Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Two eye Concord Ward 5 Council seat

According to Concord City Clerk Janice Bonenfant, two candidates have emerged to run for the council seat held by the late Councilor Marjory Swope, who recently passed away due to cancer.
Irena Goddard of Redington Road and Robert Werner of the Hooksett Turnpike, are running. Other potential candidates have until 5 p.m. today to file to run.
Goddard, a Free State Project supporter, ran for Concord School Board last year, coming in fourth and missing a win by a mere 357 votes [Six candidates were vying for three seats]. Goddard placed fifth in Ward 5. Interestingly though, she placed second in Wards 8 and 9, the area on the southeastern side of the city, and the Heights. Both are on the opposite side of the city.
The school board race was lightly covered by the media. The Concord Monitor limited its coverage to printing a voter's guide and a political hit piece about incumbent Paul Codington losing his law license. The piece was published on the front page, above the fold, election morning, and surely had a role in his loss [Codington, through some court finagling, was later able to get his law license back]. A local radio station also hosted and broadcast one of the debates and produced news segments about each of the candidates running up to the election.
Werner was previously the vice chairman of the Merrimack County Democrats and a local powerbroker. He was a supporter of presidential candidate John Edwards in 2004 and also a policy analyst for the Smoke-Free NH Alliance, according to campaign finance reporting Web sites.
In September 2005, Werner created a PAC, Citizens for New Solutions. In May 2006, the PAC name was changed to Citizens for Sensible Solutions. An active Web site for the PAC was not found and the PAC does not appear to have done much during its existence.
In September 2006, the Cheshire County Democrats blog posted an event listing sponsored by the group: A complimentary reception and discussion about how Democrats can win in New Hampshire, featuring William Gaston and Elaine Kamarck, authors of "The Politics of Polarization," was held on Oct. 19 at the Manch hotspot, Fratello's. The blog described the PAC this way:
Citizens for Sensible Solutions advocates for public policies that expand economic and educational opportunity, strengthen families, promote community values, demand responsibility and accountability from government, and protects our citizens. CNS will actively support candidates for public office that embrace this positive vision of New Hampshire’s future.
In end of the year 2006 filing, according to the Secretary of State's office, the PAC raised $3,160 and spent $2,279. Werner donated $1,350 to the PAC. Other political players donating money include Billy Shaheen, the husband of the former Governor [$300], failed District 1 Congressional candidate and Attorney Jim Craig [$300], Attorney George Bruno [$100], and Attorney Mike Atkins [$100]. Fire PAC NH also donated $500 to the PAC. The PAC listed the Fratello's event [$1,465.95], an airline reimbursement, and postage of $646, as expenses for the year, leaving $880 on hand.
Last January, Concord Mayor Mike Donovan, appointed Werner to the Utility Policies/Appeal Board.
Ward 5 is located in the western part of Concord. It runs from the Green Street Community Center to the Hopkinton line west, north to Auburn Street, Little Pond Road, and Lake View Drive [not including White Park], and south to Little Turkey/Great Turkey Pond/River basin to the Bow line on one side and along Clinton Street on the other side.

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