward three, has announced his support for Mayor David Bertrand. The efforts of candidates Paul Grenier, Bob Danderson and Michael Rozek appear aligned to remove a number of the incumbents, and my conversations with these men indicate their politics run close to those of Mr. Evans. Both Mr. Danderson and Mr. Rozek called themselves fiscal conservatives, and Mr. Grenier was pushing to cut capital improvement spending at last week’s council meeting. Their political rhetoric seems like they would line up well with Mr. Evans, but apparently he doesn’t agree.
I have yet to get back to Mr. Evans to talk more about this. He recently emailed me with his endorsement of Mayor Bertrand. I will hopefully have something about it in next week’s Berlin Reporter.

An a side note, why do people feel they know which way the election will go? There have been a lot of comments on LPJ concerning how the former councilors and mayor are likely to sweep the election, and that it will be the end of forward progress from city hall. Is that based on some sort of polling? Or conversations with lots of people? Or the word on the street? I have spoken to a number of people, including candidates and city employees, who feel the race will be tight, but they don’t know which way it will go. I’m wondering what information people commenting on LPJ have that these people don’t have? Are you stating your fears, or do you have some reason to think the election will go one way or another?

Update: I just spoke with Councilor Evans. Look for a story in next week’s paper.

4 thoughts on “Councilor Evans Backs David Bertrand For Mayor

  1. Erik, In an attempt to be fair to a weekly paper, I've been asked by the Daily Sun to furnish the follow answers to questions and see no reason why I should keep my responses from the Reporter.1) Please provide basic background information such as education, work experience, previous public service, etc.  (in 100 words or less.)  Jonathan Edwards, Co-Owner of Coulombe Real Estate. College graduate of marketing, communications and business. Marketing Berlin real estate for 24 years. Appointed to the Berlin board of assessors on referral from Robert Danderson when he was mayor.Primary public service – Coulombe Real Estate has long been the leader in commercial sales bringing businesses and jobs to the region. Recent marketing efforts provided jobs with the opening of the TBA theatres, the expansion of Glen Ave. Auto, the “coming soon” home of Tea Birds, new homes of Tops Furniture, Walmart, Laconia Savings, and Bond Auto Parts to name a few.

  2. 2) Why are you running for council? (Please stick to 125 words or less per question for questions 2-6) I’m running for council because I truly care for this city to have a positive outcome. This city is on the verge of very exciting times. With the influx of some 1400 people coming to the area next year (federal prison employees and family members) I’m interested in helping Berlin attract folks to Berlin. I’m very interested to continue working with various businesses on marketing strategies to build this area into a recreational area while embracing the appropriate recession proof industrial base to keep Berlin progressively moving into the future. I believe both the prison and the right biomass facility can offer this area a tremendous beginning to get this area back on track. I want to largely be a part of that process.3) Looking at the work of the city council over the past two years, what would you have done differently? Is it fair to say you’d do something differently than what the council has done over two years without knowing all of the facts behind what this council and mayor have done? This council effectively kept taxes level, crafted a way to improve infrastructure without tax increase and with an annual savings, was awarded a massive grant towards housing issues, is presently working on a grant to repave city streets, partnered with the school board’s accountability efforts, has thought outside the box, moved Berlin forward rather than backward, followed the rule of law as it pertains to many things including the inability to remove burned out buildings until the city has gone through due process. 4) What is your position on any industrial development on the former pulp mill site?I’m sensitive to industrial development on the Burgess mill site.. With Clean Power Development’s biomass plant located at the waste water treatment plant. I believe there will only be and should only be one biomass company in this city. With a background in real estate I believe your home will be worth more if you have a biomass plant next to your waste water treatment plant instead of in the middle of your city. It also makes more sense to go with Clean Power’s proposal being closer to Fraser to provide steam to help it survive. I will work to insure that a city centered biomass plant or any other industry has the least negative impact on the people and real estate surrounding it.5) What will be your goals in crafting the next city budget? I will listen carefully to current members of council. These professionals kept taxes at bay, added infrastructure improvements, obtained grants for necessities, and followed the laws as they pertain to issues such as burned out buildings.I will focus on tax base. Our company is actively involved with Riverside Heights potentially producing an additional $300,000 annually to the city. Other developments could enhance that tax base further. I will do everything I can to see things come to fruition that enhance that tax base, but will also concentrate on evaluating and acting on things that I think will negatively impact the tax base such as Laidlaw Energy’s proposal to disrupt the city center from it fullest potential.6) What do you think about the city’s economic development strategy?The city has too many conflicting teams and it needs to combine talent into a team that puts their differences aside as much as possible in an effort to move this city forward. So many people in this city care for Berlin and it’s people though it needs more order to be more effective. Berlin needs to have a concise, professional direction for each and every potential business looking at this area in order to provide a perception that this is a progressive city of team players willing to get things done. Jon Edwards

  3. Erik,I just wanted to make a quick response in regards to your inquiry about why people feel that Grenier will win on Novermber 3rd….Having been in the middle of the election activity as a reporter you have seen exactly how Paul Grenier works. He is a politician through and through, and is willing to distort facts and create fear to get his particular pet project through, in this case Ladlaw. (I understand, that by definition I am a politician also, but you don't see me out there slinging mud.)The last few days have been deeply disappointing to me, to see the way he is fear mongering and attacking the current council. I am literally having flashbacks to the way they were under "Mayor Bob" from the late 90's to 2007. I understand that is his job in a sense, but Berlin residents need truth at this moment in time, not lies and fear. It is clear that "The Big 3", or is it 4?, do they count Ingersol or not?) have joined forces for one single purpose….to jump on the Laidlaw bandwagon and use it as a springboard to get back in charge. I understand why some people want Laidlaw to run….particularly in this bad economy…. its all we know in a sense….its our comfort food, our chocolate cake and ice cream at 3 in the morning….it soothes us…. after 100+ years of industrial dominance, it makes us feel better….it calms us…… I understand, believe me i do, but I'm smart enough to realize it also killed us, both literally and figuratively over the last 100 years, as it completely dominated our town, its economics, its landscape, and its future…. All was good when the paper industry was strong, but now the mill is gone….its not our fault….but we have to let go……Did Manchester NH stubbornly cling to Amoskeag Mills and the fabric industry after its collapse in the 1930's? It moved on……and it grew… (ok, maybe too much, but it would be nothing today without letting go…)Did Keene NH stubbornly hang onto the heavy manufacturing industry after it failed? It moved on…. (and now it is flourishing….)I hate to say it, I know it hurts, it might even cost me my job as a councilor, but we have to move on….for the sake of the future, our kids, our town…. We can participate in heavy industry and in Biomass, but we can't let it dominate……Ok I'll (finally) get to my points on the next entry….Ryan Landry

  4. A few points I'd like to make:Their spin:Taxes are going up! Your taxes will increase by $2.71, (or maybe $1.67…we are not quite sure…) but they are going up….be scared… they are going up!The facts:This council kept taxes flat two years in a row in a bad economy. Period. And it still managed to begin the daunting task of much needed capital improvements…..Paul Grenier's 16 years on the council produced 13 tax increases. Period. Quite frankly, now I'm scared.Their spin:Its the current city council's fault that the burned out building on Main Street sat too long…. eloquently pointed out in a 1/2 page attack ad in the Berlin Reporter….. (That must have been expensive…) But hey, forget about that…..don't forget we are fiscally conservative….trust us…take our word for it.) The facts:As a councilor for 16 years, Paul Grenier knows better than most of us that there was nothing this council could do to speed up that process. Especially considering its delicate legal situation. But he won't tell the public that…..Somebody should ask Paul Grenier how long it took to clean up the fatal Upper Main street fire in January 2007, or the Rockingham/Mason street fire, or one that actually still stands vacant on the corner of Hillsborough and Grafton, burned down on his watch….. (Oops, he forgot to tell us that.)Their spin:"Paul Grenier supports both Clean Power and Laidlaw."The facts:Paul Grenier has had every opportunity to support Clean Power, which is practically shovel ready, but he continuously fails to do so. Why? Because his support for Laidlaw through the County Commissioner's office would be a severe conflict of interest. He knows that they both can't operate due wood supply issues, Coos County Loop infrastructure etc…but he won't tell you that…. but trust him.Why wouldn't he be writing letters of support for a project that is responsibly-developed with the sensitivity of the community in mind, is ready to go, will provide just as many jobs, an excellent tax base, and will support Fraser's Cascade Mill and its 100+ jobs? Because he can't. Clean Power can be operating, providing jobs, paying taxes, and supporting Berlin at least 2-3 years before Laidlaw could even flip the switch. He won't tell you that either.Please Paul, for the sake of Berlin, stop the spin, stop the lies. This is not a game. This is our future.Ryan Landry

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