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Jennifer Kretovic says she brings energy, commitment to Ward 3

Jennifer Kretovic, city council candidate. Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce hosted a city candidate forum on Tuesday, October 22, 2013 at the Grappone Conference Center.

(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

Jennifer Kretovic, city council candidate. Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce hosted a city candidate forum on Tuesday, October 22, 2013 at the Grappone Conference Center. (JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)

Jennifer Kretovic is enthusiastic and energetic about her involvement in Concord, and she thinks that is what sets her apart as a candidate in Ward 3 this year.

Kretovic is serving her first term as a city councilor in Ward 2. But redistricting has moved her neighborhood into Ward 3, where she is now running against Councilor Jan McClure and a third candidate, Rick Cibotti.

The race with McClure is difficult, Kretovic said in an interview with the Monitor, because they cannot both return to the city council.

“I think the difference between the two of us is energy, enthusiasm and commitment,” she said. “Because

Jan has been there a long time, and I don’t think she has the same energy and enthusiasm that I do, though she certainly has the commitment. And I present a different level of commitment. I’m really involved in the community well just beyond my council committees, of which I serve on eight.”

Kretovic said she was proud of her work to change the Concord Area Transit bus routes. She participated in the process as chairwoman of the public transportation subcommittee of the city’s Transportation Policy Advisory Committee.

While Kretovic does not take full credit for the changes to CAT, she said she was proud of “really revising those routes and streamlining their operation so we no longer had buses following each other down the same route, which was a real frustration and a real bleed of resources.”

In upcoming city projects, Kretovic said her first priority would be building a community center on the Heights at the former Dame School.

“I see the community center and the location at the Dame School as being a huge central resource for a lot of our refugee population that lives up in that area to be able to connect to their new community,” she said.

Kretovic said she would next prioritize the extension of Langley Parkway from Pleasant Street to the intersection of Penacook and North State streets. While residents in that area have spoken against the project at recent meetings, Kretovic said it’s important to reduce ambulance travel time to Concord Hospital and relieve cut-through traffic in neighborhoods off School Street.

“I don’t think it should come off the table,” she said. “Can it be delayed? Yeah, if it’s appropriate to delay it.”

Third on Kretovic’s list is a new downtown library.

“My greatest concern with the library is what do we do with the building that we have now,” she said.

She has been involved in the Main Street project since before the city received a $4.71 million federal grant to complete it. As executive director of the now-defunct Concord 2020, Kretovic played a leadership role in the “Re-Thinking Main Street” study that became the basis of the city’s grant application.

Now, she said, she is “not concerned at all” that the city only received one bid for construction that was double its budget. It was issued during the middle of construction season, she said, and she is confident that a second round of bids will have better results.

She is looking forward to the renovations coming to Route 3 through Penacook and Concord’s Main Street. While those projects are already scheduled to begin, Kretovic said the city must remind residents to support local businesses.

“It takes a conscious effort that if I need my oil changed, I’m going to go to so-and-so because I know he’s hurting during construction,” she said.

Kretovic said she also cares about revitalizing Penacook and attracting a small grocery store to the village, which is close to her own neighborhood.

On the issue of homelessness, Kretovic said she would like to see the state government do more to help the city. She has similar concerns about a new women’s prison in Concord.

“When we’re bringing in the women’s prison, if we’re not going to support after they’re released, we’re going to add to the problem,” she said. “And so the solution is the state needs to step in and give support.”

(Laura McCrystal can be reached at 369-3312 or lmccrystal@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @lmccrystal.)

Related

Meet the Ward 3 city council candidates

Monday, October 28, 2013

The three-way city council race in Ward 3 this fall includes an unusual competition between two incumbents. Councilor Jan McClure has represented Ward 3 for the past decade, and is running for a sixth term. But Councilor Jennifer Kretovic is also running in Ward 3; she was elected in Ward 2 in 2011 but now lives in Ward 3 due …

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