As a resident of Portsmouth and a taxpayer, I think that the Town Council has made a major error in not funding the Director of Business Development position for next year.
By removing this $27,000 item from the budget, the council may think that it has saved the town some money, but at what cost? Despite the misinformed bluster of the PCC voting block on our Town Council, business development increases the commercial tax base which helps to keep our residential taxes low.
Doing away with this development position sends the message that Portsmouth does not care about or need economic growth. In today's highly competitive business climate, this is not the right message to send. The Director of Business Development job is definitely not a "feel good" position, but represents just about the minimum that Portsmouth can do to be considered friendly to businesses. The funding amount for this position is almost miniscule compared to the representation and broad range of activities that the current director has been engaged in, all with the benefit of Portsmouth in mind.
After hearing about this action by our Town Council, an official from a nearby town was overheard to ask a friend: "Why is Portsmouth self-destructing?" I have no answer to this except to point to the four members of the Town Council members who must be held responsible for it. And I don't think we can afford to wait until the next election.