September 23, 2013
FreeKeene.com (New Hampshire)
Full Name: Darryl W. Perry
Education: Associates in Mass Communications
Occupation: Owner/Managing Editor of Free Press Publications, Author, Radio Personality
Organizations to which you belong / have belonged: LAVA (Founder & Life Member), Ballot Access Fairness Coalition (Founder), Deny Consent (Co-Founder), NH Liberty Party (Co-Founder & Co-Chair),Zero Aggression Project (Associate Founder), Second Amendment Foundation (Life member), Libertarian Party (Life member), Cheshire TV,Downsize DC, Firearms Owners Against Crime, Free State Project
Public/government Service: At-Large Rep to the National Committee of the Boston Tea Party 2008-2010
Chairman of the National Committee of the Boston Tea Party 2010-2012
Co-Chair NH Liberty Party 2012-Present
Board Member, Cheshire TV 2012-Present
1. Why are you running for mayor?
In a State that prides itself on political involvement, it is somewhat ironic that there are so few candidates for local office. I am running to give the voters a choice. On November 5, voters will have two choices for mayor, had I not filed, they would not have had a choice at all.
2. What are the three biggest issues facing city government and what can – and should – the mayor do about them?
1) Taxes: According to the 2013-2014 proposed budget, Keene taxpayers sent $22,545,272 to the city government in the form of property tax in FY 2013, and the city increases the property tax rate every year. This breaks down to $2,490 per household per year in taxes just to the City of Keene. The tax rate has increased 12.61%, and tax revenues have increased 12.97% since 2008. That corresponds to an average tax increase of $285.95 per household over the last 5 years. If tax revenue continues to increase by 12.97% every 5 years, by 2041 property tax revenues will have more than doubled to be an average of $5,101.83 per household per year just to the City of Keene. This pattern of increases in not sustainable!
My proposal to remedy this situation is to have the city government auction off all city owned property, excepting the City Hall, Police Department & Municipal Services Facility on Marlboro St) in order to offset the current tax burden. That amounts to auctioning off +/-2,460.4510 acres with an estimated value of $48.4 million. This would allow the City to operate for almost 18 months without the need to raise any additional revenue. This 18 month period could be extended if non-essential functions were privatized, and would allow the Council time to implement a system of voluntarily funding what remains of the City government.
2) Municipal regulation: Aside form the nearly $3 million raised per year by the city in licenses, permits & fees, inhabitants and business-owners spent untold amounts of money complying with various zoning regulations and other ordinances that dictate how one is to live or work. These regulations hurt business and contribute to the stagnant economy within the City of Keene.
My proposal to remedy this situation is to abolish the Code Enforcement Department and repeal all zoning regulations.
3) Victimless “crimes”: The Keene Police Department has an annual budget of roughly $6 million, with a large percentage of the time and resources being used to arrest, detain, investigate and fine people who have created no victim. There have been 221 arrests for drug or alcohol related offenses in the past year, this does not include the people who have been given a summons for such offense, only those who have been arrested. There have been an additional 67 arrests for victimless driving offenses and an additional 88 arrests for other offenses without victims.
My proposal to remedy this situation would be to instruct Chief Meola and the officers of the Keene Police Department to focus their time and resources to only investigating, detaining and arresting individuals for those offenses that actually create a victim.
3. What is your vision for the city in 10 years?
In 10 years, I would like to see Keene as a prosperous city. I want Keene to be a city in which all of the businesses are allowed to conduct business without interference from the city government. I want Keene to be a city where people are allowed to live without a huge tax burden placed on their homes. I want Keene to be a city where the local government doesn’t own 10.5% of the land and operates on voluntary means, providing only essential services of protecting life, liberty & property.
4. What do you think is the best course of action for the city in dealing with those associated with the Free Keene movement?
This question presumes a couple of things that are inaccurate. First, it presumes that Free Keene is something other than a website on the internet. Secondly, it presumes that something should be done about the people who blog on that website.
No individual has more rights than any other individual, and no group has more rights than another group. All rights belong to the individual!
Part 1 Article 10 of the NH Constitution (the document that supposedly governs the governments in NH) states, Governments are “instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security, of the whole community, and not for the private interest or emolument of any one man, family, or class of men.” In other words, no one is to have any more or any fewer rights than anyone else. So, to answer the question: what should the city do about the people who blog at Free Keene? Treat them like every other individual!
5. Should the city continue to give money toward the annual Pumpkin Festival? Why or why not?
No. While the Pumpkin Festival does bring a lot of tourists into Keene for the weekend, it should not be a duty of any government to subsidize events that may benefit some people. If the Pumpkin Festival is of such importance to businesses and the community at-large, then the festival should have no problem raising the funds through voluntary means. On the other hand, if the festival is only able to sustain itself through a tax-payer subsidy, then maybe the festival isn’t as important as some would like to believe.
6. What role should the city take in dealing with its population of homeless people?
Mary Ruwart explains how the government of New York City prevented the homeless from being helped by the Missionaries of Charity. “In 1988, Mother Teresa’s order, the Missionaries of Charity, bought two abandoned buildings from New York City at $1 apiece and raised $500,000 for repairs. The city approved their plans for a homeless shelter, but after construction had begun, inspectors demanded installation of a $100,000 elevator. The nuns didn’t want to spend 20% of their funds on something that wouldn’t really help the poor, but the city wouldn’t budge. In frustration, the good Sisters abandoned the project. The street people of New York City, who would have been thrilled to live in these buildings even without an elevator, remained homeless.”
The City of Keene should reduce the costly tax burden (as I outline above), and eliminate zoning ordinances that prohibit more individuals from providing help to those who need it.