Scott Baker is running for one of two seats as a Planning Board Member (3 year term). Here are Scott’s answers to our 2022 NHBA Candidate Survey:
How long have you lived in North Hampton? What do you love most about living here?
I moved to the Seacoast in 2009, and bought a home in North Hampton in 2012, after thoroughly considering many Seacoast communities. My family has deep New Hampshire roots, going back to the 1700’s, when one of my ancestors fought at the Battle of Bunker Hill for the New Hampshire Rangers militia. I chose North Hampton for its small-town feel, rustic charm, large, wooded lots, and proximity to the ocean. Many areas of North Hampton have much natural beauty, which I and my family love, and which we must strive to maintain.
What position are you running for and why?
I am running for a position on the Planning Board, as I do not see the Planning Board addressing the needs and desires of our community, and I represent the many people of our town who feel like we are moving in the wrong direction, especially as it relates to our business corridor. I am raising a family in North Hampton, and I hope that my children will be able enjoy that which my wife and I enjoy today, and perhaps even more.
In the opinion of many North Hampton residents, our Planning Board directs the vast majority of its energy and efforts to keep things from not happening. Year after year, more and more zoning rules and ordinances are put in place with a “prevent” theme and mentality. This is not the function or the purpose of the Planning Board. Instead, the Planning Board should be “planning”, and looking for solutions to ensure that North Hampton continues to be a desirable place to live. We do not want to be known as the used car, or self-storage capital of the Seacoast. We do not want to be known for our polluted beaches or tainted drinking water. We do not want to be known as the town that pushes everyone and everything away, under the false premise that progress comes at the cost of marginalizing our natural resources. I would like to see North Hampton develop a real strategic plan that attracts the types of businesses that North Hampton residents want; not only those who are able to slip through the cracks of an increasingly-complicated and archaic set of rules that were established decades ago.
How do you think the NHBA can best work with you in your efforts?
The North Hampton Business Association and Planning Board should work together, as partners with common goals. This is not to say that the Planning Board should act under the will of the Business Association, but much could be accomplished by working in a congenial setting, discussing the goals and objectives of each organization, and drafting policy to accomplish mutual goals. Today, I see very little of this cooperation occurring, and instead, North Hampton’s business community and the Planning Board generally act as adversaries, and our entire community suffers as a result. A drive along our Route 1 business corridor should remind us every day that there is opportunity to do better than we are today, and I’d like to be helpful in achieving a sense of common goals for all.