Friday, June 1, 2007

Why I'm voting for Irena Goddard on June 5

Note to readers: This is a letter to the editor I sent earlier this week to the Concord Monitor which hasn't been published yet.

Special elections, especially ones held in summer months, tend to be sleepy occasions. The race to replace the late-Marjory Swope as councilor of Ward 5 has been no exception. On Tuesday, June 5, voters will have the choice between two interesting candidates, with appealing and varied backgrounds. However, one candidate has shown the capacity to not only think about issues more deeply but also come up with creative solutions to solve problems. That candidate is Irena Goddard.

The voters of Ward 5 may think they are too busy to vote in this special election but I urge them not to ignore this race. It is the local elections – not the national ones – which have the most bearing on our lives, making sure we have municipal services and guaranteeing that the immediate things around us get done.

And as we all know, our city is facing some pretty difficult times. The budget is a mess. Social service agencies are finding it hard to cover things with less and less money. The police department is understaffed, with patrolmen being taken off their routes at night to do detective work, something I find completely unacceptable. Our first responders, like firefighters and EMTs, are falling behind on training. Heroin is cheap and easily accessible and has become the drug of choice. Some of us who have lived in bigger cities have lost friends to heroin and it is a shock to think that it is so casually being used by our young people in Concord. Anyone with their eyes open can see that while we have a great city, in many ways, it is headed in the wrong direction and someone needs to do something about it. It is clearly time to get resourceful and think about things differently than we are.

Over the last two years, I have gotten to know Irena and her adorable son. She thinks outside the box and will use her diverse business and life experience to thoughtfully tackle problems. As well, I think we can all agree, that the council could use more moms serving on it. If elected, I know Irena will show the leadership our city needs right now, by putting our neighborhoods above politics and doing what is best for everyone.

For almost a century, my family has lived in this community. I was born and raised in Concord myself, living most of that time in Ward 5, and I can tell you that there is no better person to be representing us than Irena Goddard. Please join me in casting a vote for Irena on Tuesday.

The Monitor printed my letter in the Sunday edition, a big plus, along with another letter for Irena and one for her opponent. Tracking the letters to the editor in the Monitor, that makes five for Irena and two for her opponent. Hopefully, that is how Election Day will be.

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