On Nov. 6, Concordians will have the chance to nominate two candidates to the Concord City Council.
In an effort to help inform voters about who their 11 candidates are and what they stand for, Concord Patch asked each one to answer three questions. The candidates were invited to do this in person or via email. The following responses were sent via email by Vernon Kurpieski and is published here as it was received.
Why are you running for Concord City Council?
I became interested in running for city council because I wanted to be a part of shaping the following: 1) Safe and clean neighborhoods 2) Maintain a reasonable and balanced budget 3) Ensure that the development of the Concord Naval Base includes the needs of all Concord residents, to the best of our ability. One of the main issues will be traffic concerns.
What are the top three issues you would want to focus on as a council member?
I believe 3 pressing issues we face today are the homelessness, budget concerns and the development of the Concord Naval Weapons Station.
As I spoke about at the Senior Center meeting, our homeless problem affects everyone and we don't have the answers right now on how to deal with the situation. I do believe, however, that as a community we can at least come up with some solutions to parts of the problem and start making some headway into the problem. I recently received an e-mail from a concerned citizen who wondered why we couldn't, at a minimum, provide trash receptacles near some of the more obvious pathways. While this may bring it's own set of issues, it shows that people are willing to provide suggestions if someone will listen. That is what I believe council members should do. By digging in to this problem, it will assist with bringing in new business to our city, which is necessary to ensure we have a healthy and balanced budget.
Our goal is to maintain our balanced budget and one of the ways we can do that is by encouraging more businesses to open shop. We also need to ensure that these businesses survive and are successful. With the development of the Concord Naval Weapons Station, we can come up with ways to ensure that our businesses are taken care of.
Putting in a sports complex, which would bring tournaments to our city, would increase the customer base for our retail, restaurant and hotel businesses. Additionally, however, the impact on our neighborhoods have to be taken into consideration as what's 'best for the city' isn't always 'what's best for the community'. For example, the building of new homes at the Weapons Station is great for our tax revenue for the City but if an in depth study of traffic patterns onto the surrounding neighborhoods isn't well thought out, it will have a large negative impact on existing residents. The two areas need to complement each other.
What makes you different from the current council and the 10 other city council candidates?
I don't know that we are all that different with regards to our concerns for the community at large. We may have different priorities but I believe we all care about making Concord a better place to live. I am not, however, a 'politician'. I believe I am more representative of the average Concord resident who resides here, their children are being educated in our local public schools and have endeavored to make Concord their home. I am a grass roots candidate and therefore believe that I have a more neutral view on issues impacting our community.
I have worked in the retail industry for over 30 years so my connection with people and the public at large will be of benefit when it comes time to listen to people and make those sometimes difficult decisions. At the various meetings I have attended during this campaign, I have met a large number of people working for the City of Concord. I believe they are hard working, dedicated people and doing a great job at the position they have been assigned, which is doing what is best for the City. I also believe that there are times when what is best for the City may not be best for the community itself. I believe it is the job of the city council member to keep that balance between the good of the city and the good of the community without jeopardizing the needs of either. I hope to get your vote on Nov 6.
Other Concord City Council candidate Q&As:
Concord Patch contacted all 11 city council candidates, giving them an opportunity to answer these questions in person. The questions have also been sent out via email for candidates to respond to in writing. Concord Patch will publish answers if and when they come in. For an email notification when candidate Q&As are published, click "keep me posted" below.