Fiscal Solutions Tour to Visit City

Published Oct 5, 2010. By Charles McMahon.

PORTSMOUTH — Some of the nation's top experts are coming to the city Thursday, Oct. 7, as part of a countrywide tour designed to examine fiscal solutions and challenges facing the country.

Portsmouth is one of six cities across the country — including San Francisco, Chicago and Philadelphia — chosen as a destination during the fall tour being conducted by the nonpartisan Concord Coalition and supported by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation.

The "Fiscal Solutions Tour" will feature a handful of speakers who intend to foster a discussion on possible solutions to the rapidly increasing federal debt and related fiscal problems.

Speakers expected to take part include Concord Coalition Executive Director Robert Bixby and David Walker, president and chief executive officer of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation.

Steve Marchand, Portsmouth resident and former mayor, has alternated between working and volunteering for the Concord Coalition for nearly 20 years.

Marchand said the fact that Portsmouth was selected to host the tour along with major cities speaks to the city and state's growing reputation of being civically engaged.

"There's a lot of history here of citizens who are unusually engaged in long-term budget and fiscal issues," Marchand said. "You have fertile ground here for what I would describe as a very adult and candid conversation about the challenges we face and the ways to solve those challenges."

Co-founded by former New Hampshire Republican Sen. Warren Rudman, the Concord Coalition characterizes itself as a nonpartisan, nonprofit national organization that advocates for fiscal responsibility at the federal, state and local levels, Marchand said.

The tour is not designed to advance a specific set of solutions, according to Marchand, and is instead intended to provide the public with diverse perspectives on the many different possibilities.

Marchand said the tour event is an all-day affair that has been designed to reach many Seacoast residents, young and old.

The tour will kick off in the morning during breakfast with the Greater Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce at Great Bay Community College. The discussion will then move to the University of New Hampshire campus at Huddleston Hall for what Marchand said will be an "inter-generational" conversation.