Questions for the candidates: Concord Ward 1, Brent Todd

Published: 10/25/2019 2:06:36 PM

Incumbent Brent Todd is running against Kevin Miller in Concord’s Ward 1.

Brent Todd

How long have you lived in Concord? I’ve enjoyed living in Concord for 20 years.

Profession: I’m a risk analyst at Electric Insurance Co., a subsidiary of General Electric Co.

Other experience: I have 20 years of volunteer work in the community, including: Concord City Councilor for Ward 1, 2014 to present; Penacook Community Center (PCC) Board member; Penacook Village Association; Transportation Policy Advisory Committee; Penacook Tax Increment Financing District Advisory Board; Penacook Historical Society member; Concord 250; Concord 2020.

What two issues are most important to you, and what would you do to address them?

When I first ran for city council, folks in Penacook overwhelmingly told me they wanted assistance with rising taxes and more commercial development, including a supermarket. I promised to work on these requests, and projects are underway.

Jobs, housing and business development are interdependent. You can’t have one without the others. I’ve been working on a comprehensive approach: adding commercial development (Whitney Road area), increasing housing opportunities (former Tannery site and the Village Street CATCH property), and encouraging adding jobs to the community (Newspapers of New England/Concord Monitor at the former RIVCO, new businesses in the Beede Building).

As to housing, we need more of it at all levels. But many of our neighbors in Penacook – those working two jobs, single-parent families, veterans, seniors, recent grads – need affordable housing options. Some say that Penacook has too much affordable housing. Actually, Penacook has just 2% of the city’s total affordable housing, with 12% of the total city population. The Heights and downtown Concord each have over 40% of the city’s affordable housing. If we add 79 affordable apartments to Penacook at the Tannery site and the CATCH property, Penacook will have just 9% of the city’s affordable housing.

Job opportunities, coupled with housing, allows residents to live and work in Penacook. We want people who are taking new local jobs to find suitable housing in Penacook, but local residential rental rates have increased 17% over the last five years. How many of us can say our salaries have increased 17% in the past five years?

Penacook residents, especially those on a tight budget, need convenient, close access to healthy food choices. So I’ve supported development of the supermarket proposal at Whitney Road, which at $35 million anticipated assessment on a 43-acre site will also go a long way to helping our tax rate. I also advocate for sensitive development of the Concord Monitor property, at 100 additional acres, that could result in further expansion of the tax base and add more businesses and homes.

In addition to these key issues, I have supported our essential services, such as police, fire, and transportation, and I continue to support our branch library. Concord police officers are required to have extensive training, and it’s a tight recruiting market, but I’m confident we’ll continue to add to the force in coming years.

What voice/skills would you add to city government?

I’m a team player who works collaboratively to achieve the best results. I work hard to keep my constituents informed of all the latest developments, and to listen to all their concerns. My leadership, as well as my experience and knowledge gained from years of public volunteer service and work on the City Council, enable me to be an effective voice for you. Working together we can solve any problems and continue to bring Penacook back from decades of stagnation to greater prosperity. Please contact me at anytime with your thoughts or questions.

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