Dick Patten says he knows Ward 8 ‘like a book’
Dick Patten did not intend to seek a fourth term on the city council, but he said his constituents urged him to run again.
“I was honored that people wanted me to come back on to continue as their councilor,” he said.
Patten, 61, also a Democratic state representative, is a lifelong resident of Concord’s Heights. He said he knows his ward “like a book” and enjoys listening to constituents. He filed to run for re-election after residents gathered petition signatures on his behalf. He is facing two opponents in Ward 8 this fall: Dennis Soucy and Gail Matson.
“Well I’m not sure about any accomplishments,” Patten said, when asked in his interview about his three terms on the city council. “I’ve got some unfinished businesses I’m working on.”
He would like to help residents who live on unaccepted city streets, including A Street and Russell Street. Patten said city officials have told him the residents would need to submit a petition, and he was not sure what he could do as a city councilor to help them. But, he said, the city should care for those roads.
On plans to reduce Loudon Road from four lanes to three lanes with a center turning lane, Patten said he needs more feedback from residents before forming an opinion.
“I think it’s worth something to look into because right now . . . you’ve got so much traffic on this road that you’re getting accidents every day,” he said.
He would also like to improve safety for pedestrians on Manchester Street with a traffic signal or crosswalk signal at the intersection with Garvins Falls Road.
Ward 8 includes McKenna’s Purchase condominiums, where residents have voiced concern over the Northern Pass project.
“I looked at the map and I could see where some of those lines in McKenna’s Purchase . . . and you’re right in somebody’s backyard or back porch – my goodness gracious that’s disgusting,” Patten said. “So I would hope that if they’re going to continue this thing that they would at least honor their thoughts and bury those lines or something.”
The city council would have a limited ability to influence the project, Patten said, but he would also use his position as a state representative to advocate for residents’ concerns.
Patten said he would support building a community center on the Heights, though he is concerned that the old elementary school, which he attended as a child, would be demolished to build the new center.
“All I know is I don’t want them raising taxes like crazy to have that,” he said.
While Patten voted to approve plans to redesign Main Street, he said he has since reconsidered his position.
“I just worry about it because if you’re going to do that down there, think about the Heights and Penacook and everything else,” he said.
Main Street needs more affordable stores, Patten said, like a department store or a dollar store.
Patten said he is not actively campaigning this year, and is keeping a “low profile.” He said he welcomes the other two candidates’ decisions to run for council.