Adam Czarkowski says he offers “independent voice” in Penacook
Adam Czarkowski has spent the past two years getting involved in Penacook and learning about the workings of city government.
The 35-year-old Rhodora Court resident has been planning his next run for city council since losing a close race to City Councilor Liz Blanchard in 2011.
Czarkowski has not met Cassandra Rasmussen, one of his opponents, and acknowledged that he and a third candidate, Brent Todd, share many of the same views.
“I feel that I offer a well-informed independent voice because I don’t have any endorsements from any previous councilors,” Czarkowski said, referring to Todd’s endorsement from Blanchard.
Czarkowski, who works as director of service delivery and support for DSCI Corp., said bringing a grocery store to Penacook was his first priority.
“One of the things I learned in 2011 is people absolutely want a grocery store,” he said. “Nine out of 10 people I spoke with definitely said that was their No. 1 priority.”
He has two locations in mind: the former Allied Leather Tannery site, which the city is looking to redevelop, or the property on Fisherville Road that was recently clear-cut as it is marketed for development.
While city officials have said the tannery site is too small for a grocery store, Czarkowski said he would like to push to find a company willing to build a smaller store. Price Chopper has built small stores in New York, for example.
“I think that might be something that we might be able to attract, is one of those smaller, not a full-fledged Shaw’s or Hannaford but maybe a smaller Price Chopper,” he said.
Czarkowski said he would also support moving the Penacook Branch Library, which officials have said could become part of the tannery site redevelopment. He also suggested market-rate apartments or office space as uses for the tannery site if a grocery store is not feasible.
“I think if you bring in more consumers, you’re going to be able to build up the businesses in the area,” he said.
The reconstruction of Route 3 through downtown Penacook will also revitalize the village, Czarkowski said. He praised the engineering department’s work on that project, which will bring a roundabout to the intersection of Village and Washington streets.
Czarkowski said he also trusted the city’s work on the upcoming Main Street redesign project, which will transform downtown Concord with the help of a federal grant. Construction was put off this fall because the city only received one construction bid that was double its cost estimate.
“I think that if we go out again to try to get additional bids and we don’t get a bid that is close to the estimate, then the city council would really need to regroup to kind of decide how we’re going to move forward with the project,” he said. “Because if we’re talking multiple millions of dollars off . . . that’s a major concern.”
Czarkowski said he likely would have voted against the federal grant that the city council accepted last month to purchase an armored BearCat vehicle.
“I think the major problem is when this broke, the police department didn’t do a very good job of getting the facts out,” he said, referring to controversy over the city’s grant application and residents’ concerns about the militarization of the police department.
But Czarkowski disagrees with candidates who were motivated to run only on the BearCat issue. He said the city needs to move on to address other issues like upcoming construction projects and keeping the tax rate low.
Street: Rhodora Court
Job: Director of service delivery and support at DSCI Corp.
City government experience: Lost race for Ward 1 seat in 2011