Bill Kibby is running for one seat on the Select Board (3 year term) and for one of two seats on the Planning Board. Here are Bill’s answers to our 2020 NHBA Candidate Survey
How long have you lived in North Hampton? Why do you choose to live here?
My wife and I have lived in North Hampton going on two years. Out of all the towns in the area, we selected North Hampton due to the town’s proximity to the ocean and for the uniquely Old New England charm. We love the winding and forested roads, old stone walls, and proximity to the mountains. With our children being of college-age and above, we chose to live in a place we love year-round and that they would enjoy when they come home to visit.
What position are you running for and why?
I am running for two positions, Select Board and the Planning Board. As your Select Board representative, I will work for decisions to be made that consider each side’s viewpoint and I will emphasize using data analysis to support decisions. I bring 27 years in leadership roles for a major telecommunications company to this position. My career includes executing multi-million dollar project management contracts, improving customer satisfaction, defining process improvement and developing products that meet the exacting needs of police and fire departments. While managing budgets and resources, I am known for collaborating across teams to get things done, a critical relationship skill I believe we need to move past the recent divisions in our town.
Additionally, I am running for the Planning Board as I would like to help us make sure we appropriately prioritize resources to address the two biggest problems we face, defining and implementing a plan to revitalize the empty businesses along Lafayette Rd., and keeping our drinking water clean. Using a strong process management approach, I will help us finalize and then implement a phased plan to revitalize this area which also addresses how we manage wastewater. As a seacoast real estate agent, I want to help improve our community in ways that help us retain our home values and continue to make this a community that we are proud of for all that live here. I believe this means we need to address a progressive solution that allows our senior community to live independently here without having to move away, while balancing the educational needs of our young families and that also provides a park for our dogs to play.
I have had a track record of being active and supportive of the community where I live as a member of the local school board, a youth ministry leader and as a youth sports coach as my children grew up.
I am running because I know I can make a difference in the problem-solving governance processes. I also have the proven leadership skills to follow through and make projects that we start as a community, like the library project, a lasting reality. I promise to search out equitable solutions between divided parties and work to strengthen the business development relationships that will contribute to the vibrancy of our community.
A concern that comes up a lot from both residents and businesses is filling the empty store fronts along Lafayette Rd. What are your thoughts on how best to fill these open storefronts?
Open storefronts are a strong indicator of the business vitality of our community. I would love to see us fill our storefronts but they have to be kind of businesses that our community needs to make it better, and that encourages people traveling through to stop and spend.
We need to do a much better job in encouraging and supporting the types of independent businesses that will thrive here. The 2018 economic survey highlighted people’s strong interest in more restaurants. To do this means that we have to understand if the available buildings will fit this need, will they need to be substantially improved, or even replaced. I share your concern that to attract the types of businesses that we want, we will need to evaluate and implement a plan to address infrastructure needs. The town will need to work with property owners and investors to provide them incentives that will offset the cost of making these long term improvements so they can successfully thrive along Lafayette Rd. As well, property owners along Lafayette Rd. should be incentivized to take steps to maintain their buildings and landscaping to better represent the New England home town image of North Hampton.
How do you think the NHBA can best work with you in your efforts?
The NHBA can help the town by:
· Benchmarking similar communities that are working to attract and retain locally owned businesses and making recommendations to the Planning Board.
· Identifying a target list of small businesses we need in the community, and then help build those relationships with investors and business owners that will encourage them to be located here.
· Proposing reasonable and fact backed incentives the town can utilize to attract and retain local businesses.
· Provide business knowledge sharing and process support to businesses preparing to go through the business launch process with the planning and zoning boards, then provide ongoing guidance for operational and marketing support.