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My Turn: Special interests or your best interest?

For the Monitor
Published: 10/12/2021 6:00:17 AM

In a recent letter to the editor (Monitor, Oct. 8), Steve Shurtleff touts the non-partisan city council elections in Concord. Perhaps what he really means is that after recent actions by both parties, he is hopeful for the resumption of non-partisanship for the city council. It is possible that this is one of the few issues we agree on.

But let me remind Steve that it was the Democrats who fired the first salvo a few election cycles back. Mailing a flier encouraging voting for Democrats for the city council. Followed in the next election cycle with a who’s who list of Democrats supporting a candidate for an at-large council seat. And in our last city-wide election, the Republicans jumped in with their support for a candidate.

As to Shurtleff’s choices for the city council, let me remind voters of their records. It is my opinion that on too many occasions the mayor has placed his business interests above yours. Failing to recuse himself, disregarding city council rules and city ordinances, or not being forthright. And yes, there are public records to support this.

While touting Brent Todd’s support for the Exit 17 project, Shurtleff neglects to mention Todd’s vote expanding the Penacook Village TIF district from 47 to 243 acres, allowing the city to confiscate over $7.5 million dollars from the Merrimack Valley School District. Even when the project is able to move forward without the taking of 100% of MVSD tax revenues for the next 20 years.

Shurtleff fails to mention Mark Coen as a strong supporter of the golf course and his votes for projects that spend your tax dollars to support the course. Projects the golf course is unable to pay for without your tax dollars. At present, the course is looking to replace the existing clubhouse.

This year’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP) anticipates the cost of a new clubhouse at just under $4 million, with $3.9 coming from the general fund. That’s from your tax dollars, not golf course revenues. Add to that another million or so (of your tax dollars) for golf course grounds improvements.

All the candidates that Shurtleff supports continue to support the Sears Block and Concord Lumber Yard TIF districts. For this fiscal year, the city will capture nearly $650,000 of Concord School District tax dollars. Dollars that won’t be going to pay for educational services.

Be assured that if elected, Shurtleff’s candidates will continue to vote for special interests that are not in your best interest.

(Allan Herschlag lives in Concord.)

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