July 17, 2008

 Navigation

   Home Page

 News & Features

   News

 Columns & Opinions

   Publisher's Note

   Boomers

   Pinings

   Longshots

   Techie

 Pop Culture

   Film

   TV

   Books
   Video Games
   CD Reviews

 Living

   Food

   Wine

   Beer

 Music

   Articles

   Music Roundup

   Live Music/DJs

   MP3 & Podcasts

   Bandmates

 Arts

   Theater

   Art

 Find A Hippo

   Manchester

   Nashua

 Classifieds

   View Classified Ads

   Place a Classified Ad

 Advertising

   Advertising

   Rates

 Contact Us

   Hippo Staff

   How to Reach The Hippo

 Past Issues

   Browse by Cover


Publisher's Note: Manchester needs leadership
By Jody Reese

A recent Saturday in Concord showed the very different directions cities can take in a just a few short years. Manchester was the town that quickly turned itself around with a downtown business focus. The result was property value boom. People — lots of people — wanted to live in Manchester. All the while Concord looked down Interstate 93 with some envy, but now it’s Manchester that should envy Concord.

Last Saturday Concord was full of families, young people and baby boomers enjoying the farmers’ market, outside cafés and window shopping. The streets were busy with people and businesses are expanding; not so in Manchester.

In Manchester, as the Manchester Express reported some months ago, many downtown retail storefronts are vacant on Elm Street — many more could become vacant soon as Manchester’s Mayor Frank Guinta and the aldermen milk downtown of every last parking nickel.

Manchester has seen a rapid decline in property values, and it risks losing millions in property tax dollars because of its weakening downtown and property market.

The falling value of Manchester doesn’t seem to bother Ward 5 Alderman Ed Osborne, who told another local paper that he wants the population in Manchester to drop to 80,000 or 90,000 people. The result of such a flight of residents would further destroy property values (possibly as much as a 70 percent decline) and cause massive foreclosures on rental properties as landlords went bankrupt.

Unfortunately, there’s little leadership in City Hall to reverse this trend. Mayor Guinta seems to want to remake Manchester into Franklin with its property-value-destroying tax cap. If you really want to ruin Manchester, just support the tax cap.

While the news is bad, it needn’t stay that way.

Manchester is a great city with huge assets, including the Verizon Wireless Arena, the Millyard, a new hotel, a baseball stadium, wonderful restaurants, tons of entrepreneurs and an energetic populace. There are efforts to add bike paths, more mill buildings are being rehabbed and, of course, Manchester is the birthplace of your American dream.

But these assets will continue to fail to improve Manchester’s lot, if the city doesn’t have a city government intent on making the city a better place to live. Manchester needs a sense of purpose, and that can only come from its leaders in City Hall.

It can be hard on a mayor to keep spending down and still work to encourage growth, but it’s not impossible. Each decision the mayor and aldermen make should be questioned as to how it will effect the city’s quality of life, property values and the ability of business to do business. That clearly isn’t happening with parking.

More than just policy, the city needs the mayor’s leadership in the form of supportive words and involvement.

Concord has demonstrated how a town can improve its downtown and how the rest of the city benefits. Manchester once knew this.

It’s time for Manchester’s City Hall to lead again.


7/10/2008 Riding it out

7/03/2008 It's better by foot
6/26/2008 Change to grow
6/19/2008 A crude lie
6/12/2008 Fairly fair
6/5/2008 Protect and change
5/29/2008 Making the most of $600
5/22/2008 Going our own way
5/15/2008 Education is the key
5/8/2008 Show me the value
5/1/2008 Assault on your freedom
4/24/2008 Spring means cleaning up
4/17/2008 Taxes and local spending
4/10/2008 Education? Back of the bus
4/3/2008 Worse to good
3/27/2008 Road to Concord
3/20/2008 2008 Best of
3/13/2008 Alderman hooked on cash
3/6/2008 America's promise
2/28/2008 The field clears
2/21/2008 Tax growth
2/14/2008 Opportunity for whom?
2/7/2008 Who's the boss?
1/31/2008 An unfair cost
1/24/2008 Bank locally
1/17/2008 It wasn't race, it was the race
1/10/2008 School funding is still an issue
1/3/2008 Predictions for 2008
12/27/2007 My best and worst of 2007
12/20/2007 Not Edwards
12/13/2007 Sometimes it's best to hold the story
12/6/2007 A reckoning with reality
11/29/2007 Cure for weak reporting
11/22/2007 Good Pork
11/15/2007 NH, land of wine opportunity
11/8/2007 An extreme gift
11/1/2007 Odd state out
10/25/2007 Smart growth
10/18/2007 School debate
10/11/2007 Art, art — what is it good for?
10/04/2007 Investing for the long haul
9/27/2007 The Frankensteined museum
9/20/2007 Publisher's Note
9/13/2007 Glendified weekend
9/6/2007 Change is good
8/30/2007 Live toll free or die trying
8/23/2007 Stress made me steal
8/16/2007 Malls do a town good?
8/9/2007 Politics and policy
8/2/2007 Ban needs state enforcement
7/26/2007 We need more under-30s
7/19/2007 Health care tune-up
7/12/2007 Save our parks
7/5/2007 Mortgage re-regulation
6/28/2007 Downtown troubles?
6/21/2007 Kid coddlers
6/14/2007 Illegals needed
6/7/2007 Be the Burlington
5/31/2007 Still number one?
5/24/2007 Time for Target to give
5/17/2007 Rail stop
5/10/2007 Short-changing the future
5/3/2007 Not just cheaper, more efficient
4/26/2007 Where is our scotch?
4/19/2007 School leadership crisis
4/12/2007 Restricting free-dumb
4/5/2007 Property tax relief
3/29/2007 Manchester: A West advantages
3/29/2007 Nashua: Beach weather — for dogs
3/29/2007 Concord: Boston's loss, Concord's gain
3/22/2007 Manchester: Mortgages come due
3/22/2007 Nashua: Camping and comic strips
3/22/2007 Concord: Best show in town
3/15/2007 Manchester: Biggest Best Of
3/15/2007 Nashua: The envelope please
3/15/2007 Concord: Simply the best
3/8/2007 Manchester: NH spectacle
3/8/2007 Nashua: The local connection
3/8/2007 Concord: Not married to the idea
3/1/2007 Manchester: Death by a thousand tickets
3/1/2007 Nashua: Looking at glass
3/1/2007 Concord: Does anyone care anymore?
2/22/2007 Manchester: Penny wise, pound foolish
2/22/2007 Nashua: The ultimate reality show
2/22/2007 Concord: Ask anything
2/15/2007 Manchester: To be a successful satellite
2/15/2007 Nashua: The bus too the future
2/15/2007 Concord: Education is non-partisan
2/8/2007 Manchester: In praise of compromise
2/8/2007 Nashua: Will you be my Valentine?
2/8/2007 Concord: The economy or art
2/1/2007 Manchester: Just fake it
2/1/2007 Nashua: A lesson from Walter
2/1/2007 Concord: Trash talking
1/25/2007 Manchester: Sticking with our bottleneck
1/25/2007 Nashua: How dry I was
1/25/2007 Concord: From pot to throw pillows
1/18/2007 Manchester: Renters have a role
1/18/2007 Nashua: Auctions and death
1/18/2007 Concord: The automobile basket
1/11/2007 Manchester: Rail: Look ahead,not back
1/11/2007 Nashua: Easier 80 years ago
1/11/2007 Concord: Let it snow please
1/4/2007 Time for a raise
1/4/2007 Nashua: Five things revisited
1/4/2007 Concord: Keeping an eye on crime
12/28/2006 In the year 2007
12/28/2006 Nashua: My trashy neighborhood
12/28/2006 Concord: 2007 resolutions
12/21/2006 Keeping an eye on crime
12/21/2006 Nashua: Not a curse, a blessing
12/21/2006 Concord: Keep those doors open
12/14/2006 Manchester: Great town in need of TLC
12/14/2006 Nashua: Big world, small town
12/14/2006 Concord: The real reason for the season
12/07/2006 Manchester: War on bars
12/07/2006 Nashua: 'Monkey Day' other school news
12/07/2006 Concord: A special time of year
11/30/2006 Manchester: Live from the BMA!
11/30/2006 Nashua: The movie biz returns
11/30/2006 Concord: A little holiday sentiment
11/23/2006 Manchester: The Manchester oppressed
11/23/2006 Nashua: I miss the BG slaughter
11/23/2006 Concord: Help patch the leaky boat
11/16/2006 Manchester: Straight tickets have got to go
11/16/2006 Nashua: Songs in the funeral parlor
11/16/2006 Concord: The art of politics
11/9/2006 Manchester: Crackdown on slumloards needed
11/9/2006 Nashua: new life in the old stroll
11/9/2006 Concord: Let's get to work
11/2/2006 Manchester: Less mud, more action
11/2/2006 Nashua: Bigger and better and more!
11/2/2006 Concord: Red River takes a dive
10/26/2006 Manchester: Refocus priorities
10/26/2006 Nashua: The color of pennies
10/26/2006 Concord: refocus priorities
10/19/2006 Manchester: Still a safe city
10/19/2006 Nashua: Home field advantage
10/19/2006 Concord: A little bit of everything
10/12/2006 Manchester: Stalled in city government
10/12/2006 Nashua: Closed for remodeling
10/12/2006 Concord: Courting more space
10/05/2006 Manchester: Guinta squashes Saturday parking fees
10/05/2006 Nashua: Still a good idea
10/05/2006 Concord: Concord's new paper
09/28/2006 Manchester: Time for airport effiency
09/28/2006 Nashua: Nashua's symphonic gem
09/28/2006 Concord: Nobody puts Baby in the corner
09/21/2006 Manchester: The low-income housing puzzle
09/21/2006 Nashua: Stop studying, start paving
09/21/2006 Concord: Road to the future
09/14/2006 Manchester: Glendi!
09/14/2006 Nashua: The art of walking
09/14/2006 Concord: Time to shine
09/07/2006 Manchester: The idea deficit
09/07/2006 Nashua: Fine art and Popeye
09/07/2006 Concord: Of diners and destinies
08/31/2006 Manchester: The blueies fumble
08/31/2006 Nashua: Cheap eats and me
08/31/2006 Concord: Cheap eats everywhere
08/24/2006 Manchester: This isn't Monopoly
08/24/2006 Nashua: Who's to judge? Me!
08/24/2006 Concord: Around Concord
08/17/2006 Manchester: Getting anchored
08/17/2006 Nashua: The art of rememberance
08/17/2006 Concord: The Cap center moves forward
08/10/2006 Manchester: Stopping the wave
08/10/2006 Nashua: Local heroes
08/10/2006 Concord: Make downtown a priority
08/03/2006 Manchester: Transport for the long-haul
08/03/2006 Nashua: Peeking at Peacock
08/03/2006 Concord: Primary myths
07/27/2006 Manchester: All smoke, no fire
07/27/2006 Nashua: The city with the cool market
07/27/2006 Concord: You ain't heard nothin yet
07/20/2006 Manchester: State should help city
07/20/2006 Nashua: Taking it outside
07/20/2006 Concord: A forum worth attending
07/13/2006 Manchester: The refugee puzzle
07/13/2006 Nashua: When chemicals made us strong
07/13/2006 Concord: Getting people downtown
07/06/2006 Manchester: Sherriff doesn't like competition
07/06/2006 Nashua: The ghost of Mabel
07/06/2006 Concord: The return of the DOT
06/29/2006 Manchester: Don't hold your breath
06/29/2006 Nashua: To your health, sort of
06/29/2006 Concord: Bright lights, big city
06/22/2006 Manchester: Priming the pump
06/22/2006 Nashua: The right guy
06/22/2006 Concord: Consideration
06/15/2006 Manchester: Stag what?
06/15/2006 Nashua: Get out of town!
06/15/2006 Concord: Stay the course
06/08/2006 Manchester: Guinta's political game
06/08/2006 Nashua: No backyard barbeque
06/8/2006 Concord: We seek the Grail
06/01/2006 Manchester: Throwaway society
06/01/2006 Nashua: We are what we eat
06/01/2006 Concord: Moving in the right direction
05/25/2006 Manchester: The past is the future
05/25/2006 Nashua: Think Hippo, then flush
05/25/2006 Concord: Get on the train and ride
05/18/2006 Manchester: A tale of two cities
05/18/2006 Nashua: Teachable moments
05/18/2006 Aspell the man for the job
05/11/2006 Manchester: 2007 budget for 2007 prices
05/11/2006 Nashua: Increasingly vacant city
05/11/2006 Concord: Concord's musical economy
05/04/2006 Manchester: The show must go on
05/04/2006 Nashua: Don't miss your cue
05/04/2006 Concord: Support your local station
04/27/2006 Manchester: Why I buckle my seatbelt
04/27/2006 Nashua: A global black eye
04/27/2006 Concord: The time has come
04/20/2006 Manchester: Budget bull
04/20/2006 Nashua:Hunting white elephants
04/20/2006 Concord: Rallying for Red River
04/13/2006 Manchester: Parking wise, pound foolish
04/13/2006 Nashua: Roomates
04/13/2006 Concord: You have to want it
04/06/2006 Manchester: Detroit by comparison?
04/06/2006 Nashua: Changing the flow
04/06/2006 Concord: Time and the river
03/30/2006 Manchester: Calling planet Earth
03/30/2006 Nashua: Where is the leadership?
03/30/2006 Concord: Legislation that matters
03/23/2006 Manchester: Beyond city government
03/23/2006 Nashua: Short-sighted city
03/23/2006 Concord: Creating Community
03/16/2006 Growth does not equal crime
03/16/2006 Not just for business
03/16/2006 Concord: Stop the signs
03/09/2006 Manchester: The future is now
03/09/2006 Nashua: The bus to tomorrow
03/09/2006 Concord: Fat free or die
03/02/2006 Manchester: Movies matter
03/02/2006 Nashua: City without theaters
03/02/2006 Concord: Thinking big
02/23/2006 Manchester: Parking problems
02/23/2006 Nashua: A substitute for Benson's
02/23/2006 Concord: Put parking to rest

02/16/2006 Manchester: Having it both ways
02/16/2006 Nashua: The Nashua arts puzzle

02/16/2006 Concord: Future in beer
02/09/2006 Manchester: Best of us
02/09/2006 Nashua: Put your best vote forward
02/09/2006 Concord: Concord shows off
02/02/2006 Manchester: Chain reactions
02/02/2006 Nashua: We wuz robbed
02/02/2006 Concord: Looking Back
01/26/2006 Manchester: City government gets wackier
01/26/2006 Nashua: Hometown Pride
01/26/2006 Concord: Growing Pains
01/19/2006 Concord Back to Work
01/19/2006 Nashua: Message in a bottle
01/19/2006 Manchester: The Living City
01/12/2006 Welcome to the Flea
01/05/2006 Hippo Manchester — Five Years Later
Aloha, Uncle Gus

A crucial stage
A taxing mistake
A Mission For InTown
A Signature Space
Art Is News Here

A Work In Progress
Ante Up For Plows
Bars are wrong UL target
Beating the downtown blues
City Needs To Get Tough
City noise tax
Crime - Reality vs. Perception
Daily Buys Weeklies
Down to the wire
Elements of a downtown
Fat And Good Planning
Garrity's Plan A Step Back
Giving MTBE a free ride
Going For The Money

Go Glendi!
Government Regulations The Problem
Guinta’s work pays off
Guinta’s work pays off (II)
Happy yuppies, strong city
Improve The City From The Center
I
t's Just Good Business
Keep those teens busy
Killing the goose
Long Term Vision
Looking Down The Road
Make It An Event
McQuaid's War & Other News
Name that tune
Not Just An Alternative
Old Building Makeover
One Jump Closer
Outside Might Be Best

Party politics
Penny-Wise, Pound Foolish

Positive QOLs: food, trains
Preach, Don't Campaign
Private Places
Read it here first
Readin', Ritin', Paying Up
Retiring Teachers
Say No To Cronyism
Scrooge, Inc.
Solution to parking woes
Step Aside, Joe
Surviving The Chains

Tax cap kills the future
The Awards Go To
The business of clubs
The City's Snow Job

The perils of parking
The real election issues

The Really Big Story
The Silly Liquor Law
The truth about the bars
The Value Of Local Money
The Voting Process
The UL’s bully tactics
This Week's Note
Timing Is Everything

To Live In A City Is To Park In It
Tomorrow's Landmarks
Trick-Or-Treat At Night
Turkeys, Parking, Taxes, Chandler
Under-40 Dynamos
Voting Matters
What about Theater?
What makes a marriage