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Turning Concord upside down: Unexpected ideas from city council candidates

Downtown Concord at sunrise from the Merrimack river; Friday, July 30, 2010.

Downtown Concord at sunrise from the Merrimack river; Friday, July 30, 2010.

Monitor editors have spent the past few weeks interviewing candidates for the Concord City Council. Much of what the candidates are talking about wouldn’t surprise you: They want to expand the tax base, they like (or hate!) the BearCat, they like (or hate!) the Main Street project. But along the way, we’ve also heard some unexpected suggestions for improving the city.

Here are some of the most interesting. Let us know what you think. Send your thoughts to letters@cmonitor.com.

1. Encourage NHTI to become a four-year college (from Ward 4 candidate Byron Champlin).

2. Shrink Concord from 43,000 to 30,000 people over time (from mayoral candidate Christopher Booth).

3. Bring a 10-pin bowling lane to town (from at-large candidate Scott Welch).

4. Encourage an Aldi grocery store – a chain known for smaller shops and low prices – to locate in Penacook (from several candidates).

5. Create a government-sanctioned campground for homeless people, complete with Dumpsters and portable toilets (from Ward 3 council candidate Rick Cibotti).

6. Persuade the state to move the women’s halfway house out of Concord, in exchange for the city taking on the burden of the new women’s prison (from several candidates).

7. Put on a country music concert to draw NASCAR fans to town during the Loudon race weekends (from Cibotti).

8. Consider Storrs Street as a site for a homeless shelter (several candidates). Alternatively, use the Employment Security building as housing for homeless people (from Welch).

9. Create an incentive program with prizes for Main Street workers to park off-site during the construction project (from Ward 3 council candidate Jennifer Kretovich).

10. Make parking on a long stretch of Storrs Street free during the Main Street construction project (from Mayor Jim Bouley).

11. Create a large, daytime drop-in center for homeless residents (from several candidates).

12. Create a satellite library branch on the Heights, connected to plans for the community center on the Dame School site (several candidates).

13. Hire a marketing expert to lure companies to Concord. (from Ward 4 council candidate Michael DelloIacono.)

14. Create a visitors’ center on Stickney Avenue (from Cibotti).

15. Create an indoor space for hobbyists to use radio-operated cars and planes (from Welch).

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