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Coen, Herschlag not running for re-election on city council 

Monitor staff
Published: 9/6/2019 7:00:03 PM

Two Concord city councilors are not expected to run for re-election in November.

At-large City Councilor Mark Coen will not seek re-election and Ward 2 Councilor Allan Herschlag will also be stepping down.

Herschlag, who was often a dissenting voice during his four terms on the council and advocated for greater transparency and accountability, implored people of Concord to continue to stand up for the issues that matter to them.

“As a city councilor I have tried my best to listen to you. I have encouraged you to speak up. All too often I have heard your frustration that your voice doesn’t matter. But all too often I (and the city council) haven’t heard from you. The recent vote to not go forward with the Employment Security Project is because your voices were heard,” Herschlag wrote in a letter to his constituents. “When only 15% of the city’s eligible voters turn out for a municipal election and it is rare for an incumbent to lose, you are correct, your voice isn’t being heard. But it isn’t being heard because many in our city haven’t spoken up.”

Coen, who is planning to step down after more than a decade on the council, said some of the work he is most proud of are hard budget decisions that had to be made after the recession.

“Those decisions that were implemented in and after 2008, they really paid off and helped us to move forward,” he said. “You can see that in the new community center and Sewalls Falls Bridge and paving that’s going on throughout the city.”

The filing period for Concord elections began on Friday and will remain open for 10 days. The deadline to declare candidacy for those interested in running for school board, mayor, city council and other positions is Sept. 16 at 5 p.m. Candidates wishing to file by petition have until Sept. 20.

All ward seats on the city council, the mayor’s two-year seat and two four-year at-large seats will be on the city ballot.

For school board, there are three, three-year term seats open, one from District A (Wards 1, 2, 3, 4), District B (Wards 5, 6, 7) and District C (Wards 8, 9, 10). The current school board members in those positions are Jim Richards (District A), Nancy Kane (District B) and Pam Wicks (District C).

Before serving on the council, Herschlag said he believed the city often failed to provide access to public information and filed several right-to-know requests for records.

“I believe the city is doing a better job of informing the public now, but there is still much that can and should be done,” Herschlag said. “To name a couple; the council can do a better job of informing and soliciting comments on city contracts with our employees. We can do a better job of informing you of the positions the city takes on state legislative matters.”

Coen said the work he did to make tax bills more comprehensive for taxpayers was also rewarding.

“When I won an election, I was 56 years old and I said, ‘If I can serve until I’m 70, that’d be great,’ ” Coen said Friday. “I turned 70 a few weeks ago. I enjoyed my time on the council. I know we accomplished a lot.”

There will be a school board candidates information session on Sept. 11 from 7 to 8 p.m. at the district office at 38 Liberty St. in Concord.

Residents hoping to run for school board should declare with Roger B. Phillips, Esquire, Clerk, at Phillips Law Office, PLLC, 104 Pleasant St. Phillips can be reached by phone at 225-2767.

Those looking to run for city government can file at the City Clerk’s Office in City Hall.

The filing fee to run for school board, mayor or city council is $5. The filing fee to run for a ward official, like moderator or supervisor of the checklist position, is $1. The City Clerk’s Office is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday with extended hours until 6 p.m. on Thursdays.

Municipal elections will take place on Nov. 5.

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