Address: 155 Adams Drive Age: 58
Political party: Democrat
Previous terms: n/a
Harvard College, BA; New York University School of Law, JD.
Family: Married to J. Mark Ryan since 1985. Children: John, Katie and Jamie Ryan (PHS grads).
Reason for running: I've been a Portsmouth resident for 23 years. It's been a great place to live and raise a family and I want to help protect the quality of life Portsmouth offers. Although I've been an active community volunteer (for the Portsmouth Open Space Committee, as board chair of the Aquidneck Land Trust, and in Portsmouth's schools), I was never active in politics until Bernie Sanders inspired me to become involved. After helping organize his campaign in Portsmouth, I came to see that running for local office was another way to help the community I love.
Most important issues:
Good government requires broad public input and support and I am concerned that too many people feel alienated from their government. As a member of the Portsmouth Town Council, I will work to ensure that the decision-making process is open, transparent and fair. I hope to help improve procedures so that all citizens will find it easier to learn about and influence what happens in Portsmouth.
Top priorities: My first priority would be to ensure that Portsmouth government is run in a fair, open and transparent way. I will advocate reviewing and revising town procedures to make it easier for citizens to get notices, ask questions, get answers, and express their concerns; just one way to do that is to make better use of Portsmouth's website and online communications.
My second priority would be to protect those things about Portsmouth that make it such a desirable place to live, such as our excellent schools, open spaces, farms and recreation areas. These provide financial as well as nonfinancial benefits to residents; for example, by keeping home values high and attracting businesses to our town.
My third priority would be to protect the financial interests of Portsmouth and its citizens.
For that to happen, I will work to make sure that taxes are collected and spent in a fiscally and socially responsible manner, so that the effort to minimize taxes is balanced against effectively maintaining essential town services. I will also investigate alternative revenue options, examine the necessity and effectiveness of specific budget expenditures, and keep town liabilities to a minimum.
In addition, I hope to act as an advocate to fight statedetermined policies that unfairly harm Portsmouth residents, such as bridge tolls, arbitrary business regulations, and shifting tax burdens to the middle class.