Rich's Candidate Speech

Text of my Candidate Speech Given on Manchester Community TV
by Girard for Charter Commission on Saturday, October 20, 2012

Hi, I’m Rich Girard, candidate for the charter commission that will be elected this November 6th.

After graduating from West, I went off to Boston College where, believe it or not, I actually studied urban government, politics and planning.  On the first day of a class called “Big City Politics,” my professor read from a book that was all about the bizarre things found in city charters.

Not only was Manchester in the book, it was his favorite example of how out of control things can get in city government.  My classmates got a good laugh at our expense as Professor Hale read item after item after item.

Ever since this introduction to government in Manchester it has been a mission of mine to make it better.

That was twenty one years ago and I’ve been involved ever since.  Whether it was as an assistant to Mayor Wieczorek, where I helped assemble three budgets under the former charter or as the first elected Alderman at-Large, where I proposed two of my own budgets under the current charter, I have direct hands on experience working in city government under different charters and in multiple capacities. I believe this provides a unique vantage point that will be helpful in addressing the structure of our city’s government.

And that’s what a charter does, by the way.  It determines the structure of our government and the rules politicians, bureaucrats, employees and citizens must play by.  In my opinion, the charter it should foster transparency, participation, efficiency, and accountability.

Therefore, If elected, I will focus on a handful of areas, including:

  • Restructuring the relationship between the city and its schools.
  • Maintaining caps on taxes and spending.
  • Changing how the city handles and pays it’s elected officials.
  • Adopting a conflict of interest provision.
  • Eliminating the lifetime appointments this charter gives the city’s department heads.
  • Returning to partisan elections and,
  • Eliminating the at-Large positions.

Details about these ideas, as well as information about me and my  campaign are available at, where you can also get the city’s current charter, view a sample ballot, read my blog or contact me.  All this and more is available at

You can also see me every Thursday night from six to seven on Channel 23 or listen to me every Monday through Friday from six to nine A M on 90.7 F M during my Girard at Large broadcasts.

Once again, my name is Rich Girard. I ask that you cast one of the nine votes you have in the charter commission race for me.  Thanks for listening.  Please vote on November 6th.  God Bless.


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