A monthly podcast in and about Happenings in the beautiful, historic Upper Valley Town of Hanover, New Hampshire. Published by Hanover Town Manager Alex Torpey.
Small Business Saturday in Downtown Hanover!
In this special episode I sit down with Allie Levy of Still North Books and Bar talking about some of the great value in supporting local businesses this Saturday, November 25th for Small Business Saturday in Hanover.
Supporting local businesses has so many benefits - aside from keeping money in the community, shopping local helps create and support good and well paying jobs in the Upper Valley, reduces the environmental footprint of your shopping and so much more.
Parking is free throughout Hanover on Saturday. Park once, and get outside and walk around and support local!
Here is a selection of some of the businesses in Downtown Hanover offerring Small Business Saturday promos:
Main Street Kitchens
The Fourth Place
You can also purchase new gift cards through the Upper valley's Local Luv gift card program!
A conversation with Dartmouth College President Sian Beilock about mental health, housing, community, collaboration, and more
This is your Town Manager Alex Torpey here with another spotlight episode.
I sit down in Town Hall with Sian Beilock, Dartmouth College's 19th president, who was inaugurated in September of this year. Sian and I discuss a range of issues from mental health, to housing in Hanover, to disagreeing and having civil conversations, what insights we can gain from cognitive science and psychology about how people interact with each other, and whether Sian can still beat her daughter in tennis or not. Both Sian and I wanted to make sure to share how essential it is to both of our organizations that we explore new ways to work even more effectively together.
Much of this kicked off last year, when I and our Selectboard were invited to a reception lunch that was hosted by the College's Board of Trustees. Although many Town and College staff already work well together, I made the case for the value in finding new ways to collaborate at a more senior, and big picture level, with me being new and Dartmouth expecting a new president soon. On that day, everyone recommitted to this great and important work, and I think we've already made a lot of progress, with so much more to come.
Sian and I first had a chance to discus this when we met in February of this year about the challenges and opportunities in Hanover, at Dartmouth, and in our broader regional community in the Upper Valley. Since then, the College has created a VP of Government and Community Relations (Great discussion with Emma Wolfe a few episodes back), and since then we've worked together on a range of new programs and issues, such as around economic and community development in our downtown, around housing, transportation, sustainability, student involvement, and more, already with notable results.
Growing up in a College town in New Jersey that I later happened to become the mayor of, and being involved in Town governance when I was in College, the complex thread of how dynamics work in College towns has always been on my mind, and that complexity, vibrancy, and challenge and opportunity is part of what excites me about the work that we're doing in Hanover. Finding the right way for the Town, and its many related stakeholders, and the College, and its many related stakeholders, to work together, even, and especially, when we aren't 100% aligned on how to approach a particular problem, idea, or policy, is one of the most important things we can do in Hanover to ensure our community's success and future.
So please enjoy this conversation with Sian and look for more in the coming weeks, months, and years about how we're collaborating on issues that matter most to our community.
More on Sian's inaguartion and Dartmouth's plans: https://home.dartmouth.edu/events/inauguration
Discussion with Emma Wolfe, Dartmouth's new VP of Governm
Hanover Happenings October 2023 Update
Hey all, this is your Town Manager Alex Torpey with your October update. First update: fall has come and gone! Anyway, October was a busy month in town, and in this October recap, we're going to cover topics
From the October 9th and 16th Selectboard meetings
The October 18th Selectboard goal setting workshop
And my monthly report
This includes updates on:
An employee proclamation
FY24-25 budget updates, including updates on the new Capital Improvement Program Committee, ARPA funds, state report filings, and more
A big update on the Mink Brook Community Workforce Housing Project
Several parking updates
Updating our sustainability director position
Several other business items, including donations and Approval of Amended Bridge Bond Loan Documents
And my report, which includes updates on:
Human Resources, staffing, and the Retention/Recruitment study
Two employee recognitions, one at Hanover Police, and one at Hanover Fire
The Town's new Instagram page
Upcoming events on Allen Street
Stories from ICMA Austin - Meet a half dozen other communities and their managers
I had the pleasure to attend the annual conference of the International City/County Management Association last week in Austin Texas and wanted to bring you some stories from Town Managers from across the country. Nearly 6,000 local government managers and professionals gathered from around the world to work on every issue you could possibly imagine (Learn about ICMA here).
For this conference, I was also selected as one of two town managers by the Municipal Management Association of New Hampshire, along with Karen Conard, the City Manager of Portsmouth, to represent our state at a 4-hour in-depth session looking at the municipal manager's role in facilitating or making change in a community, a deep dive into the dynamics that can enable or disable local progress. Here are some of the other sessions I attended:
Making Engagement Exciting
Strategic Budgeting: Integrating Budgeting and Performance
New Skills for Managing Difficult Conversation (put on by Braver Angels)
Navigating the Future of Work
It's About Damn Time: Women Leading in Public Service
Capturing and Transferring Institutional Knowledge
Build Government Teams that are Healthy and Strong
Beyond going to and/or presenting at various sessions, the fun and meaningful part of going to conferences like this is getting to meet tons of interesting folks that are ultra passionate about finding ways to help their communities address some of their biggest challenges. I enjoy sharing what I'm working on, learning about what other people are doing, and workshopping ideas that we can all take back to our day-to-day.
I wanted to bring a small slice of the conference to you all, and so I managed to grab a few quick 3-5 minute discussions with a number of city and town managers and other attendees from all around the country. Check out the conversations below and learn a little bit about what's happening in local government outside of the Upper Valley!
Anna Gruber, City Manager for Sartell Minnesota, and Nikki Sweeter, Engagement Director of for the City of Sartell, Minnesota
Sartell, MN: https://www.sartellmn.com/
Brian Platt, City Manager for Kansas City, Missouri (and former colleague/friend from New Jersey)
Kansas City, MO: https://www.kcmo.gov/
Kansas City's 3,100 acre solar project: https://flatlandkc.org/news-issues/details-of-massive-kc-solar-project-begin-to-emerge/
Nick and Josh, two public administration students from University of South Florida student members of their local ICMA chapter
Local student ICMA chapters: https://icma.org/student-chapters
Dustin Stambaugh, City Administrator for Ellsworth, Kansas
Ellsworth Kansas: https://www.ellsworthks.net/
Kyle Laws, City Manager for West Point, Utah
West Point Utah: https://www.westpointcity.org/
Alisha James, Assistant Town Manager for Winter Park, Colorado and Jen Reichelt, Deputy City Administrator for Yuma, Arizona
Winter Park, CO: https://wpgov.com/
Hanover Happenings September 2023 Update
Hey all, this is your town Manager Alex Torpey with your September update!
Here are some of the things we've been working on in September:
September 11th and 18th Selectboard Meetings
We issued a proclamation thanking Roger Darisse for 20 years of service working for Hanover Public Works
We lowered the speed limit on Lyme Road from 30mph to 25mph
Gave a quick update on the FY 24-25 budget timeline and made final appointments to the new Capital Improvement Program Committee
Discussed some traffic safety updates
Talked about the need to update some of the organizational materials for our boards and committees
Recapped the great Allen Street Block Party and talked about the future plans for Allen Street
Discussed some space problems inside Town Hall and some ideas to explore moving forward
Did a bunch of business, including
Approving various minutes
Accepting donations - thank you to Snax Bar; Dunks Sports Grill; Co-op Food Stores; MA-KE Architects; and Mascoma Bank.
Made some appointments, including myself, our public works director, and police chief, and dispatch coordinator as deputy EMDs and our Acting Fire Chief as the Acting EMD, as well as Sloane Mayor, Jack Wilson, and Randall Mudge to the Building Code Advisory Committee
Authorizing grant paperwork to move forward the Reservoir Road - Wheelock Multi Use Path
My administrative report, which i
A conversation with Rob Gurwitt of Daybreak, about news, trust, New England democracy, community, and more
In Hanover, we care a lot about making sure people have information about what's happening in their community. It's part of the reason we started this podcast and why the Selectboard does business the way it does. But government is only one piece to the puzzle of informing, engaging, and activating a community.
In this episode, I take a walk through Pine Park in Hanover with Rob Gurwitt, publisher of the daily email newsletter that many of us know and love - Daybreak. To the sound of gravel footsteps and late summer insects, we cover a wide range of super important topics such as:
The value of trust in how people find and consume information, especially during and post-COVID
How information flows in (and creates) community and how that impacts local decision making, especially as journalism and "news" has changed in the last decade or so,
The differences between economic and community development
How Daybreak works behind the scenes
What lessons can be reflected on from trying to engage a politically diverse audience,
Leadership values that can be learned from journalism,
Unique requirements and dynamics about involvement and democracy in New England
And what the heck happened in Tupelo, Mississippi in the 1940s.
Rob has a long personal and professional history of not only working in and around government, but in finding creative ways through various mediums to inform and engage people, and ultimately contribute positively to creating community. Rob wrote for the Congressional Quarterly, spent many years writing for Governing Magazine, and has spent years in different ways writing about what's happening and changing in communities. Rob helped launch the DailyUV, and since 2019, has published Daybreak.
You can signup for Daybreak here: https://daybreak.news/
You can find the article from Governing Magazine about Tupelo, MI that we discussed here.