Editorial: Voters face difficult choices in city elections

Friday, November 03, 2017

In deciding on endorsements in this year’s city elections, we, as members of the Monitor’s editorial board, must choose among people who by the very act of offering to serve their community set themselves apart.

While there may be differences among those running, we commend all of them – incumbents, challengers and newcomers – who have shown a willingness to sacrifice hours out of their busy lives to serve their fellow citizens. That is the hallmark of public service.

We have done our best to evaluate individual skill sets and experience, determine how hard the candidate will work if elected, and gauge their ability to work with constituents and fellow board members.

We are persuaded that overall, the city and the school district are headed in the right directions. Concord’s downtown is growing more and more vibrant, and that new energy will slowly but surely spread throughout the city. Meanwhile, the mayor and council have proven their commitment to expanding the tax base and improving public safety. With full-day kindergarten on the verge of becoming a reality, we expect school board members to continue their careful consideration of the tax burden as they shape future budgets and develop a plan to address the aging Rundlett Middle School.

In weighing all of these factors, we endorse: Jim Bouley for mayor; Fred Keach and Amanda Grady Sexton for at-large city councilor; Rob Werner for Ward 5 councilor; Keith Nyhan for Ward 7; Gail Matson for Ward 8; and Dan St. Hilaire for Ward 10. For school board, we endorse Tom Croteau in District A, Barbara Higgins in District B and Chuck Crush in District C.

We also want to acknowledge the impressive challengers who made our decisions particularly difficult. Council candidates Rod Forey in Ward 7, and Elvir Zulkic and David Sky in Ward 10 stand out, as do school board candidates Liza Dube and Danielle Smith in District A and Liza Poinier in District B.

Concord is indeed a fortunate city to have so many people willing to serve their neighbors. We have offered our picks, but your choices are the only ones that matter. Please take the time to vote on Tuesday.