Thanking voters for their support



To the Editor,

I write to express my thanks to the folks who came to the polls on May 16 to cast their votes as well as to those who worked so hard on all the campaigns.  I thank the voters for supporting Sue Philbrick and me for the Planning Board, and I will do my best to work on your behalf.

I have to admit that I am not a natural campaigner.  I did not like the organizing and asking for contributions and all the work associated with making and placing signs, designing cards, attending meet and greets, and calling for help at every step of the way. I was fortunate in having assistance and encouragement from many others.   The fact is that even with all the support, it was stressful and exhausting.  It was also weird seeing my name stuck into front yards all over town.

But it wasn’t all bad.  There were some wonderful take-aways.  I enjoyed meeting and hearing the opinions of a lot of thoughtful and kind people. It was gratifying to have folks contact me- often out of the blue- and ask for a sign on their front lawn or to wish me well.   I spent part of an afternoon with a resident of Newport Park and learned about both the good things and challenges of living there.  I had an interesting conversation with a Trustee of the Library about future plans to expand the library and make it more of a focal point of the downtown.  I learned about an emerging group of social activists who want to promote diversity and greater affordability.   I thought it would be miserable to stand for most of Tuesday at the school entrance holding those silly signs- but I got to know and appreciate my fellow sign-holders.  It was rewarding to spend time with childhood friends and to make new friends.  I enjoyed getting to know my fellow candidates who comprise the Town’s leadership.  It was also gratifying to see that the voters could get past some of the misinformation and consider the real issues.   

The challengers also worked hard.  They are well-meaning people and we all share the goal of keeping Manchester’s unique character and making it a better place to live.  I admire their enthusiasm for getting things done, for sharing support for commercial development in the LCD, and for endorsing greater affordability of housing.  Their festive group of sign holders during election day at Memorial School called out the slogan to passing cars, “It’s time for change!” 

Indeed, it is time for change.  We have critical decisions to make in the coming years. Let’s finish the job of creating a better zoning bylaw.  Let’s keep working together to bring about the changes needed to make Manchester a more sustainable, thriving and vibrant community.

Thank you again

Chris Olney

planning board, memorial school, natural campaigner, sue philbrick, trustee, manchester