To the editor:
We owe a debt of gratitude to our friends and neighbors who have stepped forward and agreed to serve on various councils and committees in our community. Too often we forget that these people have volunteered to run for office, a task that most of us shun, with little or no political experience.
Such is the case for many of the members of our current Town Council and School Committee. We expect them to hit the deck running, yet we and chide and ridicule them when they misstep. We overlook the late hours and extra work that these citizens are required to expend on a daily basis. They work hard and make decisions that affect the services that we have all come to expect.
The Portsmouth Town Council and School Committee struggled and learned many lessons the hard way, particularly during the first six months in office. But then they seemed to settle down and through the difficulties they encountered have emerged as sincere effective leaders.
They have faced budget shortfalls, addressed unfunded employee benefits, begun repairing our roads, established a Five Year Capital Improvement Plan, added a million dollars to our depleted Reserve Fund, and much more.
Perhaps their most important contribution is the hiring of our new town administrator. Ignoring the “old boy network”, they hired an outside consultant, conducted a job search, wrote a job description, and
developed approved a set of goals and objectives. The outstanding result is clearly evident in our new town administrator.
The Town Council has addressed every problem that was presented to them, unlike previous councils. Monthly invoices are receiving scrutiny as never before. In short, they have stopped kicking the can down the road.
In these difficult economic times, we can expect the Town Council and School Committee to face more challenges in the future, but Portsmouth is definitely moving in the right direction.