Well it is that most exciting time of year again in Durham! Local Elections!
One of the most impactful positions held in Durham is that of Town Councilor. The Town of Durham operates under a form of government known as a Town Council . The Town Council form of government puts the administration of all fiscal, prudential, and municipal governance in the power of the Town Council. This means the Council is responsible for all ordinances, resolutions, policies and the budget. It is comprised of 9 individuals that serve 3 year terms with 3 seats to be voted on every year.
Celebrate Durham thought you might like to take a look at the three individuals who have stepped up to the plate to serve this year on the Durham Town Council.
We asked each candidate three questions and asked them to answer them in their own words .
Why do you chose to live in Durham ?
Why have you chosen to serve ?
Tell us something about yourself we may not know.
Be sure to get out to exercise your voting rights on election day March 12. The Council race may not be too contentious but the candidates do appreciate your support. There will also be some very important local referendum question on the ballot so be sure to vote.
Back in the 90’s my wife and I lived in Oak Park, Illinois, and after completing her OB/GYN residency, she wanted to move closer to her parents. Since we were just starting a family, we were looking for a community that had relatively affordable housing and good schools. The Oyster River School District and the Wedgewood Neighborhood were a perfect fit.
I’ve always felt that establishing a stable environment through civil discourse is essential to effective problem solving, and thought I could help bring that to the School Board. In my time on the Board, we have worked through some difficult issues by using a highly collaborative approach and have excelled.
When asked to consider doing both Town Council and School Board, I laughed. “No way.” Three years later, I’ve decided to sign up for round 2. What happened? I found that like the school system, the Town has an awesome staff and is very collaborative. Our challenge ahead is to preserve the things we value, develop the commercial space we need, and stabilize our tax rate. I would like to a chance to help solve this puzzle.
While I’ve been a die-hard Red Sox fan for the past 20 years, I grew up a Cubs fan. My Dad took me to my first game at Wrigley Field in 1970, and I’ve been going to games ever since. From the Cross Town Classic, to the epic 2004 ALCS, to this year’s World Series, it has been a great run.
I was born and raised in Margate City New Jersey. I moved to California with my first real job and spent the next 20 years enjoying the best California had to offer including my favorites sailing and skiing. After getting married, two boys and home ownership, reality set in and we found ourselves looking for a way out.
In 2008 we had the opportunity to move out of California. Our destination was New England. Coming from California the challenge was picking a community to call home. We started looking in Portsmouth but found it too similar to what we were leaving in California. My wife,Trisha, soon discovered Durham. She saw that Durham had great schools and was just outside of the population creep zone (from Boston). Coming from the Bay Area of California and with our oldest approaching high school we had some ideas about what we didn't want. We were coming from Tiburon which is a small town ( technically smaller than Durham ) but is geographically in the center of about 7 million people and we knew that was not the kind of place we wanted to be.
Durham had the attributes we sought, schools and geography. Our two boys are now both at UNH, one for a second degree and one for his first. Both went through the Oyster River School District. We are confident that least one of our boys will remain in NH.
This past year I joined the ZBA and after two meetings it was obvious to me that the best place for me to contribute my time would be with the Town Council.
Some improvements that are of interest to me are creating more vibrant downtown for people of all ages, which could in time, help balance the tax burden, which today is shouldered mostly by residents. Appreciating UNH and it's students is another area of interest. I see UNH as an opportunity for Durham.
I have always been involved with boats and have always had a boat,even as a kid, and have spent a lot of time racing sailboats. In my spare time I enjoy honey do’s lists and gardening our 10 acres. Just in case you are wondering about my name ,Dinny, well my given name is Charles but I can't promise I would ever answer to it. My grandmother nicknamed my brother Daniel and I Duffy and Dinty as babies. As I started talking my two year old self could not pronounce the T and it came out Dinny which it has remained.
Having lived in Durham for over fifty years, being a UNH graduate (MBA, 1972), and having been involved in civic affairs including the state legislature (four terms) and Durham Town Council (three terms). I’ve watched Durham and UNH grow while trying to maintain the friendly, small town spirit that makes our community unique.
That the spirit I found when my family moved here persists and is a tribute to both the town and UNH. With four in my family holding UNH degrees, we understand what makes Durham a great place to live and learn. With respect for the past and faith in the future, we must all work to keep that spirit while acknowledging the challenges we face and will overcome together.
Every day I walk our dogs at Wagon Hill Farm and I am reminded that in 1974 the citizens of Durham, under the leadership of three women, faced the largest planned refinery
in the world and forced them to look elsewhere. This spirit of resistance to bad ideas lives on. It is this spirit we seek to instill in all Durham residents including the students.