With the notion of “workforce” housing apparently greasing the skids, the new Portsmouth City Council is poised to vote on rezoning much of the city to allow bigger buildings, a move likely to benefit folks with properties in rezoned areas. Wasting no time, the five-month-old City Council already agreed to buy contaminated land valued in 2014 at $2.8 million (see appraisal) for $4.9 million from developer Kim Rogers for the new parking garage. It voted to give big water users a break on water costs via a lower-priced tier of “irrigation” fees. And “workforce” housing is being argued to plop another view-blocker in front of the Governor John Langdon House on the Parrott Ave lot.
We hear a lot about the need for financial transparency in national government. But in a catastrophic failure of community journalism (because we think keeping voters in the dark is so dangerous to local democracy), our local newspaper, the Portsmouth Herald, never reported that we know of on who financed former Portsmouth Mayor Steve Marchand’s “One Portsmouth” campaign that got seven out of eight of its chosen candidates elected last fall. (Some now call it “Marchand’s Council”). We know that Kim Rogers helped out because upset voters called us after attending an event he hosted expecting to see all 16 candidates, but found only half of them present (see invitation below), and some candidates said they were not invited. “Who else contributed?” asked one observer. (The Herald’s owners own the paper’s former competition, so it has a monopoly on the local news diet, and Marchand used to sit on the Herald’s Community Advisory Board). “Who wrote the editorial cheering the workforce housing idea?. We don’t know.”
For more info and for a link to the whole City Council so you can air your views, go to: http://www.trendingportsmouth.com/
To reach your City Councilors individually to let them know what you think, email: