Citizens For a Better Nashua is a nonpartisan group of business leaders, neighbors and community residents who have organized to voice ideas, concerns and possible solutions to major issues and priorities facing the city of Nashua. Right now, we have focused on the proposed Police Commission Charter Change which is currently on the ballot November 2, 2021, as Question 2.
When researching the issue, we felt it was extremely difficult to find all the essential documents surrounding the issue in one place. Hopefully, we have done that on this site.
The Overview section of this website is broken into two main sections. First, the History/Timeline section which presents all the facts of history and pertinent documents, so the citizen can make their own conclusions and form their own opinion on the issue.
Next, the Discussion section of the Overview presents the rationale/opinions of the PAC for why the voter should vote “NO” on Question 2 on the ballot, which would change the city charter.
In just a few days, Nashua residents will be asked to decide a critical question regarding oversight of the Nashua Police Department. Voters face a question about who should be in charge of appointing the Nashua Police Commission, whose members have direct authority over the Nashua Police Department and its operations.
In June 2021, I spoke publicly at the Board of Aldermen meeting, against this proposed move from the state executive council to the city’s mayor and aldermen out of great concern about the erosion of independent oversight, but also because the decision process was greatly rushed with most citizens not even aware of the issue.
As a Nashua resident and business owner, I have been involved in several community issues, but have never jumped into campaign or political conversations until now. I care deeply about this city and its residents. I’m an entrepreneur and a philanthropist. I look at what makes sense, what creates the desired impact, and I find a way to make it happen. I am deeply concerned about the impact on our community by making a major change in oversight to Nashua Police.
As a community, we haven’t fully examined the impact of this idea. In fact, the review process is ongoing right now and has only just gotten started this fall. It makes no sense to ask voters to decide such an important safety issue without at least examining the pros and cons. There are many options available if the city decides to change the police commission, such as directly electing police commissioners, a hybrid appointment structure, or other options, but these alternatives were not examined prior to putting the proposed change on the ballot. In fact, a majority of the Board of Aldermen voted that this issue needed more study before any proposed change is put to voters.
This ballot question would allow City Hall to appoint and remove Nashua Police Commissioners without cause, whenever and however they wish. This gives them total authority over the Nashua Police Department. This change will undermine the integrity of the department. There will be outside influence levied onto City Hall, and in turn, the police department, by both constituents and politicians.
This is coming just as Nashua is being recognized as one of the safest cities in America. We have an accredited police department recognized for its outstanding work across the state and beyond. Citizens should not take a system that is working very well and substantially alter it.
As I began to voice these concerns to colleagues, business owners, community leaders, neighbors and friends, I found I wasn’t alone. In fact, several community leaders on both sides of the political aisle have shared their concerns about this issue and the process we are using to make this decision. CLICK HERE to view letter from business leaders. Former Attorneys General Joe Foster and Kelly Ayotte, both long time Nashua residents, oppose this idea and have advocated voting NO on question two. Business leaders Jack Tulley, Joe Bellavance, Rob Parsons, and many others, signed onto this effort to raise awareness and make citizens aware of concerns about this idea. I am honored to stand with them and many more in Nashua from all corners and backgrounds who oppose question two.
I urge my neighbors and fellow citizens to review the website, CitizensforaBetterNashua.com to learn more and reject question two until we have had a chance to fully complete a review of its impacts on Nashua, discuss options, and ensure this does not undermine the independent oversight of our police department.