Ian Freeman’s Answers to Sentinel Candidate Questionnaire
Full Name: Ian Freeman
Education: AA in Radio/TV
Occupation: Host of nationally syndicated talk radio show, “Free Talk Live”; Program Director of LRN.FM; Minister at the Shire Free Church
Organizations to which you belong / have belonged: NH Liberty Party; NHJury.com; Libertarian Party; Free State Project; Cheshire TV
Public/government Service: Co-Chair, NH Liberty Party 2012-Present; Board Member, Cheshire TV 2006-2011;
How long have you lived in Keene? Since 2006.
1. Why are you running for city council?
There is no principled voice for liberty on the Keene city council. Year after year, the “city” gets bigger, more expensive, and more intrusive. I can’t turn that around alone, but one voice and vote for freedom is what I can provide.
2. What are the three biggest issues facing city government and what can – and should – the city council do about them?
Issue 1: Taxes.
The people of Keene are the most taxed of nearly all New Hampshire. The shocking property taxes here drive away families and hard-working people who just can’t afford the taxes required to live within city limits. Over time the economy suffers due to people taking their skills elsewhere. Taxes should be consensual, not coercive, as they currently are. Everyone knows if you don’t pay the arbitrary amounts demanded that men with guns will come and take your home away. That is wrong. Our neighbors should not be paying for city services out of fear.
I fully support mayoral candidate Darryl W. Perry’s plan to remedy this situation. All city owned property should be auctioned off (excepting the City Hall and a few department buildings) in order to offset the current tax burden. That amounts to auctioning off +/-2,460 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 marketized, and would allow the council time to implement a system of consensually funding what remains of the city government.
Issue 2: Parking.
The parking department should be abolished. Allow downtown property owners to own the spaces adjacent to their property and let downtown merchants and owners figure out the best policy for their own spots. Auction off city parking garages and lots.
Issue 3: Victimless Crimes.
The Cheshire jail is regularly loaded up with people who have not harmed anyone. The city police should be focusing their resources on crimes with actual victims. We should have peace officers in Keene, not law enforcement officers. We also don’t need a BEARCAT. I’d like to see it driven back to LENCO, the manufacturer, and left there.
Other “crimes” with no victim include code enforcement constantly harassing homeowners and businesses – this entire department should be shut down and all zoning should be repealed, including the “historic district”. Insurance companies and real estate buyers already have incentive enough to make sure their structures are safe. The city’s services are unnecessary and could be replicated consensually in the marketplace.
3. What do you think is the best course of action for the city in dealing with those associated with the Free Keene movement?
I’ve observed how they’ve been “dealing” with liberty-loving activists for years. They use threats and coercion in an attempt to intimidate and imprison people who speak out against their control. Inevitably their use of force backfires and only makes them look foolish and oppressive, like with the recent, ridiculous, expensive suit they filed against Robin Hooders. I don’t know how much the city is paying those private attorneys they hired, but it can’t be cheap. You can follow the latest on the absurd case at FreeKeene.com.
The best choice for the city people is to ignore the activists, but they can’t bring themselves to do that, because it would reveal their arbitrary enforcement of their own rules. If instead they crack down, then it reveals the violence inherent in their system.
4. Should the city continue to give money toward the annual Pumpkin Festival? Why or why not?
The council, by picking sides, will inevitably upset some people and please others. If taxes were consensual, then taxpayers like you could support the things they like and not support those they do not. The city council should not do anything to prevent OR assist Pumpkinfest. Leave it to the organizers, downtown businesses, and supporters to make it happen.
5. What role should the city take in dealing with its population of homeless people?
As a regular financial supporter of Hundred Nights, I’m familiar with how their shelter actually encourages the homeless to make their lives better, while the city’s shelters just provide a way for homeless people to take advantage of the system. The city should get out of the business of trying to help people and leave that to community members who actually have the correct incentives to care.
6. Are there areas in the city budget where you believe additional cuts should be made? If so, where, and why?
Ideally, the taxes should be made consensual and each department should have a suggested donation amount listed on each property tax bill. If a taxpayer appreciates that department’s work, they could give them more than they are asking. If not, they could give less, or zero. If each department knew they were not guaranteed the same budget or larger each year and knew their budget actually depended on what people thought of their service, they’d whip their budgets into shape, or the taxpayers would do it for them.Want to discuss rather than just commenting here? Visit the Shire Society Forum.